Comfortable Luxury at Agency Socialthèque Phipps Plaza

agency socialtheque vincent martinez fashionado

The comfortable luxury of Agency Socialthèque located at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta is the go-to place after a fabulous day of shopping, happy hour or just a mid-week date night.

Agency Socialthèque is the new byword for stylish hospitality and a reflection of its edgy neighborhood: iconic and one-of-a-kind, catering to the city-dwelling professional class by providing a beautiful space in which to be creative together.

Socialthèque, a made-up word, evokes everything we know about stylish environments where networking and play come together. More than great food and drinks, Agency is the place to freelance, enjoy live entertainment, or host a bespoke private event. Whether it be happy hour cocktails among friends or a vibrant hundred guest launch party, the dedicated team will cater to your every need. It also means experimental and revolutionary as they transform specialty ingredients into something truly unique, coupled with the city's hottest DJ's and musicians.

FASHIONADO

Event Recap :: Fúdo Celebrates It's Grand Opening With a Ribbon Cutting and Party

Monday, January 7, 2019, imbibers and diners alike celebrated the grand opening of Fúdo in the heart of downtown Chamblee during a high-energy party and ribbon cutting ceremony with Chamblee's Mayor Eric Clarkson, Chief of Police Kerry Thompson, City Council members and owners John and Grace Lee.  While mixing and mingling and checking out the new dining destination, revelers enjoyed an array of complimentary wine, craft beer and sake tastings along with a diverse sampling of chef special sushi and small plate offerings.  

Rooted in the community, Fúdo offers exceptional sushi and authentic Japanese sharable plate selections featuring the highest quality and freshest ingredients.  From the restauranteurs behind Ichiban Steak and Sushi, the new wallet-friendly locale boasts a modern industrial yet warm atmosphere with an expansive, interactive sushi bar; a back-lit bar serving creative cocktails, craft beer, wine and sake; ample seating; and a pet-friendly, outdoor patio with retractable windows.  Fúdo is located in Perimeter Crossing at 5070 Peachtree Blvd Suite A100 Chamblee, GA 30341 and is open from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner, and on Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 3p.m. to 12 p.m. to dinner, on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.fudoatl.com.    

FASHIONADO

Fúdo Celebrates Its Grand Opening This Monday

FÚDO CELEBRATES ITS GRAND OPENING IN DOWNTOWN CHAMBLEE

Featuring Complimentary Chef Special Sushi, Small Plates, Spirit Tastings and More!

Monday, January 7, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.


fudo sushi

Imbibers and diners alike are invited to celebrate the grand opening of Fúdo in the heart of downtown Chamblee on Monday, January 7, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. during a high-energy party. Rooted in the community of the bustling city, Fúdo is excited to offer exceptional sushi and authentic Japanese small plate selections in a a modern industrial yet warm atmosphere. A new authentic Asian concept by the restauranteurs and creators of Ichiban Steak and Sushi, the new locale boasts an inviting, expansive spot ideal for dining, imbibing and relaxing. Featuring an expansive sushi bar serving artfully crafted plates and interactive seating, a back-lit bar serving creative cocktails, ample seating, and a pet-friendly, outdoor patio with retractable windows, Fudo promises not to disappoint. 

fudo sushi

During an afternoon and evening of fun, revelers are invited to enjoy an array of complimentary wine, craft beer and sake tastings, and hungry party goers can also nosh on chef special sushi and small plate offerings including: Hunger Games roll, Devil Roll, Spicy Mega Tuna roll, Pokémon Roll, Audi roll, signature Spring Rolls, Brussel Sprouts and Pan Seared Dumplings.  At 5 p.m., Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson will host the official ribbon cutting in celebration of the new location along with the City Council members and Fúdo founder John Lee.  The grand opening party is free to attend and all ages are welcome.  For more information, visit www.fudoatl.com.    

ABOUT FÚDO
With decades of experience, restauranteurs John and Grace Lee, best known for the popular steak and sushi concept, Ichiban in Alpharetta and Cumming, have created another mouthwatering concept for the Atlanta market, Fúdo.  Located in Chamblee, Georgia, Fúdo’s name means food with no limits, encouraging guests to sample and share a wide variety of mixed Asian food prepared to order.  Deeply rooted in the community, Fúdo boasts a modern industrial yet inviting setting - combining metal elements with the warmth of wood accents and tables, a back-lit bar, ample seating, a dog-friendly patio with retractable windows and an expansive interactive sushi bar. Artfully crafted, Fúdo’s aesthetic translates from the walls down to each dish that features the highest quality and freshest ingredients. Fúdo is open from Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and from Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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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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Atlas Reveals Renovation Plans for New Terrace

atlas atlanta

Atlas, one of the Southeast’s premier dining destinations located within the St. Regis Atlanta, has revealed initial plans for a complete renovation of its already popular terrace.  What will be an oasis in the heart of Buckhead, the terrace will provide guests with an all-season, enchanted garden experience.  Not only will the new terrace be an extension of the comfortable and lively atmosphere the Tavern at Atlas has become known for, but it will also serve as a stand-alone bar and dining destination boasting chef-driven small plates, award-winning cuisine from the dining room, cocktails and live music.  

