Dining Articles - 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.


Atlanta Food Lovers Guide

Think of our A(TL) to Z index as your essential shopping list. We scoured the city’s best markets and shops to find fruits and vegetables at the peak of the season, fragrant olive oils, crusty breads, locally raised meats, tempting sweets, and much, much more. Plus, we sneak in a few restaurant recommendations. Read more...

Of lambs, lions, and libations: Two cocktails to start and end March

Cakes & Ale's Jordan Smelt offers up two delicious drinks

At the end of each February, my grandfather, a farmer, would pull a warm coat over his olive-drab work clothes, appraise the sky, and mutter an old saying: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” He wasn’t much of a drinker, so I hope he’d forgive his urbane grandson for applying the adage to cocktails. For the month’s moody weather, we might want a drink that warms one week and refreshes another. Read more...

This Greek Family's Easter Feast Is a Raucous All-Day Affair

Early to rise, early to celebrate

The first time Andrea Koulouris invited me to join her family’s Greek Orthodox Easter celebration, she opened the door at 11:30 a.m. with a glass of white wine in her hand. “Kalo Pascha!” she said. “Happy Easter!” She led me to the backyard. Her husband, Pano, was manning a large spit, seasoning a lamb with olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano as it slowly spun over ashy coals. Men in T-shirts and shorts stood in circles, drinking beer and laughing as they told stories. Pano’s father, Nick Koulouris, who started the local Grecian Gyro chain in 1982, asked me what I’d like to drink and motioned for me to dig into a platter of pita, hummus, and tzatziki, the garlicky yogurt sauce. Read more...

Look Homeward, Atlanta

Our food scene won’t truly shine until we move past Southern clichés.

I grew up not far from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where the South begins, feasting on crabs and oysters from the Chesapeake Bay estuaries. My father is a politician, and each summer my family traveled to a different state for the annual Southern Legislative Conference. I inhaled New Orleans beignets in a swirl of powdered sugar. I learned that North Carolinians eat tangy pork barbecue and that Texans prefer beef brisket. In 1995 I moved to Atlanta, excited to taste the city’s singular brand of Southern cooking. Read more...

Ramadan Ends with Friends and Abated Hunger

Feasting after fasting

During Ramadan, the month of fasting that is one of Islam’s pillars (or essential acts of faith), Ghada Elnajjar and her husband, Nidal Ibrahim, rise before the first light of daybreak at their Norcross home. They eat sustaining foods for suhoor, the morning meal: Fava beans and hummus are traditional in the Middle East, but Elnajjar, who moved to the U.S. from Palestine when she was eleven, prefers peanut butter with pita bread. Ibrahim often opts for labneh, the Palestinian version of Greek (strained) yogurt. Then, like millions of other Muslims around the world, they refrain from food and water from dawn until the sun sets—a fifteen-hour stretch in the Georgia summertime. Read more...

In Hindu Weddings, Symbolic Tastes Help Bestow Blessings

Sweet joy

Puneet Mehrotra rode to his wedding in early December on a white horse fitted with a red-and-gold saddle. Family and friends danced around him as musicians beat drums. His bride, Rekha Tiwari, waved to him from a second-story window of the Biltmore Ballrooms. Later, when the ceremony began inside under a mandap (a four-pillared canopy covered with pink orchids and marigolds), Tiwari was carried into the room in a custom-made basket shaped like a lotus. Read more...

EAV's Octopus Bar Reels in Chefs and Revelers

Patio pop-up

It took me way too long to finally eat at East Atlanta Village’s Octopus Bar, a fringe endeavor—call it a restaurant addendum—that came to life last fall. Nhan Le, owner of Vietnamese pho joint So Ba, and Angus Brown, a chef who previously worked at Miller Union, devised a win-win brainchild: Brown, assisted by Le, takes over So Ba’s stoves at 10:30 every night except Sunday and cooks until 2:30 in the morning. The late-shift kitchen crew and waitstaff swoop in, and So Ba’s menu full of noodle soups disappears, replaced by a brainy list of mostly small plates, rife with provocative, primo ingredients that mingle Asian and American flavors. Brown and Le aim to please restaurant pros who start knocking off work right as Octopus Bar mobilizes. A similar chefs-cooking-for-chefs intent fueled the opening of Holeman and Finch Public House in 2008, and it’s a recipe other aspiring chef-owners would do well to follow. Octopus Bar’s setup, however odd, yields some of the most focused and individualistic cooking in the city. Read more...

Passing Down Passover

A daughter modernizes her family’s holiday traditions

Passover Seder is the ritual Jewish meal commemorating the Israelite exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt. Custom calls for the youngest child at the table to recite questions that frame the evening’s ceremony, beginning with, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Last year Miriam Karp, a middle child now fifty-seven years old and raising a teenage daughter, decided to recast that query for herself: “How might this Passover be different from other Passovers?” Read more...

Drink Up: Perrine's Wine Shop

Westside's juicy couture

Too many wine shops in Atlanta, no matter how choice their inventories, display all the decor appeal of a storage warehouse. How wonderful, then, to step into the breezy serenity of Perrine’s Wine Shop, which opened in August on the Westside. Gauzy curtains, whitewashed columns, and even a showcased French skin care line make the place feel more like a boutique clothing store. Read more...

Drink Up: Pappy Knows Best

“Two cubes?” asks Corina Darold, the bartender at Cakes & Ale in Decatur, before she pours my glass of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23-Year Family Reserve. I nod. Water unlocks the aromas and flavors of bourbon, but I particularly like the way slowly melting ice awakens the character of this unusually mature whiskey. Drinking it is like lingering over a world-class pastry chef’s ace creation: Apple and toffee scuffle for taste-bud space with sneaky spice and vanilla. A flash of orange peel shimmers through each sip’s afterglow. Read more...