Grazing: Restaurant Eugene reinvented

It’s been about five years since Linton Hopkins opened Restaurant Eugene (2277 Peachtree Road, 404-355-0321). During my first visit – before the restaurant had received much press — I showed up dressed in my usual slothful way, direct from the gym, as I recall. Wayne was similarly attired.

As soon as we walked through the door of the restaurant, we felt out of place. Nearly every man in the dining room was in a coat and tie. We were jetted to a table in the bar area, where we would not spoil the view for the crowd of old-line Buckhead residents. (OK, actually, we didn’t have a reservation and the hospitable Gina Hopkins, Linton’s wife, fit us in.)

I’ve only returned to the restaurant a few times since then, switching my allegiance to the wonderfully zany Holeman and Finch, the gastro-pub that Hopkins opened next door for drinking and snacking. Not the least of my motivations, too, was price. The menu at H&F is mainly small plates of Southern-inspired comfort food while Eugene’s pricey menu offered more traditional meals made with brilliant, wallet-draining attention to detail.

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