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A New View in Brookhavenby By Katie Kelly Bell | Jezebel magazine | March 3, 2011
You might pop into Brookhaven’s newest bistro and pub, Kaleidoscope, and gather over a custom cocktail or Belgian beer, but you’ll likely end up staying for Executive Chef Joey Riley’s inventive global comfort food.
The space has a sleeker look than the average pub, divided into seated table dining and communal gathering; it’s decked out with warm wood tones, walls of glass and brick accents. Two long communal bars surrounded with ample barstool seating still leave plenty of room for a convivial gathering over the menu’s repertoire of traditional plates. But don’t get too comfy with tradition here—Riley, both chef and owner, earned his comfort food stripes as Buckhead Diner’s executive chef and likes to toss in a global twist or two.
The menu has the usual lineup of pub grub, including fish and chips, hangar steak and short ribs. Take note though—the simple offerings and pub atmosphere belie Riley’s sophisticated take. Tucked into a collection of straightforward dishes, you’ll find many a global surprise, such as glorious Chinese steamed buns with pork belly and hoisin or hamachi crudo with serrano, scallion, sesame and ponzu. The enormous whole fried catfish with Chinese black bean sauce, pickled ginger and lime wins points for the most stunning table presentation, and judging by the number of orders we saw, it’s a taste hit too.
Best bets include Riley’s mahi tostado, a crisp tortilla layered with green chile grits (I know it sounds weird, but it sure works), and seared mahi, topped with feta and guacamole, then finished with vibrant pasilla-charred tomato sauce. His award-winning burger slathered with a decadent layer of pimento cheese, green tomato chow chow and shredded coleslaw delivers unparalleled burger satisfaction. The nibbles (called “tastes” on the menu) work well too. Try the fries cooked in duck fat and served with a bacon mayonnaise (can you say “decadent?”) or the house pimento cheese with Tillamook cheddar and piquilla peppers. Calamari lovers will swoon over his crispy version with Meyer lemon aioli, jalapeños and okra.
An expansive beer list with lots of hefty Belgians, as well as an intelligent wine list with several interesting “by the glass” options, give this pub street cred. We also like The Brookhaven cocktail with Hendricks Gin, muddled cucumber and fresh lime (tastes great with the pork rinds dusted in togarashi, lime and pink Himalayan salt).
Come for the libations, stay for the cuisine. Riley and his team have assembled a buzz-worthy neighborhood joint with a little something for everyone.
Bistro and Pub
Village Place Brookhaven
1410 Dresden Drive, Suite 100