In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Common Quarter, the new east Cobb restaurant from the team behind Muss & Turner’s and Local Three. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.
Common Quarter’s brand of Southern hospitality is infused into each facet of the dining experience, affording the restaurant a unique draw. Everything from the relaxed coastal decor to the young staff in logo T-shirts and ball caps reflects the atmosphere it has worked to cultivate. Even the food, which may challenge our expectations of Southern fare, has an honesty to it. The risks that chef Jeffrey Gardner takes stem from intellectual curiosity rather than a desire to drive sales with shock value.
The chicken and dumplings ($18.25) may have you questioning what this humble comfort dish should be. Grandma may shun the airline chicken breast with perfectly blistered skin surrounded by red-hued tasso gravy and the pillowy gnocchi-style white- cheddar dumplings. But truth be told, I much prefer this to a vat of pasty peppered dumplings in overly thickened broth.
Also consider homey dishes like the homey farro mac and cheese ($5.50) and meatballs ($11.50) with sharp tomato sauce and pecan pesto over grits. The pecan pesto adds variation in texture and delays the inevitable tomato monotony.
While Gardner’s inspirations and recreations may not be for some, the pull of this restaurant will ensure that you return to try another dish.
Subscribers can read the full review on myajc.com.
– by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog