FOOD FOR THOUGHT | November-December 2018

food for thought

Barbecue and Southern comfort food in Alpharetta, Del Frisco’s

steaks in Dunwoody and fresh lobster in Buckhead are among

the new tastes to savor and anticipate.

SMOKED MEATS come to Alpharetta and lobster bellies to Lenox Square, while new life reaches Colony Square and the Atlanta BeltLine. It’s all Food for Thought.

Go to Alpharetta for King Barbecue’s pulled pork, brisket, ribs, brisket-baked beans, mac-n-cheese and more. All photos by David Danzig.

Go to Alpharetta for King Barbecue’s pulled pork, brisket, ribs, brisket-baked beans, mac-n-cheese and more. All photos by David Danzig.

Well done

Alpharetta’s mini-metropolis of Avalon, KING BARBECUE is winning hearts and taste buds with its regionally influenced ’cue — pulled pork, brisket, sausage, turkey, chicken and pork ribs. Dip into the distinctive homemade pickled bar, where free accouterments include pickled tomatoes, beets, several varieties of pickles and even ghost peppers for the daredevil diner. Sides include a dense and slightly sweet jalapeno cornbread, slaw, Brunswick stew, collards and brisket-baked beans that almost steal the show. …

Naming your restaurant “Secreto,” the Spanish word for “secret,” might not sound like savvy marketing, but word is traveling about SECRETO SOUTHERN KITCHEN & BAR’s two locations (Alpharetta and Brookhaven). Chef Boyd Rose has taken out the Southern-comfort-food playbook and cheffed-up some classics — warm pimento cheese, truffle deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes. The result: bold flavors and hearty plates. Also expect Southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits, andouille-crusted redfish and grilled apple-brined pork chops. …

You’re going for the steak, right? This is Del Frisco’s bone-in filet mignon.

You’re going for the steak, right? This is Del Frisco’s bone-in filet mignon.

Steak lovers, the Eagle has landed — the Double Eagle. Texas-based DEL FRISCO’S DOUBLE EAGLE STEAK HOUSE has joined the crowded steakhouse arena in Dunwoody’s new Perimeter Park Center, home to State Farm’s headquarters.

The Del Frisco’s space is Lone Star State-sized, an 11,000-sq. ft. stunner by the Johnson Studio that begins with a dramatic ascending entrance and uplighting that illuminates a tunnel of 2,200 bottles of wine. Another 2,500 bottles of wine “float” around the space in a sprawling exposed cellar.

The chain eatery’s menu features USDA Prime wet- and dry-aged cuts, including the namesake “Double Eagle Steak,” a 32-ounce, 45-day dry-aged, double bone-in prime ribeye. Carnivores can also choose a rare marbleized Wagyu steak — Japanese A5, Australian Wagyu or a cut from Rosewood, Texas. Double Eagle also flies in seafood daily, has an ocean of fancy wine and cocktails, and a butter cake that’s one of the best non-chocolate desserts around. …

The Maine-style lobster roll at Buckhead’s Cousins comes chilled with mayo.

The Maine-style lobster roll at Buckhead’s Cousins comes chilled with mayo.

If you can’t get your claws on enough fresh lobster, head to Lenox Square mall and COUSINS MAINE LOBSTER. Two cousins from the Northeast started the lobster-centric food truck four years ago in Los Angeles. They soon found themselves on national TV, pitching the idea on “Shark Tank,” the ABC competition show for budding entrepreneurs, where they landed enough funding to go nationwide.

Strap on your bib and order lobster rolls — Maine style (chilled with a touch of mayo) or Connecticut style (served warm with butter and lemon), plus lobster tacos, a lobster B.L.T., lobster grilled cheese, lobster tots and lobster bisque. Clams, crab and shrimp also appear on the menu but clearly, the lines out the door are for the lobster rolls, heaping piles of lobster belly meat stacked in perfect hotdog-style buns, steamed just the way they should be.

Simmering 

The redeveloping COLONY SQUARE in Midtown Atlanta has landed its showcase restaurant. Developers of the $160 million renovation say ISELLE KITCHEN + BAR, an Italian spot, will open in fall 2019. The menu will feature ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, speck-and-blueberry bruschetta, seared Ora king salmon and burrata gnocchi. Iselle will join a 28,000-sq. ft. food hall and several other new restaurants as Colony Square tries to reassert its relevance in a sea of new intown mixed-use properties. …

Le-Colonial-The-Shops-Buckhead-Atlanta.jpg

LE COLONIAL, an upscale French-Vietnamese spot, comes to the SHOPS AT BUCKHEAD in spring 2019 from the owner groups behind Le Bilboquet (also in the Shops) and Umi (on Peachtree Road). Le Colonial is already open in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco, and features what are described as “romantic, turn-of-the-century, tropical environments.” Atlanta’s version will reportedly be the most modern interpretation of that concept. Look for such specialties as Bo Luc Lac Shaking Beef, crispy wild-caught red snapper and spicy yellowfin tuna tartare with soy caviar and taro chips. …

RYAN GRAVEL, the godfather of the Atlanta BeltLine, will open a restaurant called AFTERCAR on the Eastside trail. Look for it in the still-to-come Telephone Factory Lofts. Details on Aftercar’s theme and menu aren’t clear, but it’s described as a “retro-future BeltLine social house. A late-spring, early-summer 2019 opening is projected. Aftercar will sit adjacent to, and share profits with, Gravel’s Generator, a nonprofit urban development think tank.

