The molasses-brined smoked pork chop at Holmes in Alpharetta is a perfectly balanced summer feast on a single plate. 
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Come for the pork chop, stay for the vegetables at this Alpharetta restaurant

Dish of the Week: Smoked pork chop at Holmes

Although it’s located in an old house on Main Street in Alpharetta, the restaurant Holmes is anything but quaint. The continuously changing menu, partnerships with local boutique farms and edgy cocktails all signal that Holmes is playing in the same sandbox as metro Atlanta’s other elite restaurants. Even the bathrooms are decorated with hand-drawn murals by famous Atlanta graffiti artist Greg Mike. 

One dish that neatly encapsulates the ethos at Holmes is the gorgeous smoked pork chop.

Brined with molasses, the chop carries quite a bit of sweetness and juiciness from the grill to the plate. Thanks to that brine, the pork is best served medium, with a bit of pink at its center, rather than the typical well-done. The combination of shorter cooking time and brining produces an incredibly tender bone-in pork chop, though it’s conveniently sliced up in the kitchen before it’s brought to the table.

More sweetness from a bourbon-mustard seed pan sauce is balanced by the crunchy, charred edges and sear marks on the pork. 

The sauce also helps bind together the wide variety of summery elements supporting the meat. Tender asparagus and roasted satin carrots balance sweet and bitter flavors, while seared oyster mushrooms from Loudmouth Farm add a note of umami to the veritable farmer’s basket on the plate. Beneath all these vegetables is a dollop of fresh, sharply flavored pesto that shines brightly through all the flavors — an assertive counterpoint to the richness.

The smoked pork chop alone could make Holmes a destination, but the restaurant’s offerings don’t stop with that one spectacular dish. There’s always something new to discover there. 

Holmes. 50 S. Main St., Alpharetta. 678-691-8320, restaurantholmes.com.

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