First Look: A-street in Roswell embraces international influences

A-street brings a world of influences to Roswell with dishes such as Luxardo Adobo Glazed Pork Chop (center) and "Flat Iron" Chicken Breast (clockwise from lower left), Potato-Crusted Grouper, Baked Goat Cheese and Tuna Poke. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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A-street brings a world of influences to Roswell with dishes such as Luxardo Adobo Glazed Pork Chop (center) and "Flat Iron" Chicken Breast (clockwise from lower left), Potato-Crusted Grouper, Baked Goat Cheese and Tuna Poke. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Recently opened on Atlanta Street in Roswell, A-street is billed as “specializing in global flavors and adventurous recipes.”

Chef-owner Kevin Nelson grew up on Long Island, and spent most of his career in Colorado. But he relocated to Roswell with his family in October, after selling his popular resort restaurant in Vail.

“In my mid-20s, I moved to Vail, and soon became the chef at Terra Bistro,” Nelson said. “Anyone who’s traveled to Vail for a ski vacation has probably heard of the restaurant. It was always in the top three to five places in town. I ran it, and then became the owner of it 20 years ago. I cooked for a lot of famous people and hosted a lot of celebrity chefs there.

“We sold it right before COVID hit, so we got kind of lucky. But our long-term plan was to eventually retire somewhere warmer. We started looking at different states, and the cost of living, and high schools, and we found Roswell.”

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A-street chef-owner Kevin Nelson came to Roswell after owning Terra Bistro in Vail, Colo. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street chef-owner Kevin Nelson came to Roswell after owning Terra Bistro in Vail, Colo. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
A-street chef-owner Kevin Nelson came to Roswell after owning Terra Bistro in Vail, Colo. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street is located in the former Public House, which previously was owned by J. Christopher’s, but had been vacant for some three years before Nelson took it over. The two-story storefront space includes multiple dining areas and two bars, plus a patio, and a large parking area in back.

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A-street is in the former Public House space in Roswell. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street is in the former Public House space in Roswell. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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A-street is in the former Public House space in Roswell. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

“This space was built in 1853 as part of the mill here,” Nelson said. “It was originally built as a general store for the millworkers, but it became many different things, including a hospital during the Civil War. It’s also known to be haunted, and there’s a ghost story that involves a woman named Catherine, so we have a drink on the menu called Catherine’s Revenge.”

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A-street Potato-Crusted Grouper with smoked paprika, garlic spinach, tomato coriander broth, and preserved lemon. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street Potato-Crusted Grouper with smoked paprika, garlic spinach, tomato coriander broth, and preserved lemon. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
A-street Potato-Crusted Grouper with smoked paprika, garlic spinach, tomato coriander broth, and preserved lemon. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Nelson describes the menu as being in rooted in the “New American” cuisine he grew up cooking. Most dishes are gluten-free, he noted, and there are vegan options, including an avocado and banana chocolate brulee.

“It’s very similar to what I’ve always done,” he said. “We have a lot of international influences on the menu. There’s a lot of Asian and a lot of Mediterranean. I’ve always been drawn to big flavors. I use a lot of standout ingredients, and I use a lot of different sauces. I just get excited about new and interesting ingredients from other parts of the world, and I have always gravitated toward that.

“There is a lot on this menu that I’ve developed over my entire career. Some of it goes back to my early days, and I’ve just refined it over the years. I have this archive of thousands of recipes that I can pull from. We try to keep it as simple as we can when we describe it. But it’s a lot of different things.”

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A-street Baked Goat Cheese with a pistachio crust, cherry syrup, and crispy feuilles. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street Baked Goat Cheese with a pistachio crust, cherry syrup, and crispy feuilles. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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A-street Baked Goat Cheese with a pistachio crust, cherry syrup, and crispy feuilles. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

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A-street Tuna Poke with yuzu aioli and fried rice tots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street Tuna Poke with yuzu aioli and fried rice tots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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A-street Tuna Poke with yuzu aioli and fried rice tots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

On the current menu, baked goat cheese with pistachio crust, Luxardo cherry syrup, and crispy feuilles is a starter Nelson describes as a “great sharing dish.” Tuna Poke with yuzu aioli and fried rice tots is “another crowd-pleaser.”

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A-street "Flat Iron" Chicken Breast with Springer Mountain chicken, Gruyere risotto, French onion confit, and broccolini. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street "Flat Iron" Chicken Breast with Springer Mountain chicken, Gruyere risotto, French onion confit, and broccolini. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
A-street "Flat Iron" Chicken Breast with Springer Mountain chicken, Gruyere risotto, French onion confit, and broccolini. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Favorite entrees include potato-crusted grouper with smoked paprika, garlic spinach, tomato coriander broth, and preserved lemon. And “flat iron” chicken breast, with Gruyere risotto, French onion confit, and broccolini, is a signature dish that’s seared between two cast-iron skillets to “get it really crispy.”

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A-street Luxardo Adobo Glazed Pork Chop with au gratin potatoes and baby carrots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street Luxardo Adobo Glazed Pork Chop with au gratin potatoes and baby carrots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
A-street Luxardo Adobo Glazed Pork Chop with au gratin potatoes and baby carrots. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Asked how he was feeling about opening a restaurant in Roswell, so far, Nelson gave a big thumbs-up.

“We’ve made a home here pretty quickly, and we just want to share it with people who are looking for something a little different,” he said. “I think that our menu has some unique things on it, but it’s also very approachable. But we’d just love to connect with the community.

“It’s like a big place that feels like a small town, so we really enjoy it here. One of the things that drew us to this area were the high schools. Two of my daughters are going to Centennial. And coincidentally, my oldest daughter was a freshman at Emory last year, so now she’s only 20 minutes away.”

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A-street Fixxxxer with Grand Marnier, Cognac Cafe, blackened whisky, Luxardo syrup, and orange. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

A-street Fixxxxer with Grand Marnier, Cognac Cafe, blackened whisky, Luxardo syrup, and orange. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
A-street Fixxxxer with Grand Marnier, Cognac Cafe, blackened whisky, Luxardo syrup, and orange. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

DINING OUT

5-10 p.m. Mondays-Sundays.

Dine-in, takeout, curbside delivery. Masks optional. Patio coming soon.

605 Atlanta St., Roswell. 770-910-7639, astreetroswell.com.

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