Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watt's Grocery: Southern elegance with local flavor

I've mentioned Watt's Grocery in a number of posts, so I figured it was about time I dedicated an entire post to this amazing restaurant. Chef and owner Amy Tornquist creates delicious Southern inspired dishes with local and seasonal ingredients. The menu changes with the seasons and reflects the best that North Carolina has to offer. In addition to these great dishes, the wine list is full of organic and sustainable choices, all of which are great wines. And if wine's not your thing, bartender Laurabelle has created a number of unique drinks perfect for any tastes. (Check out her new blog!)

During my last visit to Watt's, I was half way through the meal when my fiance reminded me that I wanted to write a review. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take photos of our first courses. I had a delicious salad with strawberries, goat cheese, walnuts and champagne vinaigrette. He enjoyed a cup of the day's soup, a hearty tomato and fennel concoction that was hearty, rich and full of flavor.
For our entrees we went to total opposite ends of the spectrum. I ordered the vegetarian plate, an always changing mix of seasonal vegetables, beans and grains. This night's offering was lentil cakes with sauteed raddichio and baby bok choy with a tomatillo relish. The lentil cakes were thick and meaty, making it hard to miss any actual meat on the plate. The vegetables were tender and perfectly seasoned, while the tangy tomatillo relish rounded everything out.

My fiance, on the other hand, ordered the steak. As an avid steak-lover, he argues that Watt's makes one of the best steaks around. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled to perfection (his being rare), this steak easily competes with any from one of the big steakhouses. Served with seasonal vegetables and sweet potato fries, the entire meal was a simple yet perfectly composed plate. Although the steak would have been excellent on its own, it was even better complimented by a glass of Stephen Vincent Crimson Cabernet/Syrah 2007 from Sonoma, CA. This rich, smooth red wine was so delicious I wanted to wrap myself up in it like a blanket. Yes, a weird way to describe wine, but that's exactly how I felt. It was deep enough to be full of flavor without any of the heaviness of too much alcohol.

All in all, this was another wonderful visit to Watt's. The only reason I haven't written about it in detail before is that I generally have such a great time while I'm there I forget entirely to take pictures or write anything down. But I'll add that to the long list of reasons to visit the next time you're in the mood for a delicious, local meal.

Watts Grocery on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Watt's is definitely one of my favorite spots in the area, and thanks for the link to the bartender's blog! I am of the opinion that the drinks are even better than the food.