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micropundit

Atlanta Restaurant Updates: new places & faces

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CRAFTSTEAK,the latest from NYC's uber chef Tom Colicchio, is now confirmed for an Atlanta location(thank you Gifted Gourmet)

Question of the week: Who is Jeremy Lieb and what is he doing in our town?

Re Craftsteak: If you take me there to dinner, micropundit, you can see how rare I like my beef ... :wink:

Chef Jeremy Lieb from Vegas?? might be "scouting" for a place to open?? :rolleyes:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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CRAFTSTEAK,the latest from NYC's uber chef Tom Colicchio, is now confirmed for an Atlanta location(thank you Gifted Gourmet)

Question of the week: Who is Jeremy Lieb and what is he doing in our town?

Re Craftsteak: If you take me there to dinner, micropundit, you can see how rare I like my beef ... :wink:

Chef Jeremy Lieb from Vegas?? might be "scouting" for a place to open?? :rolleyes:

It would be my pleasure,just let me cash in my trust fund first. :laugh:

And no,Jeremy is not "scouting' for a place to open; he will be top toque at a place soon to open.


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Question of the week: Who is Jeremy Lieb and what is he doing in our town?

Chef Jeremy Lieb is here from Le Cirque in Vegas to be the opening Chef at Trois. Who knows what happened to the toque originally picked to head Trois?

Also rumor has it that Mr . Amick and gang are pursuing a controlling stake in a well known and troubled 5 star Atlanta classic.

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Question of the week: Who is Jeremy Lieb and what is he doing in our town?

Chef Jeremy Lieb is here from Le Cirque in Vegas to be the opening Chef at Trois. Who knows what happened to the toque originally picked to head Trois?

Also rumor has it that Mr . Amick and gang are pursuing a controlling stake in a well known and troubled 5 star Atlanta classic.

My God ,you people are on it today. Well done sir.Brandon Mcglamery is now top toque at Luma on Park; Todd has returned to Atlanta..."to pursue other interests.."


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My God ,you people are on it today. Well done sir.Brandon Mcglamery is now top toque at Luma on Park; Todd has returned to Atlanta..."to pursue other interests.."

Chef Todd Immel began..." to purse other interests.." last week as he officially replaced Shaun Doty at Table 1280 on Tuesday. Nice to have him back in Atlanta.

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From the Table 1820 website website:

"Atlanta is home to me,” said Immel. "I have been looking for the right opportunity to bring my culinary experience back to Atlanta and Table 1280 is the perfect fit. The restaurant is on the forefront of what makes Atlanta such an innovative, fresh city and I am excited to be a part of this renowned establishment."

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Buckhead. Tammy Harris,former pastry chef at JOEL'S, has now assumed a similar position at ARIA.

What happened to Miss King? Is she still there also?

-Greg

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A rare and wondrous opportunity came my way this past week: I got a chance to sit down and chat up the gastronomical guru himself,John Kessler(.For the uninitiated,JK is the former dining critic for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and currently the papers food writer.)We chatted about the state of Atlanta's dining scene and some of his recent articles in the local paper of general circulation. The chat and chew took place at one of Midtown's hotspots and it served as the perfect backdrop for our discussion because of its diverse and trendy cliental;modernist design and ,the outstanding food.Not to mention its location in Midtown's hottest nabe.

JK was musing about whether or not the epicenter of Atlanta's dining scene was in fact shifting from Buckhead to Midtown by citing TROIS,with its new, fancy, francophile chef and unique design features-no Johnson Studio - as the prima facia case.Our location was also cited as further evidence of the general ascendancy of Midtown vis a vis Buckhead. And in no way were either of us disparaging the culinary offerings of our city's glamor central, it just seemed that all of the buzz was in our burg's more urban- if not urbane- setting.As i delved deeper into the caliph of the culinary arts argument, it occurred to me that there are some clear lines of demarcation between the two markets that were of interest. Buckhead is the more traditional high end market that has established ,to no small degree ,the ATL's national reputation.The Buckhead Life Group and The Ritz Carlton Buckhead,with its line of 5 star chefs ,has certainly placed Buckhead,and by extension Atlanta,into the rarified air of the Mobil/Triple A ratings.

