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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Christiane checks in about Napoleon's and Empire State South

Christiane Lauterbach, who was recently crowned the Eating Queen, has published a new issue of Knife & Fork and it includes reviews of the same spots Besha and I hit this week.

Her review of Napoleon's basically concurs with my own, although she found more to like and notes that "Napoleon's doesn't aspire to gastropub status. Compared to the Porter in Little Five Points and Leon's Full Service in downtown Decatur, it mines a much more conventional territory, albeit with some global accents."

My favorite line is the concluding one: "No sooner was the restaurant open than it filled up like a bathtub, but the turnover is such that no one stands around for a long time."

Her "first impression" of Empire State South largely concurs with Besha's review. Like Besha, she raves about the wine list. They concur on the menu, although Besha makes more of the "epiphanies" Chef Hugh Acheson's renders with vegetables, as did I in my first look.

Christiane also makes a couple of allusions to the high cost of dining at Empire State South. I have to say that nearly every foodie friend I've urged to eat dinner there has come back to whip me with their receipt.

The new issue of Knife & Fork also includes an update on Watershed, where Joe Truex has taken over the kitchen from Scott Peacock. I've actually had several calls asking why I haven't visited the restaurant yet.

I've explained that I've called twice to ask if Truex, who formerly owned the wonderfully multicultural Repast, had introduced a new menu. Both times, I was told that he's added a couple of dishes but mainly preserved the original menu.

Christiane's quite positive review confirms that. I'm ambivalent. I love Peacock's cooking but I'm also crazy about Truex's. We'll see what happens.

Christiane is offering her usual holiday discount for Knife & Fork. It's the perfect gift for foodies. Order by calling 404-378-2775.

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