PIZZA, PASTA, BISCUITS AND BARBECUE: ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR THE LATEST HAPPENINGS NOW?
DOUBLE ZERO has found a happy home near Emory University. Callie’s and Holler & Dash are, or will be, delivering the sort of biscuits of which dreams are made. And we note two passings in the metro Atlanta chef community. Read on.
When Double Zero, the modern Italian/Neapolitan pizza mainstay on Roswell Road, said “ciao” last year, many Sandy Springers wept as if they were at an Italian opera.
The lease was up, so the Castelucci Group — which also operates Cooks and Soldiers, Sugo Kitchen and the Iberian Pig — moved to Emory Village intown. The area, a promising nexus for Emory University, Oakhurst and Morningside, never seems able to keep a great idea around. That might change now.
Double Zero, named for a type of Italian fine flour used in pizza and pasta, has hauled its colossal big brick ovens to the old Ink and Elm space, which, sadly, was too stylish and pricey to sustain itself when school was out.
The new dining room is a more basic space with an open, elevated kitchen, where diners can watch executive chef Edwin Molina and staff cook some of the tastiest Italian cuisine in the city: arancini with smoked brisket; grilled octopus; fresh pastas like scarpinòcc (skar-PEE-nohtch), carbonara and orecchiette; big fluffy Neapolitan pizzas loaded with splendid authentic Italian ingredients.
Calling Double Zero’s food approachable is an understatement. It’s rich and comforting, equally welcoming for kids, students and Italophiles craving great pizza and local craft beer.
The Casteluccis are on a roll, with a soon-to-be announced spot opening this spring in Krog Street Market.
Atlanta attracts some of the best talent in the country and great ideas that have been exported. Like baseball, prospects develop their talents in the minor leagues until they’re called up to the bigs. And so Atlanta is now home to the second outpost of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.
Callie’s began in Charleston. Carrie Morey seems like an ordinary mom who just wanted to make golden, buttery, from-scratch biscuits to honor her mom, also named Callie. But from her pursuit sprouted a full-blown national biscuit (“The Today Show,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” The New York Times).
You can taste what all the hype is about at the corner of Virginia and North Highland avenues. Look in the front window. See the hand-rolling and stamping of dough. See perfect little mounds of Southern goodness placed into the oven.
The biscuits, sold in pairs, are slightly crusty on the outside, flaky and buttery on the inside. They come in traditional buttermilk, cheese and chive, or shortcake style. You can fill them with wonderfully salty chopped country ham, black pepper bacon, pimento cheese, a creamy sweet cinnamon spread or (just in Atlanta) sweet peaches.
Whether you’re a Southerner, Northerner or a biscuit novice, we dare you to try Callie’s biscuits and not love them.
There’s another smokin’ hot import in town, this one from Savannah.
Pitmaster Bryan Furman was a welder when he discovered his gift for smoking meats, roasting a whole hog for his daughter’s birthday in 2010. Four years later he and wife Nikki opened their own place, sourcing only purebred, pasture-raised heritage-breed hogs smoked over cherry and oak. B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque earned praise from Southern Living magazine before an equipment fire burned it down in June 2015. It rebounded four months later; since fall, the second B’s has been going whole hog in a cozy house just off Bolton Road in Riverside.
B’s is South Carolina-style all the way — soft, smoky and salty meats that require no sauces. Pulled pork, chicken, brisket and ribs are offered along with such sides as amazing crispy pig skins, fried pickles, collard greens, cracklin’ cornbread and slaw.
Holler & Dash Biscuit House, a new fast-casual operation from the Cracker Barrel chain, is coming to Westside Ironworks in late spring. Westside Ironworks is an adaptive reuse project on Howell Mill Road. Look for biscuits like the Kickback Chicken (fried chicken, goat cheese, green onions and sweet pepper jelly) and Strawberry & Dash (whipped Creole cream cheese, strawberries, powdered sugar). Still in place are the 45-foot-high exposed roofs with industrial wood and steel trusses, as well as massive entrance doors and windows.
Fifth Group Restaurants is once again betting on Buckhead, with a third edition of Ecco, its European concept. Look for the Johnson Studio design to open in mid-2017, with 240 seats inside and a 50-seat landscaped patio. Ecco Buckhead will sit at Peachtree and Wieuca roads next to Phipps Plaza and the under-construction AC Hotel by Marriott. Ecco began in Midtown, then added a spot at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. … Fifth Group also has a new South City Kitchen, on the ground floor of the 3350 Peachtree tower.
When the butcher-inspired Cockentrice closed at Krog Street Market in November, there was speculation that other Megan and Kevin Ouzts projects would follow. Now the hot-dog stand Frankly and the Spotted Trotter Market are gone. The Spotted Trotter in Kirkwood, the Outzs’ boutique charcuterie/butcher shop, remains open. … Toco Hill’s 30-year-old Famous Pub, a haven for sports fans, closed just before Christmas, done in apparently, by the area’s continually changing demographic. … BLT Steak in downtown’s W Hotel closed on New Year’s Eve, but was relaunched as a casual, modern bistro called The W Kitchen. … Madre + Mason, the Latin American/Southern restaurant in Lenox Park, has closed.
Foodies should take note of two passings. Richard Thomas, the man behind the healthy and casual 24-hour institution R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill in Buckhead died Jan. 25 at age 82. … Angus Brown, chef and co-owner of 8Arm and Octopus Bar, died earlier in the month at age 35.
Food for Thought is Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeping you up to date on openings, closings and what chefs are up to. Suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.