However,the new new thing is the mega sized resto that combine food and entrtainment ie TWO URBAN LICKS,SHOUT and STRIP.JK said that on his most recent trips to NYC,the hot spots were the Meatpacking District's mega restos such as MEGU,MORIMOTO's and BUDDAKAN.(He even allowed that maybe just maybe ,NYC was copying the ATL) Anywho,Midtown has the patent on the mega sizes eatertainment and now with TROIS,is challenging for the glamor spot as well.And with Bob Amick et al dropping new restos like they're hot all over Midtown, the cool index may continue to favor it over its uptown rival.Based on his musings, I would not be surprised if ,sometime in the near future, JK weighs in on this topic with great alacrity.Or not.

Question of the Week: What soigné ATL resto made Bon Appetit's 2006 hot list before it opened?

NEWS and NOTES:

Buckhead. According to JK, the Kinjo brothers new resto in the rapidly developing Terminus project,will be a robata-a traditional Japanese open flame grilling technique- and not another MF SUSHI BAR.

Downtown.Look for Starbucks to join the growing list of restos queing up for a Centennial Park location, they have signed a lease in the swank Centennial Park West condos.The owners of the property are pressing Starbucks to .."be on the cutting edge with this location.. ."

The resto at the under construction Twelve at Centennial Park Hotel will be named LOBBY STEAKS and SUSHI.

BALTIMORE CRAB and SEAFOOD will be expanding to 1,0000 square feet and will now include a 35-40 seating capacity as well as a full bar.

Look for CHIX,a gourmet chicken restaurant with a 40-50 seat capacity,to open this fall at 255 Peters Street.

Marietta. A newbie: LI'S ASIAN CUISINE,featuring Japanese, Chinese ,Thai and Korean cuisine has opened at 3451 Barrett Pkwy.

Midtown. Speaking of TROIS,George Frangos,formerly of the SAVOY and BLUE RIBBON BAKERY in NYC, has been named GM.

Join Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker of PARK 75 at the Atlanta Four Seasons Wed., Aug. 9 from 6:30-8:30 p.m for hot cooking tips guaranteed to lower the heat this summer.Call 404/253-3840

STALEY'S GRACE on Crescent Avenue is no more.

HOT CHOCOLATE PINK PASTRY CAFE will be open soon at 905 Juniper Street serving elegant desserts , coffee,espresso, croissants and danish.

Thanks again for stopping by and remember,we find comfort among those who agree with us and growth from those who don't.


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NEWSFLASH:

Acoording to the Atlanta Journal Constitution,SEEGER'S will close Saturday,August 19.


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Buckhead. Tammy Harris,former pastry chef at JOEL'S, has now assumed a similar position at ARIA.

What happened to Miss King? Is she still there also?

-Greg

Tammy Harrisson, formerly of JOEL's, is a line cook at ARIA.

Katherine King and her assistant Liz Smith are still handling the desserts at ARIA.

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Well the big bombshell last week was the announcement that after 7 years ,SEEGER'S, one of only 13 Mobile 5 star restaurants in America and one of the 2 in Atlanta,was closing Saturday,August 19th.What was even more surprising,at least to me.was the reaction to the news.( Imagine NYC's reaction if JOHN JEAN VONGERICHTEN's closed or Chicago's if CHARLIE TROTTER'S left town)The front page story in the local newspaper of general circulation ,written by John Kessler himself,was accompanied by a blog and the responses there ranged from resignation to relieve.the question was posed to assess an element of JK's story that stated that Bob Amick would buy a significant portion of the ownership of the Buckhead restaurant and keep Chef Seeger and the resto in the city.

