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December 1, 2012

Atlanta Eats Beat: Dec. 2012

KR SteakBar gets a NYC chef, chicken two ways, and Cap’n Crunch-infused whiskey cocktails?!

By Nancy Staab

A flurry of pedigree chefs take new posts, the source for Atlanta’s cult ramen is revealed, Radical Sugar invades No. 246, and One Eyed Stag hosts an epic End of the World repast.

Maialino restaurant, NYC Maialino restaurant, NYC














Danny Meyer/Maialino Alum To Helm KR SteakBar When It Opens in January

When chef/owner Kevin Rathbun of the upcoming KR SteakBar did a staging at NYC’s Italian eatery Del Posto (owned by Lidia and Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali), he returned with a new Chef de Cuisine for his upcoming Peachtree Hills eatery. Chef Chris McDade is an Atlanta native, but has spent recent years as sous chef at Danny Meyer’s famed Maialino restaurant.

Pasta with pork and arugula from Maialino Pasta with pork and arugula from Maialino

Italian for “little pig,” Mailiano is a rustic Roman trattoria that specializes in earthy Northern Italian dishes. Think: salami, bread and cheese stations; egg pasta with braised suckling pig and arugula; white beans with prosciutto; fried arichokes; ravioli with ricotta, spinach and egg yolk--all dishes listed on the current dinner menu at Maialino.

Our guess is that the menu of KR Steakbar will have a similar vibe. The press release describes KR SteakBar as an intimate neighborhood restaurant and bar offering small plates of prime steak and Italian fare. The eatery, housed in ADAC West, is slated to open in late January 2013.


Jonathan St. Hilaire Named New Chef at The Lawrence

Chef Jonathan St. Hilaire Chef Jonathan St. Hilaire

With the departure of Chef Shane Devereaux (The Lawrence, Top Flr, Sound Table)—he’s doing  a stint at Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island----Jonathan St. Hilaire has been named the new Executive Chef at  popular Midtown eatery The Lawrence. St. Hilaire has a Bon Appetit “Best New American Chef in Atlanta” under his belt and stints at Canoe, The Four Seasons and Woodfire Grill on his resumé. He will undoubtedly put his distinct stamp on this neighborly but ambitious eatery.

On The Lawrence's new dinner menu: smoked duck breast with polenta and spinach; pan seared scallops with Napa cabbage, roasted sunchokes, apple cider gastrique; crispy pig ears with Chinese BBQ; NY Strip with wild mushroom ragout; pumpkin tortelloni;  tomato saffron bisque. And did we mention St. Hilaire is an accomplished pastry chef with a French Culinary Institute degree, who recently ran Midtown’s Bakeshop? So there are also delicious new additions to St Lawrence’s dessert menu, such as a pistachio pot de crème with Sorrento orange olive oil and citrus shortbread or an apple confit cake with brown butter caramel ice cream.


Chef Drew Van Leuvan’s Seven Lamps To Open in December at Shops Around Lenox

Chef Drew Van Leuvan (formerly of ONE. Midtown Kitchen), will open his craft bar and restaurant, Seven Lamps, in Buckhead on Friday Dec. 14. You have to love a joint whose menu is divided into the following categories: “Iced Oysters on the Half Shell; Handmade Pastas; Artisan Cheese and Salt; Cured and Whipped.”

Chef Drew van Leuvan Chef Drew van Leuvan

The dinner menu also features regional, from-scratch small plates. On the proposed menu: potted lamb rillettes with blackberry mustard; tagliatelle with Sapelo Island clams, Andouille, jalapeno, soffrito and pecorino; wood grilled hanger steak with smoked broccoli rabe;  and most intriguingly a pan-cultural chocolate Corzetti pasta with duck confit, Chinese shiitakes, soft quail eggs and duck stock. (You may recall that Van Leuvan’s savory chocolate pasta with braised lamb shoulder was celebrated in Food Network Magazine.)  Lunch includes inventive sandwiches such as a Vietnamese veggie sammie or tuna with candied ruby beets, arugula, six-minute egg and fresh chevre on ciabatta. For late night: settle in with a craft cocktail by Arianne Fielder. And if you order the playful Crunch Punch, containing peanut butter Cap’n Crunch infused Redemption Rye Whiskey (!), you will not need dessert. But who wants to skip the roasted honey soufflé glace or baked chocolate mousse with smoked bacon brittle?



The Sugar-Coated Radical Takes Up Residence at No. 246

Almond sea-salt chocolate bar by Sugar Coated Radical. Photo via Almond sea-salt chocolate bar by Sugar Coated Radical. Photo via

Decatur-based Italian restaurant No. 246 is unveiling a new dessert program masterminded by Sugar Coated Radical’Taria Camerino. She may be known as the chocolate whisperer, but Camerino also has a knack for all kinds of pastry and the new menu will focus largely on small pastries meant to be paired with cocktails. (We like this concept already!). Some of the sweets include: Anise donuts, flourless chocolate cake with Citron, maple butter cake with caramel, and a variety of biscotti. A new pastry window at No. 246 will also allow guests to purchase sweets on-the-go such as tunovers, tarts, brioche, cranberry clafoutis, or a chocolate black pepper sable.



