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Poutine—originally a Quebecois snack of fries topped with gravy, cheese curds, and sometimes other toppings—is slang for “mess” in Canadian French. The dish drifted down South and onto Atlanta menus a few years back, but it wasn’t until this year that two stellar versions (with top-notch ingredients that make all the difference) became available locally.
Simply labeling the General Muir a Jewish deli may be useful shorthand, but it doesn’t cover the extent of its multifaceted pleasures. Yes, the back counter sells “appetizing”—the word used to describe whitefish salads, lox, and cream-cheese bagel schmears—as well as treats like blueberry noodle kugel and lemony black-and-white cookies.
Last October, my best eating buddy passed away unexpectedly. I could count on Leon to stomach four barbecue joints during an afternoon research blitz, don a jacket and tie for dinner at Quinones at Bacchanalia, and debate the fine points of artisan gins over late-night cocktails. A native Atlantan, Leon gamely explored the fringes of his hometown, accepting impromptu invites to try Oaxacan moles in Jonesboro or Korean monkfish stew in Duluth.
We reviewed 2012 a couple weeks back. What will 2013 bring? Here are the thirteen restaurants we're most anticipating:
Yesterday, Westside restaurant Bocado announced that chef Todd Ginsberg would be leaving the restaurant on October 20. Rumors have been circulating for months now that Ginsberg would be opening a Jewish deli with Jennifer and Ben Johnson, owners of West Egg, and Ginsberg has finally confirmed his involvement in the project. The General Muir, slated to open in Emory Point by the end of 2012, was announced earlier this year with a press release that promised, "traditional deli classics, such as pastrami and corned beef, chopped liver, smoked fish, and hand-rolled kettle-boiled bagels, as well as innovative takes on traditional dishes."
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.