Fresh on the Scene: Marcel, Good Luck Gourmet, Doggy Dogg, Gogi House

The early word on Atlanta’s newest restaurants
288
The bar at Marcel
The bar at Marcel

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

The porterhouse at Marcel
The côte de boeuf at Marcel

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Marcel
The latest addition to Ford Fry’s stable is this retro, Francophile steakhouse—built in a record three months—in the former Abattoir space in the White Provisions Building. With ambitions to create the city’s most luxurious (and most expensive) steakhouse, Fry gave the dining room a glamorous makeover, with heavy curtains, gold and brass accessories, and big, curvy leather banquettes. The luxury ends there. Cuts like the lean, bone-in filet monsieur and the New York strip (all from one of Chicago’s best meat purveyors, Meats by Linz) suffer from the bitter aftertaste of burnt thyme. The best value on the menu is a thinly sliced entrecôte buried in a delicious sauce verte and served with fries ($29.95). It doesn’t feel like a classic, but it’s a better deal than the unjustly small and pricey seafood platter ($88.95). A majority of the sides and desserts—often the most reliable pillar of a steakhouse—are creative but need serious reworking. For now, stick to the cheesy potatoes aligot, a sharp Bibb lettuce salad with a mustard vinaigrette, and a decadent chocolate cake that’s a cross between a soufflé and a molten lava cake. 1170 Howell Mill Road, 404-665-4555 

Dumplings at Good Luck Gourmet
Chengdu-style dumplings in red chili oil from Good Luck Gourmet

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Good Luck Gourmet
Almost as suddenly as Gu’s Bistro on Buford Highway closed, a new family-run restaurant has taken its place. Good Luck Gourmet showcases the meat-heavy cuisine of Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi province, which has remained largely undiscovered among diners. It’s the only place in Atlanta to find dishes like hearty steamed lamb soup with glass noodles and Xi’an bread (basically flatbread), juicy minced pork “hamburger” seasoned with hot chile peppers, red-cooked beef stewed in soy sauce and spices, and housemade tofu in a sumptuous gravy. You’ll spot a few spicy Sichuan touches on the menu—Xi’an is a mere nine-hour drive to Chengdu, just a hop and a skip by China’s standards—including some fine-tuned dumplings in chili oil. Yet Xi’an has its own beautiful version of cold noodles in a brick-red chile sauce, as well as dry hot pots flavored with garlic, ginger, onion, and numbing Sichuan pepper. The restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, and English isn’t the staff’s forte, but don’t let that keep you from a great meal. 5750 Buford Highway, Doraville, 770-451-8118

Hot dogs from Doggy Dogg
Hot dogs from Doggy Dogg

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Doggy Dogg
Looks like James Hammerl’s wildly popular food cart hot dogs have finally found a permanent home. At the tiny brick-and-mortar location—with a cheerful pocket-sized patio—in the old Las Brasas space off East Howard Avenue, Hammerl sources his buns from Ratio Bakeshop; juicy, all-natural sausages from the Spotted Trotter in Kirkwood; and condiments like kimchi and sauerkraut from other local purveyors. Top dogs, all of which are seared on a flattop, include the El Perro (chorizo with onion, jalapeños, cilantro pesto, and hot sauce) and the Götze (a Bavarian brat with pork belly bits). You’ll also find Mexican Coke, local beers, and late-night weekend hours—smart touches for a place that charges $6 to $8 for a frank. 310 East Howard Avenue, Decatur 

Gogi House
The air is thick with smoke at this Korean barbecue newcomer, located in the vast parking lot of a Duluth shopping complex. “Gogi” is Korean for “meat,” and tables are equipped with live-charcoal pits topped with grills that change depending on whether you’re cooking marinated meat. The banchan (side dishes), including a rare raw crab in hot pepper paste, enhance the experience, as do delightful rice cakes and matsutake mushrooms. The staff does the majority of the cooking, leaving customers to wrap tender morsels of short ribs, steak, and pork belly in perilla leaves, lettuce, and sliced sweet radishes. In addition to the meat combos, the menu also offers many traditional Korean dishes, from soups to pancakes. 3490 Gwinnett Place Drive, 678-417-6898

Advertisement