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Staplehouse

Was the tasting menu to blame for Staplehouse’s slow start?

Staplehouse is the most anticipated restaurant to open in the last five years, maybe even in the last decade. But if you had walked in for dinner shortly after it opened in October, you wouldn’t have known it.

Six years in the making, Staplehouse enters its final stage of planning; aims to open mid-summer

Ryan’s sister Kara Hidinger, her husband and chef Ryan Smith, and Jen have been working feverishly to fulfill Ryan’s dream of opening Staplehouse. Jen says the end—or maybe the new beginning—is finally in sight. “We’re deep into construction and on schedule for the middle of summer—the end of July if not sooner,” she says. “It’s been six years since we birthed this concept out of our home. It’s formed so many different branches for such good, and it’s the heart of what Ryan and I created.”

Melanie Durant moves to Charleston, Ryan Smith returns to Empire State South

Change is again on the horizon at Empire State South. Executive pastry chef Melanie Durant has accepted an offer to launch a pastry program at Fig in Charleston, where she’ll extend the eatery’s award-winning seasonal and local approach to the dessert menu. Durant led the ESS pastry team following Cynthia Wong’s departure in 2012, who moved to London taking the beloved phatty cakes with her. Ryan Smith, who previously ran the kitchen, will step in as the temporary pastry chef.

Chef Ryan Smith divulges details about Staplehouse

What started as a dream in 2009 is about to become reality this year. Staplehouse, a restaurant helmed by chef Ryan Smith (previously of Empire State South), will open in the Old Fourth Ward in "the very foreseeable future," according to co-owner Jen Hidinger.

The 14 most anticipated restaurants for 2014

With the new year comes new restaurants to watch, new chefs to follow, and new menus to salivate over. As we (impatiently) await opening night, here are the 14 most anticipated restaurants for 2014.

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.

Joshua Hopkins replaces Ryan Smith at Empire State South

Ryan Smith officially ended his tenure as executive chef at Hugh Acheson's Empire State South this past weekend, leaving Joshua Hopkins at the helm. Hopkins, who previously served as executive chef at White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails, as well as STG Trattoria and Abattoir, says Empire State South customers shouldn’t expect to see too much of a change in the food as Smith turns his focus to Staplehouse.

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.

Ryan Smith is Joining the Staplehouse Team

Ryan Smith, Empire State South’s executive chef, will leave his position by the end of 2013 to join as a partner in the forthcoming Staplehouse, conceived by Ryan and Jen Hidinger. Smith’s fiancé and Ryan Hidinger’s sister, Kara Hidinger (currently at Abattoir), will also be a partner in the restaurant. The team hopes to have the restaurant open by the end of the year; they’ve already filed a letter of intent on a building in the Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park area.

This is what an eight course blood dinner looks like

What began as a conversation on Twitter months ago became an eight course "Blood Dinner" at Livingston last night. Chef Zeb Stevenson brought in the formidable talents of Tyler Williams, Ryan Smith, and Josh Hopkins for a collaborative meal of blood-centric dishes. The menu ranged from classical dishes like pressed squab to futuristic inventions like the "Bloody Pebbles," which were something like the Dippin' Dots of blood. The chefs seemed to be genuinely excited by the challenge and their enthusiasm showed on the plates. Take a look below.

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