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Everything posted by therese

  1. Glad to hear that somebody's keeping The Varsity busy, as it is an institution and it would be a shame to see it go under.
  2. The Varsity? Ewww. Tryska and I both live here and I get the distinct impression that she likes it about as much as I do. Lots of cheap eats in Atlanta. My favorites are generally ethnic, and include... Zyka for Indian non-veg. Madras Saravana Bhavan and Indian Delights for Indian veg. 88 Tofu House for Korean tofu soup. Pho Bac for pho. Dim sum at either Happy Valley or Canton House. Dekalb Farmers Market for cafeteria-style everything.
  3. Just finished a kitchen remodel and really like our set up. The sink is an old-fashioned fireclay, big single basin. Undermount with granite counters, apron front visible. Enormous things fit into it, absolutely great. The dishwasher is raised 12" above the usual, so minimal bending. The faucet's a wall mount. The advantage to this (a huge advantage from my point of view) is that water can't pool at the base of the faucet, so there's no possibility of mold, etc. The main disadvantage is that you basically can't have a spray nozzle that's part of the faucet (or maybe you could but it would be a big deal to get it). As the faucet neck swivels, though, I can direct water in to most of the sink, so spraying it down isn't much of an issue. I'd have loved to get a foot pedal, but my husband veto'd that.
  4. Glad to hear you that you particularly enjoyed your dinner at The Food Studio. It's one of our favorites. Now you'll have to come back and try the other places on my list! That group of restaurants really emphasizes service, so glad to hear that it also met expectations.
  5. On a recent visit to New Zealand I came across a type of upmarket range called Rangemaster. Apparently the same company as Aga, but more conventional fuels and styling (both modern and traditional, so Aga-esque). Nice features, and not so massive as the big pseudo-professional ones, and the NZ prices weren't bad. I looked into getting one for my kitchen remodel here in the U.S., but couldn't find a U.S. dealer for that line (Agas, on the other hand, are not difficult to find) so instead went with a two oven, five burner Frigidaire/Electrolux range (which I'm loving). My grandmother cooked on a wood/coal-burning range that also served to heat the house. It was the sole source of heat in that part of house, so its being on all the time was hardly considered wasteful. But in the summer it was too hot to use, so she used an electric range that was sometimes also used in the winter if we were cooking for a really big crowd at the holidays. Rangemaster web site
  6. Such a relief to find that this thread had been moved from its original location on the New Jersey forum, as when I first noticed it this AM here on the Southeast I experienced some pretty severe cognitive dissonance. Anyway, I'm going to point out that I didn't suggest Bacchanalia because chances of getting into Bacchanalia at this late date approach zero. Even 30 day in advance attempts to reserve on a weeknight will generally earn you a coveted 6:00 PM or 9:30 PM dining slot there, so I'd suggest that Curlz not worry about it too much. The owners also operate another restaurant called Floataway that's over by Emory University. One of my favorites, a more casual version of Bacchanalia, very good. The cabdriver needs to know exactly where he's going to find it, as it's in the back of warehouse area that now houses some art studios, theatres, etc. If he is looking for very high end dining (I do hope there's an expense account somewhere in the background, with a very lax administrator overseeing it) he could try Seeger's: fantastic food, very expensive (though not necessarily by New York/New Jersey standards), small and subdued dining room (there's basically no sign out front, so you or the cabdriver has to know exactly where to go), and service that manages to be snooty and sort of incompetent all at once. Reservations surprisingly (perhaps not so surprisingly) easy to get. The alternative high end is the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. Same price point, fantastic food, and really great service. Reservations at this point probably difficult, but you could try. The Food Studio is intown west, located in the King Plow Arts Center. Very good food, very good service, cozy and groovy feel to the place. Same owners as South City Kitchen (as well as La Tavola and Sala in Virginia Highland, another good food neighborhood). Woodfire Grill (hard to describe the neighborhood, sort of south Buckhead, I gues) is great for cold weather dining. An open fire/grill makes it particularly nice, and the food's very good. Somebody mentioned Tierra, one of my favorites. Another good Midtown option is MidCity Cuisine (I think this may within easy walking distance of a MARTA station). Mary Mac's Tea Room (Midtown) is not my idea of the gracious south, but it is great people watching and the food's pretty good for what it is. The Colonnade is similar. A new place in town is Blais. It's not been reviewed yet (opened right before Christmas), but very inventive food, stylish place, excellent service, and good price point. It's in Buckhead, on E. Paces Ferry near Peachtree. I don't usually recommend the Buckhead Life Restaurants. Maybe it's just because I eat in them pretty frequently, as they're used lots for corporate entertaining. Great for checking out face lifts and other cosmetic, um, enhancements.
