Some 15 months after walking away from Watershed, but with news that they’d be back with a new concept, chef Zeb Stevenson and his business partner Ross Jones have opened one of Atlanta’s most anticipated restaurants of 2019.
Stevenson and Jones unlocked the doors today at Redbird in the space previously occupied by Bacchanalia in the Westside Provisions District.
In an interview with the AJC last December, Stevenson described Redbird’s food as “free spirited cuisine,” in a menu that highlights local and seasonal ingredients “with a touch of international flare.”
He said that he planned to focus on “level of care and attention to detail,” with a shift away from “fancy and goofy modernist techniques.” “I want to get back to traditional cooking, get in touch with the food, use all our senses, our intuition,” he said.
The menu Stevenson settled on is divided into loose sections: snacks and cold dishes; composed, vegetable-forward plates; proteins; and sauces and condiments.
“The whole point is: a little bit of this, a little bit of that,” Stevenson said.
Snacks and cold dishes will include items such as roasted almonds tossed in crumbled brown butter, a salad of kale marinated overnight in roasted shallot oil; and chicken liver pate with strawberry mustard and house-made rye bread. A tomato conserve with dauphin potatoes is an example of the composed veggie-centric dishes for Redbird’s opening menu. Proteins like a steak for two and fish en papillote can be mixed and matched with any number of a la carte condiments.
A compact dessert menu will include baked sweets (“I’m very proud to say that I’m a chef who bakes,” Stevenson said.), although Stevenson is most excited for a summertime treat of crushed ice made with pecan and coconut milks steeped with black tea and cinnamon. The frozen sundry is fashioned into a sphere that guest can shatter with a hammer.
On the beverage side, a wine list will feature labels from small, family-owned wineries, and lean toward French, Spanish and domestic producers. A tight craft beer list includes both local and international names.
Designed by Smith Hanes, the same firm that designed Watershed on Peachtree, the space has been opened up, with large windows that offer a view of the Midtown skyline. Practically every seat, even ones on the courtyard terrace, enables a view of the open kitchen.
“It’s an incredible open kitchen,” said an excited Stevenson. “I would like to get back to doing what I do best. It’s been 15 months since I worked in a kitchen with a team. I’d like to start doing that as soon as possible,” he said.
Redbird will serve lunch daily from 11 a.m.-2:30 pm., and dinner 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 5-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-900-5172, redbirdatl.com
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