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Claudia Martinez embraces Southern ingredients on Miller Union’s new dessert menu

Miller Union executive pastry chef Claudia Martinez

Courtesy of Miller Union

Pastry chef Claudia Martinez, best known for her work launching the dessert program at Tiny Lou’s at the Hotel Clermont, has a brand-new gig. As executive pastry chef at Miller Union, Martinez is swapping French inspirations for Southern and embracing the farm-fresh style of executive chef/owner Steven Satterfield.

“When I left Tiny Lou’s in December [2020], I only wanted to work two places in Atlanta: Bacchanalia or Miller Union,” Martinez says. “I’m a big fan of Steven Satterfield. He aligns with me as far as values and ethics. He has never been afraid to be vocal and raise money for causes. We want to put out good food and give back to the community.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Martinez started Café Claudia, a pastry pop-up that donated a portion of the proceeds to causes like Black Lives Matter and Free99Fridge. After Tiny Lou’s operations separated from Indigo Road Hospitality late last year, Martinez originally planned to move to Charleston, South Carolina, with the restaurant group. But the opportunity at Miller Union changed her mind.

”Atlanta is the place I have a platform,” she says. “I want to stay here, build my brand, learn from Steven, and continue Café Claudia pop-ups.”

Her next pop-up will be held at 8Arm in late March. In the meantime, she’s busy revamping Miller Union’s pastry program. We spoke to her to learn more. 

Cornmeal cake with compressed strawberry, chèvre creme, and candied pistachio

Courtesy of Miller Union

How are your Miller Union desserts different from those you created at Tiny Lou’s?
It’s a different side of town and a different clientele. I’m getting to know what people here want to see from me. I’m trying to do at least one savory or adventurous item and one that leans more classic.

Tiny Lou’s was playful, fun, and out there, in a historic hotel, so the desserts reflected that. These are more based on nostalgia and southern influence, focusing on presentation and highlighting local ingredients. I still use savory ingredients and tropical flavors, but instead of French, the food has more Southern roots. The dairy is the highest quality—it’s crazy the difference it makes in the cream or mousse.

What can people expect?
I’m keeping the ice cream sandwiches Miller Union is known for. I just made one that’s dulce de leche with candied coconut ice cream. I’m using Venezuelan Valrhona chocolate for my take on Ferrer Rocher candy. It’s chocolate mousse, hazelnut ganache, passion fruit, and cocoa streusel. It’s a richer dessert that really comes together with the acidity. There’s also a chocolate salted caramel tart. It’s classic with grapefruit and bourbon brown sugar ice cream.

Venezuelan chocolate mousse with hazelnut ganache, cocoa streusel, and passion fruit

Courtesy of Miller Union

Creme fraiche vanilla cake with citrus shortbread, blood orange-lemon sorbet, and fennel

Courtesy of Miller Union

How often are you changing the dessert menu?
I change about one item every two weeks based on what we’re getting from farms and what’s selling the most. Things change with the seasons, and I’m focusing on cross-utilizing products from the main menu.

What have you learned working with Steven Satterfield so far?
I learned how much this restaurant is zero waste. Food waste is an issue we don’t always talk about. I’m learning a lot about composting, using trim, and using extra food for the family meal. Instead of throwing away the trim of a cake, we’ll dehydrate it or turn it into powder.

Tiny Lou’s new chefs reinvent the menus at the Hotel Clermont

A selection of items from the new dinner menu at Tiny Lou’s

Courtesy of Hotel Clermont

In December, the Indigo Road Hospitality Group (O Ku, Oak Steakhouse, Colletta) ceased operation of Tiny Lou’s in Hotel Clermont after Oliver Hotels, which operates the property, decided to manage the popular restaurant in-house. Executive chef Jeb Aldrich and pastry chef Claudia Martinez wrapped up their work in the kitchen, making room for Jon Novak and Charmain Ware to take over in early February. Now, the duo has settled into their new roles and is ready to share their carefully crafted menus.

At 30 years old, executive chef Novak has spent nearly half of his life working in restaurants, including a stint as sous chef at TORC in Napa Valley. With classic culinary training, he draws inspiration from French nouveau cuisine and local, seasonal ingredients.

He’s reworked nearly every dish on the Tiny Lou’s menu. Take the free-range chicken, for example. He confits and quarters the leg for one-and-a-half days, slow cooks it for three hours, then sears it to suck up all the jus in the pan. Braised carrots are the vegetable accompaniment, while crisped and dehydrated carrot greens add crunch to the sauce.

“The flavors of the dish sing together,” he says.

