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Archive for November, 2009

Restaurant Review: Antico Pizza Napoletana

anticoxxToday restaurant critic Meridith Ford Goldman reviews Antico Pizza Napoletana and says a wood-oven-fired pie from here (such as the San Gennaro at left) is “one of the best pizzas you will ever eat.”

I also included Antico as one of my “30 Restaurants in 30 Days” selections.

Have you tried it yet? Do you agree with Meridith’s assessment?

Continue reading Restaurant Review: Antico Pizza Napoletana »

30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Pittypat’s Porch

pittypat_roomMy Dearest Rhett,

I have sent Prissy with this letter to inform you of the dire straits at Miss Pittypat’s house in Atlanta. As you know, Miss Pittypat has left to stay with relatives in Macon. Melanie has given birth to her son, Beau, but I fear she is much weakened from the ordeal.

Though resources are scant and Atlanta nearly deserted, we find that the

ppcornbreadYankees who have descended upon our once-fair town come in search of more than the despoils of war. They themselves covet the good food and drink of an era that I fear to say will soon be bygone. Can you imagine such a thing? Alas, Rhett, we take in diners and provide them with the libations and the simple suppers they crave.

Fear not. We do not allow these callers into the upstairs drawing room but rather show them to the root cellar, where they take their meals amidst cast iron farm implements, sprays of silk gardenia and louvered window shades which artfully hide the fact there are no windows. As they descend the …

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“Top Chef” Recap: Episode 12, Ballotine Boy

Paul Bocuse (credit: Wikimedia)

Paul Bocuse (credit: Wikimedia)

If there’s one lesson to be learned from last night’s pen-penultimate episode of “Top Chef,” it’s that yummy always wins. The judges may ask you communicate the principles of Aristotelian tragedy with Fig Newtons and soy sauce, but as long as that piece of meat is cooked and salted properly, you get the first call to judges’ table.

So, as we begin our last day in the suburban McMansion, things are looking up for the remaining five. Jen has apparently discovered a product that combines the best qualities of Xanax and Tresemmé hair conditioner, and she is fine fettle. Kevin misses his wife but is glad he’s had hometown bud Eli for the ride. Eli, for his part, wants to win for his mentor Richard Blais (cue shot of teary, came-so-close Blais). Bryan admits the recession has taken a turn on his business and could really use some winnings.

Are we ready to do this thing? Chefs: start buttoning your coats.

In “Top Chef” kitchen, Padma awaits in the …

Continue reading “Top Chef” Recap: Episode 12, Ballotine Boy »

30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Anis Café & Bistro

anis4Good-tasting food has a funny way of staying alive in memory. In your mind’s palate, you start with the flavor, and then fill in the time, surroundings and state of mind.

And so I have a memory of what seemed to be the ideal croque monsieur. This French quick lunch staple is essentially a ham and cheese sandwich that has been slicked with white sauce (béchamel) and lightly broiled or baked. The world is full of lousy ones, as well as a few good ones that turn up in surprising places.

The good one I remember so fondly came on a thick, burning-hot earthenware plate. It was an ugly thing, flat and spotty, the edges of its pain de mie (soft white bread, like our sandwich bread) curled from the heat and tinged with spots of glazed white sauce. A dark ring of near-black sauce surrounded the sandwich. A few sad parsley bits were there for false cheer.

It was a weird mix of crisped crust, lava goo, funky molten cheese, sweet shaved ham. Every bite was rich, different, dangerously …

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Best Blog comment ever

From Darin, who is never allowed to stop commenting on this blog:

Mad Lib for Atlanta-restaurant blog comments:

You think _________ can make good _________ cuisine? Dude, you don’t know what good ________ is!! Get your _________ out of the sand and go visit _________, where I grew up. That’s where the real stuff is! Seriously, you can’t even get a decent _________ in Atlanta.

