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In search of Blais...


morda
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Hi everyone...

So I missed Blais at Blais, and I guess I've missed Blais at Bazzaar. Anyone know what he's up to at the moment? Or is there anything else in Atlanta at the moment that is Not-to-be-missed? I have a night or two in Atlanta next week and I'd like to do some culinary exploration.

I'm also interested in some inexpensive places for our other meals (2 lunches and a dinner), so any suggestions are appreciated. I think we may be staying in the Buckhead area, if that makes a difference.

TIA,

morda

Edited because it's spelled Bazzaar and not Blazaar

Edited by morda (log)
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I've missed Blais at Bazzaar. Anyone know what he's up to at the moment? Or is there anything else in Atlanta at the moment that is Not-to-be-missed? I have a night or two in Atlanta next week and I'd like to do some culinary exploration.

This item is part of a review of Two Urban Licks in midtown Atlanta and comes from last week's Creative Loafing:

the full article

To churn out the daunting volume of meals, Serpas has wisely created a succinct menu that's heavy on apps and smaller plates. (It's worth mentioning that the roving Richard Blais has indeed turned up on staff at Two as sous-chef, but the culinary vision remains Serpas'. Word is that Blais is being groomed for another Amick/Rushing restaurant in the works.)

Inexpensive places in Buckhead ... hmmm ... some options in Buckhead ... click on links for info :wink:some options in midtown .. less expensive :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This item is part of a review of Two Urban Licks in midtown Atlanta and comes from last week's Creative Loafing:

the full article

To churn out the daunting volume of meals, Serpas has wisely created a succinct menu that's heavy on apps and smaller plates. (It's worth mentioning that the roving Richard Blais has indeed turned up on staff at Two as sous-chef, but the culinary vision remains Serpas'. Word is that Blais is being groomed for another Amick/Rushing restaurant in the works.)

Thanks for the info, Gifted. I had heard about Blais being about Two Urban Licks, but the posts were a couple weeks ago so I wasn't sure if things had changed.

Speaking of Two Urban Licks, has anyone been? Does it live up to the hype? And does anyone know what dinner for two would cost (say, food only, before tax/tip/alcohol)?

morda

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I had heard about Blais being about Two Urban Licks, but the posts were a couple weeks ago so I wasn't sure if things had changed.

Speaking of Two Urban Licks, has anyone been? Does it live up to the hype? And does anyone know what dinner for two would cost (say, food only, before tax/tip/alcohol)?

I've eaten at TWO several times since it's opened, the most recent visit last night.

Blais is, in fact, working there. The kitchen's open all the way around, so if you know what he looks like you'll see him. The operation remains very much Scott Serpas', and though the menu changes frequently it doesn't reflect any particular input from Blais that I can tell (and I've eaten lots of Blais' food, and also dined at TWO several times previous to his arrival). Assuming that Blais does eventually take the helm at the third restaurant in this group we'll presumably see more of his trademark sorts of dishes.

As for whether or not TWO lives up to its hype, well, that depends on what you've heard. It's a fun place to eat and socialize, very high energy, lots of pretty people. The food's nowhere near the best in Atlanta, but it's not bad overall, and generally very good value: large portions, first courses in the $7-10 range, most expensive main course last night was $22 (for prime rib, I think) with a number of items under $15 (so inexpensive by Atlanta standards).

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 3 months later...

updated link on Richard Blais is here :biggrin:

Blais' cuisine is about mastery of detail. Its genius is truly aesthetic. Blais discloses the nature of the ingredients by playing with their forms in new, alchemical ways.... flavors are also rearranged, causing them to gain unusual clarity:

* shrimp ceviche: three grilled shrimp over sweet watermelon and a few bits of avocado.

* tuna carpaccio, gives a classic new life .. A ribbon of creamed horseradish topped it  thinly sliced tuna, rectangular in shape, was striped with wasabi cream and scattered with intensely flavored soy jellies and, um, rice krispies ...

* an ivory salmon "BLT," corned duck and beef short ribs ...

* chevre cheesecake spiked with mint leaves and surrounded by glossy peach slices.

He never fails to amaze with his keen insight and creativity ... :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The menu at One's been just about entirely converted to Blais-type dishes, well-received by the largely trendo Atlanta crowd there this weekend along with my (decidely non-trendo) husband and self.

