News for Restaurants in Atlanta
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Atlantans were startled to find one of their favorite chefs, Joël Antunes, gone from his post at The Plaza hotel's Oak Room after only a few months. Antunes left his eponymous restaurant in Atlanta only a year ago, departing for New York and what everyone hoped would be fame and fortune, leaving his establishment in the hands of his longtime friend and sous chef Cyrille Holota. Holota confirms that Antunes will not be returning to Joël and is no longer affiliated with the restaurant. Peter Krehan, who served as maître d' at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, during Antunes' tenure at The Dining Room, summed up for us how many of us feel: "He's one of the most creative chefs I've ever worked with," he told us. But Antunes may have already headed that pick-up truck of his southward as he was reported recently lunching with Here to Serve founder Tom Catherall at one of Catherall's restaurants. We await the news. Joël, The Piazza at Paces, 3290 Northside Pkwy. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, 404-233-3500.
FLIP has added Sunday lunch and dinner to its openings. Lunch & Dinner daily. FLIP, 1587 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404-352-3547.
Silk Asian Steak & Seafood offers $8 rice bowl lunch specials, an economy-sensitive option that should appeal to those watching their wallets. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Silk Asian Steak & Seafood, Metropolis, 919 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 678-705-8888.
Portofino has convinced chef Marty Eberly to serve his lasagna once a week. While it's not on the restaurant's regular menu, it will appear on Sundays for $10. Portofino suggests patrons consider placing their orders upon making reservations to guarantee availability. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Portofino, 3199 Paces Ferry Pl., Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-231-1136.
Portofino's theme for March is the food and wine of Le Marche, a region in eastern central Italy on the Adriatic coast. Appetizers include a rich porcini, beef and barley soup and a shellfish pot containing mussels, clams and shrimp in a white wine broth. In Le Marche, people claim to eat more beef than anywhere else in Italy, so Portofino offers a grilled skirt steak with truffle-scented sunchokes and roasted cremini mushrooms. March features two white wines: from Boccadigabbia comes a Ribona that is crisp and light and from Umani Ronchi comes a single-vineyard Verdicchio, Casal di Serra, that goes against varietal tradition and drinks like a Chardonnay as it's rich and round with nice ripe tropical fruit. Portofino, 3199 Paces Ferry Pl., Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-231-1136.
At Kozmo Gastro Pub, owner Oswald Morgan has introduced Martinis on Monday and Comfort Tuesdays. Take advantage of mixologist Jimmy Rudnick's cocktail composition skills by joining him at 6:30 p.m. in the bar area of the restaurant, where he teaches cocktail-making classes that will feature selections from the restaurant's specialty drink menu and even some that aren't on the menu. Kozmo cocktails are priced from $5.50 to $8. Comfort Tuesdays feature fried chicken served with garlic green beans and the choice of mac ‘n' cheese or mashed potatoes for the specialty price of $11.99. In the coming weeks, look for an expanded children's menu, now in the works. Kozmo Gastro Pub, 11890 Douglas Rd., Ste. 105, Alpharetta, GA 30005, 678-526-6094.
Under its new chef Jahleel Lambre, Justin's Restaurant & Bar reopened for weekday lunch service as of February 1, with a menu of both light and hearty options. A full range of appetizers, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, salads, soups and gumbos crafts a menu with an approachable price point. Patrons will look for the fried catfish po' boy, a tuna melt wrap with Swiss cheese on grilled toast, seafood gumbo, and shredded lemon pepper chicken salad. Management's driving concept is to restore the "businessman's lunch" with an inexpensive price point. Justin's Restaurant & Bar, 2200 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-603-5353.
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