Last week, I finally tried Ford Fry’s latest dining adventure, King + Duke. In the former Nava space in Buckhead here in Atlanta, the redesign is an homage to literature from whence the character names grace the marquee to the huge open fire pit for cooking.
When I first heard about this reflection of the denizens of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it all seemed a bit precious. Until you taste the food! Campfire cookery taken to a gastronomic foodie extreme!
Upon entering, after you get past the cutesy foyer and beautifully appointed dining area, you are engulfed with that aroma that makes your mouth instantly water. The hints of slightly caramelized meat cooking over an open fire. Bring me a pillow! It is the most wonderful and intoxicating smell.
The lunch menu is compact, chef driven and to the point. After Sorcha, our friendly, funny, well-informed, foodie, at-the-right-hand-of-Ford-Fry waiter, gave us the low down, I opted for the Ploughman’s Lunch and my dining partner chose the Hearth Roasted Fish of the Moment. Today’s offering was striped sea bass.
My lunch, served on a rough carving board, had moist and smoky slices of roasted pork, a bit of cranberry conserve, a lovely take on a wedge salad, rich and toasted pumpernickel and a generous slice of a summer tomato cover by sliced avocado and a soft boiled egg. Delicious!
The fish on the other dish was coated in spices and roasted to campfire perfection. You can’t really achieve that type of crispy outside in just an oven. Served with halved okra grilled over the fire and then tossed in an herbed vinaigrette, it was the perfect accompaniment to the figure friendly meal.
Upon the suggestion of our fabulous waiter, we both decided on a glass of the Hugel “Cuvee des Amour” Pinot Blanc from Alsace. Crisp, slightly acidic with a bit of a flowery finish, it was a perfect choice with both dishes. (Yes, wine at lunch, It was Friday!)
But why stop there, how about dessert. I had the Sundae Funday – vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, hot fudge, brownie, peanuts, whipped cream and a cherry. (Yeah, shut up!) My healthier food adventurer had a scoop of the house made blueberry sorbet. Both were fun and sweet endings to a great lunch.
I have always been a great fan of JCT Kitchen and after a recent visit, The Optimist. Mr. Fry has done it again with King + Duke. He has a couple of new adventures in dining on the horizon. Still have to check out his Italian eatery, no.246 in Decatur. Keep them coming, Ford!!!