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First Look


First Look: A flavor of French at Jai Ho Indian Kitchen in Morningside

Jai Ho Rack of Lamb with rice, garlic naan and mixed veggies. Photo credit- Mia Yakel. Owner Paul Nair and the team behind Atlanta’s Savi Provisions neighborhood markets opened Jai Ho Indian Kitchen & Bar in mid-March in the Morningside space most recently occupied by Madre + Mason.
First Look: Beer, barbecue and baseball at Terrapin Taproom at SunTrust Park

First Look: Beer, barbecue and baseball at Terrapin Taproom at SunTrust Park

Terrapin Taproom serves Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q favorites. Photo credit- Mia Yakel. Judging from the opening weekend crowds elbowing through every corner of the new Terrapin Taproom at The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park, the combination restaurant, bar and brewery is already a popular destination.
First Look: Find gluten-free Mediterranean at Mediterranea in Grant Park

First Look: Find gluten-free Mediterranean at Mediterranea in Grant Park

Mediterranea Pan-roasted Branzino with Mediterranean orzo. Photo credit- Mia Yakel. Reading over the menu for the first time at Mediterranea in Grant Park, you wouldn’t guess that it’s strictly gluten-free.
First Look: Truman aims for classic New York steakhouse with a Decatur vibe

First Look: Truman aims for classic New York steakhouse with a Decatur vibe

A 14-ounce ribeye steak is on the menu at Truman in Decatur. Photo Credit: Mia Yakel. Truman opened two months ago in the former Colbeh Persian Kitchen & Bar space on Decatur Square, offering a throwback menu heavy on steakhouse favorites in the guise of a vintage neighborhood tavern, with a bar and lounge area in front and a dining room in back.
First Look: Chef Angus Brown is in the kitchen at 8ARM in Poncey-Highland

First Look: Chef Angus Brown is in the kitchen at 8ARM in Poncey-Highland

Grilled mackerel with tomato, cucumber, red onion and herbs. (styling by Chef Angus Brown ) (Photography by Renee Brock/Special) Chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le built a reputation for edgy sophisticated cooking at Octopus Bar, their East Atlanta Village after-hours sensation.

First Look: 5Church Atlanta at Colony Square in Midtown

When Shout opened in 2005 at Colony Square in Midtown, the “Food, Fun, Flirt” restaurant from pioneering chef Tom Catherall represented a distinct era of Atlanta dining. When it closed in late 2014, it was both a harbinger of the demise of Catherall’s Here To Serve Restaurants group and a signal that times had changed. On Friday, 5Church Atlanta opened in the former Shout space,...
First Look: Oy! Restaurant, Vinings

First Look: Oy! Restaurant, Vinings

Described by owner Adam Jaffe as “over-the-top breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week,” Oy! Restaurant recently opened in Vinings. Chefs Tony Sharpe and Chris Johnson, both Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta grads, are in the kitchen, overseeing a menu inspired by Jaffe’s mother, Atlanta caterer, Sherry Habif. The look: Situated in a strip center storefront on Cumberland Parkway, the...
First Look: Restaurant 356, Hapeville

First Look: Restaurant 356, Hapeville

With the openings of Atlas, Little Bacch, and Marcel, it seems sophisticated fine dining is still alive in Atlanta, even if it’s taking on some very different guises. Add to the list, Porsche Cars North America Inc., which weighs in with its posh new Restaurant 356 at the company’s $100 million Porsche Experience Center and headquarters in Hapeville. The look: Located on One Porsche Drive...
First Look: Marcel, Westside Provisions District

First Look: Marcel, Westside Provisions District

Risen from the defunct Abattoir, chef/restaurateur Ford Fry’s eighth Atlanta concept, Marcel, is a sexy, pricey, beefy beast that seems destined to rouse devotees and detractors. With prices topping out at $142 for a porterhouse for two, dinner at the French-inspired, old-school American-influenced steakhouse is not for the weak of wallet. But lunch and late night menus do offer less expensive...
First Look: Novo Cucina, Dunwoody

First Look: Novo Cucina, Dunwoody

With Novo Cucina, chef/restaurateur Riccardo Ullio transports favorite starters, pastas and pizzas from his two beloved Inman Park Italian restaurants, Fritti and Sotto Sotto, to create a new hybrid concept in Dunwoody. There’s table service, if you want it. But Novo’s card system allows diners to swipe and sample wines from a self-serve Enomatic dispenser, place their food order before...
First Look: World of Beer, Kennesaw

First Look: World of Beer, Kennesaw

Founded in Tampa, Florida, World of Beer has two new metro locations, and more on the way. The fast-growing franchise, with its mix of multiple tap handles and HDTVs, easily draws comparisons to homegrown Taco Mac. Notably, both the Midtown Atlanta and Kennesaw WOB landed close by an established T-Mac. The look: Brick walls, plank floors and lots of local beer signs give the strip center storefront...
First Look: Arepa Mia, Decatur

