Richard Blais To Reinvent the Burger at Flip
Atlanta, GA (November 2008) – Restaurant industry veteran Barry Mills will open his first restaurant, FLIP, a modern burger boutique this fall. FLIP offers diners more than the basic hamburger, think, “fine dining between two buns.”
“I was initially inspired by the ‘hamburger rebirth’ that started in L.A. and then spread to New York City. But, what I didn’t like about those concepts was that they were still bound to the traditional diner-style image and weren’t updating the restaurant around the modernized burger menus,” says Barry Mills, owner of FLIP. “So, I decided that if I was going to reinvent a burger menu, then I better modernize and redefine the entire restaurant.”
FLIP’s creative director, Richard Blais, is one of the country’s most inventive chefs who is playing a significant role in the development of the menu and the operations of the kitchen. “When I first starting visualizing this concept, Blais was the chef that came to mind as the one to modernize the burger,” says Mills. “He is so creative and really complements our concept.”
Chef Richard Blais, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, has worked with some of the world’s most-respected chefs, including Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria and Daniel Boulud. Blais, a recipient of Gayot Guide’s ‘Top Five Rising Chefs of 2005,’ appeared on BRAVO’s ‘Top Chef: Chicago,’ and on the Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America.’ He has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and Food & Wine Magazine for his creative take on American food.
The unique menu will feature modern burgers served on a variety of artisinal brioche buns, sandwiches, sides and salads created by Blais. “The menu I developed for FLIP was a challenge I was up for,” Blais said. “It was fun to take something so common, like the burger, and give it a modern twist.” Some feature items include organic beef with homemade ketchup and mayonnaise; a po “boyger” with grilled shrimp, fried lemon and spicy tartar sauce; a lamb burger with green olive relish and raisin ketchup on a rosemary bun; and an authentic Kobe burger, utilizing fresh beef imported from Japan, dressed with herbal butter, red onion marmalade and blue cheese. For top flavor and freshness, FLIP will grind their signature FLIP beef burger using short ribs, hanger steak and brisket. Balancing out the menu, a variety of vegetable burgers will also be available, creating a selection suitable for all taste palates. The burgers will be smaller than the traditional burger to encourage diners to indulge in more than one.
FLIP’s menu features thoughtfully paired unique and house-made condiments and sides that complement the different proteins. In addition to traditional side items like French fries, tater tots and cole slaw, innovative bites will also be offered including sweet potato tempura, okra poppers and vodka battered onion rings. Salads will be equally unique with peaches ‘n’ feta; beets, avocado and mango; and frisee, bacon and egg. The menu will highlight the freshest ingredients available, through the rotation of seasonal produce. FLIP will also offer a full drink menu, including specialty martinis and margaritas. In addition to the full bar, guests will also enjoy the delicious selection of milkshakes at FLIP’s unique milkshake bar. Choose from flavors like Krispy Kreme, Peach and White Chocolate, and Sweet Tea to name a few.
Mills enlisted the design experts at ai3, Inc. to execute the interior design plan for FLIP. Dave Heimbuch, at ai3, Inc. comments: “Like the food, Barry and Richard have envisioned a space that harnesses modern sophistication with a light-hearted approach toward the dining experience. They want people’s first taste of the menu to be the space. So, we brought the unconventional and edginess of the cuisine to the design using reflecting ceiling elements, bold colors and finishes, and playful graphics. The result is a design that’s invigoratingly modern, yet like the menu, doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
A vibrant color palette and modern materials will result in a playful integration of the term “flip.”
A row of tables will take center stage in the space and will be flanked by a countertop bar on one side and a row of banquettes on the other. Blond wood tables and aluminum chairs will create a chic backdrop for the vibrant pops of color that will come from the red carpet. Custom wall graphics will stand out as vivid elemental works of art.
“I’ve always known that my calling was to run my own business,” Mills said. “I chose to open a restaurant because most businesses don't really allow for so many outlets for creativity and expression. I look at creating this new restaurant concept as creating a pragmatic work of art.”
FLIP will be a modern hamburger boutique offering “fine dining between two buns.” The menu, developed by creative director Richard Blais, redefines the classic hamburger. Located on the west side of Atlanta at 1587 Howell Mill Road, FLIP will be a contemporary, hip space that incorporates elements of fine dining with a creative, raw energy. Open for lunch and dinner daily from Sunday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. For more information call 404.352.FLIP or visit www.flipburgerboutique.com.