Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Wine Kulers: Serving Perfect Wine By The Glass

  • 11:33 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Gil Kulers

Exploding bottles. Flying shards of glass. Razor-sharp, splinters everywhere. Scenes from a horror flick? Or an Italian restaurant?

A number of media outlets had their fun earlier this year with these disturbing images, when it was reported that the wine preservation device, Coravin, caused bottles to fail tableside. Descriptions like the ones above are just a tad overblown and grossly misleading.

The ingeniously designed and staggeringly popular gadget pierces a wine bottle’s cork with a thin needle and displaces the wine with neutral argon gas. This allows the user to pour wine from the bottle without introducing the wine to the harmful [More]

Pick 6: Where to Eat near Music Midtown

  • 10:03 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Loca Luna drinks

This weekend, throngs of music-loving Atlantans will flock to Piedmont Park for Music Midtown. The two-day festival on Friday and Saturday is one of the most popular outdoor concerts in the city. So when you’re around the park and starting to get hungry from hours of dancing and jamming out, check out these five spots walking distance from the park. 

Loca Luna
550-C Amsterdam Avenue, Atlanta, 30306
Hours: Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
Okay, so maybe you’ve had enough music, but if you’re still looking to party and get down with some Latin tunes, this is the place to go. [More]

Foxeria Del Sol’s Hatch Chili Fest on Sunday

  • 10:01 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

It’s a silly name. But it’s good food for a good cause.

On Sunday, two of Atlanta’s favorite casual restaurant’s, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and Taqueria del Sol, double team in the kitchen to benefit Hogs For The Cause and the fight against pediatric brain cancer.

Foxeria Del Sol’s Hatch Chili Fest, under tents at the Howell Mill location of Taqueria del Sol, is a celebration of the arrival of the annual shipment of Hatch green chilies from New Mexico.

On the menu:

Whole Hog and Hatch Green Chile Slider
Hatch Green Chile Frito Pie
Hatch and Burnt End Tacos
Hatch and [More]

AJC Dunwoody Wine Fest: Crack a bottle with Eric Brown

  • 9:18 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by John Kessler

“The French would call this a ‘glou-glou’ wine,” Eric Brown says, pouring a bottle of red wine at the tasting counter of his Chamblee retail shop, This wine, the 2013 vintage of Poivre et Sel (“pepper and salt”), comes from Les Vins Contés winery in France’s Loire Valley. “It’s 80% Pineau d’Aunis, a grape that is known for its white pepper,” Brown says, swirling his glass. “You can smell that pepper right off.”

The other 20% is Gamay, a varietal grown in the Loire but more famously in Beaujolais. It has a bright flavor that is sometimes described as savory.

This Poivre [More]

Greg Best reveals new Krog Street Market restaurant plans

  • 12:00 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Bob Townsend
Greg Best

As a Paces Properties press release reveals today, Greg Best and Regan Smith have signed on as the fifth and final anchor restaurant tenant at Krog Street Market.

Best and Smith have a long, shared history in the restaurant and hospitality business, originally moving from Las Vegas to Atlanta, along with Andy Minchow, as part of the opening team at Emeril’s in Buckhead.

After Emeril’s closed in 2008, Best and Smith partnered with Minchow and Linton and Gina Hopkins to open Holeman and Finch Public House, the bar/restaurant that brought the craft cocktail movement to Atlanta.

Serving as [More]

Sweet Pepper, Basil and Sea Salt Popcorn Recipe from Caja Popcorn

  • 9:47 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
imagejpeg_0 (1)

Kevin Peak sells popcorn. And only popcorn. He loved Chicago’s popular popcorn, but artisan popcorn shops often served hundreds of flavors with high calorie counts and artificial flavors. So he set out to create

(makes 10 cups)


10 cups of popped popcorn
1.5 tablespoons of butter
1.5 tablespoons of canola oil
1 tablespoon of dehydrated sweet pepper
1 tablespoons of dried basil
pinch of sea salt

1. Mix the butter and canola oil and fold it into the popcorn.

2. Mix the spice blend and salt and sprinkle it onto the popcorn.

3. Bake at 200 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

AJC Dunwoody Wine Fest: Crack open a bottle with Eric Crane

  • 3:11 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by John Kessler

Eric Crane has this word of advice for wine drinkers: “Don’t judge the wine by the vessel you pour it into.” By that he means you can enjoy a glug of wine just as easily out of plastic (“I will always celebrate the red Solo cup.”) and coffee mugs (“more on the go and far more fly”) as stemware. The important thing is to have a good time sharing it. “It’s fun to drink it with people and talk about it with people. Wine is the great unifier,” he says, cracking open a bottle.

Who better than Crane — the director [More]

Behind the Scenes: Andreas Müller of Gunshow

  • 10:14 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
photo credit: Caroline Petters

Andreas Müller is the mastermind behind some of Gunshow’s Scandinavian-inspired dishes, like chicken liver pate with dark chocolate rye and pickled cherries. Growing up in Sweden, Müller was surrounded by local garden produce and farm-fresh food. He started in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, working his way through the ranks and attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Tucker. Müller has worked in the kitchens of Woodfire Grill, H. Harper Station and 4th & Swift, before Gillespie asked him to be his right hand “kitchen dude” at Gunshow.

When you moved to the United States with you mother, how did you [More]

Shake Shack Update and more news bits

  • 8:28 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Shake Shack at Buckhead Atlanta

The opening of the highly anticipated Shake Shack at Buckhead Atlanta has been pushed back to the week of Sept. 22. Billed as “a modern day ‘roadside’ burger stand serving the most delicious burgers, fries, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more,” the original location opened as a hot dog cart in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park in 2004. Shake Shack has since expanded to nine international locations, including London and Dubai. The nearly 2,500-square-foot Buckhead space will include a rooftop deck.

Ventisette at Little Italia Westside

Atlanta Magazine reports that Giovanni Di Palma’s ever-expanding [More]

Zesto Drive-In on Ponce de Leon Avenue Closes

  • 1:40 pm Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

The owners of Zesto Drive-In announced that the restaurant located at 544 Ponce de Leon Avenue will close permanently on September 20, 2014. The property was sold to an undisclosed owner.

This Ponce de Leon location has been open for 60 years, where it started selling ice cream in 1954. The small walk-up was renovated in 1991, where it mirrored a classic diner with neon, porcelain, chrome and tile floors. The iconic building has been featured in several movies and photos and even earned the Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s Award for Architectural Excellence in 1991.

According to the website, “The other five [More]

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