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Archive for April, 2013

Hugh Acheson talks 5&10 progress and Savannah project

Hugh Acheson on Milledge

Hugh Acheson on Milledge

Earlier this week, Hugh Acheson was on-site and checking-in with the construction crew remodeling the historic house on South Milledge Avenue that will soon become home to his iconic Athens neighborhood restaurant, 5&10.

Acheson said he hopes the move around the corner from the original Five Points location on South Lumpkin Street will be complete by July.

But the chef, whose other endeavors include The National in Athens, Empire State South in Atlanta, and regular appearances as a judge on Top Chef, sighed as he talked about being over budget and behind schedule.

“We’re not doing that much in the main part of the house,” Acheson said, pointing to a paint-streaked vintage fireplace. “We’re mainly opening up vistas. We want to retain everything that makes this house special.”

The gentle build-out includes several contiguous dining areas, a bar, a coffee bar, and restrooms. A new addition at back of the house will contain a two-story kitchen, …

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Culinote: New site for food blogging

Picture 10If you’re a food blogger, food-blogger wannabe or a Pinterest fan, there’s a new site hoping to catch your attention: Culinote.

Culinote, still in beta version, was launched early this year by two food bloggers in Vancouver, who hoped to create a user-friendly platform for other such bloggers.

Co-founder Jonathan Livne says the site was designed to give bloggers functionality without the frustration and resulting “cumbersome mishmash” from using plugins and “work arounds” with traditional blogging software like WordPress. They are working to streamline the process for bloggers so that they can concentrate on developing quality content.

Much like Pinterest, Culinote features large photos to accompany notes, which can be organized into boards called notebooks. Also like Pinterest (and Twitter), users can follow others’ notes, which will appear in their feed on the site.

Culinote, which is fully functional on all mobile devices and tablets, allows bloggers to add …

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Angus Brown returning to Octopus Bar

Rabbit and shrimp wontons in rabbit broth with egg noodles and Chinese broccoli at Octopus Bar. Credit: AJC Staff

Rabbit and shrimp wontons in rabbit broth with egg noodles and Chinese broccoli at Octopus Bar. Credit: AJC Staff

After a months-long hiatus while he traveled, Angus Brown will return to Octopus Bar on April 18th, Eater Atlanta is reporting.

Brown has been traveling across Asia since January, soaking up the cultures and cooking in professional kitchens in Vietnam, Japan, and Cambodia. Octopus Bar is already one of my favorite late-night dining destinations in the city, and I’m extremely excited to see how this trip influences the cuisine there, as well as in OCTOPUS, the new restaurant concept he plans to open with partner Nhan Le this year.

(You can read my original review on Octopus Bar here…)

Since his departure, Octopus Bar dialed back their hours to only 4 days (Mondays, and Thursdays-Saturdays), but upon Brown’s return, the late-night spot will revert back to being open 6 days a week.

- By Jon Watson, Food & More Blog

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Aurora Coffee in VA-Highland to Close in May

AuroraEric Levin and Madonna Hill, the husband-and-wife owners of Aurora Coffee, announced that the Virginia-Highland location on Highland Avenue will close on May 21. The Little Five Points location on Moreland Avenue will remain open.

Levin, who also owns Criminal Records, said in an interview today that there are plans to expand Aurora’s business in other directions with L5P as the base.

“We’ve signed a long-term lease there, and nothing could be more pleasant than continuing operation in Little Five Points.” Levin said. “I’m excited about catering, and coffee concentrate growlers, and others ideas like doing a food truck. We have all these ideas about doing more.”

Levin said there’s been an outpouring of support on Facebook for the long-running Aurora staying put in VA-Highland, but the closing on May 21 is a done deal.

“The main message we want give our Highland customers is that even though we’re not going to be able to be in that homey environment anymore, …

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Urban education classes: Homestead Atlanta

Hand carved salt cellars (all photos courtesy of Homestead Atlanta)

Hand carved salt cellars (photos courtesy of Homestead Atlanta)

If you build it, they will come.

Or at least that’s what Kimberly Coburn hoped when she began Homestead Atlanta, a new urban educational program teaching the “lost arts.”

Modeled after the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, Homestead Atlanta offers a variety of classes that it says will help people “reconnect with forgotten heritage skills and explore innovative sustainable living sources.” Think mushroom cultivating, organic gardening, cheesemaking, hand spinning, metalsmithing.

An ad copy writer by day, Coburn also started Crop Mob Atlanta, a group that calls themselves “wannabe farmers” and come together to work on local farms. Coburn explained her decision to start both Crop Mob and Homestead, “I’m not naturally an organizer, but if I want to do something and it’s not here, there must be others that want it too.”

