New York's restaurant heavy hitters are heading south.
As a native New Yorker, I can tell you that I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for these culinary giants to grace my new home city with their genius. Native Atlantians brag during small wine tastings about how big and grand their city is growing. So I just had to check out all the hype and see what is happening in my new adoptive town.
My first stop was at Tom Colicchio's new restaurant. For those of you who may be living in a cave, Mr. Colicchio is the co-host of Bravo's "Top Chef" and once worked for Danny Meyer's culinary empire in NYC.
Craft Atlanta, his third Craft inception, will open in the very posh Mansion on Peachtree this fall.
Considering the restaurant's location inside the Mansion on Peachtree, re-creating the Flatiron feel of lower Manhattan may be a challenge. The chef chosen for this NY transplant is Kevin Maxey, cherry-picked from inside the Colicchio empire, who was chef of Craft Dallas and worked for Colicchio during his Gramercy Tavern days.
This new transplant will feature contemporary American cuisine similar to other Craft counterparts. Chef Colicchio said that he will seek locally grown, seasonal products, from black-eyed peas to tomatoes. The anticipated summer opening has been pushed to fall.
3376 Peachtree Road, 404-995-7580, The Mansion on Peachtree
The hard working and controversial Jeffrey Chodorow will also be joining Atlanta. You might remember Mr. Chodorow from NBC's "The Restaurant," where he spent most of his time trying to rein in celebrity chef Rocco Di Spirito.
His newest baby is called Maxim Prime.
Similar in style to the Kobe Club
, this new concept partnered with men's magazine Maxim. Yes, you heard right. The menu was executed by local chef Daniel Zoby. Once you get past listings of "twins" and "threesomes," the dishes are often excellent. His deviled eggs are crowned with white and black truffles, caviar and gold leaf; the steaks are juicy and inviting; and the corn and potatoes are as good as those at the Kobe Club.
110 Marietta St., 404-222-7992, The Glenn Hotel
French super chef Laurent Tourondel will open BLT Steak
inside the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences in January 2009. Chef-owner Laurent Tourondel is quickly scarfing up New York City real estate with BLT Steak, BLT Market, BLT Fish and BLT Prime.
Kobe beef can be ordered for $26 an ounce, with a 5-ounce minimum!
A more satisfying meal comes from meandering through the menu, where braised beef short ribs fall from the bone, cooked slow to sweet, almost perfection and brought to the table in a large cast-iron pot.
What should we expect here? Still too far out to tell, say PR reps for chef Tourondel. But keep an eye out for its highly anticipated arrival.
45 Ivan Allen Plaza, inside the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel and Residences at Allen Plaza, 404-990-7715
These are just a few of the NYC restaurants coming to set up house here in Atlanta. It is expected that Atlanta will be eating well for some time. Look to the horizon for other NY pioneers to travel south and bring this NY girl a piece of home.
Photo provided by: Jerusha DeVargas