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I’ve never been much of a fan of Southern Food. And I’m even more of a skeptic about what’s called “upscale Southern” as Dogwood Restaurant has been dubbed. To me, Southern food can be found and hole in the wall type of places. So, I put off visiting Dogwood Restaurant for quite a while.
Part of the reason I was enticed to visit Dogwood was their promotion I found on the Groupon site. They were offering $35 off of the meal, for the cost of $15. Waiting until the last day possible to use the certificate, we headed out to Dogwood on a rainy Saturday evening.
Located on Peachtree Street, just a couple blocks south of the Fox Theatre, Dogwood is a very pretty place. Inside, neutral colors are abundant throughout the restaurant. We were seated downstairs against the wall, but had I seen the upstairs prior to being seated I would have insisted on sitting up there as it seems more private and away from the noise of the open kitchen.
Our server, although very pleasant, didn’t waste anytime touting their wine special that evening. The special that evening being a red, available for $55 (bottle only). She gave us a taste (only a small one that we both had to share) but neither of us cared for it that much. We each picked one by the glass, averaging $10 a glass. If you don’t want to buy a bottle, there is a limited selection by the glass – one per variety.
Our server had shared with us her favorite appetizers, which also happened to be the most expensive ones. Coincidence? Perhaps. We went against her recommendations and didn’t order the foie gras or the lobster cake. Instead, we ordered grits and the pork belly with pickled collard green relish.
There are 3 types of grits but we chose the scallops with sherry cream. Although I’m not a fan of grits, I still did want to give these a try to see if “upscale Southern” isn’t just an oxymoron. I liked the sweet sherry but not the grits. It wasn’t the consistency, but the saltiness that I didn’t care for. I understand that they have a tasting of all 3, which if you have a group may be a good option as the other options are pork and sweet tea and pimento cheese and ham.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason I had in my mind that the pork belly would be served in a bun – perhaps like a slider. I suppose it was because the description says it comes with collard green relish and mustard, so I just assumed there would be some bread – but it was Atkins friendly. The 4 pork belly on skewers were decent, don’t get me wrong, but at only about 1/2″ square, hardly worth the $7 price tag.
We also gave the Acorn Squash Soup a try. With parmesan, pecans and maple creme fraiche all working well together making a very tasty soup – our meal was starting to look up. And the red wines were starting to open up with the progression of our food.
As for mains, Glen immediately choose the flat iron steak with fingerling potatoes and lobster. It was the only thing that appealed to me. Nothing else on the menu seemed all that interesting – trout, salmon, swordfish, short ribs, chicken breast. So, I revisited the small plates menu and settled on the mussels. I had seen them be delivered to another table, so I knew they were a generous portion.
Glen’s steak was delicious, cooked medium and with a great chimichurri sauce. And the potatoes with lobster were terrific. I wasn’t expecting such large pieces of lobster, which was a nice surprise. Glen shared a couple perfect bites (a piece of steak smothered in chimichurri sauce, lobster and cilantro) with me.
My mussels were tasty as well, no regrets on my part for not ordering an entree. They were made with smoked tomatoes and sage which gave them an overall smokey flavor which I very much enjoyed. Not only were they tasty but they were large and they pulled apart from the shell effortlessly, quite the opposite of the mussels at Dolce.
Although we had sampled a variety of food by this point, the portions weren’t huge, leaving us room for dessert. There were only 3 options – a chocolate / peanut butter cake, a strawberry almond bread pudding and another option that escapes me right now. But we chose the chocolate cake which didn’t disappoint. Rich, but not too rich, it was a delightfully sweet ending to our meal.
565 Peachtree St
Atlanta, GA 30308
404 835 1410