Monday, May 6, 2013

Quick Bites: Victory Inman Park to close, a countdown to Gunshow, and more

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Chef Nick Melvins Doux South organic pickled veggies
  • Chef Nick Melvin's Doux South organic pickled veggies

Nick Melvin, the chef alum of the Farmhouse at Serenbe, Parish, Empire State South, and Rosebud - who's in the process of opening his own restaurant, Garden District, later this year - has taken to making gourmet pickles. His new company, Doux South, dresses up organic produce like turnips, tomatoes, and black-eyed peas, with tasty sauces and brines. Find the products, from Angry Cukes to Chow Chow, at the Peachtree Road, East Atlanta, and Morningside farmers markets.

The countdown has begun. Kevin Gillespie will open his new restaurant, Gunshow (924 Garrett St.), in Glenwood Park on May 8.

Less than five months after Victory Sandwich Bar opened its second locale in Decatur, the original outpost will be no more. The popular Inman Park restaurant was recently served with a 90-day notice to vacate its spot at 280 Elizabeth St. to make way for a new mixed-use development. So be sure to load up on Jack 'n' Coke slushies, mini sandwiches, and fancy nuts before they heave-ho on July 6.

Aurora Coffee fans, you have less than three weeks to swing by the Virginia-Highland location (992 N. Highland Ave.) before the quaint cafe closes for good. Aurora will shutter on May 21 due to a decision by the landlord, but the owners will pour their passion into the Little Five Points flagship, so don't be a stranger.

Old Fourth Ward's Joystick Gamebar (427 Edgewood Ave.) has formed a bold partnership with Illegal Food. This food concept - created by chef Steven Lingenfelter and his wife/business partner Laurie Dominguez (who got their start out of the back of Smith's Olde Bar) - gives the neighborhood late-night eats made with fresh, regionally sourced ingredients. Joystick owners Brandon Ley and Johnny Martinez chose to incubate this local food start-up, in turn helping to promote smaller suppliers. The cuisine, available starting at 5 p.m., combines the influences of Asian street food, American comfort food, and soul food. Think ground-to-order hamburgers, including a banh mi version, and homemade chicken and waffles.

Chef Joey Zelinka, the chef who can be credited with whipping up some of Sound Table's most creative dishes, is moving to Mexican coastal restaurant MAR (314 East Howard Ave.), which opens later this month in Decatur. His menu will be focused on wood-roasted proteins - especially seafood, but also rib eye and pork, often served a la carte with simple sauces to allow for easy side pairings. His tortillas, including squid ink-dyed hard shells, will be made in-house.

Upscale sushi restaurant Umi will arrive this month in Buckhead (3050 Peachtree Road), complete with interiors and artwork by Atlanta icon Todd Murphy, in association with design firm Goodrowe Hobby. The Japanese cuisine from Tokyo-born chef and partner Fuyuhiko Ito will include sashimi, nigiri, and specialty and traditional sushi rolls, as well as baked lobster tempura, sauteed foi gras, and "Zuke-Don," a dish of sesame soy-marinated tuna with rice. Desserts like green tea soufflé, mochi ice cream crepe, and pecan chocolate pie with Ara Shio caramel sauce will come from pastry chef Lisa Matsuoka Ito.

Last week, we announced that Zeb Stevenson would be departing his post at Livingston and The Georgian Terrace Hotel (659 Peachtree St.) this spring. Now, you can bid him farewell with his "Last Supper" on the rooftop, taking place on Sunday, May 19. The 24-person experience includes a 12-course, family-style dinner cooked tableside, with such dishes as "spit-roasted lamb, house-made cheeses, fermented goodies, and witty banter," says the chef. Tickets, which are currently on sale, are $100 (guests should also expect to pay tax and gratuity) and a cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m.

What Now, Atlanta reports that local barista and coffee importer Matthew Ludwikowski (better known as "Matt Lud") will open a café location for his proprietary Brash Coffee company within Environment Furniture (1170 Howell Mill Road) by mid-June. Ludwikowski previously worked as a barista at Octane Coffee, winning the Southeast Brewer's Cup Championship in 2012. His Brash Coffee company practices "honest" and sustainable sourcing at above-fair trade prices through farmers in Central and South America, followed by attentive processing, roasting, and brewing that results in a simple, but high-quality cup. Ludwikowski will appear intermittently behind the bar at Condesa Coffee until his cafe opens this spring.

