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Omnivore - Lunch at Empire State South

Hugh Acheson brings his cooking to Atlanta

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  • Cliff Bostock

I went to lunch Tuesday at the new Empire State South, the restaurant opened in Midtown by Hugh Acheson, owner-chef of Five & Ten and the National in Athens. Nick Melvin, formerly of Parish, is the day-to-day chef of the restaurant.

I wish this photograph did the lunch I had justice. It's pan-roasted trout topped with charred corn, served with baby eggplant (hidden under the fish) and okra with buttery almond slivers. As good as the trout was, the vegetables were mind-blowing for the way Acheson ramps up and plays with their flavors.

Despite opening only a day earlier, the restaurant was running smoothly during my visit. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I'll have more to say in "Grazing" in a few weeks.