Hand-Picked: Curated Experiences for the Local Curious

Locavore Lunch for Two at Buttermilk Kitchen
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Locavore Lunch for Two at Buttermilk Kitchen

This chef is all about crafting simple, seasonal food, while making nearly everything, from butter to house-cured lox, from-scratch. The result? A local-centric lunch menu that puts any brown-bagged PB&J to shame. See also: homemade pimento cheese.

What To Expect

  • Either one half of their infamous Southern Chicken Philly with one half seasonal salad, OR a half seasonal salad with one cup brunswick stew for each person
  • One homemade iced tea per person
  • One jar of Suzanne's scrumptious homemade pimento cheese to take home per person

Scout Notes

Sustainable. Local. Made-from-scratch. These words might seem ubiquitous nowadays, but their roots go much deeper than the realm of marketing buzzwords. Once upon a time, butter was always hand-churned, biscuits were always homemade, and folks relied on their local farms for the things they couldn't grow in their own backyard. One chef doing justice to the old-fashioned way? Suzanne Vizethann, whose cozy cottage restaurant on Roswell Road is all about crafting simple, seasonal food while making nearly everything, from butter to lard to house-cured lox, from scratch in their own kitchen. In other words: many may talk the locavore talk, but this chef clearly knows how to walk the walk.

Suzanne opened Buttermilk Kitchen in the fall of 2012 after staging (a sort of immersive culinary internship) with fifteen different restaurants in one year. After soaking up a lifetime's worth of technique and inspiration from the likes of Richard Blais and Eli Kirshtein (along with a victorious stint on the Food Network's "Chopped"), Suzanne decided to set up shop in Chastain Park with an eatery that paid tribute to sustainable, local ingredients. Thus began Buttermilk Kitchen, an intimate little spot where just about everything is homemade—and everything else is sourced from top-notch local purveyors. Even the name of the place is a nod to Suzanne's philosophy: buttermilk, the oft-used liquid left over after churning butter from cream, echoes her mission to let nothing go to waste.

And on their menu, Suzanne and her kitchen put that mission into practice. The lunchtime lineup boasts salads, sandwiches, and an ever-changing set of sides based simply on what's fresh and seasonal. (See also: the aforementioned knock-your-socks-off pimento cheese.) Whatever they can't make in-house, Suzanne procures from the best local purveyors she can hunt down: Holeman & Finch bread, Logan Turnpike grits, AtlantaFresh Yogurt, and so forth. The result: dishes that speak to the sheer pride this kitchen takes in their food, from the cornbread crouton-topped Brunswick stew to the Springer Mountain chicken salad club sandwich.

Even the restaurant itself feels wholesome; a bit like dining in someone's home, if that someone happens to have an eye for vintage furnishings and a knack for killer pimento cheese. Decked out with burlap drapes, a hodgepodge of mismatched chairs, and bright tangerine metal barstools, the restaurant's interior has just as much character and charm as the menu itself. But, burlap and reclaimed wood aside, the one thing you'll spot that truly speaks to this establishment? A Thomas Keller quote wrapped around the dining room walls, proclaiming this sentiment from the French Laundry chef: “When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.” To that, we say: mission accomplished, Suzanne.

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