Staff members at Watershed have just been informed that the restaurant will close at the end of service next Saturday night. Owners plan to reopen in a location "outside of Decatur." Joe Truex, who took over as chef last year after the departure of Scott Peacock, will remain at the kitchen's helm when Watershed reopens.
Dishes that you don't find elsewhere often turn up on the menu here. An example is this plate of "old fashioned spinach leaf wraps," crunchy with a slight sting, thanks to ginger, lime, roasted peanuts and coconut in caramelized palm sugar. I also ordered a plate of steamed chicken and shrimp dumplings with mushrooms, galangal and, for dipping, a chili-spiked soy sauce.
The standout of my friends' orders was a heap of grilled spare ribs seasoned with garlic and pepper.
These were all ordered from the small-plates menu, whose prices range from $7 to $11. There are also salads, noodle dishes and "big plates" like whole fried snapper and roasted duck breast. Our meal was quite tasty, but — at $20 each before tip — it was a bit more expensive than our usual.
Atlanta Magazine reports on the closing of Tomo’s Vinings location. The move was made so that energies can be focused on the new Buckhead location at the Ritz Carlton Residences. Chef/owner Tomohiro Naito said he made an effort to find enough quality staff members to keep both locations running, but was unable to find the talent he needed.
Richard Blais tweeted this week about house hunting in San Francisco. Is our Top Chef master looking to leave Atlanta in the dust? Seems unlikely on the heels of the news that Blais will be opening a new Midtown restaurant, but perhaps he’s planning on taking the fauxhawk bi-coastal?
Saturday, July 30, is National Cheesecake Day and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating with the introduction of a new cheesecake flavor and special offer for dine-in guests.
Dine-in guests on July 30 can enjoy “Any Slice at Half Price,” and choose from more than 30 flavors or be among the first to try the new Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake. This flavor features silky smooth Hershey’s Chocolate Cheesecake between layers of moist chocolate cake and ganache, finished with creamy chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.
Are you interested in writing about "Any Slice at Half Price" and the new cheesecake flavor? I’m happy to share a high-res image (right).
I'm really not interested in writing about this at all. My meal at The Cheesecake Factory almost 20 years ago remains one of my scariest restaurant memories. If you want a small taste of how weird this place can be, check out their home page, which stars a human being cursed, apparently, to smile until she is stabbed in the face, if not longer.
But seriously, I don't like cheesecake pretending to be something else. And National Cheesecake Day is apparently something the restaurant created itself, because nobody seems to be able to document its origins.
But any publicity is good publicity, right?
Midtown Tavern Sat., July 30, 2 p.m. Christmas in July. Bring a can to Midtown Tavern on Saturday, and they'll donate the can to the Atlanta Community Food Bank and give you a free drink ticket. Details
Peaches made the front page of the New York Times’ website today. The article is about Georiga’s battle with South Carolina over which state really deserves the title of “Peach State,” something Georgia has claimed for more than 100 years. Georgians have debated whether our state's peaches are really the best-tasting peaches in the U.S. for a while, but the article takes some more quantifiable information into account.
"But by the 1950s, South Carolina had taken over as the biggest peach-producing state. Now, although quantities have dropped, it ships 90,000 tons a year compared with Georgia’s 40,000 tons, according to United States Department of Agriculture statistics. (New Jersey follows with 32,000 tons.)"
According to the article, peaches became South Carolina's state fruit in 1984 - 11 years before they became Georgia's in 1995. South Carolina has one certified organic peach grower - pretty sad, but not as sad as Georgia's zero. And that's not all:
What YDFM offers is a wide assortment, incredible prices, and the knowledge that their spices are relatively fresh since they have such high turnover. I decided to replace most of my spices as many of them were getting old, and picked up 30 different herbs and spices for an average of less than $1 each - wow. And every single one of those 30 spices were packed in the last 10 days. When I got home, I actually compared some of my new spices with my older ones, and noticed a substantial difference in both aroma and flavor among many of them. Some old dry basil smelled more like tea and was clearly a browner shade of green than the new stuff. Old cayenne was a dull orange next to the deep rust of the new cayenne, and definitely did not pack as much of a punch in the flavor department.
With Underground Atlanta jumping on the food truck craze and the recent New York Times commentary on the roadside vendors (complete with a photo of Virginia Highland!), it seems like this food truck thing’s got no brakes in sight. We thought it might be helpful to put together a schedule of weekly Atlanta food truck events, so all of you food truck followers can feed your obsession in an organized manner. Of course, be sure to check out the different trucks’ websites and follow them on Twitter too. They often post their schedules online and update followers on where they’ll be each day - they do lots of festivals and events that vary from week to week. And since they tend to travel in packs, if you get to know one truck’s schedule, you might get to know a few others’ too.
Mondays: Monday Lunches at the Woodruff Arts Center, 11 a.m. — 2 p.m.
Thursdays: The Woodruff Arts Center, 11 a.m. — 2 p.m.; the Buckhead Theatre, 6 — 10 p.m.
Fridays: Atlantic Station, 11 a.m. — 2 p.m.
Not weekly, but still awesome:
Every second Saturday and last Friday of the month, Sweet Auburn Curb Market hosts Urban Picnic. Food trucks, artisans and vendors set up shop at the plaza in front of the market from 12 — 3 p.m.
If you know of other food truck events around town, send 'em our way: email@example.com
I love this video of Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch. It's a brief talk for TED.com entitled "Creativity vs. Chaos." Among other things, it provides one explanation for the obsession with "seasonality" that I questioned in the post below.
Hopkins argues that framing cooking within a season's ingredients compels creativity. Interestingly, he says that may mean the subtraction of classic ingredients as, for example, holding off the olive oil in a caprese salad.
He also discusses the way language affects our perspective on food. He jokes that a dish of pork belly and vegetables that might cost $4 in the South would cost $75 if prepared in France and given a fancy name. He also talks about the consumption of offal.
It seems Gummere ordered 20 lbs. of figs that, thanks to the rain, split open, making them unsuitable for dinnerplate presentation, but fine for preserves. Goldman offered her help and labored in the kitchen until midnight. She did a good job.
In related news, Gummere sent me the accompanying photo of the giant fig that entered his kitchen....
About a zillion people have asked me what's going on with the old San Francisco Coffee location on North Highland south of Ponce. It's Richard Blais' Haute Doggery, of course. Alas, the bistro de les hot dogs is not opening in August, after all. Sometime...in...the...fall....
James Oxendine has an interview in Atlanta Magazine's "Covered Dish" blog with Marc Taft, owner of the new Chicken and the Egg in Marietta. Taft was formerly manager of Pacci and has hired several former fellow employees, including executive chef Joseph Ramaglia.
The new restaurant's promotional material promises "modern farmstead fare." I wish Oxendine had asked Taft about his inspiration to do that. I know it's a fad and I think it's commendable that chefs have turned to organic, sustainable, local, transcendentally gustatory ingredients, but, as Jason Hill of Wisteria told me recently, there's so much pressure to subscribe to the movement that it's not unusual for restaurants to lie about their sourcing....
Popeyes is moving its headquarters to Dunwoody, reports the twittering AJC. That means Popeyes will be the AJC's neighbor, since our "city newspaper" moved there itself last year. Meow.
Were there sliders?
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