Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th & Swift - A First Taste

C-Dub and I wanted to try out Jay Swift's new restaurant, 4th & Swift. (Swift's previous restaurants include the original South City Kitchen and Rainwater.) We decided to swing by on Thursday night since neither of us had to work the next day.

My first thought as we walked in the door was how similar the decor is to Rathbun's. Maybe it is the dark bar directly by the entrance or the exposed brick? The aroma of the restaurant hit me next. It had a strong chophouse smell; you certainly would not confuse this place for a vegetarian joint.

4th & Swift dining doom

Our waiter Edward told us that the menu incorporates a great deal of locally grown vegetables from farms such as Jeff Collins Farms, Riverview Farms, and Ashland Farms. The delicious sounding heirloom tomatoes are provided by Laurie Moore with Moore Farms.

With all of this talk about the locally grown vegetables, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a veggie plate to showcase them. (I love that Restaurant Eugene has their "Tasting of Local Vegetables". I hope that other restaurants will follow suit.) Nevertheless, Edward talked me into the house made pappardelle; a dish that features a variety of the local vegetables he spoke of.

C-Dub ordered the Swordfish served with fennel salad and calamari. Speaking of that fennel salad; when I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I love, love, love fennel. Edward also sold us on the arugula salad; he described the parmesan beignets that top the salad as so good they could be a dish of their own.

While we waited, we were served a basket of house made crackers and cheese biscuits. C-Dub and I agreed that they were both delicious, although I would have preferred the biscuits served warm.

Crackers and cheddar biscuits

We both munched on the arugula salad and really enjoyed it. I love arugula, I love beets, and I love pine nuts - how could it go wrong? And Edward was right, those beignets tasted incredibly indulgent with a crispy outside and a creamy parmesan middle.

Beignet innards

Not to spoil the rest of this post but the fennel salad was my absolute favorite dish of the night. It was simple and delightful; I would have eaten a large plateful if it was available.


With such a tasty start, we were a little thrown by the disappointing entrees. My pappardelle, while flavorful, was undercooked. The corn sprinkled throughout the dish was also undercooked, sadly. Honestly, if it hadn't been undercooked, I probably would have loved it.

The house made pappardelle

C-Dub wasn't too happy with the swordfish he ordered. He felt that the rub on the fish was too salty - I thought it was fine but I also really love salt - and that it was slightly dry on the inside. He did like the fennel salad, though. (Or what he could get of it since I was eager to chown down on some more of that fennel.)

Swordfish with a puddle of rouille

Casey has a risotto-tooth so we decided to order a side of the sweet corn risotto. Unfortunately, it did not vary from the theme; the rice was undercooked and we sent it back.

Sweet corn risotto

I have hope for 4th & Swift. They have a few kinks to work out in the kitchen but, once resolved, it has the potential to become a great Atlanta restaurant.
(If you've been there, I would be eager to your thoughts on the place.)

4th & Swift
621 North Avenue
Building B
Atlanta, GA


Don said...

Mols, I'm with your friend. Parmesan beignets? Sounds awesome. DoninAtlanta

ETK said...

Sounds like they've got some room to grow. Baby and I will have to check them out soon! I have risotto-tooth too.

Cathy said...

I thought I recognized the girl sporting the chic blonde bob with the big camera that night, but couldn't quite remember where I've seen you before. Now I know :)

I am sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the meal. The beans in one of my dishes were also undercooked, but the meat dishes made up for that mistake.

I do hope you go back again and give them a second chance.

GrabMoL said...

I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy the meal, exactly. Our waiter - and the rest of the staff - was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. That fennel salad and arugula salad were both delicious! And I really think that I would have loved the pappardelle had it been cooked all the way. (I still ate most of it, as it was.)

But I would take a lot for me to just write off a restaurant after only one visit. I will definitely try it again and I won't be surprised if I find that all the kinks have been worked out!

ilene said...

I went with a few friends...we loved it...the mac & cheese was sinful! Liked the arugula salad too!

GregH said...

I agree, the place has promise but has a few kinks to work out. I ordered the lamb and got a very tough cut that was not fully consumable. When the waiter asked if there was I problem, I spilled and he gave me a free desert - an incredible ice cream sandwich!

Lauren said...

Yenta Girl & I (LDX) had dinner at 4th & Swift last night. Wanted to preempt her posting something!

YG had scallops over corn risotto, and I had salmon over a "salad" (hm) of baby carrots, summer corn, and butter beans. The salmon was a touch overcooked, but generally the dish was good and nice and summery.
For dessert we had a Happy Birthday strawberry tapioca pudding with strawberry sorbet, which was really strawberry-licious and great!

We had about 14 different waitstaff come up to us which was a little weird. Also the chef "Jay" (I think he should have intro'd himself as Jay Swift as I didn't really get it right away) said hello.

Service was good, he was very knowledgeable. My only complaint is that they took YG's plate away before I was done. Just a personal pet peeve that makes me feel like a pig or slow that I'm still eating.

Glad we went! Thanks, Yenta Girl!