On the other hand, he didn't deny looking at a location in Decatur with another chef recently.
"Every chef thinks about opening his own place, but I have no immediate plans," Logue said. "I certainly haven't quit. I've got a baby coming in February."
Lunch was fantastic, as always. My friend Lee Orr and I started with a plate of braised kale with hot pepper flakes. Next was a plate of chitarra-made pasta tossed with a carbonara sauce with guanciale and shaved truffles, then topped with a poached bantam egg.
My entree was a special of tagliatelle with brisket braised in an onion broth. Lee had the day's "crispy" fish, fluke, over caponata. We finished up with doppio macchiatos.
Dessert was out of the question. In fact, moving out of the chair was nearly out of the question.
The lunch induced a series of emotional states — excited, nostalgic, bittersweet, giddy, lustful — that culminated in a state of flying thoughts. I should also mention greed. When my friend Andrew asked to consume one of my 20 courses, I snapped his head off, saying, "No! I'm reviewing this."
"And you have to taste every one?" he asked sarcastically.
"Yes, yes I do," I replied.
I guess I should clarify that I'm talking about chocolate — 10 pieces from Cacao Atlanta and the same number from the new Sugar-coated Radical. If you're a foodie worth your salt, you're already quite familiar with Cacao and its owner Kristen Hard, who imbues chocolate with magical qualities ranging from the spiritual to the aphrodisiacal. She has received an avalanche of attention in the press during the last few years.
Taria Camerino, who has been working as a pastry chef for 18 years, is the newest chocolatier in town, undoubtedly due to make a big impression on the industry. As the Sugar-coated Radical (680-A Drewry St., 404-587-4912), she doesn't only stand for fanatical love of chocolate. Camerino also hopes to draw attention to the "dirty" economics and politics of the sugar and chocolate industries.
"We are obsessives, radicals, and revolutionaries. We eat local and direct-trade food. We do not support slavery for cheap ingredients. We are artists," her website says. As such, she and her partner, graphic artist Ashley Hinson, bring to their art a sensibility not often seen in our city, especially not in the culinary arts. I don't mean to suggest that many foodies aren't supportive of sustainability, but I think few carry it to the dimensions they do. They are working, for example, on an art installation that will experientially examine what it means to buy and consume food.
I clicked instantly with Camerino's thinking because I have a history of political activism, including involvement in a neo-Dadaist movement during my first two years of college. (Dadaism was a politically motivated "anti-art art movement." Sounds weird, I know. Look it up.) But more than that, Camerino shares my fascination with the psychology of taste.
I'll have more to say about the Sugar-coated Radical in "Grazing" next week, but in the meantime you should just go taste her chocolate. She won't let anyone leave her tiny shop without a taste. You'll be amazed.
The shop is open 2-7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
Richard Blais' latest venture appears to be a gig as a corespondent on CNN. The segment, which will be called Eatocracy with Richard Blais, has not been officially announced by the network, but Blais' wife mentioned it on her facebook page a few days ago, and CNN producer Kelly Frank tweeted about it yesterday.
The Great Food Group, which owns a few restaurants around town, is opening The Vinings Fish Company, an upscale seafood restaurant, in January. Though not confirmed, it is thought to be taking over the location of the current Great Food concept The Burger Club in Vinings Jubilee.
The latest issue of Christiane Lauterbach's Knife & Fork is out and includes five reviews and lots of reports of visits here and there.
Buried in the latter is mention of a visit to the new Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead and it ain't purty:
Richard Blais's third contribution to the burger craze...is both silly and expensive. Americans will eat pretty much anything...if you stuff it into a round bun. Better yet, make sure that they can't taste anything by heaping on garnishes and condiments and finishing everything with sugar. Fancy language helps to sell customers on such specialties as a stupefyingly bad osso bucco burger with marrow-naise and gremolata....
She goes on similarly and ends with the suggestion that customers stick to the "deliciously crisp french fries without the annoying smoked mayonnaise and, perhaps, one of the plain beef burgers."
Knife & Fork's cover review this month is of Cafe Q in Johns Creek. It earns three stars and begins with this rather imperial statement: "In its implacable march to the north, the Asian community is now reaching the very edges of the megalopolis."
Sufi's, reviewed recently by both Besha and I, gets three stars, too. Two-stars go to H. Harper Station and Sprig with Der Biergarten receiving a 1.5 rating.
To subscribe to Knife & Fork, call 404-378-2775.
It's a great deal for consumers. But how does it work for the restaurants themselves? Apparently, it can be quite costly, with fees assessed for each request for the discount. Those, added to the 50-percent discount itself, must add up substantially.
The Scoutmob iPhone application and its website keep track of the number of people who claim the discount for each advertised restaurant (see image). Let's say the fee is $2 per claim. That would be a staggering amount of money in the case of Murphy's, where 13,635 discounts have been claimed.
Businesses can get some idea of what the service will cost them by employing a return-on-investment calculator described by and linked to Community Cultivator. Note that fees accrue at different stages of the redemption process. For a critique weighing the good and bad of the service for restaurateurs, check out Chelsie Rohlen's excellent story in the Georgia State University Signal.
None of this is to suggest that the service isn't quite worthwhile, but I'm guessing its principal value to restaurants is in attracting new customers who will hopefully return.
