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Grazing: First Look: Saskatoon

Cliff meats his match in Buckhead

When I finished undergrad, I went to work for weekly newspapers in rural Georgia. Usually, I was the reporter, photographer and sales rep for these papers, and, being raised in the big city, I was pretty much in a continual state of shock.

Among my stranger tasks was photographing teenagers who brought their "first kill" by the newspaper office. Generally, their fathers were with them. As a conclusion to an obvious rite of initiation to manhood, the boy and his father sat on the tailgate of their pickup truck, holding up a dead deer's head by its antlers. There were smiles all around. Well, except for the deer.

We printed the pictures in the newspaper. It was not unusual for the family of the boys to send me a chunk of heavily marinated venison wrapped in tinfoil a week later. I never acquired a taste for the stuff. No matter how strong the marinade, it never eclipsed the overwhelmingly gamy taste of the meat.

These memories came back to me as we took our seat at Saskatoon (360 Pharr Road, 404-891-1911), a new Buckhead restaurant that markets itself as specializing in fish, steaks and wild game. The latter has inspired the display of multiple trophy deer and buffalo heads and lamps made of antlers. It's all calculated to evoke a hunting lodge in the Pacific Northwest. There's even a sculpture of a bear – thank God, it's not a real one – greeting diners near the front door.

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(Photo by James Camp)