Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/30/20
Just as the sun sets in the sky, the lights start to glow inside McCray’s Tavern East Cobb, while the hustle and bustle of the guests, bartenders, and staff picks up. The energy permeates the air and entices you to enjoy a light appetizer, try the latest chef’s special, and maybe a cocktail or two. We also have to admit, McCray’s Tavern is more eatery than the Tavern name suggests with dynamic and diverse dishes that Chef Mo continues to knock out of the park. Yes, McCray’s Tavern East Cobb may have traditional tavern fare like wings and burgers, but when you see the extensive menu and specials, all you know is you’re in for a treat. From feisty, spicy tuna tartare, delectable duck, divine butternut squash agnolotti, hearty pork chop, to the lemony East Meets West cocktail, McCray’s Tavern East Cobb turns tavern into culinary adventure. Who’s ready to eat?
While waiting for our food, we sipped on two frisky cocktails, the East Meets West and the Mayan Copa. East Meets West does a balancing act between the smooth gin, lemon, and tiki bitters. Light, lemony, and refreshing, this patio sipper, has so much flavor! This ended up being the favorite because it’s one of those drinks you could have a few of and really enjoy! The other cocktail was Mayan Copa. This margarita-like number takes it up a notch with a little bit of grapefruit and dark colored salt on the rim to give it some sass. It’s a beautiful cocktail with the dark salt contrasting the pink of the drink.
When the food arrived, we couldn’t wait to dive into our first course, which started with the spicy tuna tartare and ended with thai chili wings. This is not your regular tuna tartare, it’s a fun take on this dish with a perfect mixture of tender, spicy, tuna, plus ginger, lime, and garlic. Not too spicy and with a ton of flavor, it’s topped with a dreamy avocado mousse that gives it that right amount of creaminess. Don’t forget to eat it with the wonton chips, those give it that crunch. Our pro tip is to make sure to mix it all together well and eat with those chips. Flavor time! Something McCray’s does well are wings. From the crispiness of the skin, mighty meaty flats, and spicy, sweet thai chili glaze, we were definitely treated to a plate of goodness. No ranch or blue cheese required.
Something we didn’t expect was that amazing specials that McCray’s Tavern East Cobb offers daily! We sampled both the Tea-Brined Duck and the Pasta of the Day, Butternut Squash Agnolotti. Starting with the pasta, this to-die-for dish marries hearty, sweet pasta stuffed with creamy butternut squash with a phenomenal truffle vinegar and butter pecan glaze. With hints of lemon, butter, and the bite of hard cheese, it’s rich, cheesy, hearty, creamy, earthy, sweet, with the perfect amount of sauce. Are you hungry yet? We’re not done, either. Next, the Tea-Brined Duck started with a tender piece of meat with a little crisp on the skin. Paired with a delectable, slightly crunchy jasmine rice cake and a citrus-forward, orange miso glaze, this was a match made in heaven. The richness of the duck works so well with the orange of the glaze and the crunchiness of the rice and skin. We’re thinking just like pork and peaches is a winning combo, let’s add duck and orange to your dynamic duo list.
Finally, we couldn’t resist a crack at trying the Wood Grilled Pork Chop. Boy, we weren’t disappointed as the pork chop was just as tender and juicy as advertised. Simply seasoned and thick pork chop gives off a slightly charred flavor followed by a deep and rich pork flavor that is so basic, but is just one of the best flavors in the world. Must try. We got it with crunchy, earthy, and garlicy green beans that really brightened the dish! Yum.
Something we love about McCray’s Tavern East Cobb is the energy of the manager and how it permeates his team. His love for food, fine dining, seafood, and the customer experience really made this dinner special and not just for us, but for everyone that goes and eats there. Plus, we can’t wait to see what Chef Mo comes up with next, just watching their Instagram makes us hungry, and a little jealous. We’d love to try ALL of those amazing specials they show!