Loading...
 

Article

Friday April 3, 2009 09:00 am EDT

“Excuse me while I go to the restroom,” I told Wayne.

“Again?” he replied.

It was my third visit during our meal at Spoon (749 Moreland Ave., 404-624-4713) in East Atlanta. The same people who operate Spoon on Marietta Street on the Westside have opened this Thai restaurant.

My continual visits to the bathroom had nothing to do with the usual reasons. I was already weeping and sneezing 24...

| more...

Article

Friday March 27, 2009 09:00 am EDT
Linton Hopkins embraces small plates at his flagship restaurant | more...

Article

Friday March 20, 2009 09:00 am EDT
Paul Albrecht takes his show up the road | more...

Article

Friday March 13, 2009 04:00 am EDT
French/American in old-school Buckhead | more...

Article

Tuesday March 10, 2009 04:00 am EDT

It’s always something. There we were at Shaun’s (1029 Edgewood Ave., 404-577-4358), enjoying a three-course meal for $12, when the Most Obnoxious Human Being on the Face of the Earth presented himself to his friends at a nearby table.

He was about 100 years old trying to look 25 — the approximate age of the companion he had in tow. Inebriated, he was a high-volume, seething mass of...

| more...

Article

Wednesday March 4, 2009 04:00 am EST

The advent of the gastropub has brought us good food and lots to drink under one roof for usually good prices. But it's also created a health hazard. I'm talking about second-hand smoke.

Because most of these places qualify as bars, smoking is permitted under the law. Indeed, there's even the case of the Vortex, which converted its official designation from restaurant to bar to let people...

| more...

Article

Wednesday February 25, 2009 12:04 am EST

Every time I go to Decatur, I feel like I'm an extra in a movie set in a small town. Friendly people pace the sidewalks with their friendly dogs or head to friendly coffee shops like Java Monkey, where a poetry reading was underway Sunday night when we passed by. Really, in Decatur, I feel like Mr. Rogers.

Please, won't you be my neighbor? I'll buy you big mugs of draft beer at Leon's Full...

| more...

Article

Wednesday February 18, 2009 12:04 am EST

I received a small but noisy flurry of e-mails last week from foodies who went to the opening of Miso Izakaya (619 Edgewood Ave. 678-701-0128), a Japanese gastropub that has seemed to be on the verge of opening for months.

But when it finally opened last week, first-timers were disappointed to find that the izakaya, which takes its name from "sakaya" for "sake shop," didn't yet have a license...

| more...

Article

Wednesday February 11, 2009 12:04 am EST

"I am from India," the man who owns Luna Nueva (1150-B Euclid Ave. 404-521-3555), a new Mexican restaurant in Little Five Points, announced by way of introducing himself. "And my wife is from Iowa." He whipped out his iPhone and showed us her picture.

He explained that the two of them were in Mexico City when they dined at a popular restaurant that, it turned out, had lost its lease. "So," he...

| more...

Article

Wednesday February 4, 2009 12:04 am EST

"May I see your ID?" our server, Jason, asked.

Wayne and I looked at one another, incredulous. "Are you kidding?" I asked. We were paying for our meal – not buying alcohol – and in more than 20 years of reviewing restaurants and paying with a credit card, I've never been asked for my ID.

Jason grimaced and said, no, he wasn't kidding. We handed him our IDs and he studied them closely,...

| more...

Article

Wednesday January 28, 2009 12:04 am EST
Jean-Georges releases his 'greatest hits' in Atlanta | more...

Article

Wednesday January 21, 2009 12:04 am EST

The Grant Park community has been feeling a mixture of sadness and anger since the killing of bartender John Henderson at the Standard on Memorial Drive on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

As has been widely reported, John was closing the bar with fellow bartender Ashley Elder when four young men broke through the front door. They shot John once in one leg and, as they were leaving, fired shots through the...

| more...

Article

Wednesday January 14, 2009 12:04 am EST

"Are you here for gluten-free pizza?" the young woman at the door of Pizza Fusion (2233 Peachtree Road, Suite M, 404-351-9334) asked us.

"Of course," I said. "Isn't that the main selling point about this place?"

"Well," she said, "I need to tell you that we have sold out of the gluten-free crust."

Wayne and I looked at one another and gasped. The young woman tilted her head and cooed, "I'm...

| more...

Article

Wednesday January 7, 2009 12:04 am EST

Here is what William Grimes, former dining critic of the New York Times, wrote on June 27, 2001, not long after the opening of Craft:

"Craft invites diners to take a trip. The destination is a simpler, cleaner, more honest America, a place where the corn is bright yellow, the bread exhales clouds of yeasty sweetness and the fish swim in water as pure as Evian."

What is it about Americans that...

| more...

