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Atlanta Restaurant Updates: new places & faces


micropundit
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In town for a convention and looking for a place for 8 to 10 cheerful people for Friday night. What's your thoughts on the Bon Appetit picks in the March issue. Location is not an issue as is not cost, however I wouldn't say we are looking for fine dining. One of our group had mentioned a South African spot, but thought it wasn't reviewed very well and one of our group is South African.

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THE STAR AMONG STARS.

The official opening of the W hotel in Midtown was a star studded affair that allowed me to meet one of the brightest stars of the culinary world, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

I found the self described country boy from Alsace standing quietly in front SPICE MARKET’S kitchen as the party was just getting started. After recovering my initial shock at seeing him, I greeted him and proceeded to pose a few questions, which he was kind enough to take a few moments to answer:

Q: Aside from the fame, money and recognition from your peers, what motivated you to expand your brand across the globe?

A:It is fun; you only go around once. Food is my passion and my life.

Q: There is a rumor going around town that you are going to a restaurant in the Buckhead W; what is going to be?

A: I don’t know at this point, we shall see.

Q: Where have eaten here in Atlanta?

A: I have been so busy here (SPICE MARKET) that I have not had time to visit any of the restaurants. Maybe the next time I am here you could show me some of them?

Well you know I agreed to that. But what really impressed me about the guy was that here he is with a global empire and multiple Michelin stars with he was a humble chef trying to reach out to a new community-Atlanta- with grace and aplomb. I believe Atlanta’s dining scene will soon have another opportunity to enjoy a project from a chef whose corporate motto is “a cuisine to suit every taste”.

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

Buckhead. The under construction W hotel Atlanta Buckhead( scheduled to open December 2008) will house Atlanta’s second Jean -Georges Vongerichten restaurant.

Cheshirebridge Road. Epicurious.com, the web site for Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, recently named WOODFIRE GRILL as one of the top 10 Farm to Table restaurants in America.

Decatur.TASTINGS : A WINE EXPERIENCE, offering more than 100 wines by the glass and featuring a menu of tapas and desserts, opens this month at 335 A W. Ponce de Leon.

THE CHOCOLATE BAR will undergo a change in ownership soon and will be expanding. Stay tuned for deets.

Downtown(DT). Stephen Sharp, formerly of OCEANAIRE, is the new top toque at FAB.

Glenwood Park. MATADOR MEXICAN CANTINA & TEQUILA BAR will open their second location in Glenwood Park this summer featuring the cuisine of the Michuacan region of Central Mexico.

West Midtown. STAR PROVISIONS was featured in the May issue of Food Arts magazine in a feature on restaurants that also do retail on the premises.

QUESTION Of The WEEK: What locally created and brewed beer took the Bronze medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that if anyone speaks badly of you, live your life so that no one will believe it.

PS. The answer to last weeks QOTW-What Atlanta born, LA based TV chef is planning a group of upscale southern themed restaurants with the first planned for the ATL?- Gerry”G” Garvin.

100% right 50% of the time.

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LESS SHINE MORE PATINA. PT 1

Well keyboard cadets, it is June and it’s time for a mid-year report on Atlanta’s dining scene: what’s hot; what’s not and where are we going for the rest of the year. So walk with me church as I describe, with my lapidary like analysis, some of the new places and faces.

Well first of all, the top 3 hotspots for 2008 are:

1. LOLA. Technically, it opened late 2007 but it is still the crowd pleaser among the veritable galaxy of restaurants in the still growing Terminus development.

2. SPICE MARKET. Jean-Georges’ homage to Asian street food is set right in the middle of Atlanta’s new epicenter of cool-the W hotel Atlanta Midtown and has been packing them in since March.

3. STRAITS. The Singaporean celebrity backed (Chris ”Ludicris” Brides eatery has added a new flavor to the Asian invasion of Midtown by bringing together a good mix of fur, feathers and fin to the good looking-and well heeled- crowds.

The top 3 trends to watch for:

1. Chef driven, neighborhood based restaurants featuring new twists on Southern faves. PARISH, CAKES and ALE and others are the templates that others are –FOURTH and SWIFT- are following to capture the demand in Atlanta’s rapidly gentrifying in town communities.

