Sunday, November 07, 2010

H. Harper Station: Huge Potential, All Aboard

On Saturday night H. Harper Station, Reynoldstown's newest restaurant and "modern watering stop", welcomed friends and family to a soft preview before their official Sunday open. I was the fortunate guest of Thirsty South who I owe a debt of gratitude for the invitation, company, and experience!

This is not a review since the evening was all about testing systems, rehearsing dishes, running orders, crafting cocktails, etc. This was definitely a dress rehearsal. I look forward to coming back and seeing how everything settles in.

Let's start with the location and building, H. Harper Station is located off of the Memorial exit from I-20 in a former Atlanta and West Point Railroad Station. The walls look to be beautifully restored with photos from when the station was in service. The rustic, restored building with outdoor seating (on the once used train platform) frames a well decorated interior with an old coal stove for heating, exposed brick, and modern, jade colored, ceramic chandeliers. Even the menu above the bar looks like it will flick and rotate letters announcing the next arrival/destination.

Before talking with Jerry Slater, part owner and mixologist whose other restaurant in Atlanta is One Flew South at Terminal E of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the cocktail menu looked to carry the torch from the now-closed Beleza (my favorite place to get a drink). Jerry described HHS as Atlanta's answer to such innovative cocktail-centric restaurants as New York's Death & Co. and Chicago's Violet Hour. I had a drink called, The Alchemist, featuring whiskey, sherry, allspice dram, and apple butter. It was good but only to be outdone the Bufala Negra, a concoction of bourbon, basil, brown sugar, balsamic, and ginger beer - delicious. The wine list is smartly chosen but not as extensive as the cocktails which take center stage. We ordered a 2008 Brewer Clifton Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills, CA which was killer juice.

What about the food? The final menu will showcase farm to table inspired dishes. What we had showed good promise as they work to put the finishing touches on things. The menu consists of a variety of small dishes, or as I call them "farm tapas", as well as larger entrees.

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