Tucked away in a place most will need GPS to find (unless you remember One Midtown Kitchen and Jai Ho Indian Kitchen), the all-new and very buzz-worthy Verdure Kitchen and Cocktails has hit the scene, channeling a "secret garden" vibe along with Instagram-worthy cocktails and creative West African dishes. First and foremost, the space is a stunner. The decor, the lush greenery (verdure is French for lush greenery by the way), the music is all dreamy, a little trippy but high design all the way. There are a few restaurants in the ATL that make you feel like you are on vacation and this is one of them.

Executive Chef Jean Louis Sangare has tapped into some flavors that Atlantans probably are not used to but rest assured, everything I tried was delicious and totally approachable. The cocktail program will certainly impress with offerings from the "Perfumerie" (think fragrant concoctions like the Creamy Coconut Hibiscus Margarita), "Boozy" (think Grapefruit Tequila Negroni) and "Fizzy" (think Junpier and Tangerine Gin Fizz." series. The cocktails alone are worth the visit but the food certainly merits your attention as well. Most West African touches were extremely subtle: the crispy fried octopus, the Mediterranean pan-seared branzino, Zanzi peppercorn rib chop, and the creamy lobster mac & cheese topped with Flamin' Cheetos all read on the menu as exotic but render on the plate as familiar and delicious. For dessert a baobab (an African tree bark spice) and walnut cheesecake.

Verdure feels like an inside secret, a private getaway right now...but it probably won't for long. Go check it out when you can!

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