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News for Restaurants in Atlanta
May 2011 Archive

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May 27 saw the opening of Decatur's Big Tex Cantina, a second endeavor of the Fox Bros., Jonathan and Justin, who so firmly raised the bar on barbecue. A lovely large painting of guinea fowl in the hen yard by the American folk artist John Anderson dominates the main dining room. A screened-in patio provides a fine comfort zone. Everything on the menu evokes Texas, including the brisket-filled tacos and the chicken-fried steak. Despite a definite meat inclination, there are vegetarian-friendly dishes, including the mashed potatoes and gravy. Desserts intrigue with a Dr. Pepper chocolate cake and chocolate buttermilk pie. Have a beer, of course. Lunch & Dinner daily. Big Tex Cantina, 308 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-337-3939.
The Castellucci family, which operates three Sugo restaurants in metro Atlanta and The Iberian Pig in Decatur, has launched a new endeavor dedicated to southern Italian food, Double Zero Napoletana. Daughter Stephanie Castellucci will serve as manager, while chef Chad Crete, chef and managing partner at The Iberian Pig, and executive chef John Coley have crafted the menu. The menu features an extensive selection of southern Italian cured meats and cheeses, pizza, fresh handmade pastas, entrées, desserts and more. Laws promulgated by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which regulates the production of Neapolitan pizza, govern the pizza making at Double Zero. The wine program offers a comprehensive list of southern Italian wines, featuring 100 selections with 70 percent from southern Italy and 30 percent from other regions of Italy. Fifty wines are offered by the taste, glass and bottle. House red, white and rosé wines produced in Campania for Double Zero will also be offered. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Double Zero Napoletana, 5825 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30328, 404-991-3666.
Donald Sargent and Clarissa Morelli, owners of Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream & Desserts, will open a new location at 1220 Caroline Street in the Edgewood Shopping District Sat. June 18, at noon, offering two hours of free ice cream as a launch teaser. The store, formerly a Cold Stone Creamery, contains a milkshake bar and a sundae bar with rotating selections that Woodfire Grill executive chef/partner Kevin Gillespie, who is a partner in this new Morelli's location, will create each season. Daily-changing ice cream, gelati and sorbet flavors ($1.70-$8.25) offered at the original location of Morelli's will be featured along with additional shakes and sundaes. Ice cream to-go may be purchased in pints ($8) or quarts ($12.75). Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream & Desserts, Edgewood Shopping District, 1220 Caroline St., Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-584-2500.

News Bytes

Quanto Basta Acquires New Owners
In March 2011, founder John Agri sold Quanto Basta in Cumming, Ga., to Ron Magliochetti and Eric Webber. Charles Richard Sykes has been named executive chef for the rekindled operation, which looks forward to upgrading its wine list to include fine, small-producer Italian wines. The new owners took over the adjacent space, and have incorporated it into the existing restaurant as a private event area accessed via a simple pass-through. The menu won't change radically, we're told, but execution and specific presentations will be slowly upgraded. The restaurant has a loyal following, and the new owners wisely seek to assure them that favorite items will still be available. Look for interesting wine dinners in the near future. Quanto Basta, 2980 Buford Hwy., Cumming, GA 30041, 678-455-3444.
Straits in Atlanta Now Offers Lunch Tuesday-Saturday
Chef Chris Yeo and his Atlanta partner, rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, own and operate this branch of Straits Restaurant, a Singaporean restaurant that specializes in small plates. Since its opening, the restaurant has been doing only brunch on Sunday and dinner, but now has added lunch Tues.-Sat. The menu is a veritable "walkabout" of the cuisines of the East, from Thailand and Vietnam to Indonesia. Straits Restaurant, 793 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-877-1283.
Continental Park Café Changes Name
Sitting atop one of the historic spaces in the Village of Stone Mountain, Continental Park Café has changed its name to Artisan Restaurant, but ownership and staff remain the same. Although a few new Italian dishes have been added to the menu, the restaurant retains its signature almond chicken salad, which may be served packed into a croissant, and its milkshakes. We don't know how to make it through an Atlanta summer without at least one of the cappuccino shakes. All the tempting pastries, cakes and ice creams remain on offer as well. Continental Park Café, 941-A Main St., Stone Mountain, GA 30083, 770-413-6448.

Chef Shuffle

Announced on Tuesday, May 31, chef Cyrille Holota, formerly at now-closed Joël, leaves his executive chef post at French American Brasserie to take over the helm at Atlanta's BLT Steak. Departing BLT Steak chef Jean-Luc Mongodin leaves for London to assume the top toque duties at the Arts Club. Chef Holota already is planning classes and special events for the restaurant, where he has been doing a soft transition for several weeks. Fans of Joël and F.A.B. will be delighted to learn Holota will not be leaving Atlanta. BLT Steak, W Atlanta – Downtown, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-577-7601.


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.

Au Pied de Cochon, the French bistro in the InterContinental Buckhead hotel, will close its "porte" as a purveyor of French fare and open with a new name and a new concept this summer. It will no longer be a 24-hour operation, and will feature more regional cuisine with an emphasis on Southern cooking, according to a spokesman for the hotel. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Au Pied de Cochon, InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, 3315 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-946-9070.
Planning a renovation and updating of their flagship Hsu's and Pacific Rim Bistro in downtown Atlanta, longtime restaurateurs Raymond and Anna Hsu have closed their seven-year-old Silk Asian Steak & Seafood. The closing will give the couple an opportunity to expand other concepts as well. For example, their AZN (pronounced Asian) in Naples, Fla., might be duplicated in Charlotte, N.C. Silk Asian Steak & Seafood, Metropolis, 919 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, no phone.

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