Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
micropundit

Atlanta Restaurant Updates: new places & faces

Recommended Posts

Question of the Week: What national barbeque chain is closing all 6 of their Atlanta locations as part of a company retreat from the line of business?

Smokey Bones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Question of the Week: What national barbeque chain is closing all 6 of their Atlanta locations as part of a company retreat from the line of business?

Smokey Bones

Good. They are overprived and the food is not very good.


Chicks dig wheelguns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. . . . .

M idtown. Scott Black, formerly of BONES, is opening a restaurant in the Renoylds condominiums on Peachtree Street.

Richard Blais will be taking over as culinary director of Element on the corner of west peachtree and 11th and  relaunching it as Element gastro lounge and food lab.

. . . . .

Good call, micropundit. More info here.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, sorry about this week-technical difficulties. On Tuesday I will have a double doobie for you! Have a great and safe holiday.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, let me say thank you for all of your kind words and comments and second, I hope that my future will include far fewer computer issues.

Now, let’s get this party started. I had the pleasure of chatting and chewing with both the Sage and the Industry Bigfoot together last week and based on their comments, the ATL’s dining scene is in for some good things in the near future.

We can expect some more “big name” restos to grace our shores, according to the dynamic duo. Some of the names will be familiar to habitués of the Las Vegas and New York dining scenes. One of the drivers of this movement is the recent spate of ultra luxe development, including hotels and commercial centers. The IB cited the recently announced Buckhead Avenues as an example: the developer is focused almost exclusively on big name’ restos and retail, many not currently in the South.

The Sage opined that there will more press coverage concerning the trend of 5 star hotels to utilize high end restos to add to their cache. He also said to watch for the piece on the Atlanta dining scene in the June edition of Food Arts magazine. So stay tuned; as I know more, you will now more.

I also got a pre-opening look at RATHBUN STEAK last week, conducted by the man himself. In launching his latest Inman Park spot, Kevin is truly staking his claim on the community. The modern, organic lines of the place epitomize the evolution of a once moribund neighborhood into a dining and living community whose future is second to none in the metro area. He promises to serve only Allen Brothers, dry aged beef-no “prime crime” here- and to cook it on two 1800 degree broilers: a ‘PETER LUGER” steak at Atlanta prices. There will also a focus on small plates and other meats and fish as well as a mixture of Italian, Creole and Asian items.

Opening Wednesday, May 30th, the latest from the Kansa City Kid looks like a winner from where I sit.

Question of the Week: Who is Jeffery Chodorow and what are his plans for Atlanta?

NEWS and NOTES (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. Acoording to Restaurant & Institution magazine’s top 100 independent restaurant listings for 2006, CHOP’s was the top grossing resto in the ATL and 46th in the USA with $13 million in gross revenues. BONES was ranked # 95 and the ATLANTA FISH MARKET was 99th.The top grossing reso was TAO RESTAURANT and NIGHTCLUB in Las Vegas with $55.3 million!

IL BACIO, a NYC pizza transplant has opened in the shopping center at the corner of Piedmont Road and Sidney Marcus drive.

Downtown. LUCKY FOOD LOUNGE opened last week with Executive chef Alaska Dzameishie(HOUSTONS,J.ALEXANDERS) at the helm along with Nicolas Crawford(MID CITY CUISINE) as pastry chef and Rasmey Hong as the sushi guy.

Grant Park. DOC CHEY’S founder Richard Chey is brining his “star” power to Memorial Drive’s Park condos. He is opening STELLA NEIGHBORHOOD TRATTITORIA, a 160 seat resto there that is scheduled for a fall debut. (Stella is Italian for star).

Midtown. FIGO founder and pasta impresario, Mirko di Giacomantonio , is slated to open ALLEGRO, a high end Italian fine dining spot, in July in the Belvedere condos, located at 560 Dutch Valley Drive-up the street from ONE MIDTOWN KITCHEN.

One of HANK’S ICE CREAM 2 new locations will open on 10th Street this fall.

Virginia Highland. It looks as if the tenure of Chef Jeff at SALA is coming to and end: Fifth Group is advertising for an executive chef for the seemingly snake bitten spot. Rumor has it that he will return to Phoenix in two weeks.

Thanks again for your support and remember that an army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question of the Week: Who is Jeffery Chodorow and what are his plans for Atlanta?

