Friday, May 23, 2014

Quick Bites: Smokebelly, Bar Amalfi open, Polaris update, and more

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Smokebelly is now open in Buckhead.
  • Photo by Brandon Amato
  • Smokebelly is now open in Buckhead.

Smokebelly - the upscale barbecue restaurant conceived in part by the team behind the Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails, and Tin Lizzy's Cantina - is now open in Buckhead at 128 E. Andrews Drive, the former location of Tavern 99. Executive chef Darrell Rice cut his teeth at restaurants such as Canoe, Aria, Mosaic, and more before embarking on this chef-driven venture. Expect dishes such as pulled pork, smoked sausage, sliced brisket, and baby back ribs, plus fish, veggies, and nearly a dozen sides. Twenty craft beers, "artisanal" liquors, and creative cocktails are also available.

Giovanni di Palma's Bar Amalfi is finally open within his fast-growing Home Park enclave on Hemphill Ave., Piazza San Gennaro, which he also affectionately calls "Little Italia." Bar Amalfi joins existing di Palma establishments Antico Pizza, Gio's Chicken Amalfitano, Caffe Gio, and his latest, retail outpost Bottega Luisa. A sixth concept and possible farmer's market are slated to follow. For now, Bar Amalfi brings treats such as limoncello, bellinis, pizza, caprese salad, bruschetta, and wood-grilled prawns.

Polaris, the futuristic spinning restaurant at the pinnacle of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta building Downtown (265 Peachtree St.), will reopen June 10 after approximately four years of renovation. The iconic John Portman-designed eatery first opened in 1967 as the famed architect's first revolving restaurant - 360 degrees every 45 minutes - with the time-appropriate appearance of a blue-domed flying saucer. The modernized concept will feature current dishes from chef Martin Pfefferkorn, as well as vintage-inspired cocktails by Mehdi Natanzi and small-batch spirits.

As the latest perk of Restaurant Eugene's ongoing 10th anniversary celebration, chef Linton Hopkins is bringing back his riff on a famous fried chicken recipe from The Virginia Housewife author and early-19th-century chef Mary Randolph (H/T to Eater), once named one of America's best by Travel & Leisure magazine. Making the menu beginning Sun., May 25, it will reappear three more times throughout the year: July 3, Aug. 31, and Dec. 26.

MARBAR, version 2.0 of the "Mexican coastal" restaurant at 314 E. Howard Ave. in Decatur, will reopen soon, taking on a more casual restaurant and bar vibe. Expect the same long banquettes, rustic patio seating, and exposed brick and weathered metal finishes. New on the scene, a collaboration with Sun in My Belly chef Alison Lueker Ritter has produced menu options ranging from tangy ceviches, to wood-roasted shrimp, to octopus, which meld beautifully with the vast variety of mezcals and tequilas. Lunch service kicks off on Saturday.

After five years at 2901 Clairmont Road - in a Greek-centric neighborhood also home to one of largest Greek churches in the country, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation - Mykonos Taverna has unexpectedly shuttered, says Tomorrow's News Today. If you have info on what might replace Mykonos Taverna, let us know in the comments.

Orpheus Brewing's long-awaited, Piedmont Park-adjacent taproom will finally open this Saturday, May 24, within a prime warehouse space at 1440 Dutch Valley Place. The grassroots brewery is the brainchild of brewmaster Jason Pellett, Will Arnold, and CFO Andrew Lorber, newly joined by sales rep Rebecca Royster, an alum of The Porter Beer Bar who will help get Orpheus' new brews distributed around the city and beyond. (Athens, Asheville, and Charleston are hot on their radar.) The first Orpheus beers will launch at The Porter on May 28.

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