Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We're in an Empire State of Mind

When I moved back to Atlanta after graduating from UGA, I decided to check out a cooking class at The Cook's Warehouse one evening. The featured chef that night was none other than Hugh Acheson, an Athens restauranteur and culinary god in my mind. As the class progressed, I lovingly watched as he prepared cauliflower soup garnished with hazelnuts, celery and chive cream, penne alla carbonara with panchetta, swiss chard, fresh basil and parmesan, skillet fried catfish with tomato chutney and lemon sauce (a Five & Ten signature dish) and chocolate pot de creme with cardamom cream. Yes, I'm a total nerd so nearly six years later, I still have copies of the recipes he prepared. I thought that night was the closest I'd ever come to enjoying Chef Acheson's brilliant work in the ATL, but I'm happy to report that the man is about three months away from proving me wrong.

This Spring, Midtown Atlanta will be graced with the presence of an Acheson original restaurant dubbed Empire State South. Located on the ground floor of an office tower at 10th and Peachtree (only a two minute walk from my office, thank god), the vision for the restaurant is described on its Web site:

"A community restaurant focusing on the food of the South, Empire State South will be a meat and three restaurant with coffee shop, bar, bocce court and a selection of great Bourbons. From oyster pie to collard greens and hominy grits, Acheson crafts tradition food with a contemporary sensibility."

Bring on your best eats and booze, Hugh. As two of your biggest fans in Atlanta, AF will be there on opening day! And since you're installing a bocce court, you'll probably have a hard time convincing us to leave.


  1. I'm SO excited for this new restaurant! So close to work... it will be the perfect happy hour spot and lunch indulgence! Thanks for the tip, AF!

  2. I am the greatest bocce ball player in the history of the world. All Bikoffs recognize this statement as fact.

    I will play bocce AND destroy delicious food/drink.

    Basically... I AM AWESOME!