Gravy Train

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gravy Train: Cucina Asellina to open Monday, Bon Rappetite hits home

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Cucina Asellina
Cucina Asellina, the new Italian concept coming to the “12th & Midtown” development, will open on Monday. The rustic Italian restaurant comes from ONE Group, the same folks behind sexy STK. The menu will feature flatbreads made in a wood-burning oven, as well as pastas, charcuterie and cheeses. Next week they’ll open with just nightly dinner, but eventually Cucina Asellina will open for lunch ($8 - $15) and dinner ($12 - $30), seven days a week.

You know when you heard about Bon Rappetite, you totally wished it was real. Well, it’s not, but the merch is. You can score your very own Bon Rappetite cookbook (with never-before-seen dishes) and t-shirts - I smell a dinner party theme!

Dunwoody Patch reports that Tin Lizzy’s will open a new location in the Suntrust building at Perimeter Center West. This is Tin Lizzy’s fourth location in Atlanta. The new spot will open by the summer - in time for Cinco de Mayo if they hustle. The restaurant will also have a large outdoor patio.

Over on Foodie Buddha, we learn there’s a new banh mi in town - We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Village. They’re open from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., serving banh mi and bubble tea (and that’s all, folks). On their tumblr, it also says a local soy milk and tofu delivery service called The Soy Shop is coming soon. Talk about a niche market!

Time for BATON round four, y'all. Next Monday and Tuesday, Carlo Mirarchi (Roberta’s) and Brooks Headley (Del Posto) travel from NYC to invade Gato Bizco for two nights of food worship. Reservations are advised. $75 in cash is required.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Gravy Train: "Top Chef" auditions in Atlanta, get funky at The Boom Boom Room

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Sushi Nami
Pack your knives and all that jazz. "Top Chef" is holding an Atlanta-area audition on February 25 at Empire State South. Truth be told, the audition information says no knives are needed - but don’t forget your A-game (seriously, it’s a requirement).

Tavern 99 is bringing sexy back with The Boom Boom Room, a new weekend bar-within-a-bar concept in the Buckhead bar’s back room. They’ll serve a menu of flatbread pizzas (including some dessert pizzas), and DJ Romeo Cologne will spin 70’s and 80’s funk on Fridays. The Boom Boom Room is open Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Brown’s BBQ, which has been in the catering business for a while now, recently opened a brick-and-mortar location at 2148 Johnson Ferry Road in the Chamblee area. They’ve got all the classic barbecue favorites. Brown’s is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Sunday.

What Now Atlanta reports in on Big Kahuna, a new Cali-Mex restaurant opening in SunTrust Plaza downtown. According to the press release, the restaurant will “feel like sitting in a friend’s beach house,” which should be interesting in the middle of downtown. The owners plan to open multiple locations.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Gravy Train: MF Buckhead bites the dust, Waffle House retiring the T-bone

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 10:10 AM

MF Buckhead
First reported by the AJC, MF Buckhead closed last night after dinner service. A few weeks back, they fought rumors of closing, saying that they were just renegotiating their lease. Story now seems to be that they couldn’t come to an agreement with the landlord at Terminus Atlanta. They’re planning to open a smaller restaurant with new business partners soon (or so they say, for now).

Also on the AJC blog, Nick Melvin has left Rosebud to open his own restaurant. He confirmed this is his plan, but was unable to offer any additional details just yet.

Another casualty in Buckhead, What Now Atlanta breaks the news that Morton’s The Steakhouse closed their Peachtree Road location earlier this week. The downtown Morton’s will remain open.

Waffle House is retiring its classic T-bone steak. For reals, they are the leading server of T-bones in the United States! It has been on their menu for 40 years, and they’ll keep it that way until the end of 2012. Another fun fact? The T-bone tradition is a local one. An Avondale Estates “Grill Man" ran out of steak one night and ran to the grocery store to restock. He served up T-bones and they have been on the menu ever since.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Gravy Train: More Morelli's, Brooklyn-ized bagels

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Holeman and Finch
  • James Camp
  • Saturday lunch coming to Holeman and Finch
Morelli’s posted the following cryptic message on Facebook... “Looking at Vinings area to open another location. Atlanta’s best gourmet burger company will open in the same space so you can have burgers and ice cream. Can't say the name just yet but when you think who is the absolute best that’s the one!” They also hinted that they may be collaborating with a local pizza joint. Guesses?

Kirkwood Bar and Grill has been a controversial business for a while now. Local residents have been fighting to shut the bar down, citing safety concerns and code violations. Bar owners countered the claims and accused the Kirkwood community of racial prejudice. East Atlanta Patch was first to report that Mayor Kasim Reed has denied the bar’s liquor license, after months of deliberation from various local boards. A drive-by on Thursday night revealed the restaurant is still up and running.

