At the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's website, Bob Townsend takes a first look at Mavericks Cantina in Johns Creek. Billed as a "So-Cal," "Mexican" eatery, the menu also features Southern influences:
The food: The menu from St. Clair, a California Culinary Institute grad and the chef/owner of Antebellum restaurant in Flowery Branch, is elemental in approach. But a few dishes feature Southern touches. Spicy fried chicken tacos ($12), served with poblano rice and black beans, are topped with Alabama-style white barbecue sauce and chow-chow. Wood-grilled grouper tacos ($13) are finished with lime-marinated pineapple, buttermilk dressing, radishes and cilantro. A hefty pork belly torta ($14) gets a slather of chipotle mayo, a fried egg and pickled red onions, with a pile of sweet potato wedges on the side.
Art Huckabee for Atlanta INTown Magazine visits Café Alsace in Decatur and finds a nice marriage of French and German cuisines:
We chose the Brie a la Rhubarbe et Mirabelle, the Tarte Flambe and the French onion soup to start. The baked brie served with pretzel bread, rhubarb jam and a Mirabelle plum jam provided the perfect savory, sweet, salty bite. The Tarte Flambe was a large flatbread smothered in Crème Fraiche, bacon, onions and Emmentaler cheese. It was one of the favorite dishes of the evening and if paired with a green salad, could have easily been a meal for two on its own. The onion soup was flavorful and full of caramelized onions, but needed a cheesier topping.
Our entrées were the Bouef Wellington, the Filet de truite, the Poulet farci and the Crêpe du jour. I'm betting that more than one "Hell's Kitchen" fan has visited to sample the Wellington. This version was quite good with the pastry light and crispy, and the beef medium rare ... not an easy feat according to Chef Gordon Ramsay. The trout dish was classically French with smoked salmon, fennel and apples. It tasted good but was texturally one-note.
THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Atlanta Restaurant Blog says Doc Chey's Dragon Bowl is a great lunch spot. Bella Vivere isn't happy with Golden BBQ in Chamblee. Hot Dish Review enjoys a first taste at Lusca, but says it doesn't live up to the hype. The Amateur Gastronomer satisfies multiple cravings at The Pig & The Pearl. Marie, Let's Eat! says the burritos, beans, rice, and roasted corn at Yo Bo Cantina Fresca in Athens are "fresh and vivid."