For her newsletter Knife + Fork, Christiane Lauterbach reviews Kevin Gillespie's Gunshow. She awards it two of four stars, saying "Who knows how all of us will feel once the dust settles and Gunshow isn't the new kid on the block anymore, but after almost a month of being open ... the restaurant feels more stressful than pleasurable, with too much going on in a spare dining room filled with hard edges and loud music." She continues, saying that despite the constantly changing menu, "seasonality doesn't feel paramount," and that "food is shoved in your face every five minutes, leaving precious time for relaxed conversations." The good news? "The food is almost always tasty and entertaining."
Gunshow also gets a two-star rating (very good) from Bill Addison at Atlanta Magazine: "Gunshow stands out as one of the most promising, perplexing, interactive, and utterly ballsy restaurants Atlanta has ever seen," Addison says. He goes on to add that the menu changes frequently and dishes are circulated by the chefs themselves, dim sum-style. The review ends like this:
"Gunshow thrills and throws diners off balance in the best possible way, but it is also an evolving experiment. A few tweaks on the top of my list: There's talk of adding a fourth chef to the mix, and I'd encourage this person to be particularly strong at vegetable cookery, which is woefully underrepresented among the surfeit of meat. Also, the prices can be high, and it's not easy to keep track of costs during the meal's flow. I gladly paid $19 for the Wellington; not so much for a crock of mac and cheese studded with beef sausage that cost $13. There also seems an opportunity for the right sommelier to come in and rock the beverage program, which in the restaurant's early days feels haphazard (though affordable, with the majority of by-the-bottle wines priced in the $35 range, and there's no corkage fee to bring your own). Don't let any of that discourage you from going. Call ahead for reservations, particularly on weekends. Gillespie's reputation and the restaurant's game- changing formula make Gunshow the culinary conversation piece of the year, and the curious are showing up in droves.
Lauterbach's "March 2013" issue (which arrived in mailboxes this week and features restaurants that opened in May or later) of Knife & Fork also reviews CousCous, Villains, and King + Duke. CousCous, on Dutch Valley Road, gets one and a half stars for a "pretty humdrum" menu despite the "delightful shade and secluded terrace" that may draw in guests. Ford Fry's King + Duke gets three stars for the "excellent" beverage program and star dishes on the menu such as the charred octopus salad, oven-roasted Mississippi rabbit, and candied lamb belly. And about the two-starred Villains, the reviewer says, the sandwiches "all have borderline too many ingredients but are undeniably fun to eat." The vegetarian options "earn their place on the menu," and the menu offers "messy, lusty, creative food."
THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: The Blissful Glutton defends Fogo de Chao, $3 sliders are a thing at Corner Tavern, Eat It Atlanta goes to Chick-a-Biddy, Savory Exposure takes a look at the preview of the Pig and the Pearl.