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Archive for August, 2013

Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving Holeman and Finch

Greg Best at H&F

Greg Best at H&F

Atlanta Magazine reports that Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving Holeman and Finch Public House .

By all accounts, Best, Smith, and partners Gina and Linton Hopkins and Andy Minchow (who left H&F last year), were the team most responsible for helping to spawn Atlanta’s creative cocktail culture.

Holeman and Finch opened in 2008, and after five years, Best and Smith are apparently ready for a new project.

Best’s last night tending bar at H&F will be Saturday, September 7.

2277 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, 404-948-1175,

We wonder, will H&F be the same without Best and Smith?

What about Best’s other projects, like Feed Radio, with Hopkins?

— Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More.

Continue reading Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving Holeman and Finch »

Local high school student educates consumers about health inspection scores

No A? Walk Away! logo

Are you concerned about restaurant health inspection scores? So is Dunwoody high school senior Katrina W.

She began researching food-borne illness for an English class writing assignment. During the course of her research she learned about health inspection grades and became concerned. She noticed restaurants with poor scores continued to have plenty of customers. “No one seems to care if they are bad. It’s frustrating.”

When it came time to design an 80-hour service project to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, Katrina had her topic. She chose to educate consumers about restaurant scores and food safety issues. “I came to the conclusion that it was a good idea to teach others about this,” she said.

Katrina decided to start by educating children and hoped for a domino effect. “If I teach kids, they can teach their parents and their parents can teach their friends.” To do this, Katrina combined her newfound passion for food safety with her love of filmmaking and …

Continue reading Local high school student educates consumers about health inspection scores »

Restaurant inspections, One Two Chen Restaurant

Fulton County health officials recently closed a Chinese restaurant in south Atlanta for failing two inspections within a month.

One Two Chen Restaurant, 5110 Old National Highway, was told to close immediately and not reopen until passing a health inspection.

Among the violations, two packages of bread and a cucumber had mold-like growth. The ice machine had slime buildup inside. Dishes and equipment were not sanitized after cleaning.

Also, safe food temperatures were not being maintained. Raw pork chops and raw meat balls in a cooler were above the maximum temperature for potentially hazardous foods. White rice in a rice cooker was not at the proper hot holding temperature.

Food was also uncovered in the freezer and subject to contamination.

One Two Chen scored a 65/U on the follow-up inspection, after receiving a 62/U on a routine inspection earlier this month.

In other news, the Ru San’s at 1529 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, scored a 94/A on its follow-up inspection, but …

Continue reading Restaurant inspections, One Two Chen Restaurant »

Hugo’s Oyster Bar restaurant review, Roswell

Chargrilled oysters at Hugo's (credit: Becky Stein)

Chargrilled oysters at Hugo's (credit: Becky Stein)

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell. I gave it a grade of two stars.

Is Hugo’s a casual oyster bar or upscale-ish seafood restaurant or both? The question is how successfully the two concepts can be integrated under one roof. Does the guy who wants to hang at the bar and scarf Gulf oysters by the dozen want a valet to park his car? Do the ladies meeting for a quiet dinner want to watch big-screen TVs while paying $24 for entrees?

Chef Jonathan Schwenk, who is co-owner with Rich Clark, said they weren’t trying to make Hugo’s into the Optimist, Miller Union or Empire State South. “We aren’t trying to be fancy.”

If Hugo’s stuck to that vision, it would do just fine. The restaurant succeeds as an oyster bar with a mixture of Gulf and boutique oysters, making it a destination. The waters are muddied by attempts to simultaneously go upscale — with untrained waiters and comparatively …

Continue reading Hugo’s Oyster Bar restaurant review, Roswell »

Ink & Elm Taking Resevations for Sept. 7


This from the Facebook page of the new multispace ai3-designed restaurant, lounge and tavern in Emory Village:

Ink & Elm is pleased to announce that it is now accepting reservations for the main dining room for our Grand Opening on Saturday, September 7, 2013 via OpenTable.

As always, the Tavern will be available that evening for open seating, and oysters, champagne, and cocktails will be available in the Lounge before and after your meal.

We are excited for you to experience Ink & Elm.

Ink & Elm, 1577 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, 678-244-7050,

It’s just one of a number of new spots set to open this fall.

