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Archive for August, 2012

Bar Antico to open this Fall

Credit: Liz Lapidus PR

Credit: Liz Lapidus PR

Giovanni Di Palma, owner and pizzaiolo at Antico Pizza Napoletana, recently broke ground on the next step in the Antico empire: Bar Antico.

Originally thought to be called Antico Gelateria – or, at least that is the name on Di Palma’s building permit application – the actual name of the 2,000 square foot expansion was revealed yesterday. The new venture is located in what used to be a house right across the street from the original pizzeria.

The main focus of Bar Antico will serve gelato and alcoholic limoncello, as well as traditional Neapolitan street food and the new space will include al fresco seating for 100 patrons. Before you try to Google that, I’ll save you the time…it means the seating will be outside. Di Palma envisions a piazza-like feel to the pizzeria/Bar Antico combo, where it just feels natural for diners to enjoy a pizza and then casually stroll across the street for dessert and a digestivo.

“I am very thankful to Atlanta …

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Restaurant inspections, Great Wall Buffet

Poor hygiene practices from an inexperienced kitchen staff cost a Paulding County restaurant a passing health inspection recently.

Employees at Great Wall Buffet, 4484 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway, Hiram, weren’t washing their hands correctly or wearing hair nets when preparing food during an Aug. 13 routine inspection.

Two employees were seen washing their hands in dirty dishwater. Another employee washed his hands correctly, but then re-contaminated them by turning the water off using bare hands. Paper towels were unavailable at the sink.

The restaurant was given a failing score of 56. Manager Chang Lin said his staff was inexperienced and needed training on how to wash their hands properly. “This wouldn’t have happened with experienced workers,” he said.

Employees were also shown how to use a hair restraint, and to cover food so it does not become contaminated.

Points were taken off because numerous containers of sweet-and-sour chicken were uncovered in the walk-in cooler, as …

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Shoya Izakaya restaurant review, Doraville

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So I’m sitting in pole position in a Japanese tatami dining room — right by the door through which all new plates of food will appear.

“Excuse me!” the waitress cries cheerily as she sweeps aside the privacy curtain and delivers the latest batch of yummies: grilled mushrooms, ribbons of crispy chicken skin, fried lotus roots, tiles of pork belly braised in sweetened soy sauce. I take the plates and look to the assorted members of my party, who are all ready to pounce. Each one of these little suckers has to be divided into six portions; everyone wants a taste.

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

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

Some things — like how to eat — do get a little lost in translation, and that’s OK.

We’re at Shoya Izakaya, metro Atlanta’s finest (and, to my way of thinking, only true) Japanese pub. The term “izakaya” has started to gain traction in Atlanta and elsewhere as its small-plates menu format and focus on spirits mirror …

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Atlanta Revisited: Cabernet Steakhouse, Alpharetta

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Last December, a new breed of steakhouse opened in Atlanta. STK, branded as a steakhouse for women, serves small “female-friendly” portions, lighter options and fruity cocktails in a trendy atmosphere complete with cream leather banquettes. The restaurant markets itself with the slogan: “Not Your Daddy’s Steakhouse.”

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

If STK isn’t your daddy’s steakhouse, then Alpharetta’s Cabernet Steakhouse might be. Modeled after what chef Richard Holley calls the “grand steakhouses of New York,” Cabernet’s dining room, overpolished and swathed in warm wood tones, exudes an unmistakable masculine sensibility. The restaurant even boasts an enclosed cigar bar off the main dining room, its popularity proven by the waitlist for cigar lockers. (Not a smoker? A separate ventilation system prevents any trace of smoke in the main dining room.)

Cabernet, which opened in 2000, sits near the Windward Parkway/Ga. 400 intersection. It caters to area …

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John Kessler’s personal remembrances of Julia Child

Chef extraordinaire Julia Child would have been 100 today. After her death on Aug. 13, 2004, at the age of 91, AJC chief dining critic John Kessler wrote his personal remembrances of Child, below, as well as an accompanying tribute.

Kessler called her a “cultural touchstone, an incomparable personality, an iconoclastic voice of reason and a great wit.” We hope you enjoy his appreciations of Child as so many readers did when they were first published eight years ago.

AMERICA’S FRENCH CHEF: JULIA CHILD, 1912-2004:

Mastering the art of life

By John Kessler

In 1995, when the American Institute of Wine & Food was holding its annual conference in Boston, I was lucky enough to get invited to a cocktail party at Julia Child’s home in Cambridge.

It was like a favorite old aunt’s house — clean and comfortable, with well-loved carpets over glossy wood floors, and books shelved and stacked everywhere. The side tables in the living room groaned with mementos and family photographs, …

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John Kessler’s tribute to Julia Child, Aug. 14, 2004

Chef extraordinaire Julia Child would have been 100 today. After her death on Aug. 13, 2004, at the age of 91, AJC chief dining critic John Kessler penned the tribute below, as well as his personal remembrances of Child.

