When planning special occasion dining or just your important vacation at a resort, the food becomes extra important. After all, this is the destination where you are staying, so this is where you will eat! You want to feel like your dinner is something to look forward to after an active day of sports with friends or lolling by the pool with a fun magazine.
Cuscowilla on Lake Onconee in Eatonton, Ga. has a very conscientious and experienced Executive Chef in Gerald Schmidt. I was glad to have been hosted to experience it! The Waterside Restaurant is his fiefdom.
Please check out the list items below for more of the flavors!
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Shuckin’ and Jiving Fridays at Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee in Eatonton, Ga
On Friday evenings, they take the traditional Happy Hour a step or three forward at Cuscowilla’s Waterside Restaurant. Starting at 5 pm, there’s live music — often a local bluegrass band — with steamed shrimp and freshly shucked Apalachicola oysters. The oysters are briny, meaty and large. They’re good with just a squeeze of lemon . . . their flavor doesn’t mix as well as Chesapeake oysters with the sweetness of traditional cocktail sauces. They tend to cling to the shell more, so definitely get out your oyster fork.
Incidentally, the restaurant gets its name being next to the lake and the pool.
Executive Chef at Waterside Restaurant: Eatonton, Ga
Though eating at a resort is a more laid-back experience for the patron, that doesn’t mean there’s not serious business behind the scenes. Executive Chef Gerald Schmidt was awarded the prestigious title “Grand Officier Maître Rôtisseur,” the highest professional honor to be given by the dining society Chaine des Rotisseurs.
He has stories galore about serving everyone from gracious Presidents to bitchy hangers-on to rock stars!
Charcuterie at Waterside Restaurant
Chef Schmidt proudly notes that he still creates house-made charcuterie — something that is becoming a lost art in some areas. He served a gallantine of local Greensboro quail, the largest farm in the US and head cheese of locally raised Berkshire heritage pork.
He points out that he’s “conservative” in the kitchen, in that he believes in simple presentation, hot foods being hot and cold foods being cold.
Entrees, wine at Waterside Restaurant
Chef Gerald Schmidt sure knows his flavors and wines. He expertly paired a wine with dried cherry notes with his veal tenderloin, complete with a deep, luxurious meat glaze.
Also plated with the dish was a crab-crawfish cake. Now, I know my crab cakes by now, living in the Old Line State for over 2 decades. Crawfish adds a stronger, wilder flavor to the mix, and theirs is crunchy on the outside, moist inside, not overly breaded.