Atlanta’s food scene is nothing if not trendy, so it’s very refreshing to find a restaurant that is able to find a beautiful balance between Atlanta’s rich history and modernity. The Livingston is a restaurant named after Livingston Mims (Mayor of Atlanta). Located in the historic Georgian Terrace Hotel, the restaurant sits on the site of Mims’ home, built in 1879. The food and the environment speak to a level of sophistication that isn’t flashy or in-your-face as some restaurants are want to do. There is a 20’s glamour feeling to the spacious room, but the food is warm and comforting and decidedly Southern. Such a great eating experience on every level.
Naturally, every good meal starts with a good cocktail. I couldn’t resist trying the restaurant’s namesake, especially after seeing that they include Johnny Drum bourbon, a very smooth high-end bourbon that is a tad difficult to find in stores. The mint is definitely refreshing, but before you think this is just your basic mint julep with a new label, the lemon and sweet tea keep things new and definitely out of the ordinary. Though I do caution you, this cocktail goes down quick and easy so try to pace yourself or it’s effects will sneak up on you (That’s what she said?).
I have a weird relationship with crab cakes. While I do have a bit of food allergy to shellfish, I just can’t turn down a good crab cake. Two crisped crab cakes, pickeled vegetables on top, and a mustard seed cream sauce? Sign. Me. Up. Each bite is so well balanced and the size of the crab cakes aren’t overwhelming. Great as a starter on it’s own, or as an entree with an added side.
Like most good restaurants, The Livingston utilizes a seasonal menu, taking advantage of only the best in-season ingredients. On my visit, the Summer menu was still being served (the Fall menu is currently out). The Market Vegetable dish (every changing from week to week so you know you’re always getting something fresh) was a tomato risotto mixed with charred vegetables like carrots, green beans, and brussels sprouts that was light but still very satisfying and more artisanal than your typical mixed vegetables offering.