Noon Midtown

Chef/owner Katie Birmingham has an intriguing back story. She worked in kitchens around Atlanta for some seven years — including stints with Gunter Seeger and gigs at Mumbo Jumbo and Bacchanalia — then quit the restaurant biz to become a lawyer. But five years on, Birmingham decided that wasn’t it for her, and opened Noon in April 2009.

Her zigzagging career paths seem to converge in a place that’s become an oasis of good food and good vibes for busy Midtown professionals and lucky high-rise residents.

Contemporary calm

Birmingham’s architect husband, Ross Davis, designed the space with help from Atlanta’s AI3 firm. The look is contemporary and sparkly clean, though not exactly austere. Cherry wood paneled walls help warm things up, and backlit sheaves of grasses in neat rows above the banquettes cast a calm, organic glow. A long counter faces the semi-open kitchen, where often as not you can catch a glimpse of Birmingham at work.

Cool, warm, tasty

From 8 to 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, Noon offers simple, hearty breakfast sandwiches and sides, such as scrambled egg ($5.75) with smoky Benton’s bacon, Jack cheese and scallion pesto, or a bowl of stone-ground grits with a similar choice of toppings. But the heart of the menu is a selection of “cool” and “warm” sandwiches, plus soups and salads, served weekdays after 10 a.m.

In the cool category, look for fresh and tasty herb chicken salad ($6.95), with oven-dried tomatoes and peppery arugula, served on nutty H&F multigrain bread. American Kobe roast beef ($8.50), stacked on an airy French roll, gets a kick from housemade horseradish sauce and crispy red onion rings. A warm meatloaf sandwich ($9.50), topped with Benton’s bacon, Tillamook cheddar and tomato jam, on ciabatta bread, is Birmingham’s comfort contribution to the current burger craze.

The soup and salad combo ($7.25), which includes a bowl of the soup of the day and a small mixed green salad, makes a light, budget-friendly lunch. The salad is an elegant melange of baby lettuces, shaved fennel, pine nuts and goat cheese tossed in herb-balsamic vinaigrette. On a recent visit, a bowl of smoky tomato soup was thick and tangy, with a perky touch of smoke flavor, a rich swirl of creme fraîche and a crunchy crouton.

Brunch, dinner soon

Saturday brunch brings on such decadent treats as The Stack, with fried chicken, Benton’s bacon, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy on a fluffy biscuit.

And speaking of decadent, Tuesdays through Saturdays, Noon features an assortment of goodies from Kamal Grant’s Sublime Doughnuts shop, including the likes of A-Town Cream, Butterfinger and S’mores.

By the middle of February, Noon will change its hours, staying open until at least 9 p.m., offering several dinner entrees each evening as well as beer, wine and cocktails.

Dining out

Noon Midtown, 1080 Peachtree St., Suite 6 (entrance on Crescent Avenue), 404-496-4891

Signature dish: Sandwiches

Entree prices: $5.75-$9.95

Hours: Breakfast 8-10 a.m. Mondays-Fridays; lunch 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; brunch, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.

Reservations: No

Credit cards: Yes

Online: www.noonmidtown.com

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