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, no phone.
As Decatur continues to develop as a fine dining destination, owners Michael Lo and George Yu along with assistant general manager Damiano Pak have opened long-awaited Makan in the Courtyard Atlanta Decatur Downtown – Emory. Pronounced “ma-kun,” the word is an Indonesian or Malay term meaning “eat.” Inspired by Asian street food and traditional Asian comfort food that you might find in market stalls in cities like Hong Kong, Taiwan or Seoul, the cuisine is based on the threesome's culinary heritage. Yu is the executive chef, and he created a menu that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients in such dishes as Korean seafood pancakes and Taiwanese five-spice fried chicken. Large-format family meals and other communal dining opportunities will be a part of the scene. Future plans call for whole-animal cookouts on the patio and other exciting and exotic events. Lunch & Dinner daily. Makan, Courtyard Atlanta Decatur Downtown - Emory, 130 Clairemont Ave., Ste. 100, Decatur, GA 30030, 404-565-4510.
The Pig & The Pearl has opened in Atlantic Station. The work of Cindy Shera, her spouse Todd Martin and chef Todd Richards, all of The Shed at Glenwood, The Pig & The Pearl fuses the workings and product of the smokehouse with the tastes and content of the raw bar. This unique chef-driven concept includes the sweet domain governed by pastry chef Megan Brent, who turns out off-the-wall desserts such as the signature chocolate milkshake and fries. The Pig & The Pearl, Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Ave. NW, Ste. 14180, Atlanta, GA 30363, 404-541-0930.
After years of having its brew made in South Carolina under contract, Wild Heaven finally has come home to roost, joining two other local craft breweries, BlueTarp, the first, and Three Taverns Brewery. Wild Heaven had already become very popular with its Ode to Mercy, an Imperial Brown Ale. On the opposite end of the scale, Let There Be Light is a very flavorful American pale ale. Tours and tastings are Friday (5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.-4 p.m.), and you must be over 21 Friday and Saturday. Kids are welcome Sunday, and plenty of buzz-free beverages will be on offer for them. Wild Heaven, 135B Maple St., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-614-0006.
When the Hyatt Regency Atlanta was built in the 1960s, it was the stepping stone to fame for its architect, John Portman. Signature elements of his hotels are his atria. At this property, his launch project, he created the blue-topped rotating Polaris space. But it had been closed for a decade as surrounding taller buildings affected its views. Now reopened, Polaris serves small plates and intriguing libations. While the wine list isn't exciting, the comfortable seating, music and conversation-friendly ambience create a sure-to-please after-work environment. The menu will change frequently. Polaris, 265 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-577-1234.
Smokebelly is a chef-driven barbecue joint from the team behind Tin Lizzy's Cantina and several other Atlanta restaurants. The executive chef for the operation is Darrell Rice, who also oversees the company's other venues. Rice plans on showcasing American barbecue influenced by techniques from several regions of the country, buttressed by an extensive craft beer and craft cocktail selection. Plans call for Sunday Gospel brunch to follow shortly after the restaurant’s opening, and the place’s own house band will perform classic rock from The Allman Brothers to Johnny Cash. Smokebelly, 128 E. Andrews Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-848-9100.
In 2005 Nadia DeMessa, a native of Jamaica, launched the city's first licensed dessert food truck, Yum Yum Cupcake & More. Now with a fleet of three trucks done up in dashing pink, she has opened a small (500 square feet) dessert bakery called Yum Yum Dessert Co. We're especially fond of the croissants, which sport the requisite flakey texture and buttery flavor. Lemon meringue tarts are another superior choice, and so are the chocolate versions. Cupcakes galore, of course, still rule, and now coffee service has been added, along with indoor and outdoor seating. Self-taught, DeMessa is proud to come from a long line of bakers. Yum Yum Dessert Co., 3792 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30342, 404-405-1999.
After 17 years on Ponce de Leon Avenue, The Righteous Room has stepped out into the near ’burbs and opened a spot in Brookhaven. Fans of the famed late-night spot will find the same menu right down to the vegetarian chili and the terrific burger, available to the wee hours. This branch of The Righteous Room is open for lunch and dinner and is open late. The original is located at 1051 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, at N. Highland Ave., Plaza Theatre shopping center, 404-874-0939. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Righteous Room, Old Five Points Shopping Center, 2142 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30319, 770-559-5678.
Ian Mendelsohn, former beverage director for The St. Regis Atlanta, and his wife Susan have opened Vine & Tap, a wine and brews bar in Buckhead. Zeb Stevenson, formerly with Livingston Restaurant + Bar and now executive chef at PARISH Foods & Goods, consulted on the menu, which offers a raft of small plates and tapas of Mediterranean culinary inspiration. No liquor is served, so the focus is entirely wine and brews. Mendelsohn has the right background for such a project, having served as sommelier everywhere from Windows on the World to The Mirage in Las Vegas before coming to the St. Regis. He promises to draw his wines from small producers from around the world. At least two taps will be devoted to local brews, Monday Night and SweetWater. Vine & Tap, 2770 Lenox Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, 404-600-5820.
Chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere opened a second Bantam + Biddyon January 21, 2014. The newest location of the fast-casual concept is in the heart of Midtown on Crescent Avenue, and makes the third restaurant from the duo; the other two are Bantam + Biddy in Ansley Mall and Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station. In addition to offering the same regional and pasture-raised poultry and organic, seasonal vegetables as at the other two establishments, the new restaurant has a caffeinated bonus: an espresso bar serving Batdorf & Bronson coffee. Farm-raised eggs from a local source, gluten-free offerings, meatloaf made from White Oak Pastures beef from near Albany, Ga., and sustainably raised pork are all part of the pair’s philosophy. A kids’ menu for children 10 and under also focuses on healthy fare. Bantam + Biddy, 1050 Crescent Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-835-6450.
