* Click here for rating key
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails Restaurant Review: A modern downtown skyscraper shelters an inviting space that intrigues with a gentle blend of down-home and sophisticated elements. At the entrance, a massive wall displays a black-and-white mural depicting a rural scene, while floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room admit a view of a segment of the city's skyline. The bar is crafted of Georgia marble, and planed white oak adorns much of the interior. The kitchen hitches its star to an unabashed use of Southern raw materials, such as Sapelo Island clams, Georgia olive oil and UGA caviar. Executive chef Todd Richards grows some of the products, such as pea tendrils, outside the restaurant's grand windowscape. What doesn't appear on the menu are any of the worn-out ho-hums that have been done to death in many so-called contemporary Southern restaurants. Instead, Sea Island red peas, bland if left to their own devices, get a spicy treatment and are paired with head-on shrimp, collard green pistou and deviled egg. Grab a glass of the Bernard Griffin Sangiovese rosé or the Albinea Canali Lambrusco. Ryan Reardon's smartly designed, extensive wine list will offer multiple options for the dishes. Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner ably pairs with the clams and crispy pork belly. For dessert, consider the intricately arranged squares of sweet potato cheesecake in a gingersnap crust, with house-made butter pecan ice cream, pecans and marshmallow for companions.