Monday, June 30, 2008

Daily highlight #39: Comfort food in the neighborhood - Restaurant: Feast

And I am not talking mashed potatoes or mac n' cheese, not that those things can't be sublime when done well. I am just a firm believer that every neighborhood deserves a cozy place where residents can go knowing that they will be comfortable, that food will be unpretentiously good, and that the menu will still harbor surprises.

In my neighborhood, we have Wisteria. A fifteen minutes down Ponce De Leon to Decatur, where my parents will soon reside (yeah, no more Cleveland winters for them), there is Feast, among other favorites like Cake & Ale. J and I love this area. It has personality and doesn't try too hard to impress. Feast is an embodiment of those characteristic. Hidden in an old brick building near the rail track, this place says warmth as soon as you walk in. Someone always says hello like he or she means it. There is a wood burning brick oven in the corner providing a romantic glow (below).

The bar is rustic and comfortable with cushy leather chairs. Everything is just nice and makes you want to take a seat. The menu is not too long, reasonably priced, and interesting with small and big plates for all appetites. But the best part for me are the daily specials. They never fail to sound tasty. This time, there was a scallop and large couscous dish (above). I am a big scallop fan, so had to order it. I didn't go wrong. The scallops were cooked just beyond raw with a nice char above and below. The couscous had a nice texture and had absorbed enough flavor from its cooking liquid to stand on its own.

J went for the other special, a pork chop, which he almost always chooses when it's on the menu. The chop came with nice grill marks. It looked juicy. Since J is incredibly bad with getting meat off the bone, I got the most juicy bits near the handle. It's really lovely stuff when you know how to work a fork and knife. :)

The disappointment of the evening was the dish of fried mushrooms. J and my dad seemed totally into it, so I said nothing. Why spoil someone's enjoyment when the experience of taste is so subjective. To me, the oil that the mushrooms had been fried in smelled and tasted none so fresh. As a consequence, the mushrooms came off somewhat heavy and greasy.

As full as we were, I couldn't skip dessert. We shared the lemon pound cake and the tirumisu. While the pound cake came recommended, I only found it okay. Maybe it just lacked some excitement. On the other hand, the tirumisu, while surprising me in its cake form, tasted lovely with just enough mascarpone, espresso, and lady fingers. We had enough dessert to take home for breakfast. :) The pound cake turned out much more awesome toasted with a cup of espresso.

314 East Howard Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030

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