Another of his favorites is the Gnocchi Parisienne cooked in brown butter and served with roasted okra and celery root velouté. Steak frites, pan-seared diver scallops, and Berkshire chop round out the menu, which still includes French onion soup and a burger.

Unlike Novak, executive pastry chef Ware did not take a traditional career path. After a car accident forced her to be bedridden for some time, she became fascinated by cooking shows. She attended City of Refuge’s 180 Kitchen Culinary Program and then fine-tuned her skills in the kitchens at Brasserie Café at Parish and Restaurant 356 at the Porsche Experience Center, where she met Novak.

“I’m inspired by things that bring back memories from when I was a kid, like the way your mother’s kitchen smells on a Sunday after making brownies,” she says. “It’s always about a memory for me.”

She devised a play on a hummingbird cake with white chocolate, pistachios, turmeric, pickled pineapple, curry, and local honeycomb, inspired by life in the South. She also created a savory goat cheese cheesecake that is served like a cheese plate with Parmesan twill, honeycomb, and savory graham cracker crumbs.

Executive pastry chef Chairman Ware and executive chef Jon Novak worked together previously at Restaurant 356.

Courtesy of Hotel Clermont

“I go to a lot of wine tastings and taste unexpected things that blew my mind. You’d be surprised how well curry and white chocolate pair with each other,” she says. “I guess I’m like a mad scientist in a way.”

Martinez’s popular Ode to Blondie dessert, inspired by the Clermont Lounge’s infamous dancer, has been reinvented and renamed Hello Blondie. A banana blondie with chocolate cremeux, pretzel crunch, dulcey mousse, PBR caramel, and espresso ice cream, Ware describes it as “a little salty, sweet, grimy, and grunty, just like Blondie.”

The Hello Blondie is a banana blondie with chocolate cremeux, pretzel crunch, dulcey mousse, PBR caramel, and espresso ice cream.

Courtesy of Hotel Clermont

Ware has also reinvented the multi-layer crepe cake to include chai spice, caramel, vanilla mascarpone, and toasted pistachio.

“I try to stay fun, familiar, and local. I like to play,” she says. “A dessert should be inviting; it doesn’t have to be hoity toity.”

She believes her Southern upbringing and Novak’s technical training provide a nice balance to their working styles.

“We ask each other for advice,” Novak says. “She’s been in the South longer than me so she unlocks the ingredients for me.”

Though Tiny Lou’s is perhaps their biggest undertaking, Novak and Ware are responsible for leading the culinary approach to the entire Clermont Hotel, including the Rooftop dining space.

“For the roof, I think about slutty and nasty, like chili cheese fries with all the toppings, pulled pork, gumbo, fried okra,” Novak says. “We’re switching it up every 60 days—maybe do a Pho bar, Mexican, lobster rolls.”

Similarly, Ware strives to keep the Rooftop sweets simple and familiar, such as cookies, brownies, and shaved ice. In the hotel’s Café, she’ll have grab-and-go items like biscuits, muffins, parfaits, cake pops, spiced nuts, and flavored popcorn. Once Tiny Lou’s re-launches brunch, she’ll be making sweet potato cinnamon rolls, Cinnamon Toast Crunch French toast on brioche, and Cheddar Bay biscuits.

Meanwhile at the Lobby Bar, Novak is focusing on light items that he describes as “fun, fast, and go well with a cocktail,” like pimento cheese deviled eggs.

“This building is a representation of our personalities,” Ware says. “We can be fun, grimy, and refined.”

Brooklyn Tea expands to Atlanta, with a Castleberry Hill shop set to open this spring

Growing up, everyone in A.D. Wright’s West Indian household had a job to do; his was serving tea to his mother. In that regard, his life’s work was established at age 3. After growing up and working as a digital marketer, Wright found himself missing tea. He secured a job at a Manhattan tea shop and learning the business side while simultaneously studying to be a tea sommelier.

In 2017, he used his digital prowess to launch an online tea store with significant other Jamila McGill. A year later, the pair opened a brick-and-mortar shop near called Brooklyn Tea near their home in New York. Now, in May, their long-time friend Kerri-Ann Thomas is bringing Brooklyn Tea to Castleberry Hill in Atlanta.

“I’m from Atlanta. Kerri-Ann and I found each other at Spelman College. [Castleberry Hill] is our stomping grounds,” McGill says.

With a casual, industrial vibe, Brooklyn Tea sells 100 types of loose-leaf teas, plus hot and iced tea drinks. There’s chocolate mint, blueberry rooibos, apple cider tea, and lavender Earl Grey, to name a few. The Atlanta location will start with 50 varieties and introduce more over time.

