I love a lot of things about the food scene in Atlanta. Dining at any of the abundant New American/Southern restaurants in the city that rules the south is sure to be an experience that leaves you feeling satisfied in the deepest sense of the word. The magical and intoxicating blend of hospitality, delicious dishes, quirkiness, and divine libations is much more than the sum of its parts, and I’ve found is often hard to come by in other cities.
Not to knock the amazing and diverse cuisines in my current city (Los Angeles), but I’m always excited to hit my favorite spots when I make my regular visits to my hometown. On my last trip to Atlanta, I preempted a reservation at Kevin Gillespie’s new restaurant, Gunshow, which makes a bold name for itself in its unique concept and design. The calibre of cuisine is a non-departure from Kevin’s former digs at Woodfire Grill, but the feel of the experience is unlike any other restaurant I’ve tried & loved before.
Gunshow’s unique concept spawned from Chef Kevin’s desire to to create a place where anyone could feel comfortably at home, but still get to experience all the delights of fine dining cuisine. A born-and-raised Georgia boy himself, Kevin’s innate predilections for hearty and soulful southern ingredients are evident in the ever changing menus at Gunshow.
It’s not just the types of dishes that have a definite southern flair, but the methods of preparation and the thought behind the concepts; you’ll see a traditional rabbit part starring in one dish and then pickled rabbit guts on the next, providing a backdrop for beef tartare. The idea is that nothing is wasted and everything has a purpose (traditional southern cooking ideologies) brought to life by the inventive and imaginative chef behind the scenes.
I should mention that ‘Behind the scenes’ at Gunshow takes on an entirely different meaning, in that it can be used in only a figurative sense. In fact, nothing happens behind the scenes – the design of the restaurant is completely open with the kitchen and dining room fully integrated.
Gunshow takes the open concept even further by eliminating the middleman (the server). Instead of placing your order with a person and waiting for your dishes to arrive, you instead scan a short menu and then wait for the chefs to come to your table with the dish they just prepared – they tell you a bit about it, then you decide if you want to try it.
Of course you want to try it, so they plop it down on the table, check a box on your menu, and you happily munch away until the next chef comes by with another dish for you to try….
Which you gladly accept. And so on. Until you and your friends are stuffed from the savory fare, and your dessert compartment opens up.
Gunshow is a place for everyone. I would take my favorite neighbor from the backwoods of Georgia, my cultured out-of-town friends, and my parents. On separate visits, of course, so I have more excuses to return myself!
Admittedly, my favorite part of the experience was meeting and chatting with Chef Kevin. He’s disarmingly genuine and seems right at home in his new kitchen. The awesome guy even indulged us with a photo or two 🙂
Now that I’m back on the west coast, I’m stuck dreaming about toothsome dishes made in cast iron skillets… until next time!