Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" - Local Three Kitchen & Bar

This month Nikki and I visited Local Three, quite a different experience from what we expected, but in a good way.

Welcome back to our Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers", a monthly series by wanderlust ATLANTA and super-popular food Instagramer atlantafoodie! Our third stop on this 10-restaurant tour was Local Three, the first time for me and the first time in a few years for Nikki.

What we believe is a unique spin on 'Top 10' lists, we're not counting down, but instead we're showcasing some of Atlanta's restaurants with numbers in their names! Some we've been to before and others will be a first-time experience. We're going to make all of them FUN!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie

We ordered our starters from the "TODAY" section of the menu, both of us loving local and fresh. Neither of us had ever heard of serving green strawberries (and I certainly never picked them early from my childhood garden), but they were delicious! What a wonderful surprise. 

They're not tart like green tomatoes. They have their own distinct flavor tethered to the luscious strawberry taste we all know and love. The dish is composed with bresaola, whipped goat cheese, radish and lemon.  


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

Local Three's "House Cocktails & Libations" is a tribute to celebrities and other famous personalities who we lost in 2016. What a wonderful tribute.

As soon as I saw "A New Hope", there was no need to look any further. I didn't even finish reading the ingredients before my mind was made up...and no, I wasn't under the influence of a Jedi mind trick.

A New Hope is constructed with L3 Herradura Luchador, Carpano Antico, Luxardo, and Cherry Bark. Each cocktail is accompanied with a quote from the celebrity who inspired the libation's title, in this case:

"Hope is all we have...and Tequila." - Carrie Fisher

Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

The second dish we enjoyed was "Mike's Hand Made Tortelloni". We have no idea who this Mike person is, weren't told by our server, and I can't find anything on their website (it's probably obvious, I just missed it), but let me tell you...Mike makes a delicious tortelloni! 

Swiss chard, duck sausage, sweet peppers and cured olive are the featured ingredients in this dish. And they're fantastic! It's a hardy dish, in great contrast to the dishes we were about to enjoy. 


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie

The decor at Local Three is whimsical, contemporary and speaks to sustainability...it's designed with intent. Nikki arrived before me and was at the bar when I arrived—we're traditional like that. The bar itself is made of massive planks of what looks like reclaimed wood. It's stunning. The bar decor is fun and it sparkles in all the right places. 

The group clustered around the bar looked like a regular happy hour crowd—talking, laughing, enjoying each others company—and while we would have typically have loved to join in, it'd been a long weekend before, so we went ahead and asked for a table. 

The dining room is stylistically appointed with reclaimed/distressed wood and other re-purposed items. On the side of whimsy, each table has a different set of salt and pepper shakers! A small detail, but one that we found quite clever and fun. The cabbage shakers pictured above were on an unoccupied table and the ones on our table were miniature, bulbous airplanes!

The atmosphere is, in my humble opinion, "fine dining for the casual customer". Servers do not wear uniforms, instead they're in jeans, with their aprons being the only identifying article indicating they're a member of the establishment. 

To give you an idea of this unique style combination, their Sunday night special is called "Flip You for It". This special's website page features a pro wrestler doing some kind of mid-air flip. The "flip" is your server doing a coin flip at your table. If you win, your bottle of wine is only $1. If you lose, you pay full price. May the odds be ever in your favor! 

Wine by the bottle ranges from $35.03 to $150.03 (most menu prices end in ".03"...again, this is a clever bunch!), and they have an extensive, but not exhausting, wine list. And of course they have a full bar, wine by the glass, beer in draft and bottle, and wonderful libations. There's something for everyone!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I couldn't shut up about how incredibly delicious my Pan Roasted Gulf Redfish was. I didn't talk with my mouth full, of course—mother taught me better—so, much of my raving about this dish was after it'd disappeared from my plate. 

I almost didn't order it because the ingredient list was so "simple". It read: "Olive Oil Potatoes, Preserved Tomato, Thin Beans, Lemon". It was incredibly fresh and the marriage of flavors were spot on! I could eat this dish every night for a month and probably still want more! 

Lesson Learned: Never underestimate "simple".