Let's hope they don't include any full-page ads in the AJC when he gets into a pissing match with the local food critics. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After browsing the ajc today, it seems as if our city is overrun with stars. Ms. Ford cannot help herself from giving out 4 stars. At one point, certainly around now, you lose the plot. Atlanta could start seeing a Michelin phenomenon, where stars are given back. As the immortal Marco Pierre White said, after handing his back, "I refuse to be judged by someone who knows less about food than I do."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The theme of John Kessler’s well written article in the June issue of Food Arts magazine is that one of Atlanta’s growth industries is opening new restaurants and judging from all of the openings scheduled for this month alone-as well as the last week of May-he is spot on.

With restaurants the caliber of KEVIN RATHBUN STEAK; Richard Blais’s ELEMENT; and, TAMARIND SEED all coming online the last week in May, Atlanta had what would be considered a bumper crop for the year in most places. But wait, there is more: TAP opens June 8th and BELEZE and CUERNO, Richard Ullio’s latest creations, as well as ROOM at Twelve Centennial Park Hotel from Bob Amick are all scheduled to open this summer. All of these to be closely followed by the openings of AQUAKNOX, MF SUSHI and BRICKTOPS at Terminus in Buckhead late summer/early fall.

So strap on the feed buckets folks and enjoy the latest in what appears to be a resurgence of intown restaurants that will offer a wide variety of options to the consumer. I guess my only question is will there be enough demand to meet the growing supply?

Question of the Week: Who are Patrick Columbo and Mike Chen and what are their plans for Atlanta’s dining scene?

NEWS and NOTES (From my keyboard to your screen)

Buckhead. CITY GARDEN, a Chinese resto on Peachtree near CAFÉ INTERMEZZO, has closed.

CHIMA,nee BOI NA BRAZIL, has closed for “renovations”.

Perrine Prieur is the new sommelier at JOEL. She comes to our fair city from the Michelin 3 star LE GAVROCHE in London. Welcome!

Downtown. The answer to last week’s question of the week was revealed in John Kessler’s piece in the newspaper of general circulation on hotel dining: look for a MAXIM PRIME, a Jeffery Chodorow creation, in the Glenn hotel in the former BED space. MAXIM PRIME is a steakhouse concept geared to the 20-34 demographic that combines Chodorow’s flair with Maxim the magazine’s money.

South Fulton. In a trend that seems to have started with his former business partner, Bob Amick,(TROIS,TAP) Steve Nygren has hired famed interior designer Stan Topol to design THE HIL, Hilary White’s French bistro at Serenbe.

Virginia Highland. Chef Steven, Chef de Cuisine at DISH, has departed to Nashville to look into opening his own resto. Owner, Sherri Davis will return to the kitchen in the interim.

Thank you for stopping by and remember that tenderness and kindness are not always signs of weakness and despair but often are manifestations of strength and resolve.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read the post, but that still does not answer the question. Does he own element, or have any financial stake in the restuarant. Or is he the chef, culinary director.


Edited by matthewj (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
South Fulton. In a trend that seems to have started with his former business partner, Bob Amick,(TROIS,TAP) Steve Nygren has hired famed interior designer Stan Topol to design THE HIL, Hilary White’s French bistro at Serenbe.

Does anyone know where this is located?

There is so far, no good french food on the southside. Maybe there is hope yet.


Chicks dig wheelguns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have read the post, but that still does not answer the question.  Does he own element, or have any financial stake in the restuarant. Or is he the chef, culinary director.

Element is owned by Christopher Neal and Anouk Esmail, a very hospitable and earnest married couple who bought the Cherry space last year, refurbished it, and reopened it as Element in January (about 14 minutes after getting their liquor license -- an interesting story all by itself). Originally, it was a tapas bar, and got a quick once-over by Creative Loafing's Cliff Bostock in May. By then, however, they'd begun talking to Blais. Of course, I'm not privy to all the details, but as far as I can tell, Blais has no ownership interest; this is a contractual arrangement with the chef's culinary consulting enterprise, Trail-Blais.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saga Midtown located on the corner of 12th and Crescent will be closing down shop on June 9th permanently. Does anyone know where Chef Drew Van Leuven will be headed next?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, but I know where I would like to see him ....

Im thinking he might want to continue under his own helm, just a thought.haha...but good suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The quiet but growing roar of excitement that is building up locally around the return of molecular gastronomy guru Richard Blais has made me wonder whether or not better days are ahead for Atlanta’s dining scene?