Atlanta’s Latest Cult Food: Miso Izakaya’s Lunchtime Ramen

Ramen at Miso Izakaya Ramen at Miso Izakaya

Foodies are buzzing about the lunchtime ramen at Chef Guy Wong’s Miso Izakaya on Edgewood Ave. The Japanese pub regularly sells out of the savory soup: and this is before a winter chill has even set in. With the addition of chef Mihoki Obunai (formerly of Repast) in the kitchen, the soup, which Wong used to serve only late-night, has gone from little-known-secret to cult favorite. Obunai may be dainty but she’s a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen: breaking down and butchering the local pork from Gum Creek Farm that is featured in the steamy bowls. The pork bones are also used to flavor the broth. The hand-made ramen noodles are sourced from Ramen Lab and Sun Noodle, the purveyors of practically every noteworthy noodle shop in NYC and L.A. The 36-hour prep for the ramen and fastidious sourcing goes a long way towards explaining why these soups are so addictive. Typically two soups are offered per day, at $11 per bowl, Tues through Friday from 11:30AM until 2PM. Try the Shoyu with pork shoulder, egg, scallion, spinach or the Tonkotsu with pork belly, woodear mushrooms, egg, scallions, corn. But arrive early, Miso tweets status updates about the daily soup offerings, which tend to run out way before the 2PM cut-off time. Up next: Wong plans ramen pop-ups in another parts of town.


Italian Chicken: Antico Pizza’s Maestro Opens Up a Take-Out Chicken Joint Next Door

A pie from Antico Pizza A pie from Antico Pizza

Speaking of cult Atlanta foods, Giovanni Di Palma’s Naples-style Antico Pizza (complete with authentic Acunto oven) has been winning over food critics since its opening. Owen Wilson even popped by the famed pizza spot in Westside while here filming, and signed a pizza box. Giovanni has been snatching up nearby property to create an entire Italian village with a gelateria, a café and limoncello bar, pasta shop, plus a courtyard with Italian street fare, which will open next spring. But for now he’s content purveying his Naples/Amalfi-Coast style chickens via a new take-out window in a building adjacent to Antico Pizza. The business is called Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano and will offer the birds from 5PM daily until they run out. The menu will be seasonal with several chicken recipes at a time like the signature Sorrento Lemon chicken or the spicy Diavola, plus rotating sides and perhaps a ricotta cheesecake for dessert.

Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano is located at 1099 Hemphill Ave. in Westside, 404.347.3874


Southern Chicken: Chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s Bantam  & Biddy Is Now Open

Continuing his mission to make fast-casual a respected word in cuisine, with his delicious and healthy offerings, Chef Shaun Doty (formerly of Shaun’s and Yeah Burger) now tackles Southern fried chicken-and-three. His newly opened restaurant, Bantam & Biddy (cutely named after two prize poultry breeds), is drawing legions of diners in Ansley Park with its casual counter and banquette seating, family style meals and wholesome offerings. OK the duck fat fries may be a bit of an indulgence, but Doty and fellow chef Lance Gummere (formerly of The Shed at Glenwood) have devised a tasty, locally sourced menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chef Shaun Doty Chef Shaun Doty

The rotisserie birds are regionally pastured poultry, the pork is from Niman Ranch and the “spotted grits” are from Anson Mills. In addition to the featured chicken, menu highlights include: chopped chicken liver on toast, deviled eggs with bourbon-smoked paprika, pork schnitzel, spicy turnip greens, a chicken salad “banh mi” seved on French bread; and fried chicken and waffles. B&B even boasts a bakery case of pies and a clever beer and cocktail menu. This is like a diner concept that’s been refreshed for the 21st-century and given a hip, fun design by The Johnson Studio. A second version will open later at Atlantic Station.


End of the World Dinner at One Eared Stag

The wily Chef Robert Phalen of One-Eared Stag figures if the end of the world is coming with the conclusion of the Mayan Calendar on Dec. 21, then you might as well go out with a mind-boggling good meal. So the chef has called on some of his chef pals like the aforementioned Shaun Doty, Lance Gummere, Taria Camerino, Drew van Leuvan and Guy Wong to cook an epic feast at his Edgewood Ave. eatery.

Chef Robert Phalen. Photo by Chef Robert Phalen. Photo by

In fact, the lineup reads like a who’s who of hot local chefs. Other participants include Bruce Logue (formerly of La Pietra Cucina and of upcoming Boca di Lupo), Josh Hopkins of STG Trattoria, Adam Evans of The Optimist, Drew Belline of No. 246, Peter Dale of The National in Athens, Ryan Smith of Empire State South, Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee of Heirloom BBQ, Tyler Williams of Abattoir and Andy Carson of Bacchanalia. Oh, and Eric Simpkins of The Lawrence will be mixing custom cocktails, because if the end of the world is drawing nigh, a stiff drink is definitely in order. Now here’s the bad news: we hear the apocalyptic dinner is already sold out. The good news: if the Mayan prediction proves false, Phalen may stick around to host a future phenomenal feast. and here's the End of the World Menu in case you are curious: