Okay. So I’m writing this before my first visit to Gunshow, Kevin Gillespie’s new dimsum style restaurant in Glenwood Park. I’ve heard the lighting is a bit bright and delivery of specific dishes is uneven, causing lengthy waits with no food. Because, you see, you don’t order at Gunshow. The chefs, including Gillespie himself, walk through the dining room with dishes they’ve prepared. As a Gillespie fan even before his Top Chef days, I was intrigued by the concept, but would it work?
LC and I have a reservation so we are about to find out!
The rumors are true, it’s as bright as a hospital. Chunky dark brown wooden tables are clamped together in rows on concrete floors. Exposed ductwork and metal chairs are edgy industrial. But Gunshow is not about atmosphere, it’s all about eating. In fact, you may be eating within minutes of walking in the door. And if you’re like me and LC, that’s just fine…we were hungry!
And that can be a problem. We said yes to every dish that came our way. However, our server did get my cava and his beer before any food was offered. We started with seared ahi tuna with spiced chickpeas in a little nest of sauteed green beans, delicately presented on vintage china. At $16 it was expensive for the small portion, but LC was too hungry to look at the prices.
Four chefs were in the kitchen, which is completely open to the dining room. There is certainly an element of entertainment…you could say the chefs are putting on a “show”. Looking through the dishes on offer for the evening there were three or four that I wanted to try. Now it was just a matter of when they might appear. We were still working on the tuna when one of the chefs stopped by with four bowls of clams in green curry, one of the dishes I was craving. Lemongrass and cilantro flavored the light broth.
Another chef came out with four cast iron skillets of mushroom gratin, starting on the other side of the dining room. I held my breath as several tables passed on the dish leaving one for us. Perfect. The bottom of the skillet was lined with wafer-thin slices of potato then layered with sizzling melted cheeses and an assortment of mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil. Rich and decadent. I ordered a hearty glass of grenache/syrah, a bargain at $6.
After our first few dishes, a group of four young men, self-proclaimed foodies, were seated next to us, making for some fun conversation…until they started taking dishes we wanted! Luckily they only took two of the four double cheeseburgers, a surprise item not listed on the menu. We snagged one to share. Made with two thin patties, two slices of cheese, caramelized onions, and pickles, the burger was reminiscent of Holeman and Finch’s simple yet decadent 10pm burger.
Just when I had given up on the lamb belly with pureed squash, the last serving of it was ready. The meat was fatty and smoky…a great early autumn dish. Our server brought me another glass of wine and asked if there was anything on the menu we had hoped for but not seen yet. Yes, in fact, I was passing on the fish and chips hoping to get a chance at the tandoori chicken. And I wanted the toffee pudding with bacon and fig puree, of course. It was getting late and the kitchen was finishing up…and taking requests.
Just as delicious was the dessert, a sticky, gooey pudding with raisins with a smudge of fig puree, served with homemade ice cream. Bits of bacon on top was a salty bonus.
Chef Gillespie was working, but unfortunately, never made it to our table. However, the service was really great. Despite taking nearly every dish presented to us and ordering several glasses of wine, our bill was just around $100. Gunshow isn’t romantic but it ranks high on fun and flavor.
924 Garrett Street 404-380-1886