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Monday, June 11, 2007

Tap emerges and Tamarind returns

Over the weekend, two much-awaited openings happened in Atlanta, right across the street from one another. Being fully committed to serving my readers, I managed to hit both of them.

On Friday night, Tap opened its doors on the corner of Peachtree and 15th streets. Tap is the newest project of Concentrics Restaurant Group and is modeled after the gastropubs of London. Word is that chef Todd Ginsberg did a tour of London gastropubs as research for this venture.

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One thing's for sure, they have put a lot of cash into this joint, in places you might not expect. The beer system is so complicated-looking, it made my wallet hurt just thinking about it. Red is the color of the day, and for some reason, there's a life-sized, lipstick-red deer in the corner of the dining room. Design geeks will swoon over the small touches, including menus that look as though they belong in a trendy gift shop (seriously — according to our waitress they're worth $25 each), and coasters with a cute conversion chart from metric to imperial. I was most impressed with this awesome box of matches.

On Sunday, directly across the street in Colony Square, one of Atlanta's best Thai restaurants reopened its doors with very little fanfare. Tamarind Seed (formerly just Tamarind) lost its lease to eminent domain on 14th Street last year. On Sunday, it quietly told friends and family it was opening the doors of its new establishment, and ended up with a packed house. Seriously, it was madness. I was just lucky to stumble across the opening, and while there were the usual opening-night nerves and not much to choose from in the drinks department (apart from gloriously fruity cocktails), the food came out quickly and was delicious.

Look for coverage for both of these fine new establishments in the upcoming weeks in the Food & Drink section.

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