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Archive for October, 2012

Ford Fry’s King + Duke and more news

Additional details have been released regarding the newest member of Ford Fry’s family of restaurants: King + Duke. It will open in Buckhead in March of 2013 in the space that once housed Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s Nava.

King + Duke is being billed as a Colonial American restaurant complete with an open hearth where early American cooking techniques will be employed. Chef Joseph Schafer, currently chef de cuisine at JCT. Kitchen & Bar, will lead the kitchen in his new role as executive chef at King + Duke.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by characters in the novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” According to a press release, the characters’ deceptive nature alludes to the deception that the Buckhead restaurant is far more playful and casual than might be expected. It will be more American Tavern than fine dining.

Designs by Meyer Davis Studio Inc. indicate a focus on comfort and unobstructed views of the kitchen. An exterior garden will be a key component of …

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Restaurant inspections, Haven

Haven, a trendy bar and restaurant at 1441 Dresden Drive, Atlanta, was marked down to a 54/U during a recent routine inspection because the dishwasher and a prep cooler weren’t working correctly.

The dishwasher was dispensing weak sanitizing solution, and employees were told to wash and rinse the dishes manually until it was repaired. The cooler was not holding temperatures at 41 degrees or below. Some smoked salmon and other food were recorded at 50 degrees.

Haven Executive Chef Stephen Herman said the dishwasher was being serviced when the inspector made her surprise visit during the lunchtime rush on Oct. 16.

“But we didn’t know about the cooler, so it was a good thing she came when she did,” he said.

Both have since been repaired, Herman said.

In other code violations, the inspector observed an employee preparing food in a container that was on top of an open garbage can. The employee was told not to use the garbage can as a table top.

Another employee wearing …

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Restaurant inspections, Grand Asian Buffet

An Asian restaurant near Kennesaw State University still has a problem with roaches, but was allowed to re-open last week after passing its latest health inspection. It had been closed because of two previous failing inspections this month.

Grand Asian Buffet, 2821 Chastain Meadows, Marietta, scored an 86/B but management was warned to keep the facility clean and get rid of roaches. Both dead and live roaches were found in the food prep and server stations during the Oct. 9 follow-up inspection.

An earlier inspection Oct. 4 found plenty of roaches and other pests. The restaurant scored a 47/U.

There was a roach in the bulk sugar, a bug inside some melted margarine, roaches and gnats inside boxes of raw potatoes in the kitchen, live and dead roaches in the sushi bar, in stir fry pans, on the floor and shelves in the kitchen and other food prep areas, according the report.

Roaches were also observed around the hibachi grill during an Oct. 1 routine inspection when Grand Asian …

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Lure restaurant review, Midtown

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When I visit a restaurant with a creative approach to seafood, I often put it to the mental sauce test. Would the intriguing fillet of spice-crusted fish bathed in a colorful sauce that I ordered actually taste better with just a little lemon and butter?

That’s the thing about seafood. If it’s fresh, well-sourced and prepared with skill, it doesn’t need much.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

And that’s the thing about seafood restaurants. They too often can’t help but distinguish themselves with, well, much.

Lure, which opened in the former Vickery’s space in July, has no shortage of intriguing ideas, especially on its drinks list. The inside bristles with urban energy, while the best new patio in Midtown meanders about, offering many quiet corners. Then there’s the menu — a showcase of innovative modern cooking, international flavors and sustainable seafood awareness. It all combines for an alluringly shiny bauble that most …

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Atlanta Classic, The Colonnade

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In the search for Atlanta Classics, you would be hard pressed to find a more tenured candidate than The Colonnade.

First opened in 1927 by Frank Tarleton, The Colonnade quickly established itself as an institution of classic Southern food. Only one other restaurant in Atlanta can claim a longer history — Atkins Park Tavern, which opened as a deli in 1922 — but none can claim to have operated unchanged continuously as long as this icon of old Southern cooking.

AJC Dining Team member Jon Watson writes about popular eats.

AJC Dining Team member Jon Watson writes about popular eats.

Tarleton ran the restaurant out of the original location at Piedmont Road and Lindbergh Drive until losing his lease in 1962, when The Colonnade moved to Cheshire Bridge Road. It wasn’t until 1979 that current owner Paul Jones took over. In 1982, Jones expanded the restaurant to the size it is now, increasing the dining room to more than 200 seats and adding the bar area.

