Asheville-based Tupelo Honey Cafe has opened its 13th unit and its first in Georgia in Sandy Springs. The core concept is Southern comfort fare, although much of the menu strikes us as Southern by just a hair's breadth. Expect grits "bowls" and pecan-crusted goat cheese. Brunch will be offered as of July 16 and lunch two days later. Dinner nightly. Tupelo Honey Cafe, Sandy Springs Gateway, 4600 Roswell Rd., Ste. 110, Sandy Springs, GA 30342, 404-649-6334.
Marc Forgione will open an Atlanta outpost of his beloved New York steakhouse American Cut. Located in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, it will offer a multi-level dining experience, including a rooftop terrace. Temptations for carnivores will include the 42 oz. tomahawk chop and flambéed 52 oz. porterhouse. American Cut, The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, no phone.
South City Kitchen has opened its Buckhead location in One Capital City Plaza. The project, involving 6,000 square feet of space, has been in the works for more than a year. The new South City Kitchen serves lunch Monday through Friday, dinner nightly and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Moving over from The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View, Jason Starnes leads the kitchen team as executive chef. South City Kitchen's original location opened in Midtown in 1998, and another outpost is in Vinings. South City Kitchen, One Capital City Plaza, 3350 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-815-6677.
Ricky Walia, who owns Cafe Bombay and Masti Fun Indian Street Eats, has partnered with Sunny Minhas to open another Indian restaurant, this time in suburban Roswell. Besides popular classics such as chicken tikka masala, the kitchen offers innovative fare such as lamb chops marinated in exotic spices and salmon tandoori. Cocktails will be made from liquors infused with spices, and there’s beer and wine. The 40-seat covered patio allows access to the restaurant's hookah selection. Bombay Brasserie serves lunch and dinner daily. Bombay Brasserie, 900 Mansell Rd., Ste. 1, Roswell, GA 30076, 770-299-1634.
Charlotte-based 5Church is spreading its wings, to both Charleston and soon to Atlanta. The latter operation, which opened June 24, 2016 in Colony Square, has RJ Cooper as its executive chef. Cooper, who helmed several important restaurants in Washington, D.C., is a Detroit native, but he's not unfamiliar with Atlanta, having worked with Günter Seeger at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, and Gilbert Le Coze at Brasserie Le Coze in Phipps Plaza. Teaming with corporate executive chef Jamie Lynch, Cooper will develop what the company calls a "technique-driven menu" for 5Church Atlanta. 5Church Atlanta, Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30361, 404-400-3669.
Busy Midtown restaurateurs Billy and Jenn Streck have opened Hampton & Hudson in Inman Quarter. Jason Hall, formerly of now-closed Max's Wine Dive and Mason Tavern on Clairmont Road in Decatur, heads the kitchen. Casual, sharable plates will include a pork terrine "Wellington," chicken liver mousse, chicken biscuit sliders and a chef's selection of house-made pickled vegetables; duck cassoulet is among the heftier choices. Many options are vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free. Some 20 craft beers will be offered. Hampton & Hudson, Inman Quarter, 299 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-948-2123.
Jay Swift (4th & Swift) has launched Noble Fin in Peachtree Corners, with his son, Jeb Aldrich, at the helm. Occupying a former Dreamland BBQ location, the restaurant seats 200-plus in a 5,200-square-foot space. Noble Fin is the design work of Jay George Design & Architecture, while Kristin Kong Design is responsible for the décor. Seafood is the menu's focus, appropriate in a coastal atmosphere suggested by weathered hardwood flooring. There is a raw bar serving small plates and a steakhouse menu is available, plus chicken, pork, lamb and duck. Seating is a mix of banquettes and tables, and an open kitchen fronted by a hollowed-out canoe provides additional visual interest. Noble Fin, 5260 Peachtree Pkwy., Peachtree Corners, GA 30092, 770-599-7979.
