Thursday, December 23, 2010

TAKE IT EASY AT P’CHEEN

Running down the road, tryin’ to loosen my load, I’ve got P’Cheen on my mind… Filling a void in North Highland’s restaurant rich section, P’Cheen is unique with its gastro-pub approach to having fun. Whenever driving by there are locals networking on the small on-the-street patio, but inside, this bar/ restaurant gets lively with local art displayed on its burnt orange walls and in the background upbeat music plays. This is a place to hang, relax, meet friends, and to enjoy good food. Co-owners, Keiran Neely, a former DJ, and Alex Friedman (Biltmore House/ Pastis Bistro/ Anis Cafe), met at Anis Café and wanted to bring to ATL a place to call home away from home.

P’Cheen (Celtic meaning moonshine) reminded me of a really cool pub, Geales in London. It’s nice to walk into a place and immediately feel good. To help this along, P’cheen has put together an interesting selection of wines, cocktails, and beers to fulfill any particular desire. On this warm summer evening the Fourth Ward Pink Lemonade satisfied my soul- absolutely delicious...

The menu is a blend of international cuisines mixed with good ole fashion southern foods made with a twist. The twice fried Big Ass Basket of Fries are served with three sauces for dipping- a Thai chili sauce, smoked jalapeno marinara, and harissa aioli (harissa is a North African pepper paste). Combine this with the Coconut Curry Prince Edward Island Mussels and a Fat Tire beer and I thought I was in heaven.

Merguez is a North African spicy lamb sausage with a pleasant zing, not overpowering, is served with wild mushrooms that impart a nice earthy character. The Guinness Battered Fish ‘n’ Chips is to die for, crispy batter on the outside with moist delicate North Atlantic Cod inside. Served with house-made tartar sauce and malt vinegar, these babies rock, absolutely the best in the city, and probably the best south of Boston.

Keiran had the perfect wine for the grilled/ smoked foods, 2007 Red Dust Shiraz from Down Under. It is a blend of 95% Shiraz with a touch of Merlot. The wine is deep ruby-purple in color with a rich aroma of blackberries, plums and a hint of pepper. The Smoked North Carolina trout is absolutely delicious, neither fishy nor smoky, just a perfect blend of fresh flavors. Can’t help the finger licking here, the tasty Sweet and Spicy Thai chicken wings are out-of-sight. The licking continued with the smoked herb rubbed Baby Back Ribs that are smoked on Sous Chef Mike Lasge’s beasty smoker. The house-made BBQ sauces make this fall off the bone meat so good. But, my taste buds went completely wild with the pork-braised collards with house-made pepper vinegar and the Mac ‘n’ Cheese with fresh jalapeno blended in the cheese. On Mondays, P’Cheen features Mike’s Bone-Lick BBQ menu which is real deal BBQ and on Wednesdays its all you can eat ribs night- don’t think twice about it, it is that good!!!

When I couldn’t imagine the tastes couldn’t get better, I was wrong. The banana-chocolate-nutella-hazelnut dessert, Petunia Mousse Cake from Chocolate Pink Café was to drool over. It matched perfectly with the decadent ChocoVine (Dutch Dark Chocolate blended with Cabernet) from Belgium. Can life get any better? Each night, Keiran puts together a different party theme with different DJ’s or live music- check it out.

What I love about P’Cheen is its comfortable setting, to just kick back with friends, and enjoy good times over reasonably priced fun foods with the sounds of music mixed with laughter from friendly conversation. At P’cheen you can take a world of trouble off your mind, just take it easy…

LGBTG FRIENDLY **** (Diverse Crowd)

FOOD ***** (Upscale Bar Food)

PRICE ***** (Easy on the Wallet)

AMBIENCE ***** (Comfortable Lounging Hang Out)

DRINKS **** (Reasonable Drink List)

www.pcheen.com

WHERE WOMENCOME OUT| www.labrysatl.com


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