Our friends are always late. Not all of our friends of course, but a certain couple we treasure spending time with who will remain nameless. So it came as no surprise when we received the call that they would arrive at 7:30 versus 7 for our dinner date – this is how they roll. Since my wife and I arrived at the dining destination – Garden and Gun Club at The Battery – by 6:30, we knew we were in for a long wait for dinner.
First impressions of the highly anticipated spot were the small size and limited seating, but that was quickly outweighed by the intimate club-esque feel. Definitely a great spot to order a cocktail after a long day at the office, which is exactly what we did! The hostess guided us past the raw bar where oysters on the half shell nestled on ice to our table for four in the back. We started off with two Tito’s Martinis, straight up, shaken hard for ice crystals and slightly dirty. Topped off with two large, Queen – nothing special about them – olives and we were ready to relax.
Over conversation, we perused the diverse menu and agreed we needed to order a little something to tide us over until our friends would arrive for dinner. Did I mention our friends are always late? A tough decision, but we finally settled on the Jumbo Lump Crab Mayonnaise with House Made Crackers. More like a dip and very ceviche-like, but with ample chunks of crab. The homemade crackers baked with parmesan cheese and old bay seasoning complimented the crab well, and the waiter kindly brought us more crackers upon request. At this point, we were starving so extra crackers were a must!
As we inhaled the crab dip with crackers and emptied the last of our martinis, we checked out the selection of bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys the club offers. The Garden and Gun Club showcases about 30 brands on the menu ranging in price from $4 to $56 per glass and we thought it to be a pretty decent variety of options. Still awaiting our friends and anticipating the next round of beverages, we decided to try a couple glasses from the list. Her choice was the Old Grand Dad on a rock and I went with the Eagle Rare neat. Although the club offers a Signature Tableside Service with premium bourbons or ryes for $25, we were tasting without mixers, so decided to forego the unnecessary extra.
When our friends finally rolled in at 7:45, it was time to eat as hunger had long consumed this writer. In my head, my stomach was screaming “bring on the beef,” so dishes that included rabbit, quail or fish were not going to satisfy. With only a few choices on the menu for red meat, I settled on the Club Burger with Fries. The burger came with two juicy beef patties, cheese, pickles, and a signature comeback sauce, which is basically mayonnaise with a whole lot flavor blended in. The burger was messy, but delicious with the addition of the special sauce. My wife ordered the buttermilk fried chicken over greens and stated it was some of the best boneless fried chicken she had in some time. That’s a strong statement coming from one that’s quite the chef in her own right.
All in all, the Garden and Gun Club did not disappoint – nor would we say did it really excite a return visit in the too near future. With that said, we’ve decided to give the three-month-old establishment some slack this being their first attempt on the food scene and will definitely return at some point for cocktails after work or when catching a game at SunTrust Park. Click her for more information or to view the entire menu or go to www.gardenandgunclub.com.