2. House cured meats. From STAR PROVISIONS to HOLEMAN and FINCH, Atlanta restaurants are taking farm to table to new and exciting levels.

3. Hotel based restaurants. ROOM, NEO and SPICE MARKET are all part of a trend that continues to expand the range and depth of our dining options. Look for more to come, including some real eye openers.

Three things that are not hot:

1. Upscale, over the top dining-it’s the economy, stupid.

2. Karaoke menus-bad covers of great dishes.

3. Bad service. Still the Achilles heel of Atlanta’s dining scene.

Tune in next week for part 2.

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

Buckhead. SAVOR SPECIALITY FOODS is moving from Sandy Springs to the Peachtree Battle shopping center this summer into a much larger space.

Downtown(DT). CHICK-FIL A has opened 2 new locations inside of Turner field. (bringing new meaning to fowl ball?)

Duluth. LA based international tofu restaurant group, BCD TOFU HOUSE, has opened their first Georgia location off of Berkley Lake Road.

Grant Park. SIX FEET UNDER is moving- a couple hundred feet from its current location to 437 Memorial Drive by years end.

Little Five Points. ALI BABA MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT has opened their second location at 1099 Euclid Avenue, in the former OLIVE BISTRO spot.

Midtown. THE GLOBE has changed ownership and its decor but Joshua Perkins is still top toque.

Sandy Springs. FRANK MA’S , the local Chinese food fave located 5784 Rosewell Road, is losing its naming founder and his wife as of the end of the month.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What Atlanta hotel bar was slammed by ESQUIRE magazine because of its name?

Thank you for stopping by and let’s join together to stamp out and abolish redundancy.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW-What locally created and brewed beer took the Bronze medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup?- is NUMBERS ALE( created by a partnership of Atlanta Brewing Company and Concentrics Restaurant.

100% right 50% of the time.

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Micropundit,

Isn't the name of the beer Pounder's Ale (as in pound sign and pounding ie session ales)? I had one when they came out. They will indeed pound you as the alc is fairly high.

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LESS SHINE MORE PATINA, PT 2

(Continuing the review of the first half of 2008)

Big things on the horizon:

PANO’S GRAND CAFÉ. With a Johnson Studio design and the setting in an absolute gem of a building plus Pano’s golden touch, this spot, scheduled to open in December, should be a real standout. I smell an Esquire moment, albeit for 2009.

FLIP. Blais’s burger bar will surely draw national attention with both his reputation (I thought he was the best of the bunch) , the lure of molecular gastronomy made milkshakes and 7 different types of burgers. The parade of trendinestas should begin this summer.

ABATTOIR. Meat, meat and more meat prepared and served in the Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison tradition-what’s not to like. This semi-steak house will build on the fervor of KEVIN RATHBUN STEAK, HOLEMAN &FINCH et al, and take us to a whole new level, plus the location –White Provisions, next to their Westside Market place spots –is one of the coolest in town.

Three things I’d like to see happen this year:

1. Local restaurants serving more Georgia wine- they aren’t going to improve if we don’t support them. (They even have a Methode Champenoise now.)

2. More Vol Au Vent on local menus. Savory pastries are becoming quite the chic item(s) globally.

3. A high end tapas bar on the order of Jose Andres’ spot in DC.

With all of the national acclaim that some of Atlanta’s chefs are generating and the continued influx of bold face names, 2008 has been an exciting year for Atlanta’s dining scene. However, the uncertainty of the economy looms large. All in all, the second half of the year promises to provide additional excitement but with fewer flashy big boxes and more chef driven artistry and I believe that is a good thing.

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

Atlantic Station. From June 25th until the 29th, ROSA MEXICANO will observe its’ Festival de Helados(desserts) that will feature an assortment of ice creams, sorbets and creamy desserts

Buckhead. ANTICA POSTA is now curing its own meats and is planning a retail outlet on site to sell them to the public later this year.

Chandler Park. RADIAL, the eco-friendly American food spot, was named 2nd best brunch in the value category for 2007 by the International Restaurant and Hotel Association.

