Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant - A little Spain in Atlanta

Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant
240 N. Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307

Talk about a fun restaurant in a great neighborhood! I don't know much about Atlanta. I get there once a year for Easter and I usually don't get to go out, but this time we stopped for brunch on the way back to my friends' house. There is a little neighborhood with a bunch of independent restaurants and shops named Poncey Highlands. It reminds me of what 14th St. in DC was a couple of years ago. Not ten years ago, more like five. 8)
We started out with some meats and cheeses. We had them bring three plates.
All of the plates were tasty and came with a little fruit and some gelee'/jam type item that was quite good.
Who doesn't like good charcuterie?
Mmm. Porky goodness.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the restaurant, but it is similar to the one in DC. Lots of wood, black and white photos of celebs from way back, and big chalk boards with the menu and specials over the bar. There is also plenty of outdoor seating and a fire pit! Nice touch.
However, I digress. The entree was nicely grilled flat-iron steak with truffled sauce and a side of soft eggs. Of course I dumped the eggs over the steak and ate them with the gooey yolk mixing with the truffle sauce. Nice.
I have to say though, for a quick bite of some really good charcuterie and cheese and a glass of wine in a very cozy atmosphere you'd be hard pressed to find better.
If you go, ask for Canyon. She was very accommodating to the six of us (including 2 kids) even though we switched tables and took a long time to settle down.
Stop in, check out the 'hood! Tell them you read about it here. 
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where in the world is Dave Hansen? Across the pond!


Dave Hansen, Operations Director of Tapper Restaurant Group, is stepping aside temporarily in order to perform a ‘restaurant rescue’ operation on Bones Restaurant in London’s ultra-trendy Shoreditch neighborhood

     Bones Restaurant opened last January in Hoxton/Shoreditch [an uber-hip district of London] to a mixture of acclaim and derision.  Owners Joss and Simeon Goodman, of The Grocery UK, along with partner Simon Hill decided it was far more efficient to recruit a known international operator like Dave Hansen than to waste time combing for local talent.

   With a combination of deadly pragmatism and 100 hour workweeks, Dave has made a lot of restaurants work across a lot of time zones, said the recruiter who brokered the deal.  The British partners asked if Hansen could revitalize the new, yet already flagging restaurant in as little as 120 days, and Hansen readily welcomed the challenge.

     Just as comfortable with a chef’s knife or calculator in his hand as he is with writing an award-winning wine list or hobnobbing with guests at the front door, Hansen seems a perfect choice to reform everything from front-of-house service to reining in spiraling costs and refreshing the plating of Bone’s eclectic cuisine.

    “I always assumed the next time I disembarked at Heathrow it would be to reverently ask Heston Blumenthal if I could do a stage for him.  I suppose I’m just as happy to try giving him a run for his money during my time in country,” Hansen said.

     Hansen’s current employer, restaurateur Dino Tapper, is happy to give him the time away.  “With the new concepts we’re looking at opening in the next year, I’m sure he’ll bring back some new discoveries and knowledge.  Floriana’s running tightly under new exec Daniel Hlusak, and Federal is blessed with the return of charismatic Brazilian chef Guillerme Baretto to the helm in the kitchen,” Tapper said.