First Look: Paces & Vine, Vinings

More than 30 years after founding the Virginia-Highland classic, Murphy’s, Tom Murphy recently opened a new restaurant in Vinings, partnering with executive chef Ian Winslade and director of operations Dave Green. It was the right time, in the right place, with the right team, Murphy says of the concept called Paces & Vine, which dittos Murphy’s neighborhood charm, while offering its own style of comfort.

The look: The new place is situated in the former Garrison’s Broiler & Tap space in the Vinings Jubilee shopping and dining district. Murphy hired Smith Hanes Studio to gut and rebuild the interior, which features whitewashed brick arches and a layered wood plank and beam ceiling. Pale blue and gray colors, wood floors and plush banquettes add to the casually elegant atmosphere.

The scene: At lunch one recent Friday afternoon, Winslade and Green were both present. But it was Murphy who was in demand, chatting and shaking hands with new guests and hugging old friends. Around the dining room, middle-aged couples, worker refugees and ladies who lunch generated a buoyant buzz.

The food: Winslade’s menu reprises some of Murphy’s value-priced favorites, such as Guinness braised brisket ($20) and roasted Springer Mountain chicken ($20). There are new apps, like braised octopus with Tuscan white bean vinaigrette and pickled shallots ($13), and a Jonah crab cake ($17) with black pepper emulsion, shaved fennel and baby beet salad. And entrees include red snapper on the plancha ($27) with sweet and spicy carrot sauce, bulgur wheat and cucumber, and a wood-grilled 18-ounce bone-in ribeye ($34) served with béarnaise and bordelaise sauces.

The drinks: The wine list, curated by the team at Murphy’s Wine Shop, is the star of the beverage menu, with most selections ($4-$70) available by the half glass, glass or bottle. Current seasonal cocktails include the Atlantan Manhattan ($14) with cherry-infused Four Roses small batch bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, brandy and chocolate bitters.

The extras: On the lunch and brunch menus, look for a one-yolk omelet ($14) with roasted mushrooms, asparagus and cheddar, a lamb burger ($14) with goat cheese and fig jam, and sweet potato ravioli ($12) with smoked popcorn dashi and toasted pumpkin seeds.

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