With new restaurants popping up almost daily in Atlanta, it’s not always easy to find the time to re-visit the places that are worth re-visiting. My most recent meal at Local Three was the perfect reminder as to why I’ll return again. The restaurant is hidden away in an office complex off of Northside Parkway, just west of Buckhead. I’m pretty confident that no one would ever actually find the place if they weren’t looking for it. Based on the size of last Friday night’s crowd, I’d say a lot of people are looking for it.
Local Three’s décor doesn’t exactly fit the office complex location, in a good way. The space has beautiful wood-paneled walls, high ceilings, and tons of quirky pig-art throughout.
It also has an awesome outdoor patio, which can be a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of the main dining and bar areas. As always, a round of ice-cold cocktails was the perfect way to begin an evening on the patio.
Note to all the bourbon-lovers out there: the bar boasts a seemingly-endless selection (over 120 different types) of “brown liquor”, as they would call it. So naturally, I stuck with vodka. Drink service on the patio was slower than I would have liked, to no fault of our server, who was juggling tables left and right.
Our server gave a wonderful rundown of the menu, stopping to point out a few of his personal favorites. He was a good salesman, because everything sounded pretty tempting. We weren’t super starving, so we took the route of sharing a few small plates and “snacks.”
The local strawberry salad and the oven roasted mushroom salad were both perfect selections for a warm summer evening. In terms of flavor profiles, these salads couldn’t have been more different from one another. They were both absolutely delicious.
The strawberry salad was light, bright, and refreshing. The strawberries and thinly sliced beets were topped with feta, basil, vin cotto, and a drizzle of olive oil. The simple list of ingredients really allowed the strawberries to shine as the center of the dish.
The oven roasted mushroom salad was the chef’s take on a Caesar salad. An out of this world Caesar salad, that is. The romaine was grilled, dusted with fresh parmesan, and drizzled with a creamy, garlicky dressing. Atop the romaine was a heap of oven roasted mushrooms, the clear star of the dish. The mushrooms were simply prepared, and brought a deliciously earthy component to the dish. I’m still dreaming about them a week later.
The first words out of our server’s mouth during his menu rundown were: “do either of you like beef tartare…?” Sold. He had me at beef tartare. The “Royale with Cheese” was Local Three’s version of a beef tartare. It took only one bite before I declared it among the best I’ve had. The beef was mixed with shallots and capers, and served with a couple slivers of aged gouda. The raw egg yolk was the cherry on top of perfection. To be honest, it was so good that I didn’t even bother with the toasted baguette slices on the side.
The duck fat fried lamb ribs that came next were no competition for the Royale. The ribs were golden brown and crispy, and served with a cabbage slaw and white barbeque sauce. The dish sounded delicious in theory, but when it came down to it, Chad and I both realized that we don’t particularly care for lamb.
I’m not the world’s biggest vegetable fan, but the summer succotash we ordered as a side was pretty tasty as far as vegetables go. Squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, fava beans…you name ‘em, they were probably in there somewhere.
At this point in the meal, our not-that-hungry-to-begin-with appetites got the best of us. We had to forego some of our server’s remaining recommendations, and most disappointingly, dessert. I guess that means I’ll have to double up next time around, because there’s no way I could even fathom deciding between a flourless chocolate cake and the s’more chocolate mousse.