Get to AG, ASAP
The new and notable restaurant celebrates it’s reopening in the Ritz Downtown Atlanta
By Laura Carson Miller
The much anticipated AG has reopened on the second floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, bringing to life a new concept with an updated menu and cocktail program and refreshed interiors. With brand new menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, AG offers a modern steakhouse experience inspired by Southern hospitality.
General Manager Manuel Deisen has said of the unveiling, “After 17 successful years downtown, our culinary team is excited to unveil the new AG and see the concept come to life. Moving from a traditional hotel restaurant, AG presents a menu filled with local producers and a creative cocktail program that will appeal to both locals and hotel guests.”
Chef Joshua Fryer helms the kitchen, bringing his love of Southern cuisine and local ingredients to the new concept. Wake up to farm fresh breakfast dishes including pig and grits with Geechie Boy Mill pimento cheese grits, thick sliced Benton’s bacon and poached eggs; an AG omelet with Decimal Place Farms goat cheese, tomato, spinach, onions and duck fat potatoes; and banana pudding French Toast with brioche, vanilla wafer crust and banana compote. I’m a huge fan of most anything from Benton’s. When we visit friends in Tennessee we always stop at Benton’s and buy out the store! Their bacon and sausage put all others to shame (said the mostly vegetarian lady).
During lunch, the restaurant offers guests a one-of-a-kind seasonal iced tea experience highlighting the flavors of Georgia, including refreshing signature teas such as the “Peachtree I.T.” with Georgia peaches and rosemary; “Lemon & Lime” with thyme and lavender; and “Spice it Up” with Peach Schnapps, Tito’s vodka, Old Fourth Gin or Whistle Pig Rye. Highlights from the lunch menu include the P.L.T. with Niman Ranch pork belly, avocado, chipotle aioli, fried green tomato, baby kale, Tuscan bread and an optional fresh farm fried egg; and the Georgia catfish with vinegar carrot slaw and Fresno hot sauce on a sesame brioche bun. Stop the presses – sign me up for that fish sandwich!
AG’s dinner menu features carefully curated appetizers including foie gras brulée with Armagnac, hazelnut Madeline and compressed cherry; and pan roasted scallops with fava beans, Spotted Trotter pancetta and yuzu pickled peppers. Entrees include oxtail tortelloni with roasted golden beets, shiraz reduction and horseradish cream; Enchanted Springs trout with pole beans, summer squash and blistered tomatoes; alongside an extensive selection of grilled meats and seafood such as USDA Prime filet mignon, Border Springs lamb chop, Tomahawk ribeye and Wild Alaskan salmon. My husband will be all about that ribeye! The signature steak sauce for AG was created in partnership with Atlanta’s Preserving Place. Exemplifying a revival of tableside service, the Baked Alaska, torched tableside with 151 dark rum, alongside other decadent dessert dishes, conclude an unforgettable meal experience. AG’s menus will change seasonally and feature sustainable, responsible sourcing from vendors including Niman Ranch, Decimal Place Farms, Sustainable Seafood and Southeast Family Farms.
The new cocktail program at AG emphasizes classic cocktails, elevated with seasonality and homemade ingredients and garnishes. The experimental ice program showcases seven types of crafted and infused ice, such as cucumber ice for gin and tonics. Beverage menu highlights include their own versions of the red hot drink of late, the Old Fashioned, with the “Smokey Old Fashioned” in a hickory smoked glass and AG’s signature Whistle Pig Old Fashioned recipe; the “Bees Knees” with Uncle Val’s gin, local honey syrup, citrus and fresh lavender; and the “GA peach Bellini” with Ruggeri prosecco, fresh Georgia peach nectar and rosemary. As I’m a sucker for a great Bellini, I’ll take two, please. For martini lovers, the full martini menu offers multiple variations on the classic drink. Dorinda from Real Housewives would certainly approve. Finally, an à la carte gin and tonic menu gives guests the option to create a truly personalized cocktail by choosing a customized gin, tonic, ice and garnish combination from choices such as Old Fourth gin & Fentimans tonic with molded ice cubes and dehydrated citrus; Jaspers Barrel Aged gin and East Imperial tonic with rosemary-infused ice and honey crisps; and Hendricks gin and Fever Tree tonic with cucumber ice and rose.
Not to be forgotten, the restaurant’s wine menu, developed by talented sommelier Brian White, offers a thoughtful selection of premium wines from around the world to complement each meal.
Of course I’m interested in the interior style of the new AG! The concept features remodeled interiors to create a modern feel through plush saddle-colored leather booths, a combination of black and white floor tiles and hardwood floors, elegant lighting fixtures and sleek marble table tops. AG has also reimagined its two private dining rooms – the “Kitchen” and the “Distillery” –available for events and private dinners. The Kitchen offers a rustic, communal chef’s table, while the Distillery room features a mixology experience, displaying bitters, herbs, whiskeys and branded garnishes throughout the room.
Now that your tastebuds are dancing, just like mine, perhaps I’ll run into you at AG very soon.