Atlanta's in-town crowd has been curiously taking in the developments and the news surrounding the build-up of Krog Street Market all year, the buzzed about 1920s warehouse space that will be home to various vendors, shops and restaurants when it's completed in 2015.
Located in the trendy Inman Park neighborhood along Krog Street, this market's central to the city, and it will provide a hub for commerce in town. The first opening at the market is the restaurant from Top Chef alum Eli Kirshtein.
Called The Luminary, Kirshtein's restaurant opened in August 2014 and takes over the space directly across the street from Krog Bar and adjacent to Craft Izakaya. Inside, you'll find elements of the French bistro blended with modern, minimalist sensibilities. p>
The overwhelming color palette is white, with large windows scattered about and a trendy 400-square-foot patio, which overlooks bustling Krog Street.
Dine on The Luminary's French plates, like the pork crepinette — Photo courtesy of The Luminary
A beautiful bar and a raw bar are the first things you see when you enter. Given the location, we anticipate the bar becoming a popular neighborhood destination for grabbing a glass of wine or a bottle of craft beer with a few oysters.
While the restaurant is decked in white table cloths, the attitude is more laid-back than you'd expect. Servers are friendly and eager to help, and menu items are approachable French. Like the restaurant itself, the menu is minimal with just a few entree, appetizer and side options.
You can drop a ton of money if you want, but you don't have to. Most entrees are in the low $20s.
If you're the type who bristles at noisy restaurants, don't come. Remember: This is a former warehouse with high ceilings and concrete floors, so it can get loud when the restaurant fills up.
But, if you're the type who craves a local, neighborhood spot with traditional French food, you'll like it.
Despite the celebrity chef buzz, The Luminary isn't pretentious. It isn't groundbreaking food that's exploring new realms of gastronomy; it's just a good, friendly French bistro that this neighborhood desperately needed.
Snag seafood at The Luminary's raw bar — Photo courtesy of The Luminary
The menu changes often, but it can include dishes like steak frites, chicken paillard and croque monsier.
To you Instagram-obsessed diners, fair warning: Presentation isn't a strong suit. The pork pastry with eggplant or crepinette may look like a dragon's egg covered in a mysterious yellow sauce. Is it beautiful? Certainly not. Is it breathtakingly delicious? Sure is.
Vegetarian options and vegetables in general don't have a large presence on the menu. Instead, you'll find ample meats drizzled with various sauces, and some raw seafood.
If you like to imbibe, you've come to the right place. You'll find a lengthy wine and beer list, offering options by the bottle and the glass at varying price points. The cocktails take over where the less than visually-inspiring plates left off.
You're bound to find something to suit your fancy from the mixed beverage front, which is candy-colored and exuding a range of flavors.
The vibe in the restaurant could be called trendy, but it's more likely to develop into a local, neighborhood eatery that's embraced by people who can walk or bike to it. Couples, friends, people in their 20s or in their 60s will find something about The Luminary that they like.
And, as the coming months show additional openings and more places to eat, linger and spend, we expect The Luminary to continue to draw people in and keep them there. It's just that kind of place.