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Looking back, a review of 2013

As the saying goes, you win some, and you lose some. This year we saw famed mixologists leave their longtime outposts, award-winning chefs open new “it” spots, and the restaurant community band together to help one of their own. As we welcome in the new year, we pause to take a look back at what happened in 2013.

Poncey-Highland’s FLIP Burger to open this Sunday

FLIP Burger Boutique will open its fourth Atlanta-location this Sunday in Poncey-Highlands. The spot originally housed HD1, an upscale, hot dog (haute dog?) joint that never quite took off. Diners can expect the same menu and red-and-white spaceship interior found in other FLIP Burger locations (two in Atlanta, one in Birmingham). Here’s to more liquid-nitrogen milkshakes from Top Chef's Richard Blais.

In food news: What you missed last week

Fry's Tex-Mex restaurant to be called Superica
Ford Fry—the chef behind the Optimist, No. 246, King Duke, and more—has named his Krog Street Market Tex-Mex spot Superica, reports Eater Atlanta. The name came from the words "super taqueria." The restaurant will open by early 2014.

Fire at Vine & Tap
Fire broke out at Vine & Tap, the Buckhead wine bar and small plates restaurant by Ian Mendelsohn, this week. Because of that, the grand opening—which was originally set for July—has been pushed back to late September.

HD1 to become FLIP Burger
HD1, the Poncey-Highland hot dog spot by chef Richard Blais, is now closed. The restaurant is being retrofitted as a FLIP Burger Boutique—another Blais creation—and will reopen in eight to ten weeks, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The new FLIP location will feature a rooftop patio. Select HD1 hot dogs will be added to the menu.

Giovanni di Palma’s Caffé Gio opens
Antico Pizza Napoletana founder Giovanni di Palma made great strides toward the completion of Piazza San Gennaro, his planned Westside neighborhood, last week with the opening of Caffe Gio, a gelateria and Neapolitan café. Adjacent to Antico, Caffe Gio serves “traditional Neapolitan street food,” including panini, salads, and chicken soup, Eater Atlanta reports. The gelato (ten flavors) is imported from Italy.

Dante Stephensen plans to auction off pirate ship décor
Dante Stephensen, founder and namesake of iconic fondue and jazz spot Dante’s Down the Hatch, has announced plans to auction off the restaurant’s equipment and decorations, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Dante’s closed late last month after the land was sold to Atlantic Realty Partners and Behringer Harvard, who plan to build an apartment tower. Stephensen’s auction will take place at the restaurant on September 21, starting at 9 a.m. The $95 entry price includes food, drink, and live jazz.

Taria Camerino starts work at Miso Izakaya
Pastry chef and Sugar-Coated Radical founder Taria Camerino recently left Rocket Farms Restaurants (Ford Fry’s empire) and has joined forces with Guy Wong at Miso Izakaya, Creative Loafing reports. She is working on a Japanese-inspired dessert menu and will be creating some items for Yum Bunz as well.

Richard Blais double-header at HD1 and The Spence

Last Friday, a friend and I decided to try a little culinary experiment: lunch at last year’s Richard Blais concept HD1 followed by dinner at his brand-new flagship, The Spence.

HD1

Richard Blais has become as much a brand as he is a chef. And no one can fault him for taking full advantage of the opportunities he's cultivated after his celebrity-making turn on season four of Bravo's Top Chef in 2009 and his winning performance on Top Chef: All Stars earlier this year. The fun, sometimes lovable, sometimes laughable burger mutants he oversees at two local Flip Burger Boutiques still stand out from the colonies of burger joints that have swarmed the city—thanks mostly to his esteemed name.

Our sneak peek of HD1, the latest concept by Richard Blais and Barry Mills debuting today

Even without the signage yet in place, HD1, the new Poncey Highland haute doggery concept by Atlanta chef Richard Blais and Atlanta restaurateur Barry Mills is impossible to miss at 664 North Highland Avenue. The structure's back to the future vibe, created by design firm ai3, will be instantly recognizable to Blais' Flip Burger Boutique customers. On the off chance you've never tasted a foie gras burger with red wine jam, just look for the joint that looks like a Nirvana rehearsal space knocked up the "Brady Bunch" house. The eatery officially opens to the public at 5:30 p.m. today.

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