Atlanta Dining

Local Three a Big Hit

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Ryan Turner, Todd Mussman and Chris Hall got me to do something no man has before.

Local Three is the kind of place where you feel such a passion for the ingredients and love of all things food and drink that you find yourself scarfing down dishes you’d previously delegated to your never-eat-that list.

At least that’s what happened to me during my first visit to Local Three, a collaboration between Muss & Turner owners Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner, and Atlanta chef Chris Hall.

My don’t-eat list is extremely short, but pretty much headed by Brussels sprouts, to the point it’s a household joke – my husband being firmly and irrevocably in the pro-sprouts camp. But there I was serving myself multiple portions of the crispy Brussels sprouts, which were unlike any version of the dish I’d ever had.

You really know you’ve made it in the restaurant business when you command your very own pig portrait. These were painted by East Point artist Tracy Hartley.

Local Three just opened in December and is already drawing more crowds than a Jesus-on-a-biscuit sighting in Alabama. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced by its motto “You can’t argue with delicious,” the three pig paintings on the wall (one for each owner), and headings on the beer menu like Drink Your Wheaties, Hip Hops Hooray and Identity Crisis.

Speaking of drinks, the cocktails here are creatively delicious, with ingredients like elderflower liqueur, which added to gin and sauvignon blanc and garnished with three grapes, makes the Preferred Nomenclature. A favorite drink is Muddy Water, made with Makers Mark and homemade ginger ale.

The 37-foot bar was finished by Tracy Hartley and made from a downed tree on Mount Paran Road. The table in the private dining room is from wood that had been a Mardi Gras float in Mobile.

My favorite was the Mexicali Mule, made with reposado tequila and lime juice and finished with ginger beer and a peel of ginger and a slice of jalapeno. Matthew Lathan, the beverage manager, stopped by our table briefly. He told us he’d basically grown up in a bar and that his great grandparents were bootleggers in Toccoa, GA so he’s really in the family business. In a legal way.

Back to the food.  The menu changes daily but you’ll find items like duck fat fried hush puppies, fresh Florida rock shrimp tagliatelle, pan seared Georgia mountain trout, duck confit cassoulet and a charcuterie sampler with accompaniments named The Notorious P.I.G. One day I’ll return just to have the cheese tasting paired with a crisp white wine.

They love the number three here – all drink prices end with .03 – and their multi-statement operating philosophy is made of many three-word sentences: “Local is Priority.” “Comfort Feels Good.” “Seasonal Makes Sense.”

So in that spirit, I’ll sum up my review of Local Three this way: “Makes Tummy Happy.”

Local Three is at The Piazza at Paces, 3290 Northside Parkway, 404-968-2700

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