As I considered the implications of such a move,the thought occurred to me that the bottom line here is that the Atlanta dining scene is at a crossroads and where it goes from here in large measure will be determined how the city responds to the situation:is this a challenge or is it an opportunity? Afterall, this is about one of the most noted chefs in the world; the accolades he has received are not given lightly and are not based upon personality but performance.

People at pay grades light years from mine have pontificated about the merits of SEEGER'S;the service;the pricing and chef Seeger's "attitude".All of that aside,the larger issue that the country ,if not the toute monde, will be examining is whether or not Atlanta can/will support dining on the caliber of SEEGER'S? While the DINING ROOM at the Riz Carlton is a Mobile 5 star itself, it has the support (and resources) of the hotel and the parent company.Cited in JK's story was the MASIONETTE,the closed Cincinnati Mobile 5 star which was one of the longest tenured of the classics, as proof of the vulnerabilities of the independent couture restaurants such as SEEGER'S.And maybe this is the case:the days of wine and roses is over for the entire class and not just for our candidate.But IF, and it is a big if, Bob and his people can bring some intellectual as well as financial capital to the table and Chef Seeger agrees,then an opportunity is created. An opportunity to have a win-win-win solution.

Well this morning's news confirms that Chef Seeger will be leaving the ATL for another city.The restaurant will close briefly and then reopen under a different name.The staff will stay in place.

First Soto, then Richard Blais,now Seeger; just what the hell is going on here?

Question of the week: Which of Chef Seeger's former pupils has recently been named top toque at an intown fave?

NEWS and NOTES:

Speaking of Bob Amick, a big shout out is due him for his work with Boys Speak Out, a local program that helps young men make the transition to adulthood.So it's not always about the benjamins with him.

Share our Strength hosts "Taste of the Nation for Kids" on Saturday,August 19. All proceeds go to ending childhood hunger. For more information call 770-436-5151 or go to atlantataste.org

Airport. As part of the refurbishing of Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, a PHILLIPS SEAFOOD,the Maryland based east Coast fave,will be located in Concourse D and an ON THE BORDER,will be going into Concourse T.

Downtown. NO MAS CANTINA opened August 7th in the hot downtown nabe Castleberry Hill to raves.

The recently announced move by the ATL' leading developer to move their headquarters downtown may have a culinary twist.The president of Cousins Properties has hinted in media reports that we can look for a major restaurant-possibly a steakhouse-in the 191 Peachtree building in the near future.

On a related note,the developers of the Centennial Park West condominiums are rumored to be in discussions to bring THE PEASANT BISTRO,a sibling to the PLEASANT PEASANT,to the swanky spot next to the Georgia Aquarium.

Sandy Springs.Look for a sister location to Midtown's newly minted FRESH TO ORDER to open in our region's newest city this month.

Virginia Highlands.Look for another FIGO PASTA,a local fave with 3 other locations, in the old PAD THAI spot this fall.

Thanks for checking in and remember anyone can see the difficulties in opportunities but a wise person sees the opportunities in difficulties.


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Losing Soto, Blais and Seeger in the span of six months is a disgrace. That's three of the top ten chefs in the city, none of whose true vision for fine dining (Soto with his failed prix fixe and Blais and Seeger with their failed eponymous restaurants) could make it in this city. That's a sad indictment of that state of cuisine in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Cheesecake Factory still has a 3 hour wait every night.

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Losing Soto, Blais and Seeger in the span of six months is a disgrace.  That's three of the top ten chefs in the city, none of whose true vision for fine dining (Soto with his failed prix fixe and Blais and Seeger with their failed eponymous restaurants) could make it in this city.  That's a sad indictment of that state of cuisine in Atlanta.  Meanwhile, Cheesecake Factory still has a 3 hour wait every night.

Well said, voodoo - i definitely worry at times about the direction this city is heading. A lot of cookie cutter/chain stuff seems to be the default, unfortunately.

