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Common Quarter restaurant review, East Cobb

Common Quarter's hot chicken (credit: Becky Stein)

Common Quarter's hot chicken (credit: Becky Stein)

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

16 comments Add your comment

ABC

February 28th, 2014
7:34 am

OMG HOLD THE PRESSES!!!! You gave an OTP restaurant TWO STARS???????

I am shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU!

Anton Chigurh

February 28th, 2014
7:50 am

In your photo is hot chicken … as in Nashville hot chicken? The slaw on top presentation is odd, but intriguing.

berr steve

February 28th, 2014
8:07 am

$18.25 for chicken and dumplings? You must be kidding? PASS

Marsh

February 28th, 2014
8:15 am

Came here to preach it but berr steve beat me to it. $18.25 for chicken and dumplings? I don’t care if the chef sat on the egg and hatched that chicken himself, that is not happening.

East Cobb Resident

February 28th, 2014
9:03 am

Way too funny guys. I agree, the prices are very high for what it seems like you get. I do not mind paying these high prices for a nicer place but to spend $18.25 for chicken and dumplin’s and then $5.50 for mac n cheese to be served by people in t-shirts and ball caps is a little outrageous. They will probably not last long with this concept.

Roswell Foodie

February 28th, 2014
9:48 am

Two stars is nonsense, in fact I am shocked! This isn’t mom’s kitchen, I’ve been there and the food is on par with any of the top restaurants you’d find ITP. If you actually go there before you judge the food is fantastic and the menu is much more diverse than the chicken and dumplings. I would agree that the staff should not be wearing ball caps and t-shirts since that clearly out of place with the style of the restaurant and the quality of the food.

Zeus

February 28th, 2014
10:47 am

Yes, Anton, it’s Nashville hot chicken.
Sad to see my fellow suburbanites so concerned about prices when the quality and creativity of the food is top notch and worth the money. The old adage “You get what you pay for” holds true here. And I welcome a high-quality eatery with a casual vibe. Don’t need fancy uniforms to make the food good or the staff knowledgeable.

GoDawgs

February 28th, 2014
10:52 am

This restaurant deserves more than 2 stars! Seriously? It’s a gem of a restaurant in East Cobb which is what we needed. The food is wonderful and the service is outstanding, I don’t mind the t-shirts but the ball caps need to go. The hot chicken in the photo is amazing!

berry steve

February 28th, 2014
11:57 am

Zeus, almost all people that eat out are concerned about price at some level of comfort. My guess is that chicken & dumplings are not the costliest menu item. Chicken and dumplings can only be so great. A new restaurant must survive on repeat customers and word of mouth. On the surface it appears that this may be an uphill battle but I hope not. Yes, your are correct, you get what you pay for. What you get for $18.25 is a darn good buffet item.

Richie from Ong

February 28th, 2014
2:28 pm

Try and navigate the online menu…

Tobiaz Johansen

February 28th, 2014
3:11 pm

I did go to try and as you wished navigate the menyu. Horrible way to find the dinner choices that are presented to try.
Ees OTP place, so not surprised in computer difficulties.

Baltisraul....

February 28th, 2014
4:32 pm

I also tried to navigate the online menu from their web site. Only managed to be able to see 1/2 of the offerings.

gunga din

February 28th, 2014
7:40 pm

what !! no pork belly ????

John

February 28th, 2014
10:54 pm

Gunga, look again at the “I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff…” Yeah, every Southernish place has to have pork belly on the menu someplace. It’s tasty stuff though, so I don’t complain.

Interestingly, I didn’t have any problem navigating the online menus. Sounds like operator error to me.

Baltisraul....

March 1st, 2014
7:40 am

gunga din ……It has come now that every place that serves pork belly does it pretty good. You should not have a problem finding it at most places.

Joel Frantz

March 3rd, 2014
2:43 pm

$6.50 for fried chicken skins…”Nuff Said”.