Nearly a year in the planning, chef Bruce Logue will finally open his Inman Park Italian restaurant, BoccaLupo, at 5:30 p.m. on April 15. His team has transformed the former home of Sauced at 753 Edgewood Ave. into a modern industrial scheme complete with rustic wood, gray walls, and white enamel fixtures. Expect old standards from Logue's former post at La Pietra Cucina, like his famous black spaghetti, as well as authentic new dishes featuring produce gathered from the on-site garden. A special "en brodo" menu will be served on Fridays and Saturdays - essentially, a noodles-in-broth dish that's Italy's answer to ramen. Logue's former La Pietra Cucina colleague Questa Olsen-Lewis will lead the bar with a pairing programing set to include reasonably priced wines, domestic beers, and Italian spirits.
Empire State South executive chef Ryan Smith has announced his radical decision to leave the Midtown restaurant by late 2013. He will join Jen and Ryan Hidinger's forthcoming Staplehouse restaurant, a concept four years in the making - as previewed via their successful underground supper club series, Prelude to Staplehouse. It's a family affair, as Smith's fiancee (and Ryan Hidinger's sister), Kara Hidinger, will depart Abattoir to join the new Staplehouse team. No official location has been announced.
Chef Angus Brown is returning at last to his late-night East Atlanta restaurant, Octopus Bar (560 Gresham Ave.). To mark Brown's return, the bar will resume its regular six-days-a-week operating hours. But making an entrance isn't the only trick up Brown's sleeve; he's also planning to open a new lunch, dinner and late-night dining concept, OCTOPUS, with partner Nhan Le later this year.
Following the shuttering of Curly's Fried Chicken on the Westside in February (it replaced what was formerly LeRoy's Chicken), the building at 1021 Howell Mill Road has a new tenant. Ben's Brown Bag has set up shop, serving takeout-only sloppy Joes, BLTs, pork sandwiches, broasted potato chips and more with a dose of humor. Considering the location's checkered past, we'll have to wait and see if this spot will last, but we do know Eat It, Atlanta is rooting for it.
Decatur-based bakery The Cookie Studio is making a big transition by April 22, moving from the city outskirts to the heart of Buckhead, in the former location of Fuoco di Napoli at 30 Pharr Road. The larger locale will pave the way for an expanded menu, including the standard cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and cookie cakes, but also additional breakfast items and coffees. Private party spaces and free Wi-Fi sweeten the deal.
Condesa, the little coffee shop that could at 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., is launching a new bar program to complement its extended hours, slated to go live on April 26. We're told the program will offer patrons a menu of barrel-aged cocktails, house-infused coffee vodkas, and a foursome of select, high-quality craft beers on tap until 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.
We follow up our status report on Steady Hand Pour House last week with the news of the coffee fiends' next appearance, in the form of a pop-up at Decatur's Iberian Pig (121 Sycamore St.). The displaced baristas will serve their quality coffee alongside bocadillos at the Spanish-inspired restaurant on May 1. The event comes just one week after the forced closing of their Emory Village cafe, but will keep their coffee in the hands of loyal fans.
Eater Atlanta reports that Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a Columbus, Ohio-based producer of gourmet frozen treats, may be coming to Ponce City Market (675 Ponce de Leon Ave.). The company has already developed a coffee-flavored ice cream with Batdorf & Bronson, and also serves creative ice cream sandwiches, parfaits, floats, and sundaes.
After 37 years as one of downtown's most iconic restaurants, the Westin Peachtree Plaza's Sun Dial restaurant (210 Peachtree St.) is closing on April 28, and will remain shuttered for three or more months to undergo renovations, as well as a big menu overhaul. By August, expect to find a modern and "dimensional" restaurant, plus a revamped menu focusing on seasonal, local produce at the hands of chef Jason Starnes.
It's official. Dante's Down the Hatch fondue restaurant will shutter on July 31, after an infamous 43 years in Buckhead. Fans can look forward to an auction of the restaurant's props, antiques, and collectibles this summer. No conclusion yet on what will happen to the restaurant's 13-level sailing ship or crocodile mascots.
Due to a decision by the landlord, on May 21, Aurora Coffee will close its Virginia-Highland location at 992 North Highland Ave. (say so long to the spiced mochas, Highlanders). Instead of seeking out another locale, the owners have opted to focus efforts on the main cafe in Little Five Points, touting ample parking and free Wi-Fi for all patrons.
Irwin Street Market (660 Irwin St.) will welcome JDR Delishery, a new spot for coffees, teas, confections, and baked goods, today. As the Delishery assumes Picnic!'s former space, its predecessor has merged with Hilda's, and the actual Irwin Street Market will add a tasting room after capturing the Funky Monkey space. Jake's Ice Cream is getting an upgrade, too, with renovations set to include a new stone patio, tables with umbrellas, and seating for 60 opening onto the BeltLine next month.