Toast

Say so long to CHEEKY, the Mexican taqueria and sports bar that shuttered on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs after about two years of cervezas and soccer. But worry not, a Greek eatery named SANTORINI will take its place. Santorini is a full-service Greek taverna from GEORGE TSELIOS, who owns Gyro City Grill and is a founder/former partner in the Landmark and Marietta diners. …

Midtown’s wild and wacky party bar, FLIP FLOPS, purveyor of frozen daiquiris named Jet Fuel, the Gator Hater and Horne Hurricane, has had its last call. The 1920s Crescent Avenue bungalow was, to some, a shrine to tacky, beachy fun. To others, it was a cheesy eyesore. …

And finally, the 80-year staple S&S CAFETERIA has closed its last Atlanta outpost. The family-owned dining institution known for Southern cooking served its last bit of chicken and dumplings at the end of September. Six other S&S locations still operate outside metro Atlanta, including one in Augusta, two in Macon, and single locations in Greenville, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn.

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.). Email kathy@encoreatlanta.com.

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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.

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Ignite Date Night at ONE.midtown kitchen

New comers and local diners alike can take date night to the next level by visiting ONE. midtown kitchen, a Midtown staple known for its unique wine offerings and high energy cuisine, before or after visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s spectacular Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.

While noshing on mouth-watering American cuisine created by Executive Chef Matt Weinstein or indulging in full bodied wines, sipping on local craft brews and handcrafted cocktails, diners and imbibers can receive 50% off their check with a Garden Lights, Holiday Nights ticket stub, now through Sunday, January 7, 2018.

Offer is valid on the ticketed day only and cannot be combined with in-house promotions, such as New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, or other discounts.

One discount per table per visit and the maximum discount is $20 per check.

ONE Holiday Lights atlanta botanical

For more information or to make a reservation, call ONE. midtown kitchen at 404.892.4111 or visit www.onemidtownkitchen.com. ONE. midtown kitchen is located at 559 Dutch Valley Rd, Atlanta, GA 30324.

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ONE. MIDTOWN KITCHEN OFFERS WEEKLY FIVE-COURSE CHEF TASTING EXPERIENCE

one midtown kitchen atlanta fashionado

Known for its impressive offerings and approachable, high-energy American cuisine, ONE. midtown kitchen has introduced an unforgettable, exclusive “5-6-7” dining experience now available each week. Never to disappoint, every Thursday diners can experience five delectable, off-the-menu courses created by Executive Chef Matt Weinstein at the six chef’s counter seats at 7 p.m. for $55 per person.  

A front row culinary adventure ideal for a date night or evening out with friends, reservations for ONE’s 5-6-7 chef's counter experience are required. To make a reservation, call ONE. midtown kitchen at 404.892.4111 or visit onemidtownkitchen.com.

Featuring Five Courses at Six Premier Chef’s Counter Seats at 7 p.m. Every Thursday

Featuring Five Courses at Six Premier Chef’s Counter Seats at 7 p.m. Every Thursday

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GRAIN HOSTS NEW COCKTAIL-MAKING CLASSES FOR TWO

GRAIN cocktails.  Photo by Tomas Espinoza.

GRAIN cocktails. Photo by Tomas Espinoza.

Looking for a creative date option, GNO or simply want to learn how to make cocktails like a pro? GRAIN, a neighborhood drink shop located in the heart of Midtown, is now hosting three Cocktail-Making Classes for two. For $59 per couple, participants will learn how to make a speciality cocktail, receive one craft cocktail each, and nosh on a sampling of light, seasonal bites from the kitchen. As an added bonus, each class will include house-made gifts to take home. Classes are at 2 p.m. and begin on Saturday, November 19, 2016 and run through Saturday, January 21, 2017. Participants that stay after class will receive 20% off of a second cocktail. Classes can be purchased singularly or as a seasonal bundle. Open to ages 21 and up, to reserve a spot, visit http://handpickedatlanta.com/atlanta/hand-picked/oyster-shucking-cocktail-making-class-grain-atlanta-May-2016-2017. For more information, please call GRAIN at 404.881.5377or visit www.grain-bar.com.

Winter Classes

November 19
Thanksgiving Party Drinks to Impress Your Friends
Take away: Thanksgiving syrup, and bourbon cranberry sauce

December 17
Hot Drinks to Warm Your Winter
Take away: Mulling spice bundle, and a Holiday treat

January 21
Tea Leaves, and Coffee Grounds in Cocktails
Take away: Special tea blend, and a pastry

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