Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reel - The Real Deal in Woodstock Georgia

8670 Main St.
Woodstock, GA 30188
My friends in Atlanta, same gang who I went to Gunshow with, took us to a great little restaurant in the town of Woodstock. It's an artsy little town with lots of small, independent shops and restaurants. Apparently they'd been here before as this was sitting on our table when we arrived. 
The proprietors are a husband and wife team named Karen and David Silverman. Karen works FOH while David is the chef. Karen comes from Capital Grill. We knew a few of the same folks.
We started out with a 1/2 dozen oysters. Nice brine. I skipped the mignonette, so I can't really comment there.
The calamari was the only item of the night I didn't love. The breading was heavier than I like and fairly bland. Then again, it might have been that the Templeton Manhattan wiped out my taste buds for a minute. Stranger things have happened.
The tuna tartar was very good. I liked the chips too.
This was the Shrimp and Lobster Fondue. It had smoked gouda and fontina cheeses and was awesome. That dish went back to the kitchen clean.
Karen pulled this one out of her private stash for us. It might be on the menu now, but it wasn't that night. My dining companion is a serious oenophile and Karen knows it. 
Here's chef David checking his chits and gettin' it done.
The restaurant has a nice, open kitchen. The servers were involved, knowledgeable, and very accommodating.
And here it is in color! 
This was the swordfish with ginger polenta. 
Truffled cream corn was a nice touch as a side. 
The Jerk Grilled Salmon was well cooked. The seasoning was just right. Not too hot, but enough to let you know it was jerk.
The lobster mac 'n cheese was killer.
Excellent shrimp and grits. I really liked the andouille. Luckily, Kelly wasn't a big fan so I got it all.
Alex had the lobster boil. I can't really comment on the lobster as he didn't let me have any, but the I did get to try the broth which was lobster and saffron. Very nice.
Cheryl had the pan-fried trout. It was nicely done. Not overcooked, not under.
The creme brulee tasted like I made it at home. We must have the same recipe.
Chocolate lava cake was done perfectly. Molten center.
Nice mini key lime pie.
Mango goodness.
The happy, and stuffed, crew. From left to right John, Alex, Cheryl, me, Kelly and Kathleen.
If you're going to be near Woodstock, this place is definitely worth checking out. The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent. They make a mean Manhattan too.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gunshow - It's not just show

924 Garrett St., Suite C
Atlanta, GA 30316

Gunshow is chef Kevin Gillespie's 2nd restaurant in Atlanta. I went to his first place, Woodfire, a couple of years ago and was impressed. True, he was a Top Chef finalist, so I should have been impressed, but I had to try it out. This restaurant is a whole different animal.
It's on a fairly non-descript corner in a trendy neighborhood. 
There are cute touches all around the wide-open, airy interior. Gunshow sweatshirts hang by the bathrooms. The napkins are bandana-print. Hick-chic. 
Two of my dining companions. Cheryl and Kelly.
I liked the pig-flag print. 'Merca.
Don't be fooled by the furnishings though. You're in for a dining experience that rivals any top-notch restaurant.  We knew we were getting into something good. Easter Bunny. This happened to be the day before Easter, so we gave it a shot. We actually had at least one of everything they offered. The dish was irreverent and tasty.
 There was a lot going on on this plate. Crispy oyster mushrooms with roasted collard tops and fiddlehead ferns.

Nice stuffed poblano with some heat and flavor. Note the droplets of oil in the sauce. Very neat looking. It was billed as Darryl's Mexican Breakfast.  Darryl actually served it to us, as all of the other chefs who created the dishes served theres. It was neat to have them come up and explain what it was and where their inspiration for the dish came from.
The beverage cart girl was working double-time. She had some serious chops. Good, creative drinks.
The Veal Oscar was tasty, but the presentation on this one was top notch. Very cool looking.
The toasted old-fashioned. The bruleed cinnamon stick was a nice garnish, though not very functional.
The West Indies Daquiri made with rum, Pimms & elderflower was nice.
The Thai Pork Belly Larb. Very reminiscent of the lychee and sausage salad that is so popular at Rose's Luxury in DC.
Straight-up farmstand salad with arugula, strawberries and Asher Bleu cheese with strawberry-balsamic dressing.

Chicken fried quail with Kimchi grits and pickles. I really liked this one. Perfectly fried with actual meat on the bones!
Shakshouka with tomato braised egg and pita. The egg would have been better soft-cooked, but the flavors were awesome.
Another fab cocktail.
Gulf snapper sancocho with yucca and plantains. This dish reminded me of some great meals on the beach in towns far south of the US.
I think this was my favorite. Roasted Cheshire pork loin with confit of ham hock, creamy peas and corn bread. I'm not sure what was done with the corn bread here, but it was like a salty, crispy, corn bread toasted marshmallow. 
Short ribs with beef fat potatoes and braised cabbage.

The duck confit bulgogi was the runner up. Heavily caramelized flavor from the hoison.

Strangest, most wonderful dessert ever. It was a clear, gelatin-like cube with a crazy citrus/mint flavor topped with crispy bits of salty/sweet crunchies. I have no idea how they did this.
The dim-sum style menu at the end of the night. We tried everything.
White chocolate mousse with dolce ganache and banana cake.
This dessert was runner up. Warm banana pudding with a meringue topping. Perfect.
This was something similar to key lime pie.
They have a neat selection of t-shirts and Kevin's latest cookbook, which I picked up, of course. I'm looking forward to trying out some of the receipts when I have time.
If you happen to be going to downtown Atlanta make sure you check it out. You'll need reservations, and they open up three weeks prior to the day. They're hot, so don't sleep on it.
Thanks for reading.