St. Cecilia by Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry has opened, replacing Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s BluePointe in Buckhead’s Pinnacle Building across from Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. Seating 160 patrons, the restaurant is the design work of The Meyer Davis Studio. The massive, light-filled 11,000-square-foot space features a second floor private room that holds a hidden flat-screen TV. Playful, European beach-inspired photographs line the walls. Downstairs, three stone chef’s tables together seat 12 in front of the icy crudo bar. Continuing the hearth-centered cooking of King + Duke, which Fry opened in 2013, a roaring, mini-hearth visible in the shiny stainless steel open kitchen roasts the fish of the day. For more information, visit stceciliaatl.com or call 404-554-9995. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. St. Cecilia, Pinnacle Building, 3455 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-554-9995.
Petite Auberge Celebrates its Fortieth
Petite Auberge in Toco Hills has been a "go to" neighborhood restaurant for everything from family reunion dinners to dates to business dining for four decades. Celebrating this major milestone, the restaurant is offering dining specials and events all through August. Until August 9, Petite Auberge will feature a special three-course fixed price menu for $25, served from 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m. On Saturday, August 9, from 4 p.m.-6 p.m., there’s a free party in the olive oil and vinegar boutique. From Monday, August 11, through Saturday, August 16, $10 bottles of Coastal Vines wines will be offered at lunch and dinner. The restaurant will be closed on Thursday, August 14, for a private "1974" party. Special discounts will be offered Monday, August 18, through Saturday, August 23, at dinner, from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. "Dinner and a Diva" on Tuesday, August 19, beginning with a reception at 6:15 p.m., features an evening of dining and opera. Price for the dinner is $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and includes two glasses of wine. Monday, August 25, through Thursday, August 28, will offer 40 percent off select entrées, dinner only from 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m. For more information or reservations, call 404-634-6268 or visit www.petiteauberge.com. Petite Auberge, Toco Hills Shopping Center, 2935 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, 404-634-6268.
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.
Cibo e Beve Launches Late-Night Friday-Saturday Menu
In case you dined early and find yourself famished at midnight on Friday or Saturday, Cibo e Beve has launched a late-night menu that will feed the late-arriving hungry from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the entire regular cocktail menu will also be available late-night. Small plates fare makes up the menu, with such dishes such as meatballs in pomorola sauce (a simple tomato sauce with onions and fresh basil); fried stuffed pastas from Storico Fresco; house sausages; and popcorn with bacon fat, Calabrese oil, white balsamic glaze and Reggianito. A couple of white and red pizzas will be offered, too, as will a cooling watermelon rind sorbeto for dessert. Cibo e Beve, Belle Isle Shopping Center, 4969 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30342, 404-250-8988.
KR SteakBar Plans Expansion
KR SteakBar has announced plans to expand its space to include a private dining area able to seat up to 50 patrons. Plans call for an October 2014 opening. It will allow the restaurant to offer business conference dinners, social gatherings and, we hope, wine dinners. Dinner nightly. KR SteakBar, ADAC West, 349 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-841-8820.
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is Official Atlanta Falcons ’Cue
Fox Bros. Restaurant Group has partnered with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, through which Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q will be its official barbecue restaurant. The relationship will enable Jonathan and Justin Fox to bring their Texas-style Southern barbecue to Falcons’ tailgates, meet and greets, and special events throughout the 2014-15 season. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, 1238 DeKalb Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-577-4030.
Wine Classes at Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar
Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar has launched a series of wine classes that began Monday, April 21, 2014, with the topic "How to Drink Wine." For more information on the upcoming classes, call the restaurant at 404-343-2446. Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar, 980 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-343-2446.
Southern Proper Hospitality, which owns all the Tin Lizzy’s Cantina outposts, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Osteria Cibo Rustico and newly opened Smokebelly BBQ, has appointed Randy Lewis as executive chef for two new restaurants to open soon in Buckhead. Gypsy Kitchen and The Southern Gentleman, debuting in September, will be located in the now-developing Buckhead Atlanta luxury shopping district. The former will specialize in Spanish cuisine while the latter will offer Southern fare.
The Sandy Springs branch of Ruth's Chris Steak House closed its doors on August 17, 2014, and will reopen toward the end of September in a new location in Alpharetta. Attracted by the opportunity for enormous event space, the franchisees --- Nancy Oswald, Mark Oswald, Jim Brooks and Phil Brooks --- will move into the huge (18,000 square feet) former Rainwater location on Haynes Bridge Road and its 2.3 acres, which they have purchased. In addition to extensive event space, the facility includes a wine room. The reopening will follow a million dollar renovation. Ruth's Chris Steak House, 5788 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30328, no phone.
As she prepares to open other culinary endeavors, Asha Gomez announced on her Facebook page the closing of her popular Cardamom Hill restaurant on July 28, 2014. While acknowledging that the restaurant gave her a platform for introducing Atlantans to the food of her native Kerala, India, she said: "But at the end of the day due to the seating limitations, it was a business model that just did not work." So on to other things: In the Studioplex enclave on Auburn Avenue, she has opened Spice to Table, which serves breakfast and lunch. Also on the drawing board is Spice Road Chicken, due soon in the Krog Street Market. Already established, The Third Space hosts chef demos, classes and other culinary-focused activities. Cardamom Hill, Berkeley Heights, 1700 Northside Dr., Atlanta, GA 30318, no phone.
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