East Atlanta. MORELLI’S ICE CREAM, located at 749 Moreland Avenue, is open and serving homemade frozen treats with flavors such as jalapeno coconut, feta cheese and golden raisin and sweet corn.

Midtown. The International Hotel and Restaurant Association named ECCO its 2nd place winner in the categories of Best Wine List and Best New restaurant for 2007.

Roswell. THE COUNTER GOURMET BURGERS, a national upscale, custom built burger group, has opened their first Georgia location at 850 Roswell Road.

QUESTION of the WEEK: What local big time restaurateur and local star architect have resumed their partnership, which has produced some of the city’s blockbusters, albeit with an out of town project?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW –What Atlanta bar was slammed by Esquire magazine because of its name?-is FANDANGLES at the Sheraton hotel.

100% right 50% of the time.

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I do stand corrected. The beer is Numbers, although I like the pun of pounders since they used the pound sign in the logo. I had a friend who used to call a six pack of tall boys a "rack of pounders."

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SECOND TO NONE.

That is how I would describe Chef Jay Swift’s passion and zeal for both the culinary arts and community development after meeting him at his new restaurant, FOURTH & SWIFT at a recent friends and family dinner.

My lovely dining companion and I loved how the former Southern Dairies space reminded us of a cool New York spot.

Done up in classic Atlanta warehouse chic by the up and coming local firm,ai3, FOURTH &SWIFT is sits in the middle of one Atlanta’s emerging communities, the Old Fourth Ward. The location, 621 North Avenue, is a result of a careful search to find a community where he could become an integral part of its growth and development.

The chef driven menu at the “All-American tavern” featured about 12 “seasonally inspired” items. We loved the smoky goodness of the oven roasted Amish chicken with warm bread salad and maple vinegar jus. The sophisticated wine list features several boutique wines and there are 15-20 beers as well.

At FOURTH & SWIFT, Chef Jay, a veteran of Atlanta’s dining scene, both expresses his passion for preparing fresh, local ingredients and epitomizes the growing evolution of Atlanta’s chefs to cultural and business leaders quite well.

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

Alpharetta. Chef Joseph Chin Loy, formerly of BLUEPOINTE, is now the executive chef of PISCES SEAFOOD and JAZZ.

Buckhead. Guiseppe Napoli will join NEO at The Mansion on Peachtree as the restaurant's Chef de Cuisine at the end of the month. Napoli will be responsible for NEO's daily operation and will oversee eleven staff members. This fall, he will assist in revising NEO's menu. Napoli joins NEO from acclaimed Italian fine-dining spot, Dazies Restaurant, in Long Island City, New York.

Decatur. SUGAR MOMMA’S, the cupcake supplier for both AURORA COFFEE HOUSEs , is opening a retail location in Decatur this July.

Downtown(DT). CANVAS ART.BAR.LOUNGE, serving small plates, art and live jazz, is now open in The Lofts of Castleberry at 170 Northside Drive.

East Atlanta. SPOON, the popular downtown Thai spot, is opening a new location at 749 Moreland Avenue this summer.

Sandy Springs. Long time hipster hangout, FRANKIE’S ON THE PRADO, has closed.

West Midtown. BONE GARDEN CANTINA, a creation of the owners of VORTEX restaurants, has opened at 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, serving “authentic Mexican cooking and cocktails”.

For the 12th consecutive year, BACCHANALIA is the top Zagut rated restaurant in Atlanta with an astounding 29 out of 30 rating. Congratulations!

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What high profile Buckhead restaurant is rumored to be having problems after less than a year in operation?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.

PS.The answer to last week’s QOT-What local big time restaurateur and local star architect have resumed their partnership, which has produced some of the city’s blockbusters, albeit with an out of town project?- is Bob Amick and Bill Johnson(cue Peaches and Herb).

100% right 50% of the time.

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WAG THE BLOG.

Do you know how I know that many of the bold name restaurants that are bound for our fair shores have had a rough time in other, similar cities, including one that has closed after being in business less than six months! Or how I find out what chef is going where? Well, it’s mostly tips from you guys but more and more it’s blogs.

Since I first began chronicling culinary affairs, the pace and volume of the medium has picked up tremendously. So much so that my contextual landscape now ranges from restaurant industry folks; trade publications; television programs and, most recently, PR firms. And the connective tissue for all of this is the internet.

