Friday, December 3, 2010

Gravy Train: Restaurant Eugene Amps Up Talent, Pita Pit Invades Atlanta

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Restaurant Eugene
A new general store called Market has opened on the Old Fourth Ward stretch of Highland Avenue in the location that was previously Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. Market will carry everyday household items and also some upscale local goods like treats from Alon’s and Atlanta Cupcake Factory. (via DailyCandy)

Pastry Chef Aaron Russell, who’s created sugary indulgences around town for several spots including Nikolai's Roof, The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Seegers and most recently The Chocolate Bar, has joined Restaurant Eugene. Russell left The Chocolate Bar in 2009 when the spot went corporate. Under the direction of Restaurant Eugene’s Chef Linton Hopkins, Russell has launched a new dessert menu and will also supervise the cheese program.

Continuing to build their arsenal of Atlanta talent, Atlanta Magazine reports that Restaurant Eugene has also picked up David Sweeney of the recently shuttered Dynamic Dish to serve as their production chef and farmer liaison.

Craft beer shop Ale Yeah! is on the verge of opening the doors in Decatur. Along with creative brews, the shop will sell brewing equipment and gourmet snacks like chesse and chocolate. Thrillist reports that Ale Yeah! will also offer homebrew classes in the near future. The shop is aiming open this coming week.

Pita Pit is now open for business in Decatur. This is the first Atlanta area location of the international chain and they are reportedly looking to bring over 100 locations to the Atlanta market as a part of their massive nationwide growth plan. That’s a whole lotta pita! Pita Pit’s spin is healthier alternative to fast food dining and they offer nutrition information on all products.

News of several other noted restaurants closing surfaced over the last week or so, including Nickiemotos and Vickerys in Midtown, Il Mulino downtown and Dynamic Dish on Edgewood.

New York City chain 5 Napkin Burger is reportedly taking over the Nickiemotos space. Because Atlanta needs more burgers. Curiously, at least in their New York locations, 5 Napkin also serves sushi and a small selection of entrees.

As first reported by Atlanta Magazine's Bill Addison on Twitter, Drew Belline of Floataway Cafe will head up the kitchen at Chef Ford Fry’s developing Decatur spot in the former Eurasia Bistro storefront on Ponce.

Spanish Harlem, opening on Edgewood Avenue as early as mid-December, will serve upscale tapas and stay open nightly until 2:30 a.m. (midnight on Sundays). The location is in the vicinity of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in the building that housed Harlem Bar. Harlem Bar, owned by the folks behind Social House and Rare, closed its doors back in May after a few months of struggling for business. Let’s hope Spanish Harlem fares better.

Tantra, the new concept from the team beind Divan, is now open in Buckhead. The menu is an international mix, with varied dishes like pomegranate braised boneless beef short rib, grilled ostrich and Japanese sea bass. The restaurant also focuses on signature cocktails and spiked espresso drinks. Expect and environment aiming to encompass all things tantric - candlelight, rich, red decor and an over-sized Buddha as the center of it all.

The Sandy Springs location of 5 Seasons Brewing has re-branded as Lucky Devil Brewing. The restaurant will reportedly retain the same menu and beer selection and is operating under the direction of Dennis Lange, who’s run the locations for the past several years. The AJC reports that they have been operating pretty independently from the other branches and were looking to set themselves apart from the 5 Seasons brand.

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