My wife and I ventured out to Murphy's, a restaurant in Virginia Highlands with a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. In terms of aesthetics, it reminded us of one of local favorites, Muss & Turner's, except less on an emphasis on the modern and more on the homeyness with red brick walls and lower ceilings.
Mussels and Fries - white wine, roasted tomato, herbs, fries, roasted garlic mayonnaise
Decently cooked mussels (as decent as mussels can be with Atlanta not being anywhere close to the ocean). The broth was a relatively tasty sauce for the mussels, with the flavors of the wine, tomatoes, scallions and garlic coming through pretty clearly. The tomatoes and scallions lent a tinge of sweetness and the garlic occasionally added a slight kick. Especially decent with the bread. The fries, were large and a large potato to batter ratio. Surprisingly light, topped with aioli with chopped chives.
Recommended by our waiter. Quite nice, nice length to the flavor. Smooth with a front-end sweetness.
Special, tile fish
Our waiter described tile fish like grouper, only fished in a more sustainable manner. It's a steakier fish than I'm used to, but had a nice simple flavor. On top of a bed of rice that had a familiar American red pepper like flavor.
Crispy Pork Shank - napa cabbage, pork belly, Blue Ridge apple lacquer
Pork nicely cooked, most of the meat was fall off the bone tender, with the pork stomach, providing some fatty goodness to it. Topped with a sweet glaze (and chopped chives), which was decent tasting, but a bit disappointing in that it had over-simplified flavors. Accompanied by bok choy, with carrot slivers and diced apple pieces. The bok choy had been cooked in something that lent a richness that is not in bok choy cooked with regular oil (butter? or perhaps some type of creme?)
Ginger bread dessert
Ginger bread, shaped like a muffin, topped with ice cream with cranberry boiled down to a syrup (i.e. fairly sweetened). While not a complete disaster like places that outsource their dessert, not quite to the level even of the entrees, because it was so sweet. Decently matched with the LBV port which sweetness worked out well with the dessert.
Choco Chip Cookie
Immediate sweetness - then sweet white chocolate that lends almost a butteryness to it. Has a more crunchy than chewy texture. I like the thickness, but the flavor was a bit much for me.
Overall, the food was quite solid and I suspect if we lived nearby, this would be a place we wouldn't mind coming semi regularly. However, if I had to choose between this and Muss and Turner's, I'd choose Muss and Turner's.
Murphy's Restaurant997 Virginia Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA (Map)