Burger ($7, add $2 for pork terrine or $3 for liver mousse)
About half of the meat is smoked short rib, which lends buttery, powerfully smoky, nearly porcine flavors to the grind. That's a lot to take in for a $7 burger, perhaps a little more than you may wish to handle, but no one can accuse it of being dull.
Despite the patty's thinness it was cooked to a nice medium rare.
Watermelon Salad ($10)
With its Thai chilies and avocado purée, it tastes more tastes more southern Thai than northern Georgia, but nonetheless it demonstrates the kitchen's facility with produce.
Ham and Cheese Heirloom Grits ($11)
Knobbly Anson Mills grits with aged gouda and country ham are ridiculously good—really a loose fondue barely bound with corn.
Fried Green Tomatoes ($8)
The fry job is damned near perfect, crisp and greaseless on the outside, fresh and fruity within; touches of finely diced raw tomatoes, charred Vidalia onions, and a smoky, spicy mayo make a good thing even better.
Charcuterie Plate ($15)
Clockwise, starting from the jar: Tennessee brown jam, smoked Duroc pork shoulder whipped with bacon and ham fats, an American take on rillettes that I wish the restaurant sold in to-go jars; Finchville country ham; cloudlike duck- and chicken-liver mousse; crisp-unctuous pork cheek terrine.
Memphis Fried Chicken ($13)
Brined in lemon and honey, double dredged, and slightly peppered before frying. It's craggly crisp and improbably moist, but so licked with salt that you'd go parched eating all three pieces by yourself.
Long Island Whiting ($12)
It's the opposite problem with the fish, in which the challenge is finishing your three ample could-be-crisper filets before getting bored.
Smoked Sausage Sandwich ($6)
The moist, well-spiced meat is undone by a leathery smoked casing and a big, bland bun.
Bread at Marietta may take a minute, as they butter and toast each slice for you.
Sauteed Greens ($5)
In a departure from the kitchen's excellent produce, a mess of bitter greens (kale, radicchio, chicory, etc.) is obligatory-tasting, stewy and bland.
Blueberry Hill ($9)
Sweet bourbon and fresh blueberries form the base of this drink; mint, lemon, and ginger round it out. It's cool and a little sweet a late summer drink to come back for.
A clean, subtle mix of Ford's gin, apricot nectar, honey, and lemon that is impressively light on sweetness.
Butterscotch Pudding ($6)
Should you be after dessert, I'll point out that the excellent Dough is two blocks away and open in the evening, and you may want to head there instead. The housemade sweets at Marietta don't receive the same care as the savory items; this pudding is stiff and blandly sweet.
The 34-seat dining room looks straight out of a three-star Georgia hotel. Though it's worth noting that that those sleek wooden walls and floors wreak havoc with the acoustics once the rooms get full.
The bar seats 12, and there's additional seating in this room for 20.