After the much chronicled-and debated-departures of Guenter Seeger and Sotohuri Kosugi, along with Mr. Blais, Atlanta looked as if it was losing its dining mojo. Various national and even international scribes seemed to consign Atlanta to the (further) cultural backwaters; arguing that, in effect, the loss of these stars proved that Atlanta’s culinary sophistication, as it were, was a mile long but only an inch deep. Ouch.

Now, after our winter of discontent, comes not only the return of King Richard but news of the impending arrival of some of New York’s bold face names as well. Buckhead ,the self styled Beverly Hills of the South, will have a Las Vegas flair along Peachtree Road with the impending arrivals of AQUAKNOX and CRAFT. Downtown is rumored to be the object of not only Jeffery Chodorow’s affections but has drawn the attention of one of Gotham City’s Italian stalwarts as well. And Midtown, the current hotspot according to the folks in the know, continues to attract bold face names from both coasts. The latest rumor has a major Beverly Hills steakhouse being located in the high rise of a major Manhattan developer.

So we shall see what we shall see: maybe the retooled JOEL will become the new SEEGER’s( a Mobile 5 star); perhaps FAB will become our BALTHEZAR; who knows, ROOM maybe our CRAFTSTEAK. But all I know is that the dining scene doesn’t look as dismal as it did just a few months ago.

Question of the Week: What local steakhouse GM has a budding career as a sports talk radio host?

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

Buckhead. Word from an insider is that the Buckhead Life Group’s flagship resto at 3344 Peachtree is going to be a “major” project. ( The inside is an internationally recognized architect) Will this be Pano’s long awaited brasserie? Can you say LeCIRQUE?

Downtown. Chef Bennett Hollberg has assumed the top toque at THE ATLANTA GRILL in the Ritz Carlton Atlanta. Chef Bennett, a native Atlantan, comes from The DINING ROOM at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, where he was sous chef under both Bruno Menard and current chef, Arnuad Berthelier.

Midtown. THE FIFTH RUNWAY, serving middle eastern cuisine, has relocated from College Park near the airport(hence the name) , to 420 14th Street.

The INDEPENDENT, a bistro, bar and billiards parlor has opened at 930 Monroe Drive. They serve fried twinkies(?)

According to one of our intrepid readers, SAGA closed this past Saturday, June 9th.A bidding war may ensue for the services of Chef Drew Van Leuven.

Sandy Springs. Tom McCheachen, formerly of HORSERADISH GRILL, will be the new chef when RAY’S ON THE RIVER reopens this summer.

Vinings. Rumor has it that J. CHRISTOPHER’S will take over the old DOC CHEY’S spot.

Thank you for dropping by and remember that stories of past courage can offer hope and provide inspiration but courage itself comes from within your own soul.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Question of the Week: What local steakhouse GM has a budding career as a sports talk radio host?

Willie Cellucci of the Palm, heard on 790 the Zone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last week was filled with the exploration of new places and the meeting of some new faces:

I ‘m down with OTP.

At the request of the Industry Big Foot I checked out WILFIRE, the steak and seafood joint near Perimeter Mall for lunch.(Yes, I went OTP-outside the perimeter) The Chicago import is the brain child of the famous Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group and their first foray south. Billed as a 1940’s era steakhouse, I expected WILDFIRE to be this dark, smoky film noir type of place. Wrong.

The architecture was modern with a relatively neutral palette. The space was open and was surprisingly large. The menu while focused on steak and seafood, had some poultry and pasta dishes that looked good as well. I had the shrimp and crab bisque and prime rib; both were prepared well although I had to search a bit to find the crab in the bisque. Prices were right and the service was not bad. All in all, I would return.

Tap that glass.

I joined The Sage and the lovely Blissful Glutton at TAP last Friday and we and a throng enjoyed the great weather and great atmosphere at Bob Amick and company’s latest. Truly “a convivial place to have a pint”, TAP provides fun food, good beer and wine in a sexy setting-check out the lipstick red wall. It features pub grub at decent price points and friendly service that I noticed struggled at times because of the sheer volume that evening. Another thing that caught my eye was their attention to detail, down to the clever match containers and menu copy

We yukked it up for a couple of hours while noshing on an assortment of superb savories that included an incredible beef tenderloin tartar and some outstanding stuffed ‘shrooms, stuffed with ox tail. We also had the house burger as well as halibut and scallop entrées served with a number of their house brews.

The crowd, and it was a crowd with a capital C, included a number of ladies dressed to thrill! There were also several of the local food writers already on the case. I even spotted a prominent local developer, who is partnering with Bob on a downtown project, scoping out the action. Folks, there was major buzz in the air; it made you want to be… shall we say be very,very friendly.