Alex Brounstein has opened his newest Grindhouse Killer Burgers, a long-anticipated Decatur location. The handsome, modern building has a rooftop sports bar, and we can only imagine how popular this will be in the fall and football season. The chain started with a small vendor spot in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, where it's still dishing up fine burgers, and now has a freestanding spot on Piedmont Road, plus two locations at the airport and one in Athens. A location on Memorial Drive is slated for next year in the Atlanta Dairies development, soon to launch. This new outpost at 433 N. McDonough St. serves lunch and dinner daily. Grindhouse Killer Burgers, 433 N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030, no phone.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar has opened an Atlanta location at Perimeter Mall. The menu is a fusion of such items as burgers and sushi rolls --- imagine a cheeseburger roll. Everything from fried pickles to yellowtail is on the wacky menu. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. NE, Dunwoody, GA 30346, 770-225-0009.
Linton Hopkins, owner of Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and several other food and wine enterprises, opened his long-awaited Linton's. Jason Paolini, a longtime team member of Hopkins' Resurgens Hospitality Group, is its executive chef. The menu derives some of its inspiration and ingredients from the botanical garden. Linton's offers three different levels of dining and seats more than 200. Guests on a rooftop deck will enjoy views of the woodland garden and the Midtown skyline. To access the restaurant, patrons must either be members of the Atlanta Botanical Garden or obtain admission to the garden. Linton’s, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-585-2061.
Barcelona Wine Bar, based in Connecticut, has opened its second Atlanta location, this one in Westside Ironworks. With features and a menu reflecting the design and cooking of its older sibling establishment, Barcelona Wine Bar Westside is led by executive chef Benjamin Meyer, formerly chef de cuisine at Iridescence in Detroit. This outpost enjoys a good view of the Midtown skyline from its vantage point, and replicates the large custom fireplace on the generous patio as at the Inman Park spot. Dinner nightly. Barcelona Wine Bar, Westside Ironworks, 1085 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-872-8000.
Kevin Gillespie has opened Communion, an innovative food truck operation and beer garden behind his Revival restaurant in Decatur. Crowds thronged, taking advantage of the lovely weather to savor such classic German beer snacks as grilled rye with Kartoffelkäse (yes, potato cheese but it contains no cheese), Bavarian-style pretzels with hot mustard and Obatzda (a spiced cheese spread), and grilled sausages with sauerkraut, mustard and beef fat-fried potatoes. When guests arrive, they purchase tokens (beverages and snacks cost between 1 and 3 tokens) for $5 each, and any unused tokens may be used on a future visit. Tax and gratuity already is figured into the pricing. Operating hours are Thursdays and Fridays beginning at 4 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays (weather permitting). Communion, 129 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030, 470-225-6770.
The former Social Vinings space has become 101 Steak, the latest venture for 101 Concepts, which owns Food 101, Cibo e Beve, Meehan’s Public House and Smoke Ring. Chef Joey Ahn takes charge as top toque and partner for the venue. The restaurant is open for dinner, with lunch and brunch to be added as soon as is practical. 101 Steak, 3621 Vinings Slope SE, Atlanta, GA 30339, 770-805-8855.
Michael Dorf, founder of New York music venue Knitting Factory, is the driving force behind this unusual concept: a single space offering wine, produced and bottled on site, chef-driven cuisine and live music. The first City Winery opened in New York City in 2008, and there are locations in Chicago, Napa and Nashville, and now Atlanta. Executive chef Jeffrey McGar offers a globally influenced, wine-focused and locally sourced cuisine with Southern flair, featuring concert-friendly small plates and shareable dishes. Dinner service nightly launches the operation, with lunch to follow at an as-yet-undetermined time. Dinner nightly. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-946-3791.
Billy and Kristin Allin, owners and founders of Decatur's Cakes & Ale, tapped sous chef Bryan Stoffelen to be executive chef of Bread & Butterfly, their newest establishment. Located in the Inman Quarter development, Bread & Butterfly focuses on French fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is only closed Mondays. You can start as early as 7:30 a.m. weekdays with a proper omelet or go American with pancakes. Roast chicken, one of the best dishes we've had at Cakes & Ale, is on this menu, too. And there's a nice Cru Beaujolais to go with it on the almost all-French wine list. Bread & Butterfly, Inman Quarter, 290 Elizabeth St. NE, Ste. F, Atlanta, GA 30307, 678-515-4536.
