Atlanta restaurateur Riccardo Ullio developed and operates popular Inman Park establishments Fritti and Sotto Sotto. The former is one of the most authentic pizzerias in the city, while the latter purveys Italian cuisine. Ullio has drawn from their dishes and created a menu for north Atlanta patrons at Novo Cucina that offers the best of his best. But here they pair with wines held at perfect temperature at the restaurant’s Enomatic wine bar. The pizza list is lengthy and consists of artisanal selections that are well priced. Ullio has devised a kids’ menu, too. Guests may explore the gelato counter and place their order after sitting in the spacious, open-air dining area, finishing their meals with Atlanta’s only gelato “artigianale,” spun in-house daily. Novo Cucina, Dunwoody Village Shopping Center, 5592 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta, GA 30338, 470-275-3000.
David Garcia and Abigail Quinn, teaming up with Billy Allin and Kristin Allin of Decatur's Cakes & Ale, opened Proof Bakeshop in Inman Park. Garcia and Quinn currently head the bread and pastry programs for Cakes & Ale and the adjacent The Café at Cakes & Ale. Proof offers counter service as a coffee shop and bakery while at the same time serving as the central kitchen and bakery for the Allins' growing organization, which will include Bread & Butterfly, slated to open in the fall of 2015, also in Inman Park. Proof Bakeshop, 100 Hurt St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 678-705-3905.
In collaboration with Concentrics Restaurants, which also owns or manages such Atlanta establishments as The Spence and ONE. midtown kitchen, Mason Tavern will open in North Decatur in the spot formerly occupied by the short-lived Scoreboards Bar & Grill. The newcomer will feature lunch and dinner menus, and late-night options and weekend brunch. Executive chef is Jason Hall (Max's Wine Dive, Midtown). Mason Tavern, 1371 Clairmont Rd., Decatur, GA 30033, No phone.
Helmed by former King + Duke executive chef Joe Schafer, Little Bacch opened May 20, 2015. Schafer also served as executive chef of now-closed Abattoir (that space will soon house one of Ford Fry's many new restaurants). Seating just 52 guests and not taking reservations, Little Bacch features a simple menu of seasonal fine dining classics, such as a cheese soufflé, oysters Rockefeller, a shrimp cocktail of Georgia red shrimp, and whole roasted chicken for two. Much of the produce comes from the company's Summerland Farm near Cartersville, north of Atlanta. Cocktails are another feature of the service program. Little Bacch, Star Provisions, 1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-365-0410.
Gravy in Grant Park offers a range of contemporary Southern dishes, from New Orleans jambalaya to low country shrimp and grits. Most of the selections are already standards on Atlanta menus, so we suggest exploring the rarely seen but worthy Country Captain (a chicken dish with curry and currants) and Pine Bark Stew (catfish filet and tomatoes). Lunch Sat., Dinner Mon.-Sat. Gravy, 465 Blvd. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, 404-343-2450.
Tutto Kitchen & Bar, located in the heart of downtown Roswell, opened at the end of November 2014. The Italian eatery uses only locally sourced and Italian-imported ingredients to craft a menu of shared plates and appetizers such as grilled octopus and veal meatballs; pasta and risotto dishes; and entrées like braised Colorado lamb shank and other weekly chef-chosen specials. Besides several signature cocktails and draft and crafts brews, Tutto's full bar offers a wine list with more than 70 wines by the glass and bottle. Lunch & Dinner daily. Tutto Kitchen & Bar, 942 Alpharetta St., Roswell, GA 30075, 678-878-2525.
In the high-rise Metropolis condominium building at 8th and Peachtree, a second location of Fadó Irish Pub has opened. Like its older sibling in Buckhead, this Fadó is powered by Guinness and stays open to the wee hours. Fadó Irish Pub, Metropolis, 933 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-260-7910.
Italian restaurant Colletta has opened in Alpharetta’s Avalon. The menu from executive chef Michael Perez highlights pizza and pasta. Perez and team will make all pasta and even cheeses in-house. There's talk of an in-house curing chamber for crafting salumi, taking "from scratch" yet another step. The all-Italian wine list covers the peninsula and provides notable choices in a variety of price ranges and styles. Colletta, Avalon, 900 3rd St., Alpharetta, GA 30009, 678-722-8335.
