I’m going to let you in on a secret. Well, it’s not a big secret. Actually, a bunch of people know already, but it’s still only the “in” crowd and the “cool kids” who know. You know?
I’m reluctant to tell, but I must stay true to the mantra that sharing is caring. And I’m all about sharing my food experiences, as I hope you’ve realized by now.
They bill themselves as a “southern speakeasy” and that describes the experience perfectly. Each seating is for 10 people only. It’s invitation only. There is a fixed menu with beverage pairings.
It is everything I enjoy about dining – whether it be dining in, out, off a table, from a truck, etc. You get a food experience at a PushStart dinner.
You’re getting the inside scoop into the culinary world of an up and coming (but established) chef in the person of Zack Meloy. But letting you know also increases the number of people vying for one of the 10 coveted spots at his weekly dinner table. That’s the part I don’t like. I don’t want to fight for my seat with newbies searching for one of the best dinner parties in Atlanta. But I guess the competition makes the prize much more worth winning.
How it works:
Submit your email to be included on the invitation list. Wait with bated breath for the email to come out announcing the next date and menu. Hope that you RSVP in time to get a seat. These seats literally sell out in minutes. Prince, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, and The Police sell out events in minutes. Yeah, it’s that serious.
What to expect:
If you’re one of the lucky 10 (it took me three tries to win a seat), you’ll be treated to an intimate setting with nine others you likely won’t know. There is one community table and one menu with beverage pairings. What happens from there is based on the parties at the table. However, in general there’ll be great conversations about anything. At a minimum, there will be good food.
At my dinner, the menu and our host, of course, were the main topics. But conversation also ventured into travel and tourism (I now know about the best way to travel to Cuba, and a lot about Costa Rica), favorite dining spots, zombies, food trucks and picnicking in Atlanta in the middle of August (yeah, who does that?).
PushStart Kitchen really focuses on the entire experience. Food. Beverage. Company. Service. Atmosphere. It all matters. If there were a restaurant that put the package together as nicely as this team, I’d eat there weekly. But I wouldn’t tell you about it. I’d have to keep it my special secret… at least for a while.
1st Course: This won the evening for me. The flan was perfectly creamy. I could eat a pan of the olive bread, and asked that more samples be brought to the table. The combination of flavors allowed each item to sing in perfect harmony across my tastebuds. I only wished for a doggie bag.
2nd Course: I liked this idea but longed to replace the charred onion with garlic for the cous cous. But I’m a garlic nut. The pepper was oh, so sweet and yummy. What if we had whole peppers stuffed with cous cous? Oh my, what a dish!
Dessert: The caveat is that I’m not much of a dessert guy, but it’s blueberry season. You can’t deny the blueberry. That said, I had to try it. I needed all flavors in each bite for this to work for me. The candied lemon was phenomenal and is the key to bringing it all together.