The Spotted Trotter owners Kevin Ouzts and his wife and business partner Megan launched Frankly in fall 2015 with a view toward selling themselves as well as sundry hot dog vendors in Atlanta the hot dogs they purvey. Attention to detail is everywhere, as this operation is a cut above the crowd. So the ketchup is Sir Kensington's and the chili is made in-house. Sausages also are on the menu, and none of the offerings break ten bucks. Frankly, Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 470-428-2509.
Justin Anthony of 10 Degrees South, Yebo and Cape Dutch has opened his long-awaited Biltong Bar. The menu offers South African pies filled with chicken curry, bobotie and vegetable curry, organic house-cured biltong (somewhat like beef jerky) and chicken potpie that we hope reminds us of Malaysian chicken pie. South African wines will be a focus, too. Lunch & Dinner daily. Biltong Bar, Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 678-515-0620.
Positioned as a little brother (or sister) to Ford Fry's The Optimist, BeetleCat has debuted in Inman Quarter in Inman Park. Executive chef Andrew Isabella is a Florida native and longtime fishing enthusiast, and has worked under Fry's mentorship for a while. Named for a 12-foot wooden gaff-rigged sailboat made since 1920 in New England by the Beetle family, the establishment offers small plates designed for sharing and anticipates a minimum of 12 varieties of oysters available daily. Fry's corporate executive pastry chef Chrysta Poulos is in charge of desserts. BeetleCat stays open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Fry, who now owns 10 restaurants in Atlanta and one, State of Grace, in Houston, Texas, has been opening eateries at a dizzying pace since launching his JCT. Kitchen & Bar. BeetleCat, Inman Quarter, 299 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 678-732-0360.
Executive chef Stephen McGuffin has opened Café Highlands in the space that formerly housed Café 640, where he served as executive chef until taking that position at Decatur's Parker's on Ponce steakhouse. The restaurant is located in The Highland Inn, in Atlanta's Poncey-Highland neighborhood. McGuffin’s résumé going back two decades ranges from French fine dining to down-home Southern fare, but his vision for Café Highlands combines progressive American cuisine with the atmosphere of a neighborhood bar and grill. Serving lunch and dinner daily and brunch Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant will offer such dishes as duck confit on sweet potato masa with salsa negra, and huckleberry pancakes at brunch. Nick Moody's beverage program showcases classic cocktails, other cask-aged libations on tap and specialty beers. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Café Highlands, The Highland Inn, 640 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-698-3509.
Minero, a casual Mexican restaurant from chef Sean Brock, has opened in Ponce City Market, once a huge Sears, Roebuck & Co. building and an iconic Atlanta landmark. Dishes are derived from the flavors and culinary traditions of Mexico, with some offerings reflecting the cuisine of formerly Mexican California. So you'll find the Minero Burrito with queso de Oaxaca, crema, hoppin' john, avocado and poblano peppers, and such tacos as al pastor, fried catfish and pork carnitas. The traditional nixtamalization process is used to make fresh masa twice a day, yielding Minero’s authentic, house-made corn tortillas. Extensive tequila and mezcal selections, a small wine list, beer and cocktails inspired by the flavors of Mexico support the fare. Minero, Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Ste. 136, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-532-1580.
Now Googie Freeze, Googie Burger Returns July 6
Throughout the month of June 2016, Googie Burger has been operating as a pop-up ice cream stand called Googie Freeze. On July 6, it reverts back to Googie Burger, with its full menu of burgers and chicken sandwiches – and ice cream, too. No decision has been made yet if this June concept change will become a permanent pattern in future years. Lunch & Early Dinner daily March to late Jan. Googie Burger, Centennial Olympic Park/Fountain of Rings, 265 Park Ave. W. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, 404-223-4664.
Bacchanalia & Star Provisions to Move
Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison announced that they'll move Bacchanalia and Star Provisions in 2017 to a building they will own independently. Star Provisions To Go will remain in its current location in the Westside Provisions District, and Little Bacch will end its short existence. Chef Joe Schafer will remain as executive chef for Bacchanalia. The new building will be erected at the Ellsworth Office Lofts site on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, about a mile and a half from the current location, and should be ready early in the year. Local firm Perkins + Will is the project's designer. With the addition of many new businesses at the Westside Provisions District, parking had become significantly constricted. Bacchanalia and Star Provisions have been at the Westside Provisions District since 1999. Bacchanalia, Westside Provisions District, 1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-365-0410.