“When Atlas took over the restaurant space at the St. Regis, a complete renovation of the interior occurred as part of a three-phase plan,” says Atlas General Manager Geno Dew. “With the Tavern at Atlas being the second phase, we’re now thrilled to give the exterior a facelift as we continue our commitment to always provide exceptional experiences as one of the Southeast’s must-go dining and cocktail destinations.  We could not be more thankful of Buckhead community and locals and visitors alike for their support to help us achieve this vision and for our ongoing success.” 

Set to be completed in early 2019 in conjunction with the four-year anniversary, the new 3,070-square foot terrace designed by The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry will offer 100 seats in the dining area along with 24 dedicated bar seats. Playing to Atlanta’s weather and complimenting Atlas’ acclaimed interior, the new terrace will feature a vaulted glass and steel roof, sliding glass windows that open onto One Buckhead Plaza, an up lit tree sculpture featured at the bar, and focal trees throughout the dining space that will create an intimate dining setting.  More details will be released in the coming months. 

Throughout the renovation process, which will take place outside of operating hours, Atlas will continue to provide its unparalleled standards of service. Celebrating the very best in seasonal American cuisine combined with European influences created by Executive Chef Christopher Grossman, guests are invited to revel in a fine dining experience in the dining room or take advantage of The Tavern featuring a chef-driven small plates menu and hand-shaken cocktails. Atlas also boasts an acclaimed art installation that includes more than 30 pieces from esteemed artists including Foujita, Monet, Chagall, Modigliani and Soutine. The impressive gallery of 20th century artwork has been hand-selected from The Lewis Collection, one of the largest private art collections in the world.      

For more information or reservations, visit atlasrestaurant.com

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POUR DECISIONS: North Georgia's Wineries

ABOVE: Tiger Mountain focuses on fine, dry, white European wines and has a list of awards as long as the mountain views from the property’s 75-year-old Red Barn Café. Photo by Wendy Palmer.

ABOVE: Tiger Mountain focuses on fine, dry, white European wines and has a list of awards as long as the mountain views from the property’s 75-year-old Red Barn Café. Photo by Wendy Palmer.

Awards keep growing for North Georgia’s picturesque wineries. Why not raise a glass or two in their honor?

IF YOUR BUCKET LIST includes filling yours with wine, North Georgia is a fine place to start. The state has some 50 wineries (impressive considering the challenges of grape-growing in the Deep South), with most in or near the mountains, tucked into bucolic niches and spread across rolling landscapes.

Photo: Stonewall Creek Vineyards

Photo: Stonewall Creek Vineyards

While other wine regions are undoubtedly more famous, don’t discount Peach State grapes as a secondhand rosé. North Georgia wine country delivers killer views and a rural charm that will relax you even before the sipping starts. The area also produces wines that win regional, national and international awards.

Admit it, wine is sexy. Oenophiles discuss the body profile, the legs and the finish in a provocative way, and it all means something. Body is how the wine feels in your mouth. The legs are judged by how much liquid clings to the glass. Thicker, slower legs mean a higher level of alcohol or sugar. The finish, or aftertaste, shows quality.

Whether you’re wine-confused or a wine connoisseur, Georgia’s vineyards welcome you. We quaffed at three grape-producing gems in Rabun County, where they craft thousands of bottles of red, white and dessert wines annually.

If you need a place to stay in Rabun (these wineries don’t offer lodging), try Lake Rabun Hotel, built in 1922 and the last of its kind. Think Old Europe meets rustic-but-genteel American South. Each room ($114 and up) is different, and named rather than numbered. (Details: lakerabunhotel.com or 706.782.4946.)

When plotting your own wine getaway, don’t discount vineyards near Dahlonega and at Château Élan in Braselton. All that wine isn’t going to drink itself.

12 Spies Vineyards

Founder/winemaker Mike Brown dismisses the idea that the everyday person is not a wine expert. “Do you know what you like? Then you’re an expert at what you like,” says the former financial services executive.

Photo: Wendy Palmer

Photo: Wendy Palmer

The whimsical tasting room (which Brown built, along with the winery) lends itself to easy conversation and new friends made over a glass or three (perhaps why 12 Spies received a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence). The vino veranda has country views defined by layers of green and a wood-burning oven for pizza parties. Tastings are $1 per pour. The Cabernet Franc alone is worth the trip. 12 Spies also makes an aptly named, for Southerners, Bless Your Heart muscadine (less sweet than others).

Brown says the winery’s name is from the Old Testament and came to him as he sat in church. The wines have playful names, too, like Holy Moses Red and Lordy Mercy, a Seyval blanc and Petit Manseng blend.

Brown doesn’t enter contests. Yet. But his business has grown from some 500 cases in 2012 to a probable 3,000 this year. For him, it’s about the wine and especially enjoying the people who enjoy the wine.

Details: 550 Black Branch Road, Rabun Gap. 706.490.0890. 12spiesvineyards.com.