Charleston's Oak Steakhouse has launched an Atlanta area outpost in Alpharetta's Avalon with Chad Anderson as its executive chef. The recently opened upscale living/shopping/dining development has lured a number of in-town establishments to its confines, and from out of state, Oak Steakhouse. With an emphasis on seasonally driven produce and locally grown raw materials, plus its reliance on Prime certified Angus beef, Oak Steakhouse should draw beef enthusiasts from all over the metro area. Oak Steakhouse, Avalon, 950 3rd St., Alpharetta, GA 30009, 678-722-8333.
Antico Pizza Napoletana and its companion operation Caffè Gio, a gelateria and pasticceria, have opened in Alpharetta's upscale Avalon development. The pizza establishment has a popular location in Midtown, and its new outpost has attempted to re-create some of the same atmosphere and offers better parking. Caffè Gio also serves panini and other kinds of Italian street fare. Antico Pizza Napoletana, Avalon, 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta, GA 30009, 770-674-8811.
Formerly executive chef at ECCO and Latitude, chef Micah Willix has opened Community Smith in Midtown. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The rooftop space, to be known as The Garden at Community Smith, will open on March 20 with a capacity of 300 seats and a 20-tap brew program. Reared a vegan, Willix emphasizes proteins from humanely raised animals and offers a challenging wine list and lots of bottled craft brews. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Community Smith, 866 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308, 678-412-2402.
Chef Kevin Ouzts has a reputation for offering quality cured meats at his retail shop, The Spotted Trotter. Now he adds to it a retail fresh-and-cured meats operation and a restaurant, The Cockentrice in the Krog Street Market. This establishment will serve as a showcase for Ouzts's hand-crafted products, including fresh sausages, salumi, jars of chicken liver pâté and, perhaps, crepinettes. Dinner Tues.-Sat. The Cockentrice, Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St., Ste. V, Atlanta, GA 30307, 470-428-2733.
Seven Lamps Beverage Director to Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program
Madison Burch, beverage director at Seven Lamps, GRAIN and soon-to-open Tavernpointe, has been named to the Cocktail Apprentice Program by the organizers of Tales of the Cocktail. To be held July 15-19, 2015, in New Orleans, La., the event is the beverage industry’s largest annual convention. The Cocktail Apprentice Program selects 40 best rising bartenders from across the globe to learn from the greatest mixologists. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Ms. Burch, who transitioned from a retail management and banking career into hospitality, is the only participant from Georgia to be selected. Lunch & Dinner daily. Seven Lamps, Shops Around Lenox, 3400 Around Lenox Rd., Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-467-8950.
Ammazza Adds Weekend Lunch
One of Atlanta's most popular in-town pizza joints, serving the rapidly upscaling Old 4th Ward neighborhoods, Ammazza has added weekend lunch to its service line-up. Pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven with temperatures that reach 900 degrees. Rarely seen types of pizza are offered as are standards made from quality materials and locally grown and sourced ingredients, such as The Spotted Trotter's cured meats. Ammazza, 591A Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, 404-228-1036.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Closes Temporarily
"Listeria monocytogenes" is a serious food-borne bacterial infection that can prove fatal. When it was discovered in a random pint of ice cream, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams moved swiftly to counter the contamination and closed all of its stores, including the three Atlanta stores. The company, on its web site, promises to work diligently with authorities and determine how the infection occurred so it can get its three stores up and running as soon as possible. As they hadn't been located long in Atlanta, fans will welcome their return.
Valenza Restaurant Offers Special Menus
In Italian tradition, Sunday is the day when families gather for a meal. While still offering the regular Valenza dinner menu, the restaurant marks each Sunday night for “Notte di Famiglia” where chef Matt Swickerath will prepare a family-style supper including choices for children. In addition, Valenza features regional wines by the carafe for $20 or half carafe for $10. For reservations or additional information, call 404-969-3233. Dinner nightly. Valenza Restaurant, Village Parkplace Brookhaven, 1441 Dresden Dr. NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta, GA 30319, 404-969-3233.
Southern Sunday Suppers at HAVEN
Every Sunday evening, HAVEN will offer fried chicken Sunday Supper featuring crispy fried Springer Mountain chicken served with buttermilk biscuits and a choice of two sides including whipped potatoes, braised greens or mac ‘n’ cheese for $22. The regular dinner menu and HAVEN’s D’Vine Sundays wine special will also be offered. For reservations or additional information, call 404-969-0700. HAVEN, Village Parkplace Brookhaven, 1441 Dresden Dr. NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta, GA 30319, 404-969-0700.