More specifically, food related blogs have exponentially increased the amount and types of information available to just about anyone who is interested. And it appears that a lot of people are. From the local media to foodinistas, to the restaurateurs themselves, everyone is getting into the act. And the outcomes can be interesting; people can make a decision on a place before it even opens.

So let’s all be mindful of the huge influence of blogs and keep me bookmarked.

.

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

Buckhead. NEO, the upscale contemporary Italian restaurant at The Mansion on Peachtree, officially opened on Friday, June 27th.

Buford Highway. TAIPEI, a Szechwan restaurant, has recently opened at 3940 Buford Highway and is already generating a buzz about their food on local food blogs.

Cumming. E-brands Restaurants LLC, the parent company of AQUAKNOX, is planning to open their TIMPANO CHOPHOUSE & MARTINI BAR concept in the newly opened Avenue Forsyth development based on their relationship with Cousins Properties the developer of Terminus as well as the Avenue Forsyth.

Decatur. TAQUERIA EL VEVINO has opened at 2757 LaVista Road.

Downtown. Matt Rupert, formerly of the Fifth Group, plans to open an upscale Italian Deli/bar at 357 Edgewood Avenue this fall.

SOCIAL RESTAURANT & BAR, a tapas and wine bar, will open this fall at 12 West Peachtree Place (behind FAB).

Grant Park. The Grant Park location of ZOCALO has closed.

Inman Park. PARISH now has paper menus in a swift (and correct) response to customer demand.

Midtown. RI RA IRISH PUB, a unit of a Charlotte based group, is planning to open a store in the under construction12th & Midtown development.

Virginia Highlands. LULU BLUE SWEETS, serving hummingbird cupcakes, jasmine tea chocolates and other treats, has opened at 1002 Virginia Avenue.

West Midtown. After 12 wonderful years, THE FOOD STUDIO is closing on July 19th. It will become a special events facility for its parent company, the Fifth Group.

Question of the Week: What New York based high profile Atlanta bound restaurant has closed its Dallas store after less than 6 months of operation?

Thanks for stopping by and may the Fourth be with you.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What high profile Buckhead restaurant is rumored to be having problems after less than a year in operation?-is AQUAKNOX.

100% right 50% of the time.

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ATLANTA’S CUISINE.

After reading the James Beard Foundation “The State of American Cuisine”, I thought: what is the state of Atlanta’s cuisine? What makes the city of peaches and dreams cuisine special and why?

Historically Atlanta’s cuisine reflected a mixture of Southern soul and country comfort food prepared with a lot of frying and eaten in informal settings, family style. Today, it is evolving into more refined expressions, prepared with regard to a more health conscious public with premium ingredients, often sourced locally. And the settings are more upscale but with a continuing emphasis on communal style and place.

The major practioners of Atlanta cuisine are Scott Peacock, the pioneer (WATERSHED); Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, the leaders (QUINONES ROOM); and, Linton Hopkins, the innovator (HOLEMAN & FINCH). Their approach to Atlanta’s cuisine engages the diner on both a visceral and an intellectual level. While many chefs are selling intellectual arguments with their approaches, these stalwarts are selling conclusions with their preparation, product and settings

So, while still in its embryonic stage, Atlanta’s cuisine is in a new epoch of excellence that will continue to draw from its historical roots while adding new flavors and drawing upon technological advances to establish a significant place in America’s culinary landscape.

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

Buckhead. AMC FORK and SCREEN, formerly BUCKHEAD BACKLOT, opens July 11th, serving a variety of cocktails and a full menu to their movie patrons.

Buford Highway. Former MF SUSHI chef Atsushi Hayakawa has opened SUSHI HOUSE HAYAKAWA at 5979 Buford Highway in the International Plaza.

Downtown(DT). Downtown Restaurant Week 2008 will be held from July 21st-27th.For further details, call 404-658-1877.

RISE, an Asian bistro, is opening at 300 Marietta Street this fall.

A new THUMBS UP DINER, the breakfast bar, is opening at the corner of Marietta Street and Northside Drive this summer.