First Look: Arepa Mia, Decatur

In 2012, Lis Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, opened Arepa Mia in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, where her motto is “Happy Stomach/Warm Heart” and her authentic Venezuelan arepa sandwiches have become a big hit. Now, Hernandez has a second place in Decatur that promises to be every bit as popular. The look: The narrow storefront space on East College Avenue near Agnes Scott is cheerfully...
First Look: Mavericks, Johns Creek

First Look: Mavericks, Johns Creek

Poised as a franchise in the making, the Hohman and St. Clair family owners of Mavericks in Johns Creek call it a “So-Cal Mexican cantina.” The atmosphere is bright and beachy, transported to a suburban strip center. The opening menu is a mix of starters, tacos, enchiladas and tortas, with many ingredients cooked-to-order over a wood-fired grill. The look: Located in the Johns Creek Walk...
First Look: Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Old Fourth Ward

First Look: Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Old Fourth Ward

Billed as “a base camp for the urban explorer,” Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall evokes something of the quirky film world of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” But whatever its hip conceits, owner and managing partner Michael Lennox can lay claim to the first bar/restaurant concept specifically designed with Atlanta’s Beltline in mind. The look: Situated in a long space...
First Look: Shake Shack, Buckhead Atlanta

First Look: Shake Shack, Buckhead Atlanta

The Peachtree Road anchor of the new Buckhead Atlanta project, Shake Shack from Danny Meyer’s Manhattan-based Union Square Hospitality Group is one of the most anticipated metro dining destinations in recent memory. The fact that it’s a hamburger stand located in a luxury retail, restaurant and residential development says a lot about current culinary culture. The look: Shake Shack&rsquo...
First Look: The Real Fix Pizzeria

First Look: The Real Fix Pizzeria

Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac of F&H Food Trading Group recently opened their fifth restaurant together, The Real Fix Pizzeria, in downtown Roswell. Piazzolo Giacomo Lazzano moved from Palermo, Italy to oversee the kitchen, which prominently features a pair of handmade wood-burning ovens. The look: Located in a strip center between Alpharetta and Canton streets, the narrow fast casual space is set...
First Look: Bellwoods Social House, Westside

First Look: Bellwoods Social House, Westside

Recently opened on Marietta Street, Bellwoods Social House is the new bar/restaurant from Leif Johnson, chef/owner of the popular Bite Bistro & Bar in Alpharetta. The concept features Johnson’s updates of American bar food and beverage director Arianne Fielder’s craft cocktails. The look: Located in the former West & Mill Bistro & Bar space, next door to Five Seasons Westside, Bellwoods...
First Look: South Main Kitchen, Alpharetta

First Look: South Main Kitchen, Alpharetta

South Main Kitchen opened in late August on South Main Street in downtown Alpharetta, a stretch that’s been enlivened by a redevelopment project that includes a new city hall, town plaza, park and parking facility. Louis Soon, previously of F&H Food Trading Group in Roswell, teamed with chef Christy Stone to create a “kitchen-inspired” dining experience in a historic 1906 storefront...
First Look: Spice to Table, Old Fourth Ward

First Look: Spice to Table, Old Fourth Ward

In July, chef/owner Asha Gomez closed Cardamom Hill, the critically acclaimed Indian restaurant she opened on Northside Drive in Berkeley Heights in January 2012. But in August, Gomez opened a new bakery cafe concept in the Old Fourth Ward, called Spice to Table. And later this year, she will debut a new fried chicken stand, Spice Road Chicken, at nearby Krog Street Market. The look: Spice to Table...
First Look: Memphis BBQ Co., Dunwoody

First Look: Memphis BBQ Co., Dunwoody

The newest Memphis BBQ Co. location from Mississippi Delta pitmaster and winner of several World BBQ championships, Melissa Cookston, recently landed on Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Cookston’s two previous locations are in Horn Lake, Mississippi, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. The look: Situated in a freestanding brick building near Perimeter Village Shopping Center that was once home...
First Look: Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl, Emory Village

First Look: Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl, Emory Village

In July, Doc Chey’s Noodle House in Emory Village closed to make way for a new Doc Chey’s concept dubbed Dragon Bowl. The focus is on Asian-inspired made-to-order bowls with grilled meats, healthy grains and a variety of local and seasonal ingredients. The look: The interior was redesigned to create a fast casual flow. Guests line up next to a bright chalkboard wall featuring the daily...
First Look: Zinburger, Lenox Square

First Look: Zinburger, Lenox Square

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar recently opened at the front of Buckhead’s rejuvenated Lenox Square, next door to fellow Fox Restaurant Concepts’ True Food Kitchen. Zinburger has nine more locations in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. The look: Like True Food, the Zinburger look is clean and contemporary, with pale wood and earth tones. Murals of cows grazing under...
First Look: Bartaco, Westside

