Hal’s | This is Atlanta Cooking | PBA30


The food served as Hal’s can be described as Continental Creole. It is prepared with exceptional care, with hints of Creole and Italian influence that are both subtle; yet distinctive.

30 Old Ivy Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30342-4501


Chef/Owner: Hal Nowak

“We put the best on your plate.” That’s what Chef Hal Nowak tells you when you ask why his restaurant has been so successful. Hal says when he opened his restaurant 15 years ago, there was Pano and Paul’s, chain restaurants; but nothing in-between. That was surprising to him, because he had come to Atlanta from New Orleans, where there are great restaurants on every corner. With that discovery, Chef Hal realized that Atlanta needed him.

Hal’s has had three generations of customers eating in the restaurant on a regular basis. Politicians, businessmen, families, everyone eats at Hal’s. From tuxedos to shirt sleeves — Hal’s will make you feel comfortable no matter what you’re wearing. Hal’s has had customers who eat there every week, sometimes two and three times a week.

Chef Hal says that he buys the best and the freshest ingredients money can buy and he knows how to put them together better than anybody else in the city. This restaurant does the basics as well as they can be done; and that sums up their success.

For Chef Hal, cooking at home and eating in restaurants were always his hobbies. Now his neighborhood restaurant serves a clientele that consider him family.

Chef Hal prepared:

  • Oysters L’Abeux
  • Trout Almandine
  • Veal Salad
  • Snapper Francaise
  • Rack of Lamb

Download a printable version of these recipes.

Oysters L’Abeux

  • 24 to 36 oysters, raw
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Oil for frying
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 8 ounces jumbo lump crab
  • parsley
  • lemon wedges

Drain oysters. Dip oysters in cornmeal and shake off excess. Fry in batches in oil — at about 350° — until golden brown. Drain.

Melt butter and gently warm the crab. Pour crab and butter over fried oysters. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Trout Almandine

  • 4 trout filets
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour, divided
  • Seasoning salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • parsley
  • lemon wedges

Combine the milk and ½ cup flour to make a smooth batter. Season to taste. Put remaining ½ cup flour in a flat dish.

Dredge trout filets in flour, then dip into batter. Drain off excess batter and fry filets in oil — at about 350° — until golden brown. Drain.

Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the almonds for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve the almonds and butter over the trout fillets. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Veal Salad

Veal Scaloppini

  • ½ lb veal scaloppini, sliced thinly
  • seasoning salt
  • pepper
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • oil for frying

Season the scaloppini with seasoning salt and pepper. Dip into flour, then beaten eggs, and finally into bread crumbs. Fry filets in oil — at about 350° — until golden brown. Drain.

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pepper
  • chopped garlic
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine mustard, eggs, egg yolks, and seasonings. Beat well. Add vinegar, and then beating continuously, add the olive oil in small amounts until dressing is completely emulsified.


  • Fried veal scaloppini
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Chopped bibb lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Mustard vinaigrette
  • Parmesan

Place the scaloppini on the lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle with vinaigrette and grate Parmesan over the salad.

Snapper Francaise

  • 4 snapper filets
  • Seasoning salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat
  • parsley
  • lemon wedges

Season filets and dredge in flour. Dip into egg wash, and then sauté in olive oil over high heat. When the filets are browned on both sides, put into 350° oven until fish has baked through.

Melt butter and gently warm the crab. Pour crab and butter over snapper filets. Dress with lemon beurre blanc and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Lemon Beurre Blanc

  • Chopped shallots
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • 8 ounces white wine
  • 2 ounces cream
  • 1 pound butter
  • juice of two lemons

Combine shallots, peppercorns and bay leaves in a saucepan. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half. When liquid is reduced, strain off the aromatics, and then return the strained liquid to the saucepan. Add the cream, and reduce the mixture again. Over very low heat, whisk in small pieces of the butter, whisking continuously until butter is fully emulsified. Keep the sauce warm for serving. Once you begin adding butter, it is extremely important not to overheat the sauce or it will break.

Rack of Lamb

  • rack of lamb
  • whole rosemary leaves
  • seasoning salt
  • pepper
  • butter
  • red wine
  • mint jelly
  • parsley

Season the rack of lamb with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Sauté in butter until browned on all sides, then put into 350° oven until the rack is rare in the center.

In the meantime, deglaze the sauté pan with the red wine, and then add mint jelly. Boil rapidly until the sauce is reduced to a thick consistency. Remove rack of lamb from oven, and pour sauce over rack. Garnish with parsley.