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Atlanta Restaurant Updates: new places & faces


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#361 chefATL

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 06:55 AM

Stephen McGuffin was Chef de Cuisine at DISH and it will be reopening in March.

#362 atlmeatmaster

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 12:12 PM

Drew Van Leuven is now the Pastry Chef at Trois.

#363 micropundit

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 06:27 AM

SOL FOOD: WHAT ATLANTA LIKES.

A popular and prevailing trend among Atlanta’s leading chefs and restaurants that is finding favor among local foodanistas-how is that for a new term Mr. Kessler- is the use of seasonal, organic and local product or SOL food.

From the high end hotel gastro –palaces to the bistronomic spots springing up in gentrifying neighborhoods like truffles, there is a growing emphasis on the skillful use of provender that is produced utilizing sustainable practices and by producers from within the state if not the region. And the results are often spectacular

Case in point is the newly renovated FLOATAWAY CAFÉ. Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s ode to their San Francisco experience has been reborn under Chef Drew Belline’s deft touch.

The expanded space retains its California contemporary décor that attracts a well heeled crowd to its out of the way location but what keeps folks coming back is the haute level cuisine that is served in the casual atmosphere.

On a recent visit, I had a superb meal, highlighted by fork tender short ribs from organic beef from a Georgia producer set on top of a bed of mashed potatoes from a local farmer. My lovely dining companion had a side of seasonal greens that complimented both of our entrees as well.

Another SOL food champion is The Fifth Group’s FOOD STUDIO, where warehouse chic meets a culinary approach that features fresh and organic product.

These and other restaurants are bringing a formative and vital principle to our dining scene; a principle that says what is good for us and our environment can taste good as well.

NEWS and NOTES ( From my keyboard to your screen):
A recent front page story in the New York Times warned of high concentrations of mercury in sushi made with tuna and stated that the problem could extend beyond just New York, so be careful folks.

Richard Blais and Nimma Osman are the 2 Atlanta representatives on this season’s Top Chef series. Good luck guys.

Alpharetta. PISCES SEAFOOD and JAZZ has opened at 4120 Old Milton Parkway in the former COQUTTE’S spot.

Buckhead. Eric Chopin ,formerly of the DINING ROOM the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, will be the executive chef at the Mansion on the Peachtree.

Castleberry Hill. THE VORTEX, the popular bar and hamburger restaurant group, and THE ATLANTA BREWING COMPANY have withdrawn their respective restaurant projects from the under construction Castleberry Point condos because of concerns about restrictions on operating hours. The APRES DIEM project is still a go.

Cabbagetown. VILLAGE PIZZA has closed but the owners of RIA’s BLUEBIRD CAFÉ have reportedly taken the space for a future restaurant location.

East Atlanta. HAAS, on Glenwood Avenue, is now HOLY TACO.

Midtown. Jerome Grilhot (AU PIED De COCHEN) is the new top toque at ENO, which is celebrating its eighth anniversary.

Old Fourth Ward. Jay Swift (RAINWATER, ENO) will open FOURTH & SWIFT, an upscale tavern, at 621 North Avenue in the Southern Dairy building this spring.

Question of the Week: What highly successful West midtown based restaurant group is rumored to be locating one of their concepts downtown?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that a forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What recently opened Midtown restaurant is already rumored to be for sale?- is: ALLEGRO.
100% right 50% of the time.

#364 micropundit

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:30 AM

THE STARS FALL OVER GEORGIA.
The 2008 Mobile awards have been announced and Atlanta and Georgia did quite well in the dining awards compared to the rest of the country. Atlanta received one of the seventeen 5 star dining awards (one was also awarded to Sea Island’s THE GEORGIAN ROOM) and had three 4 star restaurants as well. (See below for deets.) Congratulations to one and all.

IT’S THE STUPID ECONOMY.
Lately there has been a rash of restaurants closing for” renovations” that have later shown up on the state’s list of businesses who have failed to pay their payroll taxes. With the national economy in a state of flux, could this be a sign of the immediate future of Atlanta’s dining scene?

The Industry Bigfoot recently opined that he hoped that the economy doesn’t affect some of the resurgence of the DT dining market and sour investors just as there appears to be some momentum being generated there. I concur, in part, but because the global economy’s tourism index is rising, Atlanta’s DT can and should benefit from that trend. The key of course is timing because of factors such as the possible expansion of Delta’s international routes; and the continued investment in infrastructure.

In the meantime, operators both large and small must contend with higher costs, more competition and of course, taxes. 2008 ,economically speaking, looks as if it will provide some very interesting times for Atlanta’s dining scene.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

For all you design freaks out there the nomination period for the James Beard Foundation’s 2008 Restaurant and Graphic Design awards has been extended to Thursday, February 7th. For further details: www.jamesbeard.org

Buckhead. THE DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead has retained both their Mobile 5 star award and the AAA 5 Diamond award status.

Castleberry Hill. TILT, a coffee shop named for its building’s structural feature, has opened at 274 Walker Street and is drawing crowds with its eclectic brews, art, as well as their yoga and Pilates classes.

Decatur. WATERSHED’s James Beard award winning chef, Scott Peacock, recently cooked a Southern meal at the SOL food temple CHEZ PANISSE that had one local food critic raving and ready to..”head south.”

Midtown. PARK 75 at the Four Seasons Atlanta retained their Mobile 4 star status.

Sandy Springs. CHICAGO STEAK and SUSHI, located at 5920 Roswell Road, will become BLUEPLATE DINER at the end of the month.

West Midtown. BACCHANALIA retained their Mobile 4 star status and its little brother, QUINONES at BACCHANALIA, received its first Mobile rating, 4 stars.

JCT KITCHEN and BAR celebrated its first anniversary last month. Many happy returns!

Question of the Week: What local wine bar group is rumored to be having problems with its franchisees’ closings?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that life is tragic for the person who has plenty to live on but nothing to live for.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What highly successful West midtown based restaurant group is rumored to be locating one of their concepts downtown-is: Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison.
100% right 50% of the time.

#365 Voodoo

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:31 AM

THE STARS FALL OVER GEORGIA.
The 2008 Mobile awards have been announced and Atlanta and Georgia did quite well in the dining awards compared to the rest of the country. Atlanta received one of the seventeen 5 star dining awards (one was also awarded to Sea Island’s THE GEORGIAN ROOM) and had three 4 star restaurants as well. (See below for deets.) Congratulations to one and all.

