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Forks up, y’all: We’ll soon witness an unprecedented surge of restaurant openings in Atlanta. It’s about time.
Anne Quatrano, the chef and restaurateur behind Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, Star Provisions, and Abattoir, will be creating traditional Southern picnic dishes for a Nickel Bottom Community Garden fundraiser on May 19. The event, called BUDS, will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. behind Floataway Café and include bocce, cornhole, live music, a raffle, a wildlife release, and of course, food prepared by Quatrano and Floataway executive chef Todd Immel.
Last week Bacchanalia's chef-owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison announced that David “Andy” Carson would be promoted from his longtime position as chef de cuisine to executive chef. That meant its current head chef, Daniel Porubiansky, would be moving on.
It's time for the fifth round of our Final Fork contest, which brings us one step closer to voters determining Atlanta's favorite restaurant.
It's time for Round Two of our Final Fork contest, which brings us one step closer to determining the best restaurant in Atlanta.
The semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today, and 12 Georgia chefs and restaurants made the cut! Perhaps the most prestigious honor in the culinary industry, the James Beard Awards celebrate restaurateurs, chefs, pastry chefs, bars, and restaurants around the country for outstanding service, food, and beverage programs. Local semifinalists include Cardamom Hill—which was named one of Bon Appetit's 2012 Best New Restaurants in America—for Best New Restaurant, and Bacchanalia's Anne Quatrano for Outstanding Chef.
The iconic entrepreneur and media personality Martha Stewart dropped in for dinner at Bacchanalia last week with some business associates from Home Depot and the American Cancer Society. What did she think? Stewart took to her blog this morning to talk about the "really fabulous" meal and share a slideshow of pictures from the tasting menu. Looks like she enjoyed a few of the restaurant's favorite dishes, including the Gulf crab cake and plate of roasted squab. Head over to see what she has to say and judge her skills as a cell phone photographer.
I talked with Anne Quatrano last evening, just as service was beginning at Bacchanalia, about her decision to switch the restaurant’s prix fixe menu format from four courses to five. The change went into effect this past Monday, and the price remains the same: $85 per person. Quatrano said the change was largely made to keep Bacchanalia competitive as the best restaurant in the city. “We don’t want to be first with a close second,” she said, referencing both the review I gave in our Top 50 restaurants story in the magazine’s current August issue and John Kessler’s recent review. My piece in part said, “Being a leader bears responsibility. Bacchanalia does indeed offer the city’s most memorable dining experience, but the kitchen needs to push itself beyond the safe zone into which it’s recently fallen…Our luminary restaurant needs to drive the culinary conversation for those of us looking to be surprised, intrigued, and educated.”
A server at Bacchanalia set down an orb of crabmeat bound in a bronzed coating of breadcrumbs, arranged over splayed avocado slices, and stippled with orange and grapefruit sections. Vanilla beans speckled a shallow pool of vinaigrette at the bottom of the bowl; the maternal warmth of their aroma and flavor calmed the precocious jolts of Thai pepper essence that bounced among the ingredients. Every sweet, hot, mellow, and tingly nuance harmonized with the crab. The effect of the dish was akin to the reprieve after an evening thunderstorm that dissipates the Atlanta summer heat. My heart felt lighter afterward.