Friday, July 18, 2008

Restaurant Review: The Shed at Glenwood

Last night's double-date took me to the newly opened restaurant, The Shed at Glenwood. Considering the neighborhood is still not fully gentrified, the Shed provides a little oasis, with low-lighting and dark wood beams. The overall effect isn't especially unique looking or cozy, but it's certainly a pleasant setting for a date.

Cindy Shera, formerly of Twist, has jumped on the farm-to-table bandwagon in a big way, and our waiter and the menu both explained that everything on the menu is organic or locally sourced.

We started with the beet salad that everyone has been raving about as well as a nightly special bowl of beef miso soup. The roasted local beets, orange, goat cheese, and white balsamic melded together perfectly, and the beets were beautifully colored and deliciously sweet. I'm all for sharing appetizers, but I typically assume a salad is for one-person. This $6 salad was way too much for one person to finish. Too much beet-y goodness isn't really a bad thing, but it felt wasteful to leave the plate half uneaten. The beef miso was a nice change from the typical miso soup, with a pleasant salty richness, but again it too was a bit too large for one person to finish.

Our waiter seemed so enthused about the wine list that he actually made his recommendations without ever providing us with the actual list. We were game to try his recommended bottle of pinot viognier, but alas, I found it lacked the depth and juiciness I seek from a pinot. A glass of the restaurant's signature white sangria was sweet and in a giant goblet the size of my head, so at a minimum I got my money's worth on that.

Entrees weren't quite as successful as the appetizers. In a fit of unoriginal thinking, I ordered the steak frite Harris Ranch flatiron with truffled fries and homemade ketchup. I requested medium rare, and the dish I received was far closer to medium well. Since we'd already waited a good 40 minutes for our entrees, and the rest of my party was eating, I had to live with it. I'm not quite clear on why anyone likes their meat cooked so well-done, particularly with a flat iron, it lacked flavor. The fries showed up a few minutes after my over-cooked steak, but fortunately they were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, although I could have done with more truffle flavor.

The guys both ordered the braised short ribs, which were far tastier than my steak, but reminded me more of mom's pot roast than a short rib. I didn't have the opportunity to try the whole fish special my friend ordered, but it looked lovely, and our ever-eager waiter actually cut it apart for her when he put it down on the plate. A bit odd without her having requested it, but she didn't seem to mind, so I suppose his eagerness wasn't out of line.

When the waiter cleared our plates, I mentioned to him that the meat was overcooked. It was a very nice gesture of him to provide us with a free fried banana split to make amends. It of course was delicious, but how can you go wrong with a banana split? Actually they did go wrong with that, too, because it showed up on our bill, but our waiter spotted it after we paid and refunded the money.

I wanted to really like The Shed, but the kitchen is clearly still finding its footing. Fortunately, unlike some other newly opened restaurants (I'm looking at you 4th and Swift) the prices are reasonable, so if you live in the neighborhood, it's worth keeping an eye on. If you don't live nearby, however, I wouldn't rush to try it any time soon.

Pros: Attentive service, pleasant atmosphere, delicious beet salad
Cons: Slow pacing, orders not prepared as requested

The Shed at Glenwood
475 Bill Kennedy Way
Atlanta, GA 30316

Shed at Glenwood on Urbanspoon



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