City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for May, 2009

Cuerno to close


Riccardo Ullio. Credit: AJC Staff

Riccardo Ullio. Credit: AJC Staff

Riccardo Ullio has decided to close his contemporary Spanish restaurant, Cuerno. Sunday will be its last day of operation.

The Midtown restaurant has been open since January 2008, but it never achieved the sales figures Ullio needed to keep it afloat. 

“Between the economy going to tank and the location being a little iffy, and Atlantans not being too familar with Spanish food, it just never worked out,” said Ullio. 

Since the restaurant’s debut, Ullio had hoped to bring a Spanish chef to Atlanta to oversee the menu of paellas, tapas and Spanish entrees. “Without a Spanish chef, it can be difficult to make the product,” he conceded. “Still, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done.”

Beleza, the Brazilian cocktail lounge-ish place next door, is currently breaking even and will remain open.

Continue reading Cuerno to close »

Restaurant critic dishes up transparency

Leslie Brenner, the talented restaurant critic at the Dallas Morning News, has started a new, web-only feature this week called the Backstory that serves as a kind of extended footnote to each printed review. It is, as she writes, “a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what went into the researching or writing of the review, or a relevant aspect of the reviewing process.” 

Brenner, the former food editor at the Los Angeles Times, balances good humor and fearlessness in her writing, making her reviews a pleasure to read. In other words, she pens some of the best pans out there. Read them both. 

Brenner replaced Bill Addison, who left that job for Atlanta Magazine. By the way, check out the spiffy new look of his food blog, Covered Dish.

Continue reading Restaurant critic dishes up transparency »

Bon Appétit showers some love. Plus: shameless plugs for my Sunday column


Credit: Amy Albert, Bon Appétit

Credit: Amy Albert, Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit magazine files a postcard from Atlanta on its popular Foodist blog. It gives major props to Varasano’s Pizzeria (”could be the most delicious pizza in America”) and Holeman & Finch Public House (”Cozy and friendly; think pubby, dark-wood warmth gone mod.”)

In non-news, I’ve been remiss at plugging my Sunday “Restaurant Stories” column. Here’s what I got for ya:

  1. An afternoon at Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge, where the food fuels hungry minds. (It reads funnier than that just sounded.
  2. Drinks and bites at JCT Bar in the Westside Urban Market. By ignoring the skyline and focusing on the train tracks, this interesting space found its groove.

Continue reading Bon Appétit showers some love. Plus: shameless plugs for my Sunday column »

Who wants…

Halal Pizza? 

Can you guess where?

Continue reading Who wants… »

Shoya, a Japanese izakaya, is open


Tsukune ("chicken ball")


A few local Japanese restaurants function as de facto izakayas — i.e., pubs that serve a nice variety of small plates. Go to Sushi Yoko in Norcross, Hashiguchi, Jr., in Buckhead or Sushi House Hayakawa in Doraville, and you will find a supplemental  menu of “appetizers.” Sushi remains the star attraction in all three restaurants, but some savvy diners skip right to the list of steamed, grilled, boiled, fried and variously skewered dishes and make a meal of them. 

Shoya Izakaya, which opened last week in Doraville, has inverted the equation. A sushi bar fronts this restaurant, but it doesn’t make the marquee. The real action takes place in the bilevel space beyond the sushi bar, where guests contemplate a menu of more than 120 small dishes, and a drinks list that reads like a breath of beery air from a Japanese entertainment district.


Dining Companions

Dining Companions

I grabbed a couple of dining companions and checked it out last Friday, unaware that the restaurant had only been …

Continue reading Shoya, a Japanese izakaya, is open »

Shopping for Odd Groceries at a Mystery Market

 This is the cashier’s screen at a market where I was picking up provisions for a party. Any idea where? (Pleeeeeeeeze…..keep it clean.)

Continue reading Shopping for Odd Groceries at a Mystery Market »

Guess where I am

Continue reading Guess where I am »

Mmm….pork salt

The waiter says the difference between the regular and the lite clam chowder is that the latter is “made without ‘pork salt’ or cream.” Pork salt? Salt pork? Whatever…still the best $6 lunch downtown. At Legal Sea Foods.

Continue reading Mmm….pork salt »

Hello, again: I’ve got white gazpacho, gourmands, gratuitous nudity and more!

It seems that in the course of every blog there comes a pregnant lull, then a post that begins with a long apology for not posting and many complaints about being busy and overworked.

Not this blog! 

First, I have to tell you all about the fantastic ajo blanco pictured at left in our vintage ’80’s wedding china. This is a traditional Spanish white gazpacho, made like red gazpacho with bread, garlic, vinegar and olive oil but with a base of blanched almonds and water instead of ripe tomatoes. It is incredibly easy and satisfying to make if you have a good blender. As the almonds, soaked bread and garlic blend, you add the oil in a thin stream until it makes an appealing blop, blop, blop sound like dough (or perhaps a flabby stomach) being slapped. Then you add water, vinegar and salt and puree until smooth. Just before you put the soup into the fridge to chill and develop its flavors, you add peeled or sliced green or muscat grapes. This soup has a sexy texture that sits on the …

Continue reading Hello, again: I’ve got white gazpacho, gourmands, gratuitous nudity and more! »