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 May, 2013

Weekend planner: Southern picnic from Floataway Cafe


It’s picnic weather. As temperatures creep up towards the low 80’s with brilliant sun and gentle breezes, we’re all itching to get outside.

This weekend you can partake in a Southern basket-style picnic complete with fried chicken prepared by chefs Anne Quatrano and Todd Immel (Floataway Cafe). The meal will include a selection of beer and wine to accompany the picnic fare.

The event, which takes place at the Nickel Bottom Community Garden just behind the Floataway community, will double as an adult field day with games like bocce ball, croquet and badminton. During the afternoon, guests will also enjoy tours and an exclusive look at the garden’s transformation, live music and a gift raffle with prizes from The Cook’s Warehouse, Farmer D. Organics and more.

Proceeds from this event, called BUDS, benefit the Nickel Bottom Community Garden. Funds will be used to build raised garden beds, fencing and an outdoor entertainment space.

1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Nickel …

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Umi Opening in Buckhead

Fuyuhiko and Lisa Matsuoka Ito

Fuyuhiko and Lisa Matsuoka Ito

Umi, the new Japanese restaurant from Fuyuhiko Ito, former executive chef at MF Sushi, is taking reservations for its soft opening at Two Buckhead Plaza on May 20.

Ito’s culinary background in both traditional Japanese and classic French restaurants will will be featured in an array of starters, soups, salads, sashimi, nigiri and specialty rolls.

Look for hot items such as baked lobster tempura, sautéed foie gras and black cod miso and a selection of “aburi” or slightly cooked sushi-grade fish, such as yellowtail, flounder, scallops and sea urchin.

At lunch, Ito will offer the traditional Bento Box featuring the chef’s daily meat, seafood, vegetable and rice creations served with Miso soup and house salad.

Ito’s wife, pastry chef Lisa Matsuoka Ito, will offer equally creative desserts, including her signature green tea souffle.

Look for a diverse beverage program with Japanese whiskey and craft cocktails.

Call 404-841-0040 for …

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Restaurant inspections, El Granero Taqueria

A Henry County health inspector said some items on a Mexican buffet were not being kept hot enough and had the food discarded during a recent routine inspection.

Also, the manager in charge of El Granero Taqueria, 1092 Jonesboro Road, still wasn’t knowledgeable about reportable health illnesses and what to do if employees came to work with symptoms, the inspector said. It was the third time the restaurant had been cited for this health safety violation.

El Granero Taqueria was given a failing score of 41/U.

During the inspection, beans and cheese were out of temperature on the buffet and were thrown away. Also, chili rellenos, cheese dip and salsa verde were all discarded because they either were not properly date marked or were past the expiration date.

Points were taken off because an employee came in from outside and began handling clean equipment without first washing hands. One employee hand sink was blocked off by a large oven, and another one was being used to get water …

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Gillespie’s Gunshow Open

Chef Kevin Gillespie’s highly anticipated new restaurant, Gunshow, opened yesterday in East Atlanta’s Glenwood Park neighborhood.

A major departure from the fine dining aura at Gillespie’s former restaurant, Woodfire Grill, Gunshow mixes a choose-it-yourself dining style with a lively wide-open atmosphere that pushes the boundaries of restaurant design.




Reservations required May 8-11: 404-380-1886. 924 Garrett Street, SE, Suite C,

See more on the Gunshow design here:

— Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.

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Restaurant inspections, Best Wings

Employees at Best Wings, 2522 Cruse Road, Lawrenceville, were lax about washing their hands and wearing gloves when preparing food, and that cost the restaurant a passing health score.

Best Wings scored a 39/U on the routine inspection. The Gwinnett County health inspector said the manager didn’t have control over food safety, and employees weren’t trained in proper hand washing.

For example, one employee came out of the bathroom and immediately started working with clean utensils without washing her hands, the inspector said. Two employees were bare-handed while cutting celery for customers. Another employee handled raw beef for Philly sandwiches, then touched some bread without first changing gloves.

