source: JCT Kitchen website
I've only heard good things about JCT Kitchen. Not just from one person, but every person I've ever asked. That can only mean good things, right? I'm not quite sure why I've never been. It's definitely top of mind when I try to think of a good place to eat. Shame on me.
Yesterday we had a rep lunch at work and she took us to JCT. It's such a cute place. The dining room is one big room, sectioned off with floor to ceiling curtains creating smaller spaces for tables. The windows are also floor to ceiling, filling the room with natural light. There is a bar right inside the front door and also a bar upstairs (we didn't go upstairs, so I can't comment on that bar). Similar to Parish and Rosebud, JCT has a modern, southern atmosphere (exposed brick walls, large black and white pictures, white trim) and the food is similar as well. I'm so glad we have really nice southern restaurants to bring guests when they come to town. And who am I kidding, for me to indulge my shrimp & grits or fried chicken cravings.
There are two things you must get at JCT, the Truffle-Parmesan Fries and the Sweet Corn & Vidalia Onion Chowder. We ordered the Fries for an appetizer for the table and each of us had a bowl of the soup to start. OMG. The fries are delicious. I think anything with Truffle oil is delicious - come on, you know I'm right. The appetizer serving of the fries is HUGE, plenty to share among 5 people. The Soup was also delicious and quite rich. Corn chowder has to be one of my favorite soups if it's done right and JCT Kitchen does it right. It was just enough to hold us over until our food came. All 5 bowls were empty by the time the server came to clear the table for the entrees.
The most popular dish at JCT Kitchen is the Springer Mountain Fried Chicken. How do I know that? It was sold out by the time we ordered. It wasn't even 1:00 yet. The chicken comes with mac & cheese and some green beans making it the perfect southern meal. I wish I had been able to try it. Next time, maybe. Some of the table ordered the dish but substituted the entree chicken with the chicken used on the Fried Chicken Salad. They said it was still delicious. It's the breading that really makes the dish anyway. Their servings were huge and they were forced to take boxes home. Forced... like they were forced. They got to eat it again for dinner. That's fantastic.
I ordered the Shrimp & Grits that was topped with crisp bacon (heck yes!), a fried, poached egg and butter. There was lots and lots of butter in the dish. It was pooling up on the grits. It doesn't get better than that, if it's what you're wanting, and I was. I couldn't finish the full meal, I think I was full from the soup and fries by that point, but I did my best. I left only 2 shrimp and only a little bit of the egg. I've mentioned before that Shrimp & Grits is how Stephen and I determine the quality of a restaurant which is why I ordered the meal. It was fantastic. The grits were a little bit more runny (because of the butter) that I would prefer, so my favorite grits still rest with Parish, but I'd have no problem recommending this meal to anyone dining at JCT Kitchen.
We were too full for desert, but I'll make sure to try some next time.
My dad and my step-mom are coming to Atlanta for Thanksgiving and I'm trying to figure out where to take them for the other meals before the big turkey dinner. Now there is a race between Rosebud, Parish and JCT. Not sure who is going to win just yet.... all three get 5 stars from me.