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With King Duke now operating smoothly and his next Buckhead project, St. Cecilia (in the former Bluepointe space) on track to open by year's end, chef and restaurateur Ford Fry (No. 246, JCT Kitchen, and the Optimist) begins to turn his focus to his next project: an Austin-style Tex-Mex restaurant in the Krog Street Market. Details are still in the works, but Fry relayed a handful worth sharing.
Ford Fry’s highly anticipated open-hearth cooking restaurant, King and Duke, opens Monday in the space formerly home to Nava in Buckhead. With a 65-seat patio facing Peachtree Street, customized Elijah Craig bourbon labels, and a private dining room hidden by a belted door (see more of that below), this restaurant is drawing attention from all over. Executive chef Joe Schafer spared a few minutes between completing mock dinner service and preparing for today’s Friends and Family lunch to give us a glimpse into King Duke’s menu and more.
A couple of years ago, if you had asked Fred Castellucci (the Iberian Pig, Double Zero Napoletana and Sugo) what his biggest problem was, he’d have said finding reliable staff for his restaurants. Like many restaurateurs, Castellucci relied on Craigslist to fill his openings.
We reviewed 2012 a couple weeks back. What will 2013 bring? Here are the thirteen restaurants we're most anticipating:
Chef Ford Fry has his hands full with JCT Kitchen, No. 246, and the Optimist, which was just recognized as this year’s best new restaurant by Esquire. But Fry's ambitions don't stop there. Atlanta Magazine caught up with the busy chef at the annual Lunch Break for Kids, a fundraiser for adolescent nutrition education and awareness.
Last year, Richard Blais got back in the kitchen with the Spence, Fifth Group opened a sustainable seafood spot (Lure), and the Optimist was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire Magazine. Giovanni Di Palma drafted plans for a miniature Little Italy near Georgia Tech (see Bar Antico below), Shaun Doty got into the fast-casual chicken market with the opening of Bantam and Biddy, and numerous local chefs appeared on Chopped.