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The White Bull

THE STAR OF DECATUR SQUARE

Article by Liz Attaway

Photography by Liz + John Attaway

On a gray, cold, overcast day with freezing rain in the air, we headed to Decatur Square to enjoy a meal at one of Atlanta’s best restaurants, The White Bull. This is one of those places that you dream about as a foodie and a reviewer. You know we were counting the days to go and try Chef Pat Pascarella’s amazing creations, and when that day arrived, we were blown away by so many dynamic plates. They have everything from the fantastic Cold Chicken Sandwich, the savory Poutine, fresh Half Chicken entrée, some earthy Burrata and Beets, smoky Smoked Trout, rich Brussels Sprouts, and some buttery Bread and Butter. It was worth the wait. Alright, let’s not leave you in suspense; we’re ready to get down to the details.

With a diverse array of starter dishes and share plates, The White Bull has some spectacular bites. With all of them so good, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but probably the simple smoky smoked trout was the stand-out with a mellow fish spread with the perfect amount of smoke, charred bread, and tangy pickled onions. It was a ton of flavor—salty, savory, smoky, charred, and tangy. Also, we really enjoyed the Burrata and Beets with its naturally earthy and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness. We loved the addition of the anchovies for a natural salt and savory source to pair perfectly with the creamy cheese and roasted earthiness of the beets. Don’t let the anchovies scare you; they’re a great way to amp up the flavor without the sodium! From the sweetness and tang of the sauce to the earthiness of the Brussels Sprouts, we loved these morsels! Plus, along with the creamy and sharp cheese paired with bacon bites for a dash of savory, these are some of the best sprouts in the city. John’s favorite starter was the Bread and Butter, a masterful piece of light and airy focaccia with melty butter and topped with piney rosemary. We found it was perfect for dipping in the main entrée, the Half Chicken or plain with some good, old-fashioned butter. Warm and hearty.

Of the menu, the most brunchy of the entrees had to be the poutine. A heaping pile of crunchy, warm, and tender potatoes topped with wonderfully cooked beef brisket, then on the bottom, the savory and garlicky gravy with onions was the perfect combination. On top, mild and light cheese and the savor of the fried egg complete this amazing bowl. The best part is on the bottom, so get as much of the ingredients in the savory gravy and take one big bite. You’ll end up with a creamy, savory, crunchy, tangy, and rich bite. Plus, for the price, this is a TON of food; you’ll want to share!

On our road to The White Bull, we’ve had some great chicken, fantastic, phenomenal even, but one thing we remember about Chef Pat is that he has the absolute best chicken you can find in the city. We sampled it at a Polenta party back in early 2019, and it showed back up again in the Half Chicken dish. Fall-off-the-bone tender and immaculately cooked chicken, skin on to lock in the juices, this dish is mind-blowingly good and you just can’t match the freshness. Alone, this chicken is the star of the show, but you add the accouterments of the sweet, hearty grits, savory garlic sauce, and charred broccolini and you’ve got THE flavor spectrum. Rich, savory, hearty, creamy, smoky, earthy, do we need to even go on? Pro tip: Make sure to get the chicken off the bone and roll it around in the sauce, grits, cut off some broccolini and dig in. Put this on your must-try list. 

The waitress told us that her favorite menu item was the Cold Chicken Sandwich, and after her ooh and ahh-ing, we were sold. It has to be good if she loves it that much. She was spot-on; this practically perfect chicken sandwich in every way has it all. The crisp of the fried chicken hits you on the front of the palate, then the flavor changes and you get the creaminess of the mayo, the crunchy pickles, and the savory of the hearty bacon jam slathered on top. The flavor is so rich, deep, and complex that you don’t know what ingredient you like more. The combination of flavors is striking, and you will NOT be able to stop eating it! Needless to say, put this on your list too!

What’s a fantastic experience without an amazing cocktail? We got the Wollman Sour that was reminiscent of red wine up front, but as you drink it sweetens as the egg white hits your palate and ends up being creamy and sweet. Rustic and earthy then sweet—so delicious.

At the end of our meal, the sleet was coming down pretty good outside, so we sat awhile and watched another group order food for the table and talk about how good the food is—we concur! Everything is top-notch. What would you like to try?

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