After much persuasion, AA and his wife SPA agreed to try something new. It was Saturday night and we had no reservations, so we decided to go to Krog Street Market and take our chances. There was a two hour wait at Superica, however, The Cockentrice next door had a table for us with no wait.
Opened as a showcase for Kevin Ouzts’ charcuterie from his shop, The Spotted Trotter, The Cockentrice’s once meat-centric menu has evolved to include more seafood and vegetable choices. Plenty of rough-hewn wood, exposed brick, and industrial features create a cozy man-cave atmosphere. Guests can see the chefs at work, with a variety of cured sausages dangling in front of them like meat fringe.
Cocktail time. I tried The Buccaneer, described as a Lebanese Mai Tai, a refreshing drink made with rum, pistachio orgeat, apricot, lime, and crushed ice. SPA chose a girly French Spritz with strawberries and bubbly, while LC ordered Mexico City Blues, a spicy grapefruit margarita.
We began our meal with a few snacks to share. Chorizo Stuffed Dates were more sweet than salty, with pork belly and clotted creme. I was keen on the crispy and light Flatbread topped with sorrell fromage blanc, sherry caramelized onions, red pimenton, gruyere, and handfuls of arugula.
LC, a wing connoisseur, thought it was appropriate to eat some sort of poultry while dining at The Cockentrice so we tried the Crispy Ramen Rubbed Wings. I had seen plates of the giant, jagged bird wings in the pass looking somewhat dangerous, but they proved to rather tame and super crispy.
Both AA and I were eyeing the Butter Roasted Duck and Ginger (a duck sausage), but sadly discovered it was sold out. Instead, he ordered the manly Grilled Dry Aged Ribeye, while SPA tried the Pan Roasted Trout. Although AA had to have his steak re-fired, they were both pleased with their dishes.
Already pretty full from the appetizers, LC and I shared the Crispy Shrimp and Andouille, plated with popcorn grits and roasted okra. I found the breading on the shrimp somewhat thick and flavorless, making me wish we had chosen the Char-Grilled Pork Chop instead. We had another round of cocktails for dessert.
Although we skipped Ouzts’ charcuterie offerings on this visit, I attended a media event at The Cockentrice last winter with an impressive spread of meats and cheeses, served with a wild variety of sweet and savory accompaniments and crusty H & F bread.
Despite a couple of minor missteps, we managed to have a great meal and our friends have a new restaurant to add to their short list!