Innovative dining that can test a relationship.


By Hope S. Philbrick

Before being crowned as ‘Fan Favorite’ on Bravo’s Top Chef: Las Vegas (Season 6), Chef Kevin Gillespie was winning over taste buds in Atlanta.

Having tasted Gillespie’s cooking previously, I had no doubt that the food would be good at Gunshow. But I hadn’t made it to the restaurant until last night…which was fortuitous timing for me, since Chef Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh in Charleston, S. C., was a guest chef that same evening. Double the reason to salivate in anticipation.

Chef Kevin GillespieChef Jeremiah Bacon

I knew what to expect of Gunshow. I’ve interviewed Gillespie several times (he is super nice), plus I live in Atlanta where it’s impossible not to have heard about the place from colleagues and foodie residents. In a nutshell, Gunshow gives traditional American dining a new spin by incorporating some aspects of Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum.

Chefs cook in an open kitchen and present their dishes on rolling carts and trays to diners at their tables. You choose what you want. Pricing is a la carte; the menu doubles as a tally sheet. Seating is “communal”—while there are little platforms that alter surface heights so you can expect some elbow room, basically strangers are all lined up at long tables, an arrangement that creates aisles for the food and beverage carts.

The food last night was, as anticipated, impressive. Menus change routinely and Chef Bacon was a special guest, but it’s not like you can go wrong any time you visit. If something looks/sounds enticing, get it. If not, skip it. Easy.

Portions are small yet large enough to share if you get multiple items, which is encouraged.

Cocktails are expertly balanced…they go down perhaps a bit too easily.

Highlights last night were Chef Jeremiah Bacon’s braised rabbit with potato cake and ricotta solata and Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Closed On Sunday chicken sandwich. But every bite was tasty, from the roasted Georgia quail to the squid ink fettuccine, currywurst to the halibut and beyond. As the feast progresses, you grow ever more grateful for the menu sitting on the table as a reminder of what you’ve tried and still crave.

Chef Jeremiah Bacon's rabbit at Gunshow 9/30/14Gillespie's Closed On Sunday Chicken SandwichThe Brooklyn - rye not?

halibut at Gunshow 9/30/14squid ink fettuccine at Gunshow 9/30/14Georgia quail at Gunshow 9/30/14

The volume level is high. This is not a place to have an intimate conversation. You may not hear the person sitting across the table from you. But it may not matter since the real goal here is to focus on the flavor adventure. The energy level is high. If you are sitting there without some food or drink in your mouth, you start to feel like you’re wasting an opportunity.

The experience of dining at Gunshow is, as designed, unique.

Which got me thinking, this place is also uniquely suited to test a relationship. If you’re considering marrying someone, bring him or her here. Because if your potential mate can’t handle stress, loud noises, crowds, new experiences, peer pressure, or unexpected flavors, that will be revealed here. And since as the night marches on and mouthwatering temptation after temptation is presented it becomes increasingly difficult to pass anything up—which can mean that the cost of the meal escalates beyond expectations—it will also become clear whether your date places a greater emphasis on budget or experience. These are all important factors to consider before saying “Yes.”

Whatever happens with the relationship, you’ll at least have had some yummy bites and sips.

More Information…

924 Garrett St.
Atlanta GA

– Photos © HSP Media LLC

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. She’s reviewed restaurants for several Atlanta-based newspapers and magazines for more than 10 years. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.


  1. Great review of a special night out. Can’t wait to head over to Gunshow on our next visit to Atlanta. Kevin just returned the favor and made a visit to cook with Jeremiah Bacon at The Macintosh here in Charleston, SC to similar great result. We are such fans of both chefs, it is fantastic to see them collaborate.

    Looking forward to reading your future posts!

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