ATL Food Chatter: July 20, 2009
During a recent interview with Bob Amick, I learned how the demise of his restaurant Trois has created a new focus for him and his business.
From the Peasant Group of the 70s and 80s to the Concentrics Restaurants of today, Amick has been an integral part of Atlanta’s dining zeitgeist as an operator and innovator. His stable of restaurants has garnered Atlanta’s dining scene national prominence and recognition. But the closing of the $7 million Trois altered his trajectory.
He said he had to face some hard issues, including his own hubris, in the wake of the closing of what he called his “dream restaurant” after less than three years in operation. So after some serious soul searching, he now plans to move forward with singular focus on a new project at the Midtown site.
The new concept, the name of which is still being determined but will not involve any numbers a la One Midtown Kitchen and Two Urban Licks, will feature a menu of moderately priced American comfort food. (He declines as yet to name the chef, described only as “inspirational” and local.) The Johnson Studio has been hired to create a new design that will “warm” the dining space and, among other things, create a dramatic new entrance. And there will be an even greater emphasis on personalized customer service.
As a demonstration to his commitment in remaking this key location into a successful operation, Amick intends to be at his new spot at Fourteenth and Peachtree full-time while it gets off the ground.
NEWS and NOTES:
Buckhead. Look for Caffe Fortunato, an Italian cafe and bar, to open at 3749 Roswell Road this summer.
Kirkwood. Daily Candy reported that Kirkwood Corner Market—serving early morning coffee, croissants and biscuits—has opened at 1610 Hosea Williams Drive.
Midtown. Joia Restaurant & Lounge has opened in the former Saga space at 1100 Crescent Street with Chef Brett Maddox, formerly of Aria, at the helm.
Bakeshop, a retail and wholesale bakery that will feature pastries and coffees, will open this fall as part of the re-concepting of the former Trois space. Jonathan St. Hilaire, Concentrics’ executive pastry chef, will move the company’s baking operation from Trios to a still-being-determined retail site and operate a small patisserie as well as the wholesale operation there.
Roswell. Thrillist is reporting that Lakeview Bistro has opened at 1010 Mansell Road, serving a deli-esque selection of sandwiches and salads.
Westside. Bacchanalia has again won the top spot in Zagat’s 19th annual Atlanta edition, followed by Quinones at Bacchanalia in the number two spot.
Question of the Week: What popular ATL concept is rumored to be opening a store in Birmingham, Alabama this fall?
PS: The answer to last week’s QOTW—What downtown chef in a fine dining venue is planning to soon unveil a “smokehouse menu?”—is Atlanta native Bennett Hollberg of downtown’s Ritz Carlton Atlanta. He is hard at work planning a menu that he says will include his own barbecue sauce.