Dining: A visit to Five & Ten in Athens

Credit: John Kessler

Credit: John Kessler

In its old location, Five and Ten was the kind of place everyone loved to discover. I remember my first visit to the Athens restaurant in 2001, back when it was a scrappy neighborhood bistro in a college town. There was a daily blackboard menu hanging in a prominent spot by the entrance and animated conversation wafting throughout the open space.

It was a happy place. When the food came, we passed around plates and liked each dish better than the last. The kitchen took that extra step with everything, even the pitch-perfect lemonade — tart but not astringent — my 10-year-old ordered. Macerating sliced lemons rather than pressing them is the key, the then-unknown chef told me later.