Edgy menu and neighborhood vibe still coming into focus

The Georgia Pine, like its sister restaurant Local Republic, is among the first to offer Lawrenceville a taste of chef-driven fare made with mindfully sourced ingredients, served in a sleek and current space along with craft beer. Yet, the Georgia Pine struggles to earn the trust of locals with its unfamiliar dishes like octopus with pickled ginger or rabbit with raisin jus.

This process is further complicated by awkward servers who don’t quite have restaurant rhythm and the kitchen’s consistency issues as it tries to push the envelope with varying degrees of success. The restaurant should shift its focus to what it does best — preparing sandwiches and small plates for customers to pair with their craft beer.

Your best option will be the honey pork and greens sandwich. Take a Cuban roll, stuff it to bursting with honey-laced, slow-braised pork and red-peppered collards, and leave it soft so that the pork and collard juices just begin to seep in. There you have the best bite on the menu.

I hope the neighborhood will come along for the ride until the Georgia Pine hits its stride, and maybe more independent restaurants in the area will follow.

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