No. 246 – Locally-Inspired Italian in Downtown Decatur

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Decatur welcomed its newest restaurant, No. 246, recently with an evening in support of one of Atlanta’s favorite causes, the Atlanta Community Food Bank. No, 246, which just opened to the public in mid-July, is a new partnership between Chef Ford Fry (owner and executive chef of JCT. Kitchen and Bar) and Chef Drew Belline (formerly chef de cuisine at Floataway Café). Featuring Italian-inspired dishes that rely on the local community for seasonal ingredients, Chef Belline has said, “the menu will be driven by what local producers have to offer.”

I had the pleasure of having dinner at No. 246 as part of one of their “friends and family” pre-opening night dinners back in July. Below is a look at what we drank, ate, and saw at No. 246. Our first taste of No. 246 was chosen from a limited menu, so my return visit was a much-anticipated chance to explore the No. 246 full menu - including choosing from the selection of toasts (I’m looking at you, wood oven roasted figs, vinegar, almonds, basil) and the meat and cheese plates. And of course, the selection of handcrafted signature cocktails begs revisiting, especially for one what I think is the best Pimm’s Cup in the city, made a little different with the addition of Cynar, an artichoke liqueur (seriously good). Additionally, I always welcome the chance to dive into a cocktail menu with my good friends from local Atlanta cocktail blog, Our Libatious Nature – their expert opinions (and tastebuds) are a welcome addition to any night involving drinks, so having one half of OLN, Nicky, along for dinner was a treat, as always!

The only seats available for reservation at No. 246 are at the Chef’s Counter (all other seating is first come, first seated). While I haven’t yet had the opportunity to sit at the Chef’s Counter, what an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with Chef Drew Belline by sitting in the four seats right next to his work station. Reservations for two or for four are available between 6:30 and 9:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and for $50.00 per person the Chef will prepare an impromptu five-course menu filled with delicious Italian-inspired cuisine. Plus you get the chance to chat with the kitchen staff, learn about the food you’re enjoying, and have a front-row seat in the fast-paced kitchen.

Additionally, on Monday nights, you can be a part of a new local tradition: Spaghetti Supper at No. 246. For $24.00 per person, enjoy a four-course meal of an ever-changing menu based on local, seasonal ingredients. The menu may look something like this: the restaurant’s signature toasts with two housemade spreads (such as wood oven roasted eggplant with chilies and mint and cannellini beans with braised cavolo nero and Parmesan), a salad with local greens, choice of a spaghetti dish (combinations could include clams, garlic, parsley and lemon; No. 246 meatballs, Parmesan, San Marzano and basil; or Carbonara with bacon, crispy farm egg and soft herbs), and a dessert course featuring No. 246′s yummy gelato.

There are lots of delicious reasons to visit No. 246 – what will get you there for a great Italian meal?

WHERE: No. 246 - 129 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA
678-399-8246

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Welcome to No. 246 - Decatur's newest restaurant, opened Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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Pull up a chair and sample some of Mixologist Lara Creasy's libations.

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First things first - the drinks menu (subject to change, of course).

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Pimm's Cup, No Choke - quite possibly one of the best Pimm's Cups in town. Pimm's, lemon, Cynar (artichoke liqueur), muddled cucumber, housemade limoncello

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The Old Pal - Old Overholt Rye, Campari, Punt E Mes. Like an old friend - warm, endearing, comforting.

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Aperol Spritz - Aperol, Prosecco, soda water, orange slice, blood orange bitters, pink peppercorns. Fizzy and fun!

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What would an Italian restaurant be without fresh crusty bread with rich olive oil and kosher salt? It's a perfect beginning.

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Local arugula with lemony garlic anchovy dressing, parmesan - spicy greens in a light, refreshing dressing. More, please!

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Simplicity in a plate of spaghetti - Georgia white shrimp, garlic, pequin chilies, breadcrumbs

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For the meat lovers (this was my hubby's favorite): Skirt steak - wood oven roasted, romesco, roasted potatoes

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Dessert for when you just don't have any room for dessert: Gelato - mint and espresso. A light end to a delicious meal - the mint was, by far, some of the best gelato I've ever tasted.

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Thoughtful, minimal decor on clean white walls - nothing overdone to distract from the food!

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Simple. Casual. Elegant.

No. 246 on Urbanspoon

Full disclosure: No. 246 graciously hosted us for Friends and Family Night and our bill was comped by the house - some photos above are from that event, while others are from subsequent visits that were not complimentary. In both cases, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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  1. No. 246 in Decatur Will Close Next Week For Filming of ‘ACOD’ | March 21, 2012

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