Midtown. HOULIHAN’S Colony Square location has closed.

Vinings. MAMBO ITALIANO, a local chainlet, is opening a spot at 4300 Paces Ferry Road this summer.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What Top Chef 4 contestant was in town recently being squired around town by a major ATL restaurateur who just happens to be opening an Asian restaurant this fall?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that if you give a person a fish you feed them for a day but if you set them on fire, they will be warm for the rest of their life.

PS. The answer to last week’s -QOTW What New York based high profile Atlanta bound restaurant has closed its Dallas store after less than 6 months of operation?- is BLT STEAK.

-

100% right 50% of the time.

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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.

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HOLIDAY EATS.

Revisited some of the Atlanta’s top spots over the holiday weekend and was pleasantly surprised at the continued excellence in some and the growth in others. Here are three of my experiences:

KYMA. The wave is still going strong after all these years. While the décor is not as spectacular as it once was, the food and service have maintained their standards. In fact, my favorite, the octopus, has been improved. Fresh, pristine product, prepared precisely is still the order of the day here.

MAXIM PRIME. My dinner was the first evening meal here following an earlier lunch that was solid but not spectacular. From apps to entrees we had the some of the great food that some of my friends had been raving about. I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover.

LOLA. I popped into the spot with out any expectations. By the time I finished the meal I was shocked and pleased. It is no longer just a scene spot; there is good food to be had here and once again, my earlier impressions were exceeded big time.

The point? Revisit some old haunts; they may surprise you and surpass your previous experience.

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

Atlantic Station. LOBBY, Concentric Restaurants’ bistronomic spot at the Twelve Hotel, has a brand new look and a new summer menu that is packing them in.

Buckhead. URBAN FLATS, a Florida based group featuring small plates, wine and “gourmet toppings on flatbreads, is opening their second Georgia location in the Center City development on Piedmont Avenue next month.

Decatur. MOXIE JAVA BISTRO, a family run spot that featured specialty coffees, has closed after less than six months of operation.(This economy is a @%)

Downtown. (DT) BLACKBERRY COFFEE LOUNGE, a jelly tea, specialty lemonade and coffee bar, has opened at 50 Upper Alabama Street in Underground Atlanta.

Midtown. The former PIEBAR location at 2160 Monroe Drive will open as EROS TAPAS BAR this fall.

West Midtown. BACCHANALIA was voted the number 1 restaurant in Atlanta by the readers of the local glossy, Jezebel magazine. I guess its unanimous now.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is the next project for the folks at Five Forks-RESTAURANT EUGENE, HOLEMAN and FINCH and H& F BAKERY?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that there is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What Top Chef 4 contestant was in town recently being squired around town by a major ATL restaurateur who just happens to be opening an Asian restaurant this fall?- is DALE TALDE, Chef de Cuisine at BUDDAKAN New York.

100% right 50% of the time.

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HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

The news that Michael Touhy is returning to California and putting his seminal restaurant, WOODFIRE GRILL, up for sale has sent seismic shock waves throughout Atlanta’s dining scene, already reeling from rumors of imminent closures and departures.

Tuohy, a native San Franciscan, will return to join forces with the Joie de Vivre Hospitality Group, California’s largest boutique hotel company, to launch a farm-to-table restaurant called GRANGE in Sacramento. The restaurant will be situated in The Citizen Hotel, a new, stylish 200-room boutique hotel, and will feature his signature style of using fresh, local ingredients from small farms.

Tuohy came to Atlanta to launch his first restaurant; CHEF’S CAFÉ, in 1986.It became known for its eclectic, inventive menu and was frequently tagged as groundbreaking by the local food media. At that time, CHEF’S CAFE was the only local restaurant that changed its menu frequently and cooked using local and seasonal ingredients.

In his 22 years on the Atlanta dining scene, he has owned and managed restaurants; been an active member of the Slow Food movement, Chefs Collaborative, Georgia Restaurant Association, and a board member of Georgia Organics.

August 12 is the official six year anniversary date for Woodfire Grill and so Tuohy will host his “Farewell Dinner” on that date for his longtime Atlanta fans and friends.

