Despite it’s stellar reviews and chef/partner Nick Leahy’s many accolades, I had yet to visit Saltyard until a recent mixer hosted by Tori Allen PR in conjunction with Elle PR who represents the restaurant. It’s located in Buckhead next door to my friend Zeb’s place, Watershed (you may have heard of it).
Having sampled a sweet and savory bruschetta topped with Georgia peaches, local chevre, and caramelized onions during the mixer, I had no doubt I would dig the food at Saltyard, so I asked LC to join me afterwards. We both started with a Swift Kick in the Tito. Indeed! The popular cocktail is made with Tito’s Vodka, fresh basil, simple syrup, lime, and jalapeno for the kick.
LC and I began our meal with the Crispy Duck Confit, a dish who’s recipe has appeared on my Chef’s Dish page. In the winter, Leahy pairs the succulent duck leg with butternut squash hash and a cider reduction, however, in the summer he makes a crunchy pan-fried cabbage and mustard jus instead. The recipe explains how to achieve extra crispy skin.
Another Chef’s Dish in the works is the Shrooms on Toast. A variety of mushrooms are sauteed with ground Italian sausage, then spooned over a thick slice of toasted egg brioche with a rich brandy cream sauce flavored with thyme. It was as earthy and decadent as I had imagined. LC loves oysters and wings so the plump Crispy Gulf Oysters with housemade buffalo sauce and blue cheese straws was an obvious choice and a creative interpretation of the classic bar snack.
Although we really didn’t have room for more, we decided to share two additional small plates, the grilled octopus and grilled corn, “street cart style”, both dishes we order frequently. Octopus becomes chewy if overcooked, but at Saltyard it is tender yet toothsome, served with greens drizzled with a lemony aioli atop a sublime chickpea puree. Fried chickpeas are added for crunch.
Street style corn has become a popular side dish in Atlanta, especially at trendier Mexican restaurants like El Taco and Superica. Here, the charred kernels are cut off the cobb and plated with a buttery lime aioli, then topped with crumbles of cotija cheese.
During our meal a tall lanky man with spiky red hair walked in and made a beeline to the bar. It was Zeb, of course. With his kitchen running smoothly he was done for the night and stopped by to chat, and finished off a plate of chocolate-drizzled fritters we had saved from the mixer.
1820 Peachtree Street NW 404-382-8088