SOMETHING FISHY IS HAPPENING IN ALPHARETTA, WITH PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA PLANNED FOR BUCKHEAD AND OTHER METRO LOCATIONS.
WHAT’S THERE to eat, you ask? We suggest fishin’ up Ga. 400, checking the latest on Buford Highway, double eagles in Dunwoody and rockin’ at Philips Arena. Read on for details.
Chef Mark Taft’s latest creation is Brine Seafood Shack, a stand-alone spot in the new phase of the Avalon mixed-use development in Alpharetta. Brine describes itself as Cape Cod-meets Santa Monica, an East Coast-meets-West Coast homage to New England and SoCal.
Taft, owner of Marietta’s Chicken and the Egg and the forthcoming FEED, created a menu with raw cold-water oysters, baked oysters, fried oysters, broiled clams, fried clams, clam rolls, fresh grilled fish, Portuguese fish stew and fish tacos. Eat downstairs in the nautically themed dining room or head upstairs to the open-air, outdoor seating. Brine has a retractable roof over the bar, which keeps out sun and rain while you sample snacks, beachy cocktails and tiki-style drinks and watch the pedestrians below.
The owners of Sweet Hut bakeries have cracked an important code for bringing authentic Asian cuisine to the average Western eater: create beautiful, modern and clean spaces brimming with energy; serve delicious, approachable food; and the crowds will come. Now they’re offering Food Terminal on Buford Highway, a pristine super-modern yet casual dining room serving spectacular Malaysian cuisine. You could be in downtown Tokyo, Taipei or Kuala Lumpur as you flip through the menu, a 50-page glossy magazine that overflows with mouthwatering photography — mostly of Asian street food.
Each dish is beautifully represented and clearly explained. Even exotic-sounding items are so delectable-looking that you’ll likely have a hard time choosing between the garlic bone marrow soup, the drunken bird noodle soup or the crispy pig ears.
Sandwiched between a fancy sunglass store and an art gallery selling $20K Steve Penley paintings in the Shops of Buckhead is Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria. It’s a stylish yet casual neighborhood bistro where no dish tops $30. The restaurant’s flagship risottos are made with carnaroli rice, known for keeping its shape during the slow cooking process required for a creamy risotto.
Also on the menu are salads like shrimp Louis and bufala mozzarella caprese, focaccia flatbreads, homemade pastas and pizzas made from a wood-stone oven. For dessert, try the tiramisu, which has an unimaginable density. For all the amore in the cuisine, Taverna offers a sophisticated Italian effort that doesn’t take itself too seriously despite its tony address.
Another world-famous premium beef parlor has decided to set up shop in Atlanta: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Rumors leaked by the parent company indicate it will open in Dunwoody and test a smaller footprint designed by the revered architects of Atlanta’s Johnson Studio.
After witnessing the carpetbagging success of New York City import Halal Guys, Mamoun’s Falafel reportedly is planning six locations in metro Atlanta and Athens in the coming months. The fast-casual restaurant was founded in 1971 by Mamoun Chater, a Syrian immigrant, and serves falafel, shawarma and baba ghanoush.
Zac Brown Social Club, a Southern gourmet-style restaurant and live-music stage from the Grammy-winning artist, will be part of the soon-to-be-unveiled Philips Arena renovation. Brown owns Zac Brown’s Southern Ground at PNC Music Pavilion’s outdoor amphitheater in Charlotte, N.C., so he knows a thing or two about cookin’ and pickin’ for the masses.
If an Atlanta Falcons or Atlanta United game is in your plans this fall at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, make a B-line for Molly B’s Cookhouse, named for owner Arthur Blank’s mother, Molly Blank. Molly B’s is partnering with Concentrics Restaurants on a chophouse-style menu developed by Michael Bertozzi (executive chef of TWO urban licks). Your chops come with views of downtown and the field. If you don’t have a ticket, you can visit for lunch on non-game days.
Corner Tavern has moved to Hapeville after 15 years in East Point. The new location has room for another concept from the team, Tren Loco Taqueria. Look for it in January or February 2018.
Pizza lovers will soon be pie-high with two new entries — Harry’s Pizzeria in Phipps Plaza and The Local Pizzaiolo (pronounced PIZZ-zah-yo-lo) with four locations. Harry’s boasts James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz; the Local Pizzaiolo, a new Neapolitan-inspired spot, comes from acclaimed pizza master Giulio Adriani. Look for it in early October.
Norman’s Landing, an iconic Forsyth County seafood dive, made its final voyage in June, closing after 22 years in business and serving an estimated 3 million customers. Bill Norman, one of the founders of Longhorn Steakhouse, cited a $400,000 debt and maintenance issues as the reasons. … After 20 years, Broadway Cafe in Toco Hills has schmeared its last bagel. The former owners plan to launch a new kosher dairy restaurant in the same space. No details yet on when.
Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and chef news 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.