A couple of friends came with me to Parish Restaurant near Inman Park in Atlanta last night. We were a little concerned about some semi-negative reviews we came across, which accused the chicken of being dry, the food inconsistent, and the bread mediocre. We approached, however, with an open mind; as Juliet said, “I look to like, if looking liking move.”
The restaurant is situated in a lovely part of Inman Park, in a clean, smart brick building; parking is by complimentary valet.
PARISH is located in the heart of Inman Park in a historical Terminal Building built in 1890. The only remaining structure from an old pipe factory building had been abandoned for some time. With respect to the building’s fundamental spirit, Concentrics’ Bob Amick and Todd Rushing have restored the building to its original grandeur allowing patrons to relish the antiquated structure as they take in the organically funky vibe found throughout PARISH. The space features fully-restored crown moldings, antique Parisian sconces, red murano chandeliers, vaulted interior brick arches, a walnut and zinc bar, the original tin ceiling, refurbished windows, original exposed brick, a classic raw bar and a Vermont slate roof.
The interior is a beautiful mix: kind of Anthropologie meets New Orleans. Rich wood, sumptuous chandeliers, shabby chic ceiling, warm colors.
There’s a lovely porch in back, downstairs, by the takeout/market. Prices down there were very reasonable, too.
Everything at Parish is made with ingredients from local farms; one of my friends knows the owner of Jenny Jack Sun farms and was pleased to see their grits on the menu. The bread and butter were amazing: freshly-baked, thick-sliced wheat bread with soft butter that was sprinkled with sea salt…um, yes, thank you.
We chose to get several appetizers and one entree; we shared the sausage sampler plate (my favorite), a “picnic plate” (ham, pickled okra, pimento cheese, biscuits), a savory cheesecake (was NOT dessert–it was quichelike), and a HUGE plate of fried chicken with peas, beans and grits.
There was NOTHING to argue with in any of the dishes. We were all in agreement: taste, quality, portion size, presentation were all amazing. The sausage sampler, comprised of three good-sized, hand-formed patties with entirely different flavors and accompanied by chutney, was a standout to me. One of my companions didn’t care for the breading on the fried chicken (too thick for her), but I liked it–it was tasty and not greasy.
Drinks were off the chain, as well. One of the ladies and I had the Bee’s Knees and the Pimm’s Cup and were vastly pleased.
Dessert was lovely; we sampled a s’more-inspired dish and a bread pudding with an AMAZING sweet potato homemade ice cream–my favorite part.
Downstairs is a coffeehouse-like seating area and market/takeout counter that serves sandwiches, coffee, homemade ice cream, chips, wine and some fresh farm products like honey and fruit.
Service was extremely prompt, friendly and informative; our server knew all about the dishes and was able to make recommendations.
I’d absolutely make a trip to Atlanta for this place, and I’d have no reservations about the chicken, bread, butter or anything else!