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Friday, June 3, 2011

Gravy Train: Morelli's opening delayed, LeRoy's fried chicken

Morellis
  • Morelli's fans will have to wait on the new location
We’ve been updated by the Morelli’s PR machine that the opening of their second location, orignially slated for tomorrow, is being pushed back. The new opening date is unknown at this time, but is still expected to be in June.

Julia LeRoy chats with Atlanta Magazine about her new fried chicken joint, a collaboration with the owners of Fellini's and La Fonda. The take-away chicken stand will be located on the Westside at the corner of 11th and Howell Mill, They’ll serve up all-natural chicken from Springer Mountain Farms and fry in lard.

Pastry Chef Cynthia Wong is leaving Cakes & Ale for Empire State South. Owner Billy Allin told the AJC that this won’t delay the plans to open their new location and an expanded bakery. They are searching for a Wong-replacement, if you’re game.

ITZA Sports Bar, which currently has one location in Mcdonough, is expanding to Midtown. It looks like they will take over the old Leopard Lounge/ER Lounge space in the heart of the nightlife district. The current location has a massive menu of bar eats, seafood, and steaks. They also have lots of entertainment, including comedy nights and beer pong.

If you missed it earlier this week, The Little Tart Bakeshop and Octane are bringing their talents to Grant Park.

The AJC profiles Marietta native Justin Balmes, a contestant on the upcoming season of "The Next Food Network Star." Balmes has cooked at a few spots around town, including Georgia Grill and Eleven50, and also worked as a fishmonger at Whole Foods and a cooking instructor. Cheer on Balmes when "The Next Food Network Star" debuts this Sunday evening.

Another day, another Yoforia. We knew they were looking at a Midtown location, now they are beginning a build out on Monroe Drive in the center that houses Arden’s Garden and Mediterranean Grill. This is less than two miles from their Virginia-Highland location.

Smashburger is planning to open their first Atlanta restaurant on July 7. They’re taking over the Fatbuger spot in the Lindbergh area, so at least burger fans will have a smooth transition from one spot to the next.

Marc Taft, formerly the general manager at Pacci Ristorante (at what was the Hotel Palomar), will open a new restaurant called Chicken and the Egg in Marietta this August. Chicken and the Egg is described as a neighborhood gathering spot with modern farmhouse decor that will serve sophisticated yet approachable modern farmstead fare. Chicken and the Egg is located at 800 Whitlock Avenue.

Also in Marietta, Botekim Brazilian Bistro will open on Terrill Mill Road. According to their website, they’ll serve “authentic Brazilian comfort food,” and require all staff to speak Portugese - which seems like a step in the authentic direction. Their menu is a mix of sandwiches and larger entrees, with lots and lots of meat.

Yumbii will be adding a Virginia-Highland stop into their rotation. They’ve been permitted on North Highland across from Roadhouse Grill and Ace Hardware. The truck will be there this Saturday from noon - 5 to kick things off.

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