JEZE April 2016 : Page 117

Day Boat grouper almondine with toasted almonds and brown butter, served with a twice-baked potato and haricots verts Opt for the entertaining tableside cocktail service to watch The Mercury’s barkeeps shake and stir right at your table. cool that they come in vintage-style cocktail glasses: from cut-crystal lowballs to oblong coupes. The latter is a lovely vessel for The Commodore, a smoky combo of rye whiskey, vermouth, amaro and cherry. Despite its kitschy connotations, the fl ower-garnished mai tai is far more modern than that time The Brady Bunch went to Hawaii. But you’ll still love how the old-style Rhum agricole gives its lime, curaçao, orgeat and petite canne mixture, for cane-sugar sweetness. Blydenstein’s classic American cuisine is straight to the point and so is his manner of summing it up to us: “This is my baby.” He developed the menu after three years at The Pinewood, then teamed up with Cloud and Eater Atlanta Bartender of the Year Goglia to fulfi ll a lofty vision. Dishes are brought to you on curvy ceramic plates and tiny tin pots by nerd-chic guys with thick-rimmed eyeglasses and narrow mustaches. Appetizers include crab bouillettes: crunchy on the exterior but full of soft, sinewy pulled crab inside; as well as daily changing crudo (we tried the fl uke with ponzu sauce, scallions and herbaceous oil). You might opt for the wagyu-beef steak tartare topped with a sunny side-up egg, shallots and a splay of supercrunchy baguette slices, but we much prefer the oysters, which are nearly as meaty. These Chesapeake Bay gems are true to form, with high salinity and a grassy fi nish. Would you be surprised if we told you our favorite meal here was a makeshift meat-and-three? This spot is known for its excellent sous-vide steaks, but the certifi ed Revere Meat Co. roasted prime rib is also a primo choice. Order it with a side of creamed spinach au gratin—garlicky with a Parmesan crust—or any of three preparations of potatoes (try the scalloped pommes galette). Conclusions? If you’re the type who’s grown tired of chichi eateries featuring odd and unfamiliar fl avors, come here, and you’ll still feel cool. … Even if you sense the need to pick up a pair of Karoo specs on the way up. No matter what happens, there’s always dessert. Hello, sparkle birthday cake! The Mercury Ponce City Market 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404.500.5253 @themercuryatl 117 Steak tartare with wagyu beef, shallot, Dijon, chive, lemon, caper and sunny side-up yard egg Burrata ravioli with seasonal wild mushroom and asparagus confetti The Hummingbird cocktail featuring gin, lime, elderfl ower, soda and mint Pull up a cushioned seat at the wraparound bar and order from the lounge menu with fun bites like house pecans and lobster fritters with cheddar cheese and tarragon mayo.

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