EAT, DRINK AND MAKE MERRY AT BUZZWORTHY STOPS FROM MIDTOWN AND BUCKHEAD TO ROSWELL AND EAST COBB
Midtown Atlanta’s Colony Square goes to church, Yumbii gets off the road, and fish and Korean spots prepare to welcome the hungry masses yearning to be fed. Read on for details.
Sandy Springs exports a bit of sweetness inside the Perimeter with the new Tupelo Honey Cafe on Roswell Road. The micro-chain from Asheville, N.C., cooks without clichés or caricatures of Southern vittles, preparing, instead, sophisticated renditions of comfort food (fried green tomatoes with goat cheese grits, watermelon salad with country ham, and smoked jalapeño fried-egg BLTs). A robust bar program features craft cocktails, craft beers and responsibly sourced wines. It’s great for families, a night on the town or a pre-show stop on your way to Chastain Park Amphitheatre.
The 50-year-old Colony Square at Peachtree and 14th streets, Midtown’s de facto ground zero, begins a multimillion-dollar makeover by filling the vacant Shout space with 5 Church Atlanta. Expect black-leather banquettes and striking mixed-media artwork by local artists. Plus, every word (40,000 of them) of Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War have been dramatically hand-painted on the ceiling by artist Jon Norris. James Beard Award-winning chef RJ Cooper brings his world-class cooking chops to the menu, which includes a signature 60-second New York strip steak, wasabi-crusted tuna and a lamb burger. 5 Church is just the hot anchor tenant the stale Colony Square needs for a sophisticated buzzworthy energy.
Chef Doug Turbush, who elevated OTP dining with East Cobb’s Seed and Stem Wine Bar, invites you to Marietta for Drift Fish House and Oyster Bar. The modern-day spot serves cold, hot and raw seafood, including specialty cold-water oysters, charred octopus, Maine lobster rolls, she-crab soup, wood-grilled fish tacos, and shrimp and grits. The drink menu includes original nautical-themed craft cocktails, a great selection of craft bottled and draft beer, and the great wines for which Turbush is known.
Inman Park scores another direct hit with Hampton + Hudson, an upscale tavern from one of the guys behind Cypress Plate and Pint, Grain and Tavernpointe. Executive chef Jason Hall has created an eclectic gourmet menu of comfort-food small plates (steak tartare tacos, hot chicken sliders, Wagyu pastrami sandwiches, an Italian porchetta panini that’s slow-roasted for 36 hours). Throw in more than 20 craft beers and a great roster of craft cocktails, and you have a fun, happy place to catch a game, drink or snack with friends, or just hole up after a stroll on the BeltLine.
- Inman Park gets another global cuisine spot this fall. Look for Char Korean Bar & Grill at North Highland Avenue and Elizabeth Street. It will riff on traditional Korean barbecue.
- The Shops of Buckhead has long promised us an upscale steakhouse, last reported to be arriving “around Labor Day.” The restaurant, called American Cut, is from LDV Hospitality, which operates Dolce Italian and Corso Coffee in the same complex. Chef Marc Forgione is in the kitchen at American Cut.
- The team behind The General Muir, Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla will open a “micro-food hall” called The Canteen in the Midtown space vacated by The Spence. Expect more of the same and some surprises, including a General Muir spinoff called TGM Bagel. Launch is expected in early 2017.
- Atlanta has long been a magnet for hip-hop artists who want to do the restaurant thing. Now rapper 2 Chainz jumps into the fray with Escobar Restaurant & Tapas in the Castleberry Hill district near downtown. Expect an opening later this year.
- The popular South Florida tapas concept Bulla Gastrobar will soon open in Midtown, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It’s expected to serve Spanish and Catalan tapas and other small plates. Look for it in the 12th and Midtown development. An opening hasn’t been announced.
- The Metro Diner (from Jacksonville, Fla.) is moving into the former Coldbrew’s Sports Bar & Grill space in Roswell, with plans to serve its brand of comfort food and diner staples, according to Tomorrow’s News Today website. No official word yet on its opening.
- The wildly popular Yumbii Food Truck, which has combined Asian and Mexican flavors since 2010, plans to park permanently at Brookwood Village space sometime this fall. Yumbii has delighted festival-goers and intrepid followers with its tacos, sandwiches and sides. Many will, no doubt, be happy to visit Buckhead and not have to stay mobile to get this great grub.
- Krog Street Market, which offers just about every type of food you can imagine, adds Korean steamed buns this fall. Betty Hsu’s Baos comes from the team behind Decatur’s Makan and will offer pork, duck, seafood and vegetarian buns from a food stall.
- Bid adieu to the Old Fourth Ward’s beloved 4th and Swift, which ended an eight-year run in late July. Chef/owner Jay Swift says he’s focusing on his new spot, Noble Fin, now open in Peachtree Corners. He’ll find far less competition there than directly across from Ponce City Market’s embarrassment of dining riches.
Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and chef news are 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.\