Ti­con­deroga Club at Krog Street Mar­ket

GA Voice - - Faith & Religion -

“Who comes here and pays th­ese prices?” my friend Ryan asked as we buzzed around the jam-packed Krog Street Mar­ket (KSM) food hall on a re­cent Fri­day night.

“Mid­town hip­sters,” I said, then walked it back. “That’s un­fair. I’m guess­ing it’s a younger crowd be­fore they start baby-mak­ing.”

I’ve been to KSM about six times and rarely spend less than $30 (in­clud­ing tips, no al­co­hol, and a side) af­ter hit­ting a stall, like my fa­vorite, Fred’s Meat and Bread, fol­lowed by a much-un­needed splurge at the Lit­tle Tart Bakeshop or Jeni’s Ice Cream.

Dur­ing our re­cent visit, we dined at the last full-ser­vice spot to open—the Ti­con­deroga Club. The restau­rant is named af­ter New York’s Fort Ti­con­deroga, built by the French in the 18th cen­tury on Lake Cham­plain. I sup­pose that ex­plains the brick and dark-pan­eled walls. It’s clever, but, de­spite a small loft, the din­ing room felt very claus­tro­pho­bic to me. We ended up ask­ing to switch ta­bles to one in the bet­ter­lit ex­te­rior space that gives a view of the milling crowd and the long, long line of peo­ple wait­ing to score some Jeni’s ice cream.

The menu in­cludes plenty of great, if fairly ex­pen­sive, tastes with a great ac­cent on seafood. For ex­am­ple, we or­dered a starter of shrimp wrapped in kataifi, which is shred­ded phyllo pas­try that’s very pop­u­lar in the Middle East. It con­sisted of two “rolls,” each con­tain­ing two shrimp. Be­sides the coat­ing, what made the dish es­pe­cially in­trigu­ing was a dip­ping sauce de­scribed as “yolk and wort.” I was un­fa­mil­iar with the lat­ter and asked the server what it was. He said it was Worces­ter­shire sauce, which I de­test, but it turned out it was noth­ing of the kind. It was faintly malty, topped by a tiny yolk that we stirred into the dark liq­uid.

Our server also told us that if we or­dered this $12 starter, we would not need a se­cond one, be­cause “it’s enough for four.” Sure, if you want one shrimp. Other starters in­clude grilled foie gras ($22), sweet­breads with arugula and cit­rus brown but­ter ($12), spiced pork con­fit with co­rian­der rel­ish and masa por­ridge ($10), and a cured salmon spring roll ($14). Heftier dishes in­clude an ab­so­lutely de­li­cious Ip­swich clam roll. It will set you back $17.66, but it’s still the most gen­er­ous por­tion for the money.

Also on the ta­ble was the day’s catch, fat, im­mensely fla­vor­ful grouper chunks stacked in a tiny bowl of basil-shell­fish broth. Tasty? Hell yeah. I’d say it wasn’t worth $19, but the cost of seafood has sky­rock­eted, and I doubt you’d find some­thing sim­i­lar any­where for less.

Only a cou­ple other en­trées are on the menu—two soft­shell crabs ($28) and half a dry-aged roasted duck ($34). There’s a Cobb salad ($10) and a but­ter­nut-squash salad with a de­cid­edly Viet­namese in­flu­ence ($9). We tried a ta­ble-sized side of wok-cooked veg­gies, mainly over-salted bok choy.

Two desserts are on the menu, but I was crav­ing mac­a­roons from Lit­tle Tart Bak­ery. Un­for­tu­nately, they were closed and the line still re­mained very long at Jeni’s. So we landed across the street at Jake’s in the Ir­win Street Mar­ket, pig­ging out on some of the city’s best ice cream.

Would I go back to Ti­con­deroga? Pos­si­bly, but I most rec­om­mend this to peo­ple who want an ex­otic cock­tail and a small plate of food.

Cliff Bo­s­tock is a long­time restau­rant critic and for­mer psy­chother­a­pist now spe­cial­iz­ing in life coach­ing, es­pe­cially with cre­ative types and gay men in “midlife cri­sis.”

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