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El Valle

Review: El Valle is a casually elegant restaurant where it’s easy to enjoy yourself

Restaurant critics often seek out extreme culinary experiences at the expense of focusing on where most people want to spend their time and money when they go out to dinner. My first visit to El Valle—a modern Mexican restaurant in the old Escorpión space—had nothing to do with reaching for a deeper understanding of cuisine. I just wanted to have a good time.

New details on Riccardo Ullio’s Novo in Dunwoody

Chef and restaurateur Riccardo Ullio, best known for Inman Park spots Fritti and Sotto Sotto, is set to open Novo this spring/summer in Dunwoody. Ullio’s most recent projects include the now-shuttered Beleza (Brazilian) and Cuerno (Spanish), as well as Midtown’s Escorpion (Mexican). With Novo, he hopes to return to his Italian roots.

La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal Bar to open on the Westside in August

La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal bar—founded by Jesus Onate, owner of Zapata Tacos & Tequila Bar in Norcross— will open at 1133 Huff Road in August. La Urbana will strive to have “the most innovative Mexican spirit cocktail program in Atlanta." He shares his plans below.


The fine collection of agave spirits—boutique tequilas, rare sotols from Chihuahua, and a peerless selection of artisanal mezcals—at Riccardo Ullio’s newest Midtown venture is an education and delight; sip them neat one at a time or in flights of three.

Q&A with Riccardo Ullio on Escorpion

ATL Food Chatter: June 14, 2011 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter) Riccardo Ullio deserves credit for his resilience. After last spring’s closing of his two Juniper Street ventures—the Spanish-themed Cuerno, which was revamped toward the end as Lupe Taqueria, and the Brazilian cocktail lounge Beleza—the owner of Inman Park's Sotto Sotto and Fritti is back on the Midtown restaurant scene with Escorpion. The restaurant resides at 5th and Peachtree, where Eno long lived and 5th Street Cafe recently flamed out in less than three months. Esporpion is a “tequila bar and cantina” featuring cocktails inspired by indigenous Mexican ingredients and a friendly menu that includes ceviches, familiar appetizers (guac, queso fundito), tacos that you can order individually or by plates of four, and a few entrees such as Spring Mountain chicken with red mole and grapefruit segments. Ullio fills us in on the restaurant’s origin and direction:

Restaurateur Riccardo Ullio readies Escorpion for 5th and Peachtree space

This weekend's Atlanta Food & Wine Festival attendees already have something to look forward to next week when their triglycerides levels once again begin to to tumble toward Earth. Sotto Sotto and Fritti chef-owner Riccardo Ullio is set to debut Escorpion, a brand new Mexican tequila bar and cantina at 800 Peachtree Street in the space formerly occupied by Eno and later, The 5th Street Cafe owned by Atlanta Hawk Zaza Pachulia. The short-lived 5th Street Cafe opened exactly a year ago this month.

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