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Everything posted by Voodoo

  1. Ya, it was a great run. One of the most informative sources of information on the happenings in the Atlanta dining scene. This forum won't be the same without it.
  2. You'll enjoy Bone's, I think. One of the top 5 restaurants in the city, in my book.
  3. Maybe I can't see it because I live here, but I don't really see Atlanta as a city with great regional cuisine. I do, however, believe that Atlanta has a very good dining scene with excellent options is virtually every category. If money is no object, it doesn't get any better than Bacchanalia and Restaurant Eugene, in my opinion. Eugene is more focused on Southern Cuisine, but both are superb examples of what Atlanta has to offer. For more reasonably priced options, Watershed is quite good, as gwilson mentioned.
  4. Catherall, Aja, and Dale? Makes sense. Richard Blais mentioned that he and Dale are friends and that he's been trying to get him down here. Do you suppose that there is some motivation on Blais' part to turn Here to Serve into a reputable restaurant group after the way he was treated at Concentrics? Don't know. But I do know that in his time at One Midtown, he was delivering the best food that restaurant has ever seen and has seen since and the same is true for Here to Serve which had an even bigger reputation for being all about style over substance.
  5. After years of embarrassing themselves with laughable top 100 lists, Jezebel finally decided to pick a worthy #1 - Bacchanalia.
  6. Are you suggesting that Bone's is no better than any other steakhouse? I can say without a doubt that Bone's served me the best steak I have had anywhere. I do not order steak often, but I have had it at enough places that Bone's does it better. The steak I had at Bacchanalia, for example, did not compare. Nor have the ones I've had at Palm, Morton's or Ruth's Chris. If there are steaks as good as Bone's to be had at a price point cheaper than Bone's, then I'd like to know where. Great meat costs money. Bone's waiters' announce that they only serve aged, prime beef after you are first seated.
  7. LOL. You should have seen his space in Atlanta. It was at the end of a strip mall. It was not Tomoe, but it was nothing spectacular for sure. The only thing interesting about the place besides the food and Soto himself was his selection of classical music, which he really loves as he plays both the violin and cello. Andre Watts was and, as far as I know, is still a very good friend and a frequent patron of Soto. That's neat, I guess, but not as cool as seeing Shirley Manson five seats over from me at the sushi bar.
  8. It makes me happy to hear someone say that. I always felt that Soto was the best or second best (behind Bacchanalia) restaurant in Atlanta, so I had high hopes for him (as seen earlier in this thread) when he told me he was going to NYC. He was already cooking at a very high level, but with his sourcing improved and the customer-base becoming richer and more savvy, I thought he could be an elite NYC sushi chef pretty quickly. I was obviously disappointed when I read the NYT review which gave him two stars. I had not looked at the list until just now, but apparently I have been to four NYT three-star restaurants in my few visits to the city. No contest, my meals at Babbo and Cafe Boulod were nowhere near as good as Soto. I mean not even close to close. I enjoyed Perry Street and Gramercy Tavern very much, but they were still not as good as Soto. Jean-Georges was the only dining experience I've had in NYC that I can say was more elegant and more sophisticated, but that's a four-star restaurant. I don't think Soto aspires to be Masa, but he can be more than just the nice little Village sushi joint.
  9. Big Bacch, for me. Restaurant Eugene is second. Nowhere else comes really that close in my opinion to those two. I don't fancy myself an expert by any means, but I have been to many, if not most, of the places generally regarded as top 25 restaurants in Atlanta. For service, innovation and quality, Bacchanalia and Restaurant Eugene are a clear cut above most places, with Bacchanalia getting an edge.
  10. Great pictures, doczconz. Have you tried the broiled lobster with portabella and mango, assuming he's still serving it? My favorite dish on Earth. The lotus-wrapped steamed lobster with uni mousse is way up there as well. Sounds like Soto has turned the corner after some initial jitters. It also looks like he is serving a lot of new dishes, which both makes me happy and sad. Happy that Soto can finally do the menu he wants to do without worrying about if he can source the right ingredients or find customers that will appreciate it. Sad that he lives 500 miles away in NYC instead of 5 miles away in Buckhead.
  11. 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!
  12. Not sad to see Piebar go. It was unpopular even among non-foodies, which is unusual since Concentrics seems to get a pass from a lot of Atlantans for its food.
  13. Jean-Georges is coming to ATL? If they are anything like his superlative NYC places, I will be thrilled. I have been to Perry Street, Jean-Georges and Dune in the Bahamas. All were great, especially the first two. I asked the GM at Dune if Jean-Georges ever comes there, and he said yes, all the time, so perhaps his restaurants are able to maintain a high level.
  14. I forgot what I got the one time I went to Watershed, some piece of fish I think, but I will not forget the salmon croquettes that I shared with my cousin. Those things are good.
  15. It is not necessary for you to speak in hypotheticals. Soto serves one langostine dish. He served it in Atlanta for at least 5 years, and he's been serving the same dish in New York. Soto serves at least three non-langostine lobster dishes. The langostine dish is buttery, rich and delicious, but displays no exceptional talent or complexity that I can discern. The lobster dishes are not only better, in my opinion, but showcase a far more intricate understanding of food with their interplay of flavors which the langostine is lacking. The first bite of the langostine tastes the same as the last bite because that's all there is. The lobster dishes all include other things, and whether it's mango, caviar, yuzu, uni, the combination enhances the dish in the way that the langostine never experiences. The funny part about this argument is that you don't even know that I'm wrong when I say he's wrong to point out the langostine as Soto's best from the kitchen. Go and see for yourself. As for Bruni's comments on Soto's disposition, I do take issue with his characterization of Soto. But I've stated my case, and I have no reason to argue with you about it. That is, unless you are Frank Bruni.
