I have had the exact opposite experiences lately. A great meal at Abattoir made up of shared plates that felt nearly on the level of Holeman + Finch but with an affordable and excellent Cotes du Rhone instead of the requisite cocktails, and disappointment with unexciting food and lackluster service at Floataway. I hope they both manage to thrive and get even better.
I had both the ESS and H+F offerings in a span of 3 days last week. There was a mix of excellent, good, and bad on both plates -
ESS's 5 selections included two deep fried (yes, deep fried) items: a deep fried country ham and a battered and deep fried head cheese. Both preparations marred the texture and the flavor of the excellent pork products inside the crusts. Meanwhile, a lamb terrine and a "blood bologna" were superlative, and the various pickles and thoroughly charred bread were perfect accompaniment.
H+F's portions are indeed questionably small. Serving size aside, the rillette and a "black label" cured lardo danced on the tongue with the very nice house made mustards provided, but duck ham was 5 little tiny greasy slivers with very little duck meat (80-20 fat to meat by surface area) and the bread, although the excellent offering from the eponymous bakery, was untoasted and spongy, not a great foil to the selections.
The beauty of the charcuterie scene in this town right now is the variety and the obscene quality of the ingredients. I'm always up for more.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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