Still a lot of great stuff here, but damn this sucks to lose those 3 and their vision (which moreso than their food, might be part of the reason they felt the need to leave ATL).

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NEWS FLASH:

Due to the outpouring of requests for seating,SEEGER'S will stay open ONE additional week.(Guess there is nothing like having a NYT piece to drum up customers)


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Boo yah! Voodoo got himself a reservation. Now we'll see if this Seeger's can outdo my two favorites, Soto and Bacchanalia.

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Well, it seems that it ain’t over ‘till it’s over. SEEGER’S will stay open one more week to accommodate all of the last minute people who want to show Chef Seeger some love one more time.Chefs such as Charles Boulud have flown in to dine with Atlanta's greatest chef as he sings his swan song. Whatever the reason,there is no good spin that the city's imagemeisters can put on this.

Maybe Chef Seeger's departure will give chefs like Joel an opportunity to take his game up a notch; maybe Anne and Clifford will fill in the 5 star void with QUINONES; or maybe Jeremy Lieb(TROIS) will become the “new” Seeger? Who knows, but the door is wide open for someone to assume the mantle.

The industry bigfoot and I broke bread at MATSURI’s SUSHI and STEAK last week. It is located in the old YOUNGBLOOD’S R&B CAFE spot in the Ponce de Leon shopping plaza where Whole Foods is located. It was well appointed; the sushi was fresh and good; and, the prices on the lunch special bento boxes were great. He said that he would definitely return. I concurred and will make it sooner than later. Lunch did not seem to be a big draw - I had received a coupon in the mail- so go now. (If these guys can hang in there for two years, they will make a killing based on all of the residential development in the pipeline.)

Question of the week: Who do you think will take on the mantle of Chef Seeger as the other 5 star chef in town?

NEWS and NOTES:

On Tuesday,August 29th,5 of Atlanta's finest chefs-Shaun Doty,Kevin Rathbun,Geraldo Ramos,Cynthia Long and Gary Klaska-will come together at SPICE for a celebration of Chef Marvin Wood's arrival in our fair city and assumption of the top toque at the Midtown hotspot.A portion of the proceeds will benefit Project Open Hand.For further details ,call 494-875-4242.

Buckhead.Jake Rothschild,of JAKE'S ICE CREAM and SORBETS(the original dairy godmother), has closed his Peachtree Hills location.But not to worry,it will re-open later this month as HAUTE CHOCOLAT,"the most exclusive chocolate shop/ dessert in Atlanta...we think the South".

Decatur. PALATE, the popular wine bar/art gallery at 321 W. Hill Street, has hired a chef, Francina Sanders, and will now add a dinner menu to its culinary offerings.

Downtown. BURGER JOE’S,A local operation with a DC presence, has opened a spot in the food court in SunTrust Plaza.

Midtown. Speaking of SEEGER’S, Nicholas Rutherford, former sous chef at SEEGER’s, has taken over the top toque at the QUINONES at BACCHANALIA. Drew Belline, the highly touted opening chef, has moved over to take the reins at FLOATAWAY CAFE.

Today’s Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that the longtime San Francisco treat and Beverly Hills see and be seen spot, CRUSTACEAN, a French-Vietnamese seafood restaurant, will be coming to our fair city in the next 18 months. The An family, owners of these stellar attractions, has fallen in love with the ATL and has made it number one on their expansion plans, plans that include D.C, Miami and Tokyo. A 8-10,000 square foot resto in Midtown is the proposed deal.I am already dreaming about their garlic noodles

Thanks for dropping by and remember we cannot all play the same instrument but we can all be in the same key.


Edited by micropundit (log)

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A Seeger Finale ...

Seeger is welcoming special friends to his table in a private room downstairs. In another hour, Daniel Boulud will arrive, fresh from the airport, to spend a last evening here. The famous French chef of Daniel and Café Boulud in New York and Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Las Vegas (among others) will dine privately with Seeger and another close comrade, chef Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington just outside of Washington, D.C. The three are national treasures.

slideshow ... skip the Wolf Camera ad (by clicking twice) to see who was there ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Charles Boulud , Gary Klaska

??? :blink:


"Success is the sum of alot of small things done correctly."