But the really big news (as per the Atlanta Journal & Constitutions's Peach Buzz) is that he proposed to his girlfriend Jazmin Zepeda (co-workers for the last several years---she's presently working at TWO, One's sister restaurant) on July 4, right after the Peachtree Road Race. Congrats to them both. :smile:

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dinner again last night at One Midtown Kitchen. First time I'd actually seen Blais in that setting, as I've managed to go on his nights off our last couple of visits. The restaurant was absolutely slammed, as there's some sort of big trade show in town, but things seemed to be going pretty smoothly in the kitchen (it's an open kitchen, and we were seated at one of the bars that looks into it, right over a POS which is a little weird at first, but also sort of cool).

We hadn't booked, so got to see Blais work for a while before he noticed us. In addition to working the main kitchen he was also working at an adjacent cold area, putting together some small dishes for a group of three people seated at the other end of the bar. Turns out he was doing a tasting menu. I don't know how many courses he did total, or how much he's charging, but you can get it on Mondays and Tuesdays. Last night was Saturday, and a very busy Saturday at that, so there must have been some serious convincing going on to get it to happen that night.

Okay with me, though, as Blais made a couple of the dishes for us as well. An amuse he called peach sashimi: a perfect little slab of peach with at least four contrasting flavors and textures arranged on top. I can't recall them, of course, but it was great.

The second dish started out with a large deep plate containing ground coffee that arrived about halfway through one of the courses we'd actually ordered. "Something to think about" was how he described it. Turns out he was setting the scene for duck confit hash that was served in a smaller bowl, set inside the larger one, hot water poured over the ground coffee to release more of the smell. The duck confit was topped with a poached quail egg and contained a bit of nicely aromatic orange zest, completing the olfactory breakfast experience.

So, the Blais approach to multicourse dining is once again available. Just make sure you ask for it (I'd call ahead) on a Monday or a Tuesday.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I have just read a review on a local foodie site re RB's tasting menu and it sounds as if for $49 a head you can experience culinary nirvana at ONE MIDTOWN KITCHEN. (M-u-s-t r-e-s-i-s-t i-m-p-u-l-s-e t-o- r-u-n t-o- r-e-s-t-a-u-r--a-n-t ...NOW!)

Edited by micropundit (log)

100% right 50% of the time.

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  • 1 month later...

not nearly long enough Creative Loafing interview with Richard Blais

Creative Loafing: Ever feel you were ahead of your time with foie gras milkshakes and all those jellies and foams?

Blais: It was more a perception of how new and bizarre and weird it was. But our clientele didn't perceive it was over the top. The knock that Atlanta wasn't ready is false.

CL: But it failed so ... spectacularly.

Blais: There was a market, even if only 50 people ate there a night. That was more to do with investors who were quick to want to cash in. In a different format here at One; we are doing a lot of the same things. My team is at the beginning, the cro-magnum of creativity. The dining public is hungry for new and exciting food. We take commonplace flavors into another realm. The key is to blank out your mind, to erase your memory or thoughts of jelly and what it tastes like.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm making my Atlanta restaurant reservations now. Made one for Quinones at Bacchanalia. Can anyone compare the two restaurants (Quinones and Bacchanalia)? We haven't dined at either.

I am confused about the dining situation at One.Midtown Kitchen. Is the tasting menu only available on Monday or Tuesday? Can you only eat the tasting menu at the bar? Is the bar adjacent to the restaurant - and as noisy as the rest of the restaurant seems to be (even the website is noisy!)? Has anyone had the full tasting menu there? Any comments?

We'll be staying midtown and are also looking for a less big deal place in the area for a Friday night. I like Eno. Any other suggestions? We'll be staying at the Four Seasons. Is either of the restaurants in the hotel good? Robyn

P.S. The menu that is on the One.Midtown Kitchen website today doesn't look that thrilling.

Edited by robyn (log)
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I'm making my Atlanta restaurant reservations now.  Made one for Quinones at Bacchanalia.  Can anyone compare the two restaurants (Quinones and Bacchanalia)?  We haven't dined at either.

I am confused about the dining situation at One.Midtown Kitchen.  Is the tasting menu only available on Monday or Tuesday?  Can you only eat the tasting menu at the bar?  Is the bar adjacent to the restaurant - and as noisy as the rest of the restaurant seems to be (even the website is noisy!)?  Has anyone had the full tasting menu there?  Any comments?

We'll be staying midtown and are also looking for a less big deal place in the area for a Friday night.  I like Eno.  Any other suggestions?  We'll be staying at the Four Seasons.  Is either of the restaurants in the hotel good?  Robyn

P.S.  The menu that is on the One.Midtown Kitchen website today doesn't look that thrilling.

