STEAK IN VININGS, ‘BURGUSHI’ AT PERIMETER MALL AND RUMBLINGS AT COLONY SQUARE ALL FEED CHATTER ABOUT WHAT’S GONE AND WHAT’S NEXT
SUBURBAN STEAK, a ritzy resurrection and a soul singer’s namesake restaurant leaving on a midnight train from Georgia. All are making news on the ever-changing Atlanta dining scene.
- Who says Buckhead has cornered the market on great steak? Restaurant group 101 Concepts chose Vinings for its 101 Steak, a spot with all the swagger of an upscale intown steakhouse and the mellow vibe of an easygoing neighborhood. Executive chef Joe Ahn summons his Culinary Institute of America training and his experience at Soho of Vinings and Pricci to fuse Asian, Italian and Southern influences. Cold water oysters, Skuna Bay salmon and Berkshire pork chops smoked on a Big Green Egg join classic renditions of steaks and chops on the menu. The restaurant has 100 wines by the glass and more than 50 reserve wines with which to wash it all down.101 Steak has been open since just before the Fourth of July in the former Social Vinings location.
- The South African-themed Yebo Beach Haus has commandeered the former Coast location on West Paces Ferry Road near the Atlanta History Center. It generates a sophisticated Hamptons-meets-Capetown experience, serving peri-peri prawn tacos, yellowtail crudo, linguine and clams, lamb chops and bobotie bunny chow, a sweet South African ground beef curry dish served in a bread bowl. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch, expect the same attention paid to the cocktail, wine and craft beer program as the others in Justin Anthony’s restaurant group (10 Degrees South, Biltong Bar and Cape Dutch).
Burgers and sushi vie for the spotlight at Cowfish Burger Sushi Bar, now occupying the former Goldfish space in Perimeter Mall. Sushi snobs (like me) will appreciate the quality of nigiri and sashimi, which come slightly chilled over ice. Sushi mainstreamers will find their raw-fish connection in a large lineup of fusion sushi rolls (like the Tropical Storm Roll made with crab, salmon, yellowtail, eel and sriacha). Cowfish’s beef burgers, half-pound certified angus beef behemoths, are sure to be please carnivores, but if bovine isn’t your jam, there are 18 burger varieties, including turkey, lamb, bison and camel (yes farm-raised camel). If you still can’t make up your mind, then the nine varieties of “Burgushi,” a burger/sushi hybrid, may be for you.
- Colony Square continues remaking itself with the acquisition of Buckhead’s Establishment. Get cozy inside the Montana-esque ranch atmosphere full of reclaimed woods and rich leathers, or breathe in the autumn air on the rustic outdoor terrace overlooking 14th Street. Chef Aaron Avers cooks creative and prettily plated comfort food like grilled buffalo shrimp with blue cheese mousse, baked goat cheese mac-and-cheese and a juicy brisket sandwich that is slow-braised in red wine and slathered with a perfect house-made horseradish sauce. Handcrafted cocktails are as excellent here as they were at the former Buckhead location.
- The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead was once home to The Dining Room, one of the top-rated restaurants in the Southeast before its closing in 2009. Now the Ritz announces that it will open an “inspiring restaurant and bar concept” in late summer 2017.
- Chef Shaun Doty of Bantam and Biddy, which closed in September, has announced that his forthcoming effort, The Federal, will open on Crescent Avenue in Midtown. Inspired by the nearby Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the menu promises to be “souvenirs of his life” including steak frites from Doty’s time Belgium and chopped liver from his culinary trysts with Katz’s Delicatessen in New York City. No opening date has been set.
- The first location of Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads plans to rise in a new mixed-use development on North Highland Avenue sometime this fall. The Poncey-Highland spot will serve artisan pizza, salads, flatbreads, pasta, small plates, sandwiches, and premium gelato and sorbet.
- The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Italian food colossus Eataly is talking with Colony Square about a possible Atlanta outpost. The chain has 28 locations worldwide, including a 50,000-square-foot version in Manhattan that houses various restaurants, food & beverage counters, bakery, retail and a cooking school. Its arrival would be a grande affare for Atlanta.
- With racketeering charges facing the owner of Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles (and Knight’s son), the Lithonia location near the Mall at Stonecrest has closed. At last report, the eateries on Peachtree Street downtown and on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta remain open for now, operating under state receivership.
- Seven Hens, which offered schnitzel in seven “globally inspired” flavors, closed its only two locations — in Decatur and Sandy Springs. Owners at one time envisioned a national chicken schnitzel chain. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both locations will stay “global.” A Korean street-food concept will fill the Decatur space and Poke Bar, fast-casual seafood from Los Angeles, will take the Sandy Springs space.
Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and what chefs are up to in one of three categories — well done (reasons for praise), simmering (what’s in the works) and toast (what’s closed, etc.). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.