At the end of the evening, all I could say was: Our Bob, whose art is heaven, hallowed be thy game.

Question of the week: What super star bi-coastal chef has a listing seeking managers on Atlanta’s Craig’s list?

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

Buckhead. The next FLYING BISCUIT project will be in the new Terminus development ,according to the Atlanta Business chronicle.

MICK’s on Bennett Street has shuttered.

According to press reports, the under construction Mansion on Peachtree’s second resto (CRAFT being the first) will be a” chi-chi Italian themed restaurant” that will be owned and operated by it’s parent company, Rosewood Properties(MANSION ON TURTLE CREEK).

Decatur. Long time downtown Decatur main stay, VIET CHATEAU, has closed.

Downtown. The latest intel has it that ROOM at Twelve Centennial Park will open in August.

Inman Park. PARISH, the New Orleans themed resto from-you guessed it-Bob Amick will feature, in addition to the restaurant, a New Orleans grocery component as well.

Midtown. M!X, the Brookhaven hotspot is rumored to be closing and moving to Midtown, reportedly because of a” really sweet deal from a developer”.

Thank you again for stopping by and remember that the most sincere compliment we can pay is attention.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The man of a thousand places.

This past week the Atlanta Urban Design Commission honored The Johnson Studio with an award for the 2006 renovation of ECCO, the Midtown hotspot which has received national recognition for its cuisine and design.

This was a different type of award for the design guru who many credit with the national recognition-along with the chefs and restaurateurs -that Atlanta has received in the last 15 years. In my opinion, it was well earned by the honoree because for all of the awards that his designs have earned his clients, there has been little recognition on the part of the local design community for his efforts.

Here is the guy who made design a component of the popularity index of Atlanta as well as created the space for other architects to achieve star status-and healthy fees-in the arms race that has characterized Atlanta’s dining scene over the last 10years and he has relegated to profit without honors status by his peers.

In the phone conversation that I initiated to congratulate him on the award, Bill said that it was an award that he was most proud because it represented the revitalization of an historic building into a contemporary use that contributed to the neighborhood as well as the city. He also said that he is doing fewer projects in the ATL these days. (?)

However, he is busier that ever with projects across the country; CHOPS LOBSTER BAR in Boca Raton; FEARINGS in the Dallas Ritz Carlton; and, a restaurant project in the Charlotte Ritz Carlton. He said that the Atlanta market is increasingly competitive but welcomes the competition. In fact, he hoped that someone will hire Adam Tihany to a project here and raise the bar on restaurant design for everyone here.

Atlanta’s dining landscape has been shaped in large measure by the Johnson Studio’s work: a SEEGER ‘S; a BLUEPOINT; a RATHBUN’S or a JOEL. Some may decry Atlanta’s dining scene as characterized by over designed spaces (as well as mediocre service and inconsistent food.) Well from my perspective, there would be even less to complain about if not for the refinement and delicacy in performance, execution and artisanship emerging from Bill Johnson in his work on Atlanta’s premier restaurants. And let’s face it, wouldn’t TROIS have looked and felt a lot more exciting if Bill had done it? IJS

Question of the Week: What smart and fashionable Buckhead restaurant is rumored to have lost its Executive Chef after being opened less than 7 months?

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

Brookhaven. After June 30th, the former M!X location at 1491 Dresden Road will be known as VALENZA. The menu will focus on the Piedmont region of Italy.(Valenza means valor in Italian).

Buckhead. HOLMAN & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE is the name of Linton Hopkins et al gastropub that will open this fall next to RESTAURANT EUGENE in the Aramore condos on Peachtree Road.

Downtown. It is now confirmed: New York hotshot Jeffery Chodorow will open a MAXIM PRIME, a new high fashion steakhouse, in the Glenn Hotel. The developer confirmed it with me last week but I await further details.

Local media is reporting that Chef Marvin Woods may soon have a new kichen to helm. he is slated to open a 180 seater near the Ritz Carlton this fall. Stay tuned.

Inman Park. Look for THE ALBERT, a neighborhood bistro, opening this summer on Lake Drive.

Poncy Highland. Look for a retail location for THE ATLANTA CUPCAKE FACTORY to open June 27 according to their web site. No address was provided but I’ll bet if you follow the throng of their fans you will find it.

Thank you for your time and attention. I will be taking a long holiday so look for me on July 10th.Enjoy your holiday and remember the successful person is the one who can lay a firm foundation with all of the bricks thrown at them.


