My last business trip of the year took me to Atlanta earlier in the week. I’ve been traveling here for several years and have been impressed with the evolving restaurant scene. My team has been talking about Gunshow for quite some time so it was a fantastic surprise to find out that we’d be dining there Tuesday evening!
Former Top Chef finalist, Kevin Gillespie, opened Gunshow in 2013 in the Glenwood Park neighborhood of Atlanta. It’s an open air concept where a half dozen chefs offer their best dishes of the week.
Gunshow is open for three hours from Tuesday through Saturday. We were lucky to have the first seating of the evening and spent nearly two and a half hours there.
Each chef is given two main ingredients per week in addition to some seasonal ingredients and are tasked with creating two dishes. Here is a three week view on display in the dining room.
Menus are placed on the table and also double as your bill. More on that later. The first round of drinks are made to order cocktails at the table.
Team cheers! One of these isn’t like the other – gotta love it when champagne is served in a wine glass!
Here’s how it worked. The menu is comprised of 15 dishes and is organized from savory to sweet. The order depends on the chef’s completion of their dishes but generally starts with appetizers followed by larger plates before ending with dessert.
Each chef arrives at your table with one of their dishes in hand. I felt like Padma (one of the Top Chef judges). They describe it to you and it is up to the table to say “yes” or “pass”. You can order as many servings as you want but you only have one chance to order and need to make a quick decision while also doing your best Padma impression.
We started off strong with lamb tartare and grilled squash salad. Disclaimer: I am a pescatarian and had no problem selecting dishes or eating around the meat. If you are a strict vegetarian, it would be challenging to dine at Gunshow but they did make a note that we had one diner who didn’t eat meat at the start of the meal.
#lambtartare #injerabread #kurisquash #avocado
Channeling Padma and the rest of the Top Chef judges, we made sure to ask each chef as many details about their dish as possible instead of giving an immediate “YES!” when they showed up at the table. Not sure all of the chefs appreciated that as they had to get back to their station but these two entertained our series of questions.
#chickensausagecorndog #alabamabluecrab #grits
The best dish of the night was the blue crab and grits prepared by the Executive Chef (on the right-hand side in the two photos above). We ordered three to share between the six of us. It was SO good that I didn’t realize that there was ham in it until I was reviewing the menu the following day. Atlanta knows how to do grits!
We continued saying yes to just about everything. We sampled 14 of the 15 dishes, only passing on the foie gras. Gunshow is a super fun way to spend the evening sampling an entire menu a couple of bites (and sips of bubbly) at a time.
Clockwise from top left: #creolejambalaya #salmonbrusselsprouts #sweetpotatoagnolotti #persimmonoliveoilcake #carrotsmushroomchili #scallopoxtail
Always save room for dessert.
Clockwise from the top: #bananapudding #sweetpotatocustard #toastedalmondcake
Three hours and many dishes and drinks later, we worked our way through an eclectic menu. We started off with three orders of the first couple of dishes and later opted for one or two after an aggressive start.
I’m a fan and highly recommend checking out Gunshow if you live in Atlanta or your travels take you there in 2018.
Question: What other Top Chef restaurants are unique dining experiences?