Jittery Joe's coffee shop opened in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. With nine locations in Athens, Georgia, where the operation is headquartered, and four more outside of Athens, Jittery Joe's has acquired a reputation for extensive roasting expertise using the highest quality coffee beans. This outpost offers coffee in light, medium and dark varieties; coffee beverages; pastries by 181 Sweets; and retail products, too. The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, 181 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-659-0400.
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.
Another venture from Legacy Restaurant Partners is Twin Smokers Barbecue & Bourbon in downtown Atlanta's Luckie Marietta District. The restaurant's name, “Twin Smokers,” refers to its two custom red Oyler 700 smokers: one for chicken and pork and the other for beef. The restaurant also boasts its own “wood library” for the mesquite and post oak (for beef) and hickory and white oak (for chicken and pork). The 4,000-square-foot restaurant is helmed by executive chef Chris Blobaum (Bone’s, OK Café, Blue Ridge Grill). Lunch & Dinner daily. Twin Smokers Barbecue & Bourbon, 300 Marietta Bldg., 300 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, 404-698-4707.
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.
Through his Resurgens Hospitality Group, Linton Hopkins, chef/owner of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House, has assumed management of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s cafe, now called The Cafe at Linton's in the Garden. Its menu focuses on natural meats and local produce. Hopkins, who is a frequent guest chef at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Buckhead, views "farm-to-table" as an ethic, rather than just as a way of cooking. The garden's renovation project won't be completed until 2017, but as part of that process, the cafe will morph into Linton's in the Garden, a full-service restaurant filling two stories of the contemporary glass building. When that is completed, the current cafe will house offices. The Cafe at Linton's in the Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-585-2061.
Thirteen Pies at Buckhead Atlanta represents the company's first foray outside of Fort Worth, Texas, where it was founded. Wood-burning ovens turn out a range of pies, the thirteenth of which changes every six weeks or so --- think a lobster affair with Gouda and way too many other ingredients. The best way to enjoy this establishment is to round up at least three good friends so plates may be shared as both the final tab and the portions are daunting for solo dining. Lunch & Dinner daily. Thirteen Pies, Buckhead Atlanta, 250 Buckhead Ave., Ste. 317, Atlanta, GA 30305, 678-791-1313.
University of Georgia alums and brothers Alan and Ryan Pope will open The Place in Athens, Georgia, in January 2015, virtually right across the street from the iconic Arch. Naming the restaurant after their name for their grandfather's Atlanta-based car dealership, the brothers will offer what they call refined Southern fare; for example, braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. A classic cocktails program also will be available. The lower level will be for the main service, while upstairs high-top table and bar seating will provide a more casual feel. Décor on both levels will feature rustic wood elements. The Place, 229 E. Broad St., Athens, GA 30601, no phone.
Atlanta chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere have opened the newest outpost of Bantam + Biddy at Buckhead's Lenox Square Mall, the fourth location of the fast, casual, healthy concept. All units offer the same regionally grown pastured poultry and organic, seasonal vegetables. The Lenox Square Mall edition also has an espresso bar serving Batdorf & Bronson coffee. For more information, visit bantamandbiddy.com. Bantam + Biddy, Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-841-7559.
Castellucci Hospitality Group, which also owns Sugo, The Iberian Pig and Double Zero Napoletana, opened its long-awaited Spanish Basque restaurant Cooks & Soldiers. Landon Thompson, former chef de cuisine at The Iberian Pig, helms the kitchen. The group took time to explore Basque cooking in its home turf, and the dishes to be presented bring Spain ever closer to Georgia diners. We look forward to head-on Georgia white shrimp, bacalao, clams in Basque cider, Basque pepper stew (piperade) and vieras (scallops) with blood orange. The restaurant serves dinner nightly, and on Friday and Saturday evenings the bar stays open until 2 a.m. Cooks & Soldiers, Elan Westside Apartment Bldg., 691 14th St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-996-2362.
Chef, TV host and cookbook author Marvin Woods has opened Asante in downtown Atlanta's Luckie Marietta District. Woods has developed a unique style that blends the ingredients and techniques of the Caribbean, South America, the low country and the Southern U.S. and Africa. Asante is located in the space formerly occupied by Peasant Bistro, and serves dinner nightly. Lunch is offered Monday through Friday and brunch Saturday and Sunday. Asante, 250 Park Ave. West NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, 404-893-0022.
The Southern Gentleman, by the same group that launched nearby Gypsy Kitchen, The Big Ketch and Smokebelly, has opened for dinner. Randy Lewis, who also handles the kitchen at Gypsy Kitchen, will helm this operation. The menu has some tempting items: head-on shrimp are used for the New Orleans barbecued shrimp and the shrimp and grits; rarely seen pickled shrimp; risotto made with Carolina Gold Rice; Sequatchie Cove (Tenn.) cheese on H & F (Holeman & Finch) bread. Local purveyors supply much of the raw material, including Riverview Farms for heritage pork and Tucker Farms for some of the vegetables. Dinner nightly. The Southern Gentleman, Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-939-9845.
Krog Street Market joins the ranks of food halls that have debuted around the country. The market opened November 24, 2014, and several restaurants already are up and functioning, among them The Luminary and Craft Izakaya. A total of 13 businesses had either already launched or did so that day, with more to come. In addition to restaurants, there will be market stalls selling a wide variety of interesting comestibles. Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St., Atlanta, GA 30307, no phone.