Edited by micropundit (log)

100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Downtown. It is now confirmed: New York hotshot Jeffery Chodorow will open a MAXIM PRIME, a new high fashion steakhouse, in the Glenn Hotel. The developer confirmed it with me last week but I await further details.

Local media is reporting that Chef Marvin Woods may soon have a new kichen to helm. he is slated to open a 180 seater near the Ritz Carlton this fall. Stay tuned.

Excellent.


Chicks dig wheelguns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not out of the Woods yet.

Downtown Atlanta and its dining scene have been pronounced dead more times than the Hawks playoff hopes. While the current media focus is on all of the shiny new spots popping up all over Midtown and elsewhere, slowly, quietly and with increasing speed, downtown and its dining scene is starting to heat up. So much so that a bold face name chef who, here to for, was deeply committed to Midtown, has his sights firmly set on a downtown location for his first solo venture in the ATL. A chef who burst upon the scene with meteoric intensity but his Midtown project soon flamed out like the second Fantastic Four film. And we have not heard from him since.

I am referring of course to Marvin Woods. Chef Marvin was recently quoted in the local paper of general circulation to the effect that he was looking at a place near the Atlanta Ritz Carlton to open under his ownership in October/November. Well after speaking with Marvin, what I can say about the deal is: that the location in question is the site of a former downtown hotspot and if the deal comes to fruition, it will be designed by one of Atlanta’s pre-eminent designers. The cuisine will feature Southern, Caribbean and African influences and has the backing of one of Atlanta’s prominent business and civic leaders. Look for a major production from a chef who is serious about his craft and his commitment to Atlanta’s culinary climate.

There are of course other restos slated to come on line that promise to add some spice to downtown’s mix as well: ROOM at the Twelve Centennial Park Hotel; THE CAFÉ at the ELLIS HOTEL; and THE PEASENT BISTRO are all part of a growing trend that presages better days for downtown Atlanta and its dining scene. So despite the history, don’t be surprised when you hear some of the other “names” heading to the center city.

Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for star time?

Congratulations are in order for Drew Belline(FLOATAWAY CAFÉ),Linton Hopkins(RESTAURANT EUGENE),Mihoko Obunai(REPAST), Hector Santiago(PURA VIDA),Drew Van Leuvan(SAGA-now closed), Chad Guay(TABLE1280), Joe Truex(REPAST), Eric Simkins(TROIS), Vajra Stratigos(Fifth Group) , David Larkworthy, Nick Oltarsh(LOBBY ), Ford Fry(JCT KITCHEN) and Kevin Rathbun(RATHBUNS) for being named Atlanta’s “Rising Star Chefs” by StarChef.com. Atlanta will host the awards event Wednesday, October 10th, from 7-9:30 pm at the Georgia Aquarium.

Question of the Week: What top ranked television culinary show will include Atlanta contestants in its upcoming fourth season by holding an open call at the HARD ROCK CAFÉ Sunday, July 15th?

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

Buckhead. Kudos to SEASONS 52’s sommelier George Miliotes who recently earned his Master Sommelier certification. He becomes one of only 142 people in the world to hold this distinction. A votre sante

ARIA is having an “interior refresh” done by, who else, Bill Johnson. It is expected to be completed by late summer.

Downtown. Open less than three weeks-the official opening was held 7/07/07- the folks at LUCKIE FOOD LOUNGE are already planning expansions of the concept to Houston, Chicago Dubai and Las Vegas. Didn’t someone once say make no small plans?

Inman Park. FRITTI was recently awarded certification by the World Wide Neapolitan Pizza Council as purveyor of authentic Neapolitan pizza; one of only 18 restos in the USA entitled to make that claim.

A JAKE’S ICE CREAM has opened at 660 Irwin Street, just in time for summer slurping.

Old Fourth Ward. Add CHARLIE’S BISTRO, a New York style deli located at 581 Edgewood Avenue -next to THUMBS UP, to this growing intown nabe’s resto roster.

West Midtown. Congrats to the BACCHANALIA team: Zagats number one rated Atlanta restaurant for the 12th year in a row!

THE FOOD STUDIO, the Fifth Groups initial foray into fine dining and the original warehouse chic spot is getting a face lift after 14 years and going upscale casual. Chef Mark Alba will remain at the helm.

Hope everyone had a long and restful holiday. Thanks for stopping by and remember that well arranged time is a sure sign of a well arranged mind.


100% right 50% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...