-- Fernand Point

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The wobble in the rotation of the earth that ensued when Chef Guenter Seeger announced his imminent departure from our fair city has abated. I think.

The latest, according to the paper of general circulation: “As it stands, as long as he is serving 35 seats a night, he can remain open, if it drops below 35, the doors will close.” Stay tuned.en b

Has the bloom faded from the Rosa? Had dinner recently at ROSA MEXICANO and it was SRO on a Sunday afternoon ,except on the patio. And that is where we ended up.Service was tentative but it picked up a bit as the meal wound down.I had the snapper and somewhat like Maxwell house coffee,it was good till the last bite. It was not cooked all the way through.But what was most impressive was the scene on Atlantic Station’s Central plaza. All of the restos facing the plaza were full and there were people;children,teens ;and, seniors, just enjoying themselves.The Kodak moment came when three little tykes,black ,white and brown were dancing together in an impromptu ring around the rosie.Made my day and made the meal experience better as well.ROSA MEXICANO is still the place to be in Atlantic Station in my book.

Question of the week: What newbie intown hotspot in the Glen Iris

neighborhood hosted the Georgia Department of Transportation board dinner last week?

NEWS and NOTES:

Alpharetta. Jay Pollock, formerly of Vinings Inn, the River Room & Killer Creek ,has opened MILTON’S, featuring contemporary American comfort food, at 780 Mayfield Road.

Downtown.Look for THE STANDARD at 327 Memorial Drive to open on October 1. The owner,Tracey Growley(MOE’S and JOE’S,BRAKE PAD),the STANDARD will serve ‘pub grub”.

Lithonia.GOLDEN KRUST CARIBEAN BAKERY and GRILL. A 107 unit New York based Jamaican restaurant chain, has opened its fourth Atlanta location at 7245 Rockbridge Road.

Midtown.Look for FUNE SUSHI BAR at 860 Peachtree Street to open this fall.The inlux of Asian cuisine into Midtown continues.

Another hotel/condo project was announced last week.This one brings the Kimpton brand to the ATL with a 7500 square foot signiture restaurant to open at 866 West Peachtree Street by 2009.

Well folks thanks again for dropping in.We will be on a much needed Labor Day vacation next week ,as I hope you will be. See you the following week and remember,happiness isn’t just something that you experience,it’s something you remember as well.


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Has Shaun Doty opened his place yet and if so where is it...


John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

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

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

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I had to post because of the item below,next week will be the regular good stuff.

Please respond to this urgent request, it is for a good cause: On September 10th at the RITZ CARLTON Buckhead, a fund raiser will be held for the wife of Daniel Porubiansky, sous chef at SEEGERS, who has bone cancer. For further details, please call 404-365-0410 extension 22.

Bienvenidos a NO MAS! This new Castleberry Hill cantina located at 180 Walker Street has the ambience;

cuisine and location to become a premier dining spot in Atlanta. The menu includes over 36 tequilas; a Mexican –inspired menu; and art and furnishings as well. And all of the glasses, tables and art are for sale.

I had the crab cake appetizer and it was fresh, well made and well worth the price. Entrees are between $ 7.95 and $19.95; desserts are in the $4.95 to $6.95 and there is a children’s menu with prices ranging from $3.25 to$ 4.25.

The layout includes a spacious patio; a marble topped bar; and, a second level overlooking the main dining area.

With a location just blocks from the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena and the Georgia Aquarium, NO MAS! Should become a fan favorite soon.

Question of the Week : What former ITP hotshot is now top toque at a Marietta fine dining resto?

NEWS and NOTES:

Downtown. JOLE,an African restaurant,run by Sylvia Wade,a native of Senegal, will open at 82 Peachtree Street this fall.

