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Three's Company: Food, Drink and Hospitality Come First at Local Three

By Kelly Church

For Atlanta, GA's Local Three Kitchen& Bar, making people feel good in a dining setting is the company's sole purpose. Local Three is an ode to two things: a shared philosophy of food, drink and hospitality between three friends. Since December 2010, owners Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner has been serving up a dining experience that includes fresh food, carefully crafted drinks and a fun experience.

"The inspiration for Local Three is our desire to move a meal beyond a simple transaction?and into an experience," Hall says. "We want people to eat great food with no pretention in a fun atmosphere. Your server is essentially your guide through the evening."

Hall says Local Three buys local as often as possible, with the website saying, "We buy the freshest ingredients we can find." That means that Local Three often cooks with seasonal menu items and the menu frequently changes. Alongside this desire for freshness, Local Three believes in being sustainable, both for the environment and customers' pocketbooks. Menu items are generally kept in the $20 range for adults, including the breakfast buffet.

The menu features a lot of lighter, sustainable meals, featuring ingredients like sunflower sprouts, okra and sesame seed lavosh. The dinner menu highlights a spin on a favorite down-home meal ? chicken and waffles. The Local Three version: duck and waffles with a confit leg, malted waffle, fennel, blackberry and pistachios.

On the lunch menu, the blue plate is whatever special the restaurant is running that day with fresh ingredients, sold at market price. Hall says one thing customers always request, even with the changing menu, is the truffle parmesan popcorn. This snack can be ordered during lunch and dinner hours.

Something unique during dinner for groups of at least two is the Chef's Table. This food and wine pairing serves multiple courses, each with a different wine that is selected to perfectly complement the meal. This experience is designed to give wine and food lovers an opportunity to really see what Local Three has to offer. It's available for groups of two to four at $175 per person.

The restaurant also hosts events and, coming up, Local Three has a chocolate and wine dinner. At $70 per person, guests get the Local Three take on chocolate and wine, both individually and how they work together. The menu has a lobster risotto with a pineapple fennel relish and caramelized white chocolate; crispy pork belly with a milk chocolate brioche pudding and cherry vanilla gastrique; pan seared lamb with roasted smashed potatoes, blackberry barbeque and dark chocolate lamb sauce; and guanaja chocolate to finish, with caramel and hazelnuts.

In the spirit of Gene Wilder's recent passing, Hall says one lucky attendee will receive a golden ticket and what that comes with will be a surprise.

"How to describe Local Three?" Hall says. "Fun, delicious and welcoming. If there's some discovery and learning that happens along the way, that is an added bonus."

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