First Look: Bartaco, Westside

Barcelona Wine Bar spinoff, Bartaco, opened last month on Atlanta’s Westside. With four locations in New York and Connecticut, and at least two more planned for metro Atlanta, the Mexican-style concept features “upscale street food” and a good time atmosphere. The look: Situated in the Dixie Packing building, the modest brick building painted with the Bartaco dragonfly logo belies...
First Look: Panbury’s Double Crust Pies

First Look: Panbury’s Double Crust Pies

In the spring, Adam Panayiotou and Lauren Duxbury opened Panbury’s Double Crust Pies in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Inspired by the offerings at pie shops in South Africa, where Duxbury grew up, the menu features an array of savory pies, plus small bites, sides and a few seasonal fruit pies. The look: Joining a new wave of Curb Market stalls, Panbury’s sports a colorful, contemporary...
First Look: Max’s Wine Dive, Midtown

First Look: Max’s Wine Dive, Midtown

Max’s Wine Dive — the Texas-based boutique chain with the mantra “Fried Chicken and Champagne? Why the Hell Not?!” — opened on July 1 on 12th Street in Midtown, serving dinner and brunch. Helming the kitchen, executive chef Jason Hall (formerly of Saltyard and Livingston) adds seasonal dishes to the standard menu of Wine Dive “classics.” The look: Situated...
First Look: True Food Kitchen, Buckhead

First Look: True Food Kitchen, Buckhead

True Food Kitchen from Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts recently landed at the revamped main entrance of Lenox Square in Buckhead, along with another Fox concept, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. True Food features menus based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The look: In keeping with its healthy living mission, the atmosphere is uncluttered and bright, with eco-friendly natural...
First Look: Lucky’s Burger & Brew, Town Brookhaven

First Look: Lucky’s Burger & Brew, Town Brookhaven

Named for the owners’ mascot golden retriever, honored on the company logo and dog-friendly front patio, popular Roswell spot Lucky’s Burger & Brew recently opened a second location at Town Brookhaven. The look: Could it be a franchise in the making? Lucky’s Brookhaven shares many design elements with the Roswell original, including the maroon and yellow color scheme, semicircular...
First Look: The Painted Pin, Buckhead

First Look: The Painted Pin, Buckhead

The Painted Pin, an upscale bar, bowling and entertainment concept from Justin Amick and William Stallworth, recently opened in a renovated warehouse in Buckhead’s Miami Circle. Amick, son of Concentrics Restaurants’ Bob Amick, and an advanced sommelier, has been on the Atlanta hospitality scene for years. But Painted Pin is his first independent venture. The look: The entrance to the...
First Look: Sugar Shack in the Back, Roswell

First Look: Sugar Shack in the Back, Roswell

Pioneering Roswell chef Andy Badgett has helmed an assortment of restaurants around the Canton Street corridor — turning fine dining Asher into the popular Fickle Pickle cafe, and opening and closing Southern-inspired Relish and budget-Mexican Pico Autentico in the same spot on Mimosa Boulevard. Last week, Badgett debuted Sugar Shack in the Back, a bakery/coffee bar that stands as his most casual...
First Look: Negril Village, Midtown

First Look: Negril Village, Midtown

A few months back, Negril Village took over the historic firehouse building on North Avenue that was once home to Engine 11 Tavern. Since then, the classy Caribbean spinoff of the Greenwich Village spot of the same name has been flying under the radar, making do without a working website of its own, and only a handful of reviews on Yelp. But fans of the food of Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad can...
First Look: Smokebelly BBQ, Buckhead

First Look: Smokebelly BBQ, Buckhead

Smokebelly BBQ, the new concept from the team behind Tin Lizzy’s, Big Ketch, Saltwater Grill and Milton’s, recently opened in Buckhead with executive chef Darrell Rice in the kitchen. The menu features barbecue inspired by multiple regions of the country, 20 craft beers on draft and classic and specialty cocktails. The look: Located in the East Andrews space once occupied by Tavern 99...
First Look: The Bishop, Avondale Estates

First Look: The Bishop, Avondale Estates

Avondale Estates restaurant and bar, the Bishop, opened May 13 featuring a mix of small plates, salads, sandwiches and entrees, and an atmosphere owner Luellen Marshall calls “neighborhood-centric.” The look: Situated in Avondale’s distinctive Tudor-style row of buildings, the neat storefront space is decorated in a mix of neutral colors and roughhewn wood. The cozy bar area is divided...
First Look: Cook Out, East Atlanta

First Look: Cook Out, East Atlanta

The Cook Out chain originated in the late ’80s in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a burger and shake concept with double drive-through windows. Since then, it’s grown to multiple locations in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, while enjoying a cult following and several fan sites dedicated to its brand of bargain-priced fast food. The first Atlanta location...
First Look: Vine & Tap, Buckhead

