July 5, 2010

First Take: Farmstead 303 in Decatur

Finally made it over to Farmstead 303 for dinner Friday night. They have been open officially for just over two weeks at this point. I was anxiously awaiting the opening, I'm a big fan Feast, their sister restaurant across the street, as you can see from me previous post. I also like supporting the local joints in Decatur.

We ventured into Farmstead at about 6:30 on Friday night and found the restaurant moderately crowded. Perhaps a good-sized crowd considering the 4th of July holiday weekend. The main room has the feel of a warm southern eatery where locals would convene for fried chicken and iced tea. Keeping with Farmstead locally-sourced, farm-to-table, southern comfort food theme, there is a large chalkboard that lists the local farms that produce much of the food for the restaurant.

The first starter we chose were the fried grit cakes with blue cheese, tomato gravy, and arugula. It was a tasty dish, grits cakes were light and airy with a perfectly crisp exterior. I don't really get the blue cheese in the dish here, but I don't ever turn down blue cheese.

We also tried the chicken liver bruschetta in a maderia sauce. This dish was also tasty, but my dining companion had slight issues with the texture of the livers as the pieces were quite large and tough to manage at times. Still, the saltiness of the madeira sauce played nicely with the flavors of the fried livers. Unfortunately, after our two starters, the meal took a turn for the worse.

Both of the entrees we ordered were less than stellar. I ordered the Eden Farms berkshire pork chop with apple cider gastrique and a side of macaroni cheese. This dish wasn't really right in anyway. The chop was overcooked, there was no "appleness" to my apple cider gastrique, and the mac and cheese was also a letdown. Seemed like a rather generic elbow macaroni with a slice of processed Kraft cheese product melted on top. Sorry, you gotta do better on the mac and cheese. This isn't Connecticut!

My wife's entree, Georgia mountain trout with horseradish sauce, spinach, pecans, beet pancake and potatoes, was no better. If there was horseradish in the sauce than I don't know what horseradish tastes like. The fish was also clearly not seasoned well and tasted "fishy" in a not very appetizing way. The beet pancake was promising, but it was buried under the fish and got lost a bit in a dish that was a bit sloppy in general.

I want to chalk my first visit up to the fact that the kitchen may still be ironing things out as they have not been open too long. Considering my excellent track record at Feast, I will certainly be back to give Farmstead another shot in the near future...I just hope they've rethought their mac and cheese by then.

Farmstead 303 on Urbanspoon

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