Bagel purists, rejoice! Tomorrow’s News Today reports that Brooklyn Water Bagel Company is coming to Atlanta! The Florida-based bagel shop promises that their special water treatment system transforms plain old water into magical New York-ified water that will make your bagels extra authentic. The first Atlanta-area location will be on Akers Mill Road, off Cobb Parkway.

Fig Jam Kitchen and Bar opened this week on Peachtree Street in the former Baroni space. The restaurant says they want to allow diners to have a customized dining experience. They do this by having a diverse menu of dishes in all sizes, including: small plates, flat breads, meats and cheeses, plus a few traditional entrees. They've also got a fun cocktail menu (popcorn-infused rum, anyone?) headed up by an Ormsby's alum.

Eater reports that beginning in February, Holeman and Finch will open for Saturday lunch.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Gravy Train: Peasant Group's new restaurant, cupcakes in Ormewood Park

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Campagnolo
  • Jeffrey Bruce Baker Designs
  • Campagnolo rendering
Peasant Group has broken ground on Campagnolo, a new Italian restaurant and bar at 980 Piedmont Ave. (formerly Nonna Mia, Sweet Devil Moon). Their designer has released a rendering (shown right) that depicts a massively renovated, clean, and modern building with plenty of open-air patio space out front.

A new cupcake shop called Endulge Cupcakes is opening in Ormewood Park near Morelli’s. The shop will move in where the short-lived Little Cafe Paris was located. The menu offers daily staples plus rotating weekly and seasonal flavors - some of which can be alcohol infused. The best part? Cupcakes on the go - this place has a drive-thru! The shop hopes to open in February.

Speaking of Morelli’s - the Ormewood location has been closed since mid-December, and it's just announced they’ll re-open on January 23.

Just across Moreland, Hodgepodge is opening on Monday. They’ll host a sneak preview on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. with some great pre-opening specials. Hodgepodge is an art gallery/coffee shop/cupcake bakery hybrid.

The AJC reports on "major reorganization" going on at MF Buckhead. The location's manager says they are just working out some issues with their landlords, Terminus, and hope to downsize their space to increase profits. They also acknowledge that they are researching other locations in case they can't come to an agreement on the space.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Gravy Train: The Pullman opens, Modern Bar & Grill comes to Buckhead, and Atlanta gets a new 'breastaurant"

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM

The Pullman announced via Facebook that the new neighborhood gastro pub will open for business on Fri., Jan. 13. CL confirmed that Kirkwood locals Dan Wingate and Heidi Shonkwiler have brought on former Radial Café chef Lontinza Clark to helm the kitchen. The menu will focus heavily on sourcing local ingredients and chef Clark’s creative take on comfort food.

John Schaffner of the Buckhead View blog reports that Greenwich, CT restaurateur Xian Hang Xu will open Modern Restaurant & Bar in Feb. Located at 3365 Piedmont Road, Modern will be housed in the space that was previously Copeland’s New Orleans Restaurant. According to Schaffner, “Xian Hang Xu described Modern as serving “contemporary American food” similar to what you might find at Buckhead’s Restaurant Eugene, Bacchanalia and such, but less expensive for the most part.”

Chef Danny Ting has left his post at Golden House in Duluth. Rumor has it that he's left town to strike out on his own, perhaps to open a spot without the need for business partners. ChowDownAtlanta.com first broke the story via Twitter last week. No word yet on where Ting will land or who will replace him at Golden House.

Rolling Reuben's food truck hit the streets Friday, announcing their official launch and schedule of stops via Facebook. According to the Rolling Reuben's website, the truck can be found at Park Bench in Buckhead Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.-3 a.m.

Foodie Buddha reports that StarChefs was in town this week to survey potential candidates for their Rising Star Chef Award. Some of the chefs included in FB's "spoiler" post were Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya, Robert Phalen of One Eared Stag, and Ryan Smith of Empire State South.

According to What Now Atlanta, Belissima nightclub in Amsterdam Walk has closed.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Gravy Train: Big Apple Inn coming to Atlanta, new life for The Castle

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The Castle
  • via wikipedia
  • The Castle

Mississippi favorite Big Apple Inn is opening an Atlanta location. April Patton, granddaughter of the restaurant’s founder, is heading up the Atlanta branch after being inspired by a trial run at Atlanta Underground Market last spring. The Atlanta restaurant will stay true to the classics of the original location - serving tamales and pig ear sandwiches (While pig ears may scare some, April assures me that you "grow into it."). They'll also put their own twist on things, adding new items to the menu like more tamale options, coffee, and ice cream. The restaurant is planning to open this February in Westview, where they hope to take an active role in revitalizing the neighborhood. "My grandfather taught me that you have to be a part of a community, not just be in it," said April.

