Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Craft Izakaya grand opening tonight and more news

  • 3:31 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
craft izakaya

Craft Izakaya opening at Krog Street

Craft Izakaya, which softly opened over the weekend at Krog Street Market with friends and family events, will open to the public tonight. The lively Japanese-style bar and restaurant is a spin-off of Sushi Huku in Sandy Springs. Look for a full sushi bar and a yakitori menu with skewered meats, seafood and veggies cooked on a charcoal grill imported from Japan. Bar manager Nate Shuman, recently of Proof & Provision, created the beverage program featuring sake, shochu, craft beer and cocktails. 99 Krog St., Suite X, Atlanta. 470-355-9556.

Ah-Ma’s Taiwanese Kitchen open

Apparently, business [More]

Chick-fil-A serves new breakfast offerings

  • 12:13 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
photo credit: Chick Fil A

Now for a limited time, Chick-fil-A has expanded their breakfast menu beyond chicken biscuits to serve maple waffles, greek yogurt and multigrain oatmeal.

New to the breakfast list: 

Maple waffles “baked with real maple syrup inside and a caramelized sugar crunch.”  (300 calories)

Multigrain oatmeal with fresh fruit “steel cut oatmeal is slow-cooked and has flax, whole wheat and buckwheat.” (140 calories)

Cinnamon swirls cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. (310 calories)

Egg white chicken grill “toasted whole wheat English muffin with grilled chicken, egg whites and American cheese” (300 calories)

Greek yogurt parfait with “honey-flavored greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and your choice of Harvest Nut granola or chocolate [More]

Foods to watch for: Sea buckthorn, roselle

  • 10:50 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by John Kessler
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Over the past few years I’ve traveled a lot in northern Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Everywhere I went I noticed that people were crazy for sea buckthorn — those little orange/yellow berries that grow on shrubs  in sandy soil along the shore. I ate them at Noma, the influential Copenhagen restaurant, and I ate them in Russian coffee shops, where they flavored tea and soda.

How to describe the flavor? It’s weird, like apricot mixed with papaya, guava and lavender. Herbalists and aestheticians alike love the stuff for its antioxidant and moisturizing properties. It is also considered a natural lubricant. [More]

Behind the Scenes: Anthony Audino of Blue Ridge Grill

  • 9:18 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Anthony Audino

As a server, charisma and charm go hand in hand if you want to make an impression to an otherwise hungry table of diners. Anthony Audino comes from a background in acting, and uses his casual, laid back manner to appeal to his guests at Blue Ridge Grill. Here, the aspiring actor shares with us his balancing act of casting calls and classic American cuisine. 

How did you get your start at Blue Ridge Grill?

I’ve spent several years as a server in casual restaurants, and then working in banquets. Here, the big difference is I don’t deal with volume, it’s [More]

Steak night with a vegetarian

  • 12:08 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by John Kessler
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Salt. Pepper. A little oil rubbed on the surface. The highest heat you can muster. Then a few minutes to rest before cutting in. That’s my recipe for a good steak.

This lovely ribeye cost $33 at Whole Foods Market and weighed in at about 20 ounces. My wife and I managed to polish off slightly more than half of it, while our daughter ate a box of fried tofu and curried vegetables from the market’s hot bar.

I gnawed on the leftover steak over the next couple of days before relinquishing the bone to our dog. It has been picked clean [More]

Chef Adam Hayes of Barnsley Resort Wins Superhero Cutthroat Kitchen

  • 9:28 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
Hayes chef-photo

Check out the highlights as Alton Brown sits down with Cutthroat Kitchen judges on his Web-exclusive After-Show to fill them in on the “high-priced bidding and evilicious sabotages that led to the chefs’ finished dishes”.

As chef Hayes promised last week, before the winner was finally revealed during last night’s episode, it is hilarious. And the “Superhero Sabotage” came down to a banana split.

Hugh Acheson’s Savannah Restaurant: The Florence

  • 9:05 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Chef Kyle Jacovino and Hugh Acheson (photo credit Emily B. Hall)

On the other side of Savannah, away from the touristy vibe and hubbub of River Street is Hugh Acheson’s newest Southern spot: The Florence. The restaurant is a nod to both the city of Italy, and Savannah’s historical statue, “the Waving Girl” of Florence Martus. Since opening this June, Chef Kyle Jacovino (formerly at both Five & Ten and Empire State South) has been fusing together the two traditional cuisines: Southern and Italian. Here, we talked with Chef Jacovino and Hugh Acheson about The Florence two months in. 

What is the similarity between Italian and Southern food? 

HA: I believe there [More]

Beer Town: Sierra Nevada set to open in North Carolina

  • 5:03 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
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More than two years after first breaking ground, Sierra Nevada is set to open its new North Carolina brewery to the public in September.

Located in Mills River, 20 minutes from downtown Asheville, the site is on a forested ridge near the river, reached via a winding road that climbs over a striking stone bridge. At first glimpse, the scope of the state-of-the-art brewery is palpable. Sierra calls it “a temple to craft beer.”

Rising above the lush landscape, and adorned with timber, slate, brick and copper, the complex is home to a 350,000 barrel brewhouse and soaring rows of stainless [More]

Chef Adam Hayes of Barnsley Resort on Sunday’s Cutthroat Kitchen

  • 1:19 pm Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
Hayes chef-photo

Airing Sundays at 10 p.m., Cutthroat Kitchen, the unlikely Food Network hit hosted by Alton Brown, is a wild and crazy mix of high-dollar bidding, dirty tricks, and evil sabotages that the chefs must navigate to create winning dishes.

This Sunday, the newest episode features chef Adam Hayes of Barnsley Resort. Earlier this week, Hayes called to say he couldn’t say much of anything about the show, except it was a whole lot of fun to shoot.

“There’s a 25 page confidentiality agreement about the shoot,” Hayes said. “I skimmed through it and signed so I’m not really going to [More]

Easy Breakfast Recipe: Banana Cream Bowl

  • 8:00 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
banana cream

Four reasons why you should try this recipe for breakfast…

It’s simple, uses two ingredients (and the whatever additions)
It’s healthy (but doesn’t necessarily taste like it)
It’s fast, ready in five minutes
It can easily fit your dietary preferences- gluten-free & vegan (depending on milk choice)

Especially on warm mornings after a workout, this cools me down like a smoothie, but I find myself eating it slower since I have to actually use a spoon. I feel like I’m eating dessert for breakfast! Consider the pantry your toppings section and get creative with healthy additions.

Banana “Cream” Bowl   (for one)

one whole banana, frozen
1/2 cup [More]

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