Stocking over 50 wines by the bottle and another 30 by the glass, Cellar 56 has become a haven for both those who can rattle off grape varietals like their ABCs, and those who simply want to step it up a notch from the good ol' Charles Shaw blend.You'd think the combination of "wine bar" and "Buckhead" would result in a certain snooty, hide-yo'-kids-hide-yo'-wallet kind of atmosphere—the kind where you're simply expected to understand why, exactly, 2001 was indeed a faaabulous year for Tempranillos. But instead of putting on airs (and extra zeros on the menu prices), Cellar 56 manages to remain a charming, cozy little hideaway amid Atlanta's toniest 'hood. Stocking over 50 boutique wines by the bottle and another 30 by the glass, Cellar has become a haven for both those who can rattle off grape varietals like the ABCs, and those who (ahem) simply want to try something a notch or two above the good old Charles Shaw Blend. (And if you fall into the latter camp, fear not: the Cellar staff is educated and trained to gently guide wine amateurs to their perfect glass, no hoity-toity 'tude included.)
In our humble opinion, the finest glass of wine in the land is nothing without a good snack by its side. Luckily, Chef Jeffrey McGar's regionally inspired menu of small plates is crafted to pair perfectly with the boutique vinos, and he's a pro at turning traditionally heavy dishes into tapas-sized portions. (We're not surprised he's a master at his craft—after all, the man did train with the U.S. Culinary Olympic Team.) Dishes like seared salmon atop bulgar wheat salad, a petit filet "micro meal" of beef tenderloin and truffle potatoes and a small plate of surf and turf that includes Ahi tuna and teriyaki beef strip represent the sheer diversity of the chef's inspirations (and, yes, Olympic-worthy talent). But one mustn't leave this Cellar without trying the crowd favorite: a spicy, rich, award-winning macaroni and cheese spiked with roasted poblano peppers and Serrano ham. Thankfully, it's perfectly acceptable to order all of the above, plus (of course) another glass of Malbec. All in the name of tapas-style dining. And finishing it all off with Krispy Kreme bread pudding? That's how we like to be wined and dined.
Petit Filet "Micro Meal," $10.56
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna & Teriyaki NY Strip Steak Duo, $11.56
Guinness-Braised Short Rib, $8.56
Chef's Signature Shrimp & Grits, $7.56
Seared Salmon, $8.56
Mon. - Sat., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.