First Look: Vine & Tap, Buckhead

In February, Ian Mendelsohn, a former beverage director of the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead, and his wife, Susan, opened Vine & Tap in the former Pizzeria Venti space in the Lenox Village shopping center on Lenox Road. Clearly a labor of love, the elegantly remodeled restaurant, wine bar and beer garden serves up small bites made to pair with the curated beverage selections. The look: Reflecting Mendelsohn&rsquo...
First Look: Cabana Grill, Snellville

First Look: Cabana Grill, Snellville

On April 14, Fiesta Restaurant Group, which owns, operates and franchises Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, debuted its newest concept, Cabana Grill, in Snellville. The fast-casual restaurant with limited table service touts affordable Mexican food made from scratch with fresh ingredients. The look: Located in the Lowe’s shopping center on Scenic Highway, the contemporary free-standing building...
First Look: Ration and Dram, Kirkwood

First Look: Ration and Dram, Kirkwood

Ration and Dram, the new family-friendly neighborhood spot from former Holeman & Finch partner and star barkeep Andy Minchow, has a lot of things going on in a modern two story Arizona Lofts space with two patios, two bars and an assortment of food and drink. The look: The downstairs area, which includes a spacious bar flanked by tall windows and cozy seating areas, makes for an inviting hangout....
First Look: Foundation Social Eatery, Roswell

First Look: Foundation Social Eatery, Roswell

Newly opened in the former Dick and Harry’s space on Holcomb Bridge Road, Foundation Social Eatery from chef/owner Mel Toledo conjures the current wave of suburban casual fine dining concepts, such as Table & Main in Roswell, Seed Kitchen & Bar in east Cobb and Century House Tavern in Woodstock, where Toledo recently worked. The look: With help from the Ai3 design team, Toledo remade the strip...
First Look: Bar Meatball, Virginia-Highland

First Look: Bar Meatball, Virginia-Highland

Bar Meatball, which recently replaced Virginia-Highland’s Pozole, features a customizable menu similar to the offerings at New York City success story the Meatball Shop, with a variety of mix-and-match meatballs and sauces, sliders and sides. The look: Tucked behind a parking lot on Greenwood Avenue, the cottage-like space is topped by an old-fashioned sign with an oval of lights announcing...
First Look: Le Bistro, Roswell

First Look: Le Bistro, Roswell

Roswell Provisions, the popular Canton Street market and cafe with wine, cheese, meats, baked goods, fancy foods and an espresso bar, has added to its considerable offerings with a new French-inspired restaurant, christened Le Bistro. The look: Located above Roswell Provisions, a vintage stairwell leads to a surprisingly sprawling and airy second story space with a series of smaller dining rooms and...
First Look: Sweet Auburn Barbecue, Poncey-Highland

First Look: Sweet Auburn Barbecue, Poncey-Highland

Known for its Sweet Auburn Curb Market stall, food truck and catering operations, Sweet Auburn Barbecue recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former Pura Vida space on North Highland Avenue. Full service, an expanded menu and a full bar are part of the new concept, which continues to riff on Asian-meets-Southern cuisine and fusion barbecue. The look: The exterior of the corner storefront...
First Look: Chicken Salad Chick, Marietta

First Look: Chicken Salad Chick, Marietta

Chicken Salad Chick founder Stacy Brown started the company in 2008 making chicken salad in her kitchen in Auburn, Ala. Now there are some 85 locations throughout the Southeast, with a dozen new franchises planned for metro Atlanta and Athens. One of the first of that number opened in Marietta this week in the Providence Square shopping center on Roswell Road. The look: The sassy Southern “chick&rdquo...
First Look: La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal Bar, Westside

First Look: La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal Bar, Westside

True to its name, La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal Bar, the new Westside spot from Jesus Onate, owner of Zapata Tacos & Tequila Bar in Norcross, features a contemporary urban atmosphere and a host of specialty cocktails made with agave-based spirits. The look: Situated in the Apex West Midtown apartment and retail building, La Urbana joins Bone Lick BBQ and the Corner Tavern on an increasingly busy section...
First Look: Souper Jenny, Decatur

First Look: Souper Jenny, Decatur

Actress-turned-cook Jenny Levison, aka Souper Jenny, recently opened a second location of her popular Buckhead soup and sandwich shop in downtown Decatur. Judging from the crowds, it’s already a big hit. The look: Located next to the Old Courthouse on West Court Square, the storefront space faces a narrow courtyard with outdoor seating. Inside, Levison has created another cafeteria-style Souper...
First Look: Cuts Steakhouse, Downtown

First Look: Cuts Steakhouse, Downtown

The newest addition to the downtown Atlanta dining district, Cuts Steakhouse is a spinoff of Truva Turkish Kitchen. Truva now occupies the upstairs of the recently remodeled space on Andrew Young International Boulevard, and Cuts has taken over the downstairs. The look: Innerworks Design Group was responsible for the multilevel buildout, reimagining the contemporary steakhouse as a little bit sexy...
First Look: Lovies, Buckhead

