Trust me on this one: You definitely want to experience this show. Gunshow is chef Kevin Gillespie’s dramatic, theatrical brainchild, and it is as entertaining as it is completely delicious. The menu starts with a statement somewhere between a warning and an invitation:
“You are a guest in our home, and we have prepared for you what we love. As is such, the nature of our service dishes cannot be altered.”
This sets the stage for the bold show that unfolds after you are seated. First, a bar cart comes to your table so the bartender can make drinks tableside — with a flourish. As soon as you start sipping, around comes the first chef, who offers his or her dish with convincing detail as if peddling wares. If you choose to accept the dish, the chef congratulates you on your decision. If not, then, with a hint of indignation, the chef leaves the table, and you will not have another opportunity to try that dish.
However, this is just the first of many chefs who will stop by over the next few hours, each offering beautifully plated masterpieces, modern takes on classics, and unique flavor combinations. The menu changes depending on what the chefs want to cook. The chefs will whirl around with one or two plates of their masterpieces, and you will have just a few seconds to decide whether to try them or not.
When the first dish came by, I said yes immediately since it was beautiful... and I was famished. The dish was the Carolina Gold Rice Grits, which executive chef Joey Ward brought himself (he, too, pitches dishes to customers). The grits had a beautiful runny egg yolk on top — just the yolk — and were cooked in a celeriac cream. Next to the grits, greens, bacon, and chiles provided an interesting contrasting flavor profile that, when eaten together, unleashed flavorful bursts in each bite.
I then tried the Loaded Baked Potato, which was actually a mashed tower of velvety potato topped with scallion, bacon, and fried onions. The buttery dish melts in your mouth but also has a pleasant crunch.
Next, the Vietnamese-Style Popcorn Shrimp was not only fun to eat but also really savory and perfectly crisply fried. The shrimp came in a little basket and were tossed with salty peanuts. These were gone before I could take any notes on them (they were that good!).
The Thai Braised Beef Short Rib was next, and the meat fell apart easily; it was soft and tender. The pickled garnishes added an interesting texture while the sauce, featuring curried peanuts, provided an exotic flavorful addition to each bite (with a bit of a crunch). I could not turn this beautiful and aromatic dish down.
Lastly, the scallops. Another executive chef plate, these raw diver bites were delicately placed in a purée of sweet potato and garnished with yuzu and a dusting of green matcha powder. The flavors were entirely unique and somewhat indescribable. Again, trust me, you will want to try this dish if it is offered on the night of your visit.
I’m sure the menu will have changed by the time you go, but, regardless, you will enjoy the show.
Insider’s tip: Come with a group of four people so that you can share many dishes. I went with just my husband, and we were too full to try everything on the menu… although we certainly did not hold ourselves back!