By Andrew Thomas Lee
With the new year comes new restaurants to watch, new chefs to follow, and new menus to salivate over. As we (impatiently) await opening night, here are the 14 most anticipated restaurants for 2014.
St. Cecilia | January 13
Pushed back from December, St. Cecilia is set to be the first major opening of the year. This Northern Italian restaurant in the space formerly home to Bluepointe will be led by chef Brian Horn, who has helped Ford Fry open several other restaurants as well. Look for it January 13.
Cinco y Diez | January 21
With Farm 255 closed and Five & Ten in a new location on Athens’ Milledge Avenue, Whitney Otawka became available to helm Hugh Acheson’s Mexican restaurant Cinco y Diez. Where? In Five & Ten’s former Lumpkin Street home, of course. Opening January 21, Cinco y Diez will serve Mexican-style braised meats, seafood, and shared plates.
The Luminary | Spring
Former Top Chef contestant Eli Kirshtein plans to open a Krog Street Market brasserie in the spring. It’ll serve bistro fare inspired by Paris, Montreal, and New Orleans, have a large raw bar, and a beer-focused beverage program.
Staplehouse | Spring
Often described as a labor of love, Staplehouse is the brainchild of Ryan and Jen Hidinger and an evolution of their supperclub, A Prelude to Staplehouse. When Ryan was diagnosed with stage IV gallbladder cancer in December 2012, the restaurant community joined forces as Team Hidi, to support him in any way they could. Now, that support has been incorporated into the Staplehouse concept as the Giving Kitchen—a nonprofit to help “restaurant workers in need of unanticipated hardship.” Ryan Smith, formerly of Empire State South, has come onboard, and the team hopes to open Staplehouse on Edgewood Avenue in the spring.
The Cockentrice | Spring
The first restaurant by the Spotted Trotter’s chef Kevin Ouzts, the Cockentrice will pay homage to “new American charcuterie.” It will open in the spring in the Krog Street Market and include a butcher and cheese shop.
Diner | March
Known as “the angry chef,” Ron Eyester added a third restaurant to his budding Morningside empire last year with the opening of Timone’s pizzeria. In March, he’ll expand to Atlantic Station with a diner called, oddly enough, Diner. Expect breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night service, as well as a dessert counter and possibly a miniature general store.
Lusca | March
In 2012, there were talks of an Octopus Bar spinoff called Octopus opening in 2013. Although that never happened, Octopus Bar’s Angus Brown and Nhan Le are opening a restaurant called Lusca this March. Located in the Bluefin space in South Buckhead, Lusca will serve lunch and dinner, focusing on seasonal foods and raw seafood.
The Pig and the Pearl | March or April
Filling the space left empty when Geisha House closed in 2011, the Pig and the Pearl is a smokehouse and raw bar created by Todd Richards, executive chef at the Shed at Glenwood, and Shed owners Cindy Shera and Todd Martin. Look for brisket, smoked trout, and more starting in March or April.
The Florence | April
Named after both the Italian city and Savannah’s famous Waving Girl statue, the Florence will be an Italian kitchen and café. Here, Hugh Acheson and his team will serve local seafood, pizza, pasta, and vegetables, starting in April.
Cooks & Soldiers | April
The Castellucci Hospitality Group behind Iberian Pig and Double Zero Napoletana sold its Sugo Roswell location last year, but it’s opening a new restaurant inside the Perimeter. This Basque-inspired spot will begin serving tapas-like pintxos (or Pinchos) in the Elan Westside building in April.
Fred’s Meat and Bread | May
Last year chef Todd Ginsberg opened Jewish-style deli the General Muir, garnering accolades from all over. For 2014, Ginsberg and his team turn their focus to a small sandwich spot in Krog Street Market, offering po’ boys, cheesesteaks, and if we’re lucky, a burger reminiscent of his famed Bocado creation. Look for it in May.
Superica | Late Spring / Early Summer
After opening Buckhead hotspot King + Duke in 2013, Ford Fry is focusing on a more casual restaurant. Superica will serve Mex-Tex fare influenced by Fry’s Austin, Texas, roots, in Inman Park’s Krog Street Market. Expect it to open in late spring or early summer.
Big Boss Chinese | Winter
Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya will be opening a Cantonese restaurant in Decatur next winter. Early reports reflect seafood tanks, a Chinese barbecue station, and private karaoke rooms, as well as the possibility of dim sum.
Anne Quatrano’s Ponce City Market spot | TBD
Though Quatrano herself has yet to confirm she has a new restaurant on the horizon, the Ponce City Market team is one step ahead. They announced Quatrano will be a PCM tenant on Facebook back in March. We’re hoping they’re right!