Sunday, October 2, 2011

South Meets North

After living in Atlanta for almost 13 years, it always surprises me when I am introduced to some place new that has actually been around for a very long time. I am not saying I know everything about this fine town in which we live, but I do like to think that I at least know the in's and out's. The legendary mainstays and the ground-breaking new spots. I may not have actually dined there (Restaurant Eugene, for example), but I usually know they are there, and that someday, I'd like to.

10 Degrees South - the main dining area
Image via Talking with Tami
Ten Degrees South is one of those nuances of a fine dining institution that allows it to have been here for over 12 years, but without the everyday chatter that some of the larger touristy spots get. Driving up Roswell Road in North Buckhead, you probably have driven past this place easily twenty times without noticing much more than the slightly odd building in which it is housed. It's unassuming, and unless you went to their website, you'd never know that their menu is entirely South African. Wait, what? Now that's a menu that is definitely a stand-out for around here! Why haven't I heard of this place before?

I had the pleasure of dining at Ten Degrees South last night, and WOW. What an amazing place with a wonderful menu! The building itself was first a fun place to explore. Part restaurant and part lounge, the front double-storied area with the large windows houses a majority of the tables, while in the back half of the building, the lounge area takes over. Live musicians perform with a back deck open to the (now chilly, hooray!) Atlanta air, and cigar smoke is prominent around the busy bar.

We went for a nice dinner with some family, and our entire party was wow-ed by their food. The traditional menu contains a lot of unfamiliar words and terms, but our South African (yes, we asked) waitress was helpful in suggesting we try some small plates as appetizers first and "test" some things out. One of the main ingredients on many of the entrees was a peri-peri sauce, so we picked out a small plate with that same sauce, and were happy to discover that we loved the dark, spicy and rich sauce. We decided on the Bobotie spring rolls, mussels and the peri-peri chicken livers to start. Every single one was amazing. For my dinner, I chose the beef Bobotie, a pot pie type dish made with the same sweet curry beef mixture from the spring rolls. I can't wait to enjoy those leftovers today! It was so tasty. The chicken curry was another popular pick in our group, and the South African wines we enjoyed were fab, too.

Have you traveled to South Africa right here in town yet? I highly recommend it for a nice night on the town with your significant other or friends. Entree prices range from $20-$30, but you could also make a meal out of 2-3 small plates for less, or have a drink and an appetizer in the lounge as a start to the rest of your evening out.



Lisa said...

We might have to check this one out! I don't think we've ever had south african food. In return you should def go to restaurant Eugene ;) we did the 7 course meal and wine pairings- very pricey but absolutely worth every penny and every delicious bite!

Unknown said...

Lisa - thanks for the rec! I have heard the same about that place and would love to check it out :)