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

Buckhead. Mattie Hines, owner of LA LAPIN in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, will open his second restaurant, CAFÉ LAPIN, a neighborhood bistro, in the Peachtree Battle shopping center this summer.

Grant Park. TIN LIZZIE’S, a local taqueria and cantina, is opening their second location in the former SIX FEET UNDER location this fall.

Kirkwood. A LA MODE DESSERT BAR, serving gelato, ice cream and baked goods, has opened at 1963 Hosea Williams Drive, suite 104.

Little 5 Points. THE PORTER, a gastro pub, is opening at 1156 Euclid Avenue this fall with 2 SEEGER’S alumni at the helm.

Midtown. 4 restaurants, all new to the Atlanta market, have signed leases in the first phase of the multi-billion dollar 12th & Midtown development and are slated to open Spring of 2009. The restaurants are: RI RA, an Irish Pub; RA SUSHI BAR, from an Arizona based group; PICOLA, an Italian based group’s brick oven pizza spot; and, NOON MIDTOWN, offering sophisticated sandwiches.

Serenbe. Speaking of departing Atlanta chefs who are hotel bound, Nicholas Bour, THE FARMHOUSE at SERENBE, has accepted the position of Executive Chef at The Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What local top toque is currently negotiating a book and TV deal?

Thanks for stopping by and remember that sometimes it is the lack of responsibility that is harder to bear.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What is the next project for the Five Forks folks (RESTAURANT EUGENE, HOLEMAN & FINCH and H& F BACKERY)?- is an oyster bar.

100% right 50% of the time.

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Think I can get some FAST help from y'all?? I'm leaving at Noon tomorrow for ATL for the weekend, and I just realized I did NO research food-wise, which is very unlike me!

I'm going for a wedding, so my options for getting out are limited to lunch on Saturday and Sunday (if I can break away from my friend's relatives). We're staying in Duluth and will have a car, but I'm going to have to stay fairly local. Having been to Atlanta proper (that is, downtown) once before, this time I'm looking for LOCAL must-try stops...anything near where I'll be? The search for Duluth only came up with some tofu house, and trust me, that's got NO appeal.

Good BBQ or some other local eats if you've got 'em, please! Nothing crazy $$$, either--under $20/pp for lunch would be great. Thanks in advance for the assist!

Curlz

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Think I can get some FAST help from y'all??  I'm leaving at Noon tomorrow for ATL for the weekend, and I just realized I did NO research food-wise, which is very unlike me!

I'm going for a wedding, so my options for getting out are limited to lunch on Saturday and Sunday (if I can break away from my friend's relatives).  We're staying in Duluth and will have a car, but I'm going to have to stay fairly local.  Having been to Atlanta proper (that is, downtown) once before, this time I'm looking for LOCAL must-try stops...anything near where I'll be?  The search for Duluth only came up with some tofu house, and trust me, that's got NO appeal. 

Good BBQ or some other local eats if you've got 'em, please!  Nothing crazy $$$, either--under $20/pp for lunch would be great.  Thanks in advance for the assist!

Curlz

Some ideas for Duluth good, cheap eats for your weekend:

Chef Pete's BBQ - (770) 449-9571 - actually in Norcross, Spalding & Holcomb Bridge

Traditions Pizzeria - (678) 584-8688 - Peachtree Industrial & Rogers Bridge

Vreny's Biergarten - (770) 623-9413 - Peachtree Industrial & River Green Parkway

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THE O4W.

Recently I broke bread with The Industry Bigfoot at DYNAMIC DISH and after the meal, had an opportunity to check out one of the most dynamic communities in the city; whose growth and development augurs well for the future of Atlanta’s dining scene.

The historic Old Fourth Ward (O4W), bordered by Piedmont Avenue to the west, Ponce de Leon to the north, the proposed Beltline to the east and Dekalb Avenue to the south, has seen a range of hot spots define its nascent dining scene. And from the award winning REPAST, to the recently opened FOURTH & SWIFT to the trendinista favorite,HARLEM BAR , the hits just keep on coming.

