This Inman park gem has been around for a decade. I can understand why after dining there.
Looking at the bar menu I find the wine selection a bit disjointed. I struggled to find anything I actually wanted then again pairing wine with southern food isn’t exactly the easiest thing even for me. Sweet tea seems to be the best option for such fare. Alas I am a drinker so I made my selections accordingly.
Wisteria is a somewhat small charming warm space. It is cozy and welcoming. I can see myself wanting to go regularly if I lived closer.
Menu: This is creative southern at its best. Southern can be a bit dull for an adventurous eater but Chef Jason Hill knows how to beat the boredom. Despite naysayers back when he opened up he stuck to his guns and 10 years later on a Saturday night people are lined up waiting for a chance to sit and taste his food. Do what you love and believe in, do it well and the success will follow.
I was anxious to try the crab bisque as evidenced by the photo. I couldn’t wait to taste it before taking a picture. Soup can be deceptive. Rarely is it pretty. It’s all about flavor. Without a doubt it is one of the best seafood bisques I’ve ever had. Dense, flavorful, balanced and a very generous amount of crab meat. Nice sized portion. Anything larger would be too much to finish.
Arugula salad with grilled apple and home fried onions. Decorated with glaze pecans and a simple dressing this is a delicious unique salad without being over the top.
Fried oysters with sherry cream sauce and a grilled crouton. Very large fat oysters you can knife and fork. Nice fry on them but I caution they have a very strong gamey taste. If you aren’t not a strong flavored oyster fan this isn’t for you but I am. Delicious. It is fatty and rich with the cream sauce but really is that a problem?
Black eyed pea hummus! If that doesn’t say white linen southern I don’t know what does. The humble black eyed pea is transformed into a smooth paste and garnished with cherry tomatoes and black olives. Side of sweet potato chips round out the dipping situation. It’s certainly an interesting plate of flavors. I didn’t dislike it but didn’t want more than 3 bites. The tomatoes are a little useless there but nothing else is. I think a homemade saltine would be a more inviting vehicle for the hummus but that’s just my thought.
Molasses rubbed pork tenderloin with sweet potato soufflé and walnut relish. Once this was delivered to the table my eyes really feasted. What an inviting plate of food. Perfectly cooked loin set on top of an absolutely fantastic flavored soufflé. The walnut relish is a raw chop of apples, celery and nuts with some delicate seasoning. I found this to be an ideal transitional dish for Atlanta early fall. The days are still warm and the nights are cool. The whole plate just works. Very successful. If you're doing southern fare and you're not doing your pork well you won't last. Kudos.
Fried chicken over braised greens and corn pudding. This had a misleading mushroom herb broth mentioned on the menu. I find this dish a little confusing. This isn’t button mushrooms, but real meaty mushrooms put with greens and chicken they seemingly out of place. Certainly cooked very nicely but I don’t see the connection. The chicken is fine, moist but not anything outstanding. It’s nearly a whole half chicken deboned and fried so you can eat it without getting your precious fingertips mussed in front of civil company (not that there’s anything wrong with that) Greens have a kiss of pleasant heat and prepared well. My favorite thing on the plate was the corn pudding. As good as any I’ve had.
Sweet potato praloine cheesecake. I will warn you the desserts are very small which I wasn’t expecting considering how nicely sized the previous portions are. That said, this is one incredible tasting seasonal cheesecake! Creamy, well flavored and served at an ideal temperature to let the flavors really sing in your mouth. I could have eaten 3.
Coconut cream pie. Another petite sweet tease and a delicious one. Not quite as flavorful as I’d expect but nothing to turn your nose up at. I suspect if this was a full size pie slice versus and individual tiny single serving tart it may have been more balanced tasting against the crust but all in all not bad. Nice flakey crust and creamy smooth filling. Lots of chew from the coconut. I ate every bit.
We enjoyed wonderful attentive service and met Chef Hill at the end of the night. I love to see chefs out in the dining room talking to guests. To me that shows they care and want to see people enjoying the creations coming out of the kitchen. I will be returning.