Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kevin Rathbun Steak Opens in Inman Park

IN THE NEWS: The AJC's accessatlanta.com Meridith Ford awards three stars (very good) to Palomilla's Cuban Grill House in Roswell, while Sandra Eckstein notes that Kevin Rathbun Steak is expected to open in Inman Park by the end of the month, and is already taking reservations for June and July. She also notes the openings of Geisha House at Atlantic Station, The Kingfisher Cafe in Pine Lake, and The Catch in Marietta. ... H.M. Cauley reviews Bin 75 (8455 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite B, Alpharetta) and reports, "The popular Ray's on the River (6700 Powers Ferry Road) has been closed for several months while owners work on a complete overhaul of the space. But the view, the menu and the music are about to make a comeback in the next few weeks. That's good news for anyone who has missed the lavish Sunday brunch buffet! A re-opening is tentatively planned for the end of June." ... Neighborhood Nosh visits Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli (4383 Roswell Road N.E) and Beetles BBQ (150 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock) ... The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, "Candler Park soon will get Atlanta's first stand-alone outpost of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. The concept is taking over the former space of Southwestern restaurant Asada at 1238 DeKalb Ave. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is run by Jonathan and Justin Fox, 35-year-old twins. They have been serving barbecue for several years at Smithe's Old Bar across from Ansley Mall. They also use the bar's kitchen to prepare food for their thriving catering business. After Asada closed last year, Jonathan Fox said, he saw the "for lease" sign and said, "That's the place." ... The Chronicle also reports that Made In Japan Teriyaki Experience is actually a made-in-Canada concept with more than 100 stores in Canada, the Middle East, Italy and the Caribbean. The first U.S. outpost will open in Atlanta in The District at Howell Mill Road in June. It's part of a quest to open more than 40 stores in Georgia and hundreds more worldwide in the next five years. At Teriyaki Experience, customers can order a stir-fried meal with shrimp, chicken, beef or tofu, rice or noodles plus veggies. The made-to-order meal is then cooked in water, not oil, on a teppanyaki grill. ... Besha Rodell gives three stars in her review of French American Brasserie (30 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.) for Creative Loafing, while colleague Cliff Bostick stops by Pearl (253 Peters St) and revisits chef Scott Peacock's Watershed (406 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur), in honor of Peacock being amed best chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation earlier this month. ... Cheap Eats' Maureen McCarthy reviews Blue Bay (2750 Buford Highway, Duluth). atlanta.creativeloafing.com ... Blogger ChowDownAtlanta.com reviews Min Sok Chon (2550 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth) ... Blog The Blissful Glutton blissfulglutton.blogspot.com notes, "Chef Richard Blais, of Iron Chef fame, has made his return to Atlanta and is now manning the helm of Element gastro lounge located at 11th St. and West Peachtree St. Blais debuted his new menu this past Tuesday and initial reports are quite favorable." ... Memphis-based bloggers Squirrel Squad Squeeks squirrel-squad.blogspot.com visits brewmasters 5 Seasons North (3655 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 21, 2007

Clermont Lounge on Esquire Best Bars List

Esquire magazine's second annual Best Bars of America list is out in the June 2007 issue. They include:

Lou's Pub & Package, Birmingham, Ala.; J Lounge, Golden Gopher, The Edison, The Broadway Bar, La Cita, Bordello, Redwood, and Bar 107, Los Angeles; Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood, Calif.; The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills; Beach Ball, Newport Beach, Calif.; Brennan's Pub, Marina Del Ray, Calif.; Bourbon & Branch, The Owl Tree, Vesuvio, and Zeitgeist, San Francisco; The Sportsman, Sonora, Calif.; Cruise Room, and El Chapultepec, Denver; Jimbo's, and Churchill's Pub, Miami; The Clermont Lounge, Atlanta; Lewers Lounge at the Halekulani Hotel, and La Mariana Sailing Club, Honolulu; The California Clipper, The Red Lion Pub, Bungalow, The Matchbox, Hideout, and Chipp Inn, Chicago; The Red Key, and Nicky Blaine's, Indianapolis; The Old Seelbach Bar, Louisville; The Chart Room, The Bar at Tujague's, Fritzel's European Jazz Pub, and Napoleon House, New Orleans; The Brewer's Art, and Shamrock Inn, Baltimore; B-Side Lounge, Cambridge, Mass.; No. 9 Park, Boston; Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; The Bar at Seldom Blues, Detroit; Miller's Bar, Dearborn, Mich.; Bulldog NE, and Nye's Polonaise Room, Minneapolis; Half Time Rec, St. Paul; John D. McGurk's, St. Louis; Any bar on the Strip, Double Down Saloon, and Petrossian Bar, Las Vegas; Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, Little Branch, The Bar at Keens Steakhouse, Minetta Tavern, Jimmy's Corner, The Angel's Share, The Brooklyn Inn, The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Flatiron Lounge, The Saloon, San Domenico Restaurant, Spuyten Duyvil, 21 Club, Grassroots Tavern, Bill's Gay 90s, Julius', and Pegu Club, New York City; Freddy's Bar & Backroom, Brooklyn; Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Queens; Thomas Street Tavern, Charlotte, NC; Andyman's Treehouse, Columbus, Ohio; The Library Bar & Grill, Norman, Okla.; Friendly Lounge, The Grey Lodge, and Southwark, Philadelphia; Dee's Cafe, Pittsburgh; Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, and Robert's Western World, Nashville; La Tuna, San Antonio; Donn's Depot, Austin; The Inwood Lounge, Dallas; Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville, Utah; Sambar, Zig Zag Cafe, and Fu Kun Wu, Seattle; Hawk 'n' Dove, and The Tune Inn, Washington, DC; Holler House, Milwaukee.

