Having the opportunity to spend a few days in Atlanta, last week, was refreshing. Not the typical descriptor for a city famous for it's unbearable heat and gridlock traffic, but it was. Since my wife and I moved from there to Charlotte, 5 years ago, we really haven't had the chance to get back as much as we'd like, so it was great returning to the city we once called home; experiencing nostalgia and seeing all of the newness that's come about since we left. After having four straight meals at some of my favorite restaurants, I decided it was time to check out a new spot I'd heard so much about, Watershed on Peachtree. Well, kind of a new spot. The Watershed I once knew called Decatur home and now, after 14 years, they were settling into their newly fitted uptown digs, located at 1820 Peachtree Road NW in the historic Brookwood Hills neighborhood of Atlanta.
Wide-open doors welcomed me in, and immediately it felt like home. Watershed's layout is clean, and incredibly spacious with natural materials and industrial accents used throughout. With weather in the low 70s, I opted to sit outside on the patio, but the wide open bar sure was inviting.
Watershed's menu supports farm fresh local and organic farmers, and is chock-full of amazingly refined Southern fare. Oddly enough, I went with the Fried NC Catfish with Firecracker Green Beans and Homemade Hush Puppies, after my waiter made several great recommendations. Once he told me about the Firecracker Green Beans being lightly grilled and laced with fresh crushed tomatoes and red pepper, as well as the Hush Puppies containing both dill and jalapeno, my mind was made up.
This dish surprised me. Not because of how great it was, but by how wonderfully different each item on the plate tasted from the way I though it would - not your typical fried catfish plate to say the least (not that there's anything wrong with that). There were so just many amazing flavors throughout the dish, from the thick and meaty catfish, perfectly seasoned and lightly fried, to the Firecracker Green Beans carrying the incredible taste from the grill and supplying the right amount of heat, reminding me of an Asian dish. To cool things off, there was the sweet-tasting homemade hush puppies, containing the combination of both dill and jalapeno. Again, a new and total surprise that was absolutely delicious.
Watershed on Peachtree was exactly what I thought it would be in many ways, but in others it wasn't. By doing something different, they're paying homage to their 14 year past while paving the way for the new Watershed, and that's refreshing to not only see, but it tastes pretty great, too.