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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Five restaurants to watch in 2013

Bruce Logue
Earlier today, we released a list of Atlantans that we think deserve your attention in 2013. Here's a list of five restaurants that will shake up Atlanta's dining scene in the coming year.

1. Gunshow: Red-bearded superstar Kevin Gillespie has not only left Woodfire Grill, he's leaving behind the trappings of fine dining, the Southern chef cliches, the approved Atlanta neighborhood for a chef of his stature to be cooking in, and maybe even what we recognize as typical restaurant service. When I talked with him about his cookbook earlier this year, he was full of grand ideas about changing format of restaurants as we know it. Will the service be more like State Bird Provisions in San Francisco? Will it be unlike any restaurant we've seen before? Either way, I expect Gillespie to deliver food with both guns blazing. You can follow the build out, hopefully finished this Spring, on the ai3 blog.

2. The General Muir: Todd Ginsberg's tenure at Bocado rightfully earned him a local following. As far as concepts go, The General Muir's angle on modern Jewish food is distinctive, uncharted territory for Atlanta. (An Atlanta restaurant that Isn't obsessed with pork? It almost seems impossible.) We're expecting scientifically perfected bagels for breakfast, corned beef sandwiches for lunch, and Ginsberg's inventive small plates at night. They plan to be open this month.

3. Yum Bunz: Miso Izakaya's Guy Wong created some serious buzz and crowds when he started serving ramen for lunch last year. Will the response be as strong when he teams up with Mike Blum of Real Chow Baby to serve buns and bao on the Westside? Eater is reporting that they'll be open in February.

4. BoccaLupo: Aside from moonlighting at STG Trattoria for a bit, Bruce Logue's Italian touch has been missing from Atlanta since he left La Pietra Cucina last spring. Opening in the space vacated by Sauced, BoccaLupo aims to be more casual and Italian-American than the food he served at LPC. When I spoke with Logue recently, he floated another idea: late night ramen. (No question, noodles are going to be big this year.) He's hoping to be open in February, too.

5. SOMETHING NEW AND EXCITING ON BUFORD HIGHWAY (PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN): There was a time when a few months couldn't pass without some new, exciting flavors appearing along this strip-mall stretch of highway. What happened? Did the action move to Norcross? Maybe. Did the recession make it harder to get a loan without a whole lot of capital? Probably. Did Georgia's new immigration law scare off the entrepreneurs and kitchen workers in this largely immigrant population? Maybe that, too. I still have my fingers crossed for this to be a place where good food can flourish without having to compromise to the styles that dominate the rest of the city.

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