February 28, 2012
Atlanta Eats Beat: Feb. 2012
Musical-chair chefs, new restos, and deals to steal
By Nancy Staab
A Roswell restaurant renaissance, barrel-aged cocktails, wine six-packs, and the ATL connection to Lady Gaga’s new resto highlight February’s Crave Page.
A fond farewell to Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy, who departs his post as executive chef at St. Regis Atlanta and Paces 88 to pick up the equally prestigious post of Resort Executive Chef and Director of Culinary at Sea Island. The native French chef may be young, but he studied under the legendary Paul Bocuse and already has a Master Chef of France designation from the Maîtres Cuisiner de France (the only chef in Georgia to have earned this distinction). No word yet on his new starting menu at the five-star Sea Island resort, but Atlantans may take comfort that his dishes are a mere hop, skip down the road to a gorgeous beach resort.
Roswell is enjoying a mini dining renaissance of late. The two latest arrivals are Table & Main and Little Alley Steak. Table & Main opened late January with Chef Ted Lahey at the helm. If that name sounds familiar, he was recently named "hottest chef" by Eater Atlanta and prior to chefdom, played in a rock band that opened for such acts as Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic. His other distinctions include stints at Hugh Acheson’s Five and Ten, Pricci, and Michael White’s Fiamma Osteria in NYC. Despite Lahey’s Italian leanings, the menu at Table and Main is decidedly American, simple and unpretentious. Highlights include: chicken & dumplings; a “preservation platter” of cured meats and cheeses; pan roasted flounder with sweet corn and butter-bean succotash and truffled corn jus; country-fried, biscuit-breaded veal medallions with sawmill gravy and green beans; and pie of the day.
The just-opened Roswell restaurant Little Alley Steak, also on Canton Road, comes from the team behind Inc. Street Food and Salt Factory Pub. It is described as a “ late 1800’s butcher-inspired neighborhood steakhouse” with an appropriately rustic atmosphere. The beef will be sourced from Chicago-based Meats by Linz. Dinner-only menu items include classic steak house appetizers and sides like roasted bone marrow, Maine lobster fritters, and creamy spinach brulee; raw oysters; seafood; and of course all manner of steaks served with table-side-prepared sauces of your choice like a yuzu béarnaise or mushroom, shallot & brandy. Handcrafted bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle and “call ahead decanting” add flair to the drink menu. Chef Robert McDonough boasts C&S Oyster Bar and Maxim’s (Paris) on his resume, so don’t discount this new entry in the Roswell restaurant wars.
Congrats to One Eared Stag, No. 246, Seed Kitchen & Bar, The Bakery at Cakes & Ale and Alma Cocina, which AJC dining critic John Kessler just named “Best New Restaurants of 2011.”
Want to know what Lady Gaga eats? Then check out the new Joanne Trattoria, which recently opened on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is run by Gaga’s parent. And there is an Atlanta connection to this eatery as well: Chef Art Smith of Southern Art serves as Joanne’s executive chef. It seems the pop star met Art via the Oprah show and has been a fan of his fare ever since. Early reviews of the resto are a bit mixed, but many kind words have been spilled over Italian-with Southern-twist menu items like the six-layer lasagna, Papa G’s chicken with sweet Italian sausage, and the veal oso bucco with creamy polenta.
Closer to home we’ve got some new details about Lure, the casual seafood spot set to open this July on Crescent Ave. by the Fifth Group (South City Kitchen, Ecco). The menu will include “coastal cuisines from all over the world,” oysters and other raw bar staples, seafood “charcuterie” and entrees such as sautéed Pompano with Silver Queen corn and curry or grilled whole Georgia trout with pickled ramp butter cooked in a charcoal-burning oven. Bill Peace and ai3 are in charge of the décor, which will naturally draw inspiration from the ocean and elements of the design will evoke billowing sailcloths. Stay tuned for more details closer to opening date.
Holeman & Finch has a famed Sunday Brunch. Now that popularity has spilled over to new, Saturday lunch service. Menu highlights includes lots of small plates like: Hand-slice Caw Caw Creek ham with biscuits and honey, deviled eggs; pimento cheese; pots of chicken liver pate with apple cider jelly and pickled green tomato; and farm egg carbonara. Our interests are piqued by “Loco Moco” (spiced ham, sunnyside-up egg, red rooster sauce, foie gras, sorghum teriyaki) and something labeled as “Lamb Fries” (served with vanilla rye whiskey syrup, pickled vegetables and herb salad). Famous house cocktails are divided into the lighter “errands to run” or more hardcore “the day is shot,” with recipes from several Atlanta guest mixologists like Miles MacQuarrie and Paul Calvert in addition to H&F’s ace team of Greg Best and Andy Minchow.
In related news, check out H&F Bottle Shop’s take on the classic six-pack. In this case it’s a mix of 6 hand-selected reds, whites and sparkling wines curated by the expert H&F team and sold at a bargain $60 a pop. For larger orders please reserve in advance. Sample six packs, which change monthly, might include a refreshing Cava, a bright Sauvignon Blanc from Gascony and rich white from Napa. The reds might include a smooth Barbera and Sangiovese from Italy and delicious Monastrell from Spain.
Cocktails more your style? Then check out the new barrel-aged cocktail program at Livingstons’ swanky bar in Midtown. The Negroni and Manhattan cocktail have been aged five to seven weeks in whiskey barrels to created a cocktail that is even richer, darker and smoother than the classic counterparts. According to Livingstons mixologist Rob Breen, “barrel-aging takes away the bite of the drink and allows for more harmonized flavors.”
Park 75 at Four Seasons has gone to the dogs. Well, on Wednesdays anyways. Chef Robert Gerstenecker has added several gourmet haute dogs to his Wednesday Burger Bar lunch line up. The ever rotating menu will include several choices such as My Big Fat Greek Sausage with lamb, dill mustard mayo, cucumber, tomato and red onion or The Chihuahua with jalapeno pork, green tomato salsa, cilantro and lime mustard.
We are loving the latest and veddy Brit. addition to the local street cart coalition, Banged Up and Mashed. The truck is wrapped in painted Union Jacks and it’s run by a U.K. native. The basic menu is full of British staples, natch, like Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips and bangers and mash. Check their facebook page for their daily whereabouts: http://www.facebook.com/bangedupandmashed
Congrats to Chef Drew Van Leuvan of One. Midtown Kitchen, whose chocolate pasta was recently featured in Food Network Magazine. Savory rather than sweet, Leuvan pairs his chocolate-colored and bitter cocoa- powder-flavored linguine with pickled cherries, goat cheese and braised lamb shoulder. The menu item has since become a best-seller at One Midtown Kitchen. Or: get an order to go and create your own toppins via pappardellesonline.com.
You can now fulfill your late-night Neapolitan pizza cravings with Cibe e Beve’s new “10 at 10” program. All the wood-fired pizzas on the menu are just $10 after 10PM. Pair the pie with one of mixologist Justin Haddaway’s killer cocktails like the Tuxedo T-Shirt or a Breathless Mahoney--with unsweetened chocolate tincture sourced from Madagascar among the ingredients!