Chris Lopez posted the image shown here on Facebook, where servers added their own additional complaints that customers tend not to tip appropriately after a Scoutmob meal. They typically tip on the basis of the discounted charge whereas they should, of course, tip on the cost before discount. The server does not work less because the food is discounted.
I love this place, mainly for chef/owner Nick Rutherford's cooking. He offers daily-changing specials that are unique in town. I'm not sure what the problem was Monday night, but our food wasn't really up to par.
The main disappointment was a special of sliced pork loin with sweet-potato puree and a sauce of kumquat sauce. Forget that the quantity was skimpy, sitting alone on a plate that begged for a side dish. The flavors — especially the kumquat sauce — were good enough, but everything on the plate was at room temperature at best.
Wayne's dish — a special of chitarra pasta and meatballs — was better. The pasta was tossed with a "smoked marinara" sauce with slices of parmesan cheese. Peanuts and golden raisins also flavored the meatballs.
We started our meal with the "warm pig terrine." I was expecting a pate-style terrine. Instead, it was a soup terrine featuring bacon, lentils, a poached egg and creme fraiche. It was a hearty wintertime soup I'd happily order as an entree.
I ordered dessert — an apple beignet with vanilla ice cream and Georgia pecan sauce. I have to say that I immediately compared this to a similar dish I sampled at the Glenwood recently. The Glenwood's was much better, with more apples and better pastry. After I finished the dessert I remarked to our server that I never encountered the pecan sauce. "It's in the bottom of the bowl," she said. I looked and indeed found it under the melted ice cream.
Nicely, the restaurant did comp the dessert, I assume because my entree was served unheated.
Don't let my remarks keep you away. The bar's cuisine has never disappointed me in the past. I'm guessing the huge post-Christmas crowd put the kitchen under stress.
On Monday, I did stir from the house. I was hungry, so we headed to Grindhouse Killer Burgers at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. The parking lot was sparsely occupied and the market itself wasn’t its usual frenetic self. But the Grindhouse counter was filled to capacity. I figure it was people getting a burger before their New Year’s resolution to live on miso soup kicks in. (Then again, you can get a veggie or turkey burger at Grindhouse.)
I had my usual Apache burger — two patties topped with roasted Hatch green chilies, pepper jack cheese and grilled onions. On the side: super-crispy, finger-burning, crinkle-cut fries straight out of the fryer. Wayne custom-designed his usual blue-cheese and bacon burger.
By the way, the Midtown location of Grindhouse Killer Burgers, on Piedmont Road, may open in mid-January. Construction has proceeded and the exterior looks almost done.
I’d not had my usual dose of espresso, so we tried to stop by the market's coffee shop, Café Campesino. The owner was closing for the day, so we headed up Boulevard to the new Condesa Coffee where I’ve lately been hanging out. I got my usual doppio macchiato but I was disappointed that there weren’t any pastries, besides pumpkin bread, available.
A ridiculous example of life in the alternate Facebook universe occurred while I was there. I logged onto the social networking site and saw that foodie photographer and blogger Broderick Smylie had posted something general about Condesa’s opening. I replied that I was in fact there that moment. The next thing I knew Broderick was standing beside our table. He’d been at the counter with his back turned, posting about the shop. That’s a great example of the way Facebook replaces literal human interaction at moments (but also precipitates it).
Be sure to check out Broderick’s pictures of Condesa on his Savory Exposure blog.
In a long, rambling story on Spin.com, Larry "Ratso" Sloman describes the latest Grinderman tour, with a hefty portion of the story dedicated to the band's meal, post Variety Playhouse show, at Holeman and Finch. Our friend Greg Best shows up in the story. Thankfully, I do not. But I was there.
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. As a young teenager, it became part of my weekly routine to watch a show on the ABC called "Rage" - a show that began at midnight on Friday and Saturday nights and ran until noon the following day. At 9 a.m. "Rage" was a top-100 countdown of the popular music chart singles, but from midnight until 9, they played themed videos, often covering the entire career of one band or musician. Some nights a guest VJ, usually a touring musician, would pick the videos for the 9-hour stretch. But there was no talk, no time wasted on studio shots of said musician waxing philosophic about why he or she chose certain songs. It was 9 straight hours of uninterrupted, commercial-free music.
But not me. I had to eat. And I recognized that many restaurants would take the day off, even when usually open on Sundays. So I set out to find a restaurant that was open.
The first restaurant I tried had nothing on its website about holiday hours, and listed its hours on Sunday as 5-10 p.m. Even so, I called, and got a generic voicemail, the kind you choose on your phone when you don't want to be bothered recording one yourself. "Hello. No one is available to take your call. Please leave a message after the beep." No indication that the number even connected to a business, let alone helpful information such as hours, directions, or whether they might be open.
Foodie Buddha reports that chef Bruce Logue of La Pietra Cucina is reportedly moving on to start a new venture. We hear a lot of rumors about chefs looking to move on to their own ventures, but assume that while they are still employed at a current gig it isn't quite polite to let the search slip. We're assuming that's the case here, as Logue hasn't responded to requests for comment. We'll keep you posted as we hear more.
@TheGorgeousJR: "[It is] very inexpensive; we sell it at the shop. You can get it…
Where can you buy caul fat?
This looks amazing. However, I see a bell pepper on the counter, and bell pepper…
Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.
Nothing wrong with grease on the walls if the burger is tasty.