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News for Restaurants in Atlanta
March 2009 Archive

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News Bytes

Atlantans Learn of Favorite Chef's Departure from NYC Restaurant
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.
Burger Beef-Up
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.
Rice Bowl Repast?
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’s Ten-Dollar-Lasagna Sundays
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 Celebrates Le Marche in March
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.
Specials at Kozmo Gastro Pub
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.
Changes at Justin's Benefit Diners
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.

Chef Shuffle

Following the closure of his restaurant, Taurus, chef Gary Mennie worked briefly with Scott Serpas at his newly opened, eponymous establishment. But now Mennie will become executive chef at Livingston, the new restaurant to open in the massively renovated Georgian Terrace hotel. Mennie, who also served as executive chef at Canoe, says he's glad he is able to stay in Atlanta (and Atlanta is glad he is able to stay in Atlanta). Livingston is slated to launch in April. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Livingston, The Georgian Terrace, 657 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-897-5000.
Chef Cameron Thompson has taken over the kitchen at TWO Urban Licks, where the Virginia native has worked on the culinary team for nearly four years. In addition to Concentrics, Thompson has worked with Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, at its private dining facility 103 West, and with chef Kevin Rathbun as sous chef at Buckhead Diner. He also headed up the Corner Café, then later served as executive chef at Buckhead Diner. TWO Urban Licks, 820 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306, 404-522-4622.
The Georgian Room at The Cloister at Sea Island has lost Scott Crawford to The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, N.C. Replacing him is Daniel Zeal, a Crawford understudy at the Georgian Room. Georgian Room, The Cloister at Sea Island, 100 Cloister Dr., Sea Island, GA 31561, 888-732-4752; 912-638-3611.


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.

Responding to economic pressures, Bennett Brown, CEO of Atlanta's longtime barbecue caterer, LowCountry Barbecue, has closed his suburban restaurant after two years. The company continues to operate its catering business, which has purveyed South Carolina-style barbecue across the planet. Brown also has closed his other two retail outlets, which were designed only for "to-go" orders. LowCountry Barbecue, Stone Bridge Promenade, 3455 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste 201, Suwanee, GA 30024, no phone.
Closing after some multiple decades in this location, Pano's & Paul's will reopen in November 2009 in The St. Regis Atlanta hotel, according to a spokesperson at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. The company sought to remain open in its original location until ready for the new circumstance, but the leasing of the space to an adjacent business already had occurred, leaving owner Pano Karatassos no option but to shutter on February 28. It will re-open as Pano's without the name of his original partner Paul Albrecht, who, meanwhile, has been busy developing his own restaurant enterprises with his son, Patrick. Pano's & Paul's, West Paces Ferry Shopping Center, 1232 W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, no phone.

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