Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Look: BoccaLupo

Posted By on Tue, May 28, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Crispy lasagna at BoccaLupo

There are few restaurants that I've liked as much as La Pietra Cucina, which opened about five years ago. (The restaurant closed briefly in 2012 and later reopened as LPC.) La Pietra's executive chef, Bruce Logue, was once sous chef at Mario Batali's Babbo in New York. Like Batali, Logue's overall inspiration is Italian, but he fiddles with classics by using American, often local ingredients. Call it Italian-American. Just don't think "New-York-style Italian" overdosed with tomato sauce and cheese.

I lunched frequently at La Pietra Cucina and Logue became my favorite chef in town. But the restaurant's look became bizarre. Originally, meals were served in a small and pleasant, sunny dining room off the restaurant's main room, which awaited remodeling. The redo seemed wrong in every way for Logue. It was gloomy, with terra-cotta walls and completely uninteresting paintings. It was far too large. Lunching there felt lonely. Prices made the restaurant a fine-dining venue - in the middle of the recession. Logue disliked the change immensely and long talked about opening a small, informal, and more affordable place of his own.

Continue reading "First Look: BoccaLupo" by Cliff Bostock

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A recipe fit for spring

Posted By on Tue, May 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Cooking with Fiddlehead ferns is fun!

Spring has sprung and summer is fast approaching. The crape myrtle tree outside my house has burst forth with sprightly green leaves over the course of one short week. Bushes, plants, and blossoms are deep red and bright pink and pretty fuchsia. There are random blizzards of ornamental pear tree petals, suspended swells of white swaying left to right, up and down. On a stroll through my neighborhood, a plethora of birds are chirping to and fro as they fly, dogs are barking at and sniffing one another, and cats are prowling about the newly verdant shrubbery. Everyone is out and about, enjoying the change of season.

With spring come spring vegetables.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Colonnade: still gay and gray

Posted By on Mon, May 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Alex is taken aback by the Colonnade

Famous fried chicken
For years, I ate almost every Friday night at the Colonnade. It was a ritual dubbed "Gays and Grays" night because the clientele was a blend of gay men and elderly women. (Actually, so was the staff.) The 80-year-old restaurant quit serving lunch some years back and the dinnertime crowds seem to have diminished significantly.

That wasn't true Friday night. It was packed, and our party of five had a 20-minute wait. Most of us had not dined there in a few years and, believe me, the only thing that's changed significantly is the prices. As I've whined before, I used to always eat the less-than-$10 lamb shank. It's available only as a special now for over $20. Yeah, yeah, times change.

Friday night, I ordered the fried chicken - long considered among the city's best - with a sweet-potato casserole and a wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese. Because I devoured a bowl of the "Chex party mix" in the bar and three or four yeast rolls and corn muffins at the table with my lettuce, I didn't have much room for more than a few pieces of the fried chicken. So, I took Saturday's lunch home.

Three of the guys at the table ordered the pot roast with mashed potatoes. Like the chicken, it's a huge serving. It tastes as good as any around town, but, please, eliminate those revolting canned peas. Seriously. There's no excuse.

It was a fun experience. I ran into two people I haven't seen in years. I guess the Colonnade is sort of an elephants' graveyard.

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Atlanta food events, May 27-31: Atlanta Food and Wine Fest, Beer Geek Carnival, and more

Posted By on Mon, May 27, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Atlanta Food and Wine Festival May 30-June 2, 2013
  • Atlanta Food and Wine Festival May 30-June 2, 2013

Wine dinner? Beer Tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Create a CL account and submit your Food and Drink happs here.

Tues., May 28

Cypress Street Pint & Plate Tues., May 28, 7-11 p.m. 2nd Annual Beer Geek Carnival Cypress Street Pint and Plate and Clown Shoes Beer are bringing back the "Cypress Street Beer Geek Carnival" to Midtown Atlanta. The Beer Geek Carnival will take over Cypress Street and feature performers from the OPA Circus. Stilt walkers, jugglers, fire-eaters, and aerialists perform while beer lovers can enjoy Clown Shoes Beer. It wouldn't be a carnival without classics such as corn dogs and mini funnel cakes along with desserts like fried Oreos and Snickers. Details

Mac McGee's Irish Pub Tues., May 28, 7 p.m. Ardbeg's Ardbog Limited Release Party The release of Ardbeg's Ardbog Limited Edition 2013 with Mark Harvey, who is flying in all the way from the distillery, features a $30 Flight of Ardbeg 10 year old, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and the extremely rare Ardbog Limited Edition.

Barcelona Wine Bar Tues., May 28, 7 p.m. How to be a Guest at Your Own Cocktail Party Chef Shane will prepare items that can be made in advance or held hot so you can, in fact, be a guest at your own party. Items include Mini Albondigas, Tuna Tartar, and Smoked Salmon. Luke will also teach the class three different very easy sangria recipes $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Details

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Little Five Points Corner Tavern fire caused by 'overheated fan motor,' fire officials say

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Firefighters inside the scorched Little Five Points bar
  • Courtesy Corner Tavern
  • Firefighters inside the scorched Little Five Points bar

Atlanta Fire and Rescue officials today released additional details about what happened leading up to - and the cause of - Thursday's fire at the Corner Tavern's Little Five Points location.

