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Ford Fry names his first Houston restaurant State of Grace

With Mex-Tex spot the El Felix now open at Avalon, Ford Fry is moving on to his next projects. Superica, another Mex-Tex restaurant, is slated to open in late January in Krog Street Market, and he’s just announced the name of his first Houston restaurant: State of Grace. He’s also busy planning the “little sister” restaurant to the Optimist, slated to open at 280 Elizabeth Street next summer.

Check out the menu for Ford Fry’s the El Felix, opening November 3 at Avalon

Rocket Farms Restaurants proprietor Ford Fry—the man behind the Optimist and King + Duke, as well as St. Cecilia, No. 246, JCT Kitchen and the soon-to-open Superica—will unveil his first OTP restaurant, the El Felix, November 3. A Mex-Tex spot, the El Felix is located at 1130 Avalon Boulevard in the new Avalon complex in Alpharetta.

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.

Ford Fry talks details on his upcoming St. Cecilia

The next restaurant to open in chef Ford Fry’s burgeoning empire, St. Cecilia will focus on light seafood and pastas influenced by Northern Italy. Its home, formerly Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s Bluepointe, is being completely renovated, and as it enters the final stages of construction, Fry feels comfortable enough to announce a December—or at the latest, January—target launch date. Here, he shares the plans for the restaurant’s menu, atmosphere, and executive chef, as well as some new concepts he’s contemplating.

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.

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