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Archive for December, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Tim Gaddis- Cheesemonger of Star Provisions

Tim Gaddis at the Star Provisions cheese shop

Tim Gaddis at the Star Provisions cheese shop

Tim Gaddis loves cheese. “Its like I don’t even work. I get to do what I want to do every day.”  Beyond tasting cheeses daily as they come in from distributors, he is choosing the cheeses for Floataway Café, Abattoir and Bacchanalia’s cheese cart. He reveals to us the art of cheesemongering.

Bacchanalia is the only restaurant of Quatrano’s with a cheese cart that comes to the table. What makes those cheeses different?
Out of the 130 cheeses we carry at Star Provisions, I narrow it down to the 15 great examples of what we serve in the store. I want the chefs at all of Quatrano’s restaurants to have the cheeses that they want to serve.

With so many cheeses, how do you know when each is ready to eat?
Cheesemongers know exactly when cheese is ripe and ready to eat. It is hard to just look in a cheese case and know what is good, so I am constantly tasting and touching cheeses. It really takes time. I learn the certain smells that a …

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Heritage Pork and Craft Beer at 5 Seasons NYE


Five Seasons Brewing Co. partner/brewmaster Crawford Moran has a new beer named after a pig.

Or more specifically, the rare Ossabaw heritage breed that partner/chef Dave Larkworthy is getting set to feature on the menu at the Alpharetta and Westside Five Season locations, beginning New Year’s Eve.

“We’re very excited about it,” Moran says. “These are the first pigs from Island Creek Preserve here in Georgia. Marc Mousseau, the farmer, has the only 100% registered herd of Ossabaw.

“This breed has such a rich history here in Georgia and we’re excited to be the only restaurant right now to have it on our menu.They are free range on his farm, but he does treat them by feeding them our spent grains, so they are well fed.”

Island Creek Preserve’s website explains that the pigs are direct decedents of the famous Iberico pigs from Spain which are commonly referred to as “four legged olive trees” because their tasty fat is high in Oleic Acid, the same heart healthy fat found in olive …

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8 Upcoming Dining Trends for 2014

The last days of 2013 are upon us. All over the web, food blogs are rounding out their trends from the 2013 year. While it is nice to reflect on raw bars and Decatur’s flourishing food scene, we wanted to prepare you for the future. Recently Huffington Post Food and Eatocracy shared their predictions for 2014 and we wanted to pass on a few trends that Atlanta restaurants have already picked up on.

Reuben from The General Muir

Reuben from The General Muir

1. House-fermentation- Beyond pickles and sauerkraut, R. Thomas Deluxe Grille has been serving sides of cultured vegetables (think beets and radishes) with their California cuisine since the 1970s.

2. Banh mi- Buford Highway’s Vietnamese restaurants have already been up on this trend for years. Among the notables is Quoc Huong Banh Mi Fast Food’s barbeque pork banh mi. They pack in those meat and veggies but the price is light on the wallet. It’s always a challenge when you have some place like Star Provisions‘ doing their own spin. How does their …

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Year in Eater 2013

EATER header-logo

Recently, Eater Atlanta editor Sonia Chopra surveyed “friends, industry types, and bloggers” for a 2013 year in review feature with categories such as “restaurant standbys,” “best newcomers” and “best dining neighborhood.”

I joined AJC Food and More fearless leader John Kessler in offering a few opinions. In the reveal so far, there’s a lot of agreement, and a few surprises.

Watershed,  Gunshow and Decatur get plenty of play. And I’m betting my comment that “I still don’t get all the fuss over Antico Pizza,” will get some reaction.

Eater is revealing more survey results moment by moment.

What are your thoughts about Atlanta dining trends and new restaurants in 2013. What will be the big stories in 2014.

— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.

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Pick 5: Holiday Cocktails

Ave Maria at Veni Vidi Vici

Ave Maria at Veni Vidi Vici

Gift-giving may be over, but we still anxiously look for one last chance to celebrate the holiday season. Many Atlanta restaurants are featuring holiday cocktails through January, and we’ve rounded up a few festive favorites for you to imbibe.

BLT Steak
45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Atlanta
Winter blues?  BLT Steak has the cure for all that ails. If you’re heading Downtown, stop by for their Brit-inspired take on the traditional “Hot Toddy.” Take a sip of their Hennessy VS infused with Earl Grey Tea, paired with gingered honey and topped with a charred lemon.

Park 75
75 Fourteenth Street NW, Atlanta
The “Peppermint Patty” is the bartender’s favorite during the holidays. Peppermint-infused Baileys, vodka, and mint syrup are stirred in this festive martini reminiscent of a favorite chocolate candy.

Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox …

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Recipe: Honey Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is “cooked cream” in Italian, originates from the Northern region of Italy. It is an elegant yet simple dessert recipe that is perfect for serving guests at a dinner party. Ashley Clemence, owner of Graft Restaurant in Grayson, shares her recipe. Feel free to garnish with fresh nuts, berries or leftover cookies.

Honey Panna Cotta (Serves 6)


(Photo Credit: Ashley Clemence)

(Photo Credit: Ashley Clemence)

  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soften for at least 3 minutes.
  2. In a small pot, heat 1 cup of the cream over medium heat until warm.  Stir in the honey and salt and continue to heat the mixture until it begins to simmer.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin, and slowly stir in the remaining 1 cup cream.
  4. Divide the mixture among 6 nonstick standard muffin cups or 6 (3-oz) paper cups.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and …

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Behind the Scenes: Chuck Gay of Villains

Chuck Goya working on the line. (Photo Credit: Alexa Lampasona)

Chuck Goya working on the line. (Photo Credit: Alexa Lampasona)

Chuck Gay moved to Atlanta in 2011 in pursuit of his own American Dream. A native of Barbados in the West Indies, he came to the Art Institute of Atlanta specifically for culinary school. Now a line cook for Villains, he shares his humble beginnings, where he worked for free for five months to gain experience in the kitchen.

Chef McClure of Villains gave you an opportunity to work in the kitchen when you had no experience. How did that happen?
I hadn’t finished culinary school and had no restaurant experience except working with my mom for her catering business in Barbados. Chef taught one of my classes, so I asked him, ‘I really want to work for you but at this point I can’t work for any money because I don’t have my visa. I don’t have a problem working for free.’

So you worked for free from Villains opening day in April until you received your Visa in August. What did you do in the kitchen?
Chef told me …

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What are your holiday dining traditions?

a Japanese steakhouse is my family's tradition

a Japanese steakhouse is my family's tradition. (Photo Credit Alexa Lampasona)

The holidays are a time for tradition. Regardless of how each year is celebrated, one of the lasting memories that lingers long after the presents have been unwrapped and the decorations have been packed away is the food. There is something comforting about knowing that once a year, you can count on a meal rooted in tradition.

For more than ten years, my family has gone to a hibachi Japanese steakhouse on Christmas Eve. This was not an experience like Chop Suey Palace from the movie “A Christmas Story,” where the waiters “ra ra ra ra ra’ed” and beheaded a smiling duck. No, but I could always count on attempting to catch shrimp in my mouth and seeing a flaming onion tower. I still wonder how we came up with the idea, but it is as much a necessity each year as driving around the neighborhood to look at lights.

I’m curious to know what special dining traditions you do during the holidays?

Christmas …

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New Pubs Open in Oakhurst and Kirkwood


The Imperial in Oakhurst

The Imperial has softly opened in Oakhurst, and neighbors are already packing the place, taking full advantage of the free-for-all seating policy. The pub is located in a small building on West College Avenue, and includes two dining areas and a front patio. There’s a full bar with bargain-priced draft beer and grub like a dressed roast beef po’ boy on Lee’s Bakery bread, plus starters, salads, wings and burgers. Partner and trivia master Robert Holland seems to be in charge of menu quips and music.

726 W. College Ave., Decatur.

Kirkyard Public House in Kirkwood

For neighborhood residents, it might feel like deja vu as Kirkyard Public House has quietly opened in the two-story Kirkwood Station space on Hosea L. Williams Drive that’s been home to Vinocity, Kirkwood Public House and Kirkwood Bar & Grill. Urban Daddy reports that the sports pub from owner Dano Kirk features “chili cheeseburgers, a …

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Pick 5: Santa Sightings at Atlanta Restaurants

Photo Credit: AJC photo archive

Photo Credit: AJC photo archive

Santa is getting quite busy this time of year, but he’s still making time to dine with Atlantans one final weekend before the big day. We’ve found some Santa brunches for the kids, a fancy dinner for those mature tastebuds and even a drinking party for the “naughty.” Read on for the big red suit’s final feastings.

December 21-24

St. Regis Atlanta
88 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta
This is an intimate family setting with Santa and Mrs. Clause, who join your children for holiday tea and photos. Festive offerings include savory tea sandwiches such as chicken salad or almond butter pinwheels or sweet treats such as gingerbread people and chocolate-spiced cupcakes. The cost is $42 per child.

December 21

Village Tavern
11555 Rainwater Drive, Alpharetta
On Saturday Santa invites you to brunch from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The wide array of …

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