You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

breaking news

Obamas leave Washington to begin life as private family

Dining reviews


Review: Angry Chef has mellowed at Southern Bistro in Sandy Springs

On occasion, I have heard some critics claim that chefs do not cook enough Southern food in Atlanta. I’m not sure this is true. Take, for example, the menu at Southern Bistro, which is full of dishes that any Southerner would recognize as familiar, comforting food. The drop biscuits that arrived first was seasoned with a mince of mild herbs. The boat of mac and cheese was rich...
7 of the best banh mi around metro Atlanta

7 of the best banh mi around metro Atlanta

When the Vietnamese adopted the bread of their colonizers, they made it their own by tossing rice flour with the wheat. The result is a loaf that’s cloudlike on the inside and more crackly when it comes to the crust. It is one of the most weightless breads around, yet it has the fortitude to sandwich a whole lot of delicious stuff. In the case of the banh mi, that stuff almost always consists...
Review: Ramen (with the drinks to match) at Nexto

Review: Ramen (with the drinks to match) at Nexto

Behind the former factory that once made telephones, look for an outbuilding where a welder once lit torches and cut metal. You will know you are in the right place when you see a pixelated space invader glowing mysteriously on an exterior white wall. Step inside. Look up. The industrial ceiling will rise so high that it seems to disappear over the room’s centerpiece: a bonsai-like arrangement...
Review: Stick with the chowder at C&S Chowder House in Roswell

Review: Stick with the chowder at C&S Chowder House in Roswell

I love the sand and sea, but I don’t like to eat beach. Yet, there I was at C&S Chowder House trying to stomach gritty-beyond-edible steamed clams that were part of a $50 lobster dinner called the Down East Feast. The debacle of the Down East Feast was the breaking point after a slew of misshapen fish and seafood dishes at the restaurant, which opened this fall a few doors down from the Peach...
Review: Dining is an international adventure at the Consulate

Review: Dining is an international adventure at the Consulate

The owners of the Consulate, Doug Hines and Mei Lin, have a real thing for James Bond. But, of course, they do. They’re kind of secret agents themselves. Their cover story? Honey Bubble on Ponce de Leon Avenue, their first foray into running a restaurant. Honey Bubble traffics in tapioca pearl tea. It’s stylish, very hip and the drinks are tasty. But it gives no inkling that Hines and...
Review: Old-school Italian is alive and well at Nino’s in Atlanta

Review: Old-school Italian is alive and well at Nino’s in Atlanta

There is a neighborhood in my hometown of St. Louis called the Hill. Great things have come out of that Italian immigrant pocket. Like baseball legends Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. Like five of the no-name guys on the slapdash 1950 U.S. men’s national team who defeated England in a 1-0 World Cup upset known as the “Miracle on Grass.” The Hill also is home to loads of mom-and-pop...
Linton’s in the Garden relaunching as Longleaf as Jason Paolini takes the culinary lead

Linton’s in the Garden relaunching as Longleaf as Jason Paolini takes the culinary lead

Chef Jason Paolini at Linton’s in the Garden. (Beckysteinphotography.com) Linton’s in the Garden, the full-service restaurant and quick cafe at the Atlanta Botanical Garden from James Beard Award-winning Atlanta chef/restaurateur Linton Hopkins, is being relaunched as Longleaf, according to a news release.
The 22 best reviewed metro Atlanta restaurants of 2016

The 22 best reviewed metro Atlanta restaurants of 2016

Looking to update your must-eat-at list of metro Atlanta restaurants? Check out these spots, most new to the local dining scene, some old favorites we revisited, that made our list of most highly reviewed restaurants of 2016.
Review: An Atlanta pizza joint and a speakeasy make an unlikely match

Review: An Atlanta pizza joint and a speakeasy make an unlikely match

Sometimes, a cigar bar is just a cigar bar — because there’s very little you want to do in that bar except smoke cigars. For me, that was the case at Red Phone Booth. (Except, to be truthful, I didn’t actually smoke a cigar.) My friends and I made a Friday night stop in this “Prohibition Experience” for cocktails before heading upstairs to its sister restaurant, Amalfi...
Review: Korean meats and party vibes at Char in Inman Park

Review: Korean meats and party vibes at Char in Inman Park

Barbecue aficionados love nothing more than to argue about barbecue. Case in point: the buddy of mine I invited to Char Korean Bar and Grill for a meal of Korean barbecue. He’s a barbecue guy, steeped in the Southern tradition of smoking large cuts of meat for hours and hours. I’d neglected to mention that the culinary tradition known in English as Korean barbecue is opposite in almost...
Review: Sleek space stands out more than steaks at American Cut