Blueberry Rooibos tea

Courtesy of Brooklyn Tea

“We’re the Ralph Lauren of tea,” Wright says. “We’re a high-quality brand known for style that’s not pretentious, but not a bargain brand either.”

Thomas is partnering with Dymetra Pernell of First Batch Artisan Foods to offer vegan pastries and breakfast offerings. While none of the Brooklyn Tea owners are vegan, they believe they’re filling a void in the market, Wright says.

The 1,300-square-foot space will highlight fellow Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood by rotating the art on the walls and displaying locally made products like candles and hand sanitizer.

“We’re focused on having a communal experience,” Wright says.

A new bar from the Joystick team will showcase the scientific side of cocktail mixing

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By Weight and Measure pop-up display

Courtesy of By Weight and Measure

Joystick Gamebar and Georgia Beer Garden owners Brandon Ley and Johnny Martinez, along with long-term general manager Ian Carlson, are plotting another entertainment-focused bar called By Weight and Measure. Located in the Collective at Coda food hall near Georgia Tech, By Weight and Measure aims to educate the public about the scientific techniques used in making craft cocktails. While mixology classes aren’t on the agenda yet, patrons will be able to see the drinks being made using machines like centrifuges, immersion circulators, and dehydrators.

“It’s a small space, and everything we do will be on display,” Carlson says. “It gives people the opportunity to ask questions.”

At 400 square feet, the wedge-shaped bar stall will only seat four or five people. Additional seating is available throughout the food hall, and Coda’s open container policy allows people to take their drinks to go.

“It’s all part of the show: a little bit theater, a little bit fun,” Ley says of the science. “It gives people something to watch while they wait for their drinks.”

By Weight and Measure pop-up display

Courtesy of By Weight and Measure

Beverage offerings include six to eight beers by the bottle or can, a concise selection of wines by the glass, and six to eight cocktails that rotate seasonally. The bar also plans to offer a favorite from Joystick: a coffee-and-bourbon slushie called Knuckin’ & Buckin’, made with Old Forester bourbon, house cold brew concentrate, and sweetened condensed milk. In addition to Carlson’s signature slushie, there will be a tropical Manhattan made with banana-infused bourbon with coconut water ice cubes and lime, a peanut-infused bourbon and Coke called Simple Peanut Farmer, and an Ecto Cooler-like margarita.

“We’re trying to keep it playful,” Carlson says.

Don’t expect the space to look like a laboratory; the By Weight and Measure team opted for warm woods and greenery to make the space feel comfortable and homey. High ceilings with large windows bring light into the corner space, which is located across from El Burro Pollo.

By Weight and Measure is slated to open in June or July. In the meantime, the team is focused on safely reopening Joystick Gamebar and converting the upstairs section of Georgia Beer Garden into Mambo Zombi, a new bar that pays homage to Latin American and Afro-Caribbean cultures.

By Weight and Measure uses a centrifuge to clarify juice, infuse liquor, and clean up milk washes.

Courtesy of By Weight and Measure

A Spiller Park bagel shop is in the works

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Spiller Park Coffee has quietly started selling bagels on Fridays and Sundays. As it turns out, this is not just an attempt at a new menu item, but a taste test for a bagel shop and delicatessen called Dear Friend, Bagels. Spiller Park owner and operator Dale Donchey makes all the bagels himself, and plans to open Dear Friend early next year as a way to explore his Jewish heritage through food.

“I’m an explorer who wants to feed people. There needs to be a Southern Jewish voice to the food that’s created here,” he says. “New York and Montreal shouldn’t be the only two voices represented.”

Egg on a bagel

Courtesy of Rachel McCart

He uses fresh milled rye and whole wheat in his bagel dough, and malt and honey when he boils them. The result is what he believes is the perfect ratio of chew versus crust. He’ll sell these at Dear Friend in flavors like everything, salt, cinnamon and sugar, and poppy with sumac, along with sandwiches piled high with corned beef, egg salad, and whitefish salad. Traditional Jewish foods like matzo ball soup, knishes, latkes, and challah will be served. Spiller Park baker Caroline Martin will make babka, black and white cookies, and other pastries popular at New York delis.

“For me, the delicatessen is the Jewish experience. Comfort food is what got us through a long history of hard times,” Donchey says.

Bagel with lox and dill cream cheese

Courtesy of Rachel McCart

Dear Friend will serve breakfast and lunch via counter service. There will be egg creams, celery soda, and house-roasted Intelligentsia coffee, but no alcohol (at least at the beginning).

