So I guess this is my first ever “live review.” I just sat down here at the newly opened Noon Midtown, the Katie Birmingham experiment over in the newly built 1010 Peachtree Building. The space is “airy” and open … clean lines and very slick decor. Me likee. It sort of reminds me of One Flew South in a lot of ways. However, I think Noon has done a slightly better job of matching their cuisine to their decor.
A couple of really nice touches have put me in a good mood. First, I’m sitting against the wall at one of those long booths [my toochis is comfortably at home on a soft cushion. My back leans comfortably against some wood backing]. At my feet is a plug for my laptop. It’s nice to see a place supplement their free WiFi with an outlet. As I sit here and look at the ten seat breakfast bar that faces the open kitchen, I’m chillin’. Second, I love the little “order markers.” I’ve seen restaurants hand out numbers, signs, and picture cards before … but never letters. While I’m sure there is a better descriptor, the point here is that something about these little pieces of metal brought a smile to my face. A nice twist. I’m more of a X kinda guy, but K served it’s platoon leader well.
Ah, but we don’t do what we do because we love table accoutrements (well … at least I don’t). All indicators are pointing north so far, will the meal hold water?
I just sat down, took some time to eye my environment, and welcomed my lamb sandwich to the table. Served up on a toaster trey on steroids, it’s eye-catchingly [sic] simple. Meanwhile, Birmingham is sitting over at the bar chatting up some hombre. Oooh … the Cure … Just Like Heaven … gotta love XM radio. As he eats, I can almost see the tension and concern bubbling under B-hams affable approach. Maybe I’m reading too much into this … but it’s pretty clear to me that Birmingham is paying attention to her customer [it’s also clear that they know each other]. So does he like it? My magic 8 ball says “indeed so.”
My eyes jet back to my own plate … that lamb sandwich is calling me. Hold on a second….
DA’AM SMOKEY…that’s one good sammy! I might have to add this to the long exacerbated Atlanta Sub & Sandwich Tour. This sandwich comes with shaved lamb, pickled onion, basil aioli, and arugula. Served up in between two slices of “country bread,” this sucker is good.
The texture and flavor of the lamb is reminiscent of pastrami. Maybe it’s the pickled onions … I don’t know. It’s not overly salty and is clearly the main focus of the sandwich. The basil aioli is rocking my palate right now. There isn’t so much that I’m left diving for my napkin in between keystrokes; however, you can definitely taste the condiment. Meanwhile, who doesn’t love some fresh arugula on their meaty delivery unit. The bread is as fresh as I could have asked. I could see someone taking an aversion to the flowery “dryness,” but for me … it works perfectly. Hold on another sec …
still waiting …
Portion control was in full effect here .. nicely done. Coming in at $9.25, this is a pretty pricy lunch joint. There are a few lower tiered items, so don’t run for the hills just yet. Somehow, I see someone being upset at the size of their meal when compared to the price point. I’m not one of those people. I think too many restaurants try and up the amount of food on a plate for no good reason. This sandwich is (or should I say was…) just the right size. The quality of the product makes the price more than reasonable … given the 30309 zip code … I don’t think too many people will fault Noon for the cost of a meal.
So meanwhile, I just saw an order mix up … kind of surprising given the low number of tables… but let’s not get uppity now. If I wasn’t the observant eater that I am, I don’t think I would have noticed. The mix up never saw it’s way to a table. So if an accident happens and nobody is around to see it … did it really happen?
The aforementioned Katie Birmingham strikes me as an interesting character. I’ve been eyeballing her for the past few minutes. She’s got a demeanor that I can only describe as “smiley cutesy.” While she’s had a few years off from the restaurant biz to relax, it’s nice to see someone bring a smile to the forefront. I suspect that’ll remain a fixture of Noon; however, only time will tell how the stresses of your own little joint will hold up. I’m about 99% sure this is the Katie Birmingham that used to work at Kilpatrick Stockton.
Fear not my fellow foodies, this former lawyer does know how a thing or two about food. In the past, she has worked with Günter Seeger and under Anne Quatrano as the sous-chef de cuisine at Bacchanalia. The menu here fits nicely on one page and seems to represent its architect very well. A couple of salads and soups show up, but the focus is on a dozen or so sandwiches. Some cool … most warm … there seems to be a little bit for every palate. The breakfast menu (cutely named “before noon”) is served until 10:30 in the am. Hopefully I can pull myself out of bed one of these days to try it. Noon opens daily at 7:30 and close sometime around 3. If you plan on showing up on the weekend … don’t bother … they won’t be here.
So early reports are that this place fits me like a glove. I’ll be back … and if today’s meal has been any indication – it will be often. Still, it’s a first impression, so let’s not get carried away … if they want my never ending appreciation, they gotta do this time in and time out.
Insider’s Tip: While the address is 1010 Peachtree, the restaurant is actually on the Crescent Ave side of the road … in between 11th and 12th. Buddha … OUT!
Noon Midtown Restaurant Address & Information:
1080 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 6, Atlanta, GA 30309 // P: 404.496.4891 // Noon Midtown Website // Noon Midtown Menu (pdf)