Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Behind the Scenes: Claude Guillaume of Davio’s

  • 9:18 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Claude Headshot

Davio’s general manager Claude Guillaume runs the Phipps Plaza restaurant like a pro- and he is. His resume of restaurant management in Atlanta includes the now closed five starred Seeger’s. The French native Guillaume says the hospitality industry is vastly different in America than France. Here he tells about his 22 years in Atlanta’s restaurant scene.

Over the time that you have worked in Atlanta, how have you seen your role as manager change?

You have to be more hands-on, because managers now have to do more with less. Managing has become more efficient thanks to technology, whether it’s accounting or invoices. [More]

Lunacy Black Market Closed

  • 2:53 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
Credit: Becky Stein

Creative Loafing reports that Paul Luna’s Lunacy Black Market in South Downtown has closed, though the website is still live.

The bargain-priced cafe, which opened in 2009, was the last concept from Luna, the wild and crazy chef with a ponytail who popularized tapas in Atlanta with restaurants such as Eclipse di Sol and Loca Luna.

At Lunacy, the comfy shabby chic decor created an atmosphere frequently described as “like walking into someone’s living room,” and it was often difficult to tell the staff from the patrons.

Cardboard menus, cheap wine, and even cheaper small-plates, such as Mediterranean-style [More]

Four Seasons Hotel Takes it to the Streets with a Food Truck

  • 9:26 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
photo credit: Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

Yup, the high-gloss, fine hotel chain Four Seasons has a food truck and it’s coming to Atlanta! The food truck is making nine stops at hotels over the course of 43 days. This week from Tuesday October 21 through Friday October 24, the food truck cruises around Atlanta.

You can expect to see mains, sides and snacks like braised pork shank tacos, Savannah crab cake sandwiches, sage roasted pumpkin farro salad, and butter pecan/peach ice cream sandwiches.

Highlights of the Food Truck include the following: Tuesday’s beer pairing by Monday Night Brewing. Wednesday’s Big Green Egg grilling, where a celebrity [More]

No Crappy Beer @ Atlanta Beer Week

  • 10:28 am Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Though barely organized this year, Atlanta Beer Week kicks off today with the Burnt Hickory Brewery Open House in Kennesaw and the Decatur Craft Beer Festival.

You can find more Beer Week info thoughtfully organized by the keepers of the ATLBeer site.

Other highlights of the week include: the Leon’s and Jailhouse “Nose to Tail” Beer Dinner at Leon’s Full Service on Monday; the Allagash Tap Takeover with Rob Tod at Brick Store Pub on Tuesday; the 5 Brewery Tap Takeover, with Boulevard, Orpheus, Terrapin, Second Self and Sierra Nevada at The Porter on Wednesday; the Jekyll Beer Dinner [More]

Inaugural Highland Restaurant Week Starts Saturday

  • 11:41 am Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Combining the contiguous Poncey-Highland, Virginia Highland and Morningside neighborhoods, the inaugural Highland Restaurant Week kicks off on Saturday, and continues through October 25.

A wide variety of participating neighborhood restaurants will be offering prix fixe menus at $15, $25 and/or $35, and include brunch, lunch and/or dinner options. Prices are per person and exclude alcohol, tax and gratuity.

From casual spots to fine dining institutions the list includes: Babette’s Café, Café 640, D.B.A. Barbecue, Diesel Filling Station, Doc Chey’s Noodle House, The Original El Taco, Floataway Café, Genki Noodles & Sushi, Goin’ Coastal, Highland Tap, Fontaine’s Oyster House, La Tavola [More]

8 Twists on PB&J

  • 10:14 am Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
BLT Steak Peanut Butter Bread Pudding

One of the most nostalgic treats is the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In collaboration with World Food Day, October 16, more than 50 Atlanta restaurants participate in the fundraiser “PB&J for Good”. From October 16 through October 25, restaurants will feature peanut butter-inspired dishes. A percentage of each of the restaurant’s dishes will go toward Stop SAM, a nonprofit providing economically-friendly treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition. With so many restaurants, we picked a few PB&J dishes for you to order next time you’re out.

BLT Steak

The dish: Warm peanut butter bread pudding with housemade raspberry jam, peanut [More]

Kulers Uncorked: Slim Pickings Make For A Different Napa Cab

  • 1:38 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Gil Kulers

“Jealous.” That’s the first word winemakers outside Napa Valley say when asked about growing conditions in California’s most renowned wine region.

“Off” years in Napa would rank as stellar vintages anywhere else. Every growing season, Napa is blessed with warm days, cool nights and rain seemingly only when needed. Well, almost every growing season.

Back in July, I had the good fortune to be in Napa Valley for the Rutherford Dust Society’s annual grand tasting. A dozen or so journalists and wine industry people gathered to taste the cabernet sauvignon-based wines of Rutherford, Calif., home to celebrated wineries and vineyards such as [More]

The next best Atlanta Restaurants

  • 1:10 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by John Kessler
Alma Cocina (photo by Becky Stein)

Surprise, surprise. We have another mini-dining guide coming out this week. Since we’ve changed the star rating system, we thought it might be best to let you know about the next 50 restaurants we like.

You can see the whole list here. 

Or, you can see the list with pretty pictures here. 

And we have to admit that we screwed something up. After all the debating and the many, many revisions to our master spread sheet we managed to supply a list of 49 rather than 50 restaurants.

Our bad. So we want to know:

We got 99 restaurants, but your best ain’t [More]

Recipe: Piedmont Chicken Confit

  • 11:53 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Chef Olivier dish

Today we bring a recipe to you from Loews Hotel

Pickled chanterelles

1 lb of fresh small chanterelle

Pickling liquid

2 tablespoon of sugar
1 quart of water
4 tablespoon of sea salt
2 Tablespoon black peppercorn
2 tablespoon mustard seed
2 tablespoon of coriander seed
2 tablespoon of hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon all spice berries
1 tablespoon ground mace
2 small cinnamon stick
12 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1. Mix all ingredients together and bring it all up to a simmer.

2. Put your chanterelles or any other mushroom of your choice into mason jars and pour the hot liquid over the mushrooms.

3. Close the lid with [More]

Ron Eyester Survives ‘Top Chef’ Premiere

  • 10:05 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Filmed around Boston during May and June, the 12th season of “Top Chef” premiered on Bravo last night.

And Atlanta’s Ron “The Angry Chef” Eyester was there, laughing, and appearing calm, cool and collected, while surviving packing his knives, at least until the next episode.

Eyester is the chef/owner of Rosebud, the Family Dog and Timone’s in Morningside, and Diner, which is set to open at Atlantic Station soon. Last month, when word got out that he would be on “Top Chef” this season, he talked about his experience:

“One of the personal reasons I wanted to [More]

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