For Creative Loafing, Stephanie Dazey looks at Saltyard, which opened recently in South Buckhead. Though Dazey says the restaurant "could stand to loosen its belt a bit and take some creative risks," she adds that the space is "tall, dark, and handsome," and that "executive chef/partner Nick Leahy's sprawling menu reads like a culinary greatest-hits list of more than 30 dishes." The price point is reasonable, but Dazey believes the restaurant is missing something:
Even with the hits and misses, it's hard to argue with the pricing. Small plates range from $4-$11, but most fall in the $6-$9 range. Tapas-style dining can add up quickly, but Saltyard's healthy portion sizes keep things affordable. Two people can expect to pay $50-$60 with a round of drinks and leave full. Still, there's nothing particularly groundbreaking going on at Saltyard. Dishes tend to come off as lackluster or a little boring. With all the restaurant chops Saltyard has to offer, perhaps it should rely less on a sprawling selection of classics and invest more time in thinking up offbeat pairings like curry and beets or octopus and home fries. As it stands, Saltyard is a nice, wallet-friendly addition to the neighborhood, but there's potential here to be much more.
This week, Creative Loafing's Brad Kaplan takes a fresh look at Miso Izakaya.
[Chef/owner Guy Wong's] intent with Miso has always been to tinker, to strike an of-the-moment chord, and to appeal to a range of diners. The menu of small plates, almost all $5-$10, continues to beg exploration and encourage sharing amongst friends. While still concise — all on one page — Miso's menu spans a variety of mini-genres: Japanese standards, Mantou-style steamed buns, fusion-y salads, Chinese veggie dishes, Korea-by-way-of-Japan grilled meats, and typical sushi bar maki.Kaplan adds, "Four years later, Wong's attention to detail is more evident than ever." He recommends the shoyu tomago, agedashi tofu, spicy sashimi salad, and steak and eggs kushiyaki, then adds that the new cocktail program has turned the restaurant into a "leading cocktail destination."
THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Here's a look at Plantation Italia, Cliff Bostock says Mariscos El Veneno is as spicy as ever, Bostock also checks in with Spoon and Morelli's, Bella Vivere reviews King + Duke.