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May 8, 2007 08:30 AM

The Watershed

I just found out that the James Beard Foundation Best Chef for the S.E. went to Scott Peacock at the Watershed just outside of Atlanta. I've never been. How is it?

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  1. Known for being an Indigo Girls restaurant, one is/was the owner, the Watershed is known for their Fried Chix, which is only available on Tuesdays. It is a converted garage, that is clean and crisp inside. I have only been for Brunch, which was good and I don't like brunch. A friend of mine who works in Atlanta often, LOVES this place. Good wine list, lots of press from NYTimes, Saveur mag, and more.

    1. I've been to Watershed several times - it's in Decatur, where we used to live. The food is excellent. It can be a little on the loud side, depending on when you go, but it's worth it. I've never had anything but a great meal there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Andiereid

        Thanks for the infor. I used to live in Decatur as well. I'll be in the area in June, so I thought i'd ask about the place.

      2. I met my sister in Atlanta last September and we went out to Decater for dinner at the Watershed. We had a really good meal and many of the dishes were in "The Gift of Southern Cooking" the cookbook by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Highlights were the Shrimp Grits appetizer which consisted of stoneground white grits mixed with shrimp paste and served with buttered toast. It was almost too rich for an appetizer, but we still gobbled it down. I had a simple green salad with a garlicky vinegrette that was perfect. For an entree, I had the neiman ranch pork chop with mac and cheese and a tomato, cucumber and onion salad. The salad dressing was vinegar with a little sugar which was nice with the richness of the mac and cheese. The mac and cheese recipe and the salad are both in the cookbook and I have made the mac and cheese a couple of times with good results.

        The only part of the meal I was disappointed with was dessert. My sister had a really nice carmel and apple cake but I had the warm cookies and milk. They were good but not great and I think it is a better idea then reality.

        All in all it was a really good meal and I would go back. I echo the comment on it being loud.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jean9

          I met Scott late last year in Ponte Vedra, FL where he spoke at a luncheon. Not only is he a great chef ...I vote him in for hosting a comedy *chow* show...a charming and funny man who knows how to cook!.

          1. re: Windsor

            That's nice to know, i am a little jealous! I use the cookbook all the time and when I am bored I usually pull it out just to thumb through. All of the recipes I have made thus far have turned out well. The pictures are great too, not just of the food but of both Scott and Ms. Lewis.

        2. Hi. I think it is just "Watershed," no article.
          I was there tonight and have been there several times.

          We shared an appetiser of celery and pimento cheese. DH had a bone-in rib eye with frites, er, I mean, french fries; I had a piece of grouper with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

          The pimento and celery was absurdly good. It's as if he captures the appeal of these old home dishes and crystallizes it. DH scarfed down much of the 19 oz rib eye but he allowed me a taste--very steak-y flavor, a macho steak. My grouper was beautifully cooked. I am not crazy about Scott Peacock's mashed potatoes; I think he messes with them too much. Which is unusual for him. Usually he is great about letting the basic ingredients shine through.

          Scott: trust the potatoes!

          But this was a very good meal. And such a Decatur experience. The James Beard chef of the southeast, you walk into the place, hardly a five minute wait, people in their sneakers, people in khakis, friendy and laid back. I just love it.

          His staff needs help. I had a glass of wine at the bar--the bartender said, "no oak, if you like a traditional chardonnay try something else." Later, at the table, the waiter said, "A little oaky, but not too much so." This is for the same wine selection. His food is good, the wine is interesting. Somebody needs to tie those things together better. I was wishing that I had the confidence in the staff to ask for a recommendation for the perfect wine with my dish.

          In the past here I have enjoyed the fried chicken, the chicken salad sandwich (my fave), the chocolate cake, the pork and fig sandwich, the cheese plate, the veg plate, the salmon croquettes, and several other dishes. All have been tip-top.

          Go. You won't be disappointed. And if you don't know decatur, take a walk afterwards. Stop into Decatur CD to listen to some music. Walk to our town square (recently refurbished and looking good,) try the Chocolate Bar--this is a subject worth its own commentary.

          We Decaturites are very proud to have one of our own achieve the James Beard prize. We just hope we can continue to get a seat!
          Maybe I will see you there.