Atlanta Orders In: Woodward and Park provides Grant Park with a stylish new bistro

This takeout order from Woodward and Park includes grilled broccoli, smoked chicken (in background), pierogis and the house burger with fries. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

It took 2½ years for Woodward and Park to come to fruition in Grant Park. In that time, the original chef dropped out to focus on his own restaurant, but the owner saw that as an opportunity to rethink how a dining experience should look in the age of COVID-19.

“Assuming we were starting from scratch, what would we create?" said James Brooks, a longtime Grant Park resident with a background in urban planning.

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Dan Brown is executive chef of Woodward and Park. Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Along with hiring Executive Chef Dan Brown (Torched Hop Brewing, 5Church, Porter Beer Bar) to replace Robert Phalen (who chose to hunker down at his 9-year-old One Eared Stag in Inman Park), Brooks decided to fashion a neighborhood bistro with a strong takeout program, a lovely outdoor space and an affordable price point.

Brooks detests restaurants crowded with tables, so adjusting the room to comply with safe-distancing practices didn’t destroy his budget. “We lost about a quarter of the seats inside," Brooks said. “We lost almost none of our patio seating.” (He ended up with space for 40 people inside and 20 outside.)

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For customers leery of dining in, Woodward and Park has a nicely appointed, well-spaced patio. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

Housed in the Larkin on Memorial development, directly opposite Full Commission, the restaurant opened Sept. 11 with Brown’s eclectic menu, which includes steak-frites, a Philly cheesesteak-style sandwich made with spicy Korean pork, Polish pierogis, Japanese okonomiyaki, and a vegan roasted cauliflower main with crossover appeal. “I don’t care if you are a guy who eats red meat all day long, you will like the roasted cauliflower,” Brooks enthused.

This weekend, Woodward and Park launches Saturday and Sunday brunch, featuring, among other things, shakshouka and grits, bananas Foster French toast, a blackberry-cobbler waffle and a croque-madame burger.

While customers these days may lean toward getting takeout or sitting outdoors, they’d be remiss not to catch a glimpse of the classic bistro touches of the interior: soaring gold mirrors over banquettes; a massive, handsomely detailed bar; tile floors; and light fixtures that Brooks described as “industrial chic.”

“I love that I live in a historic neighborhood,” Brooks said. “I wanted the place to be like the old and the new together.”

Woodward and Park opened in the Larkin on Memorial development on Sept. 11. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

He previously owned Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta Village and Barrelhouse in the Old Fourth Ward. Co-owner Amanda Feathers is general manager and Sarah Markis is bar manager; both previously were at Barrelhouse.

Brooks plans to be in the restaurant often, especially on weekends. “I want to be the little old man asleep with the newspaper in the corner,” he joked.

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Menu: seasonal, contemporary American cuisine with some international touches

Alcohol: beer, wine and batched cocktails available to go

What I ordered: grilled broccoli, pierogis, burger, smoked half chicken. Chef Dan Brown does have a way with smoked meats. I really enjoyed the chicken, with mushrooms, smashed fingerling potatoes and chimichurri. It reminded me of Jonathan Waxman’s famous roast chicken with salsa verde. The burger was cooked as requested (medium), and was quite a showstopper, thanks to the blanket of melted white American cheese that covered almost the entire bottom half. Under the cheese was roasted-garlic aioli, mustard, house pickles and raw onion — which registered just a bit on the salty side. The broccoli was more charred than tender; not my thing.

Service options: dine-in; takeout; delivery via UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash and Zifty

Outdoor seating: yes

Mask policy: customers required to wear masks when they enter the restaurant and when they move around the interior or go to the restroom

Address, phone: 519 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta; 404-749-1091

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays-Sunday.


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