Grazing: First Look: Parker's on Ponce

A new steakhouse in Decatur

Last week, Our Fearless Leader finally uttered the "r" word: recession. Never mind that anyone who has rolled a cart in a grocery store or coasted to a gas pump has known the word has been applicable for months. Now it's an official part of reality. We've been in a recession for a year.

Given that, it's surprising that restaurants, especially higher-end restaurants, continue to open. My bank account says "burger," not "steak," so it felt almost decadent to show up at a new steakhouse last week. Parker's on Ponce (116 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-924-2230) is located in the former Mick's building across from the courthouse in downtown Decatur.

The restaurant seems huge – all restaurants look huge to me these days, owing to their epidemic emptiness – but Parker's space is broken up into several dining rooms. We ate in the front room, where a few other tables were seated.

It's been years since I was in the building, so I'm not sure how much remodeling has occurred. The space is warmly lit, almost minimalist in décor, and features a few glowing fireplaces. I saw my first Christmas decorations of the year here – a few poinsettias and a silvery stocking.

Our server gave us the scoop. The restaurant, more than a year in planning, has been opened by brothers JT and Chris Scott, who earlier worked at Mick's. (They are the sons of the late Tom Scott, DeKalb County's longtime tax commissioner.) Chef is David Hartshorn, who earlier was the chef at Einstein's in Midtown.