Rarely do we visit a restaurant that is considered to be a true locals place. While dining at The National Restaurant in Athens Georgia I had the pleasure to meet Erin, the marketing wiz for the restaurant, and we got to talking about the place. And she told me that over 50% of the clientele are not only returning guests, but some of them eat there two times per day.
It’s almost like their kitchen away from their own kitchen. Only without the mess, the clean up and the hard work.
Now that tells you a lot about the place.
Why is The National Restaurant So Popular With the Athenians?
The National’s restaurant’s goal is to give you the same feeling you would if you were traveling in Europe and dining at the cute restaurants and cafes there. The restaurant is intimate, yet not small.
They have a great bar with a ton of unique drinks and cocktails, plus a great wine selection and beers from all sorts of microbreweries local and national.
Chef Peter Dale is born and raised in Athens. He left for his culinary studies and internships that took him to Europe. Now he is back in his hometown and preparing creations for his fellow Athenians and visitors.
What’s cool about the location is that you wouldn’t know it’s a restaurant until you are up close. Since we aren’t from the area we drove past it several times because the actual sign for the restaurant is almost hidden. The restaurant is in a restored 1950s Plymouth car dealership and tire recap plant.
Wanna See What Dinner Looks Like at The National- Photo Tour
The menu is printed every day, because there are usually a lot of new dishes added and some taken away. So even though you will see some of the foods I’m mentioning, you might be in for great surprises as well.
The Starter Dishes
Stuffed Medjool Dates with celery, manchego cheese and smoked paprika
Boquerones (anchovies) pickled chilies, caperberries and tomato garlic toast
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with herb crema
Pan Seared Maine Scallops with mashed carrots with harissa, brown butter, baby greens, wilted kale and blood orange
Grilled Hanger Steak – Angus Beef punched with fingerling potatoes, seared broccoli, frisee, horseradish cream, marcona almond-piquillo pepper relish
The Vegetable Plate with warm bulgur wheat with butternut squash and dill, fried cauliflower with harissa and yogurt, sauteed turnips with kumquats, garlic oil and za’atar, kale and red cabbage slaw, beet tzatziki with pomegranate and mint
Portuguese Custard Tarts with cinnamon whipped cream
Information for Visiting The National Restaurant
I highly recommend making a reservation, especially if there is a band in town. Or even more crazier, a graduation or special event at the University.
232 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601, United States