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Monday, October 28, 2013

Quick Bites: Updates on Bell Street Burritos, Toscano & Sons, and more

Jenis Splendid Ice Creams is now open in Westside Provisions

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams opened an Atlanta outpost last week next to Star Provisions at 1198 Howell Mill Road. This marks the Columbus, Ohio-based craft ice creamery's first foray into Georgia. The shop is currently scooping 22 flavors - including the limited-edition Cloverton cheesecake, double-toasted coconut, and Loveless biscuits with peach jam. Keep an eye out for Jeni's blue food truck, Street Treats, roaming the city, as well.

Though its Irwin Street Market location remains closed - and will apparently be replaced by a new restaurant instead of reopening - Bell Street Burritos opened a new outpost in Buckhead last week at 1816 Peachtree St. Meanwhile, owners hope to reopen the Irwin Street location elsewhere in Old Fourth Ward, and are open to suggestions regarding alternative spaces.

You may recall CL's first report of Sharon Carver's plans to reopen her iconic meat-and-two, Carver's Country Kitchen, in an early-1900s bungalow this October. But with the month drawing to a close, Carver announced on October 16 that she would not move forward with her plan, and has instead put the building at 1172 West Marietta St. up for sale. She is open to having a next-generation restaurateur reopen the eatery in her name. For that individual, she is willing to pass along her famous recipes and serve as a restaurant consultant.

Kimball House, the new oyster-heavy tavern and restaurant in a former Decatur train depot, has continued to hire all-star staff from all around the Atlanta culinary circuit, making this one of the must-visit eateries of the fall season. The latest hires are former Holeman & Finch barman Tyson Bittrich, upcoming Staplehouse chef Ryan Smith as guest charcutier, and Empire State South cook Duane Kulers, who Eater Atlanta speculates will be heading to Octopus Bar's new concept at The Brookwood when it opens next year.

After a soft-opening on October 5, Smoke Ring in Castleberry Hill is now open for lunch and dinner. The new barbecue-themed spot from the restaurateurs behind Cibo e Beve, Food 101, and Meehan's Public House serves dishes such as baby back ribs, pork belly, and a pimento "ultimate" grilled cheese, along with local Georgia wines, beers, bourbons, and moonshine.

Ford Fry's latest restaurant St. Cecilia is on track to open this fall at 3455 Peachtree Road. Job postings for positions ranging from servers, to back-of-house, to front-of-house, can already be found on Craigslist, which states that the forthcoming, European and Ligurian coastal-inspired eatery will feature "light olive oils, wood-roasted fish, simple, yet perfect pastas, and produce from the Southeast."

James Beard Award winner Philippe Haddad has been named partner and executive chef at Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown's Buckhead eatery, F&B. Haddad is helping to expand not only the menu but the brand of the restaurant to a true French bistro, also bringing sous chef Gabriel Capo, formerly of Restaurant Eugene and the St. Regis Atlanta, into the fold. New rustic, regional-European dishes range from braised rabbit with shallots in a dark Belgian ale to cured salmon with avocado, fennel, radish salad, and yuzu vinaigrette.

In case you missed it, Toscano & Sons is moving to Virginia-Highland, with plans to open by the end of November. The Italian market and sandwich shop shuttered in June after struggling to stay afloat at 1000 Marietta Street. But owners Kathy Boehmer and John Reed vowed to return and will soon reappear in the former location of Stanton Home Furnishings at 1050 N. Highland Ave. In related news, the pizza parlor that was planning to assume Toscano & Sons' former digs appears to have dipped out. Let us know if you hear of 850°F Bar Pizza's next move.

In the wake of excitement for their opening of Better Half at 14th and State Streets, PushStart Kitchen founders Zach and Cristina Meloy will hold the last in their series of popular supper clubs on the weekend of November 15. Options to attend dinners on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday are available. To sign up for an invite to one of these last suppers, visit pushstartkitchen.com. With construction and permitting still moving along, Better Half should open by late fall.

The Texas-based MCrowd Restaurant Group will open a lower-priced, more casual offshoot of Mi Cocina called Taco Diner in Midtown this spring. The Lone Star State already boasts six locations of the restaurant, known for smaller-portioned tacos with ingredients such as brisket, cheese steak, and pan-seared tilapia that could very likely rival Taqueria del Sol in the Atlanta market. The "Mexico City taqueria" will be located about a block away from Mi Cocina at 77 12th Street, on the ground floor of the high-rise apartment complex by the same name. Like other Taco Diner locations, this one is slated to offer the same drink menu as Mi Cocina, along with salads, soups, an all-day breakfast menu, and even a cheeseburger.

Buckhead Patch reports that Cafe Moulin Rouge Bar & Bistro is getting very close to opening at Cafe Intermezzo's recently vacated location in Brookwood Hills. Signage on the building's exterior suggests that the restaurant is now hiring sous chefs, line cooks, bartenders, and waitstaff. Details as they arise.

After two years in the Toco Hills Promenade, the eponymous restaurant from FIGO Pasta co-founder Mirko Di Giacomantonio, Mirko Pasta, has shuttered its Druid Hills location. Tomorrow's News Today notes that the location was nevertheless profitable and the closure was a surprise even to employees at Mirko's additional outpost across the Southeast (12 in total). Details as they arise.

Zeal opened for dinner last week at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta, serving seasonal, locally sourced, and sharable fare "with a twist" by executive chef Eric Mulville. In addition to the approachable, modern cuisine, the eatery will offer a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere complete with an outdoor bar, fireplace, and diversions like shuffleboard and darts. Bar manager Amanda Johnson is on the drinks.

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