The Real Restaurants Of Atlanta

The Real Restaurants Of Atlanta

Richard Blais gives his professional culinary opinion on the ATL ladies' restuarant choices.

I'm in NYC this week promoting Top Chef Season 5. So, with getting back into the swing of the city and staying in Manhattan, it was interesting watching the Housewives this week. By interesting I mean it was the first time I felt a tiny bit embarrassed for Atlanta and it's unique culture.

First off, the girls are loaded and they haven't gone to any real restaurants. I mean, they are actual places, but none of the restaurants visited are in the upper crest of a rising culinary scene. This week we visit three places.

Strip. Cool name. It's a hang out for the hip-hop crowd for sure, but most wouldn't put it in a serious restaurant category. I've never been, so I can't speak for the food. But know that chefs make it to most great places around town.

Ippolito's. I'm assuming this place was in Atlanta, but I'm guessing OTP. Again for those catching this blog for the first time, OTP (outside the perimeter) is to Atlanta as Long Island and New Jersey are to Manhattan. I love pizza, pasta, and caesar salad myself, and this was definitely a family friendly place. But nope, never heard of it or been there.

Au Pied du Cochon. I mentioned a few weeks back that this place is in the Intercontinental Hotel and the Atlanta outpost of the famed Paris brasserie. I ate my first pig's foot at the Paris location. I respect this place. But Kim, once again embarrasses all Southerners with her attempt at reading a menu written in both French AND English. Poison and Poisson are different Kimmie. Maybe it's because I'm in NY watching this episode, but it hurt this week. One of my main objectives while competing on Top Chef was to represent my current home, Atlanta, the South in general and my genre of creative food. All of which have been dumped on at times by the media.

So, to all of these women...

You represent more than just yourself. You're entitled to be as ignorant, materialistic, and whatever else you want but you represent many other real people.

It may be country singers, businesswomen, mothers, the NFL, or even black women as is the case with HW-ATL, but your appearance on this show is bigger than you realize.

So, maybe at least, try to represent Atlanta's real culinary scene and head to a few exciting restaurants. They'll pour DP there too, and even shake up an apple martini or two.

This week cemented the fact that having money doesn't mean having taste.

Here's my quick, personal opinions on our Housewives this week.

DeShawn. Felt bad for her. Gotta love Eric.

Lisa. Good for her, still love her and Ed. I don't think they can screw up in my opinion.

Kim. I think I nailed it last week. She's embarrassing. Thats all.

NeNe. She's a character for sure. Looked pretty nervous on FOX 5, though. BTW, Mark Hayes over Suchita Vadlamani? Suchita gives Padma a run for her money!

Sheree. You may think I'm crazy, but I think Sheree is getting used to the camera. She was much more appealing this week, and who knows, maybe thats more of her true character.

Don't forget to check out my blog at and what do you think about the article on hair-dos in Details magazine? Get Richard's recipe for a Halloween Champagne Cocktail after the jump.

Halloween Champagne Cocktail (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Ingredient, Amount good sparkling wine, 1 bottle

carbonated pear cider, 1 bottle

celery root juice (available at Whole Foods), 1 bottle

dry ice, a few pounds

1. MIX equal parts of the champagne and cider. You can omit the champagne and it's kid-friendly. 2. ADD a few splashes of celery juice. Trust me it's good. If youere feeling real creative, rim the glass with sugar mixed with curry powder. 3. DROP a very tiny crumble of dry ice into each champagne flute. THE SIZE OF AN M&M AND NO LARGER!! Do not ingest the dry ice, it should stay in the bottom of the glass. 4. The dry ice makes the cocktail very spooky, but also increases the carbonation! Remember it's all about flavor not gimmicks.

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