Atlanta Magazine critic Corby Kummer reviews Cooks & Soldiers, the new Westside restaurant from Castellucci Hospitality Group, and awards it a "very good" rating of two stars. Kummer says it's a big step up from The Iberian Pig, and kitchen knows what to do with animal protein:
Protein is where the kitchen excels. Huge prawns are slathered in a blood orange and rosemary mojo heavily peppered with sweet Espelette, blackened over the wood fire, and served with head and shell, for those who like licking their fingers-or who, like me, will happily eat the shell along with the miraculously moist flesh (a minute too long on the fire turns prawns to cardboard). Berkshire pork tenderloin is beautifully carved into thick slices that are charred on the outside and rosy inside. Very rosy. Some diners will be put off. I wasn't, having long ago written a piece called "Cook Pork Pink." That's how to get the best flavor and softest meat (yes, it's safe!). The tenderloin would easily serve three; at $30 it's a relative bargain, and even comes with a side of butternut squash, plus bits of sweet, lightly peppered morcilla blood sausage.
John Kessler at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviews Kevin Ouzts's The Cockentrice restaurant in Krog Street Market. Kessler gives the Spotted Trotter proprietor's meat-centric eatery three stars:
Ouzts and his crew will feed you so much meat. Meat like none other in town, maxed out with pungent flavors and presented in ways you've never seen. Every dish here is a showcase for technique, but the best ones boast the mind and palate of a great chef in the making. Ouzts has, I think, a gift that goes beyond flavor balance and into the realm of flavor valence. His ingredients don't just complement one another; they bond with an electric charge.
THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Marie, Let's Eat! would rather have smaller portions of better food at El Pollo Dorado in Marietta. The Amateur Gastronomer advises against overlooking the sausage at Twin Smokers BBQ. ATL Food Snob says the braised fish in chili oil at Tasty China is worthy of a death row meal. Fried Chicken Lips thinks Top Spice is an acceptable option to satisfy a Thai craving. Weekend Eats ATL likes the oysters and stone crab toast at Grain. Hot Dish Review says subtle nuances make Tomo a great sushi destination in Buckhead. Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else says the shaking beef is the way to go at Nam Phuong. Bella Vivere is a huge fan of Bartaco.