Top 10 Hunting Season

Top 10 Hunting Season

My dad is a hunter and I’ve always enjoyed what he brought home – when I wasn’t spitting out buckshot.  However, I am not a hunter.  If I saw Bambi alive and then tried to eat it, it wouldn’t happen.  Knowing that Bambi was once alive, I’m okay with that, as long as I never met Bambi.  Yeah, I know.  So the question came up, where can I find meat that is a little more wild and gamey than your average supermarket chicken?  I set out to find restaurants in Atlanta that embrace this open hunting season.

Atlanta, come hunt with me around the city – not the woods – to find the seasonal offerings of Venison, Elk, Wild Boar, Rabbit, Wild Turkey, Goose, Duck, Quail, and Alligator – after all we are in the south!  Also make sure to bring a friend along that likes to share and sample, many of these places serve more than one variety of our gamey friends.

Hunt it & Process it

Wilkes Deer Barn

If you decided on the do-it-yourself route this hunting season and conquered the great outdoors to bring back your trophy, you’ll be looking for someone to process it.  Wilkes Deer Barn is the place for it.  They have customized processing for all meats with your choice of sausage, hot sticks, jerky, patties, and more.  Located just behind Wilkes Meat Market & Deli, it is quite literally a barn.

Venison

Serpas True Food

Come enjoy their Venison Steak, and make sure to bring a friend along who is willing to share and enjoy the Bacon Wrapped Duck!  For those who have never tried venison, it can have a strong flavor, often described as “gamey”, this particular meat is less juicy than beef and heavier.  Expect a one of a kind atmosphere with chic, industrial character and great food!  Honest Southern food with a Louisiana flare.

Elk

The Lawrence

Come try the Coffee Braised Elk Osso Buco, and bring that friend willing to share, so both of you can also try the Crispy Duck Breast.  Elk is a very tender meat similar to beef with just a bit more flavor without that gamey taste.  The Lawrence brings food display to the level of museum quality artwork, worthy of a photo before diving in.  Expect top notch food and drink in a casual atmosphere with outdoor seating available.

Wild Boar

Stockyard Burgers and Bones

Try Wild Boar three ways – on a bun, in chili, or as mac and cheese.  Wild boar is a little darker than usual pork, with a juicy crossed flavor of pork and beef.  The quality meats and ingredients are essential at Stockyard to making some of the best burgers possible.  They also specialize in bourbon, whiskey and craft beer.  When you arrive you will find a rustic décor with minimal decoration and booths and bar style seating.

Rabbit

Canoe

Here’s a great place to try Slow Roasted Rabbit, and make sure to bring a small group with you to sample off of, duck two different ways.  Rabbit can be used in most recipes as a replacement for chicken, the difference is that the meat tends to be a little denser while still taking on the flavors around it.  Looking for something special?  This restaurant sits on the banks of the Chattahoochee River with tranquil gardens to stroll and an interior with as much thought put into it as the food.  You and your guest will find a welcoming atmosphere with much to see, taste, and explore.

Wild Turkey

Atlas

Make sure to try the Herbed Turkey and for that friend you brought along, order the Pan Seared Rabbit loin.  Wild turkey is well… turkey, essentially the difference between grass-feed and farm raised in flavor and texture.  Atlas is an upscale American restaurant, well known for its fresh innovative approach to traditional dishes.  The restaurant also features one of the largest private collections of 20th century art in the world.

Goose (not foie gras)

Bo Bo Garden

Here in Atlanta, it seems that outside of the Foie Gras crowd, Goose in any shape or form is a rarity.  For the more adventurous foodie, Bo Bo Garden includes Goose Intestine as part of their menu.  For those who have never tried it (probably most of us), once the intestine is cleaned and cooked it can appear very similar to calamari or a noodle, texture is described as chewy without being rubbery.  Customers can expect casual dining in a large open wooden interior, with Asian fusion cuisine.

Duck

Miller Union

Come enjoy the Seared Duck Breast while sampling off your friend’s plate of Grilled Quail.  Duck itself is similar to the dark meat of chicken but with a few more degrees of flavor, it can tend toward the greaser side compared to other meats.  Sitting in a refurbished warehouse of what was once Atlanta’s meatpacking district, Miller Union pulls its name from those 1880s stockyards.  Inspired by Southern history and farmstead food, everything is made from organic sustainable farming practices.

Quail

Restaurant Eugene

Here at Restaurant Eugene we find two parts of the quail being served, the bird and the egg.  For a starter try the Glazed Rabbit Presse and Quail Egg before dining on Lacquered Quail.  Quail is smaller than a chicken with a stronger flavor, the meat is denser than most birds found in the supermarket.  A restaurant that is at once traditional and urban, with southern and white table cloths.  It uses in season ingredients to make everything from scratch, presented in such an artistically beautiful fashion as to require a photograph first before enjoying.

Alligator

Flatlands Bourbon Bayou

Come in to try Alligator Bites as a starter, and sit back to enjoy the little slice of Louisiana.  For those who have never tried Alligator expect a mild flavor similar to chicken with a layered texture of fish.  As for the restaurant, this place is all about atmosphere and flavor.  Tucked behind Main St you will feel as if you have just been transported to another place.  Charming and themed inside and out, sit in the garden, porch, or find a table inside, expect some voodoo magic in the misty, bubbling cocktails passing by.


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If you liked this post, check out these:

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Kaela is a Content Editor with CulinaryLocal. Graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah. Originally from Sonoma County, California, she has grown up surrounded by good, fresh food and people who love to love food. Her philosophy is to try everything (food and drink related) at least once.


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