Nicole Duncan

7 Places Health Fanatics Need to Try in Atlanta

Every time I go to Atlanta, I can’t help but think it’s a baby Los Angeles. Terrible traffic—even Sunday mornings—sprawling layout with no discernible center, and strip malls galore. The differences (yes, there are many) don’t quite work in Atlanta’s favor: LA has the beach, heavenly weather, and one of the most health-forward food scenes in the world.

Taking the Locavore Movement Mainstream

Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, Chef Shane Graybeal spent plenty of time exploring the woods. Depending on the season, he’d come across wild strawberries, blackberries, or apples. Throughout the years, he’s kept that connection to nature, and now it is guiding his culinary vision at Sable Kitchen & Bar, located within Chicago’s Hotel Palomar.

Chef Erick Harcey Delivers No-Frills Nordic to Minneapolis

Upton 43Opened: December 2015Location: Minneapolis, MinnesotaOwner: Chef Erick HarceyAverage Check: $90Description: Upgraded Swedish staples guided by traditions, not trends.If celebrity chefs are the new iteration of movie stars, then Chef Erick Harcey is the under-the-radar method actor.

Tearing Down the Barriers in Fast Casual 2.0

If you’re a regular reader of QSR, you know that we’re betting on an emerging segment known as fast casual 2.0. With everything from chef-created menus and superior beverage programs to responsibly sourced ingredients and an emphasis on hospitality, these are the players who are taking the lead in limited service and giving casual dining a run for its money.

Specialty Teas Take on a Starring Role

In terms of beverage reverence, tea is often overlooked in favor of wine, craft beer, and even coffee. But at the Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Cellar in D.C., teatime has been duly venerated since the building’s renovation in 2005.

App Cures Age-Old Staffing Problem for Restaurants

The sharing economy continues to shake up how restaurants do business, and a new app is addressing an age-old staffing conundrum. Called the “Uber of finding restaurant staff” by Food & Wine, Jitjatjo grants New York City restaurateurs access to temporary staff on demand.

The Suite Life of a Restaurant

The Durham inside The Durham Hotel Opened: October 2015Location: Durham, North CarolinaOwner: Gentian GroupAverage Check: $55Description: Contemporary adaptations of “old American” hotel fare, plus rooftop dining.

Danny Meyer's Parental Leave Plan Goes Into Action

Danny Meyer is at it again. His Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) has been an industry pioneer, from eliminating tips and raising wages to offering benefits like insurance and paid time-off. Now, as a national debate ensues around maternity and paternity leave, USHG once again takes the lead.

Alpana Singh's Terra & Vine Shines in the Suburbs

Alpana Singh, who led the charge to bring the James Beard Awards ceremony to Chicago, is moving out. But not too far.The master sommelier and restaurateur has made her mark in downtown Chi-Town, first with The Boarding House and then Seven Lions.

Reading into a Rare Wine Collection

For years, Chicago-based Gibsons Restaurant Group has been lauded for its portfolio of concepts, serving everything from high-caliber steaks and seafood to Neapolitan-style pizza. So when Lawrence Kobesky joined the team to head its beverage program about a year ago, he looked for opportunities that would complement an already winning formula.

Shortage of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Predicted

The industry may need to prepare for a different kind of oil crisis: Olive growers are seeing a dramatic decrease in crop yields worldwide. This shortage, combined with an ever-rising demand for olive oil, could mean higher prices for restaurants, especially those that use pure extra-virgin olive oil.

The Art of Fine Dining

Cuisine may make the restaurant, but art certainly adds to the ambiance. Operators are commissioning artists, many local, to add a personal touch to their establishments.“The artists we feature live here in Columbia, so a lot of customers know them and recognize their work,” says Bobby Williams, chairman of the South Carolina-based Lizard’s Thicket, which displays local art at each of its 15 locations.

Brewing Winners with Tea and Coffee Cocktails

As the morning daypart lifts off and craft cocktails surge, it was only a matter of time before restaurants and bartenders started putting the essence of the two trends into one glass. Enter tea- and coffee-based cocktails.