First Look: Lovies, Buckhead

Atlanta’s legions of barbecue lovers have a new spot to try. Recently opened in Buckhead, Lovies BBQ from Atlanta natives Nate Newman and Drew Gregory keeps it simple with a daily menu of smoked meats and Southern-style sides, and dine-in or takeout options. The look: Situated down a steep hill in the back of a building near the intersection of Piedmont and Lenox roads, Lovies is a little hard...
First Look: G’s Midtown, Midtown

First Look: G’s Midtown, Midtown

Located on 10th Street in Midtown, Gilbert’s Cafe had been a longtime neighborhood favorite. Recently, though, owners Sean and Gilbert Yeremyan, who also own and operate HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern and 10th & Piedmont, decided it was time to make some changes, including updating the decor and the menu, and rebranding the concept as G’s Midtown. The look: The configuration of the storefront...
First Look: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Buckhead

First Look: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Buckhead

Candace Nelson, the pastry chef who opened Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills in 2005, helped create the cupcake bakery craze that generated Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” with Nelson as a permanent judge. Now Nelson is bringing her brand of cupcake chic to Atlanta, with her newest store at Lenox Square, which also features a cupcake ATM. The look: Like other Sprinkles...
First Look: Shoney’s, Sugarloaf Mills

First Look: Shoney’s, Sugarloaf Mills

Recently, Shoney’s opened a new prototype restaurant at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville that revealed several firsts for the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain. It’s the first inside-a-mall concept for the brand. Also, it’s the first location in 16 states, including five restaurants in metro Atlanta, to offer cooked-to-order entrees, seasonal buffets, and “On the Go” quick...
First Look: Villagio Italian Kitchen, Decatur

First Look: Villagio Italian Kitchen, Decatur

In November, Villagio Italian Kitchen quietly opened in the former Capozzi’s space on Clairmont Road in Decatur, offering a casual dining and drinking atmosphere, and a menu of rustic favorites, from starters and salads to pizza, pasta and entrees. The look: Situated in the same strip center as Bhojanic and Community Q, Villagio’s corner storefront layout features a main dining room with...
First Look: Kirkyard Public House, Kirkwood

First Look: Kirkyard Public House, Kirkwood

Kirkyard Public House recently opened in the two-story space on Hosea L. Williams Drive that’s been home to Vinocity, Kirkwood Public House and Kirkwood Bar & Grill. The sports bar from former Taco Mac man Dano Kirk features a tried-and-true formula of draft beer, pub grub and plenty of flat-screen TVs. The look: Kirkyard has a surprisingly sophisticated atmosphere, thanks to Vinocity owner...
First Look: Etris Kitchen & Bar, Roswell

First Look: Etris Kitchen & Bar, Roswell

Etris Kitchen & Bar recently took over the former Franco’s Italian Tavern space in Roswell’s Sweet Apple Village, with a team that includes former personal chef David Guilford, and Massi Mekhmoukh, a former general manager at Salt Factory and Inc. Street Food. The look: Located in a shopping center storefront on Etris Road, the contemporary build-out features a slick curving bar with views...
First Look: The Imperial, Oakhurst

First Look: The Imperial, Oakhurst

From the moment the Imperial softly opened in Oakhurst last week, neighbors were packing the casual pub, taking advantage of the free-for-all seating policy and bargain-priced food and drink. It probably doesn’t hurt that popular Atlanta bartender and trivia master Robert Holland and his partners, Matt Hanes, Jeff Bowie and Ken Rogers, are all old friends and area residents. The look: Located...
First Look: Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar, Town Brookhaven

First Look: Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar, Town Brookhaven

Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar is the newest addition to the Tom Catherall/ Here to Serve restaurant group’s concepts in Town Brookhaven, joining Noche Tequila & Tapas Bar and Smash Kitchen & Bar in the mixed-use development. Notably, also, Shucks is a family affair, with several of Catherall’s children in the kitchen and front of the house. The look: Located a few doors down from Noche, the...
First Look: Hoof & Ale, Marietta

First Look: Hoof & Ale, Marietta

Though the name sounds more like a made-up English pub in a mad Monty Python bit, Hoof and Ale is a tidy little mom and pop burger and beer joint on Roswell Road in Marietta. The look: The storefront space, tucked into a corner of the Pavilions at East Lake shopping center, is marked by signs announcing “Neighborhood Tavern” and “Craft Beer.” Inside, a hulking chalkboard menu...
First Look: Osteria Cibo Rustico, Toco Hills

First Look: Osteria Cibo Rustico, Toco Hills

Osteria Cibo Rustico, a new Italian concept from the co-owners of Big Ketch Saltwater Grill and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, recently opened in the Toco Hills Promenade spot formerly occupied by Mirko Pasta. The look: The space was given a face-lift with a new bar area that does double duty as a cozy foyer with a pair of mini tables. The main dining room features views into the open kitchen...
First Look: Suite Food Lounge, Atlanta

