From Debbie Rosen
Evolution has been the name of the culinary game at Food 101, since it opened its doors 13 years ago. The owners recently decided that it was time for the restaurant to better reflect the bold cuisine the kitchen was serving and embarked on a design transformation.
Between the welcoming new décor, the newly minted Barrel Bar and all of its offerings and the bold flavors that the new menu offers, Food 101 has brimmed with excitement this holiday season.
From the moment guests enter the restaurant, they are now greeted with a retro American look that evokes a feeling of relaxed Southern charm. Each of the table tops in the dining room has been replaced with light, weathered butcher block providing a more casual feel. A lighter wood floor also reflects that casual Southern atmosphere and perhaps the focal point of the room is now a whimsical, glowing “EAT” sign that radiates a soft light from the center of the dining room.
The private dining room has a warmer feel, with tan burlap panels covering the lower portion of the walls and antique dark brown wooden doors leading into the room. The rustic Southern dining room seats up to 40 people, making it an even more exciting place to meet and dine.
“We realized there was a misperception that Food 101 offered a more formal dining experience," said 101 Concepts Partner, Steve Buero. "We wanted to correct this by becoming even more casual and inviting than we had been in the past and offering guests a variety of affordable dining options.”
Buero added, “The décor change is just a natural extension of the progressive southern style the kitchen has been exuding for years.”
The new menu include nearly 20 small plates featuring bold flavors. Some of these dishes include Scotch Eggs with Chorizo and Spicy Mayo in a warm Tortilla, Labelle Farms Duck Croquettes with Kimchi Cabbage and Hoisin Barbecue Sauce and Freebird Chicken Pate with Bacon Marmalade and Apple Jelly on Crispy Sourdough. Each of these dishes are priced between $5 and $16, with most plates averaging $7. Fresh baked yeast rolls and cornbread are also being served to enhance the dining experience.
Perhaps the largest change that has been made at Food 101 is the introduction of its new “Barrel Bar,” complete with an astounding list of small batch bourbons, ryes and “shines.” There are nearly two dozen different varieties of Bourbon on the Barrel Bar’s list, each priced between $8 and $11.
2013 will usher in another change. Each week Food 101 will feature “Barbecue, Blue Grass and Bourbon Sundays,” showcasing the fabulous barbecue techniques that have become a passion of Chef Justin Keith’s. Smoking his own meats and creating dazzling barbecue sauces has become a key element of Chef Keith’s culinary repertoire. Each Sunday, during brunch and dinner, different fabulous barbecue dishes and bourbon tastings will be featured, and live Blue Grass music will entertain all of the guests.
Food 101, located at 4969 Roswell Road, is open for lunch Monday through Friday, Dinner Monday through Sunday and Sunday Brunch. For more information about the restaurant, including menus and hours of operation, please visit Food 101’s website, www.food101atlanta.com.