Perched above Peactree Street behind a wrout-iron balcony is Terrace – possibly Downtown’s tastiest sustainable restaurant. Chef Jon Wolf (previously of Restaurant Eugene, South City Kitchen and the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead) offers diners a taste of the South in healthier dishes. As it turns out, Southern food can be fine dining.
Enhancing local flavors with Southern accents, Chef Wolf prepares Georgia’s unique ingredients with modern techniques. Partnering with 27 local farms, Terrace features four seasonal menus (breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service) packed with organic ingredients. My mouth-watering tasting tour began with the Chilled Corn and Smoked Sea Salt Soup – garnished with micro basil, this sweet and savory, creamy dish was perfect for the hot day. Up next was the Seared Mushroom Paté – a sumptuous spread accompanied by housemade blueberry pepper jelly on rye toast. Then came the tart and tasty Shaved Kale Salad. (I know what you’re thinking – bitter and limp. Coupled with a truffled mushroom vinaigrette and pickled carrots, the shaved greens were crisp, tart and oh so tasty.) Finally I tried two tantalizing dishes from the upcoming Summer menu. First was the pan-seared Georgia mountain trout with a sautéed ratatouille - a succulent mix of baby eggplant, okra, bell peppers, Sungold tomatoes, shallots and garlic. For dessert, try this fresh twist on a favorite: brûléed brie atop slices of masticated peaches.
Dedicated to “feeding guests how I’d feed my family,” Chef Wolf refuses to use anything frozen and visits the Peachtree Road Farmers Market each Saturday to hand-pick the final touches for the week’s supply of fresh ingredients. Interested in tagging along? For just $49 per person, you can join the Farm to Terrace Excursion. Perfect for a day date, you’ll walk through the market with Chef, pick out your favorite ingredients, then head back to the restaurant while he prepares a family-style lunch from your fresh picks. (This offer includes valet parking and is available to anyone, not just hotel guests. Call 678-651-2770 for reservations.)
Catering to the many intimacies of city life, Terrace offers seating and service perfect for a quick business lunch, a quiet dinner date or drinks with your 10 best friends. The airy, float-away balcony is anchored by rich espresso floors and polished pewter accents. Softened by sunlit cream and custard fabrics, it’s small wonder this hotel restaurant and bar was a 2008 Urban Design Award winner.
Reopened in September of 2007, the Ellis Hotel (and its adjoining Terrace restaurant and bar) became Georgia’s second hotel to earn the nation's Green Seal™. Today, it is Downtown Atlanta’s only sustainable boutique accommodations. In addition to collaborating with local farmers and growers, Terrace showcases numerous organic or organically produced beers, wines and liquors. Top sellers include Cono Sur Wines, Luna Zul Tequila, Cap Rock Gin, Prairie Vodka, King Estate Wines, Sam Smith Organic Beer, and others. A few other eco-chic touches include compostable to-go boxes and silverware (made of corn, potatoes, or sugar cane,) and the use of the Natura Water Filtration System - an in-house tap water purification system that eliminates glass and plastic waste. (Be sure to try the sparkling with a squeeze of lime!) Sustainable and sophisticatedly simple, this eco-conscious restaurant is a must-try for delicious Downtown dining.