I haven’t even reheated my veggie plate, and already I’m eyeing the fried chicken with macaroni and cheese and coleslaw (Thursdays) and the North Carolina trout with dandelion and bacon, creamed field peas and spicy sour cream cheese biscuits (Fridays). If you feel like aproning up, you can opt for a pizza kit (with dough, marinara sauce, basil, olive oil and house-made mozzarella) or make your own H&F double stack (ready-to-cook patties and all the fixings).
It’s almost time for me to pluck the Buttery’s Celebration of Vegetables from the oven. But, first, the salad: It doesn’t seem right to fork such pristine greens from a mundane plastic container — not when they are pink-mottled Salanova lettuce, pretty as a Rembrandt tulip, and delicately arranged with slivers of fried shallot, thinly sliced radishes and dehydrated shiitake chips, more magical than bacon. I find an actual dish, drizzle this beauty with the honey-lemon dressing, and admire how it presages spring in the dead of winter. It’s delicious, too.
As for the veggies, Hopkins knows how to play with texture, color, technique. This is clear in everything, from the sweetly whipped butternut squash with sorghum and sumac to the hoppin’ John with Sea Island red peas, to the cabbage and cornmeal fritters dabbed with red remoulade. I could pop those cruciferous hush puppies like fries. (I confess, I snatched one from the second plate that comes with this $40 dinner for two. So much for saving!) Also in the mix were braised hakurei turnips, roasted hen-of-the-woods and braised radicchio with white wine and herbs. The gentle bitterness of the turnips balanced the sweetness of radicchio and butternut. I immediately texted a friend whose vegetarian wife has a birthday in March. The Buttery, you see, is special occasion-worthy.
Which brings me to the sweets. Hopkins & Co. (C. Ellet’s, Hop’s Chicken, H&F Burger) employs a nationally regarded pastry chef, Jen Yee. Though I enjoyed the lemon chess pie, it was the Parker House rolls that sent me over the moon. And, if you can escape the Buttery without a chocolate-chunk cookie or almond croissant, I admire your will power.
I claim no such restraint.
THE BUTTERY ATL
Menu: chef-driven market, with hot and cold food to go
Recommended dishes: Monday-night vegetable plate for two; lemon chess pie; cheese straws; chicken salad; deviled egg kit; buttermilk crackers
Price range: hot takeout meals for two, $30-$50
Service options: takeout only; order online, over the phone or in person; in-house delivery available ($30 minimum); hot meals for two must be ordered 48 hours in advance and fetched in person, 5-7 p.m.
Outdoor dining: in the works
Experience: pretty seamless, with a couple of minor caveats: The e-commerce system can be a bit quirky. I ordered some Sunday snacks; apparently, because one item was unavailable, the system wanted to schedule pickup for Tuesday. A quick call to the store resolved the problem. Also, the system may say you can pick up your hot meal at 4:30, but it’s likely to come out closer to 5.
Address, phone: 2137 Manchester St. NE, Atlanta; 678-235-2654
Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays
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