Midtown. TOSCANO and SONS,an Italian grocery and restaurant will open this fall at 1000 Marietta Boluvard in the

new Brickworks development.

Thanks for tuning in and remember, little drops of water wear down big stones.


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Well I guess I must follow every other media and put out a Fall preview ,so here is the Micropundit Fall Food Favorites (aka the new places that should brighten up the Atlanta food scene).

Gastroprenurs from LA to Dallas are coming to our fair shores to join the local honcho’s ever growing roster of restos.From sushi to sandwiches ,pasta to pastry and several points in between, the dining options here in the ATL are going to get bigger and better starting this Fall. And with the opening of the Louvre exhibit at the High Museum, the recent birth of a baby Panda at Zoo Atlanta, there will be some folks in town who will checking out new places and faces. Let’s start in Atlantic Station:

DOLCE Enoteca e Ristorante , Italian fine dining with designer flair ,will open this fall courtesy of the Dolce Group, a star studded restaurant development group out of the City of Angels. Also on their menu for Atlanta are GIESHA HOUSE and TEN PIN ALLEY. GIESHA HOUSE is a Japanese concept set in Tokyo 2050 that has been wildly successful with the LA jet set crowd. TEN PIN ALLEY is a new concept that combines bowling and bar scenes in one location. The three siblings will all be located in close proximity to one another so look for”... amazing food and friendly, approachable service in a collection of imaginative, fun and unique environments.”

Downtown, Jeff Safaris, one of the creators of Compound .the internationally renowned West midtown super club, is opening THRIVE at 101 Marietta Street.

THRIVE will serve three meals-breakfast, lunch and dinner- in a “chameleon like atmosphere...that will change from a business lunch to a hip scene in the evenings.” The 6,000 square foot venue will be across the street from BED and the Glenn Hotel and it also features a Bill Johnson design.

Back in Midtown, the boys from Big D are bringing STEEL to the ATL. Opening a little later than this fall, the Dallas based upscale restaurant will serve sushi, feature an award winning wine list and Indochine cuisine all in a Bill Johnson designed space located in the newly opened Plaza midtown condos.

In Inman Park, SHAUN’s EDGWOOD SOCIAL CLUB, will open to great anticipation this fall, under the helm of the Super chef Shaun Doty, at 1025 Edgewood Avenue. It is beginning to look as if Inman Park is the next epicenter of neighborhood dining with the winter arrival of Kevin Rathbun’s new steak house and Bob Amick’s et al planned 2007 project across from FRITTI/SOTTO SOTTO.

Well these are a few of the ones to watch for this fall. What…you say I have forgotten one? Let me see, well there is OH, you mean the little project that Bob Amick is putting together –TROIS, (?) Well that is going to be the subject of a whole feature. Soon.

Question of the week: What was the only Atlanta restaurant that was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal’s fall guide that featured restaurants from around the globe?

NEWS and NOTES:

Buckhead. RESTAURANT EUGENE head honcho Linton Hopkins was selected to represent Atlanta in an upcoming Iron Chef America competition. He beat out some of the top chefs in town to earn the trip to the big time.

Long time dining and bar fave CARBO’S CAFÉ has closed. Man does that place hold some memories.

Rumors are floating about concerning Chef Taka, formerly of TAKA’S SUSHI. He may be returning with a brand new location. Stay tuned.

Downtown. THE SUNDIAL restaurant at the top of the Westin Peachtree has a new chef,Christian Messier,formerly sous chef at The Phoenician in Scottsdale Arizona.

Midtown. TAMARIND has closed due to the construction on the 14thh Street bridge. No further details at this time but as soon as I know , you will know.

Former EATZI’S executive chef and general manager,Ford Fry is rumored to be opening a restaurant at the old SAMPAN location.

Thanks for stopping by and on this anniversery of one of the most tragic events in our history ,let’s remember that grief teaches lessons that joy can never know.


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