In this month's Atlanta Magazine, dining editor and restaurant critic Bill Addison reviews Golden House in Duluth. Addison notes the early days of Atlanta's Chinese food scene, a decade ago, and "can see Golden House's success inciting a renaissance of the local dim sum clashes." His encounter with the dumpling cart hints at why:
"The cart carrying dumplings came clanging by. We asked for har gau, siu mai (open-faced cylinders of pork and shrimp with fluted wrappers), and a plump variation containing shrimp and chives. Each was taut yet delicate. Jackpot."
He goes on to advise that "dumpling lovers" should arrive early and plan for Sundays "when the kitchen unleashes its most extravagant breadth of options." Addison also warns against getting too bogged down with renowned Cantonese chef Danny Ting's hundred-plus menu items (including seafood, meats, vegetables, soups, noodles, and rice dishes), directing diners' attention to specials as a "less-perplexing route." His last bit of advice is to visit soon, before that aforementioned dim sum clash ensues.
In lieu of a review this week, Besha Rodell, dining editor and restaurant critic at Creative Loafing profiled restaurateur Patrick La Bouff as part of CL's "20 People to watch in 2012" The focus is La Bouff taking on "the enigma of Midtown" with his highly anticipated restaurant The Lawrence, and Rodell gives these details:
"The Lawrence will share a chef, Shane Devereux, with Top Flr, the Sound Table, and Dinner Party, but it won't necessarily share a genre...the Lawrence aims to be more polished. The menu is more ambitious. Eric Simpkins, one of Atlanta's original rock star bartenders...will helm the bar. The restaurant will serve afternoon tea as well as dinner. La Bouff says he already has his eye on another Midtown spot, and has no plans to stop there. 'I want to define what's changing about Atlanta and this neighborhood.'"Additionally on the Loaf's list of 20 people to watch: Cacao's Kristen Hard and What Now, Atlanta's Caleb Spivak.
John Kessler, lead dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also published features instead of reviews this week, including his Top Dishes Of The Year and a look at Healthy Strategies for Dining, with Tasty Examples. On staying healthy in the New Year, he advises avoiding "crisp" and looking for "broth," citing Canoe's yellowfin tuna with braised daikon radish, adzuki beans and exotic mushroom broth; ordering half-orders of pasta like the bucatini amatriciana at La Pietra Cucina; watching the salt at Korean restaurants like Myung Ga Won; and paying attention to garnishes at "upscale Southern" spots like Empire State South. Kessler's last words of wisdom are to "choose friends who let you eat off their plates."
Wrapping things up at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bob Townsend takes a First Look at STK Atlanta, Jon Watson reviews Ringside Franks and Shakes, and Gene Lee visits BAPS Shayona. At Creative Loafing, Cliff Bostock lunched at just-opened Cardamom Hill. Over on A Hamburger Today, Todd Brock reviews Burger Tap.
Chow Down Atlanta posted her year-end review The Best Things I Ever Ate: 2011 and also visited Gu's Bistro and Cardamom Hill. Foodie Buddha got the rumor mill turning about possible menu changes at Miso Izakaya. ATL Food Snob goes to La Fourchette.