One of my favs for tapas style
The ideal way to eat at The Spence is to not be stingy and just order a bunch of the small plates/tapas and share with your table. I think ideally no more than 4 people per dish; 3 worked out well. The food was so creative and delicious, and I loved the signature drinks. The crispy brussel sprouts are a must! The whole experience was enjoyable except for how loud it was in there. We could barely hear each other talk and it was hard to carry a conversation because the music was so loud where we sat (back corner near bar).
8/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fantastic food overcomes decibels
Food is easily some of Atlanta's best. "Energetic" is a conservative description of the noise level as it was often difficult to hear our dining partners across the table. It's an ideal place for sharing dishes. The great location along with the food quality and presentation will have us returning soon.
8/16/2013 5:00:00 PM
The menu is fresh and inventive. The service is consistently attentive. The noise level is unbearable.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
good food NOISY
Energetic noise level is a euphemism for so noisy it will give you a headache
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Super lunch option
Great decor. Vibrant scene. Interesting menu presented in Richard Blais' inventive way. Good service. Healthy and delicious.
8/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
I'm so sad it took so long for me to discover this restaurant! The food was absolutely amazing! My husband and I started off with 2 appetizers: Oysters & Pearls (the pearls are horseradish crème fraiche frozen with nitrogen) and small Fried Chicken Sandwiches. We then moved onto the Kale Caesar Salad. For our entrée we had the Short Ribs with braised Brussel Sprouts (best I've ever had) and Corn Creme Brulee. We were too full for dessert, but I'm sure it would have been amazing. Highly recommend a visit to this amazing eatery.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
As a French chef (trained
As a French chef (trained with Star Michelin chefs) I'm pretty picky but I have to say I just love the food there, the only downside is the noise so avoid fridays and saturdays!
8/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Super amazing terrific! A true experience not just a meal.
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Can't go wrong
Small plates are the way to go if you enjoy delighting your "foodie palette" with serious flavor (and I mean SERIOUS), whimsical combinations and many surprising elements; tastes that leave you wanting to try it all. We did our best to enjoy as many as possible; pastas, cheeses, pork, beef, beets, oysters - you name it. But, let me just say this, if you don't care for brussels sprouts, I guarantee you that you'll be more than a fan if you add this side to your small plates. We tried to determine a "favorite" when it was all said and done but we couldn't stop raving about them all. They're all favorites here!
9/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
A creative place
As expected from Chef Richard Blais, The Spence did not disappoint on the creativity scale. The space itself is a nice fusion of modern features (lighting fixtures) and tradition (stoneware plates). The service and food were outstanding. The waiter patiently let us decide on our order, but then promptly brought out the food. Even though everything was great, the ricotta cheesecake was my favorite thing for the night - it was as light as mousse. Yet, people should be advised against going to the restaurant very hungry as all the dishes are relatively small.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dinner was fabulous. Get the
Dinner was fabulous. Get the duck! The brussel sprouts were incredible as well! Definitley a great place to take a date.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
I'm a huge Top Chef fan and have been looking forward to eating Richard's food at the The Spence. It was 6 of us for my husbands birthday party and we had a blast. The tasting menu us great to share dishes. The oysters with horseradish pearls were the best I've ever had. Will definitely be back!
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Overall, an excellent experience.
The food was excellent. My waiter was very knowledgeable about the food and available wines. I enjoyed the Spence much more than a couple of the other nouveau Southern cuisine restaurants in town.
The Spence is my new go to for innovative Southern cuisine.
9/7/2013 5:00:00 PM
We had a wonderful experience here. Great food and atmosphere will be back for sure next time we are in the area. Server was very helpful and accurate in his recommendations.
9/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Visit The Spence!
Don't miss this great spot in Technology Square at Fifth and Spring Streets. Great food, moderate prices, cool staff and the best Chef!
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Pushing the limits
The Spence had a feel of a place trying to push the limits of what Altanta diners would be willing to support. I wouldn't call most of the dishes molecular gastronomy, though there were the obligatory components made with liquid nitrogen, but the dishes definitely rely on unusual combinations of ingredients and flavors, and mostly to great success. The sashimi of snapper combined smoke and capers, the gazpacho was complex and satisfying beyond any I've had elsewhere. The Thai vinaigrette on the brussel sprouts was delicious. Not every dish made me close my eyes and go "wow" but enough did to make me want to go back asap.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Absolutely amazing meal
Six of us dug into about 12 of the items on the menu - beet salad, stuffed fried squash blossoms, candied pork belly toast, broccoli pasta with beef, oysters and pearls, risotto boudin fritters, the "juicy lucy" ridiculously awesome burger - and three dessert. Everything was fantastic. Our server was amazing. Highly recommend!
