ATL Food Chatter: August 24, 2009
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Jonathan St. Hilaire, one of Atlanta’s foremost pastry chefs, is emerging from behind the scenes at Concentrics Restaurants to open a Midtown restaurant this fall called Bakeshop. Hilaire describes it as a “local, neighborhood bakery shop” that will feature an array of pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. In addition to offering an exciting menu, the ai3-designed space will feature an open kitchen that will allow patrons and passers by to observe the chefs and bakers as they work.
Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute, St. Hilaire honed his pastry skills in some of New York City’s finest restaurants, including Payard’s Patisserie and Bistro, Eleven Madison Park (which recently earned four stars from Frank Bruni before he stepped down from his Times critic gig), and Bouley Bakery. Here in Atlanta, he has worked in some of Atlanta’s award-winning kitchens such as Canoe, Spice, The Four Seasons Hotel, and Woodfire Grill before becoming corporate executive pastry chef for Concentrics Restaurants.
Bakeshop—a partnership between St. Hilaire, Bob Amick and Todd Rushing that will operate under the Concentrics corporate umbrella—will be located at 903 Peachtree Street, the site of the former Goldstar Cafe and Bakery. In addition to its retail operation, Bakeshop will also provide baked goods for all of Concentrics Restaurants’ ventures, as well as several upscale hotels and restaurants. St. Hilaire has hired Abigail Swain (Craft) as his sous chef and Susan Rex (H& F Bread Company) to manage the baking operations.
Initially, Bakeshop will operate from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm and focus on providing the Midtown community with bakery items such as croissants and bagels made from flour sourced from a North Carolina farm; two to four salads and soups that will change daily; gourmet coffees from Martinez Coffee; and ice cream and sorbets made in house.
However, by the end of this year St. Hilaire plans to expand Bakeshop’s menu and hours of operation to include offering a full dessert menu with wine and beer pairings that would be available for theater patrons, residents or people who are passionate about dessert. The dessert bar will be modeled after Chikalicious, a Manhattan hotspot operated by two former Atlantans whose three-course prix fixe menu solely features creative desserts along with wine pairings.
Bakeshop’s targeted opening date is October 1.
NEWS and NOTES:
Buckhead. Tavern 99, from the owners of McCray’s Tavern West Village, has opened at 128 East Andrews Drive.
Decatur. Avellino’s Pizza, featuring a square pie, has opened at 902 West Collage Street.
Downtown. Repeat Atlanta is reporting that a Juicy Green yogurt shop will replace the former Thai Gourmet on Broad Street this fall and that a Waffle House will open in the Parker H. Petit Science Center of Georgia State University on the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Decatur Street this spring.
Midtown. The fourth annual Midtown Restaurant Week will run from Saturday, August 29 until Sunday, September 6 with more than thirty restaurants participating in the $25 prix fixe dinner program.
As reported by a number of sources, Atlanta Hawks star ZaZa Pachulia has purchased restaurant and wine bar Eno, where current Top Chef competitor Eli Kirshtein helms the kitchen.
Old Fourth Ward. Chrysta Umberger, formerly of Restaurant Eugene, is the new pastry chef at 4th & Swift.
Question of the Week: What intown ’hood is slated to get their first gourmet grocery store this fall?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What intown coffee hangout has hired ai3 architects to design their new stores as the company expands?—is Octane Coffee Bar and Lounge