Given that Revival is owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Kevin Gillespie, and has been receiving praise around town, the restaurant has been on my foodie to-do list for a minute. Tucked away in downtown Decatur, Revival is located in a quaint house on Church Street, which comfortably rests a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Ponce. The Southern eatery is housed in what appears to be a converted home, creating an exterior that adds even more to the “dinner at grandma’s” feel of the restaurant.
During my visit to Revival, I sampled a great deal off the menu (thanks in part to their family style option), and opted to create a list of my personal favorites. So, here goes…
Bourboncello – I’ve never been much of a digestif person, but one sip of the bourboncello at Revival and that has swiftly changed. The bourboncello is made in house and features bourbon, orange oleo saccharum, and orange juice. The bourbon definitely packs some heat, but the orange helps in making the bourboncello an invitingly mellow sip.
Sweet Potato Dumplings – Since Revival is known for its Southern cuisine, the menu is understandably pretty heavy. There’s catfish, fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, etc. I was in the mood for a meatless entree, so I opted for the sweet potato dumplings. A wise choice. The dumplings are a lighter choice on the entree menu, but are still on the hearty side thanks to the dumplings, which are made from sweet potato and mascarpone cheese. Mushrooms and greens tossed in a creamy sauce also accompanies the dish. The sweet potato dumplings are subtly sweet and serve as a nice companion to the savory greens. Only complaint is I wish there were more mushrooms. I counted maybe three or four. I’m a new fan of mushrooms, so you’ll have to excuse me.
Lemon Icebox Pie – There’s always room for dessert, and you truly need to save room for Revival’s Lemon Icebox Pie. A favorite on the restaurant’s rotating dessert menu, the pie is very reminiscent of key lime pie, but with a lemon custard instead. It’s also a very sizable dessert, making it the perfect portion for sharing.
Kale Salad – While the hickory-smoked local greens seem to be a favorite at Revival, I was more impressed with their kale salad. The salad wasn’t over the top and simply consisted of kale, local apples, feta cheese (from Decimal Place Farm), and boiled dressing. For me, you can’t have a stellar kale salad if your dressing isn’t up to par. Thankfully, the boiled dressing is a win. It’s tangy enough to add pop, without overpowering the apples or (equally winning) feta cheese.
Toasted Old Fashioned – This is the part where I would normally say “You can never go wrong with an Old Fashioned.” But I’ve had my fair share of mediocre Old Fashioneds in Atlanta and beyond. Don’t fear, the Toasted Old Fashioned at Revival gets the Lushworthy seal of approval. This particular Old Fashioned combines bourbon, burnt sugar syrup, bitters, and orange for a sip that benefits from this complex medley of flavors. Also, I love the idea of a bruleed cinnamon stick as a garnish.
***A complimentary food/drink tasting was provided at Revival, but the thoughts in this post are fully my own.