Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits is the highly-anticipated second restaurant from the successful Kimball House team in Decatur. It’s is located in the old Luminary space next to Ticonderoga Club at Krog Street Market lead by executive chef Trey Rayburn. The vibe is breezy and more causal than KH but the menu is flooded with a lot of inspo from French and Italian techniques. In short, delish!
They focus on sustainable seafood and fabulous craft cocktails. I love that they support sustainable Gulf & South Atlantic fisheries (if I eat fish, I prefer to support sustainable operations). We have to consider what we are doing to our oceans.
If you’re an oysters fan (I’m Hnat) this is the spot for you. Their seasonal menu changes occur frequently so be prepared… your last entree might not be on the menu.
Long story short is after drinking each night at dinner during the holidays, my body said no more. However, I was going out with my champagne-loving bestie and the last time we went to Watchman’s we busted open a bottle of bubbles and had a FUN evening at the Tabernacle. So I’m thinking we might hit repeat again tonight…
And then as we’re walking in, she tells me she’s decided to have a dry January.
YASSSSS SISTA! I’ve never been more siked to hear anyone say they didn’t want to drink.
I wasn’t sure if I was GOING to want to drink and I didn’t want to put any restrictions on myself (yikes, still PTSD from diet culture) but in all honesty, I have ZERO attraction to booze right now. Having your dinner guest on the same page is always a bonus
Let’s be real, when you walk into a restaurant and you don’t order alcohol, you know the server is thinking “great I won’t make much money” – come on, you KNOW they are. And so you don’t want to be that cheap-o who isn’t drinking.
But the reality is, you don’t own it to any restaurant or establishment to drink if that’s not aligned with where you are at that moment in time or if you just don’t FEEL like drinking!
In full disclosure, I was expecting to get that look from our server when we mentioned that we were doing a dry Jan. But instead, without missing a beat, he said “awesome, we have some great mock-tail options that you’ll want to check out!”
So we ordered something fun instead of just drinking water (although there is NOTHING wrong with drinking water. When I dine out I usually order a bottle of sparkling water in a wine glass with lemon/lime wedges. Hydration first my friends. And then if I feel like drinking, I’ll order something but lately, I’m just Hnat feeling it and until I do, I’m down with alternatives.
Thankfully the Creamed Kale with crispy shallots on a polenta cake is still on the menu sides (PS: HNAT a fan of polenta but THIS is amazing). I informed our server to never ever take it off the menu because it is perfect. I don’t eat dairy-rich dishes but make the exception for this one. It’s perfect to split with people at the table because it’s rich and quite filling.
Interesting to note though that we went to a full moon circle down the street that night and did Kundalini + pranayama breathing, I noticed a big shift. I have Michael Phelps worthy-lungs but I think the dairy significantly impacted my breath work because my lungs could only do half of what they normally are able to do.
I’ve felt this side effect with to much sugar but never made the connection with dairy. Make sense that anything which causes inflammation in the body can impact breathing…. I was kinda surprised it happened so quickly.
ANYWAY- we shared appies and as you can see from the picture, the kale was a generous serving. I could have made a meal from this alone but already ordered the lighter fish dish of grouper with braised cabbage and other root veggies. Glad I did but needed another mouth to feed. I couldn’t possibly finish my plate.
We had a relaxing meal but if you’re on a time limit, I highly suggest letting your attentive server know in advance so they can keep you on schedule. We neglected to do this the first visit and were pressed for time. This is not a restaurant to come eat a meal at if you only have an hour.
My suggestion, come when you have a good 2 hours to enjoy yourself and the dining experience. The staff is super knowledge about every detail of every ingredient, what to pair it with, etc. I love to discuss what’s fresh and new on the menu, what the chef is obsessed with since that can help me decide on what I want to order.
Bottom line, this is my new weekend default restaurant. New company in town default. Can’t decide where to eat default. My neighbor said the same thing. I run into her every time I go too.
PS: Sunday Brunch menu looks pretty bangin’. And please remind me to save room for dessert next time because I never do but I’m curious about the Lemon Olive Oil Cake and hoping that they bring back the Fig Galette with Fig Leaf ice cream after seeing it in a 2018 review….
If you go, let me know. You’ll probably see me seated next to you 🙂