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In this era of hyperlocalism and regional pride, the popularity of French cuisine has been on the decline. But there is hope. In Atlanta, a comeback has arrived inside the recently transformed Hotel Clermont and directly above the lovably grungy Clermont Lounge. Yes, the French resurgence has materialized above a strip club.
“[Tiny Lou] was a dancer at the hotel’s Gypsy Room, which was there before the Clermont Lounge, in the 1950s,” says chef Jeb Aldrich. “According to Atlanta folklore, she was notorious for being ‘the girl who refused to dance with Hitler.’”
Jeb Aldrich, formerly of Noble Fin, will be the executive chef of the hotel’s yet-to-be-named restaurant as well as its rooftop bar.
Noble Fin, a new seafood restaurant in Peachtree Corners, looks bland and anonymous. But looks, you might have heard, can be deceiving. Noble Fin turns out to be the city’s most assured and satisfying fish house since Ford Fry’s the Optimist.
No one wants to mess up a pricey cut of meat, but duck breast can be tricky: dry when overcooked and gummy when undercooked. But when done just right—medium with perfectly rendered fat and crispy skin—it’s beautiful.
Jay Swift of 4th & Swift is opening his first restaurant outside the Perimeter next spring. Noble Fin will focus on seafood but serve steaks and chops, too. Swift’s son, Jeb Aldrich, is currently chef de cuisine at 4th & Swift but will lead the new kitchen when it opens, hopefully, in May 2015. Swift hopes to break ground in January.