Rice grits with roasted mushrooms, Swiss chard and poached egg paired with Gamine Pet Nat at Hazel Jane’s. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Davis (previously of Staplehouse and Cakes & Ale) focuses on "organic/biodynamic/earth husbandry-style" bottles, eschewing the "natural-wine" label. Altogether, she's picked 150 selections from around the world. Any bottle may be opened with the purchase of two glasses, and once a bottle is uncorked, it can be had by the glass. (Be sure to ask what's open and, for extra value, what's left from the previous night.)
As for the food, I’ve taken a shine to Morris’ small plates and brunch dishes more than his mains. I’ve found some plates to be underseasoned (the tonnato and the snapper, for example), while others were overly saline. Case in point: A bowl of squid with cannellini beans, fennel, rapini and piquillo salsa would have been sensational had it not been so salty.
Tonnato and ricotta paired with Mortellito at Hazel Jane’s. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
That said, Morris (formerly of Ticonderoga Club, Empire State South and Watershed in the Scott Peacock heyday) loves to bask in the flavors of the Mediterranean, which happen to pair splendidly with vino. My small quibbles aside, his simple, understated style, sense of locality and waste-mindfulness are very admirable.
The roasted beets dish at Hazel Jane’s is a delightful study in contrasting tastes. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Consider a heavenly plate of roasted beets in which every part of the vegetable was put to smart use. Gemlike red and gold roots sat on a pile of greens; hidden underneath were dabs of cooling creme fraiche. I loved the contrast of the sweet agrodolce-pickled stems, the luxury of the cream, the tartness of the vinaigrette.
If a medium-rare coulotte steak was good, if a bit chewy, the best part of the plate was the saute of turnips, rutabaga and smoky bacon. Might I have a serving of just that, please? And though the snapper was a just a tad undersalted and overroasted, when I took a bite with its accompaniment of bok choi and mushrooms and a sip of Moutard Family’s 2018 Qu’est-Ce Que C’est Aligoté from Burgundy, it improved considerably.
Snapper with bok choi and mushrooms paired with Moutard Qu’est-Ce Que C’est Aligoté at Hazel Jane’s. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
A nice time to check out Hazel Jane’s is during weekend brunch. I am 100% sold on the rice grits (from Mississippi’s Two Brooks Farm) with zingy roasted and pickled mushrooms, rapini and a poached egg. (Try the middlins’ with a glass of 2018 Gamine Grenache from Oregon.) Another lovely seasonal brunch offering has been a sweet potato hash with crispy shredded chicken, caramelized onions, zingy hakurei turnips, greens and an over-easy egg. (Savor it with Fondo Bozzole Foxi’s 2017 trebbiano frizzante from Italy.)
Spiced almonds paired with the Fernando de Castilla Palo Cortado sherry at Hazel Jane’s. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Whether you want to sip vermouth, nibble almonds and enjoy a tete-a-tete with a friend, or loll over a multicourse dinner, Hazel Jane’s has a seat for you. You can play it safe, or soar across the universe on a bar stool. No visa, no hassle, no BS.
Overall rating: 2 of 4 stars (very good)
Food: Contemporary with Mediterranean influences, plus a heady selection of Old and New World wines, with a focus on "organic, biodynamic, earth husbandry-style" bottle; sherries, vermouths, amaros and delightful oddities.
Service: Impeccable, with a deep understanding of the beverage program
Setting: In a commodious, light-filled new Beltline space
Best dishes: Spiced almonds, tonnato and ricotta, roasted beets, rice grits, sweet potato hash, lemon mousse
Vegetarian selections: Marinated olives, spiced almonds, radicchio salad, roasted beets, rice grits, olive oil cake, lemon mousse
Price range: $$$
Credit cards: all major credit cards accepted
Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays
Children: no problem
Parking: Free parking along Airline Street, Ezzard Street and Edgewood Avenue (from Edgewood, take ramp down to the Beltline). Paid parking at Edge on the Beltline.
MARTA station: King Memorial
Wheelchair access: yes
Noise level: low to moderate
Patio: yes, a very handsome and inviting pet-friendly one with prime Beltline views
Address, phone: 670 DeKalb Ave. NE, Suite 102, Atlanta. 404-317-3780
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