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Friday, July 16, 2010

Goin' Coastal opens

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Goin' Coastal (1021 Virginia Ave., 404-941-9117), a new seafood restaurant in Virginia Highland, opened Wednesday night, and we dined there Thursday. Except for inadequate (but not insufferable) air conditioning, our experience was first-rate.

The restaurant is the sibling of one of the same name in Canton. The appeal here, besides a daily-changing menu of fresh catches, is support of sustainable fishing practices. You can read the restaurant's "credo" in that respect on its website. Considering what's occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, sustainable fishing has more importance than ever.

We didn't sample anything we disliked. You can buy oysters raw on the half shell or prepared in different ways. We ordered six fat Appalachicolas raw and six prepared Oysters-Rockefeller-style, here made with spinach, parmesan cheese and bacon. It works, even without absinthe.

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Other dishes we ordered include seared halibut and a trio of lobster-and-crab cakes with a red pepper sauce and corn salsa (above). Most sides, like corn on the cob and collards, are straighforward but jalapeno-studded cornbread pudding is kind of playful — like Southern baby food for adults.

Pecan pie made by the owner's mother, according to our server April, was super-fresh — crunchy with nuts atop a Karo-sweet-and-silky filling in a solid, flaky crust.

This is a great addition to Atlanta's dining scene. Granted, it's not cheap but you won't find seafood this fresh and beautifully prepared for less money anywhere in the city.

I'll have more to say in an upcoming "Grazing" column.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)

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