Two ATL restaurant power couples ponder new ventures


ATL Food Chatter June 26, 2009

In the year that foodinistas chirped about Atlanta’s “pizza wars” (spurred by the opening of Varasano’s and a new Italian pizzaiolo at Fritti), here’s an intriguing possible addition to the mix: Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison are considering the possibility of a pizza spot in the White Provisions building, where their latest restaurant, Abattoir, resides. After a cooking demonstration at Morningside Farmers Market last weekend, Quatrano mentioned that there is a space in White Provisions that is “calling our name.” And though no lease is signed yet, they’ve also been pricing Italian pizza ovens.

A pizza restaurant from this duo actually makes great sense: They’ve been making pizzas for years at Floataway Cafe, they have impeccable credentials with cheese suppliers from the cheese shop in Star Provisions, and the toppings would surely include some of the in-house charcuterie Star also produces. And the exploding restaurant scene on the Westside needs a standout pizza joint. Fingers crossed.

Across town, the food scene pundits have been wondering who might take over the vast space in south Buckhead formerly occupied by Taurus. It appears the answer is Charlie and Nan Niyomkul of Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro and Nan Thai Fine Dining. The Niyomkuls are hard to reach for comment, but we’ve already heard a name for the restaurant: Vertigo. [Editor’s note: I beg the Niyomkuls to seriously consider offering some of the less common regional Thai dishes at this restaurant. Atlanta has enough pad Thai and green curry. Look here for inspiration.—BA]


Buckhead. Chez Niko is the rumored name for Buckhead Life’s 3344 Peachtree spot slated to open this fall.

Another rumor: Emeril Lagasse may be opening his newest concept, a coffee shop and patisserie, in the Terminus development this winter. [Editor’s note: If this is true, you gotta love the bravado of a guy who remains undaunted despite his previous missteps in our city.]

Decatur. Repeat Atlanta is reporting that Piece of Cake is opening its’ third location at 307 E. College Avenue on July 1.

Downtown. Thrillist notes that City Limit Cafe—featuring burgers, barbecue, and wings—has opened at 280 Connally Avenue in the former Lamplighter Cafe spot.

Midtown. Metrotainment’s sports bar concept, Hudson Grille, is slated to open their fourth store at 942 Peachtree Street, in the former Sweet Lowdown spot in early 2010.

Marietta. Lola’s Cantina has opened at 4665 Lower Roswell Road.

Question of the Week:
What local restaurateur is rumored to be partnering on an organic, farm-to-table concept with multiple locations?

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What noted Atlanta restaurant power couple is rumored to be opening a spot in the former Taurus location—was answered above: Nan and Charlie Niyomkul are rumored to be opening a Thai spot there called Vertigo.