FOOD FOR THOUGHT | March-April 2018

food for thought pizza

TOP PHOTO: The mushroom pizza at Genuine Pizza, new to Phipps Plaza. It comes with porcini and cremini mushrooms and Taleggio and fontina cheeses. Photo by David Danzig. 

We bring word of biscuits in the ’burbs, a taste of Spain in Inman Park, a new South City Kitchen in Alpharetta and much more.

THIS EDITION of our bimonthly Food for Thought catches you up on projects linked (or unlinked) to chefs Linton Hopkins, Bill Greenwood, Richard Blais and Floridian Michael Schwartz, along with hot chicken news and a Garden & Gun club.

Well done

 One choice of many at Maple Street Biscuit Co., open now in Woodstock and coming soon to Alpharetta. Photo: David Danzig

One choice of many at Maple Street Biscuit Co., open now in Woodstock and coming soon to Alpharetta. Photo: David Danzig

Brunch-crazed suburbanites will rejoice at the arrival of Maple Street Biscuit Co. in Woodstock (now open) and Alpharetta (coming soon).

The fast-casual recipe is simple: Make fresh, cathead-size biscuits and fill them with pecan-smoked bacon, fried chicken, sausage gravy, goat cheese (any or all); serve with sides; brew strong, delicious Red Leaf coffee; and serve from early morning through mid-afternoon.

Already a phenomenon in parts of Florida, look for a Maple Street Biscuit on a street near you soon. …

***

Star chef Linton Hopkins has finally opened C. Ellet’s Steak House at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park. It’s named for his great-grandfather, Charles Ellet Jr., a Union solider during the Civil War and a bridge-building engineer. As Food for Thought reported last year, C. Ellet’s had been slotted for a May 2017 opening.

The James Beard Award-winning Hopkins and wife Gina previously teamed on Restaurant Eugene, Holeman and Finch, Longleaf and H&F Burger. Their C. Ellet’s  is a 6,500-sq. ft. room that seats up to 200. The dining room feels like it was plucked from New Orleans’ Garden District, with an elegant design that evokes a genteel but informal Southern atmosphere, a spot for an intimate bite or a rousing party. Steaks are the stars here, and Hopkins did his research, sourcing bovines from farms in eight states, and offering a premier seafood program with cold and hot options.

 At C. Ellet’s: White Oak Pastures steak tartar with fried capers and bone marrow. Photo: David Danzig

At C. Ellet’s: White Oak Pastures steak tartar with fried capers and bone marrow. Photo: David Danzig

Baseball season opens March 29, so you still have a few non-baseball days — and those out-of-town-game days — to get your steak on. Plus, the Battery is open 365 days a year. …

***

After a misfire with the Cockentrice, Krog Street Market has welcomed Bar Mercado, a concept that that fits the Inman Park neighborhood the way a fancy hat fits a matador. The space, inspired by Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel, gets a handsome reboot with a menu of cured meats, cheeses and tapas from multiple regions of Spain. Hipster craft cocktails and Spanish wines keep the casual fiesta going beyond the comida. …

***

Florida-based celebrity chef Michael Schwartz — a restaurateur, James Beard award-winner and author — expands his empire to Phipps Plaza with Genuine Pizza, a super-approachable Italian joint with gourmet Neapolitan-style pies and toppings like short ribs and gruyere, meatballs with peppers and onions, slow-roasted pork and fig, and rock shrimp with fresh manchego cheese. With the most expensive item on the menu only  $21, it’s very un-Buckhead, price-wise.

[SEE: 13 IN GEORGIA MAKE SEMIFINALS FOR 2018 JAMES BEARD AWARDS]

Simmering

 Look for Hattie B’s Hot Chicken to set up shop soon near Little Five Points. Photo: David Danzig

Look for Hattie B’s Hot Chicken to set up shop soon near Little Five Points. Photo: David Danzig

Opening day appears imminent for the long-awaited Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, the Nashville phenom that teased Atlantans last year with brief, impact-making appearances at summer and fall festivals.

Hattie’s will take over an old laundromat near Little Five Points, serving hot chicken in six spice levels, ranging from “Southern” (no heat) to “shut the cluck up” (burn notice). …

***

The legendary Woody’s CheeseSteaks adds a second location near the East Andrews Entertainment district in Buckhead. The chopped steak/onion/Cheez Whiz creations are a 40-plus-year tradition at the original intown location on Monroe Drive. The Buckhead spot will feature an expanded menu, says owner Steven Renner, who took over Woody’s in 2010. …

***

Fans of Southern style magazine Garden & Gun likely will enjoy a brick-and-mortar experience due in spring. The Charleston-based operation plans to open Garden & Gun Club at The Battery Atlanta. Despite the “club” in its name, no membership will be required. Garden & Gun will pour cocktails and serve lunch and dinner. …

***

Fifth Group Restaurant’s footprint grows with South City Kitchen Avalon in the Alpharetta dining/retail development. The fourth South City Kitchen serves its sophisticated, seasonal, Southern food at breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and at weekend brunch. Fifth Group also plans to take over the former BrickTop’s space at Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue in Buckhead.

***

Toast

 Bill Greenwood and his wife, Rita, in an undated photo.

Bill Greenwood and his wife, Rita, in an undated photo.

Roswell lost Greenwoods on Green Street and Swallow at the Hollow at year’s end, leaving a comfort-food void in the neighborhood. Greenwoods had served stick-to-the-ribs Southern classics since 1986; Swallow at the Hollow had smoked ’que since 1999. Bill Greenwood, the man behind both spots, decided to retire. …

***

Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead, originally one of three Flip gourmet burger locations in the city, has shut down its fryers. Only the Howell Mill Road restaurant remains. The buzz about the boutique eateries, the brainchild of “Top Chef” master Richard Blais, had been eroding since Blais left Atlanta to pursue projects elsewhere. …

***

Finally, the last cow has left Cowtippers, the iconic Midtown spot that had served steaks near Piedmont Park for more than 20 years. News of a January closing prompted a community outcry and a stay of execution. That lasted only until mid-February.

::

Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and what chefs are up to in one of three categories — well done (reasons for praise), simmering (what’s in the works) and toast (what’s closed, etc.). Tips? Please email kathy@encoreatlanta.com.

fashionado