Covered Dish Blog - Atlanta Magazine

Author Bill Addison

  • Bill Addison

    Food Editor & Restaurant Critic

    Bill Addison became Atlanta magazine's dining editor and restaurant critic in January 2009. He began his food-writing career at Creative Loafing in Atlanta in 2002 and has since been a food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and lead restaurant critic at the Dallas Morning News. He's been nominated twice for a James Beard Foundation award (including a nod for [our July 2010 barbecue cover package][1]) and has won several Association of Food Journalists awards.


Online review: Pallookaville, Avondale Estates

Our food critic begins a monthly series of online-only restaurant reviews

I’m studying the drink section of the carnival-meets-deli menu at Pallookaville Fine Foods, wrapping my head around the list of over thirty soda fountain syrup flavors. Some options sound like death by sweetness (butterscotch, marshmallow), others intrigue (including papaya and especially tiger’s blood, which combines watermelon, strawberry, and coconut). But finally I fall back on a favorite treat from the rare soda fountains—already a dying breed in the 1980s—that I encountered in my youth. Read more...

Atlanta mourns the passing of Ria Pell

Feisty chef-owner of Ria's Bluebird commemorated by the community

Atlanta’s restaurant industry is grieving the passing of Ria Pell, owner of Ria’s Blue Bird in Grant Park. She reportedly died of a heart attack yesterday. Pell worked in several local restaurants around town before opening Ria’s in 2000. Her place immediately became neighborhood favorite, and it helped pave the way for the area’s now-booming dining scene. Below, some social-media remembrances from the community: Read more...

Matthew Basford takes over as Canoe's executive chef

He replaces longtime chef Carvel Grant Gould

Word comes from Buckhead’s Canoe that Matthew Basford has taken over as its executive chef. Carvel Grant Gould, who worked at Canoe for sixteen years, has left the restaurant. No details yet on where she will next land. Read more...

Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving Holeman and Finch

It's the end of an era as the two plan a new business

On Wednesday night, Greg Best and Regan Smith announced to their staff that they are moving on from Holeman and Finch Public House. It’s no overstatement to say that Best and Smith, along with partners Gina and Linton Hopkins and Andy Minchow (the latter moved on from the business last year), were the catalysts for Atlanta’s now-booming cocktail culture. When Holeman and Finch opened in 2008, it brought Atlanta up to speed on the booze renaissance happening in cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Read more...

Daniel Vaughn: The pundit of barbecue’s prophets

Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor comes to town

Last summer I met Daniel Vaughn, author of "The Prophets of Smoked Barbecue" (just published on May 14) and Texas Monthly’s new barbecue editor (coolest job title ever). A mutual friend in Dallas, where Vaughn lives, introduced us via email. I already knew about his Full Custom Gospel BBQ, the obsession-fueled blog he’d written on all things Texas barbecue since 2008. Vaughn, who until a couple months ago also held a full-time job as an architect, was coming to Atlanta for a project. Read more...

Atlanta loves CSAs

How to reap the bounty of community supported agriculture

Community Supported 
Agriculture (CSA) is the gawky term for a feel-good undertaking: Members purchase a subscription “share” in a farm, and then at weekly pickup locations they receive boxes—or bags, or baskets—of just-harvested produce and sometimes other staples, including eggs, cheese, or meat. Read more...

In Praise of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

The weekend-long event—featuring various seminars and plenty of food tasting—begins May 30

On the final afternoon of last year’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, comments began popping up on Twitter. “Goodbye to a great food city and the festival that brought it to the world. I’ll never miss this one again,” tweeted Josh Ozersky, a food columnist for Time magazine. Raphael Brion, national editor for, posted, “Atlanta is a great food town and has an equally great food fest.” I felt something between pride and vindication. Craving respect is encoded in our city’s DNA, and this four-day event, in only its second year, was emerging as the culinary ambassador that we’ve long needed. Read more...

First popup meal at Storico Fresco

Dinner series kickoff included three exquisite pasta courses

On Friday evening Storico Fresco, the back-to-the-future pasta shop in Buckhead, held its first popup event. Owner Michael Patrick conceived of the new dinner series as a more immediate and intimate way to introduce pasta fans to regional, often obscure Italian dishes—his abiding obsession. He partnered with chef David Kanter, an alum of New York’s Le Bernardin who was classmates with Eli Kirshtein at the Culinary Institute of America, to execute the meal while Patrick discussed the origin of the dishes with guests. Read more...

Ryan Smith is Joining the Staplehouse Team

He'll leave his position as Empire State South's executive chef by year's end

Ryan Smith, Empire State South’s executive chef, will leave his position by the end of 2013 to join as a partner in the forthcoming Staplehouse, conceived by Ryan and Jen Hidinger. Smith’s fiancé and Ryan Hidinger’s sister, Kara Hidinger (currently at Abattoir), will also be a partner in the restaurant. The team hopes to have the restaurant open by the end of the year; they’ve already filed a letter of intent on a building in the Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park area. Read more...

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