JCT. Kitchen & Bar's Fixed-Price Sunday Supper
JCT. Kitchen & Bar offers a fixed-price Sunday supper that features its famous deviled eggs and farm salad for the table, followed by a choice of several main dishes, three sides (also for the table) and a single dessert. Mains could include black skillet fried chicken, cast-iron roasted quail, and grass-fed-beef meatloaf, among other options. Sides lean toward Southern classics, such as mac 'n' cheese, green bean casserole and, of course, collard greens. Cost is $26 per person, plus tax and gratuity. JCT. Kitchen & Bar, Westside Urban Market, 1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Ste. 18, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-355-2252.
One Eared Stag’s Monday Night Fried Chicken
One Eared Stag chef Robert Phalen is joining with local brewer Monday Night Brewing to offer One Eared Stag’s Monday night fried chicken. An order will include three pieces of chicken and two side items for $15. Guests also may upgrade to a whole chicken for $22 and two whole chickens for $32. This special feast will take place Mondays starting at 5 p.m. One Eared Stag, 1029 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-525-4479.
Growing up in north Georgia and the Carolinas, Brian Carson began his life's work by cooking breakfast for himself and cornbread for his grandfather's dinner when he was just eight years old. Even then, he experimented with the recipe until he had improved it. A graduate of the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy in Washington State, Carson worked at a private club in Montana before returning to Atlanta in 2011. After contributing his talents to 4th & Swift and Gunshow, he has taken over at The Pig & The Pearl. The Pig & The Pearl, Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Ave. NW, Ste. 14180, Atlanta, GA 30363, 404-541-0930.
Returning to Atlanta after working with several of the city's top restaurants, Matthew Ridgway will take over as chef in June at Gypsy Kitchen and its sibling The Southern Gentleman. Ridgway worked as chef de partie under chef Joël Antunes at Joël and as sous chef of Pricci and Veni Vidi Vici. A Johnson & Wales University alum, Ridgway accompanied Antunes to New York to reopen The Oak Room as chef de cuisine. Owner and chef of The Pass, Ridgway is also the charcuterie craftsman of PorcSalt, which he created to produce local, artisanal products from pasture-raised duck and pork. His clients include Café Boulud and Le Bernardin. In coming back to the South, Ridgway says he looks forward to having the benefits of a longer growing season and a tight-knight chef community that's mutually supportive. Gypsy Kitchen, Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-939-9840.
Longtime Atlanta chef Todd Richards has left The Shed at Glenwood and The Pig & The Pearl for White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails. The downtown restaurant, a gleaming modern space, specializes in Southern flavors and raw materials, all of which are in Richards' comfort zone. He anticipates having a new menu around mid-July. White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, 260-270 Building, 270 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-524-7200.
Having arrived in Atlanta from Chicago's Davanti Enoteca in July 2013, Jonathan Beatty took over the kitchen at ECCO from Craig Richards, who now helms Ford Fry's St. Cecilia. Beatty left ECCO at the end of January, and its owning organization, Fifth Group Restaurants, says it will conduct a national search for a replacement. We don't expect to see changes in the restaurant's philosophy, as it likely will continue to focus on Mediterranean and European fare, with house-made pasta and pizza at its core, but the specifics may as a new chef puts his or her stamp on dishes. ECCO, Atlanta Fencing Club Building, 40 Seventh St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-347-9555.
Ford Fry's Rocket Farm Restaurants is an organization on the move, with seven restaurants already rolling and here comes the eighth. Fry will take over the space abandoned by Abattoir, which owner Anne Quatrano closed on March 28. Fry is said to be preparing to open a steakhouse there. Well-established in the Westside, Fry has JCT. Kitchen & Bar in the same building that houses Quatrano's Bacchanalia, Quinones at Bacchanalia and Star Provisions. Also in the area is his seafood operation, The Optimist, which will get a sister restaurant in Inman Park later this year. Hyper-busy Fry has just launched Superica, a Tex-Mex joint in Krog Street Market, and The El Felix in Alpharetta's Avalon development. Abattoir, White Provision Building, 1170 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-892-3335.
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