Tucked into Joel Brasserie's former home is Local Three. You'll never see it driving down Northside but fortunately people seem to know where to find it. On a Wednesday night there wasn't a table to be had without a reservation. Good on ya.
The space has been completely transformed from its former self. Not to take anything away from the current occupant I am still a little bit in mourning over Joel. There just isn't enough French in Atlanta and the city is being eaten up with farm to table and southern concepts. Local Three is both of these and to their credit they are doing it very well.
I find the menu to be wallet friendly if you're looking to get a few interesting bites on a budget. They do offer very small bites, regular appetizers then salad course, cheese and chacuterie courses and full on entrees (those are pricier at $18 and up).
There are charming country store salt shakers on all the tables. Mismatched garage sale style but you won't need it even once. Everything is seasoned correctly.
Creamy celery root soup with lobster. Exellent silky texture and mild yet distinct flavor. Solid vehicle for the distinct garnishes of lobster and truffle. Generous portion.
Pumpkin Pie Ravioli with sage brown butter and pumpkin seeds.
Classically delicious combination. My only criticism would be the pasta was a bit thick for the proportion of filling. Flavoring was solid and well balanced. Try this with a sweeter reisling.
Cornmeal crusted fried oysters over grits. This is a spectacular dish. Generous portion of fat crispy cornmeal fried gems. The grits miraculously stayed soft and creamy for the duration of consumption. What really brings this dish together in an elevated way is the dark savory onion jus. It has a iron skillet reduced down homey yet elegant taste. Don't miss this one. If I didn't have table manners I may have licked the bowl.
Entree Duck confit cassoulet. We split it. The waiter offered to have it put in two bowls prior to bringing it to the table. It's so rare to see this on a menu. Out came two iron crocks of the white bean garlicky crusty meat concoction. Exquisite duck. Tender delicately seasoned beans with smoked sausage bits inside. What really was impressive is the seasoning in cassoulet can go horribly overboard especially in the salt department but that didn't happen here. It had such subtle flavor and a cozy feel. It's everything you expect in a cassoulet. The portion even in half is generous to be prepared to share or take some home.
Dessert Chocolate Hazelnut tart with lemon curd.
Gorgeous dome of ganache over an exquisite hazelnut dense mousse with a cookie base. The flavor is dead on. The lemon curd was the miss on the plate. While the lemon flavor and texture was solid the finish was gamey, with what both myself and my companion felt was duck fat. Order it but pass on the lemon schmear.
Very attentive service. I'll return to try some more items on the menu. Be warned: it's very loud during the rush hour times but worth losing your voice for a short time.