The first time I went to 4th & Swift was back in 2008, and I can still remember down to the last scallop what I ate that night. Now if only I could apply my ability to recall those specific details to something a little bit more useful, like counting cards in blackjack. Since then, I’ve probably been back to 4th & Swift a dozen times, because it’s one of those restaurants that always delivers. Chad and I drove by the other day and realized we hadn’t been in ages, so we quickly set out to change that.
As with most good meals, this one started with a dirty martini + blue cheese olives. The last few restaurants I’ve been to have apologetically said they “don’t do blue cheese olives”, so I was more thankful than normal for this particular cocktail.
I’ve been on a big food-sharing kick lately, so we did two rounds of smaller bites and saved room for dessert.
Round 1: crispy brussels sprouts salad + wood grilled octopus
After a bite each of the first two dishes, there was no doubt it my mind that 4th & Swift has still got it. The brussels sprouts dish was similar in terms of flavor profile to the delicious salad I had at Lusca a few weeks ago, but this time with crispy sprouts instead of raw. The sprouts were served with sliced apples and drizzled in an apple cider reduction. The tartness of the granny smith apples was offset nicely by the sweetness of the cider. A sprinkling of toasted pecans added a nice nutty crunch to the salad.
The wood grilled octopus dish reminded me just how much I love octopus when it’s cooked well. The octopus was served with grilled beets and beech mushrooms, but the addition of taramosalata and mint yogurt was what really made the dish stand out. Taramosalata is somewhat hummus-like in terms of texture, but the roe makes it nice and salty. The light and minty yogurt worked really nicely to balance the taramosalata’s saltiness and creamy texture. It On paper, the dish sounds like A LOT, but the Mediterranean flavors worked together in such a tasty way.
Round 2: local mixed greens + glazed pork belly
A few weeks ago, I said that The Spence’s pork belly was cooked better than any pork belly I’ve ever had. After having eaten 4th & Swift’s pork belly, I’m going to have to revise that statement. The pork in this dish was unbelievable. The meat was so tender and succulent, with a really nice and crispy glaze on the outside. We didn’t even need a butter knife to cut through it. The pork was served with a tomato jam, black garlic, some charred bok choy, and a handful of boiled peanuts. After my first bite, I was seriously tempted to hide the pork from Chad and keep it all for myself. In the spirit of sharing, though, I fought the temptation.
The local mixed greens were relatively uninteresting, but a good option for those who just want a fresh green salad. The greens (which were entirely too large and required extensive chopping) were served with roasted beets, toasted pecans, fennel, and some shaved ricotta salata. I honestly wasn’t sure if the salad was dressed, but it was pretty dry, so there certainly wasn’t enough to cover the enormous greens. I’d skip this one next time and replace it with any of the other delicious vegetables 4th & Swift has to offer.
Round 3: sticky toffee pudding
When I order dessert, there is a 99.9% chance it’s going to be chocolate. In this case, it took a very persuasive server to convince me to go with the sticky toffee pudding over the ganache glazed chocolate cake. She was spot on. Those Brits really know what they’re doing with the whole sticky toffee pudding thing. Honestly, I think we both wanted to lick the bowl clean to ensure that we didn’t leave any of that toffee sauce behind on the plate.
Eater Atlanta recently published an article about the “20 Classic Restaurants Every Atlantan Must Try.” In the Atlanta restaurant scene, where new restaurants come and go in the blink of an eye, I’d say 4th & Swift is on the path towards becoming a classic any day now. I know I, for one, will continue to return to this place again and again for years to come.