Chef Jarrett Stieber finally opened his long-time-coming dream project, Little Bear, in late February.
But the diminutive 30-seat Summerhill neighborhood restaurant and bar was only up and running for a couple of weeks when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the dining room, and Stieber had to turn to takeout to keep the operation going.Stieber got his start working in fine-dining restaurants such as Abattoir and Empire State South. But he’s better known for helping pioneer the pop-up in Atlanta, launching Eat Me Speak Me at the Candler Park Market deli in 2013. He later moved it to Gato, next door. And by 2017, he was honing his playful and sometimes irreverent cooking at SOS in Decatur, offering an array of imaginative dishes with what former Atlanta Journal-Constitution dining critic John Kessler once described as “wit and smarts to spare.”
At Little Bear, which is named for his family’s Pyrenees mountain dog, Stieber initially offered a menu of a dozen-plus shareable dishes, mostly made with seasonal ingredients from local farms. That proved too complicated for takeout ordering, though, so he switched to a prix fixe tasting menu for two. For $55, recent “Irregular Dinners” to go have included five savory dishes and two desserts.
Last week’s menu took a Spanish turn. A turnip tortilla was described as “baked eggs and turnips covered with ropa vieja sauce, chives, and an egregious amount of olive oil.” Sweet patatas bravas were “slathered with pork fat coffee chile oil, aioli, and soft herbs.” Catalan-style pork meatballs and roasted spring vegetables were “buried under salvitxada verde sauce, parsley and crispy rice.” With “Fernando’s Liver Stimulus Package,” you can order from a fairly wide selection of wine, beer, sake or cider to go — plus there’s a daily selection of house-made “spritz kits” to take home from the bar.
71 Georgia Avenue SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
Check the daily menu on Instagram: @littlebearatl
Call to order: 404.500.5396
By Bob Townsend, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution; Photos by Chris Hunt