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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Spence Restaurant Review: Atlanta-based restaurant design firm The Johnson Studio conceived the interior: high ceilings, open areas with a full view of the galley kitchen, and suspended bottle-storage shelving over communal tables. Retaining the sweeping fenestration that embraces the street-scape, the team produced a comfortable, contemporary space. “Top Chef All-Stars” winner Richard Blais launched The Spence but departed for other endeavors, leaving the operation in the hands of Wesley True, whose tenure as executive chef lasted only a few months. The menu changes daily and is driven by what's seasonal and fresh. Small plates are perhaps the most intriguing offerings. We like the parchment cooked Vidalia spring onions that arrive in a white wrapper. Spoon them onto the accompanying bread slices spread with goat cheese and dotted with thinly sliced radish. Caesar salad is made with baby kale --- a worthy alternative to lettuce. Southern tastes may appear in the form of pan-sautéed sweet wild-caught catfish, trimmed out with mussels and clams. Our one disappointment was the hanger steak, which lacked flavor, but the "burnt" broccoli that came with it was worthy of center-of-plate status. Imaginative desserts include strawberries with miniature scoops of lemon ice cream. The wine list is truly sexy, exploring little-known regions and grape types. It's divided into choices that may be familiar and those that invite daring exploration. But then, that describes the entire experience at this Midtown spot.