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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, 2009

Sadly, Cuerno Closes

A phone call to owner Riccardo Ullio’s public relations firm has confirmed that Cuerno, the lovely Spanish restaurant in Midtown, is closing. The restaurant’s last night will be this Sunday.

Calls to Ullio were unanswered, and his voice mailbox was full when I tried to reach him earlier this afternoon.

One of — if not the only — authentic Spanish restaurants in the area, the restaurant opened in 2008. After three visits, I awarded it four stars. The fabada Asturiana, pictured, was a favorite dish, as well as classics such as paella and mariscos alla plancha and the all-Spanish wine list.

Mary Reynolds, of the Reynolds Group, Inc., said that Ullio plans to focus on his more profitable ventures, particularly Fritti and Sotto Sotto. “He wants to put more energy into his businesses that are doing well,” she said. Fruity, fun, Beleza, next door, will remain open for now.

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Wanna Be an (Organic) Idol?

Okay, I totally wanted Adam to win, even tho Kris is cute.

But if you’re a foodie and you want to get your Idol on, this Sunday is your last chance: the organic food and products industry is searching for an idol of its own, in a nationwide search for its first-ever consumer spokesperson. Through May 31, visit the Organic Institute’s YouTube group and submit a 30-second video explaining “the moment you realized organic was worth it” and see what happens. No celebs allowed, so Adam and Kris won’t be joining you.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a gig with Queen, too.

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My Top Five Faves For Eating Under $30

Times are tight, but in spite of the recession, lots of folks are still headed out to eat. We can skimp, but we’re not skipping dinner, dang it. So I’ll sandwich the bad news between the good: people are still going out to eat in droves, they’re just not ordering as much, and restaurants that once had two seatings — even three — are limited to one. Wine? By the glass, baby. Look for specials all around, too: many of your favorite spots might be offering deals these days. In the meantime, try these spots on for a meal that won’t dip into your savings — it you order just right, two people can eat easily for $30.

Figo Pasta, not rated
Area locations

These it’s-almost-Italian sprees of fresh-made pasta palaces from Sandro Romagnoli now have seven locations and eight on the way in the Atlanta area. It’s easy to eat simply here, from salads to the house-made pasta, or you can get your Italian on with dishes such as agnello pecorino olive e rosmarino (roasted lamb with olives and …

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5 Seasons Westside Open

5 Seasons Westside opened quietly May 5, a soft opening to get the staff and house brews up and running. According to assistant manager Corey Peak, state law requires construction be fully completed before brewing can begin, so the team that brought you 5 Seasons Sandy Springs and 5 Seasons North in Alpharetta has been working hard to get a few house brews ready for the official grand opening on June 9.

It’s important to point out that Dennis Lange, an original partner, is not associated with the Westside or Alpharetta locations — only the Prado. But chef David Larkworthy (left, making pizzas at 5S North) is partner in all three.

He continues on the Westside with his farm-to-table philosophy, and everything is made from scratch. He and chef de cuisine Phillip Rainwater have designed smaller plates for the Westside locale, including mezzo-portioned yummies they call “middle plates.”

Peak said that at least five of the house brews should be ready by the time of the grand …

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Caviar: Expense or excess?

It’s a classic-looking fish, really. Refined, though exceedingly large — some can grow to 20 or 30 feet in the wild. The flesh is sturdy and white, and like a shark, it has no scales. It’s the roe of the female that has proven profitable — and dangerous for its survival.
That’s because when fishermen extract the valuable eggs of a sturgeon, they also have to kill her. The world was once populated with the 26 different species of sturgeon, but the proud fish’s numbers have dwindled dramatically — 90 percent — in the last two decades due to over fishing and pollution.
This horrible fact is what prompted the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (more easily referred to as CITES) to ban the international trade of caviar from the world’s top-producing river basins back in 2005; in 2007 some of the restrictions were lifted, but many remain in place, limiting the number of sturgeon that can be caught in the wild to ensure its survival.
Ah, …

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Pate & French Fries: What Weird Food Combos do You Love?

My husband and I found ourselves in the vicinity last weekend of Bistro VG in Roswell, and on the way home I insisted we stop in for a nosh at the bar.

I’ve always really enjoyed any meal here, and it’s made even lovelier by the ambiance of the rooms, white washed and spacious.

The bar is a great place to gab, and we had a blast with bartender James (who had the TV on the History Channel’s “Monster Quest,” a fave of ours that we have redubbed “They Got Nothin’”).

The kitchen’s country pate is as smooth and meaty as always, served classically with cornichons and mustards, with a small butter lettuce salad on the side. When my steak frites came, I had a weird urge to smear my fries in the pate. Powie. What a combo. Truly tops in the “why am I eating this? why don’t I just apply it directly to my rear?” category of excellent things to eat. We even made James taste it, and he approved. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover the combo.

My daughter indulges in several of …

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Food, Inc. Opens in Atlanta

Author Eric Schlosser (left), who wrote Fast Food Nation is one of the experts interviewed in filmmaker Robert Kenner’s new documentary, “Food, Inc.,” a hard, raw look at our food industry and the regulatory agencies that govern it such as the USDA and the FDA.

Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is also interviewed, as well as social entrepreneur-cum-dairyman Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms.

Kenner is noted for his war documentaries “Two Days in October” and “War Letters,” but this appears to be his first foray into food. The film takes a hard look at “what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here,” and has been heralded by Variety, Entertainment eekly and foodie maven Alice Waters.

Food, Inc. opens in Atlanta exclusively at Landmark Midtown on June 19th.

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Memories of MoonPies

My recent column about MoonPies and s’mores prompted a lot of response from readers.

Most folks wanted me to know that Moonpies are easy to find at Cracker Barrel — thanks to all who wrote in for tip. The next time I’m on a trip to Florida, I’ll check them out.

Pig-n-Chik serves them up right with an RC, too, according to reader Edna Haywood, who went so far as to share a recipe she’s had a lot of success with, called Over the Moon Banana Pudding, from Southern Living.

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Picky Eater? Read This Book

A new book from writer and former restaurant critic Matthew Amster-Burton unveils a loving, anecdotal account of his relationship with his 4 1/2 year-old daughter, Iris, and her relationship with food.

Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2009) looks at why Amster-Burton feels baby food is silly and that vegetables aren’t something that a kid needs to eat everyday. Recipes for beebimbap and min-fritattas are included, along with a lot of honest advice from a guy who a) knows a good deal about food and b) has a kid. He still has problems getting her to try anything but cheese pizza.

Whew. I feel better. I’ve been a dining critic for most of my daughter’s 12 years, and getting her to try new things hasn’t always been easy. For a while, it seemed that anything beyond buttered noodles was a stretch. The problem was reinforced for me, too, when I realized that her dad’s girlfriend was able to get her to try new …

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Abattoir Chophouse Opens Thursday

Abattoir Chophouse, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s ode to the slaughterhouse, is scheduled to open Thursday evening at 5 p.m.

The restaurant is the fifth in the family of restaurants that includes Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe and Quinones at Bacchanalia, and is the most casual restaurant from the celebrated chefs to date (if you don’t include provender Star Provisions).

Featuring a menu based around “whole animal cuisine,” (referring to Quatrano’s use of every functional piece of the animal), Abattoir will feature chef Joshua Hopkins preparing dishes like head cheese, innards, feet and tongue. Oh my.

The former slaughterhouse is located along the railroad and former stockyards in the Westside Provisions District, at at 1170 Howell Mill Road. Call 404-892-3335 for reservations.

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