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie

Nikki said of her dish, "The Panko Crusted Carolina Flounder was delicious! Sometimes panko crust can taste heavily fried, but this was very light and delicate. The green garlic romesco had a strong flavor, but if you enjoy garlic as much as I do, then you'll definitely enjoy this dish."

Nikki and I will often share a taste of new dishes we're trying, but I honestly don't remember that we did so on this occasion. I think I was probably enjoying my own so much that sharing didn't occur to me. Is that horrible or does it just speak to how amazing the food was?


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

For dessert we ordered the Cheese Tasting. Although nothing special to the eye, the cheeses and accompaniments are delicious! While the cheeses aren't local (the nearest from North Carolina and the farthest from California), the accompaniments are from right here in Georgia! 

With the cheeses and flatbread are Emily G's jam (I have Emily G's "Blackberry Vanilla" in my cupboard right now!) and Grateful Bee Honey. The cheeses were delicious and a perfect variety, but the icing on the cake were the local jam and honey...amazing!

The service was good. Our server was pleasant and took good care of us. The other service staff were highly attentive. Empty plates disappeared almost immediately and never was a dish taken that had something on it that we were still enjoying. That takes keen observation skills and it's really a talent that you don't get in every restaurant. It was noticed and appreciated.


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

The space where Local Three is located is very near where the trio was planning a restaurant just as the Great Recession hit. The locale, in a gorgeous building (lobby pictured above), was obviously an excellent decision...their doors have been open since 2010 and they've enjoyed great success and I'm sure they will for years to come!

Local Three is the brainchild of three determined, eco-minded, food lovers. I've followed Chef Chris Hall on social media for years...super kind, intelligent and considerate. From what I can tell he lives the restaurant's Company Values. I've had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Turner when he served as Chairman of the Georgia Restaurant Association. He's also Board Chairman of The Giving Kitchen. These guys believe in giving back to the community! I've yet to meet Chef Todd Mussman, but perhaps on a future visit to Muss & Turners.


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | Local Three | Photo: atlantafoodie

The hostess, the evening of our visit, was prompt and efficient, but had we been out for a special occasion, the desired tone would not have been set for "special". As we left, however, the hostess gifted us a huge smile and a genuine "Thank you!

We had a pleasant evening. I'm glad we got to experience Local Three. 

THINGS TO KNOW before going to Local Three:
  • Don't depend 100% on GPS. Use GPS, but first go to the restaurant's "Contact & Directions" page on their website for detailed instructions. I used GPS only and took a couple of wrong turns. Website first, then GPS.
  • There's free parking in an adjacent parking garage. You'll need to take an elevator to the restaurant level.
  • Excellent for groups!
  • Local Three is immediately off I-75, making it a great stop on the way home when traffic is just too much!
  • Definitely check out their "Events & Specials" page...lots of fun going on there!
OF NOTE: These amazing guys opened a new restaurant, just yesterday! When you get the chance, check out Muss & Turner's East Cobb. (ABC article) (Facebook)


Here's our planned Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers", one per month in 2017:

ONE midtown kitchen
599 Dutch Valley Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

TWO urban licks
820 Ralph McGill Boulevard, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Local Three Kitchen & Bar
3290 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

Bar Margot at Four Seasons
75 14th Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

5Church Atlanta
1197 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30361

Six Feet Under
437 Memorial Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

8ARM
710 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Nine Mile Station
675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

10th & Piedmont
991 Piedmont Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Disclaimer: If you live in Atlanta or visit on a regular basis, you know how quickly the Atlanta restaurant scene can change. Our lineup is subject to change based on the Atlanta restaurant landscape over the first 10 months of 2017. Also, all opinions are our own and not at all influenced by the restaurant owners, staff or PR firms, whether we treated ourselves or were hosted by the said restaurant.

If you're enjoying this series, please follow:

atlantafoodie on Instagram
wanderlust ATLANTA on Facebook Twitter Instagram

Thank you for coming along on what we think will be a FUN food journey over 10 months in 2017. Our selection of restaurants is a subjective choice of what we think will be an exciting new way to experience Atlanta restaurants: "By the Numbers". Please, tell your friends and family what we're doing and invite them to also come along for the taste tour!

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