Tag Archives: Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Stop swirling your Champagne, you idiot

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Buzz Killers Swirling a glass of wine with a flick of the wrist can tell you a lot about what you’re drinking. The movement oxygenates the wine, releasing some volatile compounds that interfere with its true aroma. Raising the wine to eye level to look at its “legs” (the tears descending inside the glass) gives you an idea of its viscosity and alcohol strength. But the sight of anyone performing these acts with a glass of bubbly makes me hysterical. So you like to smash bubbles? You want to kill something that is alive?!?!? Champagnes and other sparkling wines ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Cheese later, not now

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Don’t Say Cheese I cannot contain my disdain for the appetizer cheese course. Cheese is rich and, depending on the kind, funky. It satiates your appetite. It induces sleepiness, even. Why would anyone eat it at the beginning of the meal? Cheese is best offered as a transition from the main course to dessert. The creaminess of what is essentially aged milk coats the palate for a slow goodbye to your steak or fish or what have you. It keeps the sweetness and sometimes the acidity of dessert from coming as too much of a shock. Two chefs whom ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Want the best restaurant meal ever? Go. Early.

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Beware the Late-Night Lag Early evening dining has an image problem. When I make a reservation for 6 p.m., often the only time I can get in at a hot new restaurant, my friends whine that they don’t want to eat at “old people time.” But this is just the hour when most places are at the top of their game. After more than 40 years of professional dining experience, I can safely say this: The later you eat, the worse you are likely to eat. (Exceptions are late-night restaurants like Octopus Bar, which doesn’t even open until 10:30 ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Can we please use our inside voices at restaurants?

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Hush Hush Quiet dining rooms are pretty much out of vogue. For years now, architects have been building more and more industrial-style restaurants with hard surfaces that, when mixed with human voices, become cacophonous sound chambers. How many times have you crossed the threshold of a restaurant only to be assaulted by a racket resembling that of a colony of monkeys at the zoo? Design, though, is only partly to blame. Restaurants are not inherently loud. People are loud. Especially Americans, who tend to squawk as if everyone around them is hard of hearing. I could pack 85 Frenchies ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Here’s how you ruin ribs

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Bad to the Bone I recently tasted 19 plates of ribs smoked by some of our best local chefs for the Smoke and Glory charity event in Oakhurst. One version blew me away, two or three were pretty good, and the rest ended up in the “no” pile. Smoked ribs must be tender but not mushy, and deep pink on the inside with a dark burnish on the outside. Contrary to popular opinion, the meat should not be falling off the bone. On the other hand, my fellow judges and I should not have had to forcefully wrench the ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Thin-crust pizza makers, you’re doing it wrong

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Vanishing of the Thin Crust Something is happening to pizza. Lately, all I can find are pies with flabby, uncooked centers and swollen crusts that have all the textural charm of cardboard. The kind of pie I like—one with a fully baked, thin but supportive crust—hardly gets any respect anymore. Why is this? One man doing the thin crust justice is Jeff Varasano. The pie dough at his eponymous pizzeria, Varasano’s, in south Buckhead, is uniformly cooked with just a bit of char on the edges, and its toppings, trapped in an enamel of cheese, stand their ground. No ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Thin-crust pizza makers, you’re doing it wrong

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Rant Vanishing of the Thin Crust Something is happening to pizza. Lately, all I can find are pies with flabby, uncooked centers and swollen crusts that have all the textural charm of cardboard. The kind of pie I like—one with a fully baked, thin but supportive crust—hardly gets any respect anymore. Why is this? One man doing the thin crust justice is Jeff Varasano. The pie dough at his eponymous pizzeria, Varasano’s, in south Buckhead, is uniformly cooked with just a bit of char on the edges, and its toppings, trapped in an enamel of cheese, stand their ground. No ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta restaurants, filter your water

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Illustration by Zohar LazarIllustration by Zohar Lazar Rant Troubled water Most Americans seem to guzzle way more water than I do, but I’ve still got strong opinions about how it should taste. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, I’ve found municipal water is great right out of the tap. But in Atlanta? I can’t stand the foul flavor of our water, which restaurants often pour straight over a fistful of ice cubes. By no means am I suggesting the need to import fancy, expensive bottles from obscure corners of the world, but water should at least be filtered ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta restaurants, filter your water

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Illustration by Zohar LazarIllustration by Zohar Lazar Rant Troubled water Most Americans seem to guzzle way more water than I do, but I’ve still got strong opinions about how it should taste. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, I’ve found municipal water is great right out of the tap. But in Atlanta? I can’t stand the foul flavor of our water, which restaurants often pour straight over a fistful of ice cubes. By no means am I suggesting the need to import fancy, expensive bottles from obscure corners of the world, but water should at least be filtered ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta restaurants, filter your water

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Illustration by Zohar LazarIllustration by Zohar Lazar Rant Troubled water Most Americans seem to guzzle way more water than I do, but I’ve still got strong opinions about how it should taste. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, I’ve found municipal water is great right out of the tap. But in Atlanta? I can’t stand the foul flavor of our water, which restaurants often pour straight over a fistful of ice cubes. By no means am I suggesting the need to import fancy, expensive bottles from obscure corners of the world, but water should at least be filtered ...

Read full article >>

The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta restaurants, filter your water

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Illustration by Zohar LazarIllustration by Zohar Lazar Rant Troubled water Most Americans seem to guzzle way more water than I do, but I’ve still got strong opinions about how it should taste. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, I’ve found municipal water is great right out of the tap. But in Atlanta? I can’t stand the foul flavor of our water, which restaurants often pour straight over a fistful of ice cubes. By no means am I suggesting the need to import fancy, expensive bottles from obscure corners of the world, but water should at least be filtered ...

Read full article >>

The Christiane Chronicles: Restaurant health scores are overrated

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The Christiane Chronicles: Restaurant health scores are overrated
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Rant
Overrated
Chances are neither your kitchen nor mine would get a perfect score from the public health inspectors who show up unannounced at restaurants and issue ratings (A, B, C, or U) that must be posted on the wall. Have you ever left a spoon on the counter or a carton of eggs at room temperature? Do you wear gloves, refrigerate cooked rice immediately, or use a special sink to scrub your hands in hot water? Didn’t think so.

I understand the need to keep the public safe, but unless a restaurant serves freezer-to-fryer food, ...

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The Christiane Chronicles: Restaurant health scores are overrated

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The Christiane Chronicles: Restaurant health scores are overrated
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Rant
Overrated
Chances are neither your kitchen nor mine would get a perfect score from the public health inspectors who show up unannounced at restaurants and issue ratings (A, B, C, or U) that must be posted on the wall. Have you ever left a spoon on the counter or a carton of eggs at room temperature? Do you wear gloves, refrigerate cooked rice immediately, or use a special sink to scrub your hands in hot water? Didn’t think so.

I understand the need to keep the public safe, but unless a restaurant serves freezer-to-fryer food, ...

Read full article >>