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This Week in Eggs: The Red Hen

redhen1I went OTP for my omelette fix this week and ended up at the Red Hen – an upscale spot in a fancy mini-mall that seems to breathe the spirit of Sunday brunch. You walk in here, and you immediately want a hot cup of coffee, a Sunday paper and perhaps a mimosa.

Open until 3 p.m., this restaurant serves breakfast until closing and a menu of nice looking sandwiches and entrees in the afternoon.

This omelette Sophia ($8.59) holds shreds of gruyère cheese and crisp, hot bacon. It’s like quiche lorraine reimagined. The chef cooks the eggs carefully so as not to brown them at all, and finishes the plate with chives snipped from a potted plant by the kitchen pass. Sweet.

redhen2It’s not cheap, but I could see how it would go into regular rotation when you’re not in a Waffle House mood. Alpharettans: what else is good at the Red Hen? Are there other breakfast joints Windward way that I missed?

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30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Nuevo Laredo Cantina


Hello 12-year-old girl, I am your lunch

Every Saturday around noon I pick up my daughter from her fencing lesson on the Westside after a full morning of activity, and she is bouncy, sweaty, excited and starving. I can’t get lunch in her fast enough.

I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to take her to Nuevo Laredo Cantina until last week. I suppose because I put in the “margarita-swilling co-workers” category in my restaurant taxonomy. But, really, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it has “starving child athletic team” written all over it.

Open since 1992, Nuevo Laredo feels like a much older restaurant for its meandering dining room crammed with tables at odd angles, for its surfeit of framed photos of celebrity guests, for its lightning-fast service, for the welcome way the salsa pot sticks to the adhesive surface of the laminated red-and-white checkered tablecloths. It feels good settling in here.

My kid got this chicken taco and cheese enchilada combination platter …

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News flash — Canoe to reopen next week

From the press release to your eyes:

Atlanta’s iconic Canoe Restaurant will reopen its doors on Monday

, November 23, 2009  after the flooding that overtook Atlanta in September. Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe bore the brunt of the flood, with the water level reaching almost six feet in the main dining room. The restaurant received enormous support from the Atlanta community with an outpouring of assistance and kind words from loyal patrons.  After 10 weeks of renovations and rebuilding, Canoe will reopen just in time for the holiday season.

Posted via email from ajcfoodandmore’s posterous

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30 Restaurants in 30 Days: One Midtown Kitchen

p-door1I can still remember the first time I walked into One Midtown Kitchen in 2002. That weird and unchartered side street on the far side of Piedmont Park. That glowing purple wall set with the restaurant’s name in stark sans serif lettering. That valet parking knot. That thick curtain just inside you have to push away…

And then, wow.

There was an urban energy inside this buidling that felt so wholly Atlanta. The collaboration of restaurateur Bob Amick and designer Bill Johnson captured the city’s warm spirit, low-key glamour, friendliness and romance.

I loved the democratic wine program (a hundred or more bottles by the glass), the swooping bar, the unfinished cinder block walls, the dishtowel washcloths, the icicle lights twinkling above, the city lights twinkling in the distance.

I liked the food just fine.

One1Over the years, I went less and less because there were enough nearby restaurants where I loved the food (Floataway Cafe, Sotto Sotto, Nam). In fact, I don’t think I’ve set …

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Front Burner: Food News You Can Eat

genkiGenki Noodle and Sushi has opened a new location in the Prado Shopping Center on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. I did not go to the opening party last week even though it had sumo wrestling and sake bombs, which as you know, is the very definition of a good time. (5590 Roswell Road,  404-843-8319)

In other news:

  • Food historian Andrew F. Smith, author of “Eating History: Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine” (Columbia University Press) will speak tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Atlanta (1927 Lakeside Parkway, Tucker) in a program organized by the Culinary Historians of Atlanta. According to the program notes, Smith will discuss “the bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts” who have fashioned the “crackerjack history behind the way America eats.” Sounds interesting.
  • Cliff Bostock ate this. Yuk.
  • Midtown Atlanta Shop and Dine week …

Continue reading Front Burner: Food News You Can Eat »