ON THE MENU
• Spicy crab cake and fried green tomato — Panko crusted lump blue crab paired with apricot and avocado frappe, served on top of a fried green tomato, $12
• Blackened New York strip — A 14-ounce strip loin drenched in a Kaets’ secret Cajun herbs and spices, $30
• Beef osso buco — A bone-in Brasstown Beef shank cooked in a Coca-Cola braising liquid and topped with a Florida citrus gremolata, $28
• Pecan pie — A deep dish pecan pie with curried molasses and vanilla Fleur de Sel ice cream, $8
1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth
Open since: June 17
Owner: Sonesta Hotels
Location: Kaets is at the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Crestwood Parkway, inside the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Hotel.
Hours: 6 to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week
Atmosphere: Tucked away inside of the main lobby of the recently re-branded Sonesta Gwinnett Place Hotel is where you’ll find Keats Steakhouse — that’s “steak” spelled backward.
The dimly lit dining room is set up for date nights, business meetings or any reason to wine and dine. The tables are covered in linen and set for each guest.
“We wanted to put a good steak house with fine dining, but still keep it at a good price point that it’s welcoming,” said Tony Squillante, the Sonesta Gwinnett Place director of operations.
Head Chef Vincent Marra added, “Ultimately, we’re a hotel here and we want to appeal to travelers. We want to keep people in-house because we can do dinner just as well as anybody in shouting distance.”
With the restaurant inside of a hotel, there is plenty of space for large parties. Since its opening in June, it has played host to wedding rehearsal dinners, business meetings and other large gatherings. Recently, it fed a party of 50 people with no problem.
If you need privacy, there is room for you, too.
“We did a board dinner that needed real privacy for six people,” Marra said. “We have the ability to make you completely secluded and take care of you.”
Menu: Kaets’ motto is “Steaks done in a different direction.”
“Our philosophy is that we’re a traditional style steak house with Southern twist,” Squillante said. “We want to do things differently. The emphasis is on organic, sustainable foods with a seasonal menu.”
Since it is a steak house, a large portion of the menu is dedicated to red meat. Kaets offers two types of beef: dry aged USDA high choice certified Angus beef and Brasstown Beef, antibiotic hormone-free animals from North Georgia and North Carolina.
Guests can order tradition cuts like prime rib, filet mignon, ribeyes and New York strips, but there are also unconventional cuts available to eat.
“The osso buco is typically veal,” Squillante said. “We’re using beef and it’s just as tender — if not more tender. It’s phenomenal.”
Even the restaurant’s rice is different than what you would typically find — it’s heirloom rice from Carolina Gold Rice, which is also grown in parts of Georgia.
“This rice was in decline, but these folks have brought it back,” Marra said. “This rice costs a fortune, but it’s a fresh rice. When the grain comes in, it has been hull 24 to 36 hours before and it goes into the refrigerator.”
Since the menu is seasonal, it changes ever few weeks. The bulk of the menu will change every three to four months according to Marra.
“We use what’s available,” he said. “We do our homework up front to see when we can get it local enough. It will change quite often.”
Kaets works with other local companies for its ingredients, including Flat Creek Dairy, Sweet Grass Dairy, Ashley Farms Poultry and Game Birds, Georgia Wild Shrimp, Inc., Norah Mills, Anson Mills, Prestige Farms, High Road Creamery and King of Pops.
Things you might not know: Kaets was formerly JW’s Steakhouse.