First Look: Seven Lamps
Feb 1, 2013
Posted By Stephanie Dazey @stephaniedazey on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM
BALONEY: Seven Lamps' pistachio "macaroons" filled with mortadella mousse
It's been six years since the masterful chef Sotohiro Kosugi left Atlanta and seven since we lost the visionary Guenter Seeger. The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead closed in 2009, and Joël followed suit in 2010. The gradual decline of fine dining in Atlanta even claimed a class of well-loved and well-remembered upscale leaners like Shaun's, Repast, and Dynamic Dish. While the city's culinary community lamented the loss of these great chefs and restaurants, the ones who remained continued to adapt and evolve. Soon, a new, more casual fine-dining model emerged as restaurants like Empire State South, Octopus Bar, and the Lawrence bridged the gap from old to new. With a focus on well-sourced chef food (offal, housemade charcuterie, craft cocktails) these innovative hybrids - often driven by the talented cooks who trained under those master chefs of yesteryear - are what dominate conversation today. Drew Van Leuvan is one of those chefs who, by Atlanta standards, came up in the old school. He worked under some of the city's most respected chefs: Seeger (Seeger's) and Antunes (Joël), Michael Tuohy (Woodfire Grill) and Tom Catherall (Here to Serve Restaurants). In the mid-2000s he helmed the kitchens at Toast, Spice, and SAGA, and even ran his own handmade pasta company before joining Concentrics Restaurants Group. He eventually landed at One Midtown Kitchen. In early 2012, the journeyman chef left One to focus on his solo venture, Seven Lamps, which opened in mid-December.