We thought we were going to miss MARKET. It was like a good friend, you know? Seriously, any regular reader (or anyone who remembers JEZ’s epic relaunch party last March), knows that we loved chilling at this former Peachtree staple on the ground floor of W Atlanta - Buckhead. But, we digress: With time comes change, and we’re all about looking ahead.
Which brings us to Cook Hall, the new gastropub now inhabiting MARKET’s old digs. Nostalgia be damned, because we like what we see—a relaxed environment with some kickin’ bites and one of the most unique beverage programs around.
Gone are the clean lines, modern touches and burled oaks of the previous incarnation; the atmosphere of Cook Hall nods to the hardwoods and Edison bulbs now populating Atlanta’s culinary landscape.
One aspect that remains, however, is the mind—and the man—behind the food, and this scores major points. Chef David Gross is still overseeing the kitchen, and we’re glad. Dishes like the pork belly sliders with chili mayonnaise and the crispy duck tacos are sharable, can’t-miss plates from the all-day menu. If your morning is free, try the simple-yet-deliberate breakfast and brunch offerings—like eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. Sip on a Liquid Breakfast (a cocktail of Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, Cio Cara Amaro, beer syrup and egg) with your meal—because as good as the menu is, it serves to accent the central focus of Cook Hall: the bar. An impressive lineup of craft cocktails holds its own nicely, thanks to James-Beard winning beverage director Belinda Chang (formerly of MoMA’s resto, The Modern). But we’re most wild about the signature cocktail kit: a tray of all the ingredients necessary for you to mix, muddle, shake or pour your own sips tableside. The bevy of homemade juices, bitters, syrups, garnishes and craft liquors comes with recipes—to be discarded by the fearless, of course.