Other employees also failed to wash their hands before putting on gloves, or between glove changes.

The contaminated foods were discarded, and the clean utensils were re-washed.

In other code violations, managers used improper thawing and reheating methods which can compromise …

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The Mill Kitchen & Bar restaurant review, Roswell

photo by Becky Stein

photo by Becky Stein

Does anyone remember the pimento cheese fritters at the former Relish Restaurant in Roswell? And the similar ones on the menu at Pico Autentico that abruptly replaced Relish?

Now you can get pimento cheese fritters once again at The Mill Kitchen & Bar in Roswell, the third restaurant to occupy that Roswell space.

Read how they are and the full restaurant review here.

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Atlanta Classics, Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

It wasn’t a matter of if Mary Mac’s Tea Room would make the list of Atlanta Classics, but really it was just a matter of when. This Atlanta institution has been around since 1945 and remains one of the city’s most popular restaurants. The traditions on which Mary Mac’s was built – Southern hospitality, using only fresh ingredients, and making everything from scratch – are alive and well some 68 years later.


You can check out my full article on the Atlanta Classic, Mary Mac’s Tea Room over at

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Upcoming event: Rootbeerapallooza 2013

courtesy of Rootbeerapallooza

courtesy of Rootbeerapallooza

Atlanta will soon show a little root beer love at Rootbeerapallooza 2013. Whether you’re a root beer aficionado, home brewer or are just looking for something different to do on a Thursday night, this event will be right up your alley.

At this community event on May 16, learn about how root beer is made and participate in a grand swap. Guests are invited to seek out the most unusual brews they can find and bring a six-pack to trade.

Sample products from Wisconson’s Sprecher Brewery, Miller’s Artisan Sodas, a limited edition coffee root beer and a special root beer pop from King of Pops.

During the event, home-brewing hopefuls will go head-to-head in a competition that will be judged by Jeremy Miller (STK), Suzanne Vizethann (Buttermilk Kitchen) and chef Zeb Stevenson.

A suggested $5 donation to Staplehouse will be accepted in lieu of admission. Jen Hidinger will be in attendance to provide an update about the restaurant’s progress.

Those …

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Big changes at P’cheen in the Old Fourth Ward

pcheenWord is out that there are some big changes underway at P’cheen. The long-running neighborhood spot in the Old Fourth Ward closed for renovations on May 5 and will softly reopen this evening at 5 p.m.

Georgiaville Food Company (P’cheen, Bone Lick BBQ, Vesuvius, Edgewood Speakeasy) has partnered with restauranteur Jeff Myers (Top Flr, SoundTable) to breathe some new life into the place with the idea of making it over as a concept similar to Octopus Bar in East Atlanta.

In 2012, Georgiaville opened Bone Lick BBQ, took over Pizzeria Vesuvius, and added the Edgewood Speakeasy. With all that going on, poor P’cheen may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle.

But renovations are bringing a new look, including a new bar top and a new color scheme, and the lounge is moving to the back of the restaurant.

There’s a new menu from chef/owner Alex Friedman, who recently appeared on the TV show, “Chopped.”

Look for mid-sized, sharable plates priced at $4-$12, including the …

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The James Beard Awards: it’s a wrap

photo-98This little piggy went to the James Beard Awards, by which I mean this porcine ice carving (courtesy of chefs Alison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing of MiLa Restaurant in New Orleans) rather than myself.

Every year the James Beard Foundation honors food professionals in every field over a four-day bacchanal. It begins on a Friday night with a banquet to announce the winners in books, broadcast and journalism, continues with a large “Chef’s Night Out” party on Sunday night, and concludes with a gala at Lincoln Center where the chef and restaurateur awards are handed out. Along the way there are many ancillary events and a long evening of after-parties following the gala that rock New York dining rooms throughout the city.

I was there for most of it (I work on the committee that administers the journalism awards), though I have to admit my liver and I decided to sit out the after parties this year.

Here are some impressions and notes from the weekend:

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