Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/3/20
Carson Kitchen, the newest edition to City Center in Alpharetta, feels homey with the open-air kitchen, delivers soulful and sinfully good food, as well as thoughtful, elevated cocktails. Every single thing we tried on their menu was top notch, from the scrumptious bacon jam, to the divine deviled eggs, to the best #$%@ black rice and oxtail risotto, the tender and perfect NY Strip, and let’s not forget the How ‘Bout Dem Apples delightful cocktail. Food so good, you’ll swear by it. Trust us, you’ll let one slip. Get ready to pay the swear jar (more on that later). Fantastic food adventures ahead, enjoy the ride.
Sips like the How ‘Bout Dem Apples cocktail reminds us of the holidays. With it’s apple and all-spice forward flavor to the sweetness and smoothness on the back, it’s an all-around delicious drink. You’d forget it had whiskey in it if we didn’t mention it. They had a ton of options from tequila, gin, vodka and so many other variations, plus they have a sangria that looks tasty too. We’ll have to try more.
Then, we started the sampling with a few of the appetizers like the bacon jam, deviled eggs, and crispy chicken skins, but the best appetizer by far was the bacon jam. Imagine savory, crunchy bacon ground up and mixed with jalapeno and brown sugar and topped with melted Havarti. It reminded us of candied bacon in a bowl. This is the appropriate place to insert the mind blown emoji. It was rich, decadent, savory, sweet, spicy, and creamy all in one dip. We can’t say enough about this dish, it is an absolute must try. We WILL be back for more. In addition to the bacon jam, we had the crispy chicken skins. It was spicy, crispy, and perfectly paired with sweet honey for dipping. We got a fun tip, to dip the skins IN the bacon jam. How’d they do that? Amazing way to mix and match dishes! Another delicious bite was the deviled eggs, which were topped with salty caviar and fried prosciutto. This little number was tangy and rich with savory yolk, sour cream, and mayonnaise mixed with the right amount of salt from the caviar and fried prosciutto. Eat the whole thing at once, stuff it all in there, it’s the best balance of flavors!
If you thought the bacon jam was amazing, you must try the black rice and oxtail risotto. This dish was the best bite of the night with al dente cooked black rice and risotto, pulled oxtail and a sauce that was both savory and rich. The oxtail itself is like a pulled pork but even deeper and slightly saltier, but that’s a good thing here. Plus, this dish is impeccably plated in a bowl that looks dainty but eats like a meal. It’s every flavor on earth and is breathtaking, but what’s even better is it’s unexpected. It sounds like it would be good, but who knew this would be one of the best dishes we would have all winter? Get. This. Dish. You’re welcome.
The flavor train continues with the cocoa-espresso NY Strip. This sassy dish is one of those steaks that’s thisclose to perfection. The rub is earthy and rich with a slight chocolate flavor that mixes with the savory of the meat. Even better was the demi glaze that was literally cooked with the oxtail bone in it, so it explains the depth of the glaze. It was tangy and slightly fruity to enhance the flavor of the meat and rub. Don’t get us started on the tenderness, either. All the elements have us wondering, “where have you been all our lives?” Pairing this with the brussel sprout salad for a little cream and little green, what a delicious meal.
Have you ever had a meal so good and so overall complete that you just couldn’t help but let a little swear word slip? This is it. And yes, they have a swear jar on the kitchen bar! They say their food is so good that you will swear when you eat it and if you do, you’ll have to throw in some money. We may have lost a $20. That money is the kitchen staff’s shared bonus at the end of the year. We dig it.