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Archive for March, 2009

Major Atlanta talent to open Miller Union on the west side

Steven Satterfield (left) — the longtime executive sous chef at Watershed — will join forces with Neal McCarthy — Sotto Sotto’s dapper general manager — to open a restaurant called Miller Union this fall.

Located on Brady Ave., near the corner of 10 St. and Howell Mill Road, Miller Union will feature simply prepared food with a strong focus on local and regional farm-to-table standards. 

“I kind of think of my style as a cross between Southern and California cuisine,” wrote Satterfield in an email. “A little fresher and lighter, but still true to roots.” The chef intends to bring attention to local growers on his menu, and the restaurant will have advanced recycling and composting programs. 

Local firm Ai3 is designing the 70-seat interior and covered patio. “The idea behind the dining space is a series of different volumetric spaces for different experiences, but they are visually connected,” wrote Satterfield.

The look will be rustic/modern. “Think oil can light …

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Atlanta Restaurant News: Changes at Restaurant Eugene, d.b.a. Barbecue arrives, Social Vinings opens, gourmet markets win a booze battle and more


Linton's new menu

Chef Linton Hopkins (left) will unveil on Thursday a radically new menu at his flagship Restaurant Eugene. Say bye bye to the classical appetizers/entrees/side dishes format and hello to a vast new list of 45 dishes — most of them small plates.

“The old menu is buried in there,” said the chef, opening up a tri-fold mockup of the new menu, which is divided into three categories: “seafood,” “vegetables” and “meat and game.” 

Guests will be able to mix, match and share a variety of dishes, much as they do at Hopkins’ always-slamming Holeman & Finch Public House just across the entranceway. 

Some of the new items: grilled vidalia, confit apricots and spiced pecans ($7); Spanish mackerel terrine ($10); duck confit, sea island red peas, apples ($11); bacon-barded grilled qual, sourwood honey, rice grits ($10). 

“It’s the way I like to eat now,” says Hopkins. “I’m not sure I want to commit to that many bites of any one dish.”

Yet plenty of people still do, and for them …

Continue reading Atlanta Restaurant News: Changes at Restaurant Eugene, d.b.a. Barbecue arrives, Social Vinings opens, gourmet markets win a booze battle and more »

Medieval torture device makes delicious bacon!

In this photo, Dave Widaski shows off one of his Jaccard meat tenderizers — a device he uses to make thousands of tiny incisions in each kurobuta pork belly he cures and smokes for bacon.

I spent part of the day yesterday with Widaski at his shop — Douglasville Retail Meats and Smokehouse — to talk to him about corned beef for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed article that will be published next week. 

But there’s so much more going on at this butcher shop and deli that I felt the need to follow up on yesterday’s hasty post and encourage curious Atlanta chowhounds to visit this meat theme park. You can get a fortifying sit-down lunch before you load up on yummy flesh.

And trust me, bacon is just the beginning.

Widaski, an experienced meat processor who moved here from Houston, doesn’t a license to deliver his product, so if you want to sample it, you’ll have to visit the shop, which is about 25 miles west of downtown. It inhabits one end of an aging retail strip and looks …

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Belly General Store, Poncey Highland

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Saturday cooking: How to make kinpira from a burdock root

Start with burdock roots longer than your average dog.

I got these at Super H Mart for about $4. They taste a bit like artichoke hearts. Italian immigrants to the U.S. learned to use them as a substitute for cardoons.

Peel them. 

Cut them into lengths, then juilienne. Japanese friends will later tell you that you cut them wrong. No matter. 

Saute in dark sesame oil with julienned carrots. “Kinpira” means saute then simmer.

Add a few spoonfuls each of soy sauce and mirin along with a little sugar. Add the Japanese pepper blend called “shichimi togarashi.” Let simmer a few minutes.

Let cool. Enjoy crunchy, fibrous, tasty kimpira gobo. Keeps in fridge for a good week. (Relative size modeling provided by Tessa, a lab mix who happened to be sitting on the floor.)