First Look: Suite Food Lounge, Atlanta

Located in the Luckie Street space formerly occupied by Luckie Food Lounge, Suite Food Lounge is a full-service restaurant with multiple bars and the glitzy light show atmosphere of a nightclub. The look: The sprawling layout is arranged on three levels, with the main dining room situated on the ground floor, along with two bars, a VIP lounge and a dance floor. Downstairs, there’s a private...
First Look: Stem Wine Bar, Marietta

First Look: Stem Wine Bar, Marietta

A few weeks ago, owner and executive chef Doug Turbush opened Stem Wine Bar adjacent to his wildly popular Seed Kitchen & Bar in east Cobb’s busy Merchant’s Walk Shopping Center. The look: The intimate 40-seat space has its own semi-secret entrance marked by a corkscrew design etched on the door. But it also can be accessed through the Seed dining room. The contemporary design by architecture...
First Look: Salt Factory Pub, Alpharetta

First Look: Salt Factory Pub, Alpharetta

Now open on South Main Street in Alpharetta, the long-time-coming second location of Roswell’s popular Salt Factory Pub offers the same easygoing atmosphere and food as the original with a few new wrinkles. The look: Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac of F&H Food Trading Group took over a former Kentucky Fried Chicken store and transformed the free-standing building into their vision of a contemporary...
First Look: Pallookaville Fine Foods, Avondale Estates

First Look: Pallookaville Fine Foods, Avondale Estates

On Halloween, Atlanta deep-fried corn dog master and TV personality Jim Stacy opened Pallookaville Fine Foods in Avondale Estates with partner John Gianoulidis. The soda fountain and deli is a brick-and-mortar spinoff of Stacy’s carnival food truck, with an evolving menu that features burgers, sandwiches and a full bar with adult “shaketails.” The look: From the outside, Pallookaville...
First Look: Smoke Ring, Castleberry Hill

First Look: Smoke Ring, Castleberry Hill

Smoke Ring, a new “Georgia-style barbecue” joint from 101 Concepts (Cibo e Beve, Food 101, Meehan’s Public House), recently opened in Castleberry Hill. Jordan Wakefield, former executive chef at Meehan’s downtown, is in the kitchen. And Wakefield’s wife, Erin, is in charge of the bar. The look: Situated on Nelson Street in the former J.R. Crickets space, near Elliott...
First Look: Taco Mac Sports Grill, Decatur

First Look: Taco Mac Sports Grill, Decatur

An early outpost of Buffalo-style hot wings, in recent times Taco Mac has become better known as a sports bar, serving up craft beer and nachos, along with a whole lot of HD TVs. But Atlanta-based TM Restaurant Group is trying something a little different with Taco Mac Sports Grill. The recently renamed, renovated and reopened Taco Mac space in Decatur was transformed by ai3, the Atlanta firm know...
First Look: Common Quarter, east Cobb

First Look: Common Quarter, east Cobb

Local Three partners Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner recently opened Common Quarter in east Cobb with former Muss & Turner’s operating partner Chris Talley. Talley is a musician who grew up in coastal Georgia, and those things are reflected in both the decor and the menu. The look: Located in the former Chepe’s space in Woodlawn Square shopping center on Johnson Ferry Road, the...
First Look: Sobban, Decatur

First Look: Sobban, Decatur

Dubbed a Korean Southern diner, Sobban recently opened in the former Kitsch’n 155 location on Clairmont Road. The name of the new concept from Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee of the wildly popular Heirloom Market BBQ means “Small Wooden Table Set Aside for Humble Meals.” The look: Though the freestanding Quonset hut-meets-spaceship structure recalls a ’50s fast food joint, Taylor...
First Look: Hurricane Grill & Wings, Johns Creek

First Look: Hurricane Grill & Wings, Johns Creek

Hurricane Grill & Wings opened its original oceanside location in Ft. Pierce, Florida in 1995. Now there are locations throughout the eastern U.S. and as far away as Colorado and Arizona. The first Georgia franchise opened in late September in Johns Creek, serving “jumbo wings” with 30 flavors, along with burgers and Mexican and Caribbean-style entrees. The look: Though it’s located...
First Look: Bantam Pub, Old Fourth Ward

First Look: Bantam Pub, Old Fourth Ward

True to its name, Bantam Pub is a diminutive corner spot on Ralph McGill Boulevard in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, featuring a full bar and a concise menu of small plates, entrees and desserts. The look: Dwarfed by nearby condos and apartments, the free-standing building stands out like a quirky urban oasis. There’s a small patio in front and a larger courtyard on the side. Inside, the bar...
First Look: 1910 Public House, Lilburn