Article

Wednesday December 31, 2008 12:04 am EST

Trends of the last year?

Slow-roasted meats. More tapas. Local produce. Organic meat. Fancy burgers. Gastropubs. Fixed-price menus. Chocolate. Mainstreaming of molecular cuisine. Yummy scrap meat. Gluten-free dining. Tea. Chef-driven steak houses.

And then, looking ahead: poverty and bad health. No, they're not exactly dining trends but they're certainly beginning to play a significant role...

| more...

Article

Wednesday December 24, 2008 12:04 am EST

Pity Richard Blais. The brilliant runner-up in Bravo's "Top Chef: Chicago" has a local history of jumping from one restaurant kitchen to the next.

Critics – by which I mean average foodies – grouse repeatedly about Blais' peripatetic ways. They want him to stick to one kitchen for a few years, pushing out the same menu night after night, refining his skills, holding his nose to the grindstone,...

| more...

Article

Wednesday December 17, 2008 12:04 am EST

When a friend saw me perusing the website for Harry Bissett's (360 Pharr Road, 404-425-5995), he got excited. A Georgia Bulldogs fan, he's eaten several times at the Athens restaurant, which has been serving New Orleans-style cooking since 1986. He was happy to learn that a clone of the restaurant opened here a few months ago. "You'll enjoy it," he promised.

I've never eaten in the Athens...

| more...

Article

Wednesday December 10, 2008 12:04 am EST

Last week, Our Fearless Leader finally uttered the "r" word: recession. Never mind that anyone who has rolled a cart in a grocery store or coasted to a gas pump has known the word has been applicable for months. Now it's an official part of reality. We've been in a recession for a year.

Given that, it's surprising that restaurants, especially higher-end restaurants, continue to open. My bank...

| more...

Article

Wednesday December 3, 2008 12:04 am EST

"It's not liver."

Wayne and I looked at one another. What we were eating was obviously not liver. More important, it was not lung. The menu's fanciful description of the dish was "Husband and Wife Lung Slices."

Instead, it was tender slices of beef along with somewhat rubbery slices of beef tendon, tossed in a spicy-hot sauce with some vegetables. I'd asked our server at Man Chun Hong (5953...

| more...

Article

Wednesday November 26, 2008 12:04 am EST

"Is it OK to use religion as a decorating theme?" I asked Wayne.

"It certainly wouldn't work if the images were Christian," he told me, "but this works."

We had just taken our seats before the 10-feet-tall brass Buddha at Aja (3500 Lenox Road, Suite 100, 404-231-0001), Tom Catherall's newest member of his Here to Serve Restaurants group.

"So," I told Wayne, "you don't think a 10-feet-tall...

| more...

Article

Wednesday November 19, 2008 12:04 am EST

Talk about your déjà vu all over again. When I heard that a crêperie had opened in Smyrna, I became immediately nostalgic.

Not for Paris, but for Lenox Square in the 1970s. Back then, one of the mall's most popular spots was the Magic Pan, where I got my first taste of crepes. The place, part of a chain that went bankrupt in the '80s but was recently revived, featured a weird machine that...

| more...

Article

Wednesday November 12, 2008 12:04 am EST

It's been a long time since I visited a restaurant that had much of a wait. But I drove to The Original El Taco (1186 N. Highland Ave., 404-873-4656) three times before I actually got a table.

During my first two visits, there were 40-minute waits, so I left. On the third try, I called ahead as we were leaving and put Wayne's name on the waiting list. That way, we only had a 20-minute wait...

| more...

Article

Wednesday November 5, 2008 12:04 am EST

Over a year ago, I described Edgewood Avenue as undergoing "gentrification." A reader of the online version of my column left an enraged comment about how much she hates the word "gentrification."

I had never really given the word much thought. In ordinary usage, it refers to a formerly poor urban neighborhood that is overtaken by upwardly mobile types. They end up pushing out the poor folks....

| more...

Article

Wednesday October 29, 2008 12:04 am EDT

They just keep on coming, the gastropubs. And they just keep getting better, too. As I noted in a column about the Porter earlier this month, gastropubs are the perfect restaurants for our economic times. They allow restaurateurs to exploit the higher profit margin of booze sales and they give diners good food at relatively low prices.

The latest to open is the BookHouse Pub (736 Ponce de Leon...

| more...

Article

Wednesday October 15, 2008 12:04 am EDT

Dining out is spooky these days. I walk into one empty or near-empty restaurant after another. If I comment on how lax business seems to be, I'm usually chastised with a superstitious reply.

"Shhhh. Don't say there's a recession, or people will start to think there really is one and they'll stop going to restaurants" is a typical response.

"But many people have already stopped going," I...

| more...