A Doc Lawrence Bright Star Restaurant
“Each time I lift my fork, a thousand recollections of things past filter through my mind.”
~Craig Claiborne, Southern Cooking
|Heirloom Tomato Salad|
TUCKER, GA-Look far and wide for another restaurant offering 40 fine wines by the glass. With not a single pedestrian bottle in their cellar, M Five Seven Two (or M 572) faces historic Main Street in downtown Tucker, a place reminiscent of a romantic rural city. Like its neighbor Decatur, Tucker has a venerable railroad terminal and the community is actually older than Atlanta.
For Southerners, whether New York Times food critics or those who have outlived mothers whose cooking was the highlight of every Sunday afternoon, certain distinctive flavors and aromas bring back treasured memories. Somewhere in these memories is part of the charm of dining at Five Seven Two.
Headed by executive chef Jon Allen, a homegrown kitchen maestro who matriculated in Kevin Rathbun’s acclaimed restaurants on Krog Street, Five Seven Two is on par with some of the popular dining spots in Decatur, Buckhead and Brookhaven. For those living in the extended Emory/CDC community, this restaurant is just as close as Decatur, but oh so much more accessible with free and abundant parking.
|Hand Crafted Cocktails|
Cocktails serve as both an aperitif and a reward for surviving traffic. The hand crafted cocktail list is extensive and I opted for their interpretation of the Old Fashioned made with revered Four Roses Bourbon.
Joined by the noted Atlanta restaurant critic Malika Bowling, the menu introduction became a tour de force guided by Chef Jon Allen that began with pickled fried green tomatoes-crusty and not greasy- accompanied with a Little Moo cheese dip. The okra was cut lengthwise, breaded and flash fried. The heirloom tomato salad could have been an entrée. Roasted duck meatballs followed along with Colorado lamb porterhouse chops served with herbed pesto.
The impressive wine by the glass offering encourages paring adventure, something not always available in area restaurants. The red burgundy-100 percent Pinot Noir from France-proved to be a good choice. Other options include a wide range of adventurous wines: a Tannat from Uruguay, a Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel, dry Furmint from Hungary, Albarino, a white from Spain that is really taking off with diners, plus impressive wines from Oregon, Washington, Germany and Italy.
Having such a wide selection by the glass shows confidence in the clientele.
The pièce de résistance was a signature entrée, delicately prepared fresh trout from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina served over Parmesan cheese grits. For this dish, local is the operative word: The grits are from heralded Logan Turnpike gristmill just off the Appalachian Trail in Blairsville, Georgia. “It’s our most popular item,” Allen said.
Muscadet, the wonderful white wine from the Loire Valley region of France, magnified the trout’s freshness. Light and dry with apple and mineral flavors, it was, of course, available by the glass.
|Breaded Okra Spears|
Sides of vegetables reflect in-season local crops. For example, the butter beans were lightly flavored, tasting like something from a residential kitchen.
Desserts are adjusted almost monthly. For Dog Days dining, the selection was either beignets, made with duck fat, cayenne and sugar, lemon icebox pie or a chocolate surprise. The beignets were light as balsa wood.
Five Seven Two blends seamlessly into Tucker’s heritage. The building’s provenance mirrors the city’s history. The menu suggests an optimistic future. The food is genuinely local.
The restaurant is destined for more success which should inspire more restaurants to open. Tucker deserves this.
http://fiveseventwo.com (470) 395.9635