Small Plates Show Down

I picked Dovetail for the first Show Down. As a new fine dining restaurant in downtown Macon, and as an offspring of The Rookery, I couldn’t wait to eat there. Thus far, I haven’t been able to afford an entree, but I have been able to try a few of the small plates and special drinks created by house mixologist Wayne Temple.

The scallop dish sounded so good. From the Pernod (an anise flavored liqueur) aioli, to the fennel leek slaw, UGA caviar and tomato dust, I was ready to taste it all. The UGA caviar is, so far, the only farm raised Sturgeon caviar whose taste rivals that of Sturgeon in the wild. I’ve only tasted non sushi caviar once before and it was briny pearls of seafood goodness that continued to burst with flavor in my mouth as I ate them. That’s what I was expecting from the UGA caviar and damned if I didn’t get it. The scallop was perfectly cooked, the sear on the scallop went well with the fennel leek slaw. The salty goodness of the caviar and the slightly sweet anise of the aioli was such a great combo. Even when I was done, the flavors stayed with me for a few minutes more.

Next, I tried the ribs. Glistening from the Abita root beer barbecue sauce, they were meaty and juicy, a nice portion size and a good choice if you were getting a second small plate. I loved the taste of the barbecue sauce and the bits that caramelized were crispy and tasty. Some portions of the rib were a bit tough to pull away from the bone, but that was only on one of the three ribs. The other two were cooked just right, the fat rendered so you felt you were eating juicy meat. The deviled egg was on the salty side, though it may just be me because I am not as big a fan of salt, but the texture of the yolk and the other flavors added made a tasty egg. The cider slaw was amazing. I normally detest slaw, but this was so good and easily the biggest surprise on the plate. This slaw is what cole slaw wishes it could be.

Two great dishes, one redolent of the ocean, the other a small but complete taste of the south. However, when I think about which I would get again, the scallop wins, hands down. All of the flavors went together so well in the scallop, but the thing that took it over the top was the caviar. Without the caviar, the scallop would still be a great dish, but it would not be a dish I still remember the taste of days later. If the ribs had matched the perfection of the slaw, this show down would have gone much differently. So, Scallop with fennel leek slaw, Pernod aioli, UGA caviar, and tomato flakes for the win.


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