Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Will recently shuttered Marbar reopen?

  • 4:54 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Will recently shuttered Marbar Beachside Cantina in Decatur reopen with a new owner and concept?

According to a tipster, Deborah VanTrece, executive chef/owner of The Catering Company by VanTrece, is set to takeover the troubled restaurant.

In early September, AJC lead dining critic Jenny Turknett gave Marbar zero stars and a rating of fair, writing:

Marbar’s casual “beachside cantina” flair could be a home run with families in Decatur. Seafood-heavy Mexican fare with good pricing on great drinks could carve a successful niche in most any neighborhood. With its beautifully relaxed decor and expansive selection of tequilas and mezcals, Marbar [More]

Chai Pani’s “Diwali Mela” tonight

  • 2:54 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Chai Pani will host “Diwali Mela” from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. tonight.

Decatur’s “mind-blasting Indian street food” spot will break away from its usual dining scheme to create a “mela” — the Desi word for “festival” – with food, specialty cocktails, music and entertainment.

No reservations or tickets are required for the event. Buy the all you can eat buffet, which includes street snack stations, at the door and purchase cocktails from the special menu all evening.

Twenty percent of buffet sales and one hundred percent of special cocktail sales will go to The Meher Free Dispensary, a medical [More]

The Pig and the Pearl restaurant review, Atlanta

  • 9:45 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Jenny Turknett

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of The Pig and the Pearl, from the folks behind The Shed at Glenwood.

The Pig and the Pearl is Atlantic Station’s new raw-bar-smokehouse hybrid. It’s a nice independent, chef-driven addition to Atlantic Station’s dining scene and fits the  area’s vibe. The restaurant’s ambitiously large menu includes fatty smoked meats and bold flavors, which may or may not be your style. But, you’ll dig the progression from an icy platter of oysters and a cold brew to a cut of smoky brisket and unique takes on barbecue [More]

A Visual Guide to Taste of Atlanta [infographic]

  • 8:17 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

Three days of food festivities are almost upon us! The

Booth 24 *VIP | Bellwoods Social House
Short dog-braised beef short rib, ancho kimchi, sweet chile aioli, house pickled onion on H&F bun
Photo credit- Atlanta Restaurant Blog

Booth 26 *VIP | The Albert
Smoked pimento cheese biscuit, pulled pork, Carolina BBQ sauce and cole slaw

Booth 105 | Milton’s Cuisine
Smoked chicken confit with creamed corn and pea shoots

Booth 216 | 10th & Piedmont
Chicken and waffles
Photo credit- Clayton Morey

Booth 307| Smokebelly
Pork Rinds with Pimento Cheese
Photo credit- Eating with Erica

Booth 309 | Saltyard
Crispy oysters, escabeche, spicy aioli
Photo credit-Carolyn B.

Booth 318 | Don Antonio by Starita
Pistacchio e [More]

Beer Town: Learn To Homebrew Day Nov. 1

  • 3:06 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Bob Townsend

What do the brewer partners of Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing and Athens’ Creature Comforts Brewing have in common?

If you answered that they won medals at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, you’d be right.

Monday Night won a gold medal for Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt in the wood- and barrel-aged beer category. And Creature Comforts won a bronze medal for Curiosity No. 2 in the American-style brett beer category.

But you’d also be right if you answered that before they became craft brewers, they were all homebrewers.

It’s a familiar story. Homebrewers like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and Sam [More]

Apple Fritters Recipe

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Apple Fritters 2 (1)

Today we share a recipe from executive chef of no. 246, Andrew Isabella. As the fresh apple season winds down, we are always looking for ways to incorporate them into baking. Apple fritters are crispy, puffy balls of lightly sugared dough that make a great companion with your morning coffee. Dunk them in your coffee or in some maple syrup.

Apple Fritters

By Executive Chef Andrew Isabella – no. 246

3 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg
1 1⁄4 cup milk
4 chopped apples

1. Mix first 4 ingredients together.

2. Mix egg and milk together, then mix egg mixture with [More]

“Mad Delicious” cookbook by Atlanta’s Keith Schroeder

  • 9:10 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

Keith Schroeder has made a name for himself in Atlanta as the owner of High Road Craft Ice Cream. Now he is taking his skills as a chef, culinary educator and food writer and has released a cookbook. “Mad Delicious”, which comes out today, aims to teach home cooks how to make healthy food taste amazing. Schroeder is a contributor to Cooking Light’s cooking class column, and he uses similar techniques in this cookbook.

In “Mad Delicious”, playful cartoons illustrate common cooking practices, and Schroeder’s lighthearted voice pokes fun at mishaps. Readers will find that while the recipes may look complicated, [More]

Cinco y Diez in Athens Closed

  • 11:35 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Bob Townsend

After just 10 months in business, Cinco y Diez, the Athens Mexican restaurant from Hugh Acheson, chef Whitney Otawka and co-owner Melissa Clegg has closed.

Hillary Brown reported the news in Flagpole yesterday:

After Flagpole received a tip that the locks on the building were being changed, Hugh Acheson confirmed that the restaurant is officially out of business and that the future of the building is in Melissa Clegg’s hands. He also said he doesn’t know what chef Whitney Otawka’s plans are, but that he loved what she was doing.

Cinco y Diez opened in January 2014, in the remodeled Five [More]

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]

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