Intends to keep the spirit of the restaurant alive, with a focus on crudo and vegetables
Rocket Farms Restaurants and chef/restaurateur Ford Fry announced today that Wesley True is replacing Adam Evans as executive chef at the Optimist. True worked at Danube and Aquavit in New York City, and most recently the Spence; Evans, who has led the Optimist since its opening in 2012, announced his departure last month and has yet to reveal his future plans.
“Back to the basics” taqueria is inspired by the Spence chef’s childhood in Mexico
Adrian Villarreal, chef de cuisine at the Spence, is opening a casual Mexican taqueria called Rreal Tacos. Located on Juniper and 6th, Rreal Tacos will be a “back to the basics” place inspired by Villarreal’s childhood in Monterrey, Mexico. “We have some great Mexican places here, but what I’m doing is different because you’ll have authentic Mexican flavors but the way I like to eat—all natural, local, and organic whenever possible,” he says.
Chefs are breaking down the fourth wall and moving into the dining room
Restaurant kitchens used to be cramped, windowless hellholes invisible to the dining public. Now the cooks have moved into the dining room—literally. Breaking down the fourth wall between chef and customer, these restaurants represent the newest movement in kitchen design.
Justin Amick of The Spence talks China, climate change, and the lesser-known regions that deserve our attention.
When Top Chef's Richard Blais opened the Spence last year in May, all eyes were on the kitchen, looking for what tricks the liquid-nitrogen-loving chef had up his sleeve. Little did they know, another surprise was waiting right under their very noses.
A sneak peek at what you’ll eat at the festival October 25-27
Taste of Atlanta is only a couple of weeks away. This year’s food fest, held October 25 through 27 at Tech Square, features samples from more than ninety local restaurants, four stages of cooking demonstrations, a barcraft competition, and a “Taste Revival” kickoff event hosted by Ron Eyester of Rosebud, the Family Dog, and Timone’s.
Food and drink-related events this week
Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project
On October 17 at 9 p.m., the Westside Cultural Arts Center will play host to an art contest and gallery composed of transformed Red Bull coolers. The work of twenty local artists, including Matt Relkin and Spencer Murrill, will be on display and judged as part of a seven-city tour. Afterward, the customized coolers will be displayed at local restaurants and bars, including Graveyard Tavern, Deadwood Salon, and Joe’s on Juniper.
Brunch on the BeltLine
Two Urban Licks and Parish Foods & Goods—both Concentrics Restaurants and both on the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail—will offer free coffee refills on Sundays to those who have brunch at one of the restaurants and then walk the BeltLine to the next. Just bring your to-go cup from one to the other!
Chateau Musar Winery dinner at the Spence
Also on October 17, the Spence is hosting a three-course wine dinner led by Serge Hochar, owner of Lebanon's Chateau Musar Winery. The evening begins at 7 p.m. and costs $100 excluding tax and gratuity. Call the Spence at 404-892-9111 to make a reservation.
Art Party: Nourish
On October 19, ADAC in Peachtree Hills will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an event called Art Party: Nourish. Article 14 will provide the food while SkyLounge mixologists make the drinks, and art exhibits will be open for all to explore. Tickets cost $50 in advance or $60 at the door and are only $25 for ADAC members.
What’s new in the restaurant world this week
Common Quarter begins serving
The East Cobb restaurant from the Local Three and Muss & Turner's crew kicks off service tonight, offering the likes of crawfish rolls, cauliflower risotto, Low Country bouillabaisse, rabbit stroganoff, fried apple pie, and more. According to UrbanDaddy, Common Quarter embraces its theme to the core, with Savannah-style gas lamps and an oversize map of St. Simons.
Buford Highway-style cooking class, restaurant anniversaries, and more
Buford Highway Farmers Market tour, cooking class, and dinner
Lobby Bar and Bistro’s chef Russell Hays is hosting a tour of the Buford Highway Farmers Market, followed by an Asian-focused cooking class at the restaurant using ingredients purchased at the farmers market. This six-hour event begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22 and concludes with dinner complete with wine pairings. The cost is $65. For reservations, call 404.961.7370.
The Spence anniversary dinner
Richard Blais is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Spence with a five-course, wine-paired dinner on Sunday at 6 p.m. The meal includes crab toast with lemon curd and caviar, uni spaghettini and lobster, country fried dry aged duck, and more. It costs $150; reservations are available by calling 404.892.9111.
Watershed on Peachtree anniversary picnic
It’s been in the Atlanta area for 15 years but only in Brookwood for one; Watershed on Peachtree is celebrating both with a Southern-style anniversary picnic Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be chicken gumbo, Low Country shrimp, a performance by Zydeco T, a photo booth, and a complimentary Champagne toast. The cost is $35 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. For reservations, call 404.809.3561.
Festa Della Republlica at Valenza
Valenza is commemorating Festa Della Republlica, Italy’s Independence Day, with a patio party on June 12 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Chef Matt Swickerath will be serving small bites prepared on the Big Green Egg. The $25 cost includes beverages. For reservations, call 404.969.3233.