  16. The difference between langostine and "lobster," as it is commonly used, is crystal clear, especially after I articulated which lobster dishes in particular stand out. Bruni described Soto as a "cold fish." That's not just telling only part of the story, it's grossly and possibly willfully inaccurate for all the reasons I articulated above. He is many things, extremely short and hot-tempered being one of them, but cold fish? No.
  17. I think it is clear that while langostine is a type of lobster, it is very different than a traditional American lobster. Did I really have to clarify that? I doubt Bruni saw Soto lose his temper, but he still spent a small chunk of his article detailing what he had heard or read about. Seems unfair that he would talk about Soto's hot temper without mentioning how friendly he is. He either should have mentioned both or neither. Mentioning one or the other does not convey an accurate picture of what Soto is like.
  18. Soto does sushi well, but his strength, as has already been pointed out, has always been in his creative specials. His menu is much more expensive and focused than it was in Atlanta. He tried to cater to a wide audience in Atlanta, but he does not have to do that in New York where there are more foodies and less seats to fill. Don't get the impression that his pieces are average because they are not. They are always at least good if not great. Soto will never serve you a mediocre piece of fish; he is way, way, way too much of a perfectionist to do that. Bruni missed the boat if he thinks the langostine is the best hot special. His lobster dishes are his strongest dishes, in my opinion, starting with the broiled lobster/mango/portabella cake and the steamed lobster with uni mousse wrapped in lotus root. Hamachi tartare is also a hit with its roasted pine nuts, wasabi tobiko and soy foam. Terrific blend of textures in that dish, though I don't know if that's on his NY menu. I also love the broiled chilean sea bass marinated in citrus soy, but that's not the most difficult dish in the world. Bruni also has a mistaken impression of Soto's personality. He got the temper part right; I have never been in a restaurant where a chef has lost his cool like Soto has on a couple of occasions. But Bruni failed entirely to mention that there was another side of Soto, the far more common side. He was liked by his followers here for more than just his sushi; he is a pretty funny guy and extremely nice. When he is not swamped, he engages everyone at the bar, which is why it is best to go late to grab a seat close to him, witness his incredible knife skills, and talk to a genuinely nice guy.
  19. The owner of Les Fleurs de Lis? Loaf & Kettle did just move out of the space right next door to them in the Healey building.
  20. Hmm...I hope I made the right decision by cancelling Spring tonight in favor of Blackbird. I may not have if I could find the egullet thread on Spring, which is difficult to find since the name is also a common word. Oh well, too late now.
  21. Don't forget Waffle House winning best breakfast and Ru Sans winning best sushi, among other tragidies. Taco Mac at Phillips Arena would be great. People love the idea of hanging around before and after ball games...they just don't have anywhere good to do it now. They would CLEAN UP down there.
  22. I finally made my appearance at Soto this past weekend after waiting a year and a few months for him to reopen. Several of my old favorites are still on the menu like the broiled lobster with mango and portabella, shima aji carpaccio and steamed lobster with lotus root, uni mousse and caviar. All, predictably, were superb. Some of his newer offerings were excellent, but some are clearly works in progress. I also thought his nigiri, while very good, is not quite to the level he was known for in Atlanta. Then again, nigiri is not where he specializes...it's his creations that make him great. Word around the campfire is that the owner of Jewel Bako was in recently and was very impressed. I really like his new space. It is very clean and simple. The table at the end of the sushi bar is neat. I don't think I've ever seen that. His prices are roughly 50% higher than Atlanta, and the menu is much smaller and more special-based. I personally don't think it's out of line with other places in New York, but it is by no means a bargain like it was in Atlanta where his main competition was 25% more expensive. One legit knock on Soto is that he puts little to no effort into his dessert dishes. I'm not sure how it is at either top sushi places in NYC, but Soto basically offers ice cream and that's it. To the poster earlier who expressed concern that Soto came to NYC to "cash in," I can assure that is not the case. He was doing very well in Atlanta, but the market was not challenging enough for him. After growing frustrated with the increasing number of "boring" dishes being ordered at his restaurant (california rolls, tempura, etc), he went omakase-only. The omakase was spectacular, but his business took a massive hit . Ultimitalely, there are not enough foodies in Atlanta to support more than a handful of high end restaurants here, which is why three of our best chefs left the city (Gunther Seeger, Soto, Richard Blais) last year alone. Blais is back, but I know that Soto left Atlanta because he wanted a new challenge, not for more money. On the contrary, he was losing tons of money for the 1+ year he was out of business.
  23. Hmm...maybe I'll give it a shot Friday night then. Can anyone recommend a restaurant nearby that I can use as a contingency plan just in case the wait at Momofuku is insane? Obviously, since I am trying to go to Momofuku, I am looking for something sub-$40 pp.
  24. So is it going to be impossible to walk up to this place on a Friday night and not wait 2 hours? Dang...I had penciled this place in for my trip up to NYC tomorrow.
  25. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2nd for me. I can't wait. Sounds like he's not the relative bargain that he used to be, but that's only fair now that he's able to command the prices he deserves. I understand that his omakase he had in Atlanta cost him around $50 in food costs and he was only charging $80. That's insane!
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