IT’S THE STUPID ECONOMY.
Lately there has been a rash of restaurants closing for” renovations” that have later shown up on the state’s list of businesses who have failed to pay their payroll taxes. With the national economy in a state of flux, could this be a sign of the immediate future of Atlanta’s dining scene?

The Industry Bigfoot recently opined that he hoped that the economy doesn’t affect some of the resurgence of the DT dining market and sour investors just as there appears to be some momentum being generated there. I concur, in part, but because the global economy’s tourism index is rising, Atlanta’s DT can and should benefit from that trend. The key of course is timing because of factors such as the possible expansion of Delta’s international routes; and the continued investment in infrastructure.

In the meantime, operators both large and small must contend with higher costs, more competition and of course, taxes. 2008 ,economically speaking, looks as if it will provide some very interesting times for Atlanta’s dining scene.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

For all you design freaks out there the nomination period for the James Beard Foundation’s 2008 Restaurant and Graphic Design awards has been extended to Thursday, February 7th. For further details: www.jamesbeard.org

Buckhead. THE DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead has retained both their Mobile 5 star award and the AAA 5 Diamond award status.

Castleberry Hill. TILT, a coffee shop named for its building’s structural feature, has opened at 274 Walker Street and is drawing crowds with its eclectic brews, art, as well as their yoga and Pilates classes.

Decatur. WATERSHED’s James Beard award winning chef, Scott Peacock, recently cooked a Southern meal at the SOL food temple CHEZ PANISSE that had one local food critic raving and ready to..”head south.”

Midtown. PARK 75 at the Four Seasons Atlanta retained their Mobile 4 star status.

Sandy Springs. CHICAGO STEAK and SUSHI, located at 5920 Roswell Road, will become BLUEPLATE DINER at the end of the month.

West Midtown. BACCHANALIA retained their Mobile 4 star status and its little brother, QUINONES at BACCHANALIA, received its first Mobile rating, 4 stars.

JCT KITCHEN and BAR celebrated its first anniversary last month. Many happy returns!

Question of the Week: What local wine bar group is rumored to be having problems with its franchisees’ closings?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that life is tragic for the person who has plenty to live on but nothing to live for.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What highly successful West midtown based restaurant group is rumored to be locating one of their concepts downtown-is: Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison.

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Quatrano and Harrison coming downtown would be nothing short of epic. They moved out of Buckhead, what, 8 years ago and look how they neighborhood around them has developed and the one they left has diminished. Please come downtown!

#366 micropundit

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:33 AM

DEVELOPERS DO DINING.
Real estate development is practicality the sine qua non of Atlanta and real estate developers, especially the locals, drive the local economy, so when they start a trend, it’s noteworthy.

With the addition of CUERNO, Cousins Properties’ 905 Juniper condominium project has an eclectic restaurant collection of some the hottest spots in town-BELEZA and CHOCOLATE PINKCAFE- that not only add flavor to the ‘hood but appear to be an asset to the projects value as well.

And their Terminus project’s restaurants have lit up Buckhead with an excitement that resembles an Oscar Party (note topical and timely reference here). The crowds at the valet station for LOLA, MF BUCKHEAD, and AQUAKNOX are full of the beautiful people waiting on their beautiful automobiles and the project is still not completed-there are more office towers, residences and retail to come over the next 5 years. And these projects seemingly are having no trouble filling up in spite of the current economic climate.

It appears that developers all over town are banking on the attraction of a artful mix of high energy, big name and high gloss restaurants to compete with the other projects springing up around our fair shores and this could be the time for some of the local operators such as the U Restaurants of the world to take a chance and step up their game. Cousins’ success at 905; Terminus and downtown Decatur argue well for this approach.

If the restaurateurs and developers are willing, in spite of the economy, there are a myriad of mega projects still coming out of the ground with tons of retail/restaurant space to fill. And right now restaurants are the “it” factor for the successful projects. Atlanta’s dining scene could and should prosper from this trend.

ALREADY WITH THE JOKES.

The construction on the proposed STRAITS Atlanta, the partnership between local rapper/ actor Chris “Ludicris” Brides and San Francisco chef Chris Yeo, has barely begun and already the blogosphere is lighting up with some comments that I thought were interesting. Here are a few:

“I’ll have the Notorious BLT please”

“Singapore? I ain’t poor no more”

“All of the foods to be cooked exclusively in Ludicrisco:

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Alpharetta. JUICY GREEN, the latest of the local operators to join the frozen yogurt wars is now opened at 3719 Old Alabama Road with locations in Norcross, Buckhead and DT to follow soon.

Buckhead. CHIMA (pronounced She-ma), the Brazilian steakhouse is scheduled to open February 25th at 3215 Peachtree Road.

Decatur. ZOCALO, the trendy Mexican restaurant, has closed its location on the Square.

East Atlanta. Nightcap Food and Spirits, the restaurant group behind intown hotspots like VICKERY’S, FONTAINE’S and HIGHLAND TAP, opened THE DEPOT at 904 Memorial Drive this past weekend. The former Atlanta and West Point railroad depot is now a restaurant serving upscale but affordable comfort food.

Glenwood Park. THE SHED at GLENWOOD, offering a menu of innovative American cuisine, is scheduled to open later this year.

Marietta. The GRAPE LEAF GRILL at 2755 Canton Road is now a Vietnamese spot called SAIGON PEARL.

Sweet Auburn. DYNAMIC DISH, the quasi-vegetarian, organic café, has expanded its opening hours to include evenings from 5-9 pm, Thursday thru Saturday.

Question of the Week: What local restaurateurs are rumored to be heavily courted to join the exclusive roster of restaurants in the Streets of Buckhead?
Thank you for stopping by, hope you all have a great Valentines day. I HEART YOU too!

PS The answer to last week’s QOTW- what local wine bar group has some franchisee’s with tax problems-is: THE GRAPE.
100% right 50% of the time.

#367 micropundit

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:07 AM

AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

The nominations for the 2008 James Beard Foundation awards are out and Atlanta’s nominees are:

THE DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year;THE CHOCOLATE BAR’s Aaron Russell for Pastry Chef of the Year;
Anne Quatrano (BACCHANALIA) for Outstanding Chef of the Year;
Arnaud Berthelier (DINING ROOM), Linton Hopkins (RESTAURANT EUGENE), and Hector Santiago (PURA VIDA) for Best Chef Southeast; and
Bob Amick (Concentrics Restaurants) for Restaurateur of the Year.
Congratulations and good luck to all of you.

