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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for April, 2009

French Cooking Classes? Mais Oui!

Want to learn to how make oeufs a la niege? The floating islands pictured at left were from a shoot I did at my home for an AJC food section centerpiece on meringue a couple of years back.

Sabine Morrow, who writes “Where Can I find It?” “Grabbag” and “Testing 1,2,3 for the AJC, will be teaching her version of these fluffy floating islands (as well as other French goodies) at Cook’s Warehouse in Decatur on May 11 and again on June 15 (with a different menu).

Though never formally trained, Morrow was born in France and raised by a mother who “whipped up oeufs a la niege and Coquilles St. Jacques the way other mothers turned out mac and cheese and apple pies.”

Her classes will also include hands-on instruction for potatoes Anna with fresh goat cheese, gougeres and pork paillard with warm brandy and caper vinaigrette, as well as others. She aims to dispel the notion that French cooking is “complicated and fussy.” Here’s more info on how to …

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Happy Trails to You

My husband sent me the link to a very happy, infectious video. It’s the kind of thing you just don’t want to keep to yourself, so I’m compelled to share.

I’m also happy today because L’Thai, one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the area, has opened a second location in Smyrna (no web for this location yet, but the address is 4500 West Village Place S.E., 770-434-4344).

Owner Pithya Kongthavorn told me by phone that for this week only, as the restaurant soft opens, he will offer 15% off the price of certain menu items as the staff tries to get all the kinks out.  So go and be patient. The menu is the same as what’s offered at the Tucker location. L’Thai is impressive because the kitchen uses organic ingredients whenever possible. Plus they rock with a bowl of some of the best thom kha on the planet.

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Max’s Pizza, Hop City Beer and Pacci

A happy Nick Oltarsh, left, will be honing his skills as chief pie dude when Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria opens — another from Concentrics Hospitality — later this spring.

This will be the third restaurant to open in the Luckie Marietta District downtown from Bob Amick’s ubiquitous restaurant group. The menu is pizzas, baked in a 1,000 degree coal burning oven — the only one in the state.

Oltarsh will be sharing his family’s recipe for sauce (he’s an NYC native and as such, a pie lover), and the mozzarella will be housemade. (Between dough and cheese, that’s a lot of stretching!) But look for cold Italian subs and coal-oven wings, as well as pastas and salads, too. The building boasts brick walls dating to the 1900s and is located next to STATS at 300 Marietta Street.

Other bites: The West Side is hoppin’ with Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, a groovy new spot to get your keg on. With 5 Seasons Brewing set to open soon (tho I’m still wondering and waiting), the West Side is fast …

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KRISPY KREME DOWNSIZES

Growing up in Clarkston, the Krispy Kreme on Ponce seemed a world away when I was a kid. And the “hot doughnuts now” sign didn’t have to be lit for us to stop in if we found ourselves in the vicinity.

Now — like the rest of us — Krispy Kreme is tightening its belt, so to speak. A major downsizing is happening in the company: mini doughnuts, in three flavors (Original Glazed®, chocolate iced rings and chocolate iced rings with sprinkles) are about half the size of the traditional doughnuts.

Not doughnut holes. Doughnuts. Just smaller.

Beginning April 27 through May 31, customers can enter a constest to win a Mini Cooper by receiving an entry code with any mini doughnut purchase at participating Krispy Kreme stores, or online with no purchase necessary. The grand prize winner will be selected on or about June 15, 2009.

Now if only they would make creme-filled minis. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d just eat twice as many …

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30 Tables Opens Next Week

Bob Amick, left, opens 30 Tables, the latest restaurant rendition inside the Glenn Hotel on Marietta Street downtown, next week. Wow — that was fast! His company, Concentrics Hospitality, in partnership with Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and Legacy Property Group, just announced the claim on the corner space of the boutique hotel last month — that’s a quick on the draw turn around of a space that was hard hitting for its prior tenants: Both BED and Maxim Prime closed. With in less than a year. Amick has a knack for refurbishing old spots, though, and bringing to Downtown and Midtown dining destinations at the same time.

