Quick Bites: New chef at King + Duke, Gusto! Wood Fire Grill opens, and more

Atlanta restaurant news roundup


  • Photo courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee
  • E. J. Hodgkinson has been named executive chef of King + Duke.

E. J. Hodgkinson has been named the new executive chef at Ford Fry's King + Duke in Buckhead. He departs JCT. Kitchen & Bar for his new role on Mon., Nov. 17, with plans to completely revamp King + Duke's menu. JCT., meanwhile, will see the promotion of sous chef Brian Horn to the post of executive chef. In related Fry news, his latest restaurant, the El Felix, opens today (Nov. 3) at 1130 Avalon Place in Alpharetta.

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BBQ Takorea is now open in Decatur at 105 Clairemont Ave., right across the street from newish Asian restaurant Makan. The affordable Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant offers an array of eats ranging from bibimbap to burritos with an Asian twist. Prices range from a lean $2.50 to $7 per dish, and the first Yelp reviews are glowing.

Three months after beverage manager Nate Shuman left Proof & Provision for an executive post at Krog Street Market's Craft Izakaya, the accomplished barman has returned to helm the Georgian Terrace Hotel's basement-level pub once again. Prohibition alum Tom McGuire will replace Shuman at Craft Izakaya beginning Sat., Nov. 28, when he'll also team up with vagabond drink-slinger Arianne Fielder, who recently joined the Craft Izakaya cocktail team.

On Mon., Nov. 10, celeb chef Marvin Woods is slated to open a new coastal soul food restaurant, called Asante Restaurant & Lounge, in the former home of Peasant Bistro at 250 Park Ave. As the author of cookbooks Home Plate Cooking and The New Low Country, as well as the lead chef for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, Woods comes to the table with a wealth of rich culinary experiences. His new downtown restaurant's ingredients, techniques, and flavors combine influences of South American, Caribbean, lowcountry, Southern, and African cuisines, with the likes of Creole-braised kingfish, roasted wild boar, Bahamian conch fritters, plus tried-and-true options like shrimp and grits, Po' boy sliders, and fried okra.

Gusto! Wood Fire Grill is now open at 1935 Peachtree St. The Brookwood Hills eatery is the brainchild of former Cleveland Browns quarterback Nate Hybl, and has tapped former General Muir executive sous chef Shawn Grodensky as its "culinary leader." Hybl Grodensky has conceived a wide variety of build-your-own salads, rice bowls, sandwiches, and wraps featuring fresh produce, meats, garnishes, and sauces. Flavor profiles range from spiced tomato tzatziki and sweet soy Sriracha to apple curry peanut and chipotle mango avocado.

The AJC reported news from a tipster on Oct. 23 about the possible future of Decatur's Marbar Beachside Cantina (314 E Howard Ave.). The newspaper's informant claims that Deborah VanTrece, executive chef and owner of the Catering Company by VanTrece, will assume ownership of the recently shuttered restaurant. Have additional intel? Let us know in the comments below.

Two Urban Licks chef Todd Stein is leaving his post at the Old Fourth Ward restaurant on Wed., Nov. 19 after a two-year stint. Stein cites a new opportunity in Chicago — where his wife also works — as the reason for his departure. En route to his new role, he'll help Two Urban Licks' parent restaurant group, Concentrics, with Eight Up, its new eatery slated to launch in Louisville, Ky., in early November.

Yeah! Burger founder Erik Maier is embarking on a new culinary venture next spring at the Westside's forthcoming The Meddin Co. and Westbridge Partners development. Called JuicyGreen, his future concept at 1071 Howell Mill Road will purportedly offer fresh juices, but specifics are still scarce.

Tom Murphy's first new restaurant in 34 years and only OTP eatery, Paces & Vine, is now open in place of Garrison's at 4300 Paces Ferry Road. In a tradition akin to the longstanding Murphy's, the restaurant has a neighborhood feel and employs the talents of executive chef Ian Winslade. The traditional new Vinings Jubilee eatery proffers dishes like lamb burgers, tuna carpaccio, sweet potato tortellini, and Guinness-braised brisket.

Chef Jay Swift, of 4th & Swift fame, is taking his talents beyond the Perimeter, with plans to open a new restaurant in Peachtree Corners. Slated to serve seafood, steak, and pasta—with a focus on contemporary American and Mediterranean flavors and locally sourced ingredients—Noble Fin will debut next summer in the former Dreamland space at 5260 Peachtree Parkway. Details as they arise.

Note: This post has been updated since its original publication.

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