For all of you eagerly awaiting the next Top Chef season like I am, I thought I would engage in some fond memories of last season. A while ago I dined at Home Restaurant & Bar, a newer release from one of Atlanta’s established restaurant groups. I’m not the biggest fan of the group but I’m not down on them either; their restaurants are always pretty good for food quality but their ambiance can be a bit ‘mall’. I was excited though as Home had recently taken on Richard Blais (Top Chef finalist) as their head chef
I started with the most interesting twist, foie gras torchon with fruit preserves like jam and silver dollar pancakes. Blais is exciting in the kitchen, of the genre of Wylie Dufresne, and the taste of his food does not suffer from it like many other wannabes. The menu at Home though was what you might expect from such a name in the South; fried chicken, shrimp & grits, pork chops, beef brisket and country fried skate all graced the entrees. Despite the rote fare, everything was done with a slight twist, pulling off a truly devilish dish (the fried chicken was done confit and served with cauliflower mac & cheese).
The meal was a treat and I got to sit and chat with the celeb chef afterwards. I realized something then that I actually just discovered was true; Blais seemed a little too grandiose for the toned-down ‘homey’ fare of Home and seemed to want for more. He has apparently just moved on to start FLIP, an upscale burger boutique (read more) that will be opening in New York and Atlanta. I’m looking forward to more from Blais and eventually from Top Chef.
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