Umi Sushi From Fuyuhiko Ito [Coming Soon]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on February 19, 2013

umi-sushi-logo

It’s been a few months since Fuyuhiko Ito‘s plans to open a Buckhead sushi bar started to leak out.  Now, it appears things are finally starting to come together.  The restaurant has been branded Umi, which is the phonetic equivalent of the Japanese word for sea.  Seems appropriate.  The restaurant just launched a facebook page and it’s replete with construction images.  The restaurant is located at 3050 Peachtree Road in Two Buckhead Plaza, which is right in the midst of Chops/Lobster Bar and the St. Regis (amongst other tenants).

It’s one of the restaurants I’m most anxious to see open.  Both Ito-san and his wife Lisa previously worked at the now defunct MF Sushi Bar.  Ito was one of the chefs while Lisa deftly executed the restaurant’s excellent Japanese desserts.  She also showed off her skills as head of service in the fancy pants Omakase room at MF.

While the restaurant hasn’t officially said what the opening date is, they are shooting for March 1, 2013.  My peeps tell me that date is more or less in play.  If there are delays, it might be a result of licensing and such as opposed to construction stalls.

Nava Closing In Buckhead, Ford Fry The Likely Replacement + Some Not So Little Sushi News 5

Posted by Foodie Buddha on June 12, 2012

nava interior

Factoid: Nava, the longstanding “Southwestern” eatery from the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, is headed for the land of restaurants past.  While I don’t think anyone from BLRG has officially gone on record, this has been rumored and considered by many people over the past months and years.  The rumors are dead because this is now a fact.  Nava is closing in August despite (or perhaps b/c of) the revitalization that’s happening in Buckhead.  Because of that revitalization, Nava’s demise is not the only part to this story.

You see, one might argue that the intersection of Peachtree and East/West Paces Ferry is in fact the epicenter of Atlanta’s ritziest zip code. 3060 Peachtree Rd (the building that houses Nava) has kind of gotten the “Up” treatment in recent years; so you know someone was going to jump at the opportunity to move in.  As it just so happens, it appears that someone is right outside the neighborhood gates.

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Café Agora in Midtown Just Around The Corner [Openings] 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 23, 2011

sampler platter (aka meze) at cafe agora

Good news for we fans of Café Agora, a Buckhead gyro and Mediterranean spot where I’ve popped more foodie cherries at than I can count.  In July, the Atlanta Business Chronicle broke the news that Café Agora was adding a satellite location in Midtown.  At the time, ABC reported that Agora hoped to be open at 92 Peachtree Place by late September.  As is common place with these sorts of things, that didn’t actually happen.

Fast forward a few months to present day, and it SEEMS like change is just around the corner.  Word around the campfire is that owner Mr. Ozelci (but you don’t need to call him that) hopes to have Al’s Café Agora Midtown open in the early parts of February.  I can wait nary another day as I have yet to find a Greek/Mediterranean/Turkish restaurant in the area that can hold a candle to CA.  Their gyros burst in the mouth with flavor as pronounced as pop rocks.  Beyond that, who doesn’t love to watch the jovial Al feed his customers as spoons goodies from a meze plate into the mouths of customer after customer?  Seriously – the dude likes to feed people as if he’s teaching a baby how to eat!  Don’t be scared … just go with it.

Also, Agora is finally starting to expand its mother ship, which TNT told us about last year.  The build out shouldn’t take long, but I have no time frame for when its actually going to be completed.  All I know is that Café Agora is expanding, and Atlanta will be better for it.

Café Agora Address & Information

262 E. Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 · view map
404.949.0900 · · menu
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Turkish · Price Range: $$

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Fuoco Di Napoli & The Pizza Obsessed 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 12, 2011

margherita pizza at fuoco di napoli

Fuoco Di Napoli is Atlanta’s newest pizzeria obsession.  Open less than 168 hours, pizza fans from all parts of Atlanta have made it over to Buckhead’s newest pizza joint to test the skills of Fuoco’s pizzaioli, one Enrico Liberato.

