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November 13, 2011

ATL Eats Beat: Nov. 2011

Chef Art Smith talks turkey with Lady Gaga, Greg Best mixes up liquid beets, and Park’s Edge gets a Gordon Ramsay makeover

By Nancy Staab

BLT Steak's private dining room for the Boucherie Dinner BLT Steak's private dining room for the Boucherie Dinner


Chefs on TV

Several of our local chefs are going positively telegenic. Chef Art Smith of the newly opened Southern Art in the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead is teaming up with Lady Gaga for her first ever Thanksgiving special Nov. 24 on ABC. Seems the lady, like Oprah, is a big fan of Smith’s fried chicken but for the holiday special, Smith will be cooking up a Turkey-day take on a Southern classic:  deep-fried turkey and waffles  “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” will also feature an interview of her by Katie Couric and eight musical performances, including a duet with Tony Bennett.

Neighborhood eatery Park’s Edge, in Inman Park, is also getting the TV treatment. It will receive a full-on restaurant makeover as part of hot-tempered Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares series, airing Friday nights on Fox. Stay tuned to see if menu items like lobster mac’n’cheese, grilled peach and burratta salad, pork belly with white bean cassoulet and apple cobbler in a jar make the cut. Not to fear Ramsay did not touch the resto’s award-winning brunch but we hear he did a major revamp to dinner, desserts and cocktails. The Park’s Edge episode is slated to air sometime in December.


New Arrivals

Chef Pano Karatassos Chef Pano Karatassos

Beloved classic Pano’s is making a return to Buckhead…but not as originally planned, at the St. Regis. Instead, the swanky restaurant and lounge will be re-instituted in the upper level of the 103 West event space in the fall of 2012. Bill Johnson has signed on as architect with Pano Karatassos, junior, the  extremely accomplished chef of Kyma, at the helm. No surprise, the projected menu will be Mediterranean and fish-friendly, though we are sure there will be a few chops on the menu as well.

Woodfire Grillhas just hired an ace new pastry pro, Chrysta Poulus (formerly of 4th and Swift, Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch). Stay tuned for her menu adds but we hear she’s brought her signature sticky toffee pudding to her new post. And a recent craft beer dinner concluded with Poulus’ autumnal sweet: pretzel sugar-covered doughnuts, caramel, candied apples and ale ice cream.

Baci by Café at Pharr, a new iteration of the beloved Café at Pharr, is slated to open this month at the new Town Brookhaven center for lunch and dinner service. The standard chicken salad and homemade breads will be on the menu, but it also takes a more global turn with Angry Mussels with bacon and Serrano chiles, Hong Kong style Chilean sea bass, a Baci burger and a Kobe beef rib-eye.


Carnivore Cravings


It seems Atlantans can’t get enough of the meat market. Park 75 at the Four Seasons hotel was revamped into a modern steak house last year and now are offering an off-menu special cut each week. You have to know to ask for it. Past specials have included a 20 oz. New Zealand elk rack to a more domestic veal chop grilled over pecan wood and topped with huckleberry brandy sauce. The secret password to get your mitts on this meat: ask your waiter “ What’s rare?”


Spotted Trotter goods Spotted Trotter goods

Spotted Trotter, the charcuterie purveyor beloved by esteemed local chefs, now has a bricks-and-mortar shop in Kirkwood for those who don’t care to hunt him down at local farmer’s markets at 1610 Hosea L. Williams Drive. Stock up on gruyere, wild mushroom and pork crepinettes; brand rabbit boudin; sweet hot fennel sausage and toasted black pepper and sorghum syrup salumi at this boutique charcuterie created by Kevin Ouzts (a French Laundry graduate).

New executive chef Cyrille Holota (Joel, FAB) has wasted no time bringing his special Boucherie Dinners to BLT Steak at the W Atlanta. Each month has featured a different type of protein, with the whole animal cooking series concluding this Thursday Dec. 1 with a focus on lamb. Highlights of the menu include a Mediterranan lamb tenderloin with fresh harissa and couscous and a herb-crusted lamb rack with shallot confit and thyme lamb jus.  Dinners are $65 per person with an additional $20 for wine pairings. Call 404.577.7601 for reservations.

In other meat-centric news, chef Joshua Hopkins will be leaving Abattoir. No word yet on where he might land.


Gourmet Accolades


Vingenzo’s chef Michael Bologna was invited to cook his signature Neapolitan dishes at the legendary James Beard House on Dec. 1. Sample menu items include: Asiago encrusted baby artichokes, Osso Buco filled Tortelli with gremolada and roasted dei cream; pan roasted halibut with a Sicilian pistachio marscapone sauce with baby root vegetables; brised Riverview Farms pork shoulder and crip pork belly with creamy polent and glazed cipollini compote and Bologna’s signature dessert “Semplicemente in Bianco e Nero:”  Bufala Mozzarella, chocolate mirror glaze, and chesnut honey balsamic strawberries Candoni Muscato. Can’t make it to NYC? Not to fear—Bologna will reprise his James Beard dishes at his Woodstock resto on Jan. 29. The dinner is $75 per person. Call 770.924.9133 for reservations.


Greg Best, chief mixologist at Holeman & Finch, mixed up a killer golden beet cocktail for a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. Here’s the recipe:

Beet Cocktails Beet Cocktails

Golden Years

1 ounce Old Tom gin

 3/4 ounce pressed and strained juice of golden beet  ½ ½ ounce Lillet blonde

1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice "

½ ounce honey syrup (4:1 honey to water)

2 dashes Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6

1 pinch cracked black pepper

1 pinch smoked sea salt (for garnish)


Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and double strain into a room-temperature stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish by dusting surface of drink with a small pinch of smoked sea salt.


Fave Fall Menu Adds


Butternut Squash Gnocchi with pork meatballs, kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, brown butter broth at Parish

Pork ribs, pumpkin puree, fried squash, aged balsamic vinegar at Cakes and Ale

Mercier Orchards Gala Apple with goat cheese mousse, roasted mushroom and sherry caramel at One. Midtown Kitchen

Braised lamb shank, glazed sweet potatoes and braised greens at Miller Union

Kabocha squash free form ravioli, brown butter veal sauce, amaretto, shaved parmesan, sage at Tap

Crème Brulee-filled roast apple late harvest, caramel, apple sorbet at Empire State South

Grilled veal chop with squash cannelloni, roasted porcini, rapini, saffron veal jus atLa Fourchette

Georgia rainbow trout with hakurei turnips, mustard greens, apple and bacon consommé at Bacchanalia

Roasted beet salad, cider reduction, toasted walnuts, crispy bacon at Lobby Bar and Bistro

Wood grilled Kurobuta pork belly, glazed Scarlett queen turnips, beech mushrooms, parsnip ribbons, red chile-muscadine glaze at 4th and Swift


Fave Fall Cocktails


Scarecrow: pumpkin ale, spiced rum, brown sugar chai, orange, on the rocks at JCT. Kitchen

Apache Sour:  Sotol, Apple Jack, lemon, brown sugar and egg white at Escorpion

Shantytown Wood:  Maison Prunier VSOP, African Nectar Tea, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice liquer and cardamom syrup at Serpa’s True Food

Pumpkin Pie:  Cruzan rum, pumpkin pie spice, Grand Marnier and orange juice at HD1