Category: Life in HD

Cooking With Chef Paul Luna at Lunacy Black Market

My dear friend #TwitterlessHarvey has introduced me to many Atlanta restaurants. I have to admit DineWithDani might be better named anything that references him. My favorite of all of our restaurant outings has to be the cooking class with famed Atlanta chef Paul Luna– of Loca Luna and Eclipse Di Luna popularity. While he is no longer affiliated with those establishments, in 2010 he embarked on a new venture in Downtown Atlanta, Lunacy Black Market.

Located on Mitchell Street between Spring and Forsyth, this small eatery is only open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. But one particular Tuesday evening, Chef Paul opened his doors for three of his favorite customers and me. I had never eaten at Lunacy nor had the pleasure of meeting Chef Paul—so I jumped at the chance to join Harvey for a cooking class.

Upon arriving, we sat in the small dining room designed purposefully with mismatched tables and chairs, mismatched glassware, flatware and silverware, and artwork that made me do a double take. I thought that was where we would spend our night, but when Chef Paul called the four of us into the kitchen I got giddy; we were going to get a live cooking demonstration in his kitchen! And so we did. The kitchen, much like the dining room, was a hodgepodge pieces with nothing matching. So naturally I loved it.

Even though he is known for his “flamboyant” and “over-the-top” personality, I was pleased and put at ease with his casual warm manner. He didn’t tell us what we were doing or making. And after ensuring we all had a glass of wine he dove right in.


Life in HD… The Year of the Hot Dog (some Hamburgers too)

Dani & HD

Hello world and more specifically, DWD readers.  So, this is my first blog entry ever and I want to start by thanking Dani for giving me an outlet to express what I hope is my creative side.  That said…


Year 2010 was the year of the hamburger in Atlanta.  Since last summer (if not a season earlier), restaurants have listed the house hamburger as a reason to stop by and dine.  Also, a number of new burger joints either gained more popularity (see, Grindhouse Killer Burgers), opened (see, Googie Burger in Centennial Park), announced they were opening and still have not (see, 5 Napkin), opened-closed-and reopened (see, EVOS).  While hamburgers on the menu and hamburger joints are nothing new, the attention and detail paid to them is. The food blogs, magazines, and restaurateurs covering the Atlanta dining scene took a play from each other’s playbook and invested in the all-American hamburger.  To take some examples, 2010 brought our attention to:


1.  The Bocado Burger. Said to be the closest competition to the legendary Holeman + Finch burger, Bocado has paid special attention to every delicious bite of their burger.  Such attention did not go unnoticed as their burger was named Creative Loafing’s “Best Burger” of 2010.  Bocado even began offering “The Wimpy”–a plate of 3 burgers.  I always thought they should give away a shirt for the brave of heart (and artery) who decided to undertake and devour The Wimpy.

Bocado on Urbanspoon


2.  FLIP Buckhead. After much success with their Midtown location, the FLIP guys (Richard Blais and others), decided to bless Buckhead with a burger boutique. Opening in October 2010, this FLIP locale has had its share of growing pains, but nonetheless remains a go to on Roswell Road for diners craving a burgers.

FLIP Burger Boutique on Urbanspoon


3.  Yeah! Burger. Shaun Doty ceased operation of his non-burger restaurant, “Shaun’s”, presumably to focus on his burger joints, located in Midtown and Virginia-Highlands.  Beef, Bison, Turkey, Veggie, Chicken, Yeah! has it.  If you are so lucky to be aware of Yeah! Burger’s secret menu ( — you’re welcome), you know they even have $1 sliders on special.

Yeah! Burger Westside on Urbanspoon

street food


See what I mean?  Burger-mania in the A!  My prediction:  This summer…this year…is the year of the hotdog.  You heard it here first folks (I hope): Year 2011 is the year of the hot dog in Atlanta and hopefully, the world.  I, for one, am excited.  Not only do we share initials, but hot dogs are by far my favorite food (followed by fried lobster tail…go figure)!  It’s still pretty early in 2011, and already, more and more restaurants are cranking out wieners.  There have always been places to grab a quality dog in Atlanta.  Star Provisions, Holeman + Finch, Brandi’s World Hot Dogs (in Marietta)–my fave, so had to mention–and Ormsby’s have had their dogs on the menu pre-2011 and have done well with them.  Others are following suit.  So far, 2011 has brought us:


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