We headed to the new N'awlins Restaurant (1271 Glenwood Ave., 678-863-5915) in East Atlanta Village last night. The small venue, with about seven tables, was opened recently by Franky Capobianco, a New Orleans native who earlier operated a cafe counter inside Irwin Street Market.
N'awlins is located inside a bar, My Sister's Room, and clears out of the space, about 10 p.m. most nights. I recommend you call ahead to make sure it's open. The restaurant is also open for lunch.
Our dinner was a mixed success, with appetizers definitely better than our entrees. I ordered a roasted artichoke dripping with lemon-butter and partially coated with bread crumbs. Wayne ordered a whole fried green tomato that was partly hollowed out and filled with maque choux.
Entrees were less successful. I selected a sample platter of the restaurant's traditional dishes like red beans and rice with andouille sausage, shrimp creole, seafood gumbo and crawfish etouffee (substituting for jambalaya). The etouffee, which Wayne also ordered as his entree, didn't seem to be made with a roux and featured a very watery vegetable broth. The seafood gumbo was a lot "fishier" tasting than I like. But I have a feeling both these complaints are a matter of my personal taste. Wayne, for example, liked the gumbo a lot.
An interesting aspect of the restaurant's menu is inclusion of some Italian dishes (like my artichoke). Capoblanco explained that there's a strong Italian community in New Orleans and he grew up eating their food, as well as traditional Cajun and Creole dishes.
• Brandade—salt cod and olive oil 7
• Raw coldwater oyster with aquavit, cucumber and paddlefish caviar 3
• Spanish tuna rillettes with preserved lemon, thyme, black olives and toast 7
• Tilefish escabeche with moscatel vinegar, bread crumbs, toasted garlic and smoked paprika 9
• Crab à la plancha with ginger and sweet coriander sauce 10
• Tuna carpaccio, lemon aioli shaved Parmesan 12
• Fried clam roll with lemon, chilies and mayonnaise 9
• Sole à la plancha with roasted tomatoes and olive oil 19
• Roasted halibut with porcinis, gnocchi and scuppernongs 18
• Grilled branzino with braised fennel, orange and tarragon 30
• Smoked arctic char with crowder peas, cream and housemade bacon 12
• Tagliolini with roasted lobster and seaweed butter 19
• Wood-roasted sardines with green onion and corona beans 12
• Pacific cod with olive oil and garlic 28
• Grilled sable fish with smoked potatoes and crème fraiche 29
Definitely call for a reservation, 404-347-9555.
When I called the restaurant earlier in the day to ask about the hours, I was told they were officially open until 11 p.m. "But it all depends on how many customers we have," the host said. "We might close earlier."
I'm finding more and more restaurants that do that. Since I rarely dine before 9 p.m., it's hard enough to beat the usual closing times, so I've made it a definite habit to call just before I set out for a place, no matter what its "official" hours are.
Our meal at Cafe Circa was quite good, but didn't seem as radical a departure from the former menu as I was expecting. Hibbert, who was chef at Eclipse de Luna, can be wildly inventive. (Wayne has never forgiven the restaurant for taking the chocolate chicken wings off the original menu.)
I was disappointed that the oxtail stew was not available, but my pork chop was amazingly flavored. See next week's "Grazing" for more.
Geez. As we hear constantly, food in the public schools is about as unhealthy as it can be. Most of it contributes to the childhood obesity that has become epidemic. Safety is a major issue too.
Now, it turns out, Marietta schools are serving students long-expired food, according to CBSAtlanta:
After a CBS Atlanta investigation raised Tough Questions about the safety of food being served at Marietta City Schools, the school system found expired food in two of the district's dozen schools.
The admission in a letter from Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck Monday night. The actual letter appears [as PDF file in the sidebar of the site's article].
The allegations are being made by Howard Clotfelter, a former food warehouse manager for Marietta City Schools. He's breaking his silence about what he said is a dirty secret he fears could make children sick.
"My personal concern is you're talking about 7,000 kids being served this product," said Clotfelter.
The Reserve opened this past Thursday above Cafe Circa with Latin music playing, cigars handed out and a few hookahs in the front. The hookahs didn't really take off—it seemed weird watching people smoke hookah while bolstered up at a high pub tables—but guests seemed to like it. The space is comfortable and not overdecorated, a welcome change again from the other pretentious rooftop bars in the city. The bar is only on the second story and facing southward from Edgewood, so it's not exactly a glamorous city view. However, it's the perfect environment to chill out with a nice drink without the posing. (Do I pose?)
Proper Medium, a local Atlanta video production company, has made a short film about Dynamic Dish and owner David Sweeny.
Cliff gives us perhaps his most thorough First Look of all time with multiple visits to Empire State South. I guess I'll have to go 17 times to do the review properly. Oh well, it's a rough life.
Woo-hoo, Home Grown is inching its way toward dinner service with this cheap-o special:
Restaurant Eugene, Tues., Sept. 28: Chef Linton Hopkins will be launching his new dinner series at Restaurant Eugene. The James Beard Nominated Chef will pair up with Atlantan author Susan Rebecca White to produce an evening and menu inspired by the author’s work. Four-course dinner with pairings. $85. Reservations are required. 2277 Peachtree Road. 404-355-0321. www.restauranteugene.com.
Doc Chey’s, Tues., Sept. 28: Dine in or take out dinner to support Grant Park Neighborhood Charter School & ACMS. 15% of your bill will go towards the school. 5-10 p.m. 404-688-4238. www.doccheys.com.
Flight Night at SOHO, Wed., Sept. 29: Event features samples of three different South American wine in flights. A glass of wine may also be paired with a tapas plate for $12. Wines and tapas are available individually as well for $9/glass and $6/tapas. 5:30-10 p.m. 4300 Paces Ferry Road. 770-801-0069. www.sohoatlanta.com.
I feel especially lost without my camera. I likely will not have a new one for a few weeks, since the one I want at the price I'm willing to pay is available from a business that is closed for Sukkot until Oct. 3. So, I'll be stealing pictures or going without. (Don't get spoiled with the improved quality of stolen pics.)
I particularly wish I had pictures to show you of my quick meal Saturday evening at the new Entice-A (239 Ponce De Leon Ave.) This is a Caribbean tapas bar and "ultra-lounge." I was there around 6 p.m., before the club got going. Nonetheless I got plenty of loud music alternating with the blaring of a game on the numerous flat-screen TVs.
I ordered three tapas and they were all beautifully presented. But there was very little Caribbean about the seasoning. Flatbread topped with jerk chicken, for example, didn't remotely taste like jerk chicken. Red snapper escovitch had great flavor but no kick. A trio of zucchini and parmesan "pancakes" was gooey.
None of that is meant to suggest the food didn't taste good. It did, but calling it Caribbean is a major stretch. I actually noted this twice to my server and she replied that the kitchen was using less seasoning to satisfy complaining diners.
The place is ultra sleek with more banquette and bar seating than tables and chairs.
More in "Grazing" later this week.
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