Here's the latest tenant of the building last occupied by Carmen Cappello's Lamplighter (280 Connally St. at Memorial Dr.). I chatted briefly with the owner, Fet, in the parking lot. City Limit Cafe will open May 1 with a menu of wings and burgers.
Below is a review of Rumi's Kitchen by 12-year-old Cooper Drose. He is a sixth-grade student at Pace Academy and wrote this for his English class, taught by Eric Wilhelm.
Cooper is the son of Gerald Drose and Dina Zeckhausen, both psychologists.
The end of this review took me by surprise since Cooper otherwise writes a very positive review. His mother theorizes that, although he realized the food was good, he'd still prefer a burger or a pizza. But kudos to his teacher for making an assignment that used dining to compel Cooper and his classmates to move outside their usual comfort zones. (CB)
By Cooper Drose
My family recently ate at a restaurant called Rumis Kitchen which features Persian cuisine. Rumi was a poet who lived in Persia eight centuries ago. His poetry was about love and life; this restaurant reflected a warm and loving atmosphere.
The first thing you notice when you enter the restaurant is the comfortable feeling. It is a quiet, mellow room with soft music playing in the background. On a table on the right, there are a number of small dishes holding different spices. These are some of the typical Persian spices used in the dishes in Rumis Kitchen.
The main room is elongated and narrow with soft lighting. On the left side of the room is a tiled archway looking into the kitchen where you can see the bread being cooked in a wood-fire oven. Just past that, there is a wall topped with glass vases of many different shapes and sizes. On your right you can see a long porch with outdoor seating.
The waiters and waitresses were wearing simple black outfits, the women in dark flowing dresses and the men in black pants and shirts. They had dark complexions and black hair and appeared to have come from the Middle East. Our waitress was very kind. She asked me about my restaurant review and seemed enthusiastic about my project. She came over to our table and talked to us about every dish, explaining how they made each dish and their various ingredients.
The first course that came out was a metal basket of pita bread along with a Spice Plate, a curved white platter with different food items on display. The pita bread reminded me of a pizza crust: the triangular slices were soft, with chewy air pockets made crispy from the wood-fire over. The Spice Plate included fresh leaves of tarragon, mint, radishes, walnuts, feta cheese and butter. I would have never thought of putting these different tastes together! Our waitress explained the way in which we were supposed to eat the dish, by putting the different items on the warm pita bread and folding it in half. My favorite combination was butter, tarragon and walnut. The combination was crunchy and chewy at the same time.
We waited a long time for our appetizers to arrive. It turns out the waitress forgot to tell the kitchen about our order! While we waited, we stuffed ourselves with too much delicious pita bread. When our main course finally arrived, it was displayed on two large white rectangular platters. One of them had two kinds of rice: plain white rice with bright golden saffron sprinkled on top, and the other rice included golden and purple raisins, as well as lentils. I recommend the white rice because of its sweet and salty essence.
On the other platter there were three kinds of kabobs: lamb, chicken, and beef. All of them were cooked in the wood-fire oven and had been marinated in different spices. The meats were very crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. My favorite was the lamb which had a savory flavor and a spice that tasted like soy-sauce. The waitress explained that the traditional way to eat the dish was to take some meat and rice and then smash the grilled tomato into it, then sprinkle a deep red spice on top called sumac. My mother asked if this spice was related to the poison sumac plant. The waitress said, Yes, but thankfully it isnt poisonous. That wouldnt be very good for business!
We were too stuffed for dessert so we decided to skip it. However, our waitress read us a list of many different Persian desserts that sounded unique and interesting.
I would give this restaurant 3.5 stars, based on 4 stars for food and 3 stars for service. If I had a choice I would not come back to this restaurant. If I came back, I would not eat so much bread and I would try the dessert!
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~Rumi~
We Castleberry Hill residents have been on a lucky food and drink streak lately. Johnny Cakes, the soon-to-open Chocolate Bar and now, the No Mas! Hacienda & Cantina folks have opened Adios Cafe, a chocolate and espresso bar. The cafe serves a wide variety of homemade Mexican treats such as Panecillo (corn muffins), freshly made churros, Mexican truffles infused with tamarindo and savory empanadas filled with chorizo, eggs, black beans, peppers and cheese. Choose from a long list of Mexican coffee and chocolate drinks (e.g. coffee laced with cinnamon and cocoa, hot chocolate with chili de arbol and the like), Mighty Leaf teas and chilled bottles of Jarritos sodas to enjoy alongside the pastries and desserts. The Cafe opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. daily. There is plenty of parking and ample seating in the vividly adorned cafe attached to the equally vibrant restaurant and furniture store. They even offer free WiFi. Stay tuned for more in an upcoming Cheap Eats...
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
The idea of tuna in a jar hits a kind of conceptual sweet spot in my mind. Somewhere between fresh and canned, just between highbrow and lowbrow, tuna in a jar makes me happy before I even get to eat it. And then it makes me happier.