Donchey is still searching for Dear Friend’s forever home. He’s considering Ponce City Market, where Spiller Park currently has a location, as well as on Mitchell Street Downtown. Until then, you’ll find him—and his bagels—at Spiller Park. 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue Northeast and 2929 North Druid Hills Road

6 places to find hot chocolate bombs in Atlanta

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Dark chocolate bombs from Jaime Schwartz

Courtesy of Jaime Schwartz

When the pandemic took hold last spring and forced people indoors, many turned to Netflix and the can’t-look-away disaster that was Tiger King. Then came the home bakers, touting sourdough starters all over Instagram. Others learned to knit, fighting the quarantine boredom weaving scarf after colorful scarf. Now, nearly 11 months in, Atlantans are turning to chocolate—colorful, sprinkle-clad hot chocolate bombs in particular.

These delicate circular chocolate creations break open when covered with hot milk, revealing marshmallows and other surprises. They come decorated in a multitude of designs and flavors (think dark chocolate, white chocolate, mint, or raspberry), and provide a bit of the newness and delight we crave after being cooped up for so long.

While Trader Joe’s and select chain stores have picked up on the trend, many hot chocolate bombs are being produced by local cottage bakers and self-taught Atlantans.

“I originally bought molds to make them for holiday gifts for teachers and friends. People started asking where I got them and it spiraled so quickly from there,” says Jaime Schwartz, who sells hot chocolate bombs decorated for every occasion. “Since most social gatherings are outside this winter, it makes it fun and adds a little something special.”

Need something extra to brighten your day? Check out the chocolate bombs from these local makers.

Ash Sweet Creations
Plan a hot chocolate party for the whole family with Ash Sweet Creations’ four-pack of hot chocolate bombs. For $25 you get white and dark bombs with drizzled chocolate designs topped with sparkly sprinkles and candy pearls. Delivery costs $5 inside the Perimeter, or you can pick up the treats in Buckhead. Be sure to order at least a week in advance—demand is, well, hot, right now. Check it out on Instagram @ashsweetcreations.

White chocolate bomb from Ash Sweet Creations

Courtesy of Ash Sweet Creations

A Cacao Affair
Karl Vivier has owned this artisan Marietta chocolate shop for eight years and now sells hot chocolate bombs with a marble facade in pumpkin and peppermint varieties. Sold in packs of two for $4.95, they can be ordered online and picked up in store or delivered throughout the metro area. Don’t forget to look around—the chocolate high heels, handbags, and footballs might just catch your eye. On Instagram: @acacaoaffair.

Hot chocolate bombs from A Cacao Affair

Courtesy of A Cacao Affair

Casabella
Need a caffeine boost? Casabella’s chocolate bombs contain coffee creamer in four different flavors: vanilla caramel, original, French vanilla, and hazelnut. Instead of hot milk, pour hot coffee over them for a unique drink. Each box of four costs $9.95 and can be purchased at the brick-and-mortar store in East Cobb across from the Avenue. Heart-shaped hot chocolate bombs in flavors like red velvet, caramel apple cider, vanilla chai, and white chocolate matcha are available tor $6.95 each. On Instagram: @casabellaeastcobb.

Casabella’s heart-shaped chocolate bombs

Courtesy of Casabella

Jaime Schwartz
Order at least a week in advance and get custom designed hot chocolate bombs with your choice of milk, white, or dark chocolate shells for $3-$6, depending on the size. Each includes miniature marshmallows and hot chocolate mix, but peppermint, crushed cookies, and even Pop Rocks can be added upon request. Schwartz sells through Facebook and email and decorates the bombs based on the occasion. Have a child who likes glitter? Schwartz has two girls, so she certainly knows how to make the bombs sparkle. Pickup in Dunwoody.

Valentine’s Day bombs from Jaime Schwartz

Courtesy of Jaime Schwartz

Little Jars Bakeshop
Started by an 11-year-old, Little Jars sells ornate hot chocolate bombs for $4-$6. Order three to five days in advance and get flavors like strawberry, s’mores, Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, peppermint, caramel, and toffee. Custom designs are available—there’s even a heart-shaped bomb for Valentine’s Day. Pickup in Decatur or get it delivered for a fee. On Instagram: @littlejarsbakeshop.

Parul’s Desserts
Parul Benders makes white and milk chocolate bombs with a minimum of 48 hours notice. Purchasing for a holiday? Get your order in a week in advance to ensure products are in stock. Each hot chocolate bomb costs $4. On Instagram: @paruls_desserts.

Valentine’s white chocolate bombs from Parul’s Desserts

Courtesy of Parul Benders

Cattle Shed Wine & Steak Bar joins the lineup at Halcyon

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Jonathan St. Hilaire is director of operations at Big Table Restaurants, which includes the soon-to-open Cattle Shed.