First Look: 1910 Public House, Lilburn

The new concept from the owners of Sprig in Oak Grove, 1910 Public House, is situated in a vintage brick storefront on Main Street in Lilburn. The Southern-influenced neighborhood restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and will soon feature a market with boxed lunches, drinks and house-made to-go items. The look: A row of sidewalk tables leads to the front entrance. Inside, the main dining area is...
First Look: Ink & Elm, Emory Village

First Look: Ink & Elm, Emory Village

Now open in Emory Village, Ink & Elm announces itself as “a restaurant, tavern, and lounge for residents of the community and anyone else in need of an elevated or casual dining experience.” Walk through the door, and it’s immediately apparent that this is an ambitious place with a lot going on. The look: Situated on two levels, with separate entrances for the tavern and restaurant...
First Look: The Crab Boil, Doraville

First Look: The Crab Boil, Doraville

Though it stakes its claim as a Cajun restaurant, the Crab Boil in Doraville has more in common with Asian Cajun places, like the Crawfish Shack on Buford Highway, where you’ll find boiled crawfish and oyster po’ boys on the menu, but no jambalaya or etouffee. The look: Located in strip center, near a strip club just off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, the sprawling space resembles a nightclub...
First Look: The Sun Dial, Downtown

First Look: The Sun Dial, Downtown

More than a restaurant and bar, the Sun Dial is a tri-level attraction and Atlanta landmark spinning atop the cylindrical Westin Peachtree Plaza. Recently reopened after a renovation, with an updated menu by chef Jason Starnes, locals and tourists have been returning for lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, and the 360 birds eye view. The look: The Sun Dial experience begins on the lower level of the Westin...
First Look: Folk Art, Inman Park

First Look: Folk Art, Inman Park

Folk Art, the new breakfast, lunch and brunch spot from Wisteria chef/owner Jason Hill, serves up variations on all-day favorites, like waffles and eggs any style, plus soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, in an atmosphere fitting of its name. The look: A few doors down from Wisteria on Highland Avenue, a brick facade, tile roof, and row of old theatre seats mark the entrance to the corner storefront...
First Look: Timone’s, Morningside

First Look: Timone’s, Morningside

Adding to his Morningside empire, chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud and The Family Dog recently opened his third restaurant on the same stretch of North Highland Avenue. Timone’s, “a local pizza joint,” is an homage to Eyester’s New York roots, with Italian-American starters, pasta dishes and sandwiches on the menu. The look: At night, the brick storefront is illuminated with bright...
First Look: Yum Bunz, West Midtown

First Look: Yum Bunz, West Midtown

It took a while for Yum Bunz to finally open. And the team behind the much anticipated “Dim Sum Fast” concept — Real Chow Baby founder Mike Blum, Miso Izakaya chef/owner Guy Wong, and executive chef Chris Lee — is still ironing out a few kinks. But Blum and Lee, who were on hand and working the room one recent evening, said they are slowly and surely getting the soft yeast...
First Look: Sunday Gravy, Sweet Auburn

First Look: Sunday Gravy, Sweet Auburn

Atlanta’s High Road Craft Ice Cream recently reopened its stand in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in partnership with Sunday Gravy, a New York City Italian food company known for its meaty, slow-braised red sauce, which sells online for $25 a jar. The look: Along with meat, seafood, produce and baked goods, the historic municipal market is home to the likes of Bell Street Burritos, Grindhouse...
First Look: Hop Alley, Alpharetta

First Look: Hop Alley, Alpharetta

Brewer Brandon Hintz says the concept was simple: “Bring a great beer bar/brew pub to outside the perimeter.” With that in mind, and chef Matt Schreiber in the kitchen, Hintz and his wife, Jodi, opened Hop Alley in Alpharetta in June. The look: Located in a vintage storefront, the pub lives up to it’s name in several ways. The long, narrow, space stretches from the front entrance...
First Look: Chick-a-Biddy, Atlantic Station

First Look: Chick-a-Biddy, Atlantic Station

Less than a year after they opened Bantam + Biddy in Ansley Mall, chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere are back with Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station. The duo’s second restaurant featuring regional, all-natural poultry appears franchise-ready, with a fast casual menu designed to appeal to shoppers looking for healthy eating options mixed with a bit of fun. The look: Located in the space once...
First Look: Brunswick’s Tavern ’45, Marietta

First Look: Brunswick’s Tavern ’45, Marietta

Brunswick’s, a new upscale bowling and entertainment center in Marietta, features Tavern ’45, a sports bar-style restaurant concept with small plates, burgers, cocktails and local craft beers. The look: Tavern ’45 has its own front entrance in the freestanding Brunswick’s space on Delk Road. But bowlers will find another entrance located near a service bar behind the lanes...
First Look: Couscous, Morningside

