ATL Food Chatter: September 8, 2009
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In a time when many restaurateurs are lowering their prices and ambitions, Alex Kinjo is augmenting his Japanese glamour palace, MF Buckhead, this October with the unveiling of an upscale lounge that he calls the MF Room.
Kinjo is reconfiguring 1,500 square feet of space in the back of the restaurant that will serve not only as a lounge area but also as a venue that can be personalized and reconfigured for special events. When it isn’t hosting an event, MF Room will be open for late-night dining with a menu created by chef-partner (and Alex’s brother) Chris Kinjo, which will incorporate signature items from MF Buckhead but with smaller portions and lower price points.
Kinjo says he was not motivated by the economy but rather his passion to give Buckhead the nightlife destination that he feels it deserves. MF Room will seat between 50 to100 people, depending on the space configuration. In addition to the regular dining hours, 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., a monthly cabaret will feature performing artists to create a supper club atmosphere. The redesign is inspired by the clubs Kinjo frequents in cities like Tokyo, which he hopes will “cater to a discerning audience that seeks a sophisticated but welcoming experience.”
NEWS AND NOTES:
Alpharetta. Slice Cafe in downtown Alpharetta has closed.
Buckhead. Arnaud Berthelier has given his resignation as executive chef of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. Berthelier succeeded Bruno Menard as the Dining Room chef in late 2005. His last day will apparently be around October 1. More details emerging. (—B.A.)
Downtown. The inaugural Atlanta BBQ Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday, September 12 in the green lot in front of Turner Field. The winner of the cookoff will win $1,500 and get to sell their barbecue at one Braves home game in 2010.
Shaun Doty is the headliner at the first Atlanta Gourmet Market, featuring “The Best of Atlanta Awards” featuring categories such as candy, beverage, snack, and soup. The event will be held September 12 at AmericasMart Atlanta.
Druid Hills. Repeat Atlanta reports that Zaya Mediterranean Cafe has opened their second Atlanta location on Emory University’s campus, at 662 Asbury Circle. 404-727-1879.
Midtown. Citing the economy and landlord issues, Concentrics Restaurants has announced that they have permanently closed Trois and will concentrate on existing and planned projects.
Publik—rumored to be an English-style pub with quick, theatre-friendly eats—is slated to open in the former Bazzaar space next to the Fox at the end of the month.
Roswell. Thumbs Up Diner is opening their fourth Atlanta location at 1140 Alpharetta Street this month.
Smyrna. A reader last week asked if The New Orleans Connection was closed. Looks like it—though the web site is still up, the number is disconnected.
Question of the Week: What Decatur hotspot is planning to open a branch in Grant Park this fall?
P.S. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What Buckhead Italian spot has closed for dinner and is now only open for “private events”—is Vita. (Commenter Jimmy correctly named that one last week.)