Photo by Brandon Amato

Remember Jonathan St. Hilaire? He served as executive pastry chef at Woodfire Grill, owned Bakeshop in Midtown, and worked at the Lawrence, then moved out of state for nearly 10 years. Now he’s back as director of operations for Big Table Restaurants, the company that owns Hobnob, Lazy Llama Cantina, and a new, upscale concept called Cattle Shed Wine & Steak Bar, set to open in May at Halcyon in Forsyth County.

“I’ve spent 30 years in the restaurant business. This role is a wonderful challenge and opportunity for me,” he says.

He’s hired Colin McGowan (Colletta, Kimball House, Bacchanalia) to lead the kitchen, serving seasonal, chef-driven steaks, along with cheeses and charcuterie. The premium cuts of meat will come from Stone Mountain Cattle Co. and include ribeye, filet, and spinalis. Chicken, gnocchi, a burger, and trout will be available, too. Seasonal sides may include roasted root vegetables, creamed Brussels sprouts, confit fingerling potatoes, roasted mushrooms, and potato gratin, while starters include roasted bone marrow, scallop crudo, mussels, crab cakes, beef tartare, kale Caesar salad, and foie gras terrine.

The lunch menu will be a consolidated version of the dinner offerings, with the addition of open-faced sandwiches, French dip, and a fried oyster Panzanella salad. Weekend brunch will be served, as well. St. Hilaire says he’ll be assisting with the pastries a bit—think warm chocolate truffle cake, brown butter fruit tart, and butterscotch pot de creme.

“Sure, I miss baking sometimes, but at this point in my career, I get more enjoyment out of building teams, finding talent and giving them the opportunities I got, and seeing how they grow,” he says.

Wine will play as much a role in Cattle Shed as steak. Compiled by a Master Sommelier, the list features 150 bottles with 30 wines offered by the glass. Options will rotate seasonally, including both New and Old-World styles. Build-your-own cheese and charcuterie plates are designed to complement the wine.

With beverage manner Shannon Adams leading the charge, the indoor-outdoor bar will also serve a selection of sangrias, beer, frosé, and craft cocktails, including at least one infused with wine. The space is designed to be cozy with a rice purple and brass color scheme, numerous banquettes, and big windows that look out onto the open-air, wraparound patio.

“There’s a lightness, a freshness, to it,” St. Hilaire says.

Former St. Cecilia chef aims to make shrimp cocktail and beef stroganoff cool again at the Betty

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Salmon confit

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel is opening in Buckhead (374 East Paces Ferry Road) with 217 rooms and a mid-century modern design. But when it comes to their restaurant, the boutique brand is forgoing the usual burgers and overpriced cocktails for three gourmet concepts helmed by executive chef Brandon Chavannes.

“We offer three different experiences based on the mood of someone in the community on any particular night,” says Chavannes, who brings experience from St. Cecilia and King + Duke, as well as John Dory in New York City.

The first of these experiences, the Betty, opens February 10. Inspired by old-school supper clubs, it is designed with dark surfaces, polished wood, leather, and velvet elements. “It feels like you’re in a time warp,” Chavannes says.

Serving continental cuisine alongside classic cocktails highlighting brown spirits, the Betty will seat 175 people and feature a 1,100-square-foot patio. Come March, it will serve brunch, too.

In the spring, the garden-esque Willow Bar and rooftop lounge St. Julep will open. Willow will serve shareable, plant-based snacks like smoked shiitakes with green tomato and walnuts, jerk cauliflower with tamarind, fried chicken, artisanal cheeses, and charcuterie. Nine stories up, St. Julep will serve gin & tonics, margaritas, highballs, and boozy soft-serve ice cream while DJs spins live sets.

Chavannes shares more about the new restaurants and bars below.

The Pink Squirrel cocktail is crafted with crème de cacao, crème de noyaux, cognac, and cream, and garnished with grated nutmeg.

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

The Naked and Famous cocktail

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Where did the name “Betty” come from?
Buckhead is stuffed full of these masculine steakhouses: Hal’s, Chops, Bones. We thought it was a rebuff to the norm to give our space a feminine name.

Where do you get your inspirations for the Betty?
A lot of it is inspired by supper clubs of the ’40s and ’50s. I’m inspired by the food of yesteryear in classic cuisine. We want to incorporate modern technique and take advantage of the great farms around here.

We pay homage to the items that have fallen out of style that everyone really loves. Shrimp cocktail is a great example. It’s not the coolest dish on the face of the earth but people like it. [Think about] beef stroganoff and cream of mushroom soup. These don’t have the glamour anymore, but with a little history and creativity, we can give them a facelift, so they feel new and exciting again while still having the nostalgia and comfort.

