As chef and restauranteur Ford Fry opens more dining concepts around Atlanta, it’s easy to focus on the new and forget the places that put him on the culinary map in our city. JCT Kitchen & Bar is in my opinion the crown jewel in his list of amazing restaurants in Atlanta and with a new chef revamping the menu, we’re seeing a new version of a classic dining spot.
Meet E.J. Hodgkinson, the new (as of January) Executive Chef at JCT Kitchen & Bar. E.J. was most recently the sous chef at Woodfire Grill working under Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie and caught the attention of Fry when attending culinary events around town.
There will be some things that never really change on the menu, including diner favorites like the fried chicken, but be on the look out for a new ‘Bites’ section with tasty little starter dishes like the Strawberries and Avocado and the Peekytoe Crab with Hushpuppies. So refreshing and taste like summer!
Chef Hodgkinson was enthusiastic about connecting with purveyors of locally and regionally sourced cheeses to offer diners and the addition of raw oysters to the menu. The locations from where the oysters are from will rotate, but there will always be both east coast and west coast offerings.
The appetizers are classic southern - be sure to try their Deviled Eggs, ‘Angry’ Mussels and the Truffle-Parmesan Fries, which are some of the best in town. The entrees can lean toward the heavy since since it is upscale southern cuisine at it’s finest, but there are definitely light options to be found. I really enjoyed the Wood Grilled 1/2 Chicken and their Country Ham & Arugula Salad is a must-get.
For dessert, there is an array of classics that will change seasonally, but the one I enjoyed the most was the Fried Blueberry Pies with a Malted Vanilla Shake. So good!
Some cool events happening during the week include their Sunday Suppers each Sunday from 5-9pm, which is described as a ‘Fancy Meat & Three’ for $24pp. Also, live music is also a big part of the venue, with ‘jam sessions’ in the bar each Wednesday and scheduled performances Thursday-Saturday evenings.
Now that the summer weather is starting to heat up Atlanta again, a great time after work is to hang out at the JCT bar upstairs, enjoy a craft beer or signature cocktail, bar bites, and some cool live music with friends.
So with the flood of shiny and new restaurants coming into Atlanta, don’t forget some of the best gems have been around for some time now - including JCT Kitchen & Bar.