Omnivore - From Mexico to the New Age

Visits to Abrigo and Cafe Jonah and the Magical Attic

Image I dragged friends to two new restaurants for first visits last week. As I've written before, I always find this risky. Even if the food is good, there's usually something that doesn't please someone and I spend a day stewing in guilt. That's one reason why I like to dine alone.

The first was Abrigo, a restaurant specializing in "a fusion of Mexican, Southwest and Latin cuisine." It's located at 818 Juniper St. in the space vacated by Mitra. The latter's decor has been left mainly intact, at least as I remember it, and the staff is friendly although easily confused.

My friend Chuck O'Boyle, a major foodie, joined me. He wrote a food column for CL briefly and is hyper-picky. Honestly, the food was a disappointment in several ways, but you'll have to read "Grazing" later this week for a synopsis.

I also visited Jennifer Levison's new breakfast-and-lunch restaurant (above), Cafe Jonah and the Magical Attic, in Buckhead at 3188 Paces Ferry Place. That's Jennifer of Souper Jenny fame.

Cafe Jonah, named after Levison's son, is charming if nothing, located in a sunny cottage whose original layout seems to have been preserved. You won't find soup on the menu — mainly salads, a frittata, pastries and sandwiches. It's all very healthy for the most part, probably too healthy for two regular Friday lunch pals who joined me.

The most startling aspect of the restaurant is the Magical Attic. We tromped upstairs expecting to find another dining room. Instead, we felt like we'd arrived in a '80s-style New Age dimension. Two card readers were busy with clients. Scented candles lined a shelf, along with other knickknacks. The room hosts meditation classes and a psychic fair.

Check out Cafe Jonah's page on Facebook.