If you’ve ever tried to find a decent drinking establishment north of Atlanta, and particularly in East Cobb, you know the pickings are slim at best unless you’re looking for domestic beer or well drinks…Countless OTPers for years were forced to drive into town or hang out at an overcrowded restaurant bar where you may be served within 10 minutes if you’re lucky. Finally Stem, an offshoot of the popular Seed Kitchen & Bar, opened this past fall and has thus far exceeded all expectations. It’s a beautiful and very intimate space that is attached to Seed with a separate entrance but no sign.
Billed as a wine bar, Stem offers a large selection of wines at really good values, but what I really love is their by the glass selection which is probably the best in Atlanta! Who else can boast Bergstrom and David Duband pinots; they also do a cheaper 3 oz pour and flights. The food side of the house focuses on an eclectic variety of tapas (with some Spanish influence), or small shared plates, where the creativity and talent in the Seed kitchen shine. Think blistered patron peppers, tuna crudo, and grilled octopus. You can also kick it up a notch with a selection of raw oysters, seared foie gras and even roasted bone marrow. On my last visit we had a killer house made burrata and some local cured GA ham.
Other favorites were the tuna crudo and the chorizo stuffed, bacon wrapped medjool dates…
In addition to the wine, they have a full bar and spin out some really cool cocktails. They also have daily specials that pair a unique dish and a wine of the som’s choosing. Jason Raymond is the brainchild/som/manager and he and his dapper crew are one of the main reasons this place is special. The service and attention to detail is amazing and they couldn’t be more knowledgeable and hospitable. If I didn’t now better I wold think I was in NYC or a new trendy spot in Chicago…not in East Cobb. Stem is another notch in the belt for an ever growing high quality restaurant scene in the area. Just a few years ago most people would have never driven from the city to sample spots OTP, but with the advent of Seed, Common Quarter, Little Alley and what Ryan Pernice is doing at Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, the dining scene north of Atlanta is on fire. I’m excited to see what else is on the horizon and just prey it’s all sustainable.