Tomorrow's News Today reports on the long-awaited arrival of Fresh To Order at CNN Center. Recently named by Nation's Restaurant News as as one of the "50 Breakout Brands for 2013," the eatery will open its eighth Atlanta location late this summer in the former location of Waldenbooks at 190 Marietta St.
Cruzado (366 5th St.), the Midtown Cuban restaurant taken over by restaurant reviewer and competitive eater Grace Lee in 2012, has just welcomed a new chef in Carlos Collazo, who formerly worked for FLIP Burger Boutique. Fellow Concentrics alum Jared Lee Pyles will remain a consultant on the restaurant's inspired latin cuisine as he cements his Midtown presence with Villains late this month.
New details have come to light with regard to James Beard Award winner and "Top Chef" judge Hugh Acheson's new Italian restaurant, set to open March 14, 2014 in a former ice factory in Savannah. Eater Atlanta says the new concept may be called Vittoria, which means "victory" in Italian, and will serve simple cuisine, local seafood, pastas, pizzas using Double Zero flour, vegetable courses, possible tasting menus, and plenty of cappuccinos.
Marietta Square has a new resident in The Butcher The Baker, a sophisticated farm-to-table restaurant serving items like Springer Mountain chicken, farm trout, and beef tartare, at 25 North Park Square. The grown-up, gourmet option is a boon for the traditional neighborhood, with upscale dishes that can be washed down with a couple of whiskey sours or a sip of spiked punch.
Receiving a soft opening this month in downtown Norcross is Farmhouse 17, which will be part store and part organic garden. Flowers, fruits, and vegetables will be available for the picking, while the owners will also host a monthly, catered, intimate farm-to-table supper series called "The Moveable Feast," which will highlight produce from a number of Georgia farms. A grand opening will take place on June 8, but Farmhouse 17's products will appear at the Norcross Farmer's Market as early as May.
Opening today at 1669 Spring Hill Road in Smyrna is Mezza Luna, a long-awaited Italian restaurant from the owners of Vinings' Taverna Fiorentina. It will serve seafood, shellfish, and pastas in the authentic spirit of the Puglian region of Italy, plus wines and beers from the same sliver of the southern coast.
Will Harris, president of White Oak Pastures, has been named a finalist for a 2013 Real Food Award, which recognizes individuals who help create a more sustainable food system. Harris' farm is the largest certified organic farm in Georgia; is one of only two on-farm, USDA-inspected, grass-fed beef plants in the country; and has the largest solar barn in the Southeast. Both the grass-fed beef and poultry plants are zero-waste operations, making Harris a pioneer on many fronts. Vote for Harris until April 17 by clicking here.
On Monday, April 8, the Atlanta Police Department's License & Permits Unit arrested Roger Langbecker, operator of the Streatery hot dog cart near Peachtree Center downtown. Reports show that Langbecker was in violation of (only days-old) City Ordinance 138-15, thus, his previous operating license was determined null and void. Though Langbecker lacked the permits to hawk his hot dogs, he refused to cease vending, so the officers led him away to the slammer. The man operating the cart alongside him was also charged.
The local couple behind Miller's Artisan Sodas is getting a little extra love from Buckhead's Buttermilk Kitchen (4225 Roswell Road) - which already serves their fizzy, old-fashioned root beer for floats with vanilla Honeysuckle gelato. Through the end of April, profits from the restaurant's root beer floats will go to support this emerging business.
Buckhead pizza restaurant STG Trattoria (102 West Paces Ferry Road) is mixing up its menu with lunchtime-only calzones, a convenient new option for the midday crowd. Now, patrons can find a quick way to satisfy hankerings for the chewy, charry crusts for which the pizzeria is known.
Miso Izakaya chef Guy Wong - who's busy embarking on a restaurant mega-empire, getting mentioned in the New York Times and winning Reader's Choice for Best Japanese from CL, natch - will be throwing a ramen pop-up lunch on Monday, April 29 at Bocado (887 Howell Mill Road). The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and continues until the ramen runs out.
4th & Swift has debuted a new and improved covered patio, and will be feting it - along with the fruits of the first spring harvest from its on-site garden - with a bit of merrymaking on Tues., April 16. Chef Jay Swift and his team will serve seasonal dishes such as smoked Blue Ridge trout canapes, marinated asparagus, and English pea hummus with flatbread. Cocktails made from fresh juices and handmade mix-ins will enhance the affair. Cost to attend the patio party (at 621 North Ave.) is $55 per person.
Yeah! Burger's deal of the month is a grass-fed White Oak Pastures beef patty featuring hydroponically grown arugula, organic fig jam and local Capra Gia goat cheese on an artisan-made H+F Bread Co. bun. April's side is a spring pasta salad with organic broccoli, organic red peppers, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and Champagne vinaigrette, topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The milkshake of the month is peanut butter caramel. Swing by the Virginia-Highland or Westside locations to partake of each treat, priced $8.99, $5.99, and $5.49, respectively.
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