According to an AFR spokeswoman, people inside the bar saw smoke and called 911. AFR arrived on the scene at 1:44 p.m. where first responders found "heavy smoke" billowing from the sides of the building and "black smoke" and "fire venting from the roof."

Officials determined the cause of the fire to be an "overheated fan motor."

The scene was cleared at 10:09 p.m., according to the report. Three additional businesses, Village Coffee, Little Five Points Pizza, and Crystal Blue, were affected by the blaze, citing "smoke and water damage" and "one forced door."

Corner Tavern posted photos of the bar's scorched interior Friday morning.

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Quick Bites: MAR opens in Decatur, changes at Miso Izakaya, and more

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM

MAR Mexican coastal restaurant open tonight in Decatur
  • Courtesy of MAR
  • MAR Mexican coastal restaurant open tonight in Decatur

MAR seafood restaurant opens tonight at 314 E. Howard Ave. in Decatur. Featuring tables made of wood reclaimed from a nearly 100-year-old house and a summery patio, it's a place to down tons of tequilas while noshing on Mexi-coastal cuisine such as pickled oysters, chile-rubbed shrimp, and grilled serrano peppers from chef Joey Zelinka.

In case you missed it, Aurora Coffee closed its longstanding Virginia-Highland location at 992 North Highland Ave., which had been frequented by neighborhood regulars and coffee snobs alike since its inception in 1992. In a symbolic gesture of woe betide support, one patron chained himself to a post on the patio this past Saturday. Read the full story here.

We first announced on May 6 that Victory Sandwich Bar's original, Inman Park location at 280 Elizabeth St. would shutter in July, to make way for a shiny new mixed-used development. But it isn't going far. It seems Victory has signed a lease just up the road at 913 Bernina Ave., and will move into the spot currently occupied by Park's Edge in September. An insider assures us that the latter restaurant does not plan to go out of business, but is hunting for a new location.

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Dish of the week: Graveyard's flank steak

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Pardon my photo flash, but I had to share this picture of my favorite dish this week. It's the flank steak at the Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta Village. I had it and liked it once before but don't recall experiencing this week's stand-up-and-beg-for-more effect.

The winning feature is the wide ribbon of chicmichurri that courses over the medium-rare slices of grilled steak. Unlike the many loser versions of chimichurri in this city, the Graveyard's hits a perfect balance - not overdoing the garlic and not turning the parsley into a medicinal astringent, thanks in part, I think, to a particularly fruity olive oil. It's all wrapped up with creamy mashed potatoes and goat cheese and a fan of crunchy green beans spiked with garlic.

It's a bargain at $13. However, the plating is purty but lonely. That is to say, it may not fill you up without an appetizer or a quick trip down the road afterward to Morelli's.

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Atlanta weekend food events, May 24-26: Memorial Day, Michael Feinstein dinner, fish fry, and more

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Join South City Kitchen for a three-course meal, followed by a concert by Michael Feinstein at the Atlanta Symphony Hall
  • James Camp/ CL file
  • Join South City Kitchen for a three-course meal, followed by a concert by Michael Feinstein at the Atlanta Symphony Hall

Wine dinner? Beer Tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Create a CL account and submit your Food and Drink happs here.

Fri., May 24

Lobby at Twelve Fri., May 24, 7-9 p.m. Seafood cooking class Join Chef Russell Hays in Lobby's private cellar space and learn about buying, butchering, storing and cooking seafood correctly. Includes wine pairings with each dish. Details

South City Kitchen Fri., May 24, and Sat., May 25 Michael Feinstein Dinner and Show Join South City Kitchen for a three-course prix fixe dinner, followed by a concert by Michael Feinstein at the Atlanta Symphony Hall at 8 p.m. Reservations will be for 5:30, 6, or 6:30 p.m. Details

Amura Fri., May 24- Sun., May 26, 10 p.m. Sushi and Jazz This Memorial Day weekend, treat yourself to a jazz experience from legendary Chicago jazz club, Close Up 2 and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Details

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Food media round-up: Iron Chef frozen dinners, meat socks, KFC chicken, and more

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Chris Cosentinos potential line of meat socks?
  • Betabrand.com
  • Chris Cosentino's potential line of meat socks?

Don't take your fried chicken for granted. I mean, at least you don't have to get it smuggled through underground tunnels.

"Iron Chef America"... Coming to a freezer near you. Advocating for fresh ingredients and cooking, one frozen dinner at a time. Allez cuisine!

Douglas Tirola's documentary, Hey Bartender, moves to the big screen,"the story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail."

Chef Chris Cosentino has teamed up with a clothes company to create a food-inspired line called Gluttony Pants. Next on to chef pants, meat socks, and butcher briefs?

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Little Five Points Corner Tavern catches fire

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Corner Tavern in Little Five Points caught fire Thursday afternoon. The building, located at the corner of Moreland and Euclid avenues, has been "heavily damaged," though no word yet on how the fire began. One bystander reports traffic in the area was at a standstill in all directions as firefighters responded on the scene. CL reached out to Atlanta Fire and Rescue for details. We'll update you if we hear back.

More photos from Little Five Points after the jump.

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