REVIEW: Morningside Kitchen, Lenox Park, Atlanta
Along with the rest of Atlanta, we’d been waiting for Morningside Kitchen to open. The day after they served their first meal, we were there – yes, Day 2. This was supposed to be a “soft” opening. From the size of the crowd that night, it looked as if they had placed a billboard on the downtown connector.
360° pic taken with a Ricoh Theta S Camera – Get yours today at Amazon!
Outstanding dinner tonight at Morningside Kitchen #atlfoodie @murphysatlanta #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
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Word to the wise – make a reservation. While we were fearful when we arrived seeing several parties waiting outside to be seated, our reservations were honored and we were seated right away. We met our server who was friendly, welcoming, and really very nice. He was patient with us as we asked him questions about the menu and how items were prepared. More importantly, he survived the test and was able to answer all of our questions confidently and with authority. He shared his tasting experiences with us, telling what dishes he liked the most. We felt like we were in good hands.
Morningside Kitchen has a very pleasant ambience and we loved the original wood flooring with the original brick on the walls. The seating is comfortable and the atmosphere is boisterous. There’s a lot going on with a ton of people dining and talking, so it can get quite loud. That being said, we were always able to maintain our own conversation and had no trouble hearing one another.
To begin the meal, we chose the Cool Dip Trio that is grilled pita bread, white bean hummus, eggplant, and roasted pepper. Each was very good but, in the end, we liked the roasted pepper the most. I found the eggplant very interesting because it had a very subtle flavor that I just couldn’t identify. When I asked our server about this and he shared they used za’atar, a middle eastern spice, in with the eggplant. We also enjoyed the white bean hummus too, so you can’t go wrong with any of these. We loved the Cool Dip Trio and it was fun rotating around with the different flavors.
Our meals arrived before we ever expected them to arrive. I chose on the Sautéed Georgia Trout served with Oven Roasted Vegetables and Melanie selected the Wood Grilled Salmon with Grilled Asparagus Spears. Kudos to the kitchen staff, because not only was this meal delivered promptly, it was served at the perfect temperature, prepared and seasoned.
I thought my trout was awesome, and then I tasted Melanie’s salmon. Incredible! That smoky grill flavor was pronounced and I am not a big fan of salmon, but I’d eat this every day and twice on Sunday. My oven roasted vegetables was the shocker for me. Pure goodness! The mix of fingerling potatoes, squash, baby carrots, brussel sprouts, and tiny bits of asparagus was just dynamite.
One of our real pet peeves though is asparagus and the Grilled Asparagus Spears at Morningside Kitchen were perfect. First, asparagus should be trimmed properly. Asparagus is green, not white. If you see white, that’s a bad sign. Asparagus is tender and must be prepared with care. It shouldn’t be soft enough where you can cut it with a fork, but a knife should slide through it like butter. Cook it too fast and it becomes stringy. I could hug the person who prepared this asparagus because, finally, we found some asparagus done to perfection!
Throughout our meal, we were repeatedly asked in everything was okay. We saw owners, Tom Murphy and Tom Harvey, chatting with patrons and thanking them for dining with them. Tom Harvey came to our table after our meal, introduced himself and we had a great discussion (and he had zero idea of who we were). That kind of personal attention is what made Murphy’s in Virginia-Highlands an Atlanta icon and what ensures that Morningside Kitchen will follow in its footsteps. BTW, if you haven’t had brunch at Murphy’s, you haven’t lived!
As much as we wanted dessert, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. We’ll have to try that on a return visit some time. Morningside Kitchen as a menu that is simple yet contains enough depth to make you want to go back and try something else. Now, go make a reservation for Morningside Kitchen and experience it yourself. It’s a MUST VISIT in our book! Guten appetit!