First Look: Couscous, Morningside

In May, chefs Khaled Chebbi and Lotfi Chabaane collaborated with owner and general manager Haykel Arfaoui of Perla Taqueria to open Couscous, a cozy Mediterranean-American cafe near the Botanical Garden and Piedmont Park. The look: Hidden away in the former Amuse space at the end of Dutch Valley Road, the restaurant features a lush garden patio. Inside, the design is anchored by a long row of tall...
First Look: Hugo’s Oyster Bar, Roswell

First Look: Hugo’s Oyster Bar, Roswell

Hugo’s Oyster Bar brings a new casual Southern seafood concept to Roswell from Rich Clark and chef Jon Schwenk, the partners behind C&S Seafood & Oyster Bar in Vinings. The look: Located in the old Slope’s BBQ building on Alpharetta Highway, the painted brick space is decorated with New Orleans-style gas lanterns, Delta-inspired art, colorful murals and vintage tin ceiling tiles. Several...
First Look: Saltyard, Brookwood Hills

First Look: Saltyard, Brookwood Hills

Saltyard, the lively new restaurant from Christian Favalli and Kristy Jones-Favalli, joins one-year-old Watershed on the ground floor of The Brookwood condo building on Peachtree Road. Favalli, son of La Grotta co-owner Sergio Favalli, and Jones-Favalli share long resumes in the restaurant business. The look: Designed by Square Feet Studios, the build-out mixes industrial and homey elements, with...
First Look: NOCA, Roswell

First Look: NOCA, Roswell

NOCA, the new bar and restaurant from the creators of Roswell’s Zest Sushi Tapas Bar, recently opened in the former Indigo space on the quieter end of ever-busy Canton Street. The initials stand for North on Canton, and the contemporary American menu features fine dining comfort food in a relaxed setting. The look: Like so many Roswell restaurants, NOCA is situated in what was once a single-family...
First Look: Zocalo, Midtown

First Look: Zocalo, Midtown

In early May, Richard Sandoval, chef-owner of Richard Sandoval Restaurants, added Zocalo to his international restaurant group’s more than 30 locations. As part of the deal, there are new upscale Mexican food and beverage menus, plus new decor and tableware. Executive chef Lucero Martinez-Obregon continues to head the kitchen, a role she’s filled since her family opened Zocalo in 1995...
First Look: BurgerFi, Alpharetta

First Look: BurgerFi, Alpharetta

Florida-based BurgerFi recently arrived in metro Atlanta with franchises at Emory Point and in Alpharetta. Sites in Midtown and Kennesaw are coming soon. The “better burger” concept updates the hamburger stands of the ’50s and ’60s with healthier menu items and earth-friendly design elements. The look: A silvery metal-clad exterior, colorful patio furniture and big yellow BurgerFi...
First Look: Villains Wicked Heroes, Midtown

First Look: Villains Wicked Heroes, Midtown

A spin-off of Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Villains Wicked Heroes has landed in Midtown. Grindhouse guy Alex Brounstein partnered with Jared Lee Pyles, formerly of HD1, and Jason McClure, formerly of Flip, to create the fast-casual, cartoon-inspired sandwich shop featuring cocktails and craft beer. The look: Located in the former Little Azio space at the corner of 8th and Peachtree, the hipster-sci-fi...
First Look: Opulent, Roswell

First Look: Opulent, Roswell

Last week, restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac opened their newest venture, Opulent, in historic downtown Roswell in the former INC space on Canton Street. Along with culinary director Bob McDonough, Azhari and Kovac are the team behind two other Canton Street favorites, Little Alley Steak and Salt Factory Pub. The look: The long, narrow bar in front/dining room in back configuration conjures...
First Look: BoccaLupo, Inman Park

First Look: BoccaLupo, Inman Park

At Atlanta’s La Pietra Cucina, chef Bruce Logue focused on what he calls the “handmade aspects” of Italian cuisine, building a reputation for his deft ways with pasta. At Logue’s new Italian-American neighborhood restaurant, BoccaLupo, several of his La Pietra noodle favorites star on the menu, but there’s antipasti, and few entrees and desserts, too. The look: Located...
First Look: Mac McGee, Roswell

First Look: Mac McGee, Roswell

Mac McGee opened its first Irish-style pub in January 2010 on Decatur Square. The second Mac McGee opened in March 2013 in historic Downtown Roswell. Like the original, the Roswell location features a made-from-scratch menu and well-curated beer and whiskey lists. The look: As in Decatur, the ultra-bright red facade announces the entrance. The two-story former Pastis space boasts a New Orleans-style...
First Look: Paper Plane, Decatur

First Look: Paper Plane, Decatur

Repeat after me: Paper Plane is not a speakeasy. At least not according to barman Paul Calvert and his partners at Victory Sandwich Bar + Emporium in Decatur, where Paper Pane is not-so-secretly stashed as a separate bar and restaurant with its own kitchen. The look: Gain entrance via an unmarked black door near the restrooms in the back of the Sandwich Bar, or find another unmarked black door in...
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