It would be difficult for a good meal to make me forget the horrorshow that was the UGA/Bama game on Saturday. Not only did I watch it, I was there live. I stood in the pouring rain as the Dawgs got their butts handed to them. It was miserable. But the meal I ate later that night in Atlanta really did almost make up for it.
Gunshow is Atlanta golden boy Kevin Gillespie’s innovative take on the dining experience. It’s basically dim sum, where the chefs walk around with the dish they prepared on a tray. Even the drinks are done dim sum style with a rolling cart. It made for an interactive meal with a high comfort level because you knew exactly what you were about to eat. From the food to the decor, it’s all about transparency here. The restaurant itself is a high ceiling, industrial space with full views of the kitchen. There are racks of pans and plastic pitchers along the dining room walls – just like you would see in a home kitchen or behind the curtain of a restaurant one. Here, they let you see it all, and I found it helpful. You may think you would or wouldn’t like something when you see it printed on the menu and then have a completely different take when you’re looking at it prepared. The chefs are also there to offer perspective on technique and flavor profiles. If you say yes to a dish or a drink, they mark your menu to be tallied up later with the check. Conversely, if you say no, they make a note of your preference and you won’t have to see that dish again. The menu changes frequently to take advantage of the season and the chefs’ whims.
The dishes themselves are nice in size – each is perfect for sharing between two to three people while still feeling like you got a substantial taste. Jerome and I were on a little Daddy/Daughter date night and since we’ve never really met any food we didn’t like, we were ready to take full advantage of the inventive menu. I told Daddy to get the Tums ready because we were going to EAT.
We started with a braised pork tostada with radish, avocado, chickpeas, and queso fresco. The braised meat was rich and saucy with just the right spice level and great texture thanks to the chickpeas. Next we got the buffalo pork belly, my father’s favorite dish of the evening. When chicken wings say their prayers at night, they ask the buffalo gods above to turn them into pork belly. This is the best of all the guilty bar food pleasures combined. My favorite dish may have been the braised short rib with maitake mushrooms because it was melt in your mouth delish. This made me say “Yea, Fall is here and I’m happy about it.” Our final savory dish of the evening was the crispy quail with plums and oranges. It was served with a sweet potato spaetzle that was basically sweet potato funnel cake. While we were waiting to be seated, Jerome spied the rocky road dessert, which is basically a deconstructed take on the classic. He was in heaven and I was offering no complaints.
Dawgs: 0; My Belly: 2,000.