Stonewall Creek Vineyards

Stonewall Creek’s valley view is striking, and its wines won multiple awards at the 2016 Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge.

Uncork and unwind in the homey tasting room or on the expansive covered patio, which overlooks 3,000 precisely planted vines and the rise of Glassy Mountain.

Co-founder/winemaker Carl Fackler, a retired orthopedic surgeon, now uses his tactile skills on the vines. Everything is done by hand, from planting and harvesting the grapes to labeling every bottle in the 900 cases produced each year.

Photo: Wendy Palmer

Photo: Wendy Palmer

Leftover wine goes into fine wine jellies, served with cheese and crackers in the tasting room. You’ll often find Fackler and wife Carla there, conversing with visitors. Max the dog will wag you inside.

Red wine lovers will love Stonewall Creek. Its Cabernet Franc is an award winner; the mild, tasty 2015 Malbec is aged 12 months in French and Bulgarian oak. The Malbec is named Three Eagles, for the couple’s sons, all Eagle Scouts. Tastings here are $10 for six samples or $6 for three samples.

Details: 323 Standing Deer Lane, Tiger. 706.212.0584. stonewallcreek.com.

Tiger Mountain Vineyards

In 1995, a fifth-generation family farm became Tiger Mountain Vineyards, the first in the area and the first vinifera (white Mediterranean grape) vineyard in Georgia. At 100 acres, it’s still one of the largest.

Photo: Wendy Palmer

Photo: Wendy Palmer

John Ezzard, who made his living as a urologist, was born on the farm in 1936, and founded the winery with wife Martha, a onetime columnist and author (The Second Bud, Deserting the City for a Farm Winery). He died in November, but you might meet Miss Martha, who at 77, still is a force of nature.

Tiger Mountain focuses on fine, dry, white European wines and has a list of awards as long as the mountain views from the property’s 75-year-old Red Barn Café. That list includes prestigious international honors.

Your many choices here include whites (a one-of-a-kind, late-harvest Petit Manseng) and reds (go for the Malbec). The challenge is deciding which of the eight wines to taste for the $10 it costs.

Each May, Atlanta’s Seed & Feed Marching Abominables visit to perform and “wake the vines” for growing season. This year, that happens May 12.

Details: 2592 Old 441 South, Tiger. 706.782.4777. tigerwine.com.

***

 ELSEWHERE IN GEORGIA

Cavender Creek Vineyards

Five acres of vines produce Norton, Petit Manseng and cabernet sauvignon grapes. Two of Cavender’s 2016 reds are award winners. Tastings are $12 for four samples, with the option of adding a shot of “wine shine” (apple or peach) for $3. Also tempting: the sangria and wine slushies. Stay on-site in the 1820s log cabin ($225 nightly), and relax on the porch with Tinkerbell and Tucker, two Great Pyrenees who look after the place. Donkeys and free-range chickens will keep you company, too. 3610 Cavender Creek Road, Dahlonega. 706.867.7700 or cavendercreekvineyards.com.

Château Élan Winery and Resort

The granddaddy of Georgia wineries was founded in 1984 and recently changed ownership. There’s much to do on its 3,500 acres: You can go gourmet at mealtime, stay a few days, swim, play golf, get married, take cooking classes, disappear into the spa and, of course, drink wine. Should you tire of wine (???), grab a pint at the Irish pub. Tastings are $25 for seven samples; $63 buys eight samples, a guided tour, and a sampling of chef-selected cheeses and seasonal goodies. 100 Rue Charlemagne Drive, Braselton. 678.425.0900 or chateauelan.com.

Photo: Kaya Vineyard and Winery

Photo: Kaya Vineyard and Winery

Kaya Vineyard and Winery

Numbers tell the tale here. You’re at an elevation of 1,600 feet and can take in views from a 2,000-sq. ft. front porch. Fill your glass with the reserve chardonnay, a 2017 award winner, or any of 19 other estate-grown varietals. Tastings start at $14 for five samples. On-site cottages open to guests this summer. Kaya holds its annual “Jeeps in the Vines” party on April 25 (live music, dozens of Jeeps and, of course, wine). 5400 Town Creek Road, Dahlonega. 706.219.3514 or kayavineyards.com.

Montaluce Winery & Restaurant

Italian-style la dolce vita (the sweet life) is served daily. Montaluce’s wine and food are 2017 North Georgia Top Chef and Wine Tasting winners. Tastings are $18-$23 for five samples (white only, red only or mixed). Montaluce also makes mead. Weekend wine hikes are $45. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, with a Sunday brunch that includes chef-made cinnamon rolls. 501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega. 706.867.4060 or montaluce.com.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery

The first Georgia winery to win best in class and double gold medals at both the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles International competitions offers Napa Valley-style opulence. Tastings are $20 for six samples. Lunch and dinner (reservations required) are served in the Vineyard Café. Ask about the gourmet winemaker’s dinner. Check out the library and 19th-century wine artifacts. 180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega. 706.867.9862 or wolfmountainvineyards.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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