Named after the ship that brought Holocaust survivors (including co-owner Jennifer Johnson’s mother and grandmother) to New York City in 1949, The General Muir exudes classic New York sensibilities, both in the ambiance and in the authentic, ingredient-driven fare. Floor-to-ceiling windows lend an airiness to the Atlanta restaurant and balance out the black-and-white subway tile motif, while the kitchen doles out plate after plate of inspired Jewish cuisine.
Co-owned by Jennifer and Ben Johnson, Chef Todd Ginsberg and Shelley Sweet – the quartet responsible for one of Atlanta’s most popular brunch spots, West Egg – The General Muir has been an instant hit since opening doors at Emory Point in late January 2013.
Ginsberg, a 2014 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for Best Chef Southeast (for his work at this restaurant) has developed a savory set of breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus peppered with new takes on old classics.
Bagels, cured meats and much of the ingredients are made in house. — Photo courtesy of The General Muir
House-smoked and cured pastrami and corned beef, daily baked pastries and bagels are highlights in their various incarnations–from breakfast’s bagel and smears and brunch’s pastrami and egg sandwich to lunch’s Reuben (the best in Atlanta) and dinner’s Not Pimento Cheese Jar (with pastrami marmalade).
Brunch is a popular affair, so arrive early. It's full of opportunities for sampling the menu. Get The General Mary, the pastry basket and the fish and potatoes. Lunch, a bit quieter, depending on the day, calls for a round of poutine fries and the aforementioned Reuben (or the smoked trout salad if you’re watching your waistline). Corned beef gets doubled-up for dinner. And if you’re feeling especially carnivorous, the Gruyere Burger with crispy pastrami, Russian dressing and caramelized onions is tough to beat.
You’d also do well to take advantage of the nightly specials (fried chicken Fridays) and the restaurant's regularly occurring special events and dinners. For instance, April will include a Passover Seder dinner (on April 14 and 15) and regular pop-up offerings from visiting chef Jarrett Stieber of Eat Me Speak Me. Stay in-the-know by following the restaurant on social media.
With the massive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hulking just across the street, and the scenic Emory campus just a stone’s throw away, the area has long been in need of a reputable neighborhood refuge like this. And, thanks to the generously poured cocktails (inventive little escapades of their own) and a spacious back patio, we anticipate being regulars all through the summer . . . and beyond.
The light-filled dining room and casual cool decor make this a popular spot to visit for all three meals. — Photo courtesy of The General Muir