  7. Okay, so I know that people in New Jersey are really really smart, but you might want to post this query on the southeastern U.S. board. You may well be doing this as I write, but just in case... First, the bad news. You are staying in one of the least exciting parts of Atlanta food-wise. Until recently nobody actually lived in right in downtown, so there was little in the way of dinner. People are moving in, but it's still pretty slim pickings. Sure there's the convention crowd, but many of them are not that into food, and locals dine out LOTS, so the restaurants go where the crowds are. There's more bad news, too: the Hilton downtown is sort of a rat hole. Or at least it's been rat hole the last couple of times I had to go there for meetings. But there is some decent food downtown, particularly if you're dining on somebody else's nickel. Luxe is new spot with trendo high end food. A bit delicate insofar as flavors go the last time (and only so far, it having opened in October, I thin). The Sundial Lounge is a rotating bar on the top of the Westin. Don't go for the food, but it is a great view of the area (so go before it gets dark). City Grill is a very pretty place in downtown that serves fancy food that feels a bit old-fashioned southern. I haven't been recently so can't vouch. Other good areas to hit for food are Midtown (the closest to you, really almost downtown), Buckhead (a hike north in a cab), and Buford Highway or Lawrenceville Highway for ethnic (asian and latin on the former, Indian on the latter, neither to be attempted unless somebody rents a car). If you want to stick to public transit you can take MARTA north to the area around the Arts Center (Tamarind, South City Kitchen, Park 75, and Veni Vidi Vici all options) or east to Decatur (lots of small places, everything from pubs to sushi to alsatian).
  8. Each of our two children accompanied me to high end restaurants once or twice when they were very young, basically under three months. They slept, nursed, slept, nursed...and we had lovely relaxing dinners. I remember one leisurely lunch with my two day old daughter with particular fondness. At that age infants are about as intrusive as hand luggage, certainlyl less trouble than many of my fellow diners. Beyond that age (or whatever age the child is when he/she decides to wake up and notice the rest of the world), absolutely not. My children are now 10 and 13, but even then I wouldn't take the 10 year old to a really high end place because she wouldn't appreciate the food (despite her behavior being perfect, right down to correct use of a fish knife). My 13 year old, on the other hand, has developed an appreciation of really great food and would be great at Citronelle or any other high end place.
  9. We like Dusty's. My husband's from Texas and I'm from Virginia (have also lived in Kentucky and, obviously, Georgia), so it's not a question of being homesick for North Carolina: it's just across the board well-prepared food. The pulled pork is my favorite, and the Brunswick stew is better than most. I don't do ribs, so can't comment on them. I'm not a barbecue freak, so wouldn't bother with Dusty's if it didn't compare favorably with other food available nearby (we do live in the area). Swallow in the Hollow (up north of town somewhere) is supposed to be very good, particularly for ribs, but I've not been so can't comment. I will say that the best barbecue around here is usually prepared at home or by caterers who bring the big smokers to your party or whatever. I had some great pulled pork at a Thanksgiving potluck that had been catered---I'll see if I can get the name of the guy that did it.
  10. Good luck foods that our family has to have on News Year's Day: 1. Black-eyed peas, for luck. 2. Greens, for money. Any kinds of greens will do---collards, spinach, cabbage, but I have this theory that the greener the better. 3. Ham (or some other pork product), for luck. 4. Rum, for luck. Not a bad meal, depending on how you arrange things. The New Year's Eve party that I usually attend actually serves a post-midnight breakfast which includes (in addition to some breakfast items) the first three things on the list. I've been making my kids eat at least a small amount of the first three on New Year's Day since they were very small.
