The goods: Morgan’s on the Beach is now Georgia’s Union, an airy ode to Southern cooking.
Ambience: Concrete walls, exposed rafters and rocks bordering the dining room give the former Joe Allen’s space a down-home, neighborhood-friendly vibe. A live moss wall, an orchid wall, massive potted trees, large crystal chandeliers and sconces filled with pillar candles create an effect akin to sitting outdoors, albeit with air conditioning and a roof.
The grub: Southern-style organic comfort food with an emphasis on local foods. Main courses are less than $20, appetizers average $8, house wine is $6 a glass and cocktails $10. Look for organic draft beer and specialty cocktails like the “Dirty Bird” (Wild Turkey, peppercorn and cucumber).
Dinner starts with a mini wooden crate of buckwheat biscuits, corn-flax muffins, whipped butter and Dansk Farms honey. Starters include fried frog legs, hush puppies and green tomatoes; the “Blue Collared” salad with baby greens, honey pecans, blue cheese, oyster mushrooms and golden beets; and smoked black grouper fish dip mixed with boiled potatoes and preserved lemons.
Fried chicken is a hefty chicken breast marinated in buttermilk and vinegar then topped with a honey drizzle, while the fried catfish can easily feed two. Sides like fried okra, candied yams and white corn grits round out the belly-filling fare. Finish with a mini- pecan pie topped with vanilla ice cream or the “bread in a cup” blending cornbread and banana pudding.
Verdict: The cuisine may be country, but the ideas are urbane at this neo-soul food outpost.