Continue reading Saturday cooking: How to make kinpira from a burdock root »

Restaurant news updates

A few crumbs here and there:

1. Bill and Micro P. over at Covered Dish broke the story that Pacci Ristorante will open adjacent to Midtown’s new Palomar Hotel in May. According to the restaurant’s publicist, this “Piemontese-style steakhouse…will offer the flavors and timeless elegance of Northern Italy.” (Wonder if they’re actually going to use Piedmontese beef.) Executive Chef Keira Moritz, formerly of Puccini & Pinetti in San Francisco, is a Georgia native. This is the second major Midtown restaurant announced from San Francisco’s Puccini Group, the folks behind Livingston in the Georgian Terrace. 

2. I spoke with Joe McCarthy, the former Capital Grille and Houston’s exec who signed the lease on the former Globe space in Technology Square. He says the name “Waterhaven” is not yet a go (lawyers need to sign off) and that’s he’s targeting a summer opening. The Globe’s minimalist look will go. “It was very austere, so we’re going to warm it up a bit,” says McCarthy. …

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Foie gras and chitlins

(UPDATE! UPDATE! Appetizing picture of peppered maple-cured bacon at the bottom!)

Check out these strange bedfellows in the freezer at Douglasville Retail Meats and Smokehouse. Advice: go get some of the amazing homemade bacon here (and fresh and smoked sausages) before the AJC story next week.

Continue reading Foie gras and chitlins »

Restaurant news galore: The Globe turns, Agnes and Muriel’s decamps, and a pair of cakes

Are you ready for Waterhaven? No it’s not a theme park or a Danish furniture company.

That’s the proposed name of the restaurant going into the former Globe space in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. The new owner has signed a long-term lease, according to Steve Josovitz of the Shumacher Group, who brokered the deal. 

The concept? “An upscale/casual, farm-to-table American restaurant,” says Josovitz. Cymbal crash.

I have a call out to the new owner…more to come.

In other news: 

  • Agnes and Muriel’s — that charmingly kitsched-out Cougar Barbie meat-and-three in Midtown — has decamped to the former Café Dupri location in Buckhead, across from Bone’s. 
  • The ever-informative Decatur Metro blog reports that Button Cakes Bakery has opened inside Voilà restaurant on West Ponce. You know what they’re baking, right? Just say it: cupcakes.
  • Johnny Cakes is preparing to open at 323 Walker Street in Castleberry Hill, next to City of Ink tattoo parlor. It will be a “fusion …

Continue reading Restaurant news galore: The Globe turns, Agnes and Muriel’s decamps, and a pair of cakes »

Does this really look like me?

Richard Blais writes a hilarious column for Creative Loafing about spotting critics, past and present — including one who was a supposed ringer for Jerry Springer. 

Maybe that’s why people always start calling each other “#!@&*!!#@+&#” and throwing chairs whenever they see me. 

Speaking of burger-meister Blais, he has announced via his Twitter feed that he plans to open two more branches of Flip Burger Boutique: one in Atlanta (location t.b.a.) and one in Nashville. 

Let’s see if I can get him on the show to confirm…

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Rabbit Redux

Shirley Corriher is one woman who knows the hows and whys of good baking. So when she offered to take me to lunch at a new restaurant where she claims she “can’t get enough of the pie crust,” I suspected she had made a great find. Indeed, I think she has.

Café Lapin, in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center, has been open just five weeks, but already has baked goods to compete with any in town. Co-owner/baker Mattie Hines also runs Le Lapin Café in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center nearby. He has already made a name for his chocolate chip cookies — huge, super thin and chewy-gooey in all the right places. His Valrhona chocolate chunk brownies are also notable for their dense yet perfectly melting texture. I’m thinking it’s the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. 

But the biggest swoons should be saved for Hines’ pie crust, which is crisp, tender, flaky and as buttery as any I’ve ever had. The best way to sample it is in one of the daily quiches, which are blessedly not deep …

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