In desending order:1.OUINONES is smaller and more elegant than BACCCANNALIA in appearence;the menu's are similar with the biggest difference being that QUINONES is prix fixe.

2.To date,the tasting menu at ONE is only on Monday and Tuesday. You may eat at the bar which is located in the front of the restaurant.Have not tried it but is on the list.(See WSJ's weekend edition for moredetails on ONE)

3.In the immediate area of the Four Seasons OCEANAIRE is very good;there is a just opened restaurant at the Woodruff Arts Center,TABLE 1280-have not been but have enjoyed the chef's-Shaun Doty-work at his previous resto,MIDCITY CUISINE.

4. PARK 75 is very good;Sunday brunch is a must do.

Hope this helps.Enjoy your stay.

100% right 50% of the time.

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In desending order:1.OUINONES is smaller and more elegant than BACCCANNALIA in appearence;the menu's are similar with the biggest difference being that QUINONES is prix fixe.

2.To date,the tasting menu at ONE is only on Monday and Tuesday. You may eat at the bar which is located in the front of the restaurant.Have not tried it but is on the list.(See WSJ's weekend edition for moredetails on ONE)

3.In the immediate area of the Four Seasons OCEANAIRE is very good;there is a just opened restaurant at the Woodruff Arts Center,TABLE 1280-have not been but have enjoyed the chef's-Shaun Doty-work at his previous resto,MIDCITY CUISINE.

4. PARK 75 is very good;Sunday brunch is a must do.

Hope this helps.Enjoy your stay.

Well that narrows things down. I've read a bit more about Quinones since I made the reservation (for a Saturday night). It will be a very big deal meal. We're arriving Friday - leaving Monday - so Blais is out. We will probably do either the big deal or little deal restaurant in the hotel on Sunday (depending on appetite) - since most places are closed on Sunday. Sunday brunch is probably out of the question - unless the 9 course or so meal at Quinones has microscopic portions.

That leaves Friday night (we'll catch lunch based on where we are in Atlanta at lunchtime). We'd probably be interested in a light bar menu kind of place (don't want to ruin our appetites for Quinones). Are any of the places you mentioned like that? Any other ideas?

By the way - Quinones looks first rate. I especially like the idea of a one seating restaurant (and am willing to spend more $$$ to "rent" a table for the entire evening). Robyn

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access atlanta article (free registration req'd) on One Midtown and Richard Blais' latest doings here in Atlanta:

perfectly chilled oysters with a perky green tomato salsa...  tiny bites of perfectly fried green tomatoes offset by the cold smoothness of a ranch dressing ice cream ... The goat cheese wrapped in sourdough is as appealing ... perfectly cleaned, succulent mussels in a heady broth of vaporized beer with spicy chorizo and a bit of cilantro that should be attracting your attention ... fried squash blossoms with an ethereally thin and crunchy crust that burst open with mascarpone cheese, Tuna carpaccio, laid out in thin sheaths with wasabi and pickled ginger, mates deliciously with tiny cubes of soy jelly and rice flour crispies...short ribs hold a smoky tenderness with a beautiful, bright red beet salad and a mustard "caviar" smear.

more articles on Blais and his rating of four stars

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Quinones really is first rate. I've had the pleasure of dining there twice, and both times were top-notch. This is my new special-occasion restaurant in Atlanta. Excellent food, service and atmosphere!

It's a shame you won't be here on a Monday or Tuesday night, the tasting menu at One.Midtown is the best value in Atlanta dining right now.

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Had dinner at One Midtown Kitchen last week and have to say it was quite wonderful! Richard is very cordial and engaging. Not at all what I expected after what I had read in the paper media. Was expecting some sort of irritable Thomas Dolby type but that was hardly the case.

Most everything we had was intriguing, delicious and beautifully presented. That being said I can't go anywhere without being recognized so we did get a few Scooby Snacks thrown our way! Just kidding, my sous has met him before. The staff was helpful and effecient and the place seemed to click.

Peach Sashimi with Basil Oil, Tempura Squash Blossom with Romesco Injection, Pate with Lychee Soda & Mustard Ice Cream, Bread Crisp with Sesame Butter and Muscadine Jelly, Beausoleil Oyster with Pickled Cucumber.....

Richard does a chef's tasting menu on Monday & Tuesday nights and that is the time to go.

Cheers!

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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