HERE THEY GROW AGAIN.

Speaking of Bob Amick, his ever expanding empire has taken on another top toque. Timothy Magee(SOUTH CITY KITCHEN) has left the Fifth Group and joined Concentrics Restaurants. This addition to an already stellar group bodes well for the culinary offerings of their future projects.

SOUTHERN CHIC FROM BON APPETIT.

The March issue of Bon Appetit features the following restos as examples of the ATL’s southern chic dining scene: OUINNONES;RARE;RESTAURANT EUGENE; WISTERIA; WATERSHED;JCT KITCHEN;RATHBUN STEAK; SHAUN’S; and CABBAGETOWN MARKET.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Atlantic Station.
AU BON PAIN has closed.

Buckhead. The rumored name for the new project from Concentrics Restaurants in the former PIEBAR location is EGG.

Cabbagetown. The Food Network shot a feature last week at THE CABBAGETOWN MARKET and LITTLE”S GRILL for an upcoming episode of “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives”.

Downtown. (DT) The WINE LOFT, a restaurant/ winery/ after hours spot featuring 70 wines by the glass and 250 by the bottle, is rumored to be opening this spring at 300 Marietta Street.

Marietta. Atlanta’s second FATBURGER has opened at 2580 Windy Hill Road.

Midtown. Paul Wooten (VINOCITY) is the new top toque at SWEET LOWDOWN.

West Midtown. THE SOCIAL CLUB, a breakfast and brunch spot from the owners of RARE and HARLEM BAR, is opening soon in the former PHILLY BOYS site at Howell Mill Road and Chattahoochee Avenue.

Question of the week: What intown star chef is rumored to have pulled out of the restaurant mix at Town Brookhaven?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What local restaurateurs are rumored to be heavily courted to join the exclusive roster of restaurants in the Streets of Buckhead- is Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison.
100% right 50% of the time.

#368 micropundit

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:30 AM

THE ABSENCE OF EMERIL.
The recent announcement concerning Martha Stewart’s acquisition of the majority of the assets of Emeril’s culinary empire for a cool $50 million reminded me of the rumors of the Atlanta location’s closing and what it means for our dining scene.

The latest rumor has a local high profile dining group being very interested in the Buckhead spot that features operatic décor but with off key offerings. Although the eponymous restaurant had turn away crowds in the early years, it never razzed the berries of the local dining critics. Now it appears that the storied run is nearing an end and the question in my mind is whether or not more appearances by the man himself would have made a difference?

I believe that when people see your name on the front door there is an expectation that you will be on site, at least some of the time. I trust that all of the developers/brokers pushing for all of these bold faced name restaurants (read glitzy chains) coming to our fair shores are taking note. It may not matter if Chef X is the hottest thing in New York or wherever if they are not on site on a regular and the food and service are not up to the price points. In Atlanta’s increasingly competitive market, the star’s presence or absence, all other things being equal, may be the deciding factor between success or failure.

AND THE NEW IRON CHEF CHAMPION IS:
Kevin Rathbun(RATHBUN’S,KROG BAR and KEVIN RATHBUN STEAK) and his brother Kent; they defeated Bobby Flay last evening in the highly anticipated challenge match. Congratulations!

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. VITA, Italian for life, is opening next week in the former MICK’S location at the corner of Peachtree Road and Bennet Street this spring and is owned by one of the former partners in FRATELLI Di NAPOLI,which is just around the corner.

POSH’s new chef, Mel Toledo, formerly of La Jolla’s renowned TAPANADE, toured Europe’s top tables, including one of Alain Ducasse’s restos, to develop its new menu.

Decatur.
CATINA EL TESORDA, serving “la comida de Mexico”, will open next month at 129 Church Street.

Downtown (DT). SOCIAL, a restaurant and wine bar, is opening next month at 12 West Peachtree Place.

Kirkwood. LE PETIT MARKET, a specialty grocery store serving freshly baked breads, locally produced product and food and drinks, will open in Kirkwood Station next month.

Midtown. SWEET LOWDOWN has closed. (Guess the new chef didn’t help).

AMORE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT and LOUNGE has opened at 950 West Peachtree Street.

West Midtown.
You can get authentic Kobe beef from Japan at STAR PROVSIONS for only $128 a pound! And they also feature Jamon Iberico, the Spanish ham only recently allowed to be imported into America, at a mere $109 a pound.

Question of the Week: What new Midtown sushi shop is rumored to have not gotten off of the mark in a manner satisfactory to their parent company?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that hearing happens in the mind, listening happens in the heart.
PS. The answer to last weeks QOTW- What intown star chef is rumored to have pulled out of the restaurant mix at Town Brookhaven- is Kevin Rathbun.
100% right 50% of the time.

#369 micropundit

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 07:58 AM

NEWS FLASH!
The New York Post is reporting that Joel Antunes has been hired as the top toque at The Plaza Hotel's famed OAK ROOM. Antunes, according to the article, will move to New York.
We now return you to the regularly scheduled program.
100% right 50% of the time.

#370 micropundit

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:26 AM

COMPARING PEACHES TO APPLES.

There were a number of reactions in Atlanta to the news of Chef Joel Antunes’ announced departure to helm THE OAK ROOM at New York’s Plaza Hotel last week with the majority bordering on apocalyptic.

They ranged from John Kessler’s “ wow,wow,wow” to the various moans and groans on local food blogs about the demise of fine dining in Atlanta. While the last few years have seen a veritable procession of ATL chefs to the Big Apple- and New York restos to Atlanta, it might be time to consider what it means for them as well as for Atlanta’s dining scene.

First, in the four dimensional space that comprises the restaurant universe, opportunity must intersect with time, talent and money. M. Antunes has brought joy and awards in abundance to our dining scene; now, at 45, he can take his talents and attain the mountain top of his professional career in a storied location, primed with new and ample money. Second, Atlanta, a/k/a the Big Peach, has a very good and growing dining scene but it is not New York by any stretch of the imagination.

