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Updated: 5:11 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Posted: 4:09 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Look: Eleanor’s, Smyrna



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First Look: Eleanor’s, Smyrna photo
Becky Stein
Eleanor's, the new bar extension inside Muss and Turner's.

By Bob Townsend

For the AJC

Eleanor’s is a speakeasy-style bar that also serves as an extension of the newly renovated Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna. Named for, Eleanor Seale, M&T’s longtime controller and “de facto mom,” it’s a special hideaway for the restaurant’s dedicated regulars. And for those in-the-know, it’s a “secret” destination for a drink and a snack.

The look: The entrance is cleverly disguised as a metal walk-in cooler door. It opens to a dimly lit corridor that turns a corner to reveal a dusky atmospheric space. The design by Atlanta’s ai3 features rough-hewn reclaimed wood walls with built-in wine racks, and hefty sculptural elements like gears and sprockets. Above the bar back, one-way mirror windows peak into M&T’s dining room.

The scene: One evening, the bar was humming with groups of late happy hour and early dinner drinkers. Tucked into a series of nooks around the edges of the room, several parties could be heard more than seen, as clinking glasses and lively conversation emanated from the shadows.

The menu: A short list, simply titled “eats,” contains offerings such as a bowl of chicharrones with hot pepper vinegar ($3.53) and beef tartar ($14.93), charcuterie ($13.93) and cheese ($17.93) plates. Recently, beer and cheddar Welsh rarebit ($10.93) and Moroccan-spiced duck confit with cucumber raita ($12.53) were among the specials.

The drinks: The beer, wine and cocktail menus are much more expansive. The Pimp’s Cup ($9) is a take on the classic Pimm’s Cup, pumped up with cognac. A recent draft beer list included Terrapin Easy Rider ($6), Great Divide Titan IPA ($7) and Wild Heaven Invocation ($8). Look for raffish boilermaker combos, such as Boss Hogg, with a shot of Redemption Rye and a bottle of Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager.

The extras: Eleanor’s has it’s own exit and the bar stays open late every night with several snacks still available after the kitchen closes. If you’re looking for a secluded spot for a small party, check out the private dining room, which seats ten or more.

Dining Out

Eleanor’s, Smyrna

4 p.m. -- late daily

Snacks and plates, $3.53-$17.93

1675 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 309, Smyrna, 770-434-1114, www.mussandturners.com

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