9/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Highly recommend the Spence. Restaurant was not crowded at all on Sunday night. I had foie gras / burger / brussel sprouts; wife had beet salad / rabbit / corn creme brulee. It was all excellent, with interesting presentation and very friendly service. The two house cocktails I had were both very interesting and -- rare these days -- actually worth the exorbitant price. For minor drawbacks, (i) the music was too loud, (ii) the table layout doesn't work well, and (iii) the location is horrible. But on the key stuff, the Spence is a knockout.
9/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
impressing an out of town guest
I took my Mom and her friend to The Spence because her friend was visiting from San Diego. I wanted someplace special, that I could walk to from my office. The Spence totally delivered. Of course, we tried the oysters and the strawberry, avocado, cucumber, almond salad knocked my socks off. My Mom's friend was very impressed with the Little Lunch. Great restaurant, good value and nice ambiance (we sat right next to the open door, with the lovely fall breeze blowing in). Perfect.
10/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Starting to become my "cafeteria"
I'm so spoiled that this restaurant is at the bottom of my office building. Unique creations, great ambience and outside seating.
10/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Loved it all ! Both, food
Loved it all ! Both, food and service were great !
10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
For special occasions
Walking in you are immediately impressed. The use of recycled matrial was great. The water glasses were even made from used wine bottles. Most of my dishes were served on wood platers. Most dishes are small portions of 2-4 bites. The food was so fresh. My only compliant is the website I used to look up info on the place said you can eat under 30.00. This really isn't the case. It was well worth the money if you want to go out for a special occation.
10/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
My wife never likes what she orders, and never finishes a meal when we dine out. This changed at The Spence. After her first bite her response was, "Oh My God!" - and that was just the rolls with coconut butter. We ordered about five different items. The squash blossoms were amazing. The risotto fritters were perfect and the short-rib was downright epic. The only selection we didn't jump up and down for was the Goat Empanadas, a bit salty and unusual consistency. Our waiter was helpful with suggestions. The hostess was also helpful helping us get a cab back to our hotel. Overall, a great experience and can't wait to show-off The Spence to friends.
10/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
First time visit
I met a friend for lunch at The Spence about 11:45am. Service was great for a while but then it got really busy and it was difficult to get the waiter's attention. So don't be in a hurry if you go there. The food was delicious and quite substantial portions. I had the lunch special which included a wonderful pork belly BLT, cauliflower soup and tasty salad. I will be going back!
10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great menu to explore!
Very impressive. I had my doubts it could live up to the hype, but it did not disappoint. The cocktails were inventive and delicious, and the small plates approach provided a perfect opportunity to explore multiple courses, and the deconstructed shortcake and cheesecake desserts were superb. Sabrina, our server was friendly and knowledgable. Highly recommend.
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was wonderful and
The food was wonderful and the service couldn't have been better. It was so noisy inside een with the restaurant half empty that conversation would have been very difficult. We ate outside. That worked fine.
10/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Thank you open table for finding this place for us! Less than a half-mile from our hotel and it was truly the best unexpected pleasure of our weekend. Quality service and food.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great unusual take on classics
Somewhere between a gastropub and nouveau cuisine, with a touch of molecular gastronomy. Come with friends and share a bunch of small plates. Favorites: Oysters with Pearls, any take on roast beets, smoky cocktails, the short rib.
10/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food, service, atmosphere: all outstanding. Would highly recommend.
10/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Loved our evening at the Spence...the food was certainly unique and the atmosphere was light and fun...probably because our waitress was so attentive and friendly..
We had a bit of trouble getting there because of Taste of Atlanta... The street leading to the Spence was blocked birthed staff cam and got us on a golf cart... Wheeled is over and treated us to dessert for the inconvenience. We will surely remember their effort to make us comfortable and welcomed.
10/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good ole Bday fun
Great food. We showed up a little early but they still took good care of us. I am starting to love this place.
10/29/2013 5:00:00 PM
Nice Evening at Spence
Small plates were exceptional. Only item I would not recommend was the whole redfish. It was a little fishy and quite salty. I would have told the waitress had she asked. The service was fine with items being described and recommended. Just thought they should have asked how we liked it especially since fish went half uneaten.
I will be back to try something else.
10/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Midtown treat
Great food and service. My only complaint is the music is too loud for lunch. I asked the waitress to turn it down, which she did, but it was still loud for a lunch conversation.
10/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
I loved The Spence!
What a lovely evening we had at The Spence. It is definitely a spot for foodies and we had fun sharing several small plates. Our server was top-notch!
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
This was my second time to The Spence in a month's time and it was just as good the second time. Our staff - Dusty, Karen Ann, and Jessica were awesome! Great sense of humor and awesome knowledge of the menu. Thanks for making the visit with already amazing food even better! Cheers! Vanessa
11/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
The spence rocks!!!
Wow! What a great experience. The food was incredible and so was the service! Worth every penny! I cant wait to go back. Must try the corn brûlée!!!
