In early October, co-owners Rich Clark and chef Jon Schwenk opened C&S Chowder House on Etris Road in Roswell. It’s the third concept from Clark and Schwenk, including their long-running C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar on Cobb Parkway and Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell.
The partners have a long history in Atlanta fine dining, first meeting in the early ’90s at Brasserie Le Coze in Buckhead, where Clark was the maitre d’ and Schwenk eventually rose to executive chef. They opened C&S Seafood in 2007 and the more casual Hugo’s in 2013.
C&S Chowder House leans toward “traditional Northeastern” seafood dishes, presented in a casual fine dining atmosphere with New England-style decor.
“We have a lot of families up here and we wanted to make it approachable and comfortable,” Clark said last week at the restaurant. “That’s why we went for that kind of Nantucket feel with a red, white and blue theme and the Ralph Lauren plaid fabric.
“We do a fresh oyster list every day, something we started in 2007 at C&S. We do a happy hour Mondays through Thursdays, and we do brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, which are all very popular. But we decided not to open for lunch during the week.”
As far as drinks, general manager Peterson Hill oversees a bar program that offers a range of higher end wines by the glass or bottle, and craft beer on draft or in bottles or cans. Among the signature cocktails, the Headlight is made with Dickel Tennessee whiskey, Del Maguey mezcal, Black Mission fig syrup and apricot liqueur.
For his part, Schwenk worked with executive chef Cliff Webb to create a menu that features four different house chowders, including New England, Manhattan and a lesser known Rhode Island-style, sandwiches and lobster rolls, and a daily selection of simply prepared, market-priced fish, lobster and king crab.
“I’m originally from eastern Long Island, and I grew up around Montauk and Southampton, so I’ve always had a thing with seafood, and I loved the ocean,” Schwenk said. “As a kid, I would get on my bike and ride over to the bayside with a clam rake over my shoulder.
“Here in Atlanta, I always thought there was a little bit of a void in Long Island and New England-style seafood, and not just in the style, but the ingredients, too. The lobster roll is kind of particular to me. There’s a place called Lunch Lobster Roll in Montauk that’s been there since I was a kid.”
Along those lines, Schwenk starters include traditional soft shell steamer clams, and baked “stuffies” with linguica sausage, garlic, chopped clams and lemon.
Specialty entrees range from softly-baked steelhead trout with wasabi pea puree, asparagus, yuzu emulsion and smoked trout caviar to a broiled lemon and rosemary half chicken with chive whipped potatoes.
“This is where the chef thing comes into play with preparing the sauces and technique with seasonal vegetables,” Schwenk said. “But then having the market fish, the way we do it in all of our places, is a way to give the best quality I can buy and let people have it prepared the way they want it, as well.”
12040 Etris Road Suite 150 ,Roswell. 470-321-5077.
More images from a First look at C&S Chowder House.