I live in Southeast Atlanta, and between my neighborhood and Decatur just to the East, I have an amazing choice of restaurants to choose from just about any night of the week. So, when Atlanta INtown’s publisher, Wendy Binns, asked me to attend the media preview for Fig Jam Kitchen & Bar in South Buckhead, I was skeptical. Though there are a few stellar exceptions, I think of the Buckhead and Midtown areas as the land of uninventive restaurants whose owners spent more time picking out their enormous light fixtures than developing the flavors on their menu, a part of town where business travelers mix with 20-somethings in search of apple-tinis. Yikes.
I was more than pleasantly surprised by Fig Jam, the latest offering by the C&M Gastronomy Group, which also owns Baraonda and Publik House. The restaurant’s owners and the executive chef, Constanzo Astarita, are from Italy where serving food made of fresh ingredients sourced from reputable purveyors is a matter of national pride.
The evening’s signature drink was, no surprise, called Fig Jam, and consisted of vanilla vodka, fig preserve, lemon juice, maple syrup and rhubarb bitters. None of the varied ingredients overwhelms the others and the results are a delicious, fruity lemonade taste without the cloying sweetness and a definite kick. You’ll absolutely enjoy this concoction as the weather warms up. We also sampled the Brown Derby consisting of Marker’s Mark, grapefruit juice and honey syrup. This one has a heavier taste and bigger kick, but it’s also delicious. Both drinks were well made, and the restaurant’s drink menu is indeed well thought out and makes me want to go back for more.
Given the crowded nature of the event, Wendy and I did not get a chance to sample much of the menu, but what we did have was incredibly solid. We sampled the Apple Curry Chicken skewers with mango salsa, a great combination of spice and mild sweetness that didn’t overwhelm the chicken. We also sampled the spring rolls with vegetables and some perfectly cooked steak with the restaurant’s signature, made-in-house barbeque fig jam. They were giving away small jars of the stuff when we arrived, and I must admit that I initially took one just to be polite. After trying it, I think I showed amazing restraint by slipping only one additional jar into my purse on the way out the door.
If you live or work in the Midtown or South Buckhead area, I can highly recommend Fig Jam for lunch, dinner or after-work drinks. And for those of us a little further afield, it’s the perfect place for a meal or a snack when running Sam Flax “errands” or meeting clients anywhere near the Brookwood Square Shopping Center. For more information, go to www.figjamatlanta.com, or better yet, stop by and let me know how the charred octopus is.