Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/16/20
Among the concrete, skyscrapers, and hustle and bustle of the vibrant midtown city-life is a fantastic new spot, There on Fifth, the second There restaurant in Atlanta. It’s exactly what that area needs, and could we boast, a miracle? Something for happy hour after work or to take your biggest client, There on Fifth is an injection in the arm for the restaurant scene in that part of midtown that needs more upscale options, while not feeling pretentious. The second you taste Smallwood’s food you know why this place will be a hit with just about everyone, though. Offerings at There on Fifth include Indian-inspired beets, a seriously divine pork rillettes, dynamite hanger steak, and some of the best in-bone chicken in the city. Let’s sit down and share a meal together, shall we?
We tried a few of the shareable plates including the Roasted Local Beets and Pork Rillettes. It doesn’t get more local than these local beets, which were picked directly from Bill Brown, the owner’s garden. You can tell how fresh they are, perfectly ripe and tender. We love what Smallwood did with the Indian-inspired flavors like the spice of the Vadouvan to the creaminess of the Labneh. It’s bright, fresh, earthy, creamy, and one of the best beet dishes imaginable because it has so many dynamic flavors that come together in one dish. We’re in love.
Moving from there we tried the Pork Rillettes, which Smallwood said was almost like an upscale charcuterie plate, and we can’t agree more. Have you ever had a pork pate perfectly blended and then combined with bacon and duck fat? I know your mind is being blown right now, but it’s so good you could get a spoon and just dig in. There is a variety of pairings you can make on this plate, like combining the pate with the raspberry jam on toast. Imagine freshly made raspberry jam with a perfect sweetness mixed with the savory and richness of the pate. Two things you didn’t know you could combine make one of the best little bites! Also included on this plate is pork rinds, so you can dip pork into pork. Isn’t that fun? Finally, don’t get us started on the pickled ramps. Did you know they only have a few weeks to even be harvested? You must get in and get them or you miss out. What’s amazing about this little veggie is that it’s on part onion but finishes like garlic. We’d recommend combining that with the pork pate and it adds an element of earthiness, bitter and tartness that elevates the pate itself. This is a must try dish for anyone that loves to mix and match flavors.
To say steak is a staple is probably an accurate account of almost every upscale place around town. It’s a must have on any menu because there’s always someone who loves their meat and potatoes, AMIRIGHT? What if we said we can make it fun, too? The Hanger Steak at There on Fifth is just that! Perfectly cooked steak (get it medium!) that’s rich and meaty slathered with a fantastic, creamy and rich sauce Choron. This grown up, but playful dish sits atop flat potatoes, almost like hashbrowns. Take all the ingredients and some of the vegetables and mix it all up, that’s your best bite. It’s meaty, rich, tangy, sweet, savory, earthy, and your taste buds will be happy.
The second you put the Springer Mountain Cassoluet in your mouth, you know this is going to have a good night. Miracles happen every day, right? But this one we didn’t expect. You see chicken on the menu, and you say to yourself, “that’s the safe dish.” Not this time, this is probably the best bone-in chicken dish in Atlanta. Bear with us here, we’re going to prove it. Imagine chicken perfectly brined and tender that literally will not stay on the bone, then flash fried and crispy, salty perfection. Combine this with the white beans, pork, and a myriad of comfort food vegetables beneath, it almost came off a little like the best stuffing you ever put in your mouth. Yes, like at Thanksgiving. Something you need to know about me (Liz) is that there are two things I love: white beans and stuffing. Put them together and literally my eyes rolled in the back of my head and I told John, “I can’t stop eating this.” We’d recommend mixing the chicken and all the goodness beneath into one bite, plus you have to get a little bit of that flash fried skin. Are you ready to try it? We’ll definitely be getting it again.
Beyond the fantastic fare, make sure you sample a few of their cocktails or grab a dessert! Our favorite was the Bonfire on the Beach. This is a refreshing, sweet, and tart whiskey cocktail with lemon, honey, and ginger beer. Like the name says, it reminds us of the beach up front with the sweetness of the ginger and honey, finishing with a little bit of fire of the tart lemon and warming whiskey. We also enjoyed the French 75. It was cooling and mellow and who doesn’t like gin and champagne together? One of the BEST. Finally, have your drink and eat it too with the Monday Night Brownie. Fudgy and rich chocolate up front, with the little bit of bitterness from the Drafty Kilt and the slight salt makes this a well-rounded delectable bite that’s a perfect way to end the night. Share? No, thanks.
The sun is hiding behind the large building to the west, and the wind picks up and makes the patio an enjoyable spot to sit and chat. We talked to Bill Brown who owns the restaurant for a good 15-20 minutes about all things There, life, and the industry. Bill knows so much about restaurants and it’s always a delight to chat and share a drink with him. Cheers, Bill. You have a winner here!