For Atlanta’s dining scene Joel’s new gig means that there is a recognition of the type of talent that is here. And this move also creates opportunities for new and younger talent to move into the spotlight. JOEL, may not close and if it is to survive, Cyrille Holata, the “right hand man” for 18 years, must step up and seize this oppurtunity to demonstate his skills. Another example is Eric Chopin, formerly of the Mobil 5 star DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton, who now asumes the top toque at the soon to be completed NEO, the Italian in house restaurant at The Mansion on Peachtree.Fine dining in Atlanta is not dead, it is merely consigned, at present ,to 5 star hotels.

So why don’t we all relax and give a tip of the hat to M. Atunes and wish him well. And be assured that Atlanta cares enough to send her very best.

NEWS and NOTES :( From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead.
CRESENT MOON is rumored to opening its 4th location in the under construction Lindberg Vista apartment complex on Piedmont Road this summer.

HOLEMAN & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE, Linton Hopkins, et al’s gastro pub, is scheduled to open Wednesday, March 12th.

YOGURBERRY, a Korean based company featuring several exotic flavors and toppings of frozen yogurt, will open their first Georgia location in Terminus this spring.

Downtown (DT).
FLEURS DE LIS CAFÉ is now FLEURS DE LIS CREOLE EATERY. Chef/owner Lenny Robinson is now serving dishes like seafood gumbo and shrimp etouffee , all under $10 at his quaint spot.

SKY BAR and RESTAURANT, the rooftop restaurant located next to the helipad at the soon to be completed Hilton Garden Inn, is scheduled to open at the end of March.

East Atlanta.
That some industry veterans are planning a new concept called MIDWAY PUB, across the street from the ECHO LOUNGE.

West Midtown. CHILOE LATIN BISTRO, named after an Island off of Chile, has opened in the former MISTRO location at 1950 Howell Mill Road.

Question of the Week: What other Atlanta rapper/actor is rumored to be looking at opening a restaurant here in the ATL?

Thank you again for stopping by and remember that a mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm can often go further than a great idea that inspires no one.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What new Midtown sushi shop is rumored to have not gotten off of the mark in a manner satisfactory to their parent company?- is STEEL.
100% right 50% of the time.

#371 The Cynical Chef

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:15 PM

AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

The nominations for the 2008 James Beard Foundation awards are out and Atlanta’s nominees are:

THE DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year;THE CHOCOLATE BAR’s Aaron Russell for Pastry Chef of the Year;
Anne Quatrano (BACCHANALIA) for Outstanding Chef of the Year;
Arnaud Berthelier (DINING ROOM), Linton Hopkins (RESTAURANT EUGENE), and Hector Santiago (PURA VIDA) for Best Chef Southeast; and
Bob Amick (Concentrics Restaurants) for Restaurateur of the Year.
Congratulations and good luck to all of you.



Some goofball from Greenville SC is on that list as well! What is this world coming to?
John Malik
Chef/Owner
33 Liberty Restaurant
Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com


Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

#372 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:03 PM

AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

The nominations for the 2008 James Beard Foundation awards are out and Atlanta’s nominees are:

THE DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year;THE CHOCOLATE BAR’s Aaron Russell for Pastry Chef of the Year;
Anne Quatrano (BACCHANALIA) for Outstanding Chef of the Year;
Arnaud Berthelier (DINING ROOM), Linton Hopkins (RESTAURANT EUGENE), and Hector Santiago (PURA VIDA) for Best Chef Southeast; and
Bob Amick (Concentrics Restaurants) for Restaurateur of the Year.
Congratulations and good luck to all of you.



Some goofball from Greenville SC is on that list as well!  What is this world coming to?

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congratulations John. We need to head over there and see you soon.
Thomas & Holly
in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#373 micropundit

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 05:18 AM

A TRADITION RETURNS.



Recently, a writer described Atlanta’s dining scene as “its best and highest form of pop culture with equal dashes of art, craft and history”. But it was not always that way; at one time Atlanta’s dining scene consisted primarily of small, intimate neighborhood spaces that fed the spirit as well as the palate. And now that tradition has returned in a downtown spot run by some veterans of the era that started Atlanta’s dining scene’s ascent into national prominence.



THE PEASANT BISTRO, the brainchild of Maureen Kalmanson and her partner, owners of the last remaining MICK’S and the PLEASANT PEASANT, is a traditional bistro whose cuisine , service and décor create a warm and intimate experience that harkens back to the halcyon days of the Peasant Group’s restaurant empire.



Chef Shane Devereux’s country French cuisine is artfully executed. The well crafted menu is a solid template for his skills and he seems to have the chops to grow and expand as the seasons as well as the cliental dictates. The service is gracious and attentive-although they knew my host, a famed critic- and the interior design creatively implies intimacy in the surprisingly large bi-level space. A space that includes a patio deck that is sure to be heavily requested when warmer weather settles in.



The minute I walked into the place, I liked it because it reminded me of how I used to go to a restaurant just to enjoy the food and the company and neither the designer; the location nor the social status of the patrons was important. Back in the day, it was all about good food and good times and, now, this is what THE PEASANT BISTRO is about.



NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)



Buckhead. JIMMY JOHN’S, featuring gourmet sandwiches, has opened its second Atlanta location across from Piedmont Hospital.



SPONDIVIT’S on Pharr Road has closed.



Downtown (DT). Daniel Zoby, formerly of CITY GRILL, will be the opening chef for the Jeffery Chodorow’s MAXIM PRIME steakhouse, the first of a projected 15 unit national roll out.



DANTANNA’S, the Buckhead upscale sports restaurant and bar, is planning to open a second location, 40% larger than its initial project, in the CNN Center.



Emory.
JAGGER’S PIZZA is opening in the Sage Hill shopping center at the end of the month, initially with pick up and delivery only but there plans for a full service operation by the end of the year.



Old Fourth Ward.
FOURTH and SWIFT will open at the end of the month featuring a stunning design by local architects, ai3 (GLOBE), and a dessert menu designed by dessert diva, Kathryn King (ARIA).



Vinings. Paul Albrecht, along with his son Paul, will open VININGS SOCIAL, a 6,500 square foot white table cloth bistro, in the Vinings Main retail center this summer.



Question of the Week: What other E-Brands restaurant is rumored to be going in to the new Terminus tower opening next spring?



Thank you for stopping by and remember that a pessimist is someone who makes difficulties out of their opportunities but an optimist is someone who makes opportunities out of their difficulties.



