20 March 2015
I found myself in Macon, Georgia…yes, Macon…this Friday the 20th. I had arrived in town unexpectedly yesterday having abandoned an unpleasant Savannah and was en route further south. Had an unplanned, lacklustre dinner at a place that’s “highly rated” last night (which I won’t name) — which always teaches me a lesson of what’s good or not, and to just trust my instincts.
I booked Dovetail in advance on instinct, and I walked into a cool looking eatery that wouldn’t look out of place either in Macon, the East Village, or Nob Hill.
It turns out the quality of the food and service would rival the best places in NYC and SF as well, and the rest of the evening turned into a surprisingly wonderful experience in the centre of Georgia. I took a seat at the bar, which would get quite busy later on.
Bartender Haley took good care of me all night, bringing some excellent cocktails and provided some excellent service despite being busy mixing drinks. I can see this is a well-run FoH, and I relaxed and enjoyed some intriguing cocktails. I was driving so had to limit my intake, sadly…
I had ordered some snacks to go with the cocktails, and I was treated to an excellent opener.
This is a wonderful plate of fried chicken skins. The sauce on the side is fantastic, with a lot of bite. But the skin itself is fantastic, crispy and uncompromising, tasty without being difficult to eat. This certainly beats the soggy, floury, inedible mess I had at “award-winning” Husk in Nashville last summer.
I ended up ordering another snack because I had ordered another cocktail…
These deviled eggs were excellent, with just the right spice and mayo base. Tasty stuff, much better than anything on a reception tray believe me!
I had switched to a red to go with the recommended main course, pork chop.
Wow, this is a fantastic piece of pork, locally sourced. Cooked perfectly medium, it brought out all the flavours. The cut was also fantastic, no compromising but not excessive. One of the best pork chops I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a LOT of them over my 43 years. The side of Brussels sprouts were also excellent.
I was more than happy, but extremely full. So I spent the rest of the early evening testing bartender Haley, and she made me 2 fantastic cocktails to close the night. An excellent way to chill out this Friday night in the heart of Georgia.
The kitchen did a fantastic job this evening, showing that you don’t need to “over-chef” things to make it good. Let the fresh, local ingredients speak for themselves, and use your kitchen magic to bring out the best — not to adulterate. There were so many other dishes I wanted to try (quail risotto especially) — I may need to make a detour down here again…
I always worry when there’s such a great restaurant in a smaller town, because my fear is whether the local economy can support such an endeavour. I hope it does, because Dovetail is a gem in the region. Frankly it’s better than anything I’ve had in Atlanta in a long, long time.
I am also glad to see any restaurant as a major part of any downtown revival. I remember Parlor Market in Jackson, and how the excellent food and drink there is helping to anchor the rebuilding of the long-neglected downtown. I hope Dovetail is here for a long, long time to reap the rewards of their trailblazing.
Worth a detour to Macon for a meal, I say that to my readers — and to myself. I will be back.
543 Cherry Street