How will you make these items unique again?
Take shrimp cocktail for instance. The reimagining is done in the presentation. The shrimp, cocktail sauce, and cracker elements are still there. We use fermented limes with warmer Indian style spices to create the base of cocktail sauce with tomato and horseradish sauce. We pair the cracker with avocado, lime, and aioli.

It’s presented with midcentury design: straight lines, attention to detail, very precise, and sharp. Instead of the shrimp hanging out of martini glass like candy cane, we lay it belly down on plate, presented head on. Cocktail sauce becomes the glue to glue the shrimp to the plate and adhere wispy, thin crackers to the back of the shrimp. We end up with three straight lines of shrimp and diamond shape crackers meticulously placed and cleaned.

Shrimp cocktail looks a little different at the Betty.

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

What else is on the menu at the Betty?
The raw bar has six or seven offerings. We’ll have seafood towers, plus celery ceviche for vegetarians. The steak tartare is presented in marrow bone with aioli made of smoked bone marrow, served with pickled mustard seed and toasted brioche. Beef cheek stroganoff comes on potato gnocchi with slivers of kumquat. The bouillabaisse is made with shellfish stock fortified for three to four days. It’s the food you see at cocktail parties that’s never as good as you want it to be, but this time, it is as good.

Porterhouse steak

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

How will you avoid falling into the trap of being a stereotypical hotel restaurant?
We make sure the soul and honesty of the food is always present. We’re not trying to cook for all people. We want the hotel to have its own identity.

I don’t see a burger on the menu. What will you have for hotel guests who just want some comfort after a long day?
We do have a hotel menu to accommodate that type of thing. Julep on the roof will be geared to more casual food. Willow Bar will have falafel burger with pickled vegetables.

Willow is so landscaped and lush and beautiful. If I didn’t work here, that’s where I’d want to live. With St. Julep, it’s all about the ambiance. The view from the roof is amazing.

I want to do a soft-serve machine because no one has soft serve in this neighborhood. If I’m sitting on the roof in 90 degrees, baking in the sun, I want some soft serve and I might want to put some tequila on it.

Crab avocado salad

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

How do you keep the concepts from overlapping?
Having a clear vision of their identities. For Willow, I think about a picnic on the English countryside meets a Kentucky Derby party. I think about what I’d want to eat in either situation. It didn’t start off as plant-based concept but started to feel too expected. We’ll have a celariac pastrami sandwich and salad-y plates but not leafy, like smoked shitake mushrooms with tomatoes, walnuts, and crème fraiche. Instead of fries, there will be crispy breadfruit with aioli instead of ketchup.

St. Julep is a mishmash of my guilty pleasures as a chef: tater tots, burgers, and corndogs inspired from Korean corn dogs—yeasted dough rolled in French fries. I love eating dry fried eggplant from Jia and Tasty China. I’m going to do that with tater tots instead of eggplant.

We’ll have vanilla black pepper soft serve ice cream sandwiches with snickerdoodle cookies and cinnamon toast crunch pieces on outside. It’s playful food. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously.

Check out the menu below. (Tap to enlarge.)
Betty menu

Shaun Doty to open Federal Burger in the Politan Row food hall at Colony Square

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Federal Burger takes sourcing seriously.

Courtesy of Politan Row at Colony Square

Come May, the Politan Row food at Colony Square will open as part of North American Properties’ $400 million redevelopment of the mixed-use property in Midtown. Chef Shaun Doty (Bantam & Biddy) will be one of its first tenants with the launch of Federal Burger, an extension of his now-defunct bistro, the Federal. Other food stalls will include Bun Mi Grill, a Vietnamese spot with a location in Buckhead, and YOM, a health food concept focused on bowls, smoothies, and juices.

Politan Row operates food halls in Chicago; Miami; Houston; Jackson, Mississippi; and New Orleans; including the famed St. Roch Market. Its Colony Square hall will be its largest yet with space for 11 food and beverage stalls, plus a central bar and shared indoor and outdoor seating.

“I’ve been an admirer of Politan Row—especially St. Roch—for a while. They’re really seasoned operators,” Doty says. “I’ve always lived in Midtown. With that location, it’s kind of a home run.”

After co-founding YEAH! Burger with Erik Maier more than 10 years ago, Doty—who is no longer involved in the restaurant—says it’s time to revisit burgers. “You can take the ingredients, the nostalgia, the design, and repackage it for a new generation,” he says.

