Seven Lamps: Craft Food & Drink in Buckhead

New Year, new restaurants to try. At the top of your list should be Seven Lamps, the new restaurant from co-owner and Executive Chef Drew Van Leuvan (formerly of ONE. midtown kitchen), now open in the Shops Around Lenox.

The restaurant takes its name from an essay by English art critic John Ruskin. The “lamps” are the seven principles of architecture – sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life, memory and obedience – principles that Chef Van Leuvan believes are applicable in the kitchen.

Architecture is important in creating an inviting ambiance at Seven Lamps. The triangular space is warm and intimate, with reclaimed wood from an old mill in North Georgia adding a rustic feel. Long tables mean you may be seated near strangers. The outdoor tables are sure to be packed as the weather warms up.

Seven Lamps is dedicated to craft food and drinks. That means a focus on house-made ingredients and intricate cocktails that may take a little longer to prepare.

You’ll have a hard time selecting among the effervescent, classically inspired and barrel aged cocktails created by Arianne Fielder, beverage manager and head “mixtress.” Try the Red Dawn (barrel aged Four Roses bourbon, Pur Likor spiced blood orange liqueur, Benedictine and black walnut bitters), or the Chilcano (house barrel aged Pisco Porton, smoked lime and Seven Lamps’ delicious ginger beer). If you’re in the mood for something sweet try the Crunch Punch, which is Peanut Butter Captain Crunch-infused Redemption Rye, vanilla syrup and cream with a dash of nutmeg.

Jerk sodas, made fresh in-house to order, offer a tempting non-alcoholic alternative.

The menu at Seven Lamps is a mix of small plates that are perfect for sharing and generously portioned main dishes. This guarantees you’ll find something perfect for whatever time you dine (Seven Lamps is open until 2am), as well as the number in your dining party.

Start with a sampling from Seven Lamps’ “Salted, Cured & Whipped” section. The Pate de Campagne, Foie Gras Torchon and Potted Smoked Salmon are made in-house. Next try the Silver $ Mushrooms, stuffed with pork rillette. The Savory Crepes, filled with wood grilled kale and served with a gruyere gratin, satisfy that creamy salty craving.

The selection of handmade pasta will entice even the most carb-conscious. Try the Tagliatelle, which has Sapelo Island clams, andouille, jalapeno and asiago cheese in a flavorful tomato sauce.

There’s the saying “bacon makes anything taste better.” At Seven Lamps, Chef Van Leuvan demonstrates that wood makes anything taste better (there’s a wood-burning oven in the open kitchen). The Wood Grilled Hanger Steak, cooked to a perfect medium rare, is one of the best dishes on the menu. When infused with wood smoke, faro and broccoli rabe have never tasted so good.

Dessert offers a whimsical end to the meal. Try the Fried Banana Pie, which is topped with chocolate sauce, crème fraiche sherbet and dried cherry. Or go for the Rainbow Sherbet Push Pop, which has layers of raspberry, orange and lemon sorbet.

Seven Lamps, 3400 Around Lenox Road, Atlanta (404) 467-8950 www.sevenlampsatl.com

[slideshow auto=”off” thumbs=”on”]