ATL Food Chatter: December 21, 2009
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As the New Year and the “teens” approach, there are at least five new spots slated to open in 2010 that should create some anticipation and optimism among Atlanta’s food fans. These restaurants promise to bring both good tidings and good food with a variety of price points and cuisines that should set the stage for a new decade of culinary excellence in Atlanta:
Marc Erhler, a AAA Five Diamond-winning chef, will be at the helm of the signature restaurant in the forthcoming Loews Atlanta hotel in Midtown. Details are still vague—the ubiquitous “innovative cuisine featuring local flavors” tagline is all we’ve heard so far. But the dining scene could be gaining a new star. UPDATE: Katharine Lowe at the Reynolds Group just wrote to let us know that Erhler will NOT be moving to Atlanta after all. Who will helm Jasmine’s kitchen? It remains shrouded in secrecy. We’ll keep you posted. Lowe does give us a tad more about the direction of the food: “Southern classics in a Mediterranean style preparation.” Interesting fusion potential there.—B.A.
Empire State South. The addition of heralded Athens chef Hugh Acheson to Midtown Atlanta’s culinary landscape brings a moderately priced, modern version of the southern meat-and-three staple. This one has the Georgia Organics crowd atwitter with anticipation. Let’s hope the April opening date stays firm
Shaun Doty’s Burger project. Doty’s Westside burger joint will feature high quality product in a fast casual environment, adding another destination spot to the hippest dining hood in Atlanta.
Tomo. Nobu Matsuhisa protégé Tomohiro “Tomo” Naito is moving his Japanese restaurant to the posh Ritz-Carlton Residences in Buckhead. Will the move diminish the neighborhood appeal of his former Vinings location, or might Buckhead finally have the replacement for Soto it’s been lacking several years? Time will tell.
In addition to these restaurants, a few other projects—most still in the rumor category—offer a glimpse into 2010 dining potential. Kevin Gullespie is hinting that he and his partners will open another venture. Flip is scouting for a Buckhead spot. And, amid much hope and talk and alleged bureaucratic red tape, mobile food trucks may soon debut in Atlanta. Another we’re hearing about: the folks at North Georgia’s Magnolia Bakery are planning a food truck featuring their baked goods and organic lunch fare. [Editor’s note: On top of my wish list is a potential bakery from the Cakes and Ale folks—B.A.]
NEWS AND NOTES:
Kevin Rathbun was named 2009 Chef of the Year by Chef’s Magazine.
Ansley Park. Brett Ring, formerly sous chef at Stats, will be the top toque at Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern, the new spot from the owners of Gilbert’s Mediterranean Cafe we mentioned a couple weeks back that will open in January in the former Caribou Coffee spot.
Buckhead. Thrillist called out the opening of Carisoul Cuisine, featuring Caribbean fare like curry goat and meat patties for under $ 10, has opened inside the Darlington Apartments at 2025 Peachtree Road.
Downtown. Creative Loafing is reporting that the folks at Top Flr have leased some second floor space at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue.
Midtown. Highland Bakery sent out a press release announcing the opening an 1,100-square-foot location at 1180 Peachtree Street this spring. (Looks like it’s website is currently being updated.)
Tin Lizzy’s Cantina is slated to open its third location in the former Fuego Spanish Grill location by the first quarter of 2010.
Old Fourth Ward. Serpas Restaurant was named one of America’s 10 best New Restaurants by GQ magazine’s January issue.
Westside. West Egg Cafe will open its new 3,669-square-foot location in mid-January, 2010, in the White Provision Residences building and will introduce its first dinner menu and bar in the new restaurant space. (From Reynolds Group press release.)
Speaking of White Provision, Ormsby’s opened over the weekend, and the menu—boiled peanuts and ambitious sandwiches—looks like a fresh, smart take on tavern food.
Question of the Week: What Westide chef is rumored to be planning a Mexican restaurant for his next venture?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What prodigal Atlanta chef is looking to open a restaurant downtown called “Black Market?”—is Paul Luna. (Correct, Broderick.) He’s baaaaaaack.
ATL Food Chatter will return the first week of January. Happy Holidays to everyone!