PS the answer to last week’s QOTW- What other Atlanta rapper/actor is rumored to be looking at opening a restaurant here in the ATL-is Andre Benjamin.
100% right 50% of the time.

#374 micropundit

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:08 PM

IRON CHEF RATHBUN.

Flushed with but humbled by his success in the recent Iron Chef America competition, Chef Kevin Rathbun is working harder than ever to stay on top of his culinary empire. And in spite of offers from an array of business entities to open in a number of locations, he is planning to stay close to his neighborhood and his craft.

Kevin is looking into several possibilities for the future: a Mexican place; a place with a lower price point than RATHBUN’S and even a joint venture with his brother, Dallas star chef, Kent. He is also considering a book but he is clear on one point; that whatever project he pursues, he will not be leaving the ATL.

So it appears that while the bright light thrown off by the Iron Chef competition win may have shone brightly on both our city and Chef Rathbun, it has not blinded him to the opportunities ahead in the Atlanta dining scene.

URBAN CHIC, WITH A CARIBBEAN TWIST.

This is how I felt about CIRCA CAFÉ after lunch recently with The Media Maven. I entered into what appeared to be a small neighborhood café only to be surprised by the chic setting and sophisticated ambiance inside. The Tony Akly(REPAST,TAURUS) designed space pivots nicely between café and Jazz and Blues lounge. The owners have artfully created a café atmosphere with some uptown Caribbean fare that is both borderline addictive-the guava jerked chicken- and supported by attentive and knowledgeable service. And the sound track was spot on as well.

Look for Blues diva, Francine Reed on Monday’s and, soon, a jazz brunch on Sunday’s. Check it out; I think you will love it.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Alpharetta. ROAM, an innovative meeting and dining place, has opened at 5815 Windward Parkway and is managed by Jason Dauble, formerly of TABLE 1280.

Buckhead. ANTICO POSTA will be one of the first ATL restaurants to serve the coveted wines of New York restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich(BABO,SPOTTED PIG).

Buford Highway. EL POLLO LOCO, the popular California chicken chain, will open their second Georgia location at Buford Highway and Clairmont Road this spring.

Downtown(DT). THE AUBURN BISTRO will open this spring at 171 Auburn Avenue.

MORTON’S plans to remodel its downtown location this summer, expanding the site by almost 50 percent and updating the bar. In addition,it recently extended the downtown lease for another 15 years.


Duluth. HONEY POT, a Korean barbeque spot, has opened at 3473 Old Norcross Road.

Midtown. Nimma Osman, a Top Chef 4 contestant, will be a part of the front of the house staff at SPICE MARKET in the W Midtown Atlanta Hotel.

Virginia Highland. VINE is now under new ownership: Chefs Stephen and David McGuffin have taken over and will re-open on March 20th. Chris Reid has agreed to stay on and continue to run the wine program.

West Midtown. Speaking of Top Chef 4 contestants, Richard Blais is slated to be the opening chef at FLIP, an upscale burger restaurant featuring ground meats” of all sorts”; “the beast veggie burger in the word “; house made sodas; and , RB’s famous foie gras milkshakes.

Question of the Week: Who are the latest New York design firms to bring their craft to Atlanta’s market and spice it up?

Thank you for stopping by and remember the best way to predict the future is to create it.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What other E-Brands restaurant is rumored to be going in to the new Terminus tower opening next spring? – is TAQUERIA CANONITA, a gourmet Mexican restaurant.
100% right 50% of the time.

#375 micropundit

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:28 AM

SECOND TO NONE.
I was feeling some angst lately about the dramatic/ traumatic changes in Atlanta’s dining scene: the departure of the local bold face name chefs; and the perception by some national operators that Atlanta is basically a “meat and potatoes town”,etc, etc. But that feeling pleasantly faded away because of a sublime experience that reminded me of just how good our dining scene is at the top.

The occasion was the (REDACTED) anniversary of my birth and the celebratory feast was at QUINONES, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s haute, home grown 5 star place of repose and reflection.

This was the first visit for my date and me and we were excited; actually I was very excited-I had been to BACCHANALIA and FLOATAWAY but never to the storied QUINONES. But as we settled in to an environment that reminded her of a Parisian restaurant she had eaten in last year, we were treated to a pitch perfect blend of southern hospitality balanced in equal measure with impeccable service and superb execution of an innovative tasting menu.

The evening’s crowd of old money; new money and no money (me) spent the next three plus hours in as a cosmopolitan atmosphere as could be found either here or abroad. Robert Payne, the Maitre D’Hotel , conducted the evening with a wit , charm and sophistication that went above the commonplace. The evening’s fare, prepared by Chef David Carson, under new executive chef Daniel Porubiansky ,and Pastry chef Carla Tomasco, was well paced and in a word-sumptuous .

New York may have the swift and swank restaurants; LA, the sexy and showy spots; and San Francisco, the sustainable and sophisticated cuisine but QUINONES is the Atlanta restaurant that puts all of those elements together such that the whole exceeds the sum of its parts. Anne and Cliff have established an impressive stable of nationally acclaimed restaurants but in my opinion, QUINONES is second to none.

NEWS FLASH: Sean Brock, executive chef at McCRADY’S in Charleston, will cook up a 10-course tasting menu at Quinones Room with Chef David A. Carson on March 28.
Brock cooks mainly from his own 2.5 acre farm outside of Charleston that is staffed by the McCRADY’S culinary team and supplies vegetables for the restaurant.
Quinones’ chef Carson and Chef Brock will be serving southern cuisine for this intimate dinner, with only 42 seats available for $125 per person plus optional $70 wine pairing, tax and gratuity. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner seating at 7 p.m.


NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. Tony Seichrist, formerly of THE FARMHOUSE AT SERENBE, fresh off of a culinary sabbatical to Italy will be the chef at Linton Hopkins’s long awaited gastro pub, HOLEMAN & FINCH.

STOUT IRISH PUB will open this spring in the former McDUFF’S location at 56 E. Andrews Drive.

Buford Highway. SUSHI HOUSE will open next month at 5797 Buford highway.

Downtown.
DUA, a Vietnamese restaurant, has opened recently at 53 Broad Street in the Fairlie-Poplar district.

