Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Jenny’s dish of the week: Grilled cauliflower steaks at The Bishop

  • 1:00 pm Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
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This week we take a look at the grilled cauliflower “steak” at The Bishop in Avondale Estates. Chunky olive tapenade and tangy tomato ragu add flavor to what could be an otherwise bland vegetable. This is also a dish you could easily recreate at home.

Look for my review of The Bishop and a photo gallery of its dishes later this week.

–by Jenny Turknett, Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog

Life Hack: Mess-Free Way to Cut Corn Off the Cob

  • 9:13 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
corn

Late summer is corn season, and farmers markets and grocery stores are selling the crop at jaw-droppingly low prices. One of our favorite ways to enjoy corn is raw, fresh cut off the cob.

Typically, cutting corn off the cob involves standing the corn vertically and attempting a balancing act as you hold the narrow top of the cob with one hand, and a sharp chef’s knife in the other. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you’re like us, corn kernels end up all over the cutting board, countertops, and the floor.

The life hack? Lay corn horizontally, and cut [More]

Behind the Scenes: Bartending Tips from Madison Burch

  • 10:43 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

For Madison Burch, Ecco’s newest bartender, she is still fresh on the scene. 

“A year and a half ago, I knew nothing about bartending. Just the difference between red and white wine.”

But through self-studying, accumulating a library of cocktail books and spending hours on the customer side of the bar watching the masters, she may soon be one of Atlanta’s bartenders to watch. Burch recently worked as beverage director at Veni Vidi Vici. She is just dipping her toes into the bartending world, and has already competed in two cocktail competitions. We talked with Burch to get tips on how [More]

8 Facts About this Season’s Tomatoes

  • 9:25 am Monday, July 28th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
tomatoes

Anyone that has eaten a farm-fresh tomato knows that it cannot be compared to it ethylene gas-ripened distant cousin (although I would even stretch to say the relation is closer to a twice-removed great uncle). A fresh tomato has life and flavor. You can bite into a farm-fresh tomato like a peach and feel the seeds and juices dribble down your chin. You don’t need anything to dress it up. This is prime tomato season in Atlanta. We talked with local Georgia farmers to find out eight facts about this season’s crop.

1. The Harvest
Our tomato harvest is significantly better this year [More]

Jenny’s dish of the week: Charred greens and peaches at Kimball House

  • 1:00 pm Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
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We are starting something new over here at the Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog. Most weeks I’ll be posting a dish of the week where we can take a closer look at some of the components that make it a standout. Just mouse over the image to dig in.

Join me in exploring Atlanta one dish at a time.

First up: Kimball House’s charred greens and peaches. It’s simply a beautiful expression of the season’s bounty.

Bon appétit!

–Jenny Turknett, Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog

Behind the Scenes: bartender John Scroggins of Ink & Elm

  • 9:33 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
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“Performing and bartending are similar because you are connecting with people and taking them on an experience.”

-John Scroggins, Ink & Elm bartender and performer for Performing at weddings, what songs do you always know will be hits?

Motown always gets people going, whether we perform Earth, Wind and Fire or KC and Sunshine Band. But whenever we perform “Ice Ice Baby”, people go crazy. It’s ridiculous.

Is there a format that your band follows throughout the evening for your performances?

The first set is a dinner set, and that involves the special dances like the father/daughter. Then we ease people in with slow [More]

Endive Publik House restaurant review, Atlanta

  • 1:00 pm Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
beef tenderloin with sweet potato nettle

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Endive Publik House. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.

Endive, which began catering operations in 2003, recently added restaurant service three nights a week. You’ll find this new neighborhood hangout, Endive Publik House nestled back in the Loring Heights area, just a stone’s throw from Atlantic Station in Midtown.

Endive has taken on the challenge of bridging the chasm between catering and restaurant dining, but it is still straddling the two worlds. Servers and bartenders are still working to make the jump and the reasonably priced menu [More]

First Look: Polaris at the Hyatt Regency

  • 8:55 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by John Kessler
photo by Becky Stein

There are a couple of things you need to know before planning a trip to Polaris — the everything-old-is-new-again revolving restaurant atop the Hyatt Regency:

Polaris doesn’t take reservations and isn’t particularly big. So if you’re hankering to set foot inside the landmark blue dome, which first lit up the Atlanta skyline in 1967, plan accordingly.
The food offerings are slight, though pretty to look at and often tasty. But if you go looking for a full dinner you might be disappointed. Your mission should be drinks from a canny retro-modern cocktail list, a few nibbles, and an evening finished elsewhere.

You can [More]

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