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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for May, 2012

Foiereos at Holeman and Finch

foiereosI’m a such a sucker for Holeman & Finch. Always one of my first suggestions to out of town friends looking for a memorable meal, it is one of the few places that I’ll immediately agree to eating, regardless of how recently I’ve been or what other responsibilities I may have to shirk in order to go.

Of the myriad of things I love about H&F, beyond the fantastic cocktails, carbonara, and that sinful black butter served beneath the pan-seared veal brains, is the fact that I never have to wonder if I can scratch my foie gras itch.

While the johnny cakes, bacon, and farm egg topped with a slice foie is my usual go-to, on my most recent visit, I spotted something that I couldn’t resist trying. The Foiereos – little chocolate cookies, each stuffed with a slice of foie gras torchon and served with a glass of brandy milk punch.

The tiny wafers that make up the “cookie” are light and crispy, and the bitterness of the semisweet chocolate gives a sharp contrast to the rich foie gras. I …

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Restaurant inspections, repeated complaints

Recently, the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environment Health offices has received repeated complaints about Fortune Cookie Chinese Restaurant, located at 2480 Briarcliff Road, Suite 7, Atlanta.

The complaints revolved around Fortune Cookie not posting the current food safety score. The reader complained directly to the county office and to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saying the restaurant would repeatedly take the current score down and replace it with a higher, older score.

The DeKalb County office responded to several questions regarding this issue. Here are excerpts.

Q: Can the inspector revisit to see if the exam is posted properly (reader says a plant block view of it)?

A: Yes, an inspector may conduct a site visit to ensure the inspection report is posted.

Q: What is the consequence of repeated noncompliance of regulations – and this one specifically?

A: There are a number of options for repeated noncompliance of regulations ranging from mandatory food safety …

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Warren Bruno, owner of Ormsby’s and Atkins Park, dies

Warren Bruno (credit: Jeff Moore)

Warren Bruno (credit: Jeff Moore)

Warren Bruno, the longtime Atlanta restaurateur, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with lymphoma. He had an unerring sense of vibe, creating iconic taverns for successive generations of  Atlantans in search of good food, quality drink and a comfortable place to hang out. The always-packed Ormsby’s, with its subterranean game room, is far from the fanciest restaurant in the Westside Provisions District, but it’s the bedrock — the boiler room of good energy that makes the whole neighborhood a better place to be.

Here’s a brief bio, excerpted from a blog post written by Bruno’s friend, Elizabeth Moore of Green Olive Media:

“Warren Bruno created some of Atlanta’s favorite neighborhood restaurants. In the past 30 years, Bruno owned and operated 13 restaurants in the community, including Aunt Charley’s, Groundhog Tavern, Atkins Park Tavern, Ormsby’s, and Phoenix Brewing Company (now 5 Seasons Brewing). An owner/operator himself, …

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The Lawrence restaurant review, Midtown

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As far as I know, The Lawrence is the first restaurant that has its own special rune. This character looks a bit like a sideways bingo card attached to a bomb detonator, potentially of Celtic or Sumerian derivation, or even Middle Hobbit. It appears both on the menu and chalked onto a blackboard behind the bar; it pops out here and there throughout the restaurant and insinuates itself onto your brainpan. You suspect British guerrilla street artist Banksy may soon cotton to it.

John Kessler is the chief dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

John Kessler is the chief dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This glyph-like logo suggests, aptly, a fresh look at the language of today’s restaurant culture. Owner Patrick La Bouff, who first became known as the brains behind the underground supper club Dinner Party, intends just that. He and his business partners (manager Darren Carr and executive chef Shane Devereux) developed the Lawrence in the Midtown space that was once Lupe Taqueria (and Cuerno before that) with an eye to the …

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Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails restaurant review, Milton

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In Milton lies a fruitful garden, 3 years old and almost an acre in size. A cottonwood tree grows in its center surrounded by purple and red salvia, anchoring the space. The bounty of this garden includes micro-mustard greens, five varieties of heirloom tomatoes, three types of okra and Silver Queen corn.

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

The garden, tucked just out of view behind the 150-year-old farmhouse that is Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails, ignites the passion of the restaurant’s chef, Boyd Rose. During a conversation with Rose, all paths lead back to the garden.

He says, “When we started the garden three years ago, it transformed me as a chef.” His connection with the garden likely played a role in his cooking style, which has him cooking “more simple, basic food . . . not as froufrou as what [he] made at Rainwater.”