Dunwoody. GARRISON TAP & BROILER, Metrotainment Café’s Perimeter Mall steakhouse location, will be converted to the group’s HUDSON GRILL concept at the end of this month.

Serenbe. Nicolas Bour, executive chef at THE FARMHOUSE AT SERENBE, has begun a series of monthly tasting dinners with local chefs. The first was held March 19th and featured Shaun Doty (SHAUN’S).

Virginia Highland. The name for the new project replacing the popular DISH, is DIESEL.

Question of the week: What raving brands concept is being prepped for a possible national roll out?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.
PS The answer to last week’s QOTW- Who are the latest New York design firms to bring their craft to Atlanta’s market and spice it up- is Bentel and Bentel (CRAFT) and AvroKO (SPICE MARKET).
100% right 50% of the time.

#376 Reignking

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:20 AM

"Shane's Rib Shack has hired Miller Zell and Momentum Worldwide to beef up its marketing and advertising for a national push."

#377 micropundit

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 05:40 AM

A CUT ABOVE?
A very reliable source reports that the newly opened MAXIM PRIME STEAKHOUSE, located in downtown’s chic Glenn Hotel, is serving out some fabulous food and is not just a hotspot for trendinistas looking for their next cool fix.
With the recent rash of NYC imports coming to our fair shores, it is good to hear that this spot is going all out with its cuisine, service and style. I was not feeling them based on the print and internet material sent my way; it reminded me of some semi-sleazy joint where guys with their shirts open to their navels met girls with skirts up to their… . Anywho, it appears that this is not the case so I am looking forward to checking it out posthaste.

A LOOK FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s 2008 Spring Dining Guide provided some interesting variations on the theme and looked into the near future concerning some of the new players coming on to our dining scene. In spite of the absence of a top 10 list (come on its tournament time, I need rankings) and the fact that it was not a separate stand alone document, I enjoyed Meridith Ford’s opus.

But she did leave out a couple of major projects in her look down the road so I thought I would add two for your reading pleasure.

First, there is the Buckhead Life Group’s new flagship at 3344 Peachtree scheduled to come on line late this year: a Bill Johnson design; Pano’s grand café and big bucks being spent.

Then there is NEO, the Italian themed in-house restaurant at the soon to opened Mansion on Peachtree Hotel. With Eric Chopin fresh from the CAFÉ at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead as the Executive chef and the Rosewood people eager to establish their Atlanta bona fides (we are not impressed with Texas excess), this should be an interesting addition to the mix as well.

There are others as well but you get the point; there are a lot of very interesting additions to Atlanta’s dining scene coming on line this year in a neighborhood close to you.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. Guido Piccinni, former GM at PRICCI, has been named Director of Specialty dining for NEO,at the Mansion on Peachtree.

KIKU JAPONESE STEAK AND SEAFOOD HOUSE has opened their 4th Atlanta location at 2770 Peachtree Road.

Cabbagetown. Several neighborhood restaurants have planned a “dine out” on April 14th to benefit those residents affected by the recent tornado. For details, visit: www.AtlantaTornadoRelief.com.

Downtown (DT). STATS’ innovative beer taps were the subject of a recent AP video story declaring them to be the first of its kind in the country.

East Atlanta. THE GLENWOOD is expanding its dining room and adding a wine bar.

East Point. The owners of Castleberry Hill’s WASABI are rumored to be opening a second restaurant in downtown called WHITE ELEPHANT this fall.

Old Fourth Ward. TWO URBAN LICKS was featured on a recent ABC program “The View” as one of the restaurants serving the “hottest food in the country”.

Tim Magee, formerly of SOUTH CITY KITCHEN, will be the opening chef at PARISH FOODS and GOODS.

Sandy Springs. KC PIT BARBEQUE will move from its current spot to a larger space at 6317 Roswell Road this spring.

Question of the Week: What hot in town tapas spot is rumored to be opening a new upscale restaurant this summer?

Thanks for stopping by and remember to keep away from people who belittle your ambition. The answer to last week’s QOTW-What Raving Brands concept is being readied for a possible national roll out?- is SHANE’S.
100% right 50% of the time.

#378 Dave the Cook

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:59 AM

HOLEMAN & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE, Linton Hopkins, et al’s gastro pub, is scheduled to open Wednesday, March 12th.

View Post

I'm really looking forward to this opening, which has been pushed back to the week of 14 April. A driving force behind Holeman and Finch (which is right across the driveway from Restaurant Eugene) is longtime Eugene employee Greg Best, one of the most talented and dedicated mixologists I know.

Dave Scantland
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eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#379 micropundit

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:29 AM

DINING OUT FOR LIFE.

On Wednesday, April 23rd, simply dining out for breakfast lunch or dinner at the almost 200 participating restaurants during Open Hand’s 16th annual Dining Out For Life will assist in providing home delivered meals and nutritional services to senior citizens and individuals with debilitating and chronic diseases. Participating restaurants in the Atlanta metro area will donate a minimum of 20 percent of food and beverage sales that day to Open Hand.

Dining Out for Life restaurants include popular hot spots, longtime favorites and casual eateries in neighborhoods throughout metro Atlanta including Alpharetta, Candler Park, Atlanta, Buckhead, Decatur, Duluth, Emory-Druid Hills, Flowery Branch, Inman Park, Virginia Highland, Marietta, Midtown, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Vinings.
For further information call 404-419-3333 or visit www.projectopenhand.org.

A BRAND NEW BRAND.

Brand Atlanta is about to launch a major new campaign focusing on the awards and accolades that the ATL’s restaurants received in 2007 called” The Atlanta Gourmet Adventure”. Among the features will be winning “foodie “prizes and packages to visit Atlanta.

I trust that this campaign will have a better reception than their last branding effort; but to make sure, all of you “foodies” out there, visit www.atlopen.com and provide some suggestions. Please.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Alpharetta. DI PAOLO top toque, Darin Hiebel, has purchased the restaurant and is now operating it as chef and owner.

VITA LAVIE, a modern tea house that also features smoothies as well as pastries from JOLI KOBE, has opened at 9945 Jones Bridge Road.

Buckhead.
AMC’s BACKLOT THEATER, which already offers its patrons food, wine and beer, has applied for a liquor license in order to offer mixed drinks as well.

Cabbagetown. VILLAGE PIZZA has reopened with new ownership. Andy Alibaksh, who owns the nearby CARROL STREET CAFÉ, is the new owner and is reportedly using the same menu and several of the original staff.

