A Peek Into Empire State South

koozie closeup

Empire State South has Atlanta buzzing, both literally and figuratively, and their coffee and wine programs are part of the allure. Jonathan Pascual is the guru behind the coffee bar, stocked with Counter Culture beans, and has a unique concoction to battle the Atlanta heat – “Georgia Coffee: Served in a 16-ounce Mason jar, the iced coffee comes creamed and sweetened. Shaken not stirred.” True enough, he employs a cocktail shaker to whip this one into a frothy delight. The coffee menu also lists our very favorite espresso preparation, the Cortado – “Served in a Gibraltar glass, the 4-ounce beverage is for someone who wants to taste the espresso but not be overwhelmed by steamed milk.”

On the wine side, wine director Steven Grubbs has assembled a delightful list, heavy on Burgundy and Riesling. We’ve already added them to our Thirsty Guide to Atlanta, and if you get there soon, you can take advantage of one of the best wine deals in town – a bottle of Claude Genet Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne for $40. This is a crazy good price, and a crazy good wine (see Grower Champagne, AKA Farmer Fizz), with a nose of toasted almonds and yeasty biscuits (is there such a thing?), followed by hints of vanilla, baked apples, a burst of lemon, and a finish that manages to be both crisp and creamy. No telling how much of this they have left in stock, but it’s a steal. And works wonders alongside their peach tart dessert.

We’ve yet to tap into the cocktail list in any significant way, but if the coffee and wine are any indication (not to mention the nice selection of American whiskey you can see behind the bar), there are delights there as well.

A peek inside. First, the coffee bar and the Georgia Coffee all wrapped up:
coffee bar
coffee
coffee koozie

Then, the selection behind the bar, and by the glass:
bar
glass

Finally, a happy table, graced with Claude Genet Champagne, oh, and some food!
champagne
farmer fizz
food

About Thirsty South

Dedicated to all things drinking well in the South.
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7 Responses to A Peek Into Empire State South

  1. John says:

    Very informative.

    Peek?

  2. Ah, yes, “peek” rather than “peak.” Thanks, John – now fixed!

  3. smith Hanes says:

    we’re loving this addition to our neighborhood. a glass of pinot grigio by the bocce court. late summer lazy days.

  4. Thanks Smith, living and working nearby ESS could be a very dangerous thing! And, yes, their bocce court is one of the nicest in town.

  5. Sylvia says:

    What a silly restaurant! The food is well-made but nothing special–and at their prices, it should be well-made. ESS does excel in one area, however: pretension. There are few things funnier than a Southern hipster, but the sommelier at ESS verges on the pathetic. Yes, this is a very silly place.

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