Review: Sleek space stands out more than steaks at American Cut

The best seat in the house at American Cut at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta is not in the house at all. It is outside, on one of the comfy lounge chairs on the third-floor open-air balcony, under the warmth of heat lamps, with a terrific view of Midtown to the south and away from all the loud noise inside. The American Cut dinner menu is not available up here at this indoor-outdoor rooftop bar billed...
Review: 8arm delivers unexpected pleasures on Ponce

Review: 8arm delivers unexpected pleasures on Ponce

On a recent evening at 8arm, the latest Beltline-adjacent destination to open along Ponce de Leon Avenue, I ordered the mussels. I expected, perhaps reasonably, something along the lines of that classic combination of rich bivalves and crusty bread. In the candlelit dining room, the dish that arrived seemed to more or less confirm expectations: a long, thick slice of sourdough topped with a bevy of...
Review: Celebrated ramen chain Jinya satisfies in Sandy Springs

Review: Celebrated ramen chain Jinya satisfies in Sandy Springs

Is there room for another ramen restaurant in Atlanta? The resounding answer seems to be yes. A couple of years ago, when the crowds waiting for a seat at Allen Suh’s Gato Arigato would spill nightly onto the otherwise quiet sidewalks of Candler Park, I thought surely we were at the peak of ramen fever in Atlanta. How wrong I was. Ramen has gone from the territory of old-school Japanese spots...
Review: Comfort food abounds at the Shed at Glenwood

Review: Comfort food abounds at the Shed at Glenwood

The little white plant served as the garnish for a butternut squash tart. The tart was a welcome alternative from the typical pumpkin pie of autumn. There was, on the side, a dab of cranberry compote and a dollop of Dark and Stormy — rum ice cream and ginger ice cream swirled into a zinger of a frozen treat. Scattered around the chilly quenelle were crumbled sugar cookies that, a few years ago...
Comet Pub & Lanes strikes taste buds with chef-driven menu

Comet Pub & Lanes strikes taste buds with chef-driven menu

The Comet Pub & Lanes5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Mondays, 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Sundays. 2619 N. Decatur Road, Decatur. 470-225-1931, cometpubandlanes.com. If the Comet Pub & Lanes was really going for authentic, they would issue desiccated, red-white-and-blue bowling shoes, their innards as muggy as a jungle. There would be carpeting that smells of powdered cheese. The staff...
Food tour: 5 Atlanta restaurants that offer great service

Food tour: 5 Atlanta restaurants that offer great service

My family never belonged to a country club. If the stories I’ve read about the exclusive ones here in Atlanta are true, they wouldn’t have had me or my folks if we had tried. I have, on rare occasion, dined at such an establishment, though. They are places of enormous privilege, designed to please the most entitled members of our society. But, of all the things I recall from those few...
Avellino’s is a pizza joint for the neighborhood

Avellino’s is a pizza joint for the neighborhood

Avellino’s Pizzeria is a neighborhood joint, through and through. Both of them, in fact. One location overlooks the railroad tracks in Decatur. The other, in the Brookhaven area, is plunked between a dry cleaner and a scrubby empty field. Both are tiny holes in the wall, usually with a crowd at the door and plenty of inviting outdoor seating. But, in ways subtle and not, these two Avellino&rsquo...
Spring in Marietta: Subtle delights by the tracks

Spring in Marietta: Subtle delights by the tracks

If you speak on occasion with young chefs (or cooks who aspire to be a chef one day), you undoubtedly will hear about a certain kind of restaurant they covet. It is a small place, maybe no more than 40 seats. The menu is short, only a few dishes made from the best-sourced and prime in-season ingredients. The drinks all complement the food. There’s no kitsch or gimmick or trendy element designed...
The show and wine outshine the food at City Winery

The show and wine outshine the food at City Winery

City WineryDining room: 5-11 p.m. daily, brunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; concert dining: two hours before a show until last call. 650 North Ave., Atlanta. 404-946-3791, citywinery.com/atlanta. My neck hurts. For the past two hours it has craned to the left to watch an acoustic show by guitarist-songwriter Richard Thompson at City Winery. I’m also feeling a bit dazed. Not because of...
Guy Wong’s Ton Ton brings bowl-to-face ramen to Ponce City Market

Guy Wong’s Ton Ton brings bowl-to-face ramen to Ponce City Market

Ton Ton11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, noon-8 p.m. Sundays. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-883-3507, tontonramen.com. For a long time, Ton Ton was the biggest tease of Ponce City Market. We were promised Guy Wong’s ramen and yakitori joint back in August of 2015. Then, it was going to come around March, but that date, too, came and went with no...
Prime meat, minus the finesse, at 101 Steak in Vinings