Previously just a rumor, permits with plans describing a restaurant and hotel space have now been filed for The Castle, a historic building in Midtown that sits right on 15th Street overlooking Woodruff Arts Center. The plans indicate there will be a four-unit hotel and a dining space. According to building permits, in addition to revamping the current building, a new space will be added to the back side of the building to make room for the restaurant and hotel lounge.

A new sports lounge and seafood grill called Fins is coming to the corner of 12th and Crescent in Midtown. The restaurant will have an outdoor patio and a lower level ultra lounge. They’ll serve up (duh) seafood and the bar plans offer a craft beer selection, small batch whiskeys, and other drunken delights.

Foodie Buddha details plans for menu changes at Miso Izakaya, courtesy of unnamed but apparently reliable sources. The popular Edgewood restaurant reportedly plans to branch out and try more adventurous dishes - including seasonal menus and ramped up sushi offerings - but they’re going to keep some old favorites around, too.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Gravy Train: The Porter, Sound Table expand

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The Porter
Local food guru @RestaurantsATL tweeted that The Porter in Little Five Points is expanding - doubling their bar space and adding more tables.

The Sound Table has officially gobbled up the space next door to the restaurant, dubbing it Space2. The new area will serve as an additional facility for music, dancing and general mayhem.

Latest word from The Spence, Richard Blais’ new Midtown restaurant, is that the opening will be this spring. The Spence was originally expected to open in February 2012.

Varasano’s has a little problem on their hands. The AJC reports that a former employee has filed a harassment suit, claiming he was fired because he’s not a “hot chick.” Bartender Tony Clark says that consultant Brett Holtzclaw - who also works with the Howell Mill Food Park - encouraged Varasano’s to use hotties to get more customers in the door. Owner Jeffrey Varasano told the AJC that the allegations are untrue and have, in fact, already been investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - who dismissed the case as having insufficient evidence of a violation.
UPDATE: Brett Holtzclaw sent over some additional information on the Varasano's case, as reported by 11Alive earlier this morning. Varasano shared emails with 11Alive that pointed to a history of issues with Clark's work ethic.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gravy Train: A new chef at Abattoir, Decatur is tasty

Posted By on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Farm Burger
  • Farm Burger helps earn Decatur a tasty title
Tyler Williams has been named the new Executive Chef at Abattoir. Williams has worked at Bacchanalia since 2010. In the official release, chef-owner Anne Quatrano said “[Williams] is extremely dedicated to creating a one-of-a-kind culinary experience for our guests while sharing our passion for fresh ingredients.”

Southern Living included Decatur on their list of Top Ten Tastiest Towns in the South. The article gives shout outs to Cakes & Ale, No. 246 and Farm Burger. Voting is now open to pick the tastiest town of them all, so head on over and support Decatur. As of this posting, we’re lagging way behind other foodie cities like Charleston and New Orleans.

Kevin Gillespie was included in the food and wine section of Forbes 30 Under 30, a who’s who of up-and-comers around the country.

What Now Atlanta has details on East Paces Tavern, a new California and Mexican spot replacing a former Abbadabba's location in Buckhead.

Starting January 2, Chick-fil-A is adding Tortilla Soup to their menu - available through the end of March. The soup has shredded chicken and navy, northern, and black beans, topped off with with seasoned tortilla strips. According to Chick-fil-A, seasonal soups may become a regular thing - much like their popular special edition milkshakes. The soup was field tested at Atlanta-area Dwarf House and Truett's Grill locations.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Gravy Train: Cardamom Hill opening next month, Sotto Sotto survives a fire

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Cardamom Hill
  • Asha Gomez will open Cardamom Hill next month.
Cardamom Hill, the new restaurant born from the popular Spice Route Supper Club, will open January 2, 2012, in West Midtown. Chef Asha Gomez will serve Indian dishes from Kerala, the subcontinent’s southwestern region that is less commonly explored at Indian restaurants stateside. According to the official release, Cardamom Hill will serve lunch and dinner six days a week, closing on Sundays. While the lunch menu is never planned in advance, diners will always experience a seasonal kitchen serving authentic, family-style Kerala dishes. A vegetarian and meat platter will be offered daily.

Fans of Sotto Sotto suffered a momentary panic attack when owner Ricardo Ullio posted a photo on Facebook of a fire at the restaurant, captioned “Nothing like coming to work and seeing that Sotto Sotto almost burned down.” Luckily, the small roof fire was controlled and the restaurant was able to open for business. (via)

What Now Atlanta reports that Dancing Goats Coffee Bar will be the first official resident of the new Ponce City Market. They will move in to a temporary space until a larger, more permanent storefront is available.

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