Food & Chefs: Breaking Chews! Tiny Lou's

Image Credit: David Danzig

Published by: David Danzig on Thursday August 2nd, 2018

David Danzig

After a colossal amount of anticipation, I finally made it to the all-new Tiny Lou’s that has opened in the reimagined 1920’s-built Hotel Clermont on Ponce de Leon in the Poncy Highlands.   

Breaking Chews!  Tiny Lou'sBreaking Chews!  Tiny Lou's

Named for the 1950’s dancer who used to groove in the hotel’s Gypsy Room (which preceded the current Clermont Lounge strip club), the legend of Tiny Lou was that she was the dancer who refused to dance for Hitler.   And it’s this spirit of irreverent nostalgic kitsch which breathes life into the homage to a French-American brasserie.

Breaking Chews!  Tiny Lou'sBreaking Chews!  Tiny Lou's

Follow a pink neon sign down a staircase to the dining rooms which lie a floor below ground level.  The décor is understated but frilly French and very mid-century modern.  The menu stays within the rails of traditional brasserie guidelines with small plates like steak tartare, oysters on the half shell, foie gras and escargot.  Mains include steak frittes, lamb chops, trout almandine and a double-stacked burger with gruyere, charred balsamic onion, house bacon jam.  Executive chef Jeb Aldrich formerly of 4th and Swift and Noble Fin brings a steady hand to the cuisine which comes out as metropolitan comfort food served as pretty plates in a lively, timewarp-like environment.   And absolutely need to save room for pastry chef Claudia Martinez’ masterpiece desserts including the “Ode to Blondie,” a brown butter blondie with curried bananas flambé and buttermilk ice cream and a glorious crepe cake with 17 layers of thin crepes covered in icing.

Breaking Chews!  Tiny Lou'sBreaking Chews!  Tiny Lou's

When dinner is through, be sure to ride the elevator to the sixth-story rooftop bar which feels like a yesteryear backyard barbecue with rum drinks served in plastic cups, a street-food cart with sweet and savory crepe options, outdoor games, lawn chairs and a westward view of Ponce City Market and the sunset.  It’s quite the hipster scene.  Above you, the original Hotel Clermont tower, a 10,000+ pound, 65-foot, neon-covered steel obelisk.

Breaking Chews!  Tiny Lou'sBreaking Chews!  Tiny Lou's

As an overall experience, Tiny Lou’s, The Hotel Clermont and the roof lounge are a home run, a rare glimpse into an Atlanta past that has been spared the wrecking ball and has come back and a stylish twist that does not take itself too seriously.

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