In his two-years in Atlanta, Liberato has become to pizza what Peter Chang is to Chinese food.  In other words, he’s a kitchen hopper of the highest order.  Liberato was brought to Atlanta by restaurateur Riccardo Ullio to help revitalize Ullio’s pizza restaurant Fritti.  He soon fled into the arms of Giovanni Di Palma to help get things started at Antico Pizza.  Then, Liberato quickly disappeared only to show up for yet another short lived stint.  This time, Liberato took his trademark checkered hat and chose the remotely located Vingenzo’s in Woodstock as his next destination … “and like that, poof.  He’s gone.”

Now, much like Chang, Liberato has resurfaced at a restaurant that he has a stake in assuring Atlanta’s food crazed minions that he’s here to stay (or so people hope).  While we wait and see if that holds to be true, I … like several others … have already stopped in to see if Fuoco Di Napoli is worth a fuss.

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Wing Factory: Fight The Kids, Get Some Wings

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 12, 2011

chicken wing basket at wing factory

Some people obsess about what they wear, some people obsess about the newest gadgets, and some people obsess about the latest celebrity gossip.  Me … I obsess about food (and a few other things mind you).  Under that all encompassing umbrella of thought, certain types of food have the potential to goad my inner child into something most people call “a craving.”  One of those is the Buffalo wing, perhaps the single best culinary concoction this country has given the world.

While hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie may get all the credit, those fakers aren’t really “American.” After all, they were invented somewhere else.  But the Buffalo wing – that’s all us baby!  So I make it my business to pound a few dozen of these genetically modified suckers on a monthly basis (yeah … I’ve long since realized that Buffalo wings come from chickens who probably don’t live a happy life).  While my doctor may not approve of this frequent assault on my body, and my conscious if often ignored, a chicken wing diet is something I speak quite highly off.

Enter Wing Factory, a longstanding Buckhead sports bar meets kids coral.  It’s a beat up business with with plenty of TVs that serves up the very definition of bar food, and for what it is … I dig it.  Sure, its often overrun with several dozen pre-pubescent bastards all hopped up on sugar packets and Kool-Aid, and the food is anything but gourmet, but Wing Factory offers me enough illicit delight that I’ll weather the ruckus every few months for some wings and poppers.

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Holeman & Finch Ramen 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 11, 2011

ramen at holeman + finch

Holeman & Finch’s foundation is in the craft beverages they mix up; however, their food is no slouch.  Actually, H+F is most well-known as “that place with the 10 o’clock burger.”  But beyond their nationally acclaimed burger, this gastro pub offers a constantly changing menu that has more than a few dishes worth talking about.

One of the latest additions to their current menu is a pork skin ramen.  Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that’s going through a renaissance not unlike the current burger and pizza craze.  While not as prolific of a trend as burgers or pizza, ramen has been getting a lot of love from all sorts of restaurants who are adding this dish in a one off setting.  H+F is just the latest to do so.

Holeman & Finch’s ramen actually reminds me more of phở than it does of traditional ramen.  It’s absolutely loaded with garlic and ginger, and the murky soup seems to elicit the characteristics of lemongrass (though that may just be my imagination) perhaps on account of the abundant inclusion of coriander leaves.  But regardless of what traditionalists will say, this packed with flavor “ramen” will no doubt get your tongue to move.

pork skin ramen from holeman & finch public house.jpg

The base of the broth is of course pork, it’s touched with a hint of hot sauce, topped with a huge slice of H+F’s housemade bread, and comes in at $12 per order.  The fun little twist is the chopped bits of pork skin that hide like mines beneath the sea surface and detonate in your mouth with a soupy crunch.  Cutting through the five-minute egg floating in the center might take a little effort, but that’s what happens when you try and wrangle a free floating cocoon of gooey yolk.  Pop that sucker open, watch the yellow spill like oil, and  comprise your bite of a good helping of all the little ingredients the ramen offers.

