Omnivore - The Porter opens

This strange apparition, shot with my mediocre camera in practically no light, is the grilled Caesar salad at The Porter Beer Bar (404-223-0393), the latest gastropub to open in town.

Located in Little Five Points at 1156 Euclid Ave., The Porter has received a lot of attention since owner-chef Nick Rutherford and sous-chef Austin Dreier are both former employees of the defunct Seeger's, long regarded as one of the nation's best restaurants. Molly Gunn, Rutherford's fiancee and co-owner, also worked at Seeger's. Rutherford was last at the Chocolate Bar in Decatur, where he produced some of the city's most whimsical desserts.

This partial decontruction of the classic Caesar salad includes a grilled "boat" of Romaine lettuce, stuffed with white anchovies, aged Asisago and some garlicky croutons. My entree was a special of beef Stroganoff made with meatballs. It's great, slightly kinky food at low prices. And there are over 100 bottled and draft beers avaialable.

The new gastropub has been attracting capacity crowds, so you might want to go early....or late. It's open until midnight every day except Saturday night when it closes at 2 a.m. I'll have more to say in next week's Grazing column.

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