David Sweeney is a pop-up legend and wherever the former Dynamic Dish chef goes, his fans follow. But are his fans ready to follow him to North Georgia?
Come May, Sweeney will be the executive chef at the Tiger Mountain Vineyards restaurant the Red Barn Café. Open seasonally, the Blue Ridge Mountains restaurant features a different chef each year. Last year, Jamie Allred of Fortify in Clayton, Georgia, had the reigns. This year, Sweeney says he’ll be embracing the fresh air and ample access to locally grown vegetables. “When I heard about the opportunity, I thought it was a good way for me to do what I like to do and be in a kitchen environment where I don’t feel like I’m in a submarine,” Sweeney says. “I can look right out onto the vineyard while cooking, and it’s not bad for my health!”
Inside the 75-year-old barn, he’ll serve dinner on Fridays and Saturdays and brunch and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu will likely include cornmeal-crusted Sunburst trout, a beer garden-style sausage plate with German potato salad and crusty rye bread, and a Big Fat Greek Burger with tzatziki sauce. There will be a cheese plate, a salad, a soup of the day, and numerous vegetable sides, such as yellow squash and zucchini gratin and cole slaw with turmeric dressing. Wine pairings will be available. “I hope Atlantans can come out an enjoy it,” he says. “It’s a nice trip to nature.”
The Red Barn Café is located at 2592 Old 441 South in Tiger, Georgia. It opens for the season on Mother’s Day (May 8). Reservations are recommended.