IN THE NEWS: Creative Loafing's Besha Rodell looks at the improving state of Atlanta's dining scene through the eyes of noted veteran restaurateur Bob Amick (Two Urban Licks, Trois), who says when he first opened his restaurant, Mick's in the 1970s, closely followed by the Pleasant Peasant, "Atlanta really wasn't a restaurant town. You couldn't get a piece of fresh fish. Most people served frozen vegetables." ... Critic Chris Rodell calls East Atlanta Village's Cenci (1259 Glenwood Ave.), "hands down, the coolest vegetarian restaurant I've ever visited in our city." ... Cheap Eats compares the pizza joints Slice and Slice City. atlanta.creativeloafing.com ... The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, "Rich Chey, the Atlanta restaurateur who created Doc Chey's Noodle House and Osteria 832 Pizza & Pasta, is bringing an Italian concept to Grant Park this fall. His new concept, Stella Neighborhood Trattoria, will be in a condo/loft project called Oakland Park, at 563 Memorial Drive, across from the historic Oakland Cemetery." ... ChowDownAtlanta.com looks at Alpharetta's Sushi Zutto ... The AJC's Meridith Ford www.ajc.com gives two stars in her review of LowCountry Barbecue Outpost (3455 Peachtree Parkway, Stonebridge Promenade, Suite 201, Suwanee) ... In a piece about extreme cuisine, Ford and colleague John Kessler note jellyfish and other delicacies at spots such as: Tomo Japanese Restaurant, Charcoal Plus, Nam Chun Hong and Hong Kong Gourmet ... Ford's Table Talk column opines that there's no sellout involved concerning local restaurateur Delia Champion of Flying Biscuit Café, although she writes, "It’s easy for those of us who’ve loved her tattered-and-tattooed haven in Candler Park since it opened in 1993 to wonder why last year she sold her concept to Raving Brands (which operates Mama Fu’s, Doc Green’s and Shane’s Rib Shack, among many)." ... And Kessler's column is a travelogue of his recent trip to New York for the James Beard Foundation awards. His pick restaurants hits: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and A Voce. ... The Neighborhood Nosh column visits The Grape in Norcross, Olives Waterside in Sandy Springs, Stefan's Off The Square in Marietta, and High Cotton in Dunwoody. ... Atlantaeats.blogspot.com reviews the Mother's Day brunch at Pastis in Historic Roswell.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 14, 2007

Atlanta No. 8 on Best Restaurant Cities List

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent ForbesTraveler.com piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

IN THE NEWS: AJC critic Meridith Ford looks at restaurants in Castleberry Hill, the historic district in southwest Atlanta behind Philips Arena that has become an enclave for artists and art galleries. Featured eateries: Wasabi Sushi Wine & Sake Lounge, 180 Walker St., Suite C; No Mas! Cantina, 180 Walker St.; Baltimore Crab & Seafood, 253 Peters St.; Pearl Restaurant & Lounge, 253 Peters St. ... The AJC's Neighborhood Nosh Special features five "meat and three" types: Our Way Cafe, 2831 E. College Ave., Avondale Estates; The Colonnade, 1879 Cheshire Bridge Road N.E.; Midtown's storied Mary Mac's Tea Room, 224 Ponce de Leon Ave.; Matthews Cafeteria, 2229 Main St., Tucker; and Westside's Carver's Country Kitchen, 1118 W. Marietta St. N.W. ... The AJC's Sandra Eckstein reports: Serenbe founder Steve Nygren (Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, the Farmhouse restaurants) will open his third eatery, The Hil, in August with Hilary White as chef; Chef Tom Colicchio will now open his Craftsteak restaurant at the Mansion on Peachtree, not the Georgian Terrace Hotel, with a spring 2008 target date ... Eckstein notes openings of: Brasserie Le Coze, near the Georgia Aquarium; The retro lounge Noir in Castleberry Hill; The Atlanta Brewing Company in Midtown; and 5th Earl Market in Decatur, in the old Oz site at 309 E. College Ave.; Marietta's Houck's has moved to the former Sparkles Roller Rink and has been reincarnated as Trilogy. One closing of note: Midtown's Spice. ajc.com ... Creative Loafing's Besha Rodell gives three stars to Tierra, 1425 Piedmont Ave. Cliff Bostick stops by Osteria 832 (832 N. Highland Ave.) and reports that Grant Park's Hank's Ice Cream is losing its lease in June. Bostick and Rodell kicked off their new Omnivore Atlanta blog at http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/omnivore with a visit to Grant Park Mexican restaurant El Barrio (571 Memorial Drive) ... ChowDownAtlanta.com stops by Shane's Rib Shack .. AtlantaCuisine.com's pick hit is Urban eat.drink.lounge,
3580 East Crossville Road in Roswell ... Atlanta Foodies http://atlantafoodies.blogspot.com/ review Six Feet Under–Westside,685 11th St. and White House Restaurant, 3172 Peachtree Road NW.
Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Watershed Chef Nabs James Beard Award

Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.

Beard Award highlights are:

AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I

Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.

BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago

BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC

BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.

BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY

BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston

BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle

BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco

BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.

BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

Trois on Conde Nast Hot List
Conde Nast Traveler magazine just published its Hot List of the world's best restaurants. Here are the hottest of the hot in the U.S.: Brix, Flagstaff, Ariz.; Cut, Beverly Hills; Hatfield's, Los Angeles; Katsuya, Los Angeles; Social Hollywood, Los Angeles; West, Los Angeles; Coi,
San Francisco; NOPA, San Francisco; Perbacco, San Francisco; Salt House, San Francisco; Ad Hoc, Yountville, Ca.; Dressing Room, Westport, Conn.; Michy's, Miami; David Bouley Evolution, Miami Beach; Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Miami Beach; Trois, Atlanta; David Burke's Primehouse, Chicago; De La Costa, Chicago; Riche, New Orleans; Sorellina, Boston; Guy Savoy, Las Vegas; Nove Italiano, Las Vegas; Rao's, Las Vegas; A Voce, New York City; Boqueria, New York City; Gordon Ramsay at The London, New York City; L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, New York City; Little Owl, New York City; Momofuku Ssäm, New York City; Varietal, New York City; Waverly Inn, New York City; New York City; Herons, Cary, N.C.; Piedmont, Durham, N.C.; XIX, Philadelphia; Bess Bistro on Pecan, Austin; Craft, Dallas; Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.

IN THE NEWS: Orlando-based Darden Restaurants shut down more than 50 of its Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill locations across the country on May 5 and said it will sell the remaining 73, The Orlando Sentinel reported May 6. The closings include Atlanta-area locations in Dunwoody, Duluth, Alphretta, Douglasville, Gainesville and Morrow. ... Atlanta magazine's Christiane Lauterbach reviews French restaurant Trois, 1180 Peachtree St. ... Blogger The Blissful Glutton reviews La Taqueria Oaxaquena, 6738 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro ... Blogger chowdownatlanta.com raves about French bistro The Epicurian Restaurant, 1361 Clairmont Road in Decatur, as former Ritz-Carlton chef Peter Golaszewski holds forth ... AJC critic Meridith Ford blogs about French American Brasserie, the new venue from Brasserie owner Fabrice Vergez, which has opened in the Southern Company building. Ford also gives one star in her review of Emeril's, 3500 Lenox Road, Suite 100. The paper also offers a Mother's Day brunch roundup as well as neighborhood spotlights on: Bagel Boys Cafe, 1770 Haynes Bridge Road, Suite 102 in Alpharetta; Grapes & Hops Bar & Bistro 4856 Hog Mountain Road, Flowery Branch; Six Feet Under (Westside), 685 11th St.; and Bailey's Family Restaurant 4041 Atlanta St. in Powder Springs. ... The AJC's H.M. Cauley reports on Azoni's at 4719 Lower Roswell Road, and details the openings of: Bubbalini's, a 15-year-old restaurant in Florida that is building a second location in the Burnt Hickory Village off Whitlock Road in Marietta; and the July opening of Waterstone Grill, moving into the original Henry's Louisiana space at 4849 N. Main St. in Acworth. ... Creative Loafing's Cliff Bostick reports on the rechristening of Element (1051 W. Peachtree St), formerly Cherry, and updates info on Cantina La Casita (560 Gresham Ave.). Besha Rodell gives three stars to The Epicurean, 1361 Clairmont Road in Decatur. ... The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, "A local radio personality is teaming up with two longtime restaurateurs to roll out the first-ever franchises of The Flying Biscuit Cafe. Jeff Dauler, one of the hosts of Q100's (WWWQ-FM 100.5) popular morning show, has partnered with George McKerrow Jr., co-founder and CEO of Ted's Montana Grill, and John Slocum, the founder of Slocum's Tavern & Grille, to kick off the venture. They plan to open five Flying Biscuit locations in Atlanta, with the first opening May 14 in Buckhead on West Paces Ferry Road. Eventually they plan to expand the homegrown dining concept -- famous for its light, airy biscuits and apple butter -- around the Southeast and even across the country."

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com