South City Kitchen: 12/23/2011

An associate at work was heard to say that South City is his favorite restaurant in Atlanta, so we decided to check it out and see if he is right. South City has two locations, in Midtown and in Vinings. Being suburb dwellers, we hit the Vinings location and took along our solo offspring, since he is a starving college student and could use the calories. That’s why we got to take more than the usual number of pictures with our Date Night Foodcam this week.

The ‘Hood
First of all, this neighborhood used to be in Smyrna, but Vinings has gotten so big and trendy that we don’t think Smyrna will exist in a few years. South City is in one of those complexes that has retail on the lower levels and housing above. We have eaten in many of the restaurants in the complex and really like Muss and Turner, which is located next door.

The Decor
There’s lots of wood throughout the place. The bar is in the center when you walk in and the kitchen is open so you can watch them cook. We watch a lot of Food Network, so I kept peeking over there to see if I could pick up some tips on technique.

Beer Time
Our son thinks we are beer snobs, and although South City has an impressive wine display, we do opt for the malted beverage side of the menu. Eve gets a Sweetwater Schweat and I order a recent great find, Ode to Mercy by Wild Heaven in Decatur. Our beer selections reflect the nice local flavor of the beer list at South City. We have a lot of good beer coming out of this area, so why not highlight it on the beer list?

Let’s Eat!
South City’s menu is seasonal and southern. We start off with the fried green tomato appetizer.

Fried Green Tomatoes. The white is goat cheese.

They stuff goat cheese in before they fry them, which puts an interesting turn on this southern staple. For her main course, Eve picks the vegetable plate, which arrives with parsnip purée, creamed leeks, kale, fingerling potatoes, and an unadvertised bonus, fried okra. It was creative and tasty and Eve loved it

Veggie platter: leeks, kale, taters, and fried okra

I choose the baby back ribs, which were the nightly special, because sometimes you just feel like ribs. The ribs came with salt and vinegar fries and horseradish cole slaw. The ribs fell off the bone and were not really meaty, but it was a whole rack and there was plenty to share.

Lots of baby back ribs, about to fall off the bone.

Elliott went with the shrimp and grits, and since there was nothing left on his plate, he must have enjoyed it.

Shrimp and grits, soon to be reduced to an empty plate.

One More Course
We don’t always do dessert, but date night was in a holiday festive mood, so Eve and I shared a chocolate ganache and our prodigal son got the banana pudding.

Chocolate ganache with coconut whipped cream

The ganache was dense and chocolatey, and came with a coconut whipped cream to counter the heavy chocolate. I snuck a taste of the banana pudding and it was light and refreshing.

Banana pudding

That’s A Wrap!
We felt pretty hip and trendy at South City. The food was quite good, but it was pricey. The service was excellent (although the waiter did not know the beer list very well). I don’t think it’s our favorite restaurant in the city, but it is worthy of a visit if you are in Smyrna, er, Vinings.

South City Kitchen Vinings on Urbanspoon

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