To say that stepping into The Colonnade feels like a time warp is certainly true — …

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Quick side dish: Delicata squash cakes

squash cakes: messy and imperfect, but quick and tasty

Squash cakes: messy and imperfect, but quick and tasty

These squash cakes were the product of one of those nights coming home to an empty fridge after running kids to gymnastics, piano and the like. In attempt to squeeze out a meal from repurposed leftovers, I assembled a few ingredients and cranked out these squash cakes – a quick side dish for a quick dinner.

I grabbed the leftover Delicata squash we’d roasted for dinner the previous evening, found a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and snapped off the last cayenne clinging to my wilting pepper plant. Those ingredients plus a little sauteed garlic and onion and you have the makings of squash cakes.

This version doesn’t incorporate bread crumbs, making it gluten-free and (admittedly) a little messy. Yet, the cheese coating crisps up like a frico (cheese crisp), adding a nice nutty flavor to the mix.

Here’s how I made my squash cakes:

  • 2 roasted Delicata squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 …

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Michelin stars for Atlanta?

Michael Ellis, the newest director of the Michelin Restaurant Guide, recently mentioned in an interview with Eater National that the revered guide to international dining excellence has Atlanta on its list of American cities they are looking to expand into.

While the Michelin star system gets its fair share of criticism, it remains a consistent measuring stick for fine dining. And, to date, no grading of the Atlanta dining scene has been conducted by Michelin.

This past week, I spent a few days in San Francisco, one of a handful of American cities currently rated by the Michelin guide. Unfortunately, a trip to Napa wasn’t in the cards for me, so visiting either of the two 3-star restaurants in the Bay Area (The French Laundry or Restaurant at Meadowood) was out of the question. As if I’ve ever planned anything far enough in advance to get a reservation at either of them anyway.

But, I did visit Saison in the Mission district of San Fran, one of the restaurants that has …

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Upcoming openings and food events

Modern Restaurant and Bar to open in Buckhead

Restaurateur Kane Xu will open the new Modern Restaurant and Bar in Buckhead Saturday. The kitchen, led by Mark Alba, who has worked at Canoe and Spice, will offer up what it calls modern American food with a heavy emphasis on seafood.

Look for items like traditional butter-poached lobster, wild Scottish salmon and sous vide pork belly. In addition to the regular menu, Modern will serve five- and seven-course tasting menus complete with wine pairings.

The bar will sell a range of cocktails, 120 wine varietals and 30 craft, local and imported beers.

The restaurant’s 12,000 square-foot space contains a 125-seat bar, 250-seat main dining room, 60-seat patio and three private dining rooms.

11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Sundays. 3365 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-554-1100.

New Italian spot in Midtown

Midtown will have another option for Italian …

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World Food Day today, free cooking demo with Hugh Acheson

courtesy ONE.org

courtesy ONE.org

Today is World Food Day, an event to promote awareness about worldwide hunger and malnutrition and to inspire action around the globe.

ONE, an organization co-founded by Bono that is dedicated to fight poverty and preventable disease, will host a series of events as part of its campaign to encourage world leaders to take action to reduce chronic malnutrition in kids. According to a press release, it’s estimated that malnutrition is to blame for more than a third of all deaths in children under the age of five.

Chefs Mario Batali, José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, Spike Mendelsohn and Hugh Acheson join the campaign with food events around the country. These chefs will highlight the sweet potato as a source of nutrition.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Stop by the Viking Cooking School today to catch a free demonstration and tasting with Hugh Acheson at 11 a.m.
  • Join a mass “Heat Tweet” today at noon. ONE is calling on the public to send a tweet to …

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Restaurant inspections, Wasabi

A Japanese restaurant in Suwanee recently received a routine inspection score of 39/U because the person in charge wasn’t maintaining food safety.

The Gwinnett County health inspector said the certified food safety manager at Wasabi, 1291 Old Peachtree Road, wasn’t ensuring food was kept at the right temperatures, or utensils were cleaned properly and food stored correctly.

In addition, the manager could not identify the five illnesses that should be reported to the health department if an employee brings them to work.

Among other noted violations, an employee reached a bare hand into a vinegar mixture for sushi rice. Another employee washed a container and knife without using soap or sanitizer.

Some frozen salmon had not been kept at temperatures low enough to kill parasites. The inspector told them not to serve it raw or undercooked. The restaurant’s menus did not include a consumer advisory disclosing all raw or undercooked items.

Temperatures in the sushi cooler were …

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