Downtown (DT). Toast of The Town, a national wine fest sponsored by Wine Enthusiast magazine, will hold its first ATL event featuring several local restos, on Thursday, April 17th at the Georgia Aquarium. For details, visit www.wineenthusiast.com.

JAVOLOGY, the cash only caffeine café, has closed.

Inman Park. Cake lovers can experience the ultimate in pound cakes at CAKES BY ME & GEE, located in the Irwin Street Market, 660 Irwin Street.

QUESTION of the WEEK: What upscale multi unit restaurant operator, who just opened their first project in the ATL, is rumored to already be looking for a location for another of its concepts?

Thank you for tuning in and remember to praise more and to criticize less.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What intown tapas spot is rumored to be opening a new upscale restaurant this spring?- is PURA VIDA.
100% right 50% of the time.

#380 micropundit

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:29 AM

BLAIS GOING (TO) HOME.

In a move that has the ATL buzzing, Tom Catherall’s Here to Serve Restaurants is changing POSH-the former SEEGER’S- to a new concept called HOME. According to my sources,” with the economy the way it is Tom felt a new concept making people feel closer to ‘home’ would surely be a hit”.

HOME, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, April 22, will offer upscale southern comfort food-the draft menu that I saw had items like fried blue foot chicken and chicken fried soft shelled crab.(Think JCT does Buckhead .) But the real shocker is that Richard Blais, the peripatetic practitioner of producing playful plates, has been hired to run the show.

While this turn of events is rippling through the local dining scene, it also has some implications for the national scene as well. As many of you are aware, Richard is a contestant on Top Chef 4 and is a strong contender for the top prize. With this move it certainly raises the question of whether or not he won.

The good news is that after all of his travels in and around Atlanta’s dining scene, RB is back were he started, in Buckhead(FISHBONE) and this time maybe, just maybe the deal will work out for all concerned: the guy has too much talent and our dining scene needs him as much as he needs us. So let’s welcome him home.

SWEET 15.

SOUTH CITY KITCHEN Midtown turns 15 next week and they are celebrating with a special three-course menu of some old favorites from Tuesday, April 17 to Sunday, April 26 at both Fifth Group Restaurant locations in Midtown and Vinings. For details, visit: www.fifthgroup.com


NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen).

Buckhead.In addition to HOLEMAN and FITCH PUBLIC HOUSE, their gastro pub, on April 14th, Linton and Gina Hopkins will also open H & F BAKERY. H & F , which will be adjacent to HOLEMAN and FITCH, will open at 6:30 am serving coffee, bagels and breads baked in their French bread oven that will also service the restaurants as well as provide an array of wholesale baked goods.

Decatur. SABA, an Italian restaurant located near Emory University, plans to move into the former PASTA PLEASE location on Sycamore Street this summer.

Downtown (DT). A “top, huge international name” has been signed to oversee the restaurant slated to go into the proposed Hard Rock Hotel across from The Georgia Aquarium.

RARE, the soul food tapas spot, suffered a serious fire last weekend and to add to the misery, the fire also damaged the adjacent MIDTOWN TAVERN.

East Point. WHITE ELEPHANT THAI RESTAURANT has opened at 2801 East Point Avenue. It is the second restaurant from the WASABI folks and Chef Supalerk Pornponboonvif is the top toque.

Marietta. CARIBE CAFÉ, the tiny Haitian owned shop, has closed.

PIEZONI’S, a Rhode Island based pizza restaurant group, has opened their first restaurant in the south at 3960 Mary Eliza Place.

Midtown. THE VERMONT MUSTARD COMPANY, the upscale organic soup and sandwich shop, will open a store on Peachtree Street this summer

QUESTION of the WEEK: What cuisine is rumored to be featured in the restaurant Here To Serve Restaurants is planning for the EMERIL’S location?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that most people are more easily led than driven.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW-What upscale multi-unit operator who just opened their first project in the ATL, is rumored to be looking for a location for another project?-is China Grill Management (MAXIM PRIME)
100% right 50% of the time.

#381 atlantadiner

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:41 AM

QUESTION of the WEEK: What cuisine is rumored to be featured in the restaurant Here To Serve Restaurants is planning for the EMERIL’S location?


Did I miss something... has EMERIL'S closed.

#382 atlmeatmaster

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:28 AM

QUESTION of the WEEK: What cuisine is rumored to be featured in the restaurant Here To Serve Restaurants is planning for the EMERIL’S location?


Did I miss something... has EMERIL'S closed.

View Post


No - Emeril's is definitely still open.

#383 atlmeatmaster

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 07:14 AM

QUESTION of the WEEK: What cuisine is rumored to be featured in the restaurant Here To Serve Restaurants is planning for the EMERIL’S location?


Did I miss something... has EMERIL'S closed.

View Post


Emeril's will be closing at the end of April

#384 Norm357

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:50 AM

Midtown. SWEET LOWDOWN has closed. (Guess the new chef didn’t help).


That sucks. I loved the place.
Chicks dig wheelguns.

#385 micropundit

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 05:28 AM

COOL SPICE.

If you want to experience what Atlanta is moving toward in terms of taste and style, then check out SPICE MARKET in the “techno glam” W Midtown Atlanta for taste of contemporary cuisine, design and service that defines the art of the possible for Atlanta’s dining scene.

SPICE MARKET is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s fantasy interpretation of South Asian street food writ large. The Atlanta edition combines the simple preparations made, with prime product, into complex flavors that artfully blends the notes of the various spices that his cuisine is famous for. Chef Ian Winsblade is producing a menu that has more top notes than NAN; in a décor that is cooler than TAMARIND SEED and at a price point lower than STEEL.

The total experience is further enhanced by the attention to details such as the menu covering mimicking the burlap sacks that rice is traditionally shipped in from Asia. The atmosphere appeals equally to trendinistas; hotel quests; as well as neighborhood noshers because there is something for everyone: good food, a great vibe; good (and knowledgeable) service, at a reasonable price. And although SPICE MARKET (and the W) is still not fully operational, all of these notes blend together into an experience as cool as a Miles Davis solo.

A STAR IS BORN.

I checked out STELLA NEIGHBORHOOD TRATTORIA, the new Grant Park eatery, recently and came away pleased not only with the dining experience but the positive changes being brought about in the neighborhood because of the restaurant and the residential building it is housed in.

