EAST (CUISINE) MEETS WEST (BEER) IN CHAMBLEE, PLUS NEWS ON HOT ‘QUE AND REALLY, REALLY COLD SWEETS.
EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, all around the town. We’ve got up-to-date news on greater Atlanta’s dining scene, from Midtown to Buckhead and Marietta, to Sandy Springs. We invite you to dig in.
Atlanta’s sprawl of undiscovered epicurean pockets expands to Chamblee with Hopstix, Asian-fusion cooking with a raw bar and an honest-to-goodness American brewpub all in one. The menu offers a greatest hits of the Pacific Rim: sashimi and nigari, special sushi rolls, ramen, a variety of rice bowls, and poke and robata grill. Home brews like the Trackside Pale (the first commercial beer brewed in Chamblee), the Gold Line Ale and Hopsession pair nicely with the diverse menu.
On Collier Road in Midtown Atlanta, the all-new DAS BBQ is smoking meats with lots of hickory and pecan. Pitmaster Stephen Franklin delivers tender pulled pork, pork ribs, sausage, smoked chicken wings and, of course, Texas-style smoked brisket — large slabs of lean beef married to a strip of savory, gelatinous fat to bring home the flavor. The sides range from grilled creamed corn and collards, to brisket-bark pinto beans and mac-and-cheese. Complete the experience with a white cocoa-banana pudding and a Creature Comfort Tropicalia beer from the tap.
Two of the city’s high-end institutions are offering new variations on their experiences without diners having to go “all in.”
Brazilian steakhouse mainstay, Fogo de Chão has introduced a less formal “Bar Fogo” menu that lets diners savor bites and sips as opposed to the traditional meat-a-thon format of an all-you-can-eat churrascaria. Its lineup of small plates includes braised beef sliders, Brazilian empanadas stuffed with pincanha (the house special top sirloin) and crispy parmesan polenta fries. Wash it down with a strawberry hibiscus caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) made with signature cachaça while it’s in season. Available at both the Buckhead and Dunwoody locations.
Buckhead’s Atlas is taking a similar step in the form of The Tavern at Atlas, a luxe indoor-outdoor setting attached to its namesake. Artfully plated small dishes — petit lobster pot pie, wagyu beef sliders and beet tartare — go with a diverse wine-by-the-glass list, craft cocktails and Instagram-worthy desserts. Now you can to sit among the masterworks and sample the five-star fare without committing to a multi-course meal.
BeltLine star Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall will soon have two new sibling restaurants occupying the former H. Harper Station. One will be called Golden Eagle, reports say. Its creators promise a full-service “workingman’s tavern.” The second concept, Muchacho, will offer counter service and casual West Coast staples like breakfast and lunch tacos, toasts, grain bowls and poke bowls. Both openings are said to be imminent.
This summer expect to see Bar Americano and Bar Crema from the folks behind Decatur’s The Pinewood and Ponce City Market’s The Mercury. Both are Italian-themed. Bar Americano will serve lunch and dinner; the adjoining Bar Crema will focus more on Italian desserts, gelato and coffees. The duo will open in the former Prohibition space at 56 E. Andrews Drive NW in Buckhead.
After watching a video on Asian “rolled” ice cream, 19-year-old entrepreneur Kyle Bilig decided to try an Americanized version. He’s calling it Sweet Charlie’s. Rolled ice cream is a made-to-order phenomenon that rolls ice cream or frozen yogurt, along with flavors and toppings, on a surface that is minus 20 degrees. Sweet Charlie’s plans a late spring opening next to Superica on Roswell Road in Buckhead. Forbes calls it “the cool new trend in Asian sweets.”
Kaiser’s Chop House has arrived in Sandy Springs’ burgeoning Roswell Road corridor. The collaboration comes with the impressive pedigrees of chefs Peter Kaiser and Kevin Rathbun, and will focus on quality cuts of meat, superior ingredients, and a boutique wine and cocktail program.
Reports point to the upcoming opening of an 18,000-sq. ft. food hall that will be called Marietta Square Market and is expected to feature multiple restaurants a la Krog Street and Ponce City markets. The development, just off the Marietta Square, will resemble a turn-of-the-century railroad depot. A summer 2018 opening is planned.
Krog Street Market has another casualty: The Luminary, “Top Chef” alum Eli Kirshtein’s brasserie-style restaurant, said au revoir March 31. Suitors wanting to nab the spot are said to be lining up to take their shot. … Ray’s Rio Bravo in Sandy Springs recently said adios. The original Rio was a beloved local Tex-Mex chain that thrived in the 1990s until founder Ray Schoenbaum sold it to a corporate conglomerate. The suits drove it into the ground by 2002. Schoenbaum tried to get the queso flowing again last August, but the public said no thanks. … Finally, the last Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles, on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, took the midnight train to out-of-business land after a series of family and legal difficulties.
Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and what chefs are up to throughout the greater metro area. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.