  11. therese


    I've made taramosalata using a blender (used the recipe in the new Joy of Cooking, I think) and it turned out very well. Very popular, too, with people trying to figure out what the heck it was while stuffing their faces full of it.
  12. I ate at Makoto a couple of weeks ago (same visit to D.C. that took me to Komi) and quite liked it. It had been recommended by a friend, and we quite enjoyed it. My dining companions that night were two Danes and an Icelandic woman who also liked it, though they found a couple of the courses too "fishy" (hey, more for me). I liked pretty much everything, having gotten fish (orange roughy?) as my main and soba with natto (fermented soybeans---was this what the original post described as fermented bean curd?). I did warn my dining companions away from the natto, but it turned out to be hardly natto-ish at all---no slime at all, and not all that strong in flavor. The water is a total rip-off, but otherwise we were happy.
  13. No, it's not Indian Delights. Indian Delights was pretty much the first south Indian veg place here in town, first just a bare-bones store front for takeaway with a few tables. Now it's expanded into a couple of store fronts, but still very bare bones and we usually do takeaway. Food very good, though I find the food at Madras Saravana Bhavan better. Udipi is also good for this style of food. Lots of Indian restaurants here have attached halls for parties. Zyka (my favorite food-wise, in a building that used to house a church) has one and so does Bombay Grill (also very good for food, plus it has a liquor license; it's in a remodeled Steak & Ale).
  14. Catering halls don't necessarily need much in the way of decor---all sorts of venues will host dinners, and they typically don't need much in the way of gussying up. You're planning on pretty much just calling up and saying you'd like a reservation for 100? Most restaurants in town are going to start suggesting you book a private room when your party hits about 20. That said, there are "restaurants" in town that do accomodate big groups. The first one that comes to mind is 103 West. It used to be a restaurant (and is still owned by the same company, Buckhead Life), and so the cooking is all on site. You can google on Buckhead Life to see what they offer. Another option is a country club. Country clubs do this kind of thing all the time (it's one of the ways they make money) and you needn't be a member to use many of them. Some of the ones in town have decent food, including Piedmont Driving Club, Ansley, and Druid Hills. I don't know which of these has a "member" policy.
  15. There's actually quite a large Indian community here in Atlanta, and at least one large entertainment/catering hall (probably more) located in Decatur. I can't remember the name of it at the moment, but could look into it if you'd be interested. You could also use a conventional hall (of which there are many) and have both an Indian caterer and a more conventional one. I would be extremely reluctant to suggest that a non-Indian cook/caterer undertake his mother's recipes. Do you know what part of town you'd like for the wedding? Atlanta's huge, and prices will vary a lot depending on location. That many of people will call for a catering hall, not a restaurant. And why the heck are you getting married in Atlanta? Family here?
  16. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the pre-starter/amuse-gueule thing: a very rich soup, seems like roasted cauliflower and apple that night. Very good. As to the need for reservations, we went on a Friday, and had called ahead (Nectar had actually called for us), but had no trouble getting in on short notice at 7:30. But I'd imagine that will change when the word gets out.
  17. Yeah, no liquor. They did have some sort of cocktails listed, included a mojito made with muscat. Glad to hear that it's really Komi, as I tend to be pretty good with visual memory stuff, and the sign outside is pretty big. We didn't do pizza, but the other things were good. We had a nice wine, a pinot noir called (I think) Pinno.
  18. It's altogether possible that we're talking about Kumi (though maybe it was Komi all along?). I can't find either a Yellow Pages or a Google hit that allows me to either rule in or rule out either possibility. Has anybody else been?
  19. I was in D.C. this week for work and ended up at this restaurant, referred there by the receptionist (or whoever answered the phone) at Nectar (where I didn't go because we hadn't booked ahead of time and my dining companions were not willing to wait until 9:30, though I certainly would have). Anyway, cute place with open kitchen in the back featuring a wood-burning oven (so particularly cozy on a chilly evening), generally very good food. The best thing I had was my main, crispy arctic char served with some wilted greens and tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. My appetizer was scallops with salmon roe, served in the shell on ice, a bit on the understated side. For dessert I chose plum (and something) soup, mostly because it sounded interesting. The soup itself was too sweet for my taste, but it was fine tempered with the scoop of buttermilk (or some other similar cultured dairy product) sorbet/ice cream. A bit heavy-handed with the salt in some instances (according to my dining companions), but overall very good. Any other experiences? I did a search here and couldn't find it, but perhaps I've gotten the name or spelling wrong.
