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News for Restaurants in Atlanta
January 2009 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Cellar 56 Cellar 56, with Paul Agnelli as top toque, opened in Buckhead and features a cellar of affordably priced boutique wines and a menu of small plates. Of the 56 wine choices, 30 are offered by the glass and by the taste-size, and are priced at $24 a bottle, or $3-$6 for either a taste-size pour or a full-glass pour. The remaining 26 wines are offered by the bottle, and are priced variously. The menu ranges from regional savory dishes such as shrimp on grits to sweets like bread pudding. The charming atmosphere provides a respite from Buckhead's busy lifestyle. Agnelli formerly cooked at The Capital Grille and Van Gogh's. Cellar 56, East Andrews Square, 56 E. Andrews Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-869-1132.
 
The huge space that once was Emeril's Atlanta operation seems to draw dramatic interiors. Gone is the huge "E" that once adorned the wall above the bar. But equally dramatic is the giant (ten-foot) brass Buddha from Thailand that now dominates the space. In place of a Cajun-influenced enterprise, Aja, as the new restaurant is called, offers contemporary Asian fare. Tom Catherall's Here to Serve Restaurant Group is the mastermind behind this venture. Dishes are served family-style, so are designed for sharing. There's an extensive dim sum list, making small-plate dining very enjoyable, and the main dishes focus on poultry and seafood. Vegetarians should be pleased with the preparations that will suit their needs, and the willingness to substitute tofu for other proteins on most main dishes. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Aja, The Alliance Center, 3500 Lenox Rd., Ste. 100, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-231-0001.
 
Greazy Spoon Development Company is opening its sixth Marlow's Tavern location. The restaurant seats 100 inside, and another 50 patrons on the patio. Marlow's fans will find the same menu as at the company's five other locations. The focus is on American tavern fare, including a fine burger; lots of small plates, such as "firecracker shrimp"; fish tacos made with blackened tilapia, black bean corn salsa, and smoked chili cream; a chicken panino; and focaccia. A good menu for kids also is offered. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Marlow's Tavern, 1950 Satellite Blvd., Duluth, GA 30097, 770-622-2033.
 
Tin Lizzy's Cantina opened Jan. 9 in Grant Park. The new location will offer the original menu, including gourmet soft tacos, a variety of dips and fresh salads, as well as the restaurant's extensive margarita list, signature cocktails and more than 30 beer selections. From-scratch dishes include the guacamole, made three times a day, fresh salsa, fish tacos with poblano tartar sauce and pickled jalapeños, and the buffalo chicken taco. Tin Lizzy's also features 30 different premium tequilas. Guests will experience the same converted-grocery store layout along with the outdoor patio that offers a commanding view of Atlanta's skyline and overlooks the Oakland Cemetery in Grant Park. Tin Lizzy's plans to expand the patio in spring 2009 to include more seating and another full-service bar. Tin Lizzy's Cantina's other location is in Buckhead. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Tin Lizzy's Cantina, 412 Memorial Dr. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, 404-554-8220.
 
Atlanta chef Scott Serpas has opened his first eponymous restaurant, Serpas, at The Pavilion at Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward historic district. Serpas' menu features American cuisine drawn largely from the chef's native New Orleans, where his father was a cook and where family dining was a daily event. Southwestern accents may appear in some of the dishes. Such classics as oyster stew, braised short ribs with cast iron potatoes and horseradish cottage cheese, and lemon rhubarb cake with coriander cream hint at the tastes to come. Serpas is located in a historic 1900s cotton storage factory overlooking Auburn Avenue. Renovation has preserved several of the building's original elements to ensure retaining its rustic form. Dinner Mon.-Sat.
 
Exurban Canton, named for the eponymous city in China, is becoming a dining destination in its own right. Goin' Coastal has opened with a view toward regional seafood preparations and sustainability. Dishes include such Southern classics as she-crab soup, a line-up of po' boys, low country bouillabaisse, and the Southern fried platter. The short wine list is very intelligently composed. At the moment, dinner only is served, and stops serving at 9 p.m.; lunch may be added later. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Goin' Coastal, 125 W. Main St., Canton, GA 30114, 770--479-3737.
 
The former Mick's near the Decatur Square has been transformed into a contemporary steakhouse. The interior, completely renovated and now sporting two stone-faced fireplaces, eliminates all traces of the former establishment. Parker's on Ponce is an independently owned steakhouse with a wide price range of $16-$52 (porterhouse for two) for steaks. Intriguing sounding dishes include the Irish onion soup, made with Guinness, black truffle mac ‘n' cheese and pecan pie sundae. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Parker's on Ponce, 116 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-924-2230.
 