It’s not the greatest ramen ever to land in Atlanta, but Holeman & Finch’s newest creation is certainly worth an order … it’s packed with flavor and that butter toasted bread is the ultimate dipping tool.  Check it out and let me know what you think … I most definitely dig it.

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Holeman & Finch Address & Information

2277 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 · view map
404.948.1175 · · menu
Cuisine: Gastropub, Modern American · Price Range: $$

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Latitude Food & Drink: Trying To Raise The Mall Food Game

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 25, 2011

roasted mushroom sandwich at latitude

There are two types of mall food in this world and chef Micah Willix’s newly opened Latitude Food and Drink is hoping to break away from that rule of thumb.  The most abundant form of mall grub is available in food courts.  Unlike a good bit of the food served in the hawker stalls of Southeast Asia, American food court grub makes McD’s chicken McNuggets look artisan.

The second type of mall food is a gentrified palate cleanser restrained by the need to serviceably satisfy a wide spectrum of less than adventurous palettes.  This is the play pen where we find Latitude Food & Drink, a new “chef driven” restaurant concept stationed in Buckhead’s opulent Phipps Plaza.

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Ringside Franks & Shakes: Neighborhood Hot Dogs In Sandy Springs 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 21, 2011

chili cheese dog at ringside franks

The tiny little building at 4441 Roswell Rd on the edge of Sandy Springs and Buckhead has gone through a few changes in the past year+.  What was first a Wolf Camera and then a little yogurt shop is now Ringside Franks & Shakes.  With a simple personality and a linear menu of traditional hot dogs and classic milkshake flavors, Ringside Franks seems settled in its own skin as a neighborhood restaurant.

Conceptually, Ringside is a mashup of the old reliable wiener stand meets modern American sensibilities.  In the case of the latter, those sensibilities translate into a de rigueur menu full of au naturel products.  Using both buns and links harnessed from nearby purveyors, Ringside is attempting to give people a “feel good” hot dog experience without getting caught up in the trend to reinvent the wheel.

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Tartufo Pizzeria Review – Buckhead, Atlanta, GA [First Impressions]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on October 31, 2011

tartufo awning

Subtly tucked into a corner next to Buckhead’s year-old La Fourchette is Tartufo Pizzeria.  Since we first heard about Tartufo back in late May, the pizza parlor has grown from an abstract idea into a concrete and fully operational business.

As the name suggests (tartufo means truffle in Italian), Tartufo is yet another addition to Atlanta’s burgeoning gourmet/artisan/”insert fluffy adj. here” pizza scene.  Paste heavy sauces, Kraft quality cheeses, and crunchy bacon bits are nowhere to be found.  Instead, Tartufo can trace its lineage back to the origins of the ideal that popped up in Naples those many centuries ago.  Keeping that in mind, it is unsurprising that more than one pizza fiend has made his or her way over to Tartufo in the opening weeks; you can count me amongst the guilty as charged.

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Black Cod … Tomo … ‘Nuff Said

Posted by Foodie Buddha on September 06, 2011

black cod belly at tomo

Look at it … drool over it … want it.  Stare at that tempura batter soaking up the ponzu … crave it.  That, my friends in food, is one hell of a dish.  Courtesy of Tomohiro Naito at his eponymous restaurant Tomo, lusciously cut pieces of black cod have been tempura fried and left to swim in a garlic ponzu sauce.  Grated daikon and sliced scallions round out this tongue puckering example of umami.  In a Japanese restaurant where dollars need to be watched with meticulous solicitude, you’ll probably assume the $8.00 price tag exists in err.  Hurry now before Tomo-san realizes this gaff; this may be the most under valued dish in the entire city.

Tomo Japanese Restaurant Address & Information
3256 Cobb Pkwy Atlanta, GA 30339 // 770.690.0555 // website

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