The Federal Burger menu will be simple: composed burgers made with White Oak Pastures beef, Sweet Grass Dairy cheese, and Root Baking Co. buns. Fries will be Belgian-style, with poutine available. Seasonal sides may include fava beans or watermelon salad. There will also be an organic chicken burger and a “Not So Impossible” burger made from a handful of vegetables.

“The Federal was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my career, combined with sourcing really phenomenal beef,” Doty says. “It was not going to work [during] the pandemic, but it lives on in spirit through Federal Burger.”

As such, Doty will be hosting monthly steak dinners with signature items from the Federal in Politan Row.

“We’ve spent 10 months in hibernation. I’m chomping at the bit to do something,” he says.

Countering all that meat, certified personal trainer Rob Green is opening YOM’s first brick-and-mortar location with mostly vegan dishes inspired by his Native American roots. Expect juices, salads, and avocado toast with smoked salmon, capers, and lemon zest. There’s even “vegan junk food,” like macaroni and cheese.

Vegan mac ‘n’ cheese from YOM

Courtesy of Politan Row at Colony Square

YOM juices

Courtesy of Politan Row at Colony Square

Bowls, salads, and smoothies at YOM

Courtesy of Politan Row at Colony Square

Meanwhile, Bun Mi Grill will serve seasonal Pho and a variety of banh mi, including one with truffle pate.

A selection of Vietnamese offerings from Bun Mi

Courtesy of Politan Row at Colony Square

15 things to order for Valentine’s Day takeout in metro Atlanta

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Bacchanalia’s Valentine’s Day spread

Courtesy of Bacchanalia

If love has no boundaries, Valentine’s Day dinner shouldn’t be any different. With new Covid-19 variant cases on the rise, we’re showing our love by staying in this February 14. Here are our top picks for Valentine’s Day dinner—or dessert—to go.

Canoe 
What you’ll love: While you can’t take home Canoe’s scenic riverside views, you can make it an elaborate evening at home with a four-course menu including a dozen poached Georgia shrimp and crisped romaine wedge salad with cherry tomato, bacon and blue cheese vinaigrette—and that’s just to start. Choose from beef tenderloin or fresh Atlantic salmon with potato parmesan gratin, French beans and roasted root vegetables, and finish with a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and Chantilly cream. Each order includes assorted chocolate truffles.
Cost: $150 for two people
Order by: February 12 at 5 p.m. Pick up curbside February 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
4199 Paces Ferry Road southeast, 770-432-2663

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
What you’ll love: Forget oysters and truffles—for some, the real aphrodisiac is meat.
Choose from chopped beef brisket, spareribs, pulled pork, and quartered smoked chicken. It comes with one pint each of spicy green beans, cole slaw, and mac ‘n’ cheese, and six mini jalapeno cornbread muffins with honey butter. Cool those tastebuds with two chocolate mousse tarts with chocolate covered strawberries.
Cost: $50-$68 depending on the meat selected
Order by: Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.
Pickup instructions (curbside, delivery): Packages can be ordered hot and ready to eat, or cold with reheating instructions. Pick-up is at the Fox Bros. Catering Commissary
134 Ottley Drive, catering@foxbrosbbq.com 

Lyla Lila
What you’ll love: Nothing bonds a couple together like cooking. Lyla Lila owner/chef Craig Richards is offering two meal kits with all the ingredients and instructions needed to prepare his Wagyu beef & black truffle ravioli or cacio e pepe. He says it’s foolproof.
Cost: $28 for Wagyu beef and black truffle or $21 for cacio e pepe
Order by: Valentine’s night for curbside pickup
693 Peachtree Street Northeast, 404-963-2637

Petit fours from Lazy Betty

Courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee

Lazy Betty
What you’ll love: Lazy Betty’s esteemed tasting menu is available to-go, featuring biscuits, rare diver scallop, celery root tortellini, dry aged duck, petit fours, and more. Make the evening even more memorable by adding on caviar or prosecco, or gift your loved one six handcrafted gourmet dark chocolates in flavors like vanilla chai and peach bourbon.
Cost: $25 per chocolate box, $95 per person for dinner
Order by: February 12 for the chocolate boxes and February 14 for the meal. Chocolate boxes can be picked up February 10-14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
1530 Dekalb Avenue Northeast, 404-975-3692

The Optimist
What you’ll love: Pretend you’re on the Cape with two lobster rolls, a side of smoked fish fried rice, Old Bay chips, and key lime pie from Ford Fry’s award-winning seafood spot. It’s the next best thing to vacation.
Cost: $72
Order by: February 14
914 Howell Mill Road, 404-477-6260

