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Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta is awash with too many ridiculous cocktails

I can probably name 15 Atlanta bartenders who can create and pour artisanal cocktails worth drinking. But no more. Plus: The restaurant you should recommend to your out-of-town friends seeking Southern fare is Kevin Gillespie’s Revival.
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

The Christiane Chronicles: A love-hate relationship with barstools and a healthy appreciation for gravy

It doesn’t matter if there’s an upholstered seat on your farm-style or artsy modern stools; I need something with armrests and a comfortable back. Plus, my favorite kinds of gravy and where to indulge on them in Atlanta.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: The case against laminated menus—and why Salt Bae is my soulmate

People sneeze on laminated menus. They handle them with greasy paws. What I want on my table is a clean sheet of paper (no need for fancy stock) printed fresh every day. Plus: why I'm in love with finishing salts.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Some people watch ballet. I admire the Dance of the Short-Order Cook.

Some people have season tickets to the ballet; others follow sports. The spectacle I’m addicted to, every bit as physical in its own way but more quotidian, is the artistry of the short-order cook.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Why all restaurants should come with a service button

I hate hovering servers, but I also don’t want to be completely ignored. One easy way to negotiate the right level of service is the buzzer common in Korean restaurants. Picture a red button mounted next to your table. Push it, and a server materializes, ready to turn down the flame below your sizzling meat, refill your kimchi bowl, or bring you more barley tea.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Enough with the monster-sized pastries

I have lived in the United States for decades, but the monumental size of everything still shocks me. The Frenchwoman in me yearns for reasonable dimensions: skinny baguettes rather than ones as fat as my arm; one-bite chocolate bonbons making up in intensity what they lack in bulk.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Who serves toast in a bowl?

Bowls have their place when serving food, but please, don't put toast in a bowl ever again. Plus, nut milk from Virginia-Highland's Press & Grind has made me a convert.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Stop swirling your Champagne, you idiot

Champagnes and other sparkling wines are fragile! Swirl them and they’ll go flat, which means you lose the aromatics that the bubbles are meant to deliver.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Cheese later, not now

I cannot contain my disdain for the appetizer cheese course. Cheese is rich and, depending on the kind, funky. It satiates your appetite. It induces sleepiness, even. Why would anyone eat it at the beginning of the meal?
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Want the best restaurant meal ever? Go. Early.

After more than 40 years of professional dining experience, I can safely say this: The later you eat, the worse you are likely to eat.

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