11/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Wheres my Car
The Spence was a nice dinning experience. The food was interesting and tasty. We just stuck to the small plates and sampled a little of everything. The valets were missing when it came time to leave. We had to wait about 10 minutes to find one to retrieve my car. It wasn't a big deal But someone needs to be ready to retrieve peoples cars.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Food was all great
This is a place that really cares about the food, with a nice diverse menu featuring more than a few quirky items. We had quite a sample of things, and a few stood out as excellent - the beet salad, the lamb roast, the oysters and pearls - but everything was tasty and well executed. Our server was very knowledgeable and attentive. The lighting is odd - not really that dim, but very spotty which made it difficult to read the menu, with its small multicolor print. Some of the color choices provided very low contrast, and all of us found reading the menu to be more challenging than it needed to be. The music was a lot of the greatest hits from the 80s, and was too loud for my taste, I like to talk (not yell) with my companions during the meal.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Lives up to the reputation
Peter was our server who walk us through the menu making our mouths water with his detailed descriptions. The only problem we had was deciding what to have with so many great choices. We will have on our list to get to more often.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great from beginning to end!
My husband and I visited The Spence during a weekend getaway and we loved everything about this restaurant. The drooling began when presented with rolls and coconut butter. The oyster app was fresh and delicious, the risotto and pork sausage fritters were perfectly seasoned and addictive, and our scallop entree was cooked to perfection and perfectly complimented with radishes and a potato butter. Service was wonderful and the hostesses were very welcoming. We also thought that the bar set up was uniquely done. Great place!
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Delicious food, accommodating staff
Fantastic in all possible aspects. Staff was willing to accommodate a party of 10, even though our reservations were made after 5pm on a Saturday, and then allowed us to add guests. The staff was friendly, informative, and checked in with our group consistently over the 5-10 minutes we waited. We had a wonderful meal in all aspects.
All members of our party were blown away. The rapini and cheddar dumplings were a hit, the beef tartare was among the best my wife had every enjoyed, and my juicy Lucy and fries hit the spot after a well balanced Hatter cocktail. Steaks were all well received, and the corn creme brûlée almost caused a riot . A terrific dining experience.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Lamb, beef, small seafood selection, pork: you can have your choice at The Spence. Salad and small plates very interesting: kale Caesar OK; beet salad wonderful. Each person of our group of 4 chose a different entree and all were delicious. Not your everyday menu choices: unusual and delicious. Like the neighborhood/ city campus location. Our server was knowledgeable and just friendly enough.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
This was my second time to
This was my second time to the Spence and it was even better than the first. The drink suggestions from our server were excellent, we were allowed the approcpriate amount of time to taste the food before the server came to ask if all was to our liking, the food was exquisite, the ambiance was thriving but not loud. I couldn't have been more pleased.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent roast chicken
My wife and I dined at The Spence on a slow Monday night. My wife ordered the roast chicken and it was, possibly, the best we've ever had. It was perfectly cooked and every scrap was devoured.
We also tried the seared scallops. The first time it came to the table the scallops were over-salted to the point of being inedible. The kitchen redid the dish and the second time the scallops were perfectly cooked and appropriately seasoned.
Other dishes tried:
The Oysters and Pearls starter was very good: lovely, flavorful oysters topped with a frozen horseradish sauce .
Fried brussels sprouts with a Thai-inspired dressing was good but I expected more of a spicy kick.
Would go again.
11/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
2nd time to dine
This was my second time to dine at The Spence recently. It is close to Georgia Tech where my son goes to college. The food is interesting and good. This menu is adventurous diner. Mussels were outstanding and the ricotta cheese cake is something very special. Share small plates to get a taste of different foods. Great wine list and atmosphere. This is a hip and happening place.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good, but I prefer FLIP
We've watched hometown Chef Richard Blais rise to celebrity status. We've been to FLIP for a few lunches and always found them extremely satisfying. We tried The Spence based on name recognition and enjoyed the outing, although I'm not sure it lived up to what we expected We had a nice cheese and toffee dish to start that may have been the highlight. A solid but unspectacular beet salad and a kale salad we shared were fine. The bone marrow was fun but not worth another order, and the brussels sprout side was a highlight. Small plates are done well at several places in ATL - probably many that I'd choose again for a re-visit before The Spence. Maybe we expected too many fireworks. Wine and cocktails were very good too. Casual place.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Experience - Eclectic Menu
The quality of the food - and the uniqueness of the food options - were what we expected from watching Richard's Top Chef adventures. We wouldn't go there often, but hope to make an occasional visit. The quality of the house and wait staff were outstanding... and though it was a bit noise, we loved sitting on the edge of the kitchen and watching the grill-meister do his magic!
12/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
We had an amazing time and the food was out of this world. And our server Tim was fantastic. A+++
12/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good food but very noisy
I really enjoyed the food, but the venue needs to put in some sound dampening, it was so loud I could barely hold a conversation with the 3 other people at my table, I felt like I was yelling all night.
12/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Presentation was just as amazing
Presentation was just as amazing as the food itself. A real explosion of unique and amazing flavors! Love love love this restaurant!
12/5/2013 4:00:00 PM