Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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“The Trip to Italy” a journey beyond food

  • 5:16 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
trip_to_italy

In “The Trip to Italy,” currently showing at the Landmark Midtown, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play versions of themselves on an all-expenses-paid culinary roadtrip.

They drive a Mini Cooper convertible through landscapes of lush vineyards and around breathtaking coastlines, listening to Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” (to say more about that would be a spoiler).

They eat lavish meals at great restaurants and sleep in luxurious little hotels. Along the way, they engage in ongoing comedy routines and do spot on impressions of other British actors, including Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Roger Moore, all guaranteed to [More]

Jenny’s dish of the week: pork rinds

  • 3:00 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett

This week I chose to feature pork rinds because I’m seeing a new trend. You can get the ones above at The Painted Pin, but you can also find them at places like Smokebelly, Local Three, Smoke Ring and Gunshow. Who has your favorite pork rinds?

Also see a recent article about The Painted Pin and a related photo gallery.

–Jenny Turknett, Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog

Where to Eat for Dragon Con

  • 9:22 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Hard Rock Cafe's Fiesta Burger

Downtown

Hard Rock Café 

215 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta
The bar is open until 2 a.m. for your late-night cravings, and the redesigned menu balances classic grub like a fiesta burger laden with jalapeño salsa with fresher fare like balsamic tomato bruschetta. A bonus- this year’s DragonCon pins will be on sale at the Hard Rock Shop and all proceeds go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Twenty-Two Stories at Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta
Rum fans will want to order the special VooDoo Bucket. The secret recipe is a fusion of select rums, fresh fruit juice and other [More]

A new era in entertainment-center fare

  • 12:56 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
The Painted Pin's waffle dogs

We seem to be entering a new era in entertainment-center fare. Dine-in movie theaters led the charge, improving food options in recent years. And now some metro Atlanta bowling alleys are upping their game.

The Painted Pin, the swanky new lounge-cum-bowling-alley in Buckhead, aims to provide restaurant-quality food and beverage for bowlers. Start with classic and signature cocktail creations from mixologist Trip Sandifer, formerly of Restaurant Eugene and The Spence. It’s hard to resist his Moscow Mule slushie with vodka, lime and ginger beer. Nor can you go wrong with the cleverly named Pin’s Cup, a mixture [More]

First Look: The Florence in Savannah

  • 9:55 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
bucatini pasta

The Florence is Hugh Acheson’s latest installment into the Savannah dining scene. A fusion of Italian and Southern cuisine, this is the restaurateur’s first foray outside of Atlanta and Athens. The name is not only a nod to the historical Italian city, but to Savannah’s own “Waving Girl” statue, representing the city’s local legend Florence Martus who greeted every ship coming in and out of the port with a waving handkerchief.

The Look: The interior and exterior design pay homage to the building’s former inhabitant, an ice factory- outlined by planked wood floors and faded brick walls. The space is divided into three [More]

Beer Town: Free Spirit Farmhouse Pale Ale a labor of love

  • 3:18 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
freespirit

Brian Watts is behind the bar, pouring a glass of Free Spirit Farmhouse Pale Ale from a tap at the Fox & Gnome, the cozy hideaway in the basement of his Decatur home.

“I like to say there’s no other beer brewed with as much love as Free Spirit,” Watts says. “It’s a beer in honor of Brittney, but really a beer for anyone who has ever lost someone special in their lives.”

Free Spirit, which benefits the Small Dreams Foundation, was conceived shortly after Watts’ 26-year-old wife, Brittney Fox Watts, was shot and killed in July 2011 in a [More]

Can you describe wine with ‘Apples to Apples’ cards?

  • 10:11 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
OM wine

One night, while attempting my own version of a blind tasting, I just couldn’t seem to find the adjectives to describe my wine. I wanted to extend beyond grasping for “oaky” for a California Chardonnay, or “jammy” for a Zinfandel, but at the same time I wanted to steer clear of “supple, graceful plum and blackberry flavors”. So, I decided to have some fun with wine tasting. I joined Ryan and Daniel Pernice of Osteria Mattone for a game of Apples to Apples, using the green descriptor cards to describe a slew of Italian varietals.

The deal:

Each player was dealt seven [More]

A return visit to KR Steakbar

  • 11:42 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by John Kessler

Chris McDade, the opening chef at KR Steakbar, has left the restaurant to go work in one called…

…wait for it….

Marta. Yes, Marta. It will be located along the Five Points Station Northbound track, and the only way to pay for food will be a Breeze Card.

The above statement is partially untrue. Marta will, in fact, open soon in New York and specialize in thin-crusted Roman-style pizza. (Arrivederci, napolitani!) With the move, McDade not only returns to New York but also to his former employer, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

I think McDade’s move is a loss for Atlanta. Though [More]

Weekend Trip: Chattanooga’s Food Works

  • 9:32 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
The payroll sits behind the bar.

Chattanooga is less than two hours from Atlanta, making it a weekend destination aimed at adventure seekers and families alike. Similar to the refurbished warehouses that the city’s restaurants are revitalizing, chefs are easing culinary flair onto menus. At the intersection of humble menu offerings and rustic urban design is Food Works, a North Shore spot thriving since 2006.

Restaurant: Food Works  

Operating Partner: Troy Sutton (TS)
Chattanooga Past Time: trail running
Executive Chef: Jeremy Allin (JA)
Chattanooga Past Time: cycling

Location: North Shore, Chattanooga

TS: This side of the river has been a developing area for the last 15 years and property values [More]

Chastain Tavern open, Bellwoods opening, Chow Bing closed

  • 3:34 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
chastain tavern

Chastain Tavern open on Wieuca

Chastain Tavern has opened on Wieuca Road in the space previously occupied by Twisted Taco. “Created by four friends who saw an opportunity to bring a neighborhood tavern to the Chastain and Buckhead neighborhoods of Atlanta,” the seasonal menu is “paired with craft spirits and beers and an extensive wine list.” Look for the likes of chocolate-covered bacon, half-pound burgers, and entrees such as chicken and biscuits and miso-glazed sea bass. 4629 Wieuca Road, Atlanta. 404-943-1192.

Bellwoods Social House opening

Bellwoods Social House, the new bar/restaurant from Leif Johnson, owner of Bite Bistro & [More]

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