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Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead

posted on May 9, 2008 at 4:03 am
Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
RESTAURANT REVIEW
There is a time for moderation and last night was not that kind of night. I was very excited to try Holeman & Finch since we’d been putting it off until their liquor license was secured.

The first thing you see when you walk in the gastropub is the kitchen, which I loved. Chef Linton Hopkins was working away with his seemingly permanent smile. The cooks looked relaxed and happy—always a good sign.
Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Chef Hopkins

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Chef Hopkins and staff

The entrance is flanked with a see-through wine cellar and a glass meat locker filled with a massive assortment of the in-house cured meats. You have two options for seating. There is a “speakeasy” with tables to the left or the bar to the right. We chose the bar because we could interact with the barkeeps while eating. We sat in front of Andy Minchow, a partner in the establishment and spied Greg Best, who is also a partner working his tail off as usual.
Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Andy Minchow

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Greg Best

The atmosphere was completely convivial and I really dug the music selection the entire night (Tricky, The Cure, The Gorillaz, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Radiohead, War, etc.). It was like a greatest hits from my ipod so I instantly felt at home. The purse hooks under the bar were a great touch and so thoughtful. Call me crazy, but I hate putting my purses on the floor. Looking around, it was a definite mix of people including one too many former cheerleaders sucking down the Chardonnay instead of the fantastic cocktails. But, hey, they seemed like they were having a good time so who am I to judge?

Having organized an alternate form of transportation, Moon and I proceeded to work our way through most of the cocktail menu and also had Andy make us some drinks off the menu. The drinks were so gooddangerous even. Here are some of the standouts with as much detail as I can remember since I don’t have a menu in hand.
Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Coke with frozen lime and
Amaro Cora.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
The Edgewood

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
The Russian Mule: My favorite of the night made with homemade ginger beer, some sort of Russian vodka (?) and lime. The perfect summer drink.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
The Blue Moon: From the color, it looks like it is going to be sweet, but it was dry, tart and went down so smoothly. Gorgeous.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead

On to the food. As we slugged back the cocktails and chatted with Andy, who is a totally chill showman, we nibbled on the kitchen’s meat heavy menu. My photos were not as great as I ‘d hoped (thanks to my flash) but here is a sampling of what we ate and our thoughts.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Steak tartare made with Painted Hills Beef: Wonderful French fries but the tartare seemed a bit clumsy. The chunks were too large (not sure if they were trying to go rustic) and the mustard overpowered the dish. A tad less mustard and finer mince would remedy this since the ingredients were very good quality.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
House made cured meats: Downright stellar. Loved the lardo. Andy told us some woman had handed him the lardo in a napkin in disgust having no idea what it was and not wanting to eat it. What a waste. It just melted on my tongue. Lovely. And, the house made bread (you’ll be able to buy at the new H&F bakery) and pickled onions were delicious too.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
House made sausage with sauerkraut and mustard: Great flavor and texture. Loved the contrast against the tart mustard and kraut.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Carbonara made with Via Elisa’s chitara pasta: This dish pissed me off it was so good. Moon was moaning about it and said it was even better than mine. I got to get to work on replicating this one at home. A crave-worthy dish.

Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
Doughnuts: Some people have compared these to Krispy Kreme’s but they are so much better. Chewier and yeastier. I loved them and they went well with the liquor-laced espresso that Andy mixed up for us.

We had other dishes that are not pictured. Scallops over Copes creamed corn, which were perfectly seasoned and cooked. Delicious deviled eggs. “The whole duck,” duck prepared in a variety of styles. Hen of the woods mushrooms over polenta which was good if not a bit salty. I’ve had this at Eugene before and know it can be done better. We also tried a bite of our neighbor’s (who we made fast friends with) pig tails and ears. Fried very well with a great crust, but just not my thang.

Verdict:
This is the kind of place Atlanta needs. The cocktails, staff and atmosphere were just fabulous. The food, while good and made from well-sourced ingredients, didn’t wow me but it worked given the setting. Anyone would feel comfortable here and I can definitely see this place becoming a regular spot on our rotation. When we asked Greg how business had been, he said, “It has been so much fun that we don’t want to leave at the end of night.” We felt the same way.

RESTAURANT INFORMATION:
Address: 2277 Peachtree Road
Phone: (404) 948-1175
Website

Extras: The restaurant serves a burger after 10p.m. and corkage (according to the menu) is $10.
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10 comments

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Paulie · May 9, 2008  7:09 AM

    Very timely as Food Network replayed Hopkins’ battle against Morimoto yesterday afternoon.

    Your photos make the place look interesting. H&F’s website is horrendous (perhaps my browser is blocking part of its content?) and would scare me away in an instant if I had not read your review. Seriously, when *will* restaurants stop using Flash websites???

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Anonymous · May 9, 2008  10:26 PM

    The website should be up next week. We used someone that works by himself so it takes him a little longer than if we had used a bigger firm. He created our logo, and we wanted him to do our website because he does such great work. Horrendous. That isn’t very nice.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: SPEAKEASY · May 10, 2008  8:48 AM

    So they have a “speakeasy”….right on, i can dig it. i can’t wait to go those doughnuts look like the perfect late night cure for when i have the “munchies”. BG – keep up the great work.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: A. Sunshine · May 14, 2008  6:07 AM

    I can wait to check this place out, I’m definately ordering the Carbonara, you don’t see that on menus too much these days.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Anonymous · June 12, 2008  4:12 PM

    Can’t wait!

    Adrian

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Jamie · June 29, 2008  6:32 PM

    The website is still “down”—bad Flash detection is preventing the site from loading, which is I’d agree, “horrendous”—but this review plus that of a foodie friend are enough to get me in. Thanks!

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Anonymous · September 10, 2008  11:09 AM

    The food here was great, but I was disappointed with some of the staff. I’m African American, and I was the only person of color in the establishment. I felt like I was eating at an all white lunch counter back in the 1950’s south. They were playing tunes from O Brother Where Art Thou; which is a movie and soundtrack I happen to enjoy.It just seemed a little odd to hear it here. I must say the mentioning of General Lee on the menu was too much to bare.

    If their goal was to create a place just for white folk; they knocked it out of the park. I would never go back.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Anonymous · September 14, 2008  11:01 PM

    I love this place. The cocktail and food scene in Atlanta just got a lot better.

    I personally know Greg, Reagan, and Andy and I find any insinuation of prejudice on their part appalling.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: Anonymous · December 24, 2008  1:32 PM

    Good chow, nice drinks. That’s enough.

  • Re: Holeman & Finch Public House: Buckhead
    posted by: CasK · May 6, 2009  10:43 AM

    We just ate here last night, and it was excellent. Our waiter, Rodney, was very helpful in recommending dishes. Although he even said it was hard to choose a favorite because everything was so good. And it was. SO, SO good. We can’t wait to go back! Thanks bliss, for another great recommendation!

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