Reservations began this week for The Third Space (659 Auburn Ave.), Asha Gomez's concept at Studioplex, a new spot for chefs (from Steven Satterfield to Tyler Williams), cookbook authors, and other culinary experts to mingle and dispense their wisdom. Complete with high-tech appliances and stylish, seasonally changing decor, it will include a 10-seat kitchen counter and 12-seat dining table. Experts passing through Atlanta can stay at the studio's posh loft, rather than a hotel. Joe Truex, Asha Gomez, Jenny Levison, and David Sweeney are on the schedule in the next two weeks.

CaJa Popcorn has partnered up with Concentrics Restaurants to whip up limited-time flavors available exclusively at the Peachtree Battle shop (2333 Peachtree Road). Atlanta chefs will create a new flavor each month, with varieties like lemon pepper and Parmesan, peppered bacon and scallion crema, and chai pumpkin appearing this summer and fall. This month, the featured Concentrics chef is Adrian Villarreal of The Spence, whose signature flavor is Mexican Street Corn.

Chipotle Mexican Grill's Atlanta restaurants have added a new indulgence to their menus: a margarita made with Patrón. The premium cocktail combines Patrón Silver tequila, Triple Sec, a blend of fresh lime and lemon juices, and organic agave nectar, and will appear at 900 restaurants nationwide.

Zocalo (187 Tenth St.) is getting a menu makeover. Now under the leadership of Richard Sandoval Restaurants, the Midtown Mexican restaurant will debut new food and beverage menus tomorrow, May 4. Chef Lucero Martinez-Obregon has served in her post for 18 years, as well as chef de cuisine of Sandoval's Pampano in NYC since 2009. Her family's newly redecorated restaurant joins the national group with the addition of upscale Mexican comfort foods like ceviche de camaron, chicken tinga tacos, pan-seared Achiote salmon, caramel flan, and margaritas made from any of 60 tequilas.

Campania Pizzeria Napoletana (800 N. Main St.) opened last week in Alpharetta. As the first pizzeria of its kind in the North Atlanta suburb, it features ultra-hot ovens imported from Italy that cook the pies over oak and cherry logs and volcanic rock slabs in as little as 90 seconds. The dough is made from double zero flour and the pizzas include the Margherita DOC, made with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, and basil, and the Tartufo, made with fontina, mushrooms, pancetta, garlic, rosemary, and truffle oil.

Red Pepper Taqueria (2149 Briarcliff Road) is launching industry nights starting May 13. The North Druid Hills Latin restaurant will indulge members of the hospitality field with live music and half-off tabs from 10 p.m. until midnight through the end of June. Better yet, 10 percent of sales go toward The Giving Kitchen, Ryan Hidinger's charitable initiative.

It looks like Stem Wine Bar (1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta), chef Doug Turbush's concept right next to his Seed Kitchen & Bar in East Cobb, should open its doors in about a month. The new, 40-seat boîte arrives three years after the opening of Seed, which proved so popular, it was turning dozens of people away each evening. Small plates and charcuterie will satisfy patrons of the new concept, whether they are waiting on dinner to begin next door or simply enjoying an evening of libations. Jason Raymond will lead the wine program and Chris McNeill, the cocktails.

Decatur's Cakes & Ale has taken home an award for Excellence in Rehabilitation from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, a year-and-a-half after moving into its new digs (housed in a historic bakery) at 155 Sycamore St. Twenty-three properties and businesses across Georgia won the honor, but Cakes & Ale was the only winner in metro Atlanta.

Tucker's Comeback Sports Bar & Grill (2845 Mountain Industrial Blvd.) has made a big, well, comeback, after appearing on Spike TV's "Bar Rescue." So far, this is the only Atlanta-area establishment to appear on the show, which begins airing its fourth season on July 7.

Each Wednesday night in June, four eateries in Atlanta's HomeGrown Restaurants group, which includes Doc Chey's Noodle House and Osteria 832 Pasta & Pizza, will donate a portion of each bill to the Atlanta Pride Committee. Week one is Doc Chey's Grant Park, followed by Doc Chey's Emory Village, Osteria 832 Virginia-Highland, and Doc Chey's Morningside/Virginia-Highland.

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