While we were at New Q, one of the items that piqued our interest was whole smoked Ossabaw hog served with a bit of scallion on a crepe. This particular delicacy was served up by 5 Seasons Brewing.
The Ossabaw hog was from Sequatchie Cove Farm near Chattanooga. Since we hope to visit the farm soon, we asked if all their pork came from Sequatchie Cove. It doesn’t, but all their lamb does. And after a big day of beef and pork barbecue, a nice lamb dinner sounded good.
Anyone who can make spectacular old school barbecue and turn it into a sammich on a fluffy crepe deserves attention. That’s missing the point though. Why, out of all the excellent restaurants at New Q, did we decide to go to 5 Seasons after the event? We chose them because they offer “organic-inspired cuisine”. Their pork comes from a nearby sustainable Georgia farm. Their lamb is from just across the border in Tennessee. All their meats are free of hormones and antibiotics and humanely raised.
As many of their vegetables as possible are local and organic. Part of the spent grain from their brewing goes into their home-baked bread. The rest goes to a local organic farm where it is composted to help grow 5 Seasons’ vegetables. So not only is the restaurant using organic, sustainable ingredients, they’re also supporting local farmers.
Clearly 5 Seasons has an excellent philosophy, but how about the food? Right off the bat we knew we had a winner with an excellent hefeweizen, bread with an extra toasty, toothsome bite from the spent grain, and homemade root beer with extra bite. The locally produced cheese plate didn’t hurt any either.
As is to be expected from a place with an emphasis on fresh, local, and organic, the list of specials for the evening was as long as the regular menu. I went with the pair of lamb tenderloins with a cardamom demi-glace served on smashed potatoes. Somehow a pair at 5 Seasons is three tenderloins. (I suppose if they can have 5 seasons, then a pair can be three.) I wasn’t complaining because the tenderloin was excellent and, well, tender.
Squirrelly, Jr., went for a white three cheese pizza. It met the standard Teh Boy test of excellence — we didn’t get a single bite. Mama Squirrel chose an appetizer of roast pork along with sides of spaghetti squash and sweet onion spaetzle. Her snack turned out to be a huge amount of food. Of course, I did my part to help her with it because it was wonderful.
We wrapped up dinner with a trio of ice creams, vanilla, chocolate, and honeyed sweet potato. We could have made our whole meal nothing but big bowls of that ice cream, but we behaved.
Brew pubs can be such a hit and miss proposition. For every good place like Memphis’ Boscos, there are a dozen bland places like the chain Hops. Finding a place with the passion and the philosophy of 5 Seasons excites us. That they can back it up with their food and their beer makes us ecstatic.
Since we only travel to Atlanta a few times a year, we try not to go to the same places too many times. The great thing about 5 Seasons is that it won’t be the same place the next time we go. It will be the same quality and innovation, but with whatever ingredients that day brings. I think that is enough to let us bend our new place rule.
5 Seasons North
3655 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30005