Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Dîner en Blanc comes to Atlanta

  • 9:16 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
dinner en blanc

Dîner en Blanc, the Paris born all-white picnic sensation, is coming to Atlanta on October 16. Consider it a fine dining flashmob where a sea of white clothing, tables, decor, etc will take over a very public space in Atlanta.

As the Atlanta website says,

“At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc’s” secret place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.”

All guests will [More]

Mark Rosati: Shake Shack’s Culinary Director

  • 10:04 am Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
mark Rosati

Today Shake Shack opens in the Buckhead Atlanta development, drawing in New York transplants and burger lovers alike. For fans of the burger, hot dog, and custard menu, Mark Rosati has a dream job. As Culinary Director, he visited Atlanta in April to work on creating the Buckhead location’s menu. He tasted his way across Atlanta, visiting more than 20 places over the course of just two days. Rosati works with local purveyors in each city to bring a few exclusive menu items, and Atlantans can expect to see H&F Bakery’s pecan pie and Cacao’s chocolate in two of Shake [More]

Shake Shack, World of Beer and more openings

  • 3:32 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Buckhead Atlanta restaurant updates

Buckhead Atlanta, the high-end retail and restaurant project, has several restaurant openings coming up in the next few weeks. Shake Shack, the popular Manhattan export known for the ShackBurger, Flat-Top Dogs and frozen custard concretes, will open tomorrow at 11 a.m. Thirteen Pies, billed as an intimate neighborhood restaurant dedicated to serving wood-fired artisan pizzas and hand-cut pastas, is set to open October 7. And Gypsy Kitchen, offering a Spanish atmosphere and menu of shareable snacks, small plates and larger entrees for communal-style meals, will open Oct. 14.

World of Beer Midtown opening

World [More]

Vote Many Fold Farm for Martha Stewart “American Made”

  • 9:39 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

The Martha Stewart “American Made” awards celebrates the local, entrepreneurial spirit of American-made products. We are proud that Many Fold Farm from Chattahoochee Hills is one of the finalists for the 2014 awards.

Rebecca and Ross Williams represent the core of “American Made”: they have turned their passion into a lifestyle, churning out sheep’s milk into delicious, handcrafted cheeses. If you frequent the Peachtree Road or Grant Park farmers markets, you’ve most likely seen (and tasted) one of their sheep’s milk cheeses.

Many Fold Farm is vying for the American Made award in the “agriculture and sustainability” category of the food division. [More]

Pick 5: Celebrate the end of Bourbon Month

  • 8:25 am Friday, September 26th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Barrel Bar

Although bourbon belongs to the state of Kentucky, Atlantans aren’t shy about tipping a glass toward this Southern brown liquor. September is recognized by the U.S. Senate as National Bourbon Heritage Month. Bar manager Jeff Banks of Graft Restaurant in Grayson shares the history of bourbon.

“Originating in Bourbon County, Bourbon was made from corn and then shipped down stream on rafts to New Orleans. Elijah Craig (either by luck, accident or divine intervention) was the first to char the inside of his barrels. After the trip downstream, the whiskey had time to age and pull flavor from the caramelized sugars [More]

Hector Santiago Update

  • 4:04 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Hector Santiago wants it known that he resigned his chef position at Abattoir. Here’s what he posted on his Facebook page a few hours ago:

Saludos Family and Friends !
I want to give y’all the chance to hear this from me first : I have resigned my position at Abattoir as of October 19, It has been a real pleasure working with the Star Provisions and Abattoir family …I will be missing you All ( specially you Leo Leonardo Iranzo ) but not for long .I will be bringing my food and past concepts that y’all miss in the near [More]

Chef Hector Santiago Out at Abattoir, Joe Schafer In

  • 12:33 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

In July 2013, Former “Top Chef” contestant Hector Santiago became the new executive chef at Abattoir, the meaty restaurant from Bacchanalia chefs/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison.

Now, according to Quatrano, Santiago is out and Joe Schafer, who recently left King + Duke in Buckhead, is in.

“Joe Schafer is taking over the kitchen sometime in October,” Quatrano said.”We’re very excited about it.”

Santiago was the chef/owner of a trio of popular Poncey-Highland Latin concepts, Pura Vida, Super Pan Latino, and El Burro Pollo, which closed in 2012. And more recently, he was involved in Big Sky Buckhead.

Southbound restaurant review, Chamblee

  • 10:00 am Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Southbound, Chamblee’s new restaurant located in an old mercantile-turned-Masonic-Lodge. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.

Southbound was transformed into a local gem over a 25-month restoration period. Now rustic, fresh and stunning, it gleams with brick, dark woods and reclaimed accoutrements all in alignment with the character of the antique structure.
And as captivating and inviting as this decor du jour is, it seems to promise a level of execution that the kitchen doesn’t yet deliver. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy a stewy, rib-sticking dish of rabbit [More]

Behind the Scenes: Chef Daniel Lindley

  • 8:52 am Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

Daniel Lindley has put the city of Chattanooga, one that is primarily associated with outdoor pursuits, on the culinary map. He has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Southeast award five times: in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He pioneered the city’s dining destination, St. John’s restaurant, in 2000. Earlier in April of this year, he sold his interest in the restaurant to concentrate his efforts on Chattanooga’s Alleia restaurant and Nashville’s forthcoming 5th & Taylor restaurant. Here he shares how he’s continually innovating Chattanooga’s dining scene and what we should expect with [More]

Beer Town: Second Self debuts first beers Oct. 6

  • 3:16 pm Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
SEcond Self

Fellow award-winning homebrewers, Georgia Tech grads and fraternity roommates, Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle partnered to found

Beer Pick: Thai Wheat
Second Self Beer Co., Atlanta, GA
Available on draft at bars, restaurants and growler shops, beginning Oct. 6

Profile: One of the oldest recipes developed by Second Self partners Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle when they were still homebrewing, this refreshing but complex American wheat is rooted in Santamaria’s travels in Thailand. Brewed with spicy Saaz and Hallertau hops and flavored with lemongrass, ginger and a touch galangal, it’s a light, crisp food-friendly beer that’s well suited for sipping any time.

Pair with: [More]

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