Tom Murphy and Ian Winslade, the inspired team behind Virginia Highland's Murphy’s restaurant, is introducing its latest concept, Paces & Vine, to Vinings. Paces & Vine aims to strike a balance between high-caliber cuisine and a sense of “home." The restaurant opened Friday, October 24, 2014, for dinner service and began serving brunch the next day. Lunch service debuted Monday, October 27. The cuisine, says Winslade, will be contemporary American comfort food. A well-developed beverage program, from a wine list to craft beers and cocktails, accompanies the food offerings. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Paces & Vine, Vinings Jubilee, 4300 Paces Ferry Rd. SW, Atlanta, GA 30339, 404-205-8255.
Atlanta native and “Top Chef: Las Vegas” alum Eli Kirshtein has opened his first restaurant, The Luminary, at Krog Street Market. A protégé of Richard Blais and Kevin Rathbun and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kirshtein describes his place as an American brasserie with regional influences; the moniker comes from the name of Atlanta’s historic first newspaper. The Luminary features a classically inspired menu putting an American slant on a traditional French concept --- think favorites like steak frites and croque monsieur, and more adventurous selections such as roasted chicken hearts and chicken liver mousse. It also has a sizeable raw bar, craft beer and cocktail program, and 400-square-foot patio space. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and will expand its hours and begin serving lunch in the coming weeks. The entire Krog Street Market will open in the fall, but The Luminary is the first restaurant to debut. Dinner Tues.-Sat. The Luminary, Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St., Ste. Y, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-600-6199.
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.
Wahoo! Grill Opens Adjacent Specialty Store
Located adjacent to Wahoo! Grill is Wahoo! Wine & Provisions, selling a wide variety of specialty foods and wines. Georgia items will be a focus. The store also stocks food- and wine-related gadgets and gimmicks, many making excellent gifts. The inventory includes more than 200 wines in bottles, four wines on tap and even growlers at various price points, ranging from everyday drinking to rare collectors wine. Open Tues.-Sun. Wahoo! Wine & Provisions, 1036 W. College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-687-9463.
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.
OK Cafe Struck by Fire
OK Cafe, one of the city's longest running establishments having been founded in 1987, was struck by fire in the early hours of December 7, 2014. Popular for breakfast, as well as lunch, dinner and take-out, OK Cafe is part of the same company that owns the Atlanta steakhouse Bone's and Blue Ridge Grill, the latter located only steps away from OK Cafe. OK Cafe, 1284 W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, 404-233-2888.
Macon's Dovetail Adding Lunch in 2015
Macon's Dovetail will launch lunch in January 2015, according to sous chef David Jolley. The adventurous menu changes frequently but explores new ways with Southern classics that seem updated yet solidly rooted in tradition. Along with plans for lunch service, the wine list, already somewhat expanded, is being reworked and may begin to include wines from Georgia's emerging wine world. Dovetail, 543 Cherry St., Macon, GA 31201, 478-238-4693.
Cibo e Beve Supper Club
Cibo e Beve in Sandy Springs will host “The Cibo Supper Club” every Friday and Saturday night, with two seatings: 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. These dinners will present an interactive dining experience as chef Linda Harrell will create a four-course weekly menu with accompanying wines so guests may expect a new culinary experience each week. The meal can include a variety of menu combinations, such as appetizers, paste, entrées and desserts. To start, bar manager Jonathan Turner will use the signature bar cart to discuss flavor profiles and interact with guests while constructing the evening's specialty cocktail. Harrell will talk about the dishes and wine pairings and why they are complementary. Cost is $59 per person, plus tax and gratuity. The minimum reservation per table is six and the maximum is ten. Cibo e Beve, Belle Isle Shopping Center, 4969 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30342, 404-250-8988.
Aria's executive chef, Gerry Klaskala, has served as consulting chef for Atlas restaurant to open in January 2015 in The St. Regis Atlanta. Klaskala has tapped his former chef de cuisine, Christopher Grossman, to be executive chef of Atlas. Grossman, who has cooked not only at Aria but also recently completed a turn at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., plans to tap into the area farmers markets for his produce and other raw materials. This should be an exciting launch for the 2015 new restaurant season. Atlas, The St. Regis Atlanta, 88 W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, no phone.
Zeb Stevenson is leaving his post at The Brasserie & Neighborhood Cafe at Parish to take over the helm of the kitchen at Watershed on Peachtree in the wake of the departure of longtime chef Joe Truex. Truex grabbed an opportunity to take a new assignment in Dubai. Watershed on Peachtree, The Brookwood, 1820 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-809-3561.
Watershed on Peachtree's chef Joe Truex departed in in order to leave for Dubai. The opportunity came when a former server at his restaurant, Repast, moved to Dubai, married and started a pizza operation there. When the couple decided to upscale the place and rebrand it, they reached out to Truex to come over as their consultant. Watershed on Peachtree, The Brookwood, 1820 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-809-3561.
No one can have it all, and Jonathan and Justin Fox of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q have come to realize that in a most bittersweet way. Their business has grown so rapidly that the brothers, now the official source of barbecue for the Atlanta Falcons NFL football team, closed Big Tex Decatur to devote that space and all their energies to producing the barbecue without suffering any loss of quality. So effective November 3, 2014, Big Tex Decatur closed, but the brothers will retain use of the space for the foreseeable future. Attention will now focus on completing the build-out of the new catering/commissary facility on Ottley Drive. But the brothers hope to be back in Decatur sometime in the future. Perhaps (we can only hope) the Big Tex Decatur space can one day become an outpost of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Big Tex Decatur, 308 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-377-3939.
As Thelma's Kitchen & Rib Shack moved from location to location, from Luckie Street to Marietta Street and finally to Auburn Avenue, where it replaced the vaunted Auburn Ave. Rib Shack, loyal fans followed it to enjoy the downhome Southern fare. Now we hear with great sadness that the place has closed. Thelma's Kitchen & Rib Shack, 302 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, no phone.
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