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Restaurant Reviews: Superica, Watershed, 4th and Swift

posted on September 22, 2015 at 11:51 am

Southern food institution Watershed closed its Decatur doors in August 2010. The restaurant never stuck its landing when it reopened as Watershed on Peachtree in May 2012. It lacked heart. That is, until Zeb Stevenson came on as head chef last January.

The chef, formerly of Parish, Proof and Provision, and Livingston, is reinventing a menu that seemed destined to stick with the staples of famed chef Scott Peacock. Owners Emily Saliers and Ross Jones have given Stevenson creative leeway with the menu but some dishes, such as the beloved fried chicken, remain. Stevenson introduced more European ingredients like Italian-style lardo (cured pork fat that is thinly sliced so it basically melts), but manages to make it feel Southern. The chef is taking the restaurant in a direction that’s less about the South and more about what the South can yield.

Southern standards come easy to the chef. Just as the first housemade benne wafer spread with pimento cheese crumbled in my mouth, my brain directed my hands to assemble another. Freshly baked cornbread sticks are warmed to order. The salted Banner Butter sashays through the bread’s nooks and crannies as it melts. If you like sweeter cornbread, a local honey accompanies the appetizer.

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