Kessler called her a “cultural touchstone, an incomparable personality, an iconoclastic voice of reason and a great wit.” We hope you enjoy his appreciations of Child as so many readers did when they were first published eight years ago.

AMERICA’S FRENCH CHEF: JULIA CHILD, 1912 – 2004:

With a shrill ‘Bon appetit!’ she taught us to eat, live well

By John Kessler

When Julia Child spoke, people mimicked. They trilled. They warbled. But they never quite got it.

The unique beauty of that voice wasn’t in the inimitable teeter of its pitch inasmuch as in its expansive wit, generosity and resonant affirmation of all the delicious possibilities of life.

Julia Child, the iconic cookbook author and television star, died early Friday morning at her home in Montecito, …

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The fast fruits of summer

Heirloombruschetta2Thank the good lord for the fruits of summer.

When I’m planning a dinner for friends, I nearly always start from the main and back my way into the sides. This last weekend, wrought with indecision over my protein, I found myself still on my couch deciding on what to cook for a group of 8 that evening at 4 p.m.

As someone that likes to do all of the work in the kitchen himself, and tends choose somewhat overcomplicated and challenging dishes to cook when I’m trying to show off for my friends, I was on the verge of freaking out. I had 3.5 hours to figure out what to make, go to the store, and then prepare and serve four dishes for 8 people.

After finally settling on some Malaysian-ish marinated steak and chicken kabobs, I had to fly out the door with little else planned, hoping I figured something out. Armed with a pitifully short shopping list, only one recipe in my head, and very little time, I knew that my sides should be light, seasonal, and easy to whip together in a …

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Cook Hall to replace Market at W – Buckhead and more news

wLogoBuckhead’s W Hotel will soon have a new gastropub, Cook Hall, to replace Market. Renovations begin next month to create what a press release calls “a place where chefs would dream of gathering.”

The beverage program will be the handiwork of 2011 James Beard award winner Belinda Chang, whose resume includes time at New York’s Monkey Bar and The Modern, as well as Charlie Trotter’s of Chicago. Cook Hall will serve boutique wines and a daily menu of handcrafted cocktails.

Chang has also designed the Cook Hall Cocktail Kit, a signature item for the beverage program. The kit will serve 2-10 guests and will include a spirit of choice with tinctures and mixers for custom cocktails made tableside. Recipe included.

Cook Hall, a concept conceived by Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group, will serve global gastropub fare under the direction of chef David Gross. Think small plates, charcuterie, tacos, flatbreads and sandwiches.

Local design firm Blackdog Studio will redesign …

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Bone Lick BBQ opens tomorrow in West Midtown

Bone Lick BBQ opens tomorrow, Aug. 14. photo: www.facebook.com/BoneLickBBQ

Bone Lick BBQ opens tomorrow, Aug. 14. photo: www.facebook.com/BoneLickBBQ

Just recently, the team of Alex Friedman, Keiran Neely and Michael LaSage took ownership of Pizzeria Vesuvius and opened the Edgewood Speakeasy. Tomorrow they will open Bone Lick BBQ in West Midtown. The trio are also behind P’cheen International Bistro.

The new 2700 square foot barbecue spot grew out of P’cheen’s popular Monday Night Bone Lick BBQ by Mike LaSage. It will offer a quick counter-service lunch and a full-service dinner. Monday night favorites from P’Cheen like the Pulled Pork Sammy, The Austin-tacious brisket sandwich and the Failed Hunter vegetarian sandwich will still be available. But also look for new items like homemade beef jerky and sausage, cured hams and specialty bacon.

In a press release, LaSage said, “We’re not going for your typical barbecue restaurant.” You’ll see that in the dinner menu with items like spicy deep-fried boiled peanuts, smoked pepper pork rinds …

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Restaurant inspections, Northern China Eatery

A Chinese restaurant on Buford Highway saw its perfect health score drop 39 points because a cooler wasn’t keeping prepared foods at safe temperatures.

Northern China Eatery, 5141 Buford Highway, Suite C, Doraville, receive a failing score of 61 on a routine inspection Aug. 8 as some food temperatures in the reach-in cooler ranged from 46 to 56 degrees, well above the 41-degree limit.

Management was told to get the cooler fixed and its health score up, or face voluntary closure.

Elevated temperatures were recorded on cooked and raw chicken, pork, tofu and raw eggs.

In addition, mold was found on some sauce, which was discarded. Utensils for scooping rice and soup were being held in stagnant water, instead of in hot water or on a clean surface. A container of leftover chicken was not marked with a disposal date.

Northern China quickly had the cooler repaired and now “everything’s good,” manager Mei Qi said. She said the restaurant would be re-inspected. Its last two …

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