New Look for Aria
Aria has re-opened after an extensive renovation. Stacey Kirby of Atlanta’s Seiber Design gave the popular Buckhead restaurant warm gray walls, bright canary yellow drapes and glowing backlit custom mirrors, along with new leather banquettes. An oversize antique mirror appoints the upstairs dining room and white oak tabletops serve the banquettes in the main dining room. Aria’s bar area is opened up with seating for casual diners (no reservations required), and features a new white marble bar top along a rich walnut bar. The plan is to reduce the formality of the previously stark white space, although the exterior still sparkles with its signature white tones. Aria, 490 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-233-7673.
Relocated Yebo Becomes Yebo Beach Haus
Justin Anthony closed his Yebo restaurant in Phipps Plaza and opened Yebo Beach Haus in the former Coast address that was part of Tom Catherall's Here to Serve restaurant group. There are some South African touches on the menu, such as boerewors meatballs and shrimp peri-peri tacos, but the concept overall involves more small plates than were available at the previous iteration. Anthony's wife Kelly, an interior designer, has revamped the space, giving it a beachy feeling. Yebo Beach Haus, 111 W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-869-1992.
The Big Ketch Roswell Open for Daily Lunch
Roswell's The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill opened for lunch during the week as of Monday, April 18, 2016 (it was previously only offered on weekends). Fresh fish entrées and sandwiches featuring fish highlight the menu; ample starters and salads are still available. Anyone not eager for fish will find a burger and a jerk chicken sandwich. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, 1105 Canton St., Roswell, GA 30075, 770-993-5749.
When David Berry returned to the restaurant business after a brief hiatus, he reclaimed his post at Horseradish Grill and then went on to head up the kitchen at Bellina Alimentari, newly opened in Ponce City Market. Now he has abandoned ITP (Inside the Perimeter) entirely for OTP (Outside the Perimeter) to oversee the stoves at a new operation that combines a restaurant with a music venue. MadLife Grill is located within MadLife Stage & Studios, which opened in spring 2016 in downtown Woodstock, and Berry has developed the menu. Anyone eager to reprise his North Carolina barbecue with slaw and Carolina-style barbecue sauce will find it on this menu. Pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, cornmeal-crusted fish and other iconic dishes of the contemporary Southern repertoire are among the small plates while larger dishes run from smoked chicken to steak, and include a seasonal vegetable and grain offering. Stick around for the music – this place brings the vibe of Midtown to the outer 'burbs. Lunch Sat.-Sun., Dinner Wed.-Sun. MadLife Stage & Studios, 8722 Main St., Woodstock, GA 30188, No phone.
David Connolly, who had taken over the top toque spot at TAP just last August 2015, has been replaced by Tyler Williams. Williams, an alum of Woodfire Grill, Bacchanalia and Abattoir, among others, had taken refuge in the north Georgia mountains doing a pizza operation and an organic farm. In March he announced on his Facebook page that he was packing it in to return to Atlanta and was available for an executive position. Concentrics Restaurants apparently saw opportunity. Williams says he figures to roll out a new menu for summer 2016. TAP is popular with the young Midtown set for its small and shareable plates and its intriguing beer and cocktail menus. No word on what Connolly's next assignment may be. TAP, 1180 Bldg., King & Spalding, 1180 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-347-2220.
After more than four decades in its location on Cheshire Bridge Road, Alfredo's has closed as the property has been sold and will be redeveloped as an apartment complex. Owner Perry Alvarez says he is trying to find another location. Alfredo's, 1989 Cheshire Bridge Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, no phone.
Celebrity chef Marvin Woods has closed his barely year-old Asante in downtown Atlanta and plans to move it to an undisclosed address. According to a message on his restaurant's website, he will take the summer to build out the new location. Asante, 250 Park Ave. West NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, no phone.
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