She approached Georgia Organics and forged a pilot partnership …

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Restaurant inspections, China Kitchen

A food booth at China Mall in Chamblee was recently closed by the DeKalb County Health Department after failing a second consecutive routine inspection.

Among the violations at China Kitchen, 5385 New Peachtree Road, raw pork belly and cabbage were being prepped in the multi-compartment sink at the same time. The cabbage was thrown away.

Vegetables can only be washed in the vegetable sink, and the multi-compartment sink should be sanitized before and after thawing or prepping raw animal products, the inspector noted.

Prepared sauces and beans were also subject to contamination because they were stored below and next to raw animal foods in the cooler. The items were rearranged to be stored separately.

In other violations, raw fish and uncooked buns filled with pork were stored on a rack at room temperature in the kitchen. China Kitchen manager explained that the food was prepped for cooking and had only been left out for 15 minutes. However, that was long enough for the …

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Southern Table-to-Farm Dining

SouthernFoodTourEven if it is a good thing, farm-to-table is one of those painfully overused buzz words that even the most foodie of foodies tend to snark about, nowadays.

But on April 21, Southern Food Tour is turning a neat trick by taking the table to the farm, featuring two of Atlanta’s top chefs — recent James Beard Awards nominee Steven Satterfield of Miller Union and recent Cochon 555 winner Ryan Smith of Empire State South.

The S&S tag team of Satterfield and Smith will collaborate on a Southern family-style dinner at Dillwood Farms in Loganville, a purveyor for several Atlanta restaurants. An early sketch of the menu includes deviled farm eggs, chicken two ways, lamb, and seasonal farm veggies.

The $125 ticket price includes charter transportation, a tour of the farm with the owners, cocktails crafted by Miller Union and Empire State South mixologists, dinner in the field with wine pairings, and dessert in the barn. Dillwood Farms, 4000 Brushy Fork Road, Loganville. Tickets:

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Bacchanalia’s Executive Chef moves to Century House Tavern

century-house-tavernThe folks up in Woodstock should be getting excited about this one – earlier this week it was announced that Bacchanalia’s executive chef Daniel Porubiansky would be leaving the lauded bastion of fine dining in West Midtown, and moving to the kitchen of Century House Tavern. Bacchanalia’s long-time chef de cuisine David Carson is moving up to take over there as Executive Chef.

It seems that the move makes sense for Porubiansky in a few ways, particularly because he is already a resident of Woodstock and lives just six miles from the rejuvenated Old Town district where Century house is located. Also, as part of the offer from general manager and co-owner Jon Hayano, Porubiansky is also getting a partnership stake in the restaurant.

Century House Tavern, which I reviewed last August, is much more casual dining than Porubiansky has been known for, and I’m both excited and fascinated to see how his vision in the kitchen impacts Century House’s direction and menu. He will …

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Restaurant inspections, Nanoom To Go

Gwinnett County health officials have suspended the food permit of Nanoom To Go for the second time this year.

The restaurant at 3312 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Duluth, has yet to celebrate its first anniversary, but has had problems passing a routine health inspection. Last week, it failed yet another routine inspection with a 51/U and was required to close its doors and come up with an action plan to correct all risk control violations.

During the inspection, the inspector found several frozen meats and seafood thawing improperly throughout the facility.

For example, raw squid was thawing in standing water in the produce sink, while Napa cabbage was on an adjacent drain board. The squid was moved to the cooler to continue thawing.

Raw pork products were thawing at room temperature on the prep table and on the meat slicer. Raw fish was thawing on top of a chest freezer.

Nanoom To Go has had repeat violations of not protecting food from cross-contamination in storage. Several …

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A tale of two sushi bars: Sushi House Hayakawa and Tomo Japanese Restaurant

hayakawasushi

Assorted sushi from Sushi House Hayakawa (all photos by Becky Stein)

What’s that? You want some advice on where to go for good sushi in Atlanta? That’s fine. I’d love to help. But first I need to ask a simple question: Who are you?

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

When you say you’re looking for “good sushi,” does that mean you’re pining for buttery yellowtail topping a bite-size lozenge of warm, vinegared rice? Or maybe a shrimp tempura super crunch roll sitting on a Sriracha mayonnaise squiggle?

Or maybe you don’t want actual sushi as much as stuff that comes with sushi — ginger salad, miso soup and a plate of chopped tuna poke dressed with sweet soy sauce and flecks of cilantro.

Is that you? I’m not judging.

It’s just that sushi these days can mean different things to different people. It can be comfort food to fill your belly (I am no stranger to those crunch rolls), but also a gourmet splurge to savor (I’ve paid …

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