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Why I never want to shake a bartender’s hand

There are many reasons to go to Athens—one of the main ones is its amazing food and bar scene. Plus: in the course of navigating the notoriously touchy-feely people of the restaurant industry, there is only one move that makes me uncomfortable: the bartender handshake.

Re-review: Empire State South’s surprising next chapter

It’s been eight years since celebrity chef Hugh Acheson opened Empire State South and challenged Atlanta’s notion that Southern food is something preciously preserved in the past. But a lot can change in eight years. Empire State South’s next chapter, under newly installed executive chef Adam Waller, marks a deliberate return to the basics.

The trick to finding your favorite wine: Know your importer

Find an importer you trust, and then search for their other wines by looking not at the front label—but near the barcode on the back. Empire State South and Five & Ten wine director guides you through his favorites: Kermit Lynch, Becky Wasserman & Co., Rosenthal, Louis/Dressner Selections, and Uva Imports.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Can we please use our inside voices at restaurants?

Quiet dining rooms are pretty much out of vogue. How many times have you crossed the threshold of a restaurant only to be assaulted by a racket resembling that of a colony of monkeys at the zoo?

In the food news this week

Hugh Acheson to open Mexican restaurant
Five and Ten recently moved from South Lumpkin Street to Milledge Avenue in Athens, and Hugh Acheson isn’t wasting any time filling the old spot. He told the Athens Banner-Herald he plans to open a Mexican restaurant called Cinco y Diez, spearheaded by Farm 255 chef Whitney Otawka.

Krog Street Market names seven tenants
Formerly a manufacturing facility and home to Atlanta Stove Works, Krog Street Market aims to open this winter in Inman Park with a variety of eateries. This week, Paces Properties confirmed seven tenants including: a Mex-Tex restaurant by chefs Ford Fry and Kevin Maxey, an American brasserie and bistro called the Luminary by chef Eli Kirshtein, Grand Champion BBQ, the Spotted Trotter, and Pannus Bakery, which will specialize in hispanic and European pastries.

New executive chef at Ecco
Jonathan Beatty, formerly of Davanti Enoteca in Chicago, has replaced Craig Richards as executive chef at Ecco, according to Eater Atlanta.

Bella Cucina closed Virginia-Highland location
Gourmet food store Bella Cucina closed its Virginia-Highland location last week, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Tomorrow's News Today broke the story.) A post on the shop's Facebook page announced that a new retail location will open in the fall, but it did not specify where.

A fractured ankle for Rathbun
In addition to a 4th of July fire at Rathbun’s causing temporary closure of the restaurant, and a power outage at KR SteakBar leading to a 45-minute evacuation on July 5, chef Kevin Rathbun now has a fractured ankle. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Rathbun acquired the injury when he fell through the drop ceiling while assessing fire damage at Rathbun’s.

Roots Juices now open
Hopping on the fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices trend, Roots—a Texas-based company—is now open in the Shops Around Lenox. Atlanta.com reports that this Dtox competitor offers more than 17 types of juices, infused waters, and cleanses, and each 16-ounce juice is comprised of about two to three pounds of fruit and veggies.

Three Taverns Brewery launches
A new source of craft beers in Atlanta, Three Taverns officially launches at Brick Store Pub in Decatur tonight with the introduction of two new brews: Single Intent, a Belgian-style single, and A Night In Brussels IPA, a Belgian-style American I.P.A.

One Flew South named best airport bar
The crew of the Airport Bars se

High on the Vine: Riesling talk with Steven Grubbs

In this weekly column, Evan Mah asks Atlanta’s sharpest wine minds about all things vino. What’s Karthäuserhof? Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg? Kabinett? If you don’t know, ask Steven Grubbs. On a recent Sunday afternoon at Empire State South, Grubbs is leaning into a booth, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, revealing a dark tattoo sprawling down his arm. The subject of talk is Rieslings, a grape varietal from Germany noted for its high levels of acidity, complexity and warm honey bouquet. And it is clear in this moment that nobody in this city loves this often-misunderstood grape more than he does.

Hugh Acheson On His Upcoming Savannah Restaurant

Chef, author, restaurateur, television personality, and James Beard Foundation Award winner Hugh Acheson stays mighty busy these days. When he’s not at Five and Ten or the National in Athens, or Empire State South in Atlanta, he may be found working on his newest restaurant, an Italian spot in Savannah opening in March 2014. He’s also relocating Five and Ten from South Lumpkin Street to South Milledge Avenue, working on two new cookbooks and judging Top Chef. Below, he divulges plans for the Savannah restaurant—including a possible name, gives us a look into the offerings at the new Five and Ten, and shares some surprising news about Empire State South executive chef Ryan Smith.

Table Talk: Cakes and Ale, Cardamom Hill nominated, Hugh Acheson to relocate flagship, Antico to open gelato shop

Cakes and Ale, Cardamom Hill nominated for Bon Appetit's best new restaurants Represent. Bon Appétit has released their list of the top 50 Best New Restaurant Nominees for 2012, and two Atlanta hotspots made the cut.

Hugh Acheson’s Five and Ten to move to new location

Chef Hugh Acheson just announced via Twitter that Five and Ten will be moving to a new location down the street. Acheson recently shared the James Beard award for Best Chef Southeast for his work at Five and Ten. According to Acheson, they're looking to open the new location in February. We'll update with more details when we get them.

Five and Ten

Steven Grubbs manages the wine programs at both Empire State South and Five and Ten, and he skews the vino at the latter—Athens’s finest restaurant—to the tastes of a sophisticated college town.

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