In my effort to try more of Atlanta’s new restaurants, my first stop in 2011 was Chef and Owner Jay Swift’s 4th & Swift. Tim, our friend John and I popped in early on a Friday night with no reservations, which is atypical for me. The place was empty at that point, but we were not able to be seated due to the fact that the restaurant was booked with reservations. No problem, because we just grabbed a place at the bar which is what I actually prefer when I dine most of the time if there’s just two or three of us. I like the ambience of the bar while getting a bird’s-eye view of vibe or of the restaurant. I was most impressed with the wine list — hand selected by General Manager and Sommelier Seth Roskind — but more impressed with how knowledgeable the bartender was about wines. A wine connoisseur at any level knows when a bartender is knowable about wines and when they’re winging it, and she was very knowledgeable. The bar also has a reputation for its original signature cocktails that are seasonally inspired like the restaurant’s menu as well as classically inspired cocktails and craft beers.
The restaurant has a sophisticated urban feel with the brick and white-painted brick walls and exposed ceilings not unlike others of its kind in Atlanta. From a décor standpoint, I’d describe it as Rathbun’s meets Union Miller. What I really liked about the bar was that the acoustics of the restaurant didn’t interfere with the bar and I’m sure vice versa. The bar feels warm, inviting and intimate and this is achieved by the use of multiple sections of smoked-glass drop that form a creative drop ceiling.
It was creative with attention to detail on its seasonal menu that offered “small plates” and “large plates.” For starters (small plates) we enjoyed a Local Heirloom Lettuces salad, Maine Diver Scallops, and the Chilled Blue Point Oysters. For dinner (large plates) one of their signature dishes called “Three Little Piggies:” Berkshire Pork Chop, Apple-Cotachino Hash, Creamy Grits, and Chicharron “Popcorn;” Pan Roasted Oregon Inlet Flounder, and the Seasonal Vegetables, which is a choice of four of eight seasonal sides. For dessert, sublime creations by Pastry Chef Chrysta Umberger, Sticky Toffee Pudding; a Snap. Crackle. Pop.: Rice Krispies, Pliable Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Tangerines, and Sucre Pétillant; and a Manjari Crémeux: Olive Oil Gelato, Olive Oil Powder and Potato Chips. All the dishes were well presented and delicious.
4th & Swift is located at 621 North Ave. NE, Atlanta. Hours are Sunday — Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. But here’s the scoop, because you’ve heard it here first, 4th & Swift will be open for brunch starting Sunday, March 6 including Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day, so be swift and make your reservations now. www.4thandSwift.com