Rose categorizes his food at Milton’s as new Southern cuisine, Southern cooking with a twist. The twig-bound clipboarded menu features Southern comfort favorites …

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Domino’s adds gluten-free pizza crust

Domino's GF crustIt was only last month that I called all the local pizza places with delivery to find just one offering gluten-free crust. We were organizing a pizza party for a Girl Scout event and had one gluten-free family. My calls were met with confusion, “Gluten what?” Domino’s Pizza was one of the places I called.

It seems that I was just a few weeks too early. Last week, Domino’s announced that it now offers gluten-free crusts. They contain no wheat, rye or barley. Instead, the ingredients include rice flour, rice starch, potato starch and olive oil.

While we have some wonderful independent pizza places making gluten-free crusts in Atlanta, Domino’s is the first large-scale pizza chain to offer them. This signals the recognition of the trend towards gluten-free products for those with Celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity. Domino’s, however, introduces its gluten-free crust with a disclaimer: it is not recommended for individuals with Celiac disease.

The new crusts are made in the …

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Ozersky raves about Atlanta after Food and Wine festival

atlfoodfest.0522Upon returning from last weekend’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, Josh Ozersky took to his weekly column on Rachelray.com and made some grand, and complimentary, observations about the festival and about the Atlanta dining scene in general.

Now, I know that there are few things that Atlanta foodies enjoy more than bashing our own city and spewing vitriol over how we are light years behind New York, San Francsico, Chicago, etc. I’m sure some of you are going to scan this post, and copy and paste the same tired comments ripping on Atlanta that you have posted on other blogs. And any mention of the AFWF will surely draw comments about how expensive it was, at least one post including the phrase “in this economy”, and an example of how many five dollar foot longs one could eat for the price of a ticket.

Haters are gonna hate, I guess, but I’m more of an optimist than that. And it is always nice when an out-of-towner pays us a compliment.

In his post, titled “What I Saw In …

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‘Hell’s Kitchen’ casting call in Atlanta

HK11&12_Atlanta_Flyer_OpenCall

Who wants to be on TV? What about with Gordon Ramsay?

If you’ve got skills in the kitchen and a thick skin, you’ve got a chance to be on “Hell’s Kitchen” with Gordon Ramsay. The show’s casting directors are hosting an open call in Atlanta on June 2. They will be casting for both Seasons 11 and 12 of this famous trial-by-fire cooking competition show. A total of 50 people will be selected from across the country to fill the spots.

Those attending the casting call should take a photo of themselves and a completed application. The interviews will be taped, so no video submission will be necessary if attending in person. If you can’t make it, you can submit your application and video online.

After the initial casting call, up to 25 people will be called back each day for three days for follow ups.

Anyone plan to try out?

2-6 p.m. June 2. Fado’s Irish Pub. For additional information and application, see the show’s casting site.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

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Super Pan to close, possibly reopen in larger space

Chef Hector Santiago and wife Leslie close Super Pan but have plans for future relocation.

Chef Hector Santiago and wife Leslie close Super Pan but have plans for future relocation.

Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop, the lunch-only spot that sits just behind Pura Vida Tapas on Blue Ridge Avenue, announced that it plans to close its doors as of today.

Despite the high praise the restaurant received from diners and critics alike, it didn’t receive enough business to sustain it. According to the press release, “the foot traffic in the area is not enough to support the high labor, high food cost concept in its current location.”

If you’re already missing the Medio Dia, Chef Hector’s popular take on a Cuban sandwich, don’t despair. Owners Hector and Leslie Santiago, who also own Pura Vida, hope to reopen Super Pan in a new location with space for a full Latin bakery and coffee shop and, of course, the sandwiches for which Super Pan is known. The plan is to have a place that will be open for coffee, breakfast and lunch, with a possible dinner option. The Santiagos are …

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Better cooking through science

Chicken cooked sous vide, then crisped in its skin

Chicken at Little Alley Steak

When I reviewed Little Alley Steak last week, I didn’t fully express my geek admiration for the exemplary Springer Mountain chicken the kitchen prepares. The white and dark meat arrive fused together, perfectly juicy without being pink, and wrapped in perfectly crisped skin.

Think about it: have you ever made chicken that looks like this? It’s no simple recipe.

For starters, the kitchen uses a daub of transglutaminase — a binding agent for protein that chefs have dubbed “meat glue” to make the boneless dark and white meats adhere together and to a wrapping of chicken skin.

Next, the chef seals the chicken in an airtight, vacuum sealed plastic bag – a technique known by its French name, sous vide. The sealed bag then cooks gently in hot water, which is agitated and heated with an immersion circulator until it cooks thoroughly.

Before service, a cook removes the chicken from a bag and pops it into a fryer to crisp the skin and heat the interior. …

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