August 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm , by Serina Patrick
Many months had passed since my last visit to Top Flr, and I was itchin’ to go. So when I had the chance to catch up with longtime friend SP recently, it was my first and only choice….nearby, not expensive, and always delicious. Plus, the restaurant has an underground vibe that I thought she would appreciate.
Arriving around 8:00pm, I was surprised that there were no tables available, but it was Friday and good to see my favorite restaurant was still thriving! Preferring to sit at the bar anyway, we scoped out a couple of seats. Ironically, I’ve only eaten upstairs once, on my very first visit.
We were having a hard time deciding on cocktails, finally landing on a specialty drink called Gringo Honeymoon made with Mezcal, lemon juice, cilantro, smoked ginger Sriracha agave syrup (what the hell?), bitters, and ginger beer. Light and refreshing, we both detected an odd aftertaste. Having been a bartender for many years, SP knows her liquor, so she determined it was likely the bitters that imparted the odd flavor. I enjoyed the drink’s spiciness.
On to food, we started off with the white bean hummus. Over the years, this dish has become increasingly spicy, topped with capers and chili oil. Served with a tiny ramekin of pepperoncini and mixed olives with toasted pita triangles, SP and I nibbled on it as we chatted.
Having recently celebrated its fifth year, Top Flr doesn’t require much hands on attention from owners Darren Carr and Jeff Myers. It’s like a well-oiled machine. So I was pleasantly surprised to see both of them at the end of the bar…I snapped a photo for proof!
I was thinking duck confit pizza or tuna flatbread and mussels, but SP doesn’t love mussels and the other two choices seemed like too much bread after the pita appetizer so we opted to split the roasted chipotle chicken with Brussel kimchee and soy reduction. I rarely order chicken when dining out (except for the brined bird with bread salad at Floataway), it just seems so ordinary. Chef Devereux’ chicken, however, is a standout. The meat was juicy and tender, pairing perfectly with the spicy kimchee and the subtle sweetness of the soy reduction.
We should have stopped there but we decided to split a dessert. None of the selections wowed me, but our bartender/server said the chocolate tart was excellent. While we waited for the tart, SP ordered another Gringo Honeymoon, this time omitting the bitters. It tasted exactly the same. I was in the mood for bubbly so I got a glass of prosecco.
A crust made of crushed almonds was filled with an impossibly dense chocolate ganache with crunchy cocoa nibs for textural excitement. A little scoop of intensely flavored espresso gelato topped it off. It was so rich we could hardly finish it….and later we wished we hadn’t.
Top Flr is like a neighborhood secret. SP didn’t even know it was there, but now that she does, I think she will return with her hubby AA. Strangely, LC has never been to Top Flr…perhaps we will all go together. Hell, we may even sit on the top floor.
674 Myrtle Street 404-685-3110
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