Friday, May 25, 2012

Watershed on Peachtree

Cheese straws 

Pork belly wraps - n.c. slaw, cane syrup, dijon mustard 

Butter poached tile fish (flounder) - shaved pecans, stuffed zucchini, Creole meunier 

The mess - red wine soaked sponge cake, pecans, cherries, custard cream  

Hot milk cake - caramel icing, sea salt 

I had the opportunity to dine at Watershed on Peachtree before the grand opening (which is today, May 25th). Thank goodness for having friends in the right places! ^_^

The pork belly wraps looked rather enticing on the menu, and they were absolutely delicious to eat, particularly with the dijon mustard sauce. I'm very partial to pork belly in general, so this was a pleasant surprise. There were four slices of pork belly. I couldn't help but notice the irony of combining something so healthy (Bibb lettuce) with something rather unhealthy (pork belly). The cole slaw came out afterwards - an action that will be quickly corrected, I'm sure. It's not mayonnaise-based, which was great because that would have overpowered the pork belly flavor and clashed with the dijon mustard. The slaw adds a nice texture and flavor to the meal, jazzing it up, if you will. They're going to need a bigger serving plate to accommodate the dijon mustard and the slaw with the lettuce and pork belly, but I digress. The wrap tastes good with the dijon mustard and it tastes even better with the cole slaw. I would definitely recommend that you order this when you go!

The butter poached tile fish was interesting for a few reasons. First, that evening's fish selection was flounder. I can't recall going out of my way to have flounder in the past, so I was curious to try it. Plus, I think the presentation would have been more 'wow' with a different plate color. Of course, this is merely my opinion. The plate color was chosen to match the restaurant's decor, so who am I to argue with the owner's vision? They used the Creole meunier sauce to offset the fish in the presentation, which is an okay tactic but I would have still preferred a different colored plate. Again, I digress. The flounder was quite tender, flaking at the touch of my fork. The sauce was just okay for me, nothing stood out about it. There were times when the flounder was too salty for my taste though. On the other hand, the stuffed zucchini was fantastic. The stuffing comprised Andouille sausage, shrimp, rice, and a few other ingredients. The sausage gave a nice kick of flavor, and the zucchini was soft enough to cut with a knife and fork. I would have eaten multiple stuffed zucchinis, if given the chance.

Obviously, I had to try their desserts, too. The mess and the hot milk cake were both really good for completely opposite reasons! 'The mess' is an appropriate name because of its mix of ingredients. The red wine soaked sponge cake is a great base; it helps set up the flavor profile for the rest of the ingredients. I love custard, so that's that. The cherries were tart for my taste but everything else offset that. The pecans added a nice, smooth but crunchy texture to the otherwise soft dessert. I really liked everything together in a bite, on a spoon. I also feel like I could make the same dessert at home for less. In other words, I might steal this idea soon and you'll see another blog post about it. :oP The hot milk cake is a bit deceptive, actually. You'd think it'd be hot when it comes out but it's not. The sweetness of the caramel icing is tempered by the sea salt to great effect. This is absolutely a great dessert to split with someone, and tastes great when paired with coffee (I had decaf). I also feel like I could make this dessert at home. So, the mess was great because of its combination of different flavors and textures while the hot milk cake was great for its simplicity. I will have to make some time to experiment with these whenever the next potluck invitation arrives!

Overall, this was a good dining experience. The restaurant is located on the ground level of a high-rise condominium. Restrooms are located near the entrance. Valet parking is available. The furnishings and decor are light in tone, creating an upscale country vibe. The bar near the entrance is huge, and leads outside to a patio off of Peachtree Street. Tall ceilings and windows give an air of openness to the space. The dining area layout is not entirely symmetrical, which is unusual to me. There are two lines of booths on opposite sides of the main dining room that fill space between wide columns; they are, however, set up away from the walls so that there's effectively an aisle on both sides of the table. Interesting. Different. If I were sitting in the booth, I'm sure I would appreciate it, actually. It's always a hassle getting out of a booth the same way you got into it. So, the booths are symmetrical but the rest of the dining area table set-up is a little off-kilter, with a few square tables by one wall that have a diamond set-up while others in the middle of the room are traditional rectangular. I am so used to seeing symmetrical layouts, it seems, that this stands out for me. It's merely an observation. Anyway, there are also several drapes throughout the restaurant that are located in between columns that can add privacy to the space.

I think the space itself forced this design layout. It's almost distracting, now that I think about it, because there are so many darn columns. But the opportunity to create privacy could be extremely beneficial in the long-run (i.e., good date place). That was a smart design move. I can also imagine corporate events being held there. Even the Asian-American organization I volunteer with sees the potential for a networking event. It'll be interesting to see how this restaurant affects surrounding restaurants in the area. Go, give this place a try. And if you have something that I didn't have, please let me know. I'd love to hear what others have to say about this place!

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