Bacchanalia
What you’ll love: Don your finest attire—or stay in pajamas, your choice—as you feast on Bacchanalia’s four-course Valentine’s menu from the safety of your home. The meal includes lobster bisque and lobster salad, choice of thyme-cured beef tenderloin or steelhead trout with preserved Meyer lemon, and Brussels sprouts with roasted Jerusalem artichokes. For dessert, enjoy coeur de neufchatel, dried fruit, Marcona almonds, honey, a baguette, a chocolate hazelnut heart tart, and strawberry-rose macarons.
Cost: $180
Order by: February 11 at 5 p.m. Pick up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on February 13.
1460 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard Northwest, 404-365-0410

Valentine’s Day sables from Little Tart Bakeshop

Little Tart Bakeshop
What you’ll love: Great for a gift as well as a shared dessert, Little Tart’s Valentine’s boxes contain six raspberry rose-topped grapefruit sables and six pistachio-, safflower-, and sumac-topped orange sables.
Cost: $32
Order by: February 6 for pickup at the Grant Park location
437 Memorial Drive Northeast, 404-348-4797

La Tavola Trattoria
What you’ll love: This Virginia-Highland mainstay is celebrating love February 12-14 with a la carte specials to go. These include seafood sausage fregola with fennel and Castelvetrano olives, seafood risotto with parsnip, bay scallops, and lemon, and chocolate-filled cannoli crostata with morello cherries and cream cheese mascarpone filling.
Cost: Seafood sausage $17, seafood risotto $26
Order by: February 14
992 Virginia Avenue Northeast, 404-873-5430

Culotte steak at Bocado

Courtesy of Bocado

Seed Kitchen & Bar
What you’ll love: Three courses of sophisticated Southern cuisine for two, including your choice of white corn grit fritters or roasted butternut squash soup to start. Entrees include slow braised lamb shank, Maple Leaf Farms duck breast, filet mignon, tuna steak au poivre, and butter poached Maine lobster. End the meal with a sweet s’mores tart, red velvet cake, or apple buckle. Charcuterie and cheese may be added to any meal.
Cost: $99-$129
Order by: February 12
1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, 678-214-6888

Storico Fresco
What you’ll love: Carbs and hearts—what could be better? Storico Fresco will offer its signature heart-shaped, ricotta, grana, nutmeg, beet-infused filled pasta February 8 to February 14. Prefer to cook at home? Buy the noodles at the retail counter now through February 14.
Cost: $24 prepared or $18 per pound for the dry noodles
Order by: February 14
3167 Peachtree Road Northeast, 404-500-2181

Banshee
What you’ll love: This East Atlanta hotspot run by Ford Fry alums may not be able to bring its edgy vibe into your home—but it can tantalize your tastebuds. Banshee is offering a special Valentine’s entree for two: a whole roasted rack of lamb served with mint chimichurri, patatas bravas, kalamata olives, and pine nuts. It comes with a salad of roasted winter vegetables, citrus chermoula, pomegranates, and feta, too.
Cost: $55
Order by: February 14
1271 Glenwood Avenue Southeast, 470-428-2034

Local Three
What you’ll love: Get the family involved and make your significant other breakfast in bed with this kit from Local Three. It includes pastries, eggs, pancake batter, chocolate-covered strawberries, melon salad, Bloody Mary mix, and more.
Cost: $124.93 for four to six people.
Order by: February 11 at 5 p.m. for pickup February 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3290 Northside Parkway Northwest, 404-968-2700

 

ATL Boards candy charcuterie

Courtesy of Colleen Walter with XXII Photo Studio

ATL Boards
What you’ll love: Great for children and adults alike, these Valentine’s Day candy charcuterie boards feature your favorite sweet treats in an attractive display.
Cost: $45-$128
Order by: February 11 for two-day shipping via FedEx
atlboards.com

Bocado
What you’ll love: It’s an opportunity to enjoy Bocado’s finer fare before the restaurant closes in search of a new location. Nosh on kale salad with pecans, flax seed, parmesan and buttermilk dressing, culotte steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, and salsa verde; and dark chocolate pot de creme. It comes with bread, too.
Cost: $35 per person. Prosecco available for $23 per bottle.
Order by: February 12, pick up curbside February 14 from noon to 4 p.m.
887 Howell Mill Road Northwest, 404-815-1399

Holmes Slice
What you’ll love: What’s a better way to show your love than a heart-shaped pizza with two of your favorite toppings? Luna Nuda prosecco and select house wines will be half-price.
Cost: $18
Order by: February 14 for pickup inside Halcyon Market Hall or curbside
6330 Halcyon Way, Alpharetta, 404-920-8626

Holmes Slice heart-shaped pizza

Courtesy of Holmes Slice

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