Marcus Samuelsson Plants His Flag in Atlanta

Plus, the celebrity chef shares a recipe for deviled eggs with crispy chicken crackling

Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

A-Town Deviled Eggs.

Simply put, Marcus Bar & Grille is a vibe

This comfort-food destination is the first Atlanta-based restaurant in the empire of award-winning author, TV host, and chef Marcus Samuelsson. Before you even step inside, lush plants and a spacious patio beckon. Bar shelves lined with old-school speakers, roller skates, and cassette tape players pay tribute to Atlanta’s hip-hop roots. Beautiful people try not to stare when servers glide through the room with plates of ribs, crab cakes, and other craveable menu options.   

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photo: Andrew Thomas Lee
The “All the Smoke” cocktail inside Marcus Bar & Grille

“I’ve always been intentional about placing my restaurants in historically Black communities,” Samuelsson says. Located in the city’s historic Old Fourth Ward, Marcus Bar & Grille is just a few blocks away from Martin Luther King Jr.’s family home. 

photo: Marcus Samuelsson Group
Marcus Samuelsson.

His intentional approach goes beyond the restaurant’s location to its Atlanta-flavored assortment of Southern fare, including Roller Skate Ribs, brisket, and smokey Bankhead BBQ chicken. Especially hungry patrons may opt for King of the South, a shareable entree of rice and peas, grilled shrimp, barbecue brisket, fried chicken, beans, salsa verde, and an optional “baller upgrade” to add jerk pork and ribeye. True standouts on the menu include a fried green tomato and burrata salad made with local burrata, basil, and pickled watermelon; jerk cauliflower in curried coconut; and the fried chicken and cornbread waffle with chili butter. 

The formidable cocktail lineup includes the mysterious James Baldwin, which mixes bourbon, espresso, Kahlúa, and demerara syrup. Those who can handle the heat may be enticed by All the Smoke’s potent mix of jalapeño syrup, mezcal, and lime juice mixed with pineapple juice. If you aren’t heading to Atlanta anytime soon, Samuelsson offers his crowd-pleasing recipe for A-Town Deviled Eggs topped with shatteringly crispy chicken crackling. (While the garnish isn’t required, it definitely adds that “extra” element.) Set some water to boil, turn up the classics, and create your own vibe at home.


  • Marcus Bar & Grille’s Deviled Eggs with Chicken Crackling (Yield: 30 deviled eggs)

  • For the deviled eggs

    • 15 large eggs

    • ½ cup mayonnaise

    • ¼ cup chopped bread and butter pickles or sweet relish

    • 1 tsp. kosher salt

    • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting

    • Dill fronds, to garnish

    • Chicken crackling, to garnish (recipe follows)

  • For the chicken crackling

    • ½ lb. leftover chicken skin (from about 2 whole chickens)

    • 1 cup white vinegar

    • ½ tbsp. kosher salt

    • ½ tbsp. ground black pepper


  1. Make the deviled eggs: Place eggs in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once it has reached a rolling boil, turn down to medium-high and cook for 7 minutes at a gentle boil. Remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath to cool.

  2. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, carefully peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks and transfer them to a bowl. Set aside the egg white halves on a serving tray.

  3. In a food processor, combine the yolks, mayo, salt, and cayenne. Blend until very smooth. Add the chopped pickles and pulse until just combined. Transfer to a piping bag.

  4. Fill each egg white with approximately two heaping tablespoons of the egg yolk mixture. Place a dill frond and a ½-inch piece of chicken skin on top of each egg. Dust lightly with cayenne and serve.

  5. Make the chicken crackling: Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a bowl, combine the white vinegar with 2 cups of cold water. Add the chicken skin and rinse well in the vinegar mixture. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

  6. Place the chicken skin flat on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place another baking sheet on top of the chicken skins and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken skin has fully rendered its fat and is shatteringly crispy. 

  7. Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.