No less an authority than the erudite Atlantan magazine has named the O4W as on of the “hottest ‘nabes’ in town”. And, after a quick post meal trip, I can see why; all of the accoutrements of urban hipness are either present or soon to be: farmers markets (the Green Market started; coffee bars (DANNERMAN’S COFFEE nee JAVOLOGY); a cupcake spot (SWEET POCKETS CUPCAKES) ;and the soon to open SERPAS from uber chef Scott Serpas.

Now, the Edgewood Avenue corridor is chock a block with construction of spots like NONI’S BAR and GRILL. It, as well as several other restaurants, is joining with DYNAMIC DISH, a highly regarded vegetarian spot, that had yours truly, a dedicated carnivore, raving over a salad, to create a critical mass on a still sketchy street. But a street that is an integral part of the rapidly changing face of the O4W.

So for all of you folks looking for the next au courant restaurant experience, check out the Old Fourth Ward where new culinary history is being served up daily.

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

Atlantic Station. A TIN DRUM ASIAN CAFÉ is going into the former AU BON PAIN spot this fall.

KILWIN’S , a Michigan based confectionery shop featuring hand made chocolates , is opening their first Atlanta location this fall on Atlantic Drive.

Buckhead. New York ex-pat and self taught pizza guru, Jeff Varasano will open VARASANO’S, a combination Neapolitan pizza restaurant and upscale wine bar at 2171 Peachtree Road, in the Mezzo condo building, this fall.

Downtown (DT). The STARBUCK’S at 250 Park Avenue West is one the 10 Metro area STARBUCK’S slated to close this fall.

Midtown. TAP, Concentrics Restaurants’ gastro pub, is celebrating its first anniversary on August 1 with a 1980’s themed party.

SAUSALITO WEST COAST GRILL, specializing in steak tacos, has opened at 1389 Peachtree Street(17th and Peach).

LA PIETRA CUCINA will open this fall at 1545 Peachtree Street in the new retail center at Peachtree Pointe.

Old Fourth Ward. NONI’S BAR and GRILL, featuring Chef/owner Matt Rupert and sous chef Chris Lyons’ (PAUL’S,VINOCITY) take on an Italian deli and bar,is slated to open at the end of July at 357 Edgewood Avenue.

Sandy Springs. THE FLYING BISCUIT will open a franchised location at 5975 Roswell Road this summer.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What Midtown hot spot is rumored to be slated for a change in concept soon?

Thank you for stopping by and remember that motivation comes when your dreams put on work clothes.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What local top toque is currently negotiating a book and TV deal? – is Richard Blais.

100% right 50% of the time.

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PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What is the next project for the Five Forks folks (RESTAURANT EUGENE, HOLEMAN & FINCH and H& F BACKERY)?- is an oyster bar.

H&F Bakery's launch has been delayed (though I parked next to a nicely decorated delivery van tonight). The overwhelming response to the product at the Saturday market at St. Philip's has sent them back to the org charts.

I asked one of the H&F proprietors about the oyster bar. She practically broke out in hives.

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

Eat more chicken skin.

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PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW- What is the next project for the Five Forks folks (RESTAURANT EUGENE, HOLEMAN & FINCH and H& F BACKERY)?- is an oyster bar.

H&F Bakery's launch has been delayed (though I parked next to a nicely decorated delivery van tonight). The overwhelming response to the product at the Saturday market at St. Philip's has sent them back to the org charts.

I asked one of the H&F proprietors about the oyster bar. She practically broke out in hives.

What is the Saturday market at St. Philip's?

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I asked one of the H&F proprietors about the oyster bar. She practically broke out in hives.

Meaning that she didn't want the secret out, was so excited, or she had an allergic reaction? :)

Meaning it's not true, at least according to her. Holeman & Finch is packed every night, they're trying to get H&F Bread open, and no one's had more than a day off here and there in months. That's not to say that Chef Hopkins doesn't have plans for an oyster bar, but it would be odd for one of the principals in H&F not to know about it.

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

Eat more chicken skin.

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What is the Saturday market at St. Philip's?

http://www.peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com/

Chef Linton Hopkins founded it.

The market has grown nicely and is a great alternative to the Piedmont Park market (especially if you live in buckhead and enjoy the convenience of a parking lot). The H&F bakery booth is a major attraction, expect a long line unless you are there right when it opens.

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