This week, Besha Rodell of Creative Loafing visits Briza, the “high-concept cooking” restaurant that replaced Pacci in Midtown, and fails to award it a single star. Rodell sites poorly executed food gimmicks—“a sense of fun to the food that would be inspiring if any of it actually tasted good”—as the reason for its failure.
Why isn't anyone at Briza? Perhaps it's because the "Sazerac" is so stinky with the liquorish sting of Pernod, it's barely sniffable, let alone drinkable. Or perhaps it's because the "signature" cocktail is like a root beer float with Fernet Branca dumped in. Or, wait! No. It might be the chicken powderRodell seems genuinely baffled by the cooking of Briza Chef Janine Falvo, who appeared (briefly) on “Top Chef” this season.
It's a pity. This is a beautiful space, and Pacci was a decent restaurant. Briza's service is friendly and eager, and everyone wants to be awed by the powders, the puddings, and the panna cottas. But the most important ingredients — care, focus, and quality — are most certainly missing.
At the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Kessler heads to Philippopolis Tavern in Smyrna, after being enticed by its simplistic, honest, Bulgarian menu. He is won over by the sausage dishes and awards the restaurant two stars.
While I couldn’t describe Philippopolis Tavern as a destination, it offers a fun and often tasty change of pace for those food explorers out there who want to dig into Balkan cuisine.
Jon Watson at the AJC dines at Burger Tap in Morningside, awarding it two stars for its rectangular burgers and cooked-to-order meat, “a welcome change from the many overcooked-by-default patties in town.”
Eat It, Atlanta’s Jimmy assesses the Monday night-only fried chicken at One Eared Stag. “One Eared Stag has surely thrown their hat into the ring for most impressive fried chicken in town. Nice work, chef,” he writes. ATL Food Snob lauds the yu choi beef and sesame chicken at Coco’s Chinese Restaurant.