After rumors, name changes, and typical Atlanta restaurant permit squabbles over parking,Top Chef Richard Blais’ ode to the hot dog, HD1 restaurant has finally opened its doors in Poncey-Highland. So, who exactly is the smiling face you see above? That would be Jared Lee Pyles, executive chef at HD1 who has worked with Blais at other restaurants including the modern hamburger restaurant Flip Burger Boutique which has grown to three locations. The menu is a tag team effort and Pyles will be the day-to-day guy in the kitchen. You’ll no doubt find Blais in the restaurant as things get off the ground before he focuses his energy on his upcoming venture, The Spence.
On the hot dog front, the menu runs the gamut from the classic hot dog with sauerkraut & house made mustard, fennel sausage with San Marzano ketchup, fontina & grilled radicchio, and my favorite from the press event I attended today, the beef pastrami dog with ox tongue & tripe hash with rusky dressing. Vegetarian options will include a veggie hot dog, and any dog can be substituted with a sous vide carrot.
As a bit of a beer nerd as I’ve been lately, I was a bit hesitant when touring the unfinished space with Jennifer for her Eater profile to find out that the place would only have beer by the can, and initially hearing that PBR would be part of the mix. Thankfully they have a number of my favorites by the can including 21st Amendment Back in Black, Old Chub Ale, and a new favorite, albeit pricy one – Tokyo Black from Japanese brewery, Yoho. If you don’t imbibe, they carry a number of vintage sodas including Nehi, Sundrop, A&W and Cheerwine.
Whereas Flip is pretty bright with white all over the walls and banquettes, HD1 sports dark woods and metal, designed by the folks at ai3. Communal tables and a semi-open kitchen set the scene here. Not yet ready for primetime (i.e. permits) eventually the roof top will be open for guests as well.
There no doubt will be some changes as they settle into a groove, and as always this isn’t a review. In fact, when speaking with Jared there are number of specials in the works – including their take on a lobster roll. As with any Richard Blais creation, expect the unexpected. However, as has been reported elsewhere – just don’t expect a canister of liquid nitrogen. HD1 is currently open for dinner with plans to begin lunch service next week.
HD1 664 North Highland Avenue – Atlanta, GA 30306 – 404-815-1127