Published in Roswell Patch January 2012 – my whimsical review, story of the fantastic food at Table and Main in Roswell, Georgia.
Sometimes being a freelance writer has major perks. You’re not always holed up in your office from dawn to dusk, brain full of words and ideas, tea plugged into the IV, chocolate close at hand, a slave to the page. Sometimes I am released from my word cave and allowed to venture out into the real world. My love for all things eatable is why I have to run 4-5 times a week. So when my editor at Deep South Magazine emailed me with two new restaurant assignments, my stomach leapt for joy! My mission (and I always choose to accept), find THE places to eat Southern in Atlanta and keep it to four. Um, really? Despite this difficult task, I came up with my top three choices but I still needed a fourth.
My sister, a Roswell resident and lover of all things delicious, suggested Canton Street’s Table and Main. This young upstart has been making a lot of noise in the local foodie circles since its opening in July 2011. It already has a loyal following among the Canton Street regulars and I was excited to join them. Trusting my sister’s taste buds, I quickly made a reservation for the following Saturday night which was the beginning of Roswell Restaurant Week! My sister and brother-in-law would be joining us in our endeavor and were ready for the challenge. I shot off an email to Ryan Pernice, General Manager, to let him know I would be in and that Table and Main would be profiled in the spring city guide the magazine was putting together. The restaurant was also getting a mention in the upcoming article 50 Where to Eat Now in 2012 in the South. I knew I was taking a risk pitching them before I had actually sampled the fare, but based on the Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews as well as the word on the street, I just had a feeling. I trusted my gut; pun intended.
Saturday night arrived! I donned on my battle gear…4 inch platforms, black skinnies and a leather jacket. Being good foodies, my husband and I had already given the menu a once over and discussed it at length during the car ride up from Midtown. Our long runs are always Saturday morning, so the evening meal is our reward. When we arrived, the century-old house was packed, people spilling out of the front door, most without reservations. The décor was hip and sophisticated yet warm and inviting at the same time. It would appeal to the urbanite and suburbanite alike. After giving our name to the hostess, we were seated immediately. As we walked to our table, I saw people laughing, drinking wine and enjoying themselves. It was a good sign. The table next to us was a group of ladies enjoying a girls night out. The wine was flowing and it was there that I got a glimpse of the fried chicken. There are no words, well, one, HUGE! It was as big as the plate, fried to perfection sitting over a bed of potato salad. I resisted the urge to jump the table and placed my tongue back in my mouth. I played it cool.
Table and Main had an extensive wine selection which made me very happy. My husband had his choice of quite a few local brews, including his favorite, Sweetwater 420. The full menu was open to us but there was a Prix Fixe menu developed especially for Restaurant Week featuring proven favorites and some new concoctions conjured up for this inaugural event. For $25 you could select an appetizer, entree and dessert from the three choices in each category. There it was, the fried chicken. I had been good all day. I ran my 7.5 miles, my husband his 12. We deserved this! My pregnant sister, Kathy, after thoroughly checking out whether she could consume certain fish, cheeses, etc, decided on the Prix Fixe menu as did my husband, Paul and myself. The spinach strawberry salad and she crab soup were ordered along with my fried chicken, the tuna over grits and shrimp and grits. My brother-in-law, also a Paul, ordered off the regular menu and went with the hush puppies and burger.
I could hardly stand it, I was ready for that fried chicken. I had seen it served to three other nearby tables. Where was mine? It had been 30 seconds since I finished my salad. And then…our servers announced that dinner was served! Our mouths watered as each dish was set in front of its respective conqueror. The helpings, generous, just like at my Granny’s house. My fried chicken towered over the other entrees, again, fried to perfection with crispy skin, tender and juicy meat. The shrimp in my sister’s meal, not puny, not cut up, but whole and beautiful. The burger my brother-in-law was to devour was large and in charge, cheese dripping off the sides with three considerable steak fries. My husband’s tuna cooked exactly the way he requested served over tomato-based grits with a side of asparagus. The conversation subsided. We were too busy eating, no time to talk. By the end of the main course, I declared I was so full I couldn’t eat another bite. I had conquered the fried chicken! But it was time for my favorite part of any meal, dessert: Chocolate Pudding with Chantilly Cream and ‘nilla Wafers, Bourbon Butter Pecan Ice Cream and Apple Cobbler. I thought, ok, I can find space for this. Based on facial expressions and gasps of “this is SO good”, dessert was a major hit! Needless to say I finished mine. I did not share with my table mates. I am not ashamed.
Ryan returned to the table to ask us if we had enjoyed our meals. “Delicious!” “Outstanding!” “Fabulous!” “I’m full!” A big grin emerged on his face, pleased that we had joined the many Table and Main(er) converts. I told Ryan that my “gut” feeling about this place was correct and well worth the mention on our 50 list. I would be in touch with him in a month to sit down, over drinks (I love my job), and discuss the restaurant to profile it in Deep South for their city guide. He thanked us for coming out, especially my husband and I for the drive from ITP. I told him it was no trouble especially when there’s Canton Street food involved.
Smiles on our faces, stomaches happily distended, appetites sufficiently tamed we walked out of Table and Main vowing to come back again. I am excited to sit down with Ryan and chat him up on the menu as well as the premise behind this wonderful new edition to Canton Street. Atlanta is becoming known as a foodie town. There are so many fantastic places to eat all over this city. But for me Canton Street is by far one of my favorite places to dine. Where else can you restaurant hop and get Asian, Mexican, Latin, Pub, Contemporary, French and now Southern cuisine all on one street? Are you reading this ITPers, Canton Street is worth the drive. And if you are looking for a hip yet quaint eatery that reminds you of your granny’s cooking, get thee to Table and Main! It’s Southern comfort food done right. I suspect with my hardy appetite, long run saturdays and hankering for good fried chicken, I’ll be a regular.
Table and Main; they cleaned up Granny’s cookin’ but kept the flavor. It’s magic! 1028 Canton Street, Roswell, Georgia 30075