The space includes a swanky rooftop area called 11 Stories that was part of the redesign by Concentrics and includes an herb garden for chef Daniel Chance, formerly of Two Urban Licks. The bites are contemporary American and are planned to include nibbles like crab cake salad with arugula, water cress, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, pickled onions and avocado and …

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Livingston in Midtown Opens, plus the Clermont up for sale

Say it ain’t so, Blondie! The Clermont is up for sale.

But before we get our knickers in a twist, the plan is that the Clermont Lounge will stay put. Whew. Where better to recycle those beer cans?

In other, completely unrelated news, Livingston Restaurant in the Georgian Terrace opens this Friday. Gary Mennie is back, after Taurus’s closing in January — one of the first casualties of the recession.

This is a grand place for a restaurant, and it’s exciting to think of the GT’s $11 million facelift. More soon …

Anne Quatrano has confirmed with me through her PR firm that Abattoir, the Bacchanalia maven’s meatcentric concept, will open the thrid week of May in the White Provision building on Hugh Howell Road.

And finally, Cuerno chef Ken Bouche has left the restaurant. Owner Riccardo Ullio is reportedly looking for a replacement.

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Stamp Out Hunger

Saturday, May 9, you can donate to Atlanta’s local food banks without ever leaving your drive way. Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single-day food drive, makes donating easy: all you have to do is leave a sturdy bag of non-perishable groceries (canned goods, pastas, rice, cereals) by your mailbox prior to your mail pick up that day. Your letter carrier and local food banks will do the rest. How easy is that?

Since it started in 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has collected over 909 million pounds of food for the hungry — the Atlanta branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers collectred more than 138,000 pounds of food last year.

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Is Restaurant Crime on the Rise?

The AJC and WSB are reporting a shooting at the Virginia Highland Taco Mac early Sunday morning. Gunshots were apparently fired between an assailant and the popular wings-and-beer joint’s manager on duty.

This, just a few months after bartender John Henderson, 27, was brutally murdered by armed robbers as he and another bartender were closing Standard Food & Spirits on Memorial Drive.

I’ve spent time at the Standard, and it’s a fun dive. It’s not the kind of place I want to be at 4 in the morning, though — but that’s just me. Lots of folks I know hang there late and love it. Atlanta police are still no closer to finding Henderson’s assailants, even with a $50,000 Crimestoppers reward. And now Virginia Highland? That’s pretty swanky surroundings for armed robbery. What’s going on here?

It’s no secret that crimes increase as the economy dives, and apparently restaurants — no matter the neighborhood — are not excluded from the onslaught.

If you have information regarding …

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Atlanta Restaurants Go National (at least in the mags)

Atlanta is featured in magazines again in May. Straits, Ludacris’s culinary cross pollination of eclectic Asian fare, has a glossy ten-page spread in May’s Food & Wine, with an intro that pipes “most of Ludacris’s rap lyrics are unprintable in this magazine.” But chef-partner Chris Yeo’s recipes are.

The Kung Pao lollipops, above, were a fave when I reviewed the restaurant back in August of last year, giving it 3 stars.

And lad mag Details takes a look at Southern cuisine, highlighting Atlanta restaurants JCT Kitchen, Quinones at Bacchanalia, and Restaurant Eugene, as well as Busy Bee Cafe as a “classic.”

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Asia Interpreted: Mother & Daughter Team Up to Teach

Can’t make heads or tails of that freeze-dried squid?

Mother-and-daughter team Magaret and Natalie Keng have teamed up to create a business they call Chinese Southern Belles. In their words, their up-start could be anything: “A journey [that] leads us to teaching classes, writing a book, getting our own show (!) or helping local businesses & farmers with  marketing, we are excited about the future and definitely having fun along the way. (Apparently, being a dinner guest at our Country Asian parties has its tasty perks, too.”

They have an adventure coming up this Saturday, April 18, from 10 to 4, which promises to get you into the groove of all things Asian, like: Where to go on Buford Highway to shop and eat; how to tell when that jellyfish is authentic, or if it’s just a goof; and defining “country Asian” creations. Click on the link for more info.

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