Went to the fourth annual Jerry Garcia dinner at Rosebud (the old Food 101) in Atlanta last night. I share an Aug 5th b-day with a good friend and fellow deadhead, so we convened with wives and another couple for the eve.
Exec. Chef/Owner Ron Eyester has been on the Atl food scene for a while (at Food 101) and he cranks out serious Southern-leaning comfort food with a focus on local/seasonal products. He's also a huge deadhead. Each year around Jerry's b-day and death date (first week of August) he puts on a Jerry-themed dinner. Last year, the menu was based on lot food, those tasty treats we used to scarf up, often wearily, in the parking lot after a show.
This year, each of the five courses was based off a Grateful Dead song. The food was really good, not mindblowing, but rich, comforting and tasty.
Dead tunes were playing throughout the restaurant all night and Ron stopped by each table to tell Dead show tales and commiserate. Twas a good time.
The festive menu
There was also an Amuse of small squares of Kind Grilled Cheese, which was just for laughs really.
Mexicali Blues--Smoked Cheddar and Chorizo Queso with Housemade Chips-This was just silly good, not sophisticated in the least, just a bowl of cheesy goodness served with barbecue chips for dipping.
BirdSong--Grilled Chicken Risotto with Local Sweet Corn and Fresh Chives-This dish was tasty, risotto full of creamy/cheesy goodness. The corn adding a nice sweet crunch to each bite.
Catfish John--Crispy Georgia Catfish w/ Local Grits & Bacon-Tomato Preserves. I mentioned earlier that Ron's food is Southern comfort food. At this point, it was become quite obvious as this was the third dish in a row that was teming with cheesy/creamy goodness. Honeslty, it was a bit much. Catfish was nice enough, and the grits were tasty, but the dish was a tad heavy and we were approaching cream and cheese overload. There was bacon too.
Row Jimmy--Braised Rabbit Ravioli w/ Charred Sweet Onions and Cherry Jus-This was a real nice dish that paired well with the 2007 Sineann Pinot. The rabbit was tender and succulent, the cherry jus adding just the right touch of sweetness on the finish. Probably the dish of the night.
Cream Puff War--Profiteroles w/ Rice Krispy Ice Cream & Peanut Butter Drizzle-Ever make a cream puff, stuff it with crispy-coated ice cream, and drizzle it with a rich decadent peanut butter sauce? This was decadent. Really.
Drank an always nice 2007 Navarro Gewurtzraminer, 2006 Kutch Pinot Noir (which was not showing so well), a 2005 McHenry Pinot Noir Estate (killer) a a very nice 2007 Sineann Pinot Wyeast (damn near stole the show and is available at Ansley Wine Merchants).
Great night. Good vibes, good food, good people. Will be returning next year for sure.