  20. Buckhead Diner will not be open at that late hour. Fado would definitely be an option. The official Fado website is a bit difficult to navigate. The local AccessAtlanta blurb may be viewed at: AccessAtlanta page for Fado In any case the trip has surely occurred by now. Where did the original poster dine?
  21. Well, I hate to have to point this out, but I'm on the other side of the table, and get to hear all sorts of fun stuff drop from the mouths of presumably educated servers in very high end restaurants. Favorite examples: pree fee (that's prix fixe to the rest of us) broo nwa (brunoise takes a nice long "zzz" sound at the end) vee shee swa (vichyssoise; see brunoise) nee swa (as in salade nicoise; see brunoise) broo shet a (the "sch" is "sk" in this instance) I can't even approximate what happens to mille feuille. On of my favorites was the evening I was informed that the dish accompanying my beef was spatlese. Imagine my relief when the expected little dumplings actually showed up. As for that bone-headed customer whose pronunciation differs from yours, rest assured that I won't make a big deal about correcting you. I'll get a big laugh out of it, sure, but it won't affect your tip. Attempting to correct me, on the other hand, is likely to draw rather more attention to the situation than is strictly necessary.
  22. "Counting up" is a lost art. I worked a register (at a McDonald's, don't tell anybody) that didn't compute change, and also didn't compute tax, so I had to do it in my head. I also worked a cinema concession stand where there were no registers all, just brains. Anyway, counting up is making change starting with the smallest coin and finishing with the largest denomination bill. These days cashiers are so clueless that they frequently can't handle it if you give them change with a bill such that they don't have to give you as many coins in return: if the bill is $5.25 and you give them $10.25 it takes them a minute to figure it out. If the bill is $17.27 and you give them $20.02 you can expect them to hand back the pennies. Not always, but pretty frequently.
  23. I'll second votes for MidCity Cuisine, Floataway, One Midtown Kitchen (with some reservations, as I've not been in a few months and there are some uneven reports), Woodfire Grill, and Sotto Sotto. I'll add Fritti (sister restaurant to Sotto Sotto, less expensive but still stylish, thin crust pizza), Baraonda (the downtown end of midtown, thin crust pizza), Eno (downtown end of midtown), and Iris (east Atlanta, liquor license may be wine and beer only). I've not been to Luxe yet, but it should be great given it's pedigree. Downtown in the old Mumbo Jumbo slot.
  24. We eat grocery store sushi pretty frequently, as it's convenient and certainly better for us than most other convenience foods. I wouldn't worry about it from a health point of view, and our grocery prepares fresh every day (in plain view of the customers, sort of like a sushi bar and you can place a special order from the limited repertoire). I've never had a bad batch. We don't usually save leftovers as the rice gets all dried out and gummy. As for this being your first time, you could check with friends who are familiar with your grocer's product as well as good restaurant sushi. The absolute worst sushi I've ever eaten was from an upmarket grocery in Park City, Utah. It wasn't spoiled, it just wasn't sushi (the rice was wrong) and we threw it away (even my kids wouldn't eat it) I'd probably do my first sushi run in a restaurant, and I'd do it with a friend. I've initiated many of my friends to sushi and sashimi, all of them now big fans. Same deal with any unfamiliar food---dim sum, vietnamese, etc. The staff will be of some help, but still limited.
  25. Atkins Park would be my vote for decent food late (they serve until something like 3:00 or 3:30 am), but it's in Virginia Highland, so a definite cab ride unless you've rented a car. There are also lots of Asian places out Buford Highway that do quite late hours, but again it's a hike. Buckhead's a pretty big area (because any place that's even close will describe itself as having a Buckhead location, even if it's not really Buckhead), so I'd probably call the hotel concierge and explain your dilemma. Once you have names of places from him/her, post them here and we'll tell you whether we can recommend them or not.
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