Insert just about any indie restaurant group inside a hangar-sized space plastered with HD TV’s, in a corporation-only complex occupied by McDonald’s, Chuck E. Cheese and Applebee’s, and they’d likely be pegged as sell-outs. Yet when it comes to the Talde team—whose previous projects possess trademark design elements, and whose culinary aesthetic favors cans of Porkslap, pints of Bud, loaded nachos and mayo’d fish sandwiches—being the Atlantic Mall Terminal’s newest tenant makes perfect sense.
While one could easily imagine Atlantic Social spawns being uniformly replicated throughout Middle America, locals are bound to recognize—and appreciate—its singularly Brooklyn DNA. Pork Slope lives on in the front area, with its streaming sports coverage and taps alternating Modelo and Sorachi Ace, but is done one better with a fireplace-illuminated game room, where Piggie Smalls and Boss Hog (the bar’s beloved, mounted boars’ heads) preside over Ms. Pac-Man and pinball.
As for the dining arena, it’s pure Thistle Hill Tavern, down to the buffalo cauliflower, salt and pepper french fries, and pastiche of vintage photos lining the walls. The crew has even thrown a soupcon of Massoni—their first, hotel-located Manhattan venture—into the motley mix, repped by stables of smoked ham and pineapple, french onion mascarpone, and pepperoni and pickled pepper-topped pan pizzas.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their irreverent menu, well befitting the something-for-everyone ethos of any would-be chain. Graze on hot chicken, lemongrass sausage or a full lobster dinner, rigatoni pesto or pot pie ramen, beet salad or tuscan kale caesar, or potato skin bravas and General Tso’s wings—which we wouldn’t be shocked to find marked TM and served at an Iowa adjunct someday soon.
673 Atlantic Ave., (718) 623-2852
Photos by Valery Rizzo