Restaurant Review: Ticonderoga Club

posted on June 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm
AHOY! The bar is reminiscent of an old ship’s galley and includes a real sea captain’s chair. Photo by Erik Meadows

AHOY! The bar is reminiscent of an old ship’s galley and includes a real sea captain’s chair.
Photo by Erik Meadows

There is a sign at Ticonderoga Club that reads: “We keep this joint and this joint keeps us (broke).” The scrappy quote seems appropriate coming from partners — and Atlanta restaurant royalty — Greg Best, Paul Calvert, Regan Smith, Bart Sasso, and David Bies. Between them, they have combined experience from Holeman and Finch, Restaurant Eugene, and Paper Plane. And it feels like they poured all of that combined institutional knowledge into their seven-month-old Krog Street Market tavern.

Named after the 18th-century French fort in upstate New York near Best’s and Smith’s hometowns of Poughkeepsie and Binghamton, Ticonderoga’s vibe is both eccentric and amusing. A perennially cheerful Smith greets diners at the host stand and surveys the room to ensure service is a step ahead of the customer. It always is. Multicolored Christmas lights dangle from the top of the bar, a framed John Travolta picture sits high on a shelf, and vintage stained glass lamps hang above the dining room’s two patchwork leather booths. The shiny wooden bar feels like a modern riff on an old-timey saloon. Its sides are painted with the lower halves of colonially clad soldiers that, when viewed from just the right angle, align with the bartenders’ visible upper bodies. It’s an illusion — not a trick.

Chef David Bies’ return is a win for Atlanta. As Restaurant Eugene’s former chef de cuisine, Bies demonstrated his fine dining artistry. After Eugene, Bies traveled throughout Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia for three years, and his affinity for the many different cuisines he encountered is evident at Ticonderoga.

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