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9. Skipper’s Fish Camp, Darien

There’s something satisfying about eating shrimp and grits (make that blackened shrimp with cheese grits and bacon) with a fleet of shrimp boats docked right outside the window.

17. Coastal Kitchen Seafood and Raw Bar, St. Simons Island

Sometimes all you need is a strong drink, lobster nachos, a pretty view, and an 80s soundtrack.

Technique: Sotto Sotto’s Riccardo Ullio on making risotto

“People make more of a big deal about cooking risotto than it actually is,” says Sotto Sotto’s Riccardo Ullio, who’s eaten this luxuriously creamy staple of northern Italy his whole life.

3 Atlanta off-the-menu items you must try

Try these scrumptious secret meals from Seven Lamps, the Optimist, and Houston's.


It’s early evening, and once again I am at Lusca, Angus Brown and Nhan Le’s south Buckhead restaurant in the revamped space of what was once the nouveau slick Bluefin.

Villains goes coastal, pop-up to offer mussels and lobster rolls

Villains Wicked Heroes has partnered with the Fry Guy food truck and mixologists from Miller Union for the latest entry in its pop-up series: Moules Frites. Focusing on mussels and fries, the menu will change each week. Miller Union mixologist Zach Capito will helm the first evening, and Stuart White will lead the last two. The special menu will be available Monday night from 5 to 10 p.m. April 7th, 14th, and 21st.

The Optimist

Ford Fry has a knack for creating likable, trend-driven restaurants that I've found capable but overly safe. His first, JCT Kitchen & Bar in the Westside Urban Market development, opened in 2007. Its tame versions of shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, and deviled eggs draped with ham helped usher in the era of that now-cliched genre, Southern farm-to-table, but they lack gutsy soul.

No. 246—Fry’s snazzy Decatur venture with executive chef Drew Belline—launched mid-2011 when fresh hot spots were a rarity amid the draggy economy. It satisfies its nightly crowds with busy pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas charred in a wood-burning oven, and other Italian comforts. There, too, I hanker for more gusto, for more reach and spark to the cooking.

Lure opens tonight in Midtown

The new seafood concept from Fifth Group restaurants, Lure, opens tonight in the Midtown location that was formerly occupied by Vickery's Bar and Grill. The focus is fresh and forward-looking seafood to the tune of grilled whole Georgia rainbow trout, North Carolina Mahi Mahi, seared Georges Bank sea scallops, and a substantial raw bar. A few curiousities, including fried oyster sliders or grilled octopus and pork lettuce wraps, round out the menu.

Sustainable Seafood on Menus

Nothing makes me as anxious as ordering seafood in restaurants. I must look like a nutjob when I play twenty questions with a server, who more than likely has no clue about the exact provenance and life cycle of the fish or shellfish. At the very least, I need to know whether those shrimp and that salmon are domestic, imported, wild-caught, or farm-raised. And I can't just have an oyster po'boy, either. "What kind of oysters?" I whine.

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