On a recent Friday night, there were families, couples and regulars all congregating in a very communal atmosphere for affordable and delicious Italian food and bar fare. Both the inside and patio sections were full of folks enjoying the food and each other. And that is the type of experience that makes a neighborhood an attractive place to live, work and play in. And STELLA appears to be a shining star in the Grant Park neighborhood.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. CHOPS was listed at number 46($13.2 million) on Restaurant and Institutions magazine’s annual Top 100 grossing independent restaurants survey. It was the only Atlanta restaurant to make the list.

Downtown (DT). PANCHERO’S MEXICAN GRILL, an Iowa based chain with 45 locations in 14 states, will open their first Georgia location in the Twelve Centennial Park Hotel and Residences this summer.

TIN DRUM ASIAN CAFÉ, an Atlanta based noodle house, is opening its third store in the Flatiron building this summer.

The rumor is that Kaighn Raymond is no longer top toque at FAB.

East Atlanta. SANFRANCISCO COFFE HOUSE will open their third location at 1660 Dekalb Avenue next month.

East Point. THE TASTING ROOM on Camp Creek Parkway has closed.

Sandy Springs. COCKTAIL COVE SANDY SPRINGS will open this summer in the former AMERICAN PIE location on Roswell Road.

West Midtown. MILK and HONEY, a 24 hour café with a retail component, has opened in the former PANGAEA spot.

Question of the Week: What former Buckhead Village hotspot is rumored to be relocating to a Midtown location?

Thanks for tuning in and remember that some individuals dream of doing great things, while others stay awake and do them.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What cuisine is rumored to be featured in the restaurant Here To Serve Restaurants is planning for the EMERIL’S location?- is Asian(AJA is the proposed name).
100% right 50% of the time.

#386 pksiv

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 05:45 AM

Midtown. SWEET LOWDOWN has closed. (Guess the new chef didn’t help).


That sucks. I loved the place.

View Post


It's being re-modeled and will re-open soon as Artistry Restaurant & Lounge
http://www.artistrylife.com/

#387 Reignking

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 03:20 PM

http://www.accessatl...meril_0421.html

"Emeril's Atlanta is the only restaurant we have ever closed and we are very sad about having to do so," chef Emeril Lagasse said via a prepared statement e-mailed to Buzz. "We tried very hard for four years to achieve the results we had hoped for. We will miss having a presence here. We have made a lot of friends in the Atlanta community but unfortunately were never able to generate the volume we expected when we entered the market."

#388 Reignking

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 03:24 PM

Buckhead. CHOPS was listed at number 46($13.2 million) on Restaurant and Institutions magazine’s annual Top 100 grossing independent restaurants survey. It was the only Atlanta restaurant to make the list.

View Post


This AJC article says

Chops/Chops' Lobster Bar came in at 46th, with $13 million in sales. Bone's followed in 95th place with an estimated $10.9 million in sales, and Atlanta Fish Market squeaked onto the list in 99th place with $10.5 million in sales.

#389 Norm357

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:36 PM

East Point. THE TASTING ROOM on Camp Creek Parkway has closed.


It helps to not be in jail for dog fighting when you own a restaurant. :wink:
Chicks dig wheelguns.

#390 micropundit

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 05:28 AM

SAVOR RATTLING.

Amidst all of the hoopla about the latest entries to Atlanta’s dining scene, from new faces in old places to new places with old faces, there has been a constant clamoring among the various press releases, media stories and blog buzz: everyone is claiming that they are going to be the best thing to ever hit the ATL. So in the interest of truth, justice and your well being, I went forth to see (and taste) what was what. Here are some first impressions:

STRAITS. Chris and Chris’s San Francisco treat features a mélange of Malaysian meals that are set in the former SPICE spot. The food is good but could use some more-er, spice. Has an upscale vibe. Chef Chris Yeo has the personality that could keep folks coming back for more.

MAXIM PRIME. New York based operator’s model for a national franchise of sexy steak houses/clubs. Lunch menu was good, service was prompt; the hotel location is a plus. It will definitely be a big tourist draw

HOLEMAN and FINCH. Atlanta’s latest gastro-pub; did not eat here but got the tour and a menu. Intimate and less formal than its parent, RESTAURANT EUGENE, it has a very intriguing menu featuring a new twist on some old favorites.

PARISH. The renovated factory is, in a phrase, eclectic elegance. Concentrics’ New Orleans influenced restaurant/grocery/ take out spot has, at first glance, the vibe of a comfortable neighborhood joint where anyone can find a good time and the good times will roll here. I liked their emphasis on sustainable, organic and local produce and practices.

The new kids on the respective blocks all have some strong points but at the end of the day, the hype is over; everyone is going to have to play big or go home.

NEWS and NOTES: (From my keyboard to your screen)

Alpharetta. PIG n’ CHIX, an Atlanta barbeque fave, will open its first franchise operation this summer at 3050 Winward Parkway.

Buckhead. DRESSED, the ultra modern Midtown salad with style spot, will open a store in Terminus this summer.

Michael Buard has been promoted to Executive chef at the Intercontinental Buckhead. He was formerly Executive sous chef at the Intercontinental Chicago.

Charley and Nan Niyomkul(NAN,TAMARIND SEED) are being sought as consultants by Here to Serve Restaurants for the Thai portion of the menu at AJA, the project slated to replace EMERIL’S.

Downtown (DT).
Shane Devereux, the promising young chef, has left PEASANT BISTRO.

Fayettville. Truett Cathy, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Chick-fil-A Inc., is opening up a pizza place called UPSCALE PIZZA on Highway 314.

Inman Park. The Atlanta City Council recently issued a proclamation honoring Chef Kevin Rathbun for his recent Iron Chef America victory.

Midtown. The former SWEET LOWDOWN location at 945 Peachtree is currently being remodeled and will open this summer as ARTISTRY RESTAURANT and LOUNGE.

QUESTION of the WEEK: What former West Midtown restaurant owner is now Associate Culinary Director for Whole Foods Southern region?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that intention is the driver of behavior change.
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW-What former Buckhead Village hotspot is rumored to be relocating to a Midtown location- is THE STEAMHOUSE LOUNGE. (Rumored to be locating in the former ELEMENT/CHERRY spot).
100% right 50% of the time.