To get a true sense of the people, style, culture and even a bit of the history of midtown Atlanta, spend an evening at Cavu Restaurant and Lounge. On the expansive, wraparound front porch, casually dressed locals mingle with business travelers in pinstripes and formally attired theater-goers.
Inside the newly renovated Victorian house, the atmosphere is laid-back, yet upscale, thanks to a facelift from local designer Michael Habachy. A resident deejay spins jazz-house-fusion in the bar and lounge area, where guests may unwind.
Upstairs, the spacious dining room incorporates earth tones and light, airy accents with hardwood floors and chocolate-brown draperies. Gunmetal balusters and hardware add a decidedly modern touch.
At Cavu, the cuisine is as eclectic as the clientele and as comfortable as the decor. Jamaican-born executive chef Delroy Bowen graduated from Jacques Pepin’s French Culinary Institute. Bowen spent five years as chef de cuisine at New York’s Tribeca Grill, working under executive chef Don Pintabona, before becoming executive chef at Michael’s, the New York outpost of renowned California chef and cookbook author Michael McCarty.
Now in Atlanta, Bowen uses his four-star skills to put creative twists on culinary classics for Cavu’s new-American menu. Among the appetizers is a pyramid of flash-cooked ahi tuna, served with tamarind sauce, mustard oil, cilantro puree and Indian papad bread ($14).
Entrees, which average about $20, vary widely and include seafood, steak, fowl and vegetarian offerings. Among the red meat selections is buffalo hanger steak and potato-and-mushroom hash with chimichurri aioli ($22).
Those who prefer seafood will enjoy the seared Chilean sea bass and chickpea pancakes stuffed with mustard greens in sweet hibiscus ginger sauce ($22). 794 Juniper Street, (404) 875-2229.