Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sounds like a Winner - The Sound Table

The Sound Table is Old 4th Ward's newest, regentrifying business of the Edgewood area. Located on the corner of Edgewood and Boulevard, I think it's safe to say that this may become the most happening of Atlanta corners. Sound Table falls within eyesight of Danneman's, Corner Tavern, Cafe Circa and within earshot of Thumbs Up, Lotta Frutta, Miso Izakaya, Rathbun's/Krogbar and Lenny's. It comes as no surprise that the owners of Top Flr (Midtown's chic and successful restaurant/lounge) are in on this trendy endeavor. The feel is very similar to Top Flr but more laid back and urban. Upstairs is strictly restaurant dining with some light grooves playing and downstairs was all bar/lounge with full PA and DJ setup. I'm hoping the location will help filter out the douches who are still afraid to travel to this side of town.

The concept, from what I've read, is supposedly street food which is the biggest trend in the Atlanta scene since the exciting (sarcasm) hamburger. Fortunately, for Sound Table's sake, I didn't find the focus to be street food at all. The menu tends to lean in many directions. Each item was carefully thought out and crafted with unique takes on flavor and ingredients. Unfortunately, like it's sister restaurant, I found that most (3 out of our 4) of the dishes fell a little short on execution. Additionally, this is a small plate restaurant (like Top Flr), meaning that no main comes with a side, which also makes it a little pricier. But with a menu like this, I'll be back again to try more and perhaps retry some others.

Also of note, the cocktail and beer menu are more than impressive. The cocktail menu was a near three pages long and much like the food menu, featured singular and thoughtful combinations. I ended up ordering the Estate di Romeo - one of the more feminine (it came out pink and served in a martini glass) cocktails. Featuring housemade limoncello and a whole bunch of other ingredients that I can't speak intelligently about, it was highly enjoyable. Just please, serve it in a highball?

We started out with the Salade Frisee which was an absolute knockout. Every element complimented the next ingredient in this terrific salad resulting in an amalgamation of perfection. Tender and succulent duck confit adorned unique frisee greens tossed in a light, lemony dressing. Macerated raisins, preserved, tiny chunks of lemon and what we thought were crispy bits of duck skin topped off the tapered white bowl.

The Salade was followed by an order of the Belgian-Style Frites. This is an easy one to make and a lot of restaurants in town have it down. All the good renditions I've had started with a fresh cut potato. I think Sound Table skipped this step. The fries seemed frozen. In fact they were nearly identical to the ones I grew up eating at Brookwood Cafe long ago. Sadly, they weren't particularly crispy or golden brown. I think a double fry (starting lower and finishing higher) would really improve these guys. Additionally, the housemade mayonnaise could really benefit from some flavoring element. It was just plain mayo. Check out Leon's smoked tomato rendition for a real treat.

For our two larger courses, we went with the Morrocan Lamb's Bread and the Szechuan Fish Fry. The Lamb's Bread was essentially lamb pot pie. The cinnamon-spiced crust was really a thick and hearty delight. Unfortunately, the filling was a let down. There was hardly any gravy inside the filling and the lamb was tough. Curry was mentioned as a flavoring element on the menu but if it was there, it was entirely too subtle. A quick fix could catapult this dish into a favorite.

The Szechuan Fish Fry was also on the average side of the spectrum. A small fish filet, which is diced and quickly fried, was well prepared but didn't really excite me. The sauce was the star on this dish and was very reminiscent of the blood orange reduction I had at Top Flr.

It's imperative to keep in mind that while 3/4 dishes had some problems, this is the restaurants first week open, and I'm sure they have some kinks to work out in the kitchen. The food was still enjoyable because it was a nice face-lift to the junk food drab that the Atlanta dining scene has been dwelling on the last year. Pizza and burgers can only go so far. Innovative and inspired, I will be returning many times to retry sound table. Their smooth and romantic atmosphere alone was enough to draw me back and I think it's safe already (first week of opening) that this place will be a huge success. It really says something that I considered it a great meal, but only really enjoyed one dish.

The Sound Table on Urbanspoon


  1. You just made me really hungry. I like Top flr, so I will have to check this out!!! Thanks!

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