Autumn Flavors at 4th & Swift

November 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm , by Serina Patrick

Despite its location near my home, I rarely get to this neighborhood favorite. But recently, I happened to stop by while they were filming for the new Atlanta food show Atlanta Eats. A lovely chat with chef and owner Jay Swift regarding his photography and blog set the stage for an interesting evening.

After the shoot wrapped, most of the cast and crew hung around for drinks and dinner. LC met me there where we chose a cozy table by the expansive bar. My first glass of prosecco went down easy so I ordered another plus a couple of appetizers for us to share.

A basket of miniature sourdough rolls with butter arrived with our drinks. Moments later, the crispy Brussels sprouts appeared, flavored with North Georgia apples, dollops of creme fraiche, and toasted pistachios for crunch. Apple cider reduction dressed the sprouts lending a tangy and slightly sweet note to the bitter vegetable.

Our second starter was the wood grilled Spanish octopus with a red wine salsify puree’, bitter greens, and charred pearl onions, drizzled with Winter squash vinaigrette. Swift’s talents are fully realized with this memorable Autumn dish, each element providing balance and harmony. For instance, the pureed salsify, a root vegetable often called oyster plant due to its flavor, enhanced the smokiness of the tender octopus.

There are few dishes that remain on the menu from a restaurant’s inception, in part because most chefs use locally sourced produce, making seasonal changes mandatory. However, one dish has remained a constant at 4th & Swift, the iconic Three Little Piggies entree. It is a playful trio of pork flavors and textures: tender and juicy grilled Berkshire loin, house-made pork sausage called cotachino, and crunchy chicharron “popcorn” made from the skin. Tiny bourbon marinated scoops of apple that looked like chickpeas at first glance added a touch of sweetness to the three preparations of pork, served with wilted spinach.

It’s not light, it’s not cheap, but it’s damn good. We should visit more often!

621 North Avenue NE 678-904-0160

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