John Kessler, lead dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reviews Golden House restaurant in Duluth. The new Chinese restaurant is run by "one of the metro area's best-loved Cantonese chefs," Danny Ting of Wan Lai and Bo Bo Garden fame. Kessler describes Ting's journey to Golden House:
"Fans helped Ting compile an ever-increasing list of signature dishes, from his three-dumpling soup to his savory hot pots bubbling with spare ribs and taro. But here [he] has the space and the setting to spread his wings and serve the dishes that make grand Chinese dining an event. The pillar-framed entrance and foyer set with a massive tropical fish tank raise your expectations. When you enter the dining room with its glittery chandelier, parquet dance floor and small army of black-and-white-clad waiters, you're ready to live large."He goes on to live large indeed, trying many of the "seeming hundred dishes" and recommending the full menu over the restaurant's popular Sunday dim sum. On the best way to experience the "incredibly appealing" food that delivers "nourishment rather than bloat," he says:
"You should assemble a group of six or eight for your first venture; not only can you try more dishes, but you also get dibs on a Lazy Susan table. Everyone knows that rotation makes all food somehow more delicious."
In Creative Loafing, dining editor and restaurant critic Besha Rodell pens a letter to "Santy Claus." Essentially serving as a restaurant review of the metro, her "holiday wish list for Atlanta's dining scene " includes Lebanese food; delis and "decent bagels" inside the Perimeter; healthy, slightly upscale options reminiscent of Beleza; and more interesting wine lists and neighborhood wine bars. On things Santa can skip, she writes:
"In asking for these things, I am willing to give up a few places peddling tacos, cupcakes, burgers, crappy bar food, and even—gasp—Southern farm-to-table cuisine. Some of my favorite restaurants fall into this last category but there is a glut."Rodell's other hopes for the New Year are to be rid of "pre-rehearsed" waiters and the three-tier alcohol distribution system; and to move away from trends so chefs can follow their real passions. Her last wish before dropping off Santa's cookies and bourbon:
"It's been hard out there for people who own restaurants. Please help them to succeed, hopefully by doing what I suggest above—following their hearts. You know better than I, dear Santy, what it will take to make that happen. A better economy? A more adventurous dining public? Less grumpy food critics (ha!)? I'm not sure. But whatever it is, please try. That would be a great gift to Atlanta."
Also at Creative Loafing, Wyatt Williams takes a First Look at Latitude. At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Bob Townsend takes a First Look at Seed Kitchen & Bar and Jon Watson reviews Sapori di Napoli.
ATL Food Snob checks out Mobile Marlay food truck. Broderick Smylie at Savory Exposure gets holiday sweets at Cacao, Virginia-Highland and Bear Maker Bakery. And Foodie Buddha makes up for lost time in LA by going to: Grand Champion BBQ, Wing Factory, Fuoco Di Napoli, and Curly's Fried Chicken.