Nearly a month ago now, some of our very good friends from Kansas City had a long layover in Atlanta on their way back from an overly family-ish family trip to Mexico. We had a little less than four hours to show off the town and slug a few drinks. I had been wanting to try JCT Kitchen for some time now, and although I don't like to take out of town guests to restaurants I've never visited, we took the gamble this warm Saturday night. I loved the look of this place the minute we walked in. Light and breezy, the interior looked like upscale diner combined seaside eatery. The restaurant has added some room dividers in the form of curtains since this picture was taken. But you get the idea. We arrived pretty early, before 7:00. I was happy with our early reservation time because I've heard that it's not uncommon for the restaurant to run out of their famed fried chicken. Luckily we made it in time to order. I was really happy with the selection on the menu - lots to choose from. Everything we had was fantastic, so instead of letting this post turn into War & Peace Vol. II, I'll try to keep it as concise as possible for you, my valued readers. First, the bread was some of the best I've had in Atlanta. Perfectly crisp and crusty on the outside and complete with a soft and chewy middle - it was so yum. They serve it with a cinnamon butter which I thought lacked cinnamon. Truthfully though, I prefer plain salted. Our server, who had the personality of a commentator on CSPAN, told us they get it from The Bread Garden. Being the carb fanatic I am, I'll have to make a visit one of these days. Looks like it's located in Amsterdam Walk. For starters, we had an order of the best parmesan truffle fries ever. Truffle is a delight, but sometimes the chefs get a little too heavy handed for my tastes (ahem Richard Blais Home Mac & Cheese cough cough.) The truffle was flavorful but just subtle enough to let the earthy taste of the potatoes shine through. I'll definitely be ordering these again. I also had a nice wedge salad with some tasty thin onions on top. For dinner I had seared scallops with summer corn risotto. That combines at least three of my favorite ingredients on one plate. The scallops were huge and had a nice sear on them. The risotto was a little bland, but still a nice addition to the dish. My friend Emily had the fried chicken at my recommendation. Oh lordy. It was quite good, definitely ranks in the top 3 I've had in Atlanta so far. I will also give MAJOR props to the mac & cheese, which was perfectly velvety in it's white cheddar cream sauce. It doesn't look like this particular mac was baked, which is my preference. The more mac I have, the more I think baking dries it out too much. This one was great though, and it made for a superb Sunday morning breakfast of champions. Even though we were all busting at the seams, we had to try the doughnuts for dessert with coffee flavored ice cream. Made fresh, these little babies were the perfect end to our meal. Well wait, I take that back. The cocktails upstairs at the JCT bar were the perfect end to our meal. I had a Chivas and water and my best friend Emily had a Manhattan. Our dudes both commented on what manly drinks we were enjoying while they sipped their Zimas and filed their nails. Overall, JCT is some of the best Southern I've found in Atlanta. It trumps South City Kitchen in my book. We will definitely be going back... and taking out of town guests!