[Photo Provided by Emily Hingle]

It's Smoking Hot at Toups South's Counter Club

00:00 November 30, -0001
By: Emily Hingle

If you love Toups Meatery, then you must try out Toups South located next door to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. And if you love innovation in food, then you're going to need to check out Chef Isaac Toup's new dinner experience Counter Club. On the third Thursday of each month, the Chef and his staff invite you to gather around his counter and try some off-menu items based on a theme that no one else will have a chance to try.

This month's theme was "Smoke on the Water" featuring seafood dishes with a bit of smokey flavor to them. We began with the Amuse course of smoked oysters with black garlic cream and a touch of Thai chili. I loved the texture of the oysters; it may have rivaled my love of chargrilled oysters. We then cooled things off with the cold smoked crab in heirloom tomato gazpacho. This dish did have a few bits of microwatercress which Chef Isaac Toups said was far better than any average mircrogreen. 

My favorite dish was the cured and smoked cobia fish that was served with three kinds of caviar (one being cultivated from fish at the University of Georgia) over chilled noodles. The fish which is normally pretty fishy was very light, yet with the perfect amount of saltiness to go with the brightness of the caviar. The seafood lasagna was a huge hit. It was ooey, gooey, hot and delicious featuring saffron shrimp, mussels, and clams. 

Of course, the dessert course did not include seafood, but the pernod granita with creme fraiche and panna cotta was completed with a blow torch. A big one. 

Not only was this meal delicious, but the congenial atmosphere of the "club" was fantastic. It's truly an all-encompassing experience that few lucky people will get to try out. 

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