Prime meat, minus the finesse, at 101 Steak in Vinings

Years ago, a wise steakhouse restaurateur explained his business to me in a way that I’ve never forgotten. His steakhouses, he said, were not successful because it was hard to cook a steak. Almost everybody knows how to cook a steak, he said. They were successful because, when people have a craving, the kind of desire that moves a person to step out of the house and plunk down hard-earned cash...
Dining review: Storico Fresco in Buckhead is an Italian diner’s dream

Dining review: Storico Fresco in Buckhead is an Italian diner’s dream

Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante feels a little like a dream. Oh, sure, we’ve all heard about that little market hidden away on a side street where everything is made from scratch, it feels casual enough for any weeknight but somehow has flawless service, it sources all the best ingredients, it has just the right glass of wine, and you’ll be sent home with a little box of something...
Bombay Brasserie in Roswell offers lots of options

Bombay Brasserie in Roswell offers lots of options

Here’s the trick to crafting a happy outing to Roswell’s Bombay Brasserie: Decide at the outset which Bombay Brasserie you want to go to. Do you want the all-you-can-eat weekend buffet groaning with all manner of Indian standards? It’s there for you. Perhaps you want just the opposite. You want date night, not family night; small plates, spice-spiked cocktails and an exotic view...
Review: Tyler Williams colors outside the lines at Tap in Midtown

Review: Tyler Williams colors outside the lines at Tap in Midtown

Chef Tyler Williams could have been a painter. No matter what he’s cooking, his plates tend to get splashed with pools of color — brushstrokes and drips.
Review: Ba Bellies, a restaurant that should make a mother proud

Review: Ba Bellies, a restaurant that should make a mother proud

I was sitting alone at the Ba Bellies bar in Peachtree Corners when the shaking beef arrived. I knew it was too much. I’d already ordered a papaya salad laden with shrimp and a bowl of wontons dripping in an addictive, blackened sweet chili sauce. Both had paired nicely with a little goblet of Wild Heaven Peach Gose, a lightly sour, refreshing summer beer. The bartender had raised her eyebrows...
Review: A star Thai restaurant in Norcross

Review: A star Thai restaurant in Norcross

I was clued into Thai Star by a chef friend who told me it’s the only Thai place in the city she and her husband truly love. “We can’t find anything else as authentic,” she said. So, I brought the couple along to my meal there and, I’ve got to say, there is something very authentically Atlantan about a Thai restaurant on a busy Norcross highway in a building that was...
Review: Pauley’s Crepe Bar wins only on nostalgia

Review: Pauley’s Crepe Bar wins only on nostalgia

College towns are the best at taking something random and making it an institution, especially when that randomness is edible. Take a place called Pauley’s, which took Athens by storm in 2008. It stayed open until 2 a.m. and had a 10-yard-long local beer list. The food at the heart of this joint’s menu? Crepes. And not some crispy, handheld, might-as-well-be-a-pizza-slice crepe either...

Noble Fin aspires to bring culinary finesse to Peachtree Corners

Ah, the Great Perimeter Debate. With restaurant reviews, I’ve tried to avoid skirmishes that pit intown Atlantans against those who live outside I-285 by pointing out elements that make an establishment appealing to diners, no matter their zip code or that of the restaurant. I’m having a hard time doing so with Noble Fin. Noble Fin opened in Peachtree Corners this past May. It is of interest...
Review: Garden setting at Linton’s more illuminating than the food

Review: Garden setting at Linton’s more illuminating than the food

Have you ever been high in expectation of a special event only to be let down? Maybe you didn’t get the birthday present you hoped for — or, worse, your big day went forgotten. Maybe the concert you paid a pretty penny to attend was lousy — or, worse, the rock star canceled at the last minute. Perhaps you ate lunch at Linton’s at the botanical garden — or, worse, you...
Review: Homespun charm at Rising Son in Avondale Estates

Review: Homespun charm at Rising Son in Avondale Estates

Before I could take a bite of the open-faced tomato sandwich at Rising Son in Avondale Estates, Kathryn Rouse looked over from the cash register and mentioned, “You know, those tomatoes came from our yard.” The deep, dark red slices were from an heirloom breed called Cherokee Purple, she said, and the bright orange slices were, hold on, she couldn’t quite remember. Kathryn looked...
Review: Atwoods Pizza Cafe more worthy of penthouse than basement

Review: Atwoods Pizza Cafe more worthy of penthouse than basement

Most big office complexes have a cafe in the bowels of the building. Often, this place is a convenient dispensary of sad desk lunches. It’s a place where blah turkey sandwiches are slapped together and served beneath buzzing fluorescent lights. There’s nothing like a basket of bruised apples and bananas next to the cash register to impel a hasty retreat back to work. In contrast, Atwoods...
Atlanta restaurant review: Big Laotian flavors at Hot Cafe in Forest Park

