Seed, anchored in the corner of Merchants Walk shopping center, opened in 2011 and in that time has set a high standard for contemporary American cuisine in east Cobb. Hart’s arrival is an opportune moment to see why it is so venerated.
As the chef points out, the menu is laden with “rock-star” plates that patrons crave. “I do recognize this place means a lot to people in this community, and there are dishes that people just want to see on our menus, and that aren’t going anywhere, and I totally support that,” Hart says, “because at the end of the day, we are here for the guests.”
Indeed, we’d only been seated on the handsome patio for a few minutes on a Sunday evening when a gathering of nine ladies, ready to celebrate a birthday, marched in. Eyeballing the cocktail menu, I spied a bourbon, ginger and lemon drink — Horse’s Neck with a Kick — for which I published a recipe way back in 2013. At Seed, even the boozy libations have longevity. I ordered a Basil Instinct (gin, orgeat, chartreuse, lime, basil), an easy-drinking sipper with a delayed kick.
Deviled eggs and smoked chicken tacos sounded like fine starters, and they were. Three dainty little flour tortillas stood upright in a stand, loaded with pimento polenta and chipotle lime crema. Three is a hard number to split evenly — wonder how many sparks have flown over this appetizer? The eggs were topped bagel style with chopped smoked salmon, pickled red onion, capers — a clever and tasty touch.
A more virtuous eater might have gone for the seasonal veggie plate, these days graced with the likes of braised greens, marinated cucumbers and tomatoes, blistered shishitos, mushrooms and squash, German potato salad. Not me. Torn between chicken schnitzel and the burger, I chose the latter, a decision that made me exceedingly happy. I’m thinking the beautiful medium-rare half-pounder, with caramelized onions, white cheddar, tomato, and special sauce, is one of those Seed classics that won’t budge. I certainly hope not. I ordered mine with house-cut fries, drowning in shaved Parm (killer!), and had little trouble dispatching all of it, along with a glass of Cadence, a nutty, burnished Belgian dubbel by Smyrna’s Reformation Brewing.
Also memorable was the lemon and herb ricotta-stuffed ravioli, sitting in a puddle of buttery sauce, perked up with fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil, and a final blasting of Grana Padano. Who says vegetarian food can’t be luxe?
When it comes to sweet temptations, Seed does not hold back. Lemon mascarpone cheesecake, salted caramel creme brûlée, tres leches cake, a chocolate chunk cookie baked in a skillet — Jesus, take the wheel. You won’t err, even if you just close your eyes and point. We ended up with a chocolate peanut butter parfait. Scattered with shards of peanut brittle and paired with one perfect scoop of roasted banana ice cream, it was very chocolate-y and very irresistible. I practically licked the plate yet managed to walk out.
That’s something I hope to do often in the future, whether revisiting familiar dishes, or welcoming new ones. How fortunate for us that Hart had a change of heart.
SEED KITCHEN & BAR
Menu: Contemporary American, with Southern and Asian influences
Alcohol: Full bar, with delicious craft cocktails, a smart selection of local beers and a wine list that leans toward the West Coast
What I ordered: Deviled eggs, smoked chicken tacos, burger with Parmesan fries, ravioli, chocolate peanut butter parfait
Service options: Dine-in, takeout and delivery
Mask policy: Patrons are not required to wear masks; staff wears masks while on duty
Address, phone: 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Number 504, Marietta; 678-214-6888
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays; 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays; 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays
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