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Culinary students may still squeeze themselves into the stiff white chefs coat, long the industry’s de rigueur uniform. But the new must-have garb, particularly among Atlanta’s male chefs who have made it to the top of the food chain, is the designer apron.
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.
Set to open in March in the Krog Street Market, Fred’s Meat & Bread will be the newest eatery by the General Muir team, chef Todd Ginsberg, Shelley Sweet, and Ben and Jennifer Johnson. Jonah Merrell, previously of Bacchanalia and Star Provisions, will be chef de cuisine. The 600-square-foot counter service restaurant will offer burgers, fries, and sandwiches, including po’ boys, cheesesteaks, and banh mi, with with meals averaging $10 or less.
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.
Watching Atlanta's Westside develop has been the urban equivalent of witnessing a new mountain range emerge in fast-forward: So much fresh geography, so many uncharted nooks. What is currently the area’s most fertile corridor of businesses—between the junction of Northside Drive and Marietta Street and the intersection of Howell Mill Road and Fourteenth Street—felt forsaken just five years ago. Now you can stop for Thai curry at Spoon, pick up cupcakes in a dozen flavors at Caryn’s Cakes, grab panini at Toscano & Sons Italian Market, and disappear into the clump of businesses dubbed the "Beer-muda Triangle": 5 Seasons Brewing Company, retailer Hop City, and Octane, which serves Belgian ales and microbrews alongside coffee. This stretch also claims its share of destination restaurants—Bacchanalia, Abattoir, and the just-opened Miller Union among them.