When it comes to Christmas, too much never seems to be enough. The original Miracle on Monroe, the outrageously festive pop-up bar that has taken over the restaurant Tapa Tapa the past few Decembers, has spawned quite a few knockoffs around Atlanta. Somehow, the competition hasn’t made a dent in the hourslong line out the door.
Since Atlantans’ appetite for Christmas kitsch remains unsated, the only logical step was to open another Miracle. The new pop-up has taken over the entirety of Parish in Inman Park, and has been christened Miracle on Highland. The interior has been transformed completely, apparently decorated by Buddy the Elf in the midst of a fever dream. Luckily, the skills of Parish’s kitchen staff remain unchanged.
One of the best dishes at Miracle on Highland is the somberly named Blue Christmas, which turns out to be an extremely well-executed crab cake. As with all good crab cakes, the majority of the dish is tender, succulent lump crab meat, with little filler. Garnishes of jalapeno aioli and sweet red cabbage add complements of spice and sweetness, respectively. It’s delicate and balanced — a Blue Christmas that will make any seafood lover smile.
Although Miracle on Highland probably would be successful even without good food, it’s refreshing to see such effort put into a pop-up menu. The Blue Christmas also is a good reminder that, despite all the excesses of the Christmas season, there’s plenty of joy to be found in subtlety and restraint.
Miracle on Highland. 240 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-681-4434, miraclebaratlanta.com.