ATL Food Chatter: March 22, 2011

Big congrats to the local James Beard nominees, announced yesterday: Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch), Hugh Acheson (Athen’s Five & Ten, Empire State South), and Joseph Dabney for his stunning “The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking.”

On Thursday, April 14, the 23rd annual Share Our Strength/Taste of The Nation Atlanta, will be held at the Georgia Aquarium. This year’s event will honor chefs who have supported the event for the past ten years. The 2011 Honorary Chairperson is New York restaurateur Danny Meyers. Event Co-Chair, Pano Karatassos, says that this year’ goal is to raise $800,000.

According to Creative Loafing, Tex’s Tacos—a custom built food truck featuring “Nueva Texicana” cuisine like tacos, quesadillas and loaded fries—will begin operation by early April .

Atlanta Business Journal reports that Sweetwater Brewing Company is expanding its space to almost 107,000 square feet, more than double its current footprint.

Chamblee. Thrillist reports that Cephora Lounge and Restaurant, featuring Afro-Caribbean cuisine, has opened at 3649 Clairmont Road.

Decatur. On March 24, Farm Burger is having a ”Taking the Burger out Farm Burger Spring Supper“, a four course menu featuring items like oxtail, chicken hearts, guancale, pork belly, greens, and turnips.

Downtown. What Now Atlanta is reporting that Sweet Tooth Dessert Bar, a gourmet dessert bar featuring customized cakes, is slated to open at 335 Nelson Street “sometime in May.”

Inman Park. Inman Park Restaurant Week begins next Monday, March 28. Participating restaurants will offer special menus in one of the three price categories: $15, $25, or $35. 

Midtown. Beginning in May, the Atlanta Botanical Garden will host two dinner series this year featuring local chefs—the Neighborhood Nosh series, which features chefs from favorite neighborhood restos like Ecco, and the Well Seasoned Chef series, with farm-to-table enthusiasts like Drew Belline and Jay Swift.

According to What Now Atlanta, Pacci Ristorante will become, albeit temporarily, R Restaurant and Lounge on March 25.

Look for Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, rumored to be Atlanta’s first licensed mobile cupcake store, to hit the streets starting this week in Midtown.

Virginia Highland. Bella Cucina Artful Food is moving to 1044 N.Highland and expanding to offer a “European style food hall” and take away service on May 1, according to What Now Atlanta.

Westside. Look for Do (pronounced DOUGH), “a musically inspired pizza place”, featuring hi-tech graphics and an iPad technology driven ordering system, to open April 30 at 955 W.Marietta Street.

Question of the Week: What is the latest food project for Top Chef Richard Blais?

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What is the new name of the revamped Thai spot formerly known as Rama 5?—is Thai Silk.