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THE DISH: The Georgia Pine

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Staff Photos: Meghan Kotowski The Georgia Pine serves, from bottom clockwise, smoked trout deviled eggs, a duroc bone-in chop with mashed turnips and a rosemary demi-glace and Sapelo Island clams with homemade sausages, herbs, brown ale, a "nasty good sauce" and toasted bread.

ON THE MENU

• Arugula and fennel salad — Argugula, fennel, heirloom tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and apples served with a lemon vinaigrette, $6

• Octopus — With arugula, chili oil and pickled ginger, $13

• Rabbit — Hind-quarter of a rabbit with roasted carrots, celery, onions and a golden raisin jus, $17

• Honey pork sandwich — Slow roasted brown sugar and honey pork, collard greens and mustard on a Cuban roll. Served with a side of chips, $8

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The interior uses grays, browns and blacks to accent to wooden features and open space.

1250 Scenic Highway, Suite 1240, Lawrenceville

770-978-1800

www.thegeorgiapine.com

• Open since: May 4

Owners: Gary Martin Hays with managing partners Ben Bailey and Chris Collin of Local Republic

• Location: The Georgia Pine is located in The Shoppes at Webb Gin, next to Wild Wings Cafe. It is the former location of Gary's Bistro.

• Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays

Atmosphere: Some people will remember the location of The Georgia Pine. It was formerly Gary's Bistro -- but the new crew was determined to make the inside look different since this is a new eatery.

"This is the third change-up for this restaurant, so we definitely wanted to make some changes out here," Ben Bailey said. "When you come in, you want to get a new experience, so we freshened a few things up."

They took out the dark cabinets behind the bar and went with a bare bones look. The shelves are made of cedar, which are held up with black pipes on a teal wall. Overhead, the lights are old Mason jars covering exposed light bulbs. In the back corner of the bar is a wine rack wall with bottles to the ceiling.

The dining room is colored in grays, blacks and browns with several tables scattered about. On a sunny day, there is an outside patio to accommodate a small amount of diners.

"Nothing is really supposed to grab your attention," Bailey said. "The whole point is for you to come in, enjoy your meal and have a conversation with the people that you're eating with instead of being distracted by a lot of things around you."

Menu: Think farm to table. Chef Scott Smith buys his produce from regional farmers -- many from Georgia -- to create his dishes.

And no, his kitchen doesn't have a microwave.

Smith and his kitchen staff start from the best food they can find in season. When certain fruits and vegetables are no longer readily available, Smith will change the menu.

"We want to start with really good ingredients and let the food speak for itself," Chris Collin said.

Smith also pickles some of the vegetables, makes his own sausages for the rotating sausage menu and is preparing to make his own ice cream in the future.

Right now, the most popular items are the rabbit and trout entrees as well as the side of grilled okra.

If you don't want to eat a large meal, there are several appetizers to choose from, like jalapeno corn bread, portobello fries and oysters Rockefeller.

When you need something to get down the food, there is a large variety of beers, wines and cocktails. One thing that the restaurant prides itself in is serving only Georgia breweries on its draught beer menu. It serves Terrapin Beer Co., SweetWater Brewing Company, Wrecking Bar Brewpub and Monday Night Brewing -- to name a few.

• Things you might not know: Bailey and Collin dabble in creating craft beer, which could make it to the menu one day.

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The Georgia Pine

The Georgia Pine