Atlanta restaurant review: Big Laotian flavors at Hot Cafe in Forest Park

A funny thing happened to me at Hot Cafe the other day. I sat down with a friend in a padded booth by the window, as I’ve done a number of times lately, and ordered the same five or six dishes I’ve come to love. Then, the waiter, who recognized me, wondered if the papaya salad had been too spicy for me on my last visit. He was right. At the previous lunch, I’d made the mistake of...
Review: Linger over tapas at Under the Cork Tree in Sandy Springs

Review: Linger over tapas at Under the Cork Tree in Sandy Springs

Under the Cork Tree and Hammocks Trading Co. would seem to have only two things in common — their Sandy Springs locations and chef William Sigley (who owns both spots with partner Jason Sheetz). Hammocks is a spiffed-up seafood shack on Roswell Road. It’s so breezy-beachy, it feels like there should be sand on the floors. Nobody, meanwhile, is wearing flip-flops to Under the Cork Tree...
Review: Omakase rule applies at Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur

Review: Omakase rule applies at Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur

Go to Brush Sushi Izakaya, sit at the sushi bar and order the omakase. You will be very pleased. It is as simple as that. Omakase is the Japanese equivalent of a tasting menu. It means something like “I trust you,” more or less a way of saying “chef’s choice.” Those words give the chef a chance to say, “Forget the menu, I’ll just serve you the best I have...
Catherall is here to serve, again, at Atlanta’s Tom Tom

Catherall is here to serve, again, at Atlanta’s Tom Tom

Near the host stand in Tom Tom is a portrait of Ernest Hemingway. It is a large painting, mostly black and white, and Hemingway is old. His eyes are a little troubled. They show that he’s seen a lot and isn’t sure what’s next. Looking at that painting and sipping a margarita at the bar, I found it hard not to think of Tom Catherall. Catherall was once one of Atlanta’s restaurant...
Go beyond typical Chinese takeout at Rasa Sayang in Roswell

Go beyond typical Chinese takeout at Rasa Sayang in Roswell

If you happen to spend a little time inside Rasa Sayang, a Malaysian-Chinese-Thai restaurant nestled in a Roswell strip mall, you might pick up on the same couple of clues as me. The phone often is ringing. Bags of to-go food often are leaving the kitchen. The dining room is otherwise calm, a quiet place to drink a beer and order a big table’s worth of food. The husband and wife team of Peik...
Latin-Southern fusion at Atlanta’s Madre + Mason doesn’t always add up

Latin-Southern fusion at Atlanta’s Madre + Mason doesn’t always add up

Located at the end of Dutch Valley Road, a quiet side street that runs into Piedmont Park, is Madre + Mason. The restaurant and bar wrap around the ground level of a condo building, including a shady, green patio strung with lights. On a summer evening, it is a nice place to catch a breeze. Order a spicy margarita and you’ll get a cold mason jar filled to the top with a jalapeno-spiked concoction...
Gorgeous space, lackluster food at JP Atlanta

Gorgeous space, lackluster food at JP Atlanta

John C. Portman Jr. holds a place in Atlanta history for his architectural contributions. His latest high-profile project — redesigning 230 Peachtree from a 1960s office building into a mixed-use development that includes the Hotel Indigo, upscale restaurant JP Atlanta and 17 floors of office space — is beautiful. A curved glass and steel double stairway greets you as you enter the hotel...
Botiwalla at Ponce City Market is a sizzling delight

Botiwalla at Ponce City Market is a sizzling delight

Ah, the romance of Botiwalla! I’m not talking about candlelit tables for two. Quite the opposite. This boisterous stall in Ponce City Market is all vintage-style camp, sunny mercantile and cheeky Rules of the Cafe stenciled to one of those PCM pillars. There are 15 of these commandments, including “No mischief making,” “No stealing newspaper” and let’s not leave...
Searching for the right bowl at Hajime

Searching for the right bowl at Hajime

Tucked into a plaza at the corner of Cheshire Bridge and LaVista Roads, between an art house cinema and a grocery store, behind a pancake house and camera store, is Hajime, the new restaurant from the owners of Umaido in Doraville. The location was formerly occupied by a nightclub called BJ Roosters, a place where the lights were low and the drinks were loose, to put it lightly. (Roosters since has...
Oak Grove neighborhood taco joint surprises

Oak Grove neighborhood taco joint surprises

If you’re lucky, you’ve got a neighborhood joint close to home. It’s locally owned and one-of-a-kind and probably a little quirky. Maybe you love it because the food is phenomenal, but it’s just as likely you adore it because you can always count on running into a friend there. Or the owner is a real character who always donates to block parties and school auctions. Maybe you...