Located next to the Porsche Experience Center, the new Solis Two Porsche Drive offers hotel guests an experience that includes views of the Porsche handling course and the runways at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
In keeping with that, Apron, the hotel’s full-service restaurant and lobby bar, is a sophisticated destination that caters to travelers while aiming to lure Atlanta locals to the Southside for drinks and dinner, and a little bit of that vroom and zoom, too.
The contemporary space blends European and motorsport elements with stretches of tall windows that blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. Up on the eighth floor, the open-air Overdrive Lounge features cocktails and share plates.
Executive chef Derrick Green has a long resume as a luxury hotel chef, most recently at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Buckhead. And Green’s menu, billed as “modern Mediterranean cuisine,” was conceived to include seasonal specials, as well as anytime items such as a Greek salad and a Creekstone Farms Angus burger.
For starters on the dinner menu, you’ll find piri-piri prawns with potato gnocchi, an octopus terrine with marcona almonds, boquerones, pickled fresnos, olives and romesco, and a mezzeh platter with spicy hummus, preserved tomatoes, and olive tapenade.
Green shows his favor for seafood entrees with whole grilled branzino and dishes such as steelhead trout with lemon artichoke “farroto” ricotta and olives, cumin roasted carrot mousseline, and Champagne beurre blanc. But there’s also pasta and risotto, berbere-spiced lamb loin and veal osso buco.
The drinks menu features signature cocktails with local spirits such as ASW Fiddler bourbon and Old Fourth Ward vodka. The diverse wine list includes French, Spanish, Italian and California selections. And the beer list offers local crafts such as Queen’s Weiss from Hapeville neighbor Arches Brewing.
Last week, Green talked about the challenges and pleasures of running the kitchen at a luxury airport hotel.
“You’re in a hotel in an airport market, and you’re trying to draw people who would go to Buckhead and downtown to dine,” Green said. “You want to give them a reason to come here, and that means doing everything well. With room service, Overdrive and Apron, you can potentially have three different things going on at once.”
As far as the specifics of the menu, Green explained that he was translating Mediterranean in a variety of ways.
“The theme is Mediterranean, but that gives you a lot of play using flavors and techniques from the European side in Portugal, France, Spain, Greece and Italy, and the north African side in Tunisia and Morocco,” he said. “We’re using some heavy spices in the meats, and things like the berbere and sumac.”
“Our kale salad is kind of a play on a fattoush salad. We use toasted naan bread and add caramel-poached beets and a burnt honey and citrus vinaigrette. The Greek salad is also a lunch item that can be served very quickly.”
Going forward, Green said he’ll be tweaking the menu a bit and adding more seasonal dishes.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done since we opened, but now I’m going to reflect a little bit and we’ll be changing and reprinting the menu,” he said. “We’ve gotten some good feedback from guests and had the opportunity to see what moves and what doesn’t move, and what we can describe better on the menu.
“But overall, if you don’t start with quality ingredients, you can’t put out quality food. That’s my stance on anything, and everything we’re trying to do here.”
2 Porsche Drive, Atlanta. 470-466-3300, solis2porschedrive.com.
More images from a First Look at Apron