At Craftbar, Craft's less-formal downstairs neighbor, Tom Colicchio's more casual sensibilities shine. Familiar ingredients and preparations make for simple, nibbly fun, but are executed with less pretension and more thought than you might see elsewhere. The tuna, lightly cured in oil, sits in its jar atop a mush of delicious, gooey roasted red peppers, and is sprinkled with shards of salty black olives. Heaped onto rustic grilled bread, its the perfect snack a small bite of oily perfection to accompany a glass of rich white or light red wine.
(Photo by James Camp)
We hit the new Livingston at the Georgian Terrace Hotel tonight. It was only its second day of operation but we had a great meal prepared by Chef Gary Mennie and his staff.
The interior of the Georgian Terrace has undergone an astonishing renovation and the Livingston, named after a food-obsessed mayor of our city in the early 1900s, is two stories of elegant woodwork, art and lighting, including a gauzy-draped central chandelier that sets an elegiac tone.
There's also patio dining, with a blinding view of the Fox's neon marquee. A roomy lounge with bar adjoins the restaurant.
Service hummed. Our waiter Paul (left), most recently of Craft, knew just about every ingredient in every dish.
Among the dishes we ordered was this roasted rabbit, partly wrapped in speck. I don't think I've encountered a better treatment of rabbit in our city. Mennie, who has an impressive resume well known to Atlanta foodies, is featuring ingredients from boutique farms when possible.
More later this week in my Grazing column.
(Photos by Cliff Bostock)
Cheese find: Whole Foods on Ponce de Leon was selling Parrano for only $9.49 a pound today. That's less than half what I've seen it usually priced around town. It's great with the organic Fuji apples, my obsession, that are on sale at Kroger for $1.69 a pound....
Are you a hyperlocavore? Of course you are. Check out this great site....
Nick Setty writes to recommend the new Cuban Diner in Marietta. It's getting positive reviews on Yelp....
For Women: Chef Asata Reid seems to be here, there and everywhere. She was recently featured in the Emory University student newspaper. Check out her website. She will be conducting two classes at Sevananda Natural Foods Market in Little Five Points: "Natural Foods 101" on May 6, 12 noon-2 p.m. and "Celebrate Women's Wellness" on May 9, 10 a.m.-12 noon. Cost is $10 or Sevananda members and $12 for non-members. She's also conducting classses through Spicy Wifey....
"Can we afford to eat ethically?" asks Salon.com. Writer Siobhan Phillips establishes her task:
So last year, when global food prices began to soar, I devised an experiment: My husband and I would eat conscientiously for a month, not just on our regular grocery allotment but on the government-defined, food-stamp minimum: $248 for two people in our hometown of New Haven, Conn. We would choose the SOLE-est products available -- that is, the sustainable, organic, local or ethical alternative. We would start from a bare pantry, shop only at places that took food stamps and could be reached on foot, and use only basic appliances. The test would mean some painful changes; gone was my husband's customary breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios and our favorite dinner of pepperoni pizza. But it would answer that nagging question: When shopping for food, did I have to choose between my budget and my beliefs?...
Sex and McDonald's: I recently wrote a post about two Domino's employees who posted a YouTube video of themselves having unsanitary fun with a sandwich one of them was making. While looking for background information about it, I found an incredible story about a video of the sexual assault of an 18-year-old McDonald's employee that was broadcast by ABC and is now on the Internet too. If you want to (see and) read about it, check out my personal blog, Sacred Disorder.
Attention, servers! Here's a sure-fire way to increase your tips. Listen to Dave FM's Sully.
MAGGIANOS LITTLE ITALY: Going to this deliciously cheesy faux Little Italy is all about the kitsch and the comfort food. Family-style eating in guilt-inducing portions abound. Disparage it for being a chain if you wish, but they make a respectable meatball each one tender, well-seasoned and completely crave-worthy. The meatballs are immense, so one will suffice when placed atop an order of spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce. 3368 Peachtree Road, 404-816-9650; and two other metro Atlanta locations. www.maggianos.com.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
I caught this El Milagro truck making its delivery to Fiesta Foods, the location of Taqueria el Sori, the other day. El Milagro is a national company (with an interesting history) but we are lucky to have one of their plants here in Chamblee. The fresh retail tortillas taste nearly homemade when warmed. I love the corn tortillas especially.
I got a text this afternoon from Jennifer Zyman that a new sandwich place had opened behind Octane called Tiny Bistro (1039 Marietta St. 404-745-9561). So I went to check it out. It's owned by the folks who run Figs & Honey catering, and serves sandwiches, sides and to-go entrees. Jen (who also passes on the helpful tip that Octane has 15% off coupons for Tiny Bistro) will bring us more info in an upcoming Cheap Eats column.
KILL IT!! Love you guys!
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