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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I wish you all the most healthy, prosperous, fulfilling and rewarding New Year, and may it be filled with wonderful meals and equisite finds within the ATL restaurant scene. As previously mentioned, the New Year will bring some changes to the Atlanta Eats blog. I will have a more formal announcment later in the week, but to see a preview, you can go to

In the meantime, celebrate well and celebrate safe tonight.

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tom Colicchio Applies His Craft in Buckhead

Despite the incredibly busy holiday season, I was able to make my first visit to Craft last week with much anticipation. Craft and Craftbar are located in a stand-alone structure in the Mansion on Peachtree complex on Peachtree Rd. near Lenox. Craft and its various incarnations (Craftbar, Craftsteak and Wichcraft) are the babies of Chef Tom Colicchio and has locations in NYC, LA, Vegas, Foxwoods, Dallas and now Atlanta. Its location in the super high-end Mansion hotel and condominiums, where condo prices start at $2.5 million and go up from there. The prices at Craft aren't quite as outrageous, but this is no cheap night out either. In fact, Steakhead was even priced out of the two steaks on the menu.

As I mentioned, Craft is housed in its own building, where Craftbar (which has its own menu) occupies the ground floor and Craft lays claim to the 2nd floor. One step inside and you know you are at one of the more formal restaurants in town. The decor is elegant, the dress was predominantly coat and tie, and the service was top notch.

The menu changes nightly, but on this night I found it to be somewhat limited. For the first course there were a handful of raw oysters and one dish of hamachi sashimi. There were also a couple of non-Steakhead like starters like Country Terrine and Roasted Sweetbreads with Boiled Peanuts. My Dad went with the Sweetbreads and said they were excellent. And since this is the man who would bring home things like calf's brain when I was a kid, I'll just take his word for it.

For the main courses, there were 6 fish/shellfish entrees and 6 meats. However, two of the meats were $50+ steaks (including a Waygu skirt steak). But I just can't see paying $50+ for a steak, at least not in Atlanta, so I went with a braised Sea Bass with Horseradish. This was very good, and at $27, was easier to stomach. Dad had the braised short rib, which he liked but thought the size of the portion could have been a little larger. I told him that's what happens when you order the cheapest meat dish on the menu ($28).

I mentioned the great service here and it is worth calling out that they were absolutely fantastic about not rushing the meal. The appetizers came out without much of a long wait, but they really let us enjoy that and gave us some time before bringing out the main course. I hate it when the main courses come immediately upon clearing the soup bowls. By the time our meal was over, it was 11:30 and we were the last folks to leave, and even with that, I never felt rushed.

Craft is definitely a fine dining experience, and in Atlanta, it may well rate amongst the best of them. The menu tends to be a grade-level higher than this Steakhead can appreciate. I may well be back, though it may have to be an expense account meal the next time.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Today is Chritsmas Eve, which means tonight is the meal I most look forward to all year. For at least 20 years, my family tradition has called for cold seafood on Christmas Eve. Smoked salmon to start with, followed by shrimp cocktail, and finished off with a whole steamed lobster. The smoked salmon from Costco is cheap and better than anything you will find in your local supermarket. I'll probably get the shrimp from Whole Foods, and I'll be lazy about it and buy them precooked and forzen. Finding good lobsters at an affordable price, however, has been a challenge since moving from New Jersey down to Atlanta. But this year, prices for lobsters are hitting rock bottom. I special-ordered the lobsters this year from Publix (one of the few places in Atlanta where you can still find live lobsters), and was quoted a price of $11.99 a pound! They will even steam them for no extra charge, saving my wife from watching me throwing them in the pot.

For Christmas Day this year, we have ordered a Turducken breast from the Cajun Meat Company. I'll do a separate post on that later this week. Whatever the holiday you celebrate, and whatever your tradition, I hope you have a wonderful and safe one!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Changes Coming to the Blog

Just a heads-up that I am going to be changing the look and function of this blog in the coming days. I had a grandiose change in mind, but after some consultation, have decided to make the changes a little more modest. There will be an updated look, some new links where some restaurant information will reside, and I am finally getting my own domain, so the URL will change as well. More information to come!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Little Steakhead In The World

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I actually have a really good excuse this time. My son, Reece Colin Griffith, was born last Sunday. He is a fine, healthy little baby and every one in the Steakhead home is doing well. My posts may continue to be a little sparse for the next couple of weeks, but I hope to be at it again soon after the holidays!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Richard Blais To Reinvent the Burger at Flip

I guess there is a trend in LA and NYC for upscale burger concepts. Well, that concept is soon coming to Atlanta in a new restaurant called Flip that will be located at 1587 Howell Mill Rd. And one of Atlanta's signature chefs, Richard Blais, has signed on as creative director. With Blais on board, you can bet there will be some interesting takes on the traditional favorite. I already from the press release below that you will see lamb burger, shrimp burger, lamb burger, kobe burger (oh yeah) and assorted veggie burgers. Don't have an opening date yet, but will publish when I get it. In the meantime, here is the official release.

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

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Technology is NOT Your Friend at Legal Sea Foods Atlanta

I have been working in the tech industry for the last 12 years and can easily be described as a technology optimist. But there are some times where simple, basic human interaction trumps technology every time. And when I am looking at a menu with prices easily in the $20+ range per entree, there is no substitute for good ole fashion, attentive customer service.

My guess is most people probably know about Legal Sea Foods. It’s a Boston-based seafood restaurant that has opened up shop in the Hilton Garden Inn near Centennial Park. (Actually, it’s right across the street from the Georgia Aquarium, prompting multiple queries as to where they were getting their fresh seafood from. If I see Whale Shark on the menu, we’ll have our answer.) The bottom of the restaurant is primarily a bar, with the main dining one floor above. The views of the Downtown Atlanta skyline from the 2nd floor are outstanding. Legal Sea Foods prides itself on its exceptionally fresh seafood and its “famous” clam chowder, which most of our group of 7 ordered. I found the prices a little high considering fried clams cost $19 and a lobster roll sandwich cost $23. But considering we are a landlocked city, and there is no such thing as a working lobster dock within a 3-hour flight of here, I guess you’ll have to take it.

But what made this meal stand out, was not the food, however, which was decent. It was the almost comically awkward service we received. Our waitress had some sort of handheld contraption to take our orders. However, either the user or the device was unable to take a person’s appetizer and their entrée order simultaneously. So after 3 people ordered, we were somewhat scolded to first provide all soup and appetizer orders so she could submit them, and then she could take our entrée orders.

Now you would think that with this modern technology, at least there wouldn’t be any mix up with the actual order taking. Wrong. One person didn’t get their chowder. Another didn’t get their entrée. Lady Steakhead tried twice to order a cranberry and soda, only to be given straight cranberry. I’ll give the manager some credit here, who realized things were running amok at our table and comped all the soups and appetizers. That was appreciated and almost made everything better. Almost. They were so close.

But the problem was the meal wasn’t over and we still needed to deal with our waitress to at least get the check. When that came, I said we were going to give several credit cards. At that point, the waitress placed the contraption on the table and told us we could do that ourselves. What? Are we in McDonald’s?? You have screwed up our order multiple times, and you won’t even run the credit cards? Maybe that was a good thing, because who knows what we would have been charged.

I think Legal could do well in Atlanta, especially in that location where there are not a ton of options (though this is changing). Service, though, will need to be improved significantly. The other thing they may want to consider is a cheaper lunch menu, as their prices could limit some of the daytime tourist traffic. There is no way I am paying $23 for a lobster roll for lunch.

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