Staycaytion secret Vinings Jubilee is the charming centerpiece holding a collection of boutiques and one-of-a-kind specialty stores nestled in a winding town center. With turn-of-the-century architecture, the family-owned center surrounds a clock tower and white buildings, some brick, some siding, amid the nostalgia of lanterns. Easily located in the back row of the center, Paces & Vine has easy parking right out the front door and ample outdoor dining space.
Dine-around Atlantans may recognize that Paces & Vine is owned by Dave Green from The Select, a popular Jewish destination adjacent to the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center especially with Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and other events there.
General Manager Michael Kunz extols that Paces & Vine bistro-style smaller plates menu aligns with its wine menu. In response to how COVID has affected Paces & Vine, he observed that seniors didn’t come out as much, as customers skew younger. At one point, they closed for lunch, but then recreated a more casual format where orders were taken at the bar, self-seating, minimizing contact and not waiting for the check.
In terms of dinner, the restaurant went from 10 traditional structured entrees to five full-size ones, yielding to a huge list of shareable starters and salads available in half portions. Removing some seating, they added Plexiglas between tables, and are in the process of expanding the patio now with built-in heat lamps, seating 45 and soon longer-term loosening of COVID rules, seating 90.
Kunz, whose background is in wine management, notes the intense new movement and interest in wines and proffers recommendations for both value wines and more upscale ones. Of the former, he said, “By the glass, a white burgundy /chardonnay from North California that is clean and crisp with no oak is our Brocard $10 a glass. Another good try would be Chateau Bordeaux for $11 a glass.” He also recommends red blends that are “super easy, cleanly made, laissez faire like merlot with Cabernet.”
Moving more upscale, but not super precious by the bottle, Kunz suggests, “Most people’s heads today are into red wine. A good choice would be Pax, a Syrah $88-a- bottle from the Sonoma hillside, the next wave out of California with high alcohol content with subtle dewy, very food-friendly with notes of olive, black pepper, very savory. Better wines have no sulfur additives, and drink like European wines.”
Sampled Menu Items
Top choices: kale salad and fish preparation.
The kale salad was a bounteous bouquet of tastes, colors and flavors. Feta bites, watermelon radish, sunflower seeds, topped with shards of candied ginger. A special presentation.
The fish dishes were very well “chef prepared,” moist on the inside, well braised exterior.
Starter: Sea bass on black wild grain rice, firm button mushrooms, side of zippy spicy sauce.
Tuna poke: Brilliant purply cubes were smothered in black sesame seeds, nori, ponzu, avocado, wontons, $14.
Butternut squash soup: Pistachio garni, curry oil. Rich and thick, $7.
Kale salad: Mandarin orange dressing, over sunflower seeds, feta, radish, with shards of candied ginger on fresh kale made this a top choice.
House Caesar: Fresh romaine and generous shreds of quality parmesan, house-made croutons. Nice shareable salad. Not for anchovy lovers; more on the mild side.
Sea bass: Orange miso, pickled shitake, baby bok choy, over black rice. The fish was divine and perfectly prepared. The rice was on the crunchy side, $18.
Charred salmon: Over firm broccolini and colorful purple cabbage and sweet potato gratin. Contrast in tastes, sweet and savory champagne Dijon cream. An artistic Picasso palette of contrasting shapes and colors, $26.
Brussels sprouts: Nice sized portion with accents of raw red onion. Intense sweet and spicy flavor. Could have used less oil.
Made in house, the most interesting of which is the Apple Galette, a rustic individual apple pie with the dough pinched, wrapped and topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. ìì
Paces & Vine at 4300 Paces Ferry Road is closed Mondays. There is live music on Thursday nights with special drinks for ladies.