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The Southern Gentleman

IN THE HEART OF BUCKHEAD

Article by Liz Attaway

Photography by Liz + John Attaway

Holding every door for you. Greet you with a genuine smile. Dressed to impress. Asking politely to hold your hand. With all that southern authenticity and charm, you’ll get this vibe from The Southern Gentleman in Buckhead! From Southern-inspired fancy fried chicken, divine duck, spicy shishito peppers, some fantastic signature cocktails, creamy potato gnocchi and a fun dessert, expect to be charmed by this one. Let’s not waste another minute. Who’s hungry?

Starting with the sips, we sampled Nick’s Garden and The Upside Down. The favorite of the two was Nick’s Garden because it was a vegetable-forward cocktail with a ton of tasty flavor. With the earthiness of beets combining with the lemon, earthy gin, blackberry for tartness and honey for sweetness, this cocktail created a balanced sip from start to finish. Plus, it’s gorgeous! The Upside Down pays homage to the classic piña colada or pineapple upside-down cake, take your pick. With pineapple the star of this cocktail, it combines lemon rhubarb bitters for some earthiness and tart that pairs well with the rum and pineapple. This one drinks like a tiki pineapple drink with a nice froth that is reminiscent of the beach.   

To begin our meal, we tried three small plates that included the Homemade Buttermilk Rolls, Potato Gnocchi, and Blistered Shishito Peppers. Something you must get for your table are the Homemade Buttermilk Rolls because they’re not just any ordinary roll! They add bacon fat to them on top of the tender and buttery rolls, so that the bacon flavor lingers on the back of the bite. They’re something that you have to try—buttery, warm, meaty. Then, the potato gnocchi tastes exactly like a loaded baked potato! With a creamy, sharp sauce that is so rich and deep, it engulfs the tender potato pillows. It ends up being sharp, creamy, yet soft and fluffy. All-around yum. Our favorite bite had to be the Blistered Shishito Peppers. We’ve never been a big fan of these peppers because they’re either bland or just not cooked right, but this dish changed our minds. Actually, our minds were blown by how much this dish brought a hint of spice, the savory of the Bahn Mi vinaigrette broth, and the meatiness of the ham. We couldn’t stop eating because it started with a pop of the pepper skin, a slight earthiness, followed by spiciness, then cooled and brightened by the flavorful broth and ham. Must try. 

Of the main dishes, the Honey-Glazed Duck and Buttermilk Fried Chicken stood out as the most interesting. Duck is an acquired taste for some, but it’s divine for others, and we love our duck. The Honey-Glazed Duck didn’t disappoint with tender and slightly sweet duck perfectly paired with a lemony forward sauce that brightened the savory of the jus. On the side, the creamed turnips were creamy, earthy and they hide the best surprise, the most amazing duck sausage we’ve ever put in our mouths! It was salty, hearty, and whatever you do we recommend you mix it with the creamed turnips and sauce. Divine duck IS RIGHT. As for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, this beauty was pretty to behold but also was fantastic to eat. The crunchy shell is glazed with hot honey, all while masking a tender piece of white meat inside. Crunchy, spicy, sweet, and tender. Then, creamy, and mellow leaks accompany the heartiness and spice of the meat. Complex and good.

Staying for dessert, we decided that Pumpkin Spiced Donuts sounded like the perfect way to end our meal. They make these doughnuts, fry them up, and top them with tons of cinnamon. On the side, coffee ice cream goes well with the crunch and cinnamon flavor of the donuts and is reminiscent of coffee and donuts in the morning. What a great way to end this meal. I do declare if this wasn’t a fantastic, well-rounded food adventure.

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