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 December, 2011

Recap: Atlanta’s dining landscape in 2011

Executive Chef John Coley at Double Zero Napoletana (photos by Becky Stein)

Executive Chef John Coley at Double Zero Napoletana (photos by Becky Stein)

Before we dive headlong into 2012, let’s take a look back at the evolution of Atlanta’s dining landscape in 2011.

Newcomers in 2011:

Continue reading Recap: Atlanta’s dining landscape in 2011 »

Wendy’s launches foie gras burger…in Japan

Credit: Wendy's Japan

Credit: Wendy's Japan

I’m just not sure what to think of this one.

It was announced this week that Wendy’s is re-launching in Japan, with plans to open over 100 restaurants within the next five years, and to eventually expand to up to 700 stores. But this isn’t your American neighborhood Wendy’s.

No, in addition to unique menu items like the Avocado Wasabi hamburger and Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich, Wendy’s Japan will also sling a sixteen dollar foie gras hamburger.

Yes, foie gras. At Wendy’s.

While the foodie in me wants to applaud a fast food restaurant for going outside of the box and incorporating higher end ingredients into their menu, the idea of any institution that mass-produces food adding foie gras to their menu gives me pause.

Before you jump to conclusions, I’m not against foie gras. I love it. But I am against the irresponsible production of foie gras, and if demand for it gets such a global jump start it is almost inevitable that …

Continue reading Wendy’s launches foie gras burger…in Japan »

Talking with Top Chef’s Tiffany Derry

TiffanyDerryTCI recently had the chance to catch up with Top Chef Season 7 and All-Stars alum, Tiffany Derry, to talk about her post Top Chef life and she shared some of her recipes for us to try at home.

Since her second stint on Top Chef All-Stars, Derry has opened her first? Restaurant in Dallas, Private Social. She says that the restaurant is “Global cuisine, but definitely with a little Southern in there.”

In addition to dealing with the whirlwind of opening a new restaurant and the recognition that comes with being a Top Chef alum, Derry is has been filming her own yet-to-be-named reality TV series that focuses on the rigors of being a chef.

“It is more of a reality documentary show about the stories that a chef goes through balancing work, and a home life,” says Derry. “Those darn cameras are a part of my life now!”

Given that her home state of Texas is playing host to this season of Top Chef, I couldn’t resist asking her take on the show: “I feel that we have not …

Continue reading Talking with Top Chef’s Tiffany Derry »

Barcelona Wine Bar restaurant review, Inman Park



You know when you should go to the new Spanish restaurant, Barcelona Wine Bar? On Sunday night, and here’s why: The dining room will be busy, but not totally insane. Nearly every bottle of wine on the seriously cool list is 50 percent off, and there’s a whole roast pig in the kitchen. Your portion, topped with a Flintstonian rib, will arrive heaped on a wooden platter.

Review by John Kessler

Review by John Kessler

You know when else you should go? Early on a weeknight, say at about 6 or 6:30 p.m., for a quick bite before a movie or a concert. You should be able to secure a table in the ever-lively bar area at this hour and down a few quick tapas and a glass of wine. So fortified, you’ll last long into the night.

Then again, you might just want to jump into the rugby scrum that is Saturday night. Good luck. I’ve been afraid.

But I’ve loved getting to know a place that gets its tone so exactly right. The crowds come because this restaurant — surprisingly, a link in a small Connecticut …

Continue reading Barcelona Wine Bar restaurant review, Inman Park »

Bleu House Cafe and Bleu House Market restaurant reviews, Norcross



Growing up, I made weekly trips with my family to eat at the train depot in historic downtown Norcross, a place my dad frequented with colleagues. At that time, the quaint little town by the tracks was just that — quaint. In the years since, that sleepy stretch has experienced a rebirth, with a concerted effort by the city to beautify the area and attract businesses and customers. Norcross now boasts a growing list of shops and restaurants, including a cafe and a market — the Bleu House Cafe and Bleu House Market.

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

Over the past seven years, Norcross has molded Bleu House Cafe into its own neighborhood lunch-only spot. This quirky bright blue house with a wall-size jester mural spanning the length of the 30-seat dining room serves home-style salads, sandwiches, soups and wraps.

“We started small,” owner Maureen Adams said. “Out front, we talked to people to find out their favorites.” The menu of this homey restaurant is a compilation of …

Continue reading Bleu House Cafe and Bleu House Market restaurant reviews, Norcross »

International beat: The top 10 dishes of 2011

When I devised my “best of” list this year, I couldn’t help but notice that most dishes listed here had a common theme: comfort. On a personal level, I didn’t particularly have a daunting year, so I’m not sure why my choices gravitated this way.

The other commonalities these dishes have are flavor, texture and/or ingredient nuances that made them stand out more than average comfort food. And to be honest, my top four choices could vie for the top spot on any given day, depending on my cravings.

