Quick Bites: Chastain Tavern, South Main Kitchen open and more


  • Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime
  • Executive chef Jason Shelley is back at Buckhead's Ocean Prime.

After a year-long hiatus spent traveling around Spain, chef Jason Shelley has returned to Buckhead seafood spot Ocean Prime, the restaurant where he served as opening chef in 2011. (He previously served as executive chef of Ocean Prime Orlando.) Shelley comes back to his local post with international inspirations. Meanwhile, Ocean Prime Atlanta's previous executive chef, Mitch Brumels, has moved on to the restaurant's Philadelphia outpost.

Ron Eyester is Atlanta's latest hometown chef to appear on Bravo TV's culinary pop-culture phenomenon, making his big debut on "Top Chef" Boston this fall. He of Rosebud and @theangrychef fame will battle it out with 15 other chef-contestants while familiar figures Hugh Acheson and Richard Blais act as judges. Watch for the show's premiere on October 15.

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Chastain Tavern opened at 4629 Wieuca Road on Thurs., Aug. 21. The relaxed restaurant and bar serves big burgers (one comes with peach salsa; another, blue cheese), meatloaf, chicken and biscuits, miso-glazed sea bass, and more, plus a sizable menu of sophisticated cocktails. Visitors will enjoy occasional DJ tunes, a covered patio and, soon, a rooftop patio, too.

Bellwoods Social House, the highly anticipated eatery from Leif Johnson, Jason Morgan, and bartender Arianne Fielder, is slated to open Thurs., Aug. 28 at 1000 Marietta St. Replacing West & Mill Bistro & Bar, Bellwoods will offer casual American bistro fare, with a lineup of pizzas, wings, burgers, salads, sandwiches, and more.

South Main Kitchen opens Aug. 25 at 9 S. Main St. in historic downtown Alpharetta. The concept from Netherlands native Louis Soon, an alum of F&H Food Trading Group, will feature locally sourced, seasonally focused fare by executive chef Christy Stone. Look for dishes like a pork belly sandwich with blackberry barbecue sauce, grilled polenta cakes with brie, purple cauliflower puree, tomato agrodolce, and basil oil; and chicken with buckwheat groats, peas, shitakes, kale, heirloom tomatoes, mint dressing, and lemon oil.

Clandestine Buckhead cocktail bar, Establishment, <a href="http://www.tonetoatl.com/2014/08/buckhead-establishment-to-expand-with.html#more" target="_blank"">is expanding its square footage and its food menu. With plans to absorb the 3,302 square feet next door previously occupied by Loco's Grill & Pub, Establishment could nearly quadruple in size. The first phase will begin Fri., Aug. 22, when owner Brandon Lewis takes over the neighbor's previous 1,200-square-foot patio. Expect a "Southern-influenced small plates" menu by a new chef in early 2015.

After joining nine additional, rave-worthy Atlanta establishments on a hefty nominations list, Decatur oyster haven Kimball House has secured Bon Appetit magazine's top honors as one of the six best new cocktail bars in the nation. Click here to see the slideshow of six American honorees, in which the Matt Christison, Bryan Rackley, Jesse Smith, Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Moore-owned concept comes first.

Zagat Atlanta has released a list of the 30 local culinary stars to watch. This group of up-and-comers ranges from the pint-sized 10-year-old Victor "Beau" Shell, of Lil' Ice Cream Dude, to 25-year-old Holeman & Finch lead bartender Sarah Justice, to 24-year-old Whit Whitmire, founder of the forthcoming Locurean.com. The list of profiles is loads of fun to peruse, so enjoy it (and making notes of Atlanta's next power players) if you do.

A innovative new line of curious artisanal beverages, Jane St Vodka Sodas, will launch on the local market this month, thanks to Atlantan-turned-Angeleno entrepreneur Elizabeth Wiltgen. Marking the first bottled vodka sodas to hit the retail beverage market, the agave-sweetened, carbonated herbal cocktails are made using seasonal fruits—with flavors ranging from original (with a hint of lime) and grapefruit Meyer lemon to pineapple jalapeño and peach peppercorn. Wiltgen's beverage-oriented career has included stints with Avion Tequila and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, making her well-equipped for this lush venture.

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