EATER has a good list of “Alanta’s Most Anticipated Fall Restaurant Openings”:

Among those not on the list, Southbound in Chamblee and Salt Factory in Alpharetta, which seem to be experiencing delays.

What new restaurants are you looking forward to opening soon? And what’s flying under the radar?

— Bob Townsend, AJC Food and …

Continue reading Ink & Elm Taking Resevations for Sept. 7 »

‘The Photography of Modernist Cuisine’ coming to a coffee table near you

When I bought Nathan Myhrvold’s “Modernist Cuisine,” it came with a few prints of some of the stunning photographs that appear in the book. Soon you’ll also be able to see those images in coffee-table-book format and possibly in person at an art exhibition.

In the new book “The Photography of Modernist Cuisine,” you’ll find highlights from the more than 500,000 photographs taken for “Modernist Cuisine.” The photo book will be released in mid-October at a cost of $120.

And if you’re lucky enough to be in Seattle between Oct. 26 and Feb. 17, you can see 100 of these images, many over six feet in size, on display. After completing its run in Seattle, the exhibit will travel to other cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. Tour dates and schedules are still being confirmed.

In a press release, Myhrvold said, “I hope that others share with us the child-like wonder and curiosity I feel when looking at these photos. The exhibition and book are …

Continue reading ‘The Photography of Modernist Cuisine’ coming to a coffee table near you »

Atlanta Eats Goes Live at Verizon



Atlanta Eats, the weekly restaurant roundup TV show hosted by Steak Shapiro, will take the stage at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta on October 6 for a “rockstar” program benefitting Staplehouse and The Giving Kitchen.

Atlanta chefs Kevin Rathbun and Linton Hopkins will be honored during an evening featuring food and drink from 30 Atlanta restaurants, including  Hal’s, Rathbun’s, The Optimist, 4th & Swift and Watershed, chefs dueling in demos and karaoke contests, and live music.

Here’s Shapiro’s take on the why and where of the event from the press release:

“We have some of the greatest talents in the food world right in our backyard,” said Atlanta Eats founder and host Steak Shapiro. “We love showcasing these people on our show, but wanted to go a step further and celebrate these guys for all they’ve done to put Atlanta dining on the map.”

So why host this event at a music venue rather than a restaurant? “We started thinking …

Continue reading Atlanta Eats Goes Live at Verizon »

Restaurant inspections, Anis Café and Bistro

A French bistro in Buckhead was given notice of a court summons after refusing to close for failing a second routine health inspection.

Anis Café and Bistro, 2974 Grandview Ave., scored a 61/U on the routine inspection because of repeat violations of not storing foods properly to protect against contamination.

Management was asked to voluntarily close the facility until it passes a follow-up inspection, but instead chose to keep the restaurant open and pay a fine. The inspector said the facility will be cited for court.

A day later, a manager at Anis Cafe said they were anticipating another inspection and still “had a few little things” to get ready. Repairs were needed for the dishwasher, which wasn’t sanitizing correctly during the routine inspection.

Points were taken off because food was stored uncovered, again. The inspector said the only food items that can be left uncovered are prepped items on the serving line.

In other repeat violations, raw meats and eggs were …

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Some bests from 30 Restaurants in 30 Days

Bandeja Paesa at Kiosco

Bandeja Paesa at Kiosco

Here are some of the better dishes I ate during my 30-day tour of restaurants. Yes, I may have developed a fondness for Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits.

- By the exceptionally overfed John Kessler for the Food & More blog

Continue reading Some bests from 30 Restaurants in 30 Days »

30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Table 1280


It’s a wrap.

My 30th and final restaurant for this project is Table 1280 the dining room for the Woodruff Arts Center.

“That place?” you ask. “Why?”

Because my main takeaway from this exercise — one that has taken me to a number of restaurants I wouldn’t normally consider subjects for review — is that utility matters more than most food writers acknowledge.We often choose where we go to eat not because the deliciousness of its food makes us see the face of the deity, but because the restaurant is close, convenient, priced right or suitable for our purposes.

Table 1280 has long been a prominent and gourmet-minded restaurant, but it has only lately become a useful one.

If you recall, the space opened with a bang in 2005 as part of the High Museum expansion designed by architect Renzo Piano. With celebrity chef Shaun Doty at the helm, it featured a high-end bistro menu in its two austere, hard-edged dining rooms as well as a more casual selection of small plates in the lounge …

Continue reading 30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Table 1280 »