So without further ado, I present my top 10 choices for 2011.


Gongura goat curry

10. Gongura goat curry – Sri Krishna Vilas

The gongura goat curry tastes similar to most all slow-simmered Indian curry, but gongura leaves makes this dish stand out in a crowded field of curry. Initially the leaves impart sourness, but it mellows into a fruity profile that works well with this thick and spicy dish.

Braised oxtail soup

Braised oxtail soup

9. Braised oxtail soup – Wong Kee BBQ and Peking Duck

The soup’s subtle …

Continue reading International beat: The top 10 dishes of 2011 »

Restaurant Inspections

During the holidays, we are providing an extended list of recent inspection scores from restaurants across the area.

Clayton County

  • Caribbean Restaurant & Fresh Fish, 8274 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro. 82/B
  • Chick-Fil-A, 1133 Southlake Mall, Morrow. 100/A
  • Krystal, 6605 Ga. 85 Riverdale. 87/B
  • Mandarin Express, 1137 Southlake Mall, Morrow. 92/A
  • Nostalgia Tasty Seafood & More, 555 Ga. 138 SW, Suite B, Riverdale. 84/B
  • Mcdonald’s, 5192 Jonesboro Road, Lake City. 96/A
  • Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3512 Ga. 138, Stockbridge. 98/A

Cobb County

  • Carol’s Cafe, 2543 Bells Ferry Road, Suite 50, Marietta. 91/A
  • Chick-Fil-A, 3295 Cobb Parkway NW, Acworth. 90/A
  • Shangrila Bistro, 1282 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 108, Marietta. 79/C
  • Taco Bell, 400 Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw. 100/A
  • Churchill’s Pub, 1401 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 128, Marietta. 92/A
  • City Bistro, 400 Barrett Parkway, Suite 129, Kennesaw. 98/A
  • McDonald’s, 1015 S. Cobb Drive, Marietta. 77/C

DeKalb County

  • Pizza Hut, 3523 Memorial Drive, …

Continue reading Restaurant Inspections »

Cardamom Hill opens next week and more news

Asha Gomez, owner of Cardmom Hill

Asha Gomez, owner of Cardmom Hill

On Jan. 5, Cardamom Hill opens in the Berkeley Park neighborhood Heights district of West Midtown. The restaurant will serve family-style dishes from Chef-owner Asha Gomez’s native Kerala, a southwestern Indian state positioned on the ancient spice routes between Europe and Asia. Gomez entered the food scene with her underground dinner series, Spice Route supper club, which blossomed and inspired her to open Cardamom Hill. The restaurant, one of the first to explore regional Indian cuisine, will feature items such as masala-rubbed kingfish roasted in a banana leaf, spiced goat chops and pork vindaloo.

11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. and 5:30- 10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m Fridays-Saturdays. 1700 Northside Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-549-7012. $$-$$$.

In other news:

  • Midtown’s Tierra Restaurant announced recently that it will close on Feb. 17, 2012, just a day after its 13th anniversary. In a newsletter written …

Continue reading Cardamom Hill opens next week and more news »

Satiety: a healthy word for the New Year

The mission of this column, which I have chosen to accept, is to write about deliciousness. My words should tell you where to find it and how to create it. This season of good cheer is my bonanza – the time to fill your mind with thoughts of cookie swaps and mail-order candy, of ginormous roast beasts, of holiday dining with five-course meals and free-flowing champagne.

I’m not here to scold you by pointing out you really shouldn’t have that second piece of cake, or that restaurants screw up your sense of a true portion, or if you knocked off the sauce a little, you might lose that spare tire. If you want to read about diet and nutrition, look elsewhere.

But, well…

I do think about diet, particularly because my own seesaws quite a bit. When I’m not out stuffing my face with barbecue and fried chicken in the name of research, I tend to eat at home like an unreconstructed 1970s Moosewood Cookbook-toting hippie. Tempeh, kale and brown rice are specialties of the house.

Yet, …

Continue reading Satiety: a healthy word for the New Year »

Tex-Mex food truck in midtown

ttaco2Recently, I sampled the food truck fare over at Tex’s Taco who park over in midtown on Thursdays around lunchtime (near the Shell gas station off Peachtree Street and the Buford Highway split).

I purchased the chicken fresca and carne asada (steak) tacos made with flour tortillas and heavily dressed with lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo (served on the chicken) and guacamole (served on the steak).

Ttaco1To be frank, I am biased towards simpler tacos that come on small corn tortillas with a smattering of diced onions and cilantro. The carne asada was overwhelmingly salty, and the gloppy chicken fresca didn’t leave a lasting impression.

The Tex-Mex taco truck also offers a few other tacos, quesadillas and lime-flavored fries that I have yet to try.

Have you tried Tex’s Taco? What do you think?

by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

Continue reading Tex-Mex food truck in midtown »