Who out there doesn't remember Isabel Sanford in her role as "Weezy" (Louise Jefferson)? The character was first seen in the series All in the Family, then in its spin-off in The Jeffersons. Sanford divided her time between homes in Los Angeles, where she died in 2006, and Atlanta. Now her son, Sanford Sanford, has opened Weezy's Movin' on Up Café Jazz & BBQ in Johns Creek to celebrate her memory. The establishment will focus on barbecue (including the rarely seen rib tips), catfish, and cobblers for dessert, along with live music. Dinner Thurs.-Sun. Weezy's Movin' on Up CafĂ© Jazz & BBQ, Medlock Bridge Shopping Center, 10270 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek, GA 30097, 770-496-4363.
 

News Bytes

Doc Chey's Marks Chinese New Year with Two-week-long Celebration
The Year of the Ox will be celebrated at Doc Chey's Noodle House, which offers, freshly-wok'd noodles, stir-fries and handmade dim sum inspired by the cuisines of China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Doc Chey's will start the celebrations on Sun., Jan. 25 with a Chinese New Year's Eve party. Each guest will receive a traditional Chinese red envelope containing a good luck surprise when they wear a red article of clothing (believed to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune). During the following two weeks, Doc Chey's Lucky Chinese New Year Platter will be available, offering peanut noodles for life longevity, shrimp rolls for happiness and dumplings for wealth for $12. The annual lion dance performs at 4:30 p.m. at Doc Chey's Virginia-Highland and 5:30 p.m. at Doc Chey's Emory. Lunch Mon.-Sat.; Dinner nightly. Doc Chey's Noodle House, 1556 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-378-8188.
 
Antica Posta Starts Sunday Lunch
Antica Posta Tuscan Restaurant & Bar has started serving lunch on Sundays from noon-3 p.m. Saturday lunch, begun earlier, continues. One of the favorite menu items is the Betti family's finocchiona, the fennel-scented salami that the restaurant makes. Antica Posta Tuscan Restaurant & Bar, 519 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-262-7112.
 


Chef Shuffle

Lenard Robinson, former executive chef-owner of Les Fleurs de Lis Creole Eatery in the downtown Healy Building, now is the executive chef at Peasant Bistro. In addition, he's planning to open in the former Les Fleurs de Lis space an operation to be called Burgernuts, which he says will specialize in burgers, including organically raised turkey and vegetarian burgers, as well as donuts, some to be filled with homemade fruit jams. Opening should occur sometime in March. Peasant Bistro, Centennial Park West Condominium, 250 Park Ave. West NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, 404-230-1724.
 
Chef David Hartshorn has departed from Einstein's, moving to the new steakhouse in Decatur, Parker's on Ponce, leaving Kevin Osella in charge of the Einstein's operation. Osella was the launch executive chef at Atlanta Fish Market when it opened in 1993, and prior to that was at Buckhead Diner. Einstein's, 1077 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-876-7925.
 
Chef William Sigley has departed AquaKnox, leaving the stirring of the pots to David Craine. Sigley came well-positioned to command a Las Vegas-style restaurant, as he opened Todd English's Olives in the Bellagio and cooked for Wolfgang Puck for a half-dozen years. Sigley has joined Here to Serve, Tom Catherall's clutch of restaurants, and will be executive chef at Aja, which replaces Emeril Lagasse's Atlanta operation. AquaKnox, Terminus, 3280 Peachtree Rd. NW, Ste. 200, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-477-5600.
 

Closings

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Atlanta to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. Bazzaar, R.I.P.

Perhaps the first of the important Atlanta restaurants to fall to the faltering economy, Gary Mennie's Taurus has closed after a not quite four-year run. Launched as a steakhouse, it soon expanded its menu to embrace other dishes, and became noted for its intelligent seafood preparations. Its contemporary style of cooking included the offering of tiny desserts for a tiny price. The talented Mennie likely will surface in another spot in Atlanta, while many of his staffers are reported to have been absorbed already at Scott Serpas' soon-to-open operation. Taurus, Brookwood Village Shopping Ctr., 1745 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, no phone.
 
Having gained fame and a following at her Roman Lily Café, Calavino Donati, who briefly owned another concept in Decatur, folded her Calavino's Mangi Questo. The restaurant, located in a spot in Oakhurst that has seen more than its share of establishments over the years, tried to mesh Italian cooking with some Southern touches and a Mediterranean fillip here and there. Calavino's Mangi Questo, Oakhurst Village, 350 Mead Rd., Decatur, GA 30030, no phone.
 
Atlanta's oldest continuously operating restaurant, Atkins Park had ventured into the ‘burbs, opening a location in Cumming, but that now has closed, leaving its remaining two units, the original in Virginia-Highland and the second in Smyrna. Atkins Park, Vickery Village, 5820 S. Vickery, Cumming, GA 30040, no phone.
 
Founded in Decatur, Crescent Moon provided breakfasts and lunches to a local crowd before moving to larger digs and then expanding to Northlake and beyond to the Mall of Georgia. But all has come to an end, and the Decatur location has become a Thumbs Up! Diner, which specializes in breakfasts. Crescent Moon, Northlake Mall, 4800 Briarcliff Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30345, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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