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BITS & BITES: East side of Ga. 400 has appeal for new restauranteur
by Joan Durbin
October 03, 2013 10:09 AM | 8274 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
East side has appeal for new restaurateur

In Roswell, Canton Street and the historic district have been a magnet for restaurateurs wanting to attract an audience for their food.

Chef Mel Toledo is about to buck that trend. With Foundation Social Eatery, Toledo is betting that he’ll find an appreciative audience across town on the east side of Ga. 400 for his “seasonal, local, handcrafted” food.

Toledo and his wife, Sandy, have taken space in the old Holcomb Woods Village shopping center at 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road. Now being revitalized, re-tenanted and renamed Connexion, the center is hoping to become the Next Big Thing for upper demographic residents.

If Foundation Social Eatery is any indication of the type of tenants that will be attracted, those dreams should come true. Toledo has impeccable culinary bona fides. His first job out of culinary school was in one of the best French kitchens in the country, Daniel in New York City.

Toledo honed his skills in San Diego and France before becoming a standout member of the Bacchanalia/Ann Quatrano kitchen tree. Most recently he was chef de cuisine at Century House in Woodstock.

Early press info points to a menu of French- and Italian-influenced items. A major goal at FSE, according to the press materials, is to disprove the idea that quality, well-executed food must be costly.

“If you’re truly developing your menu seasonally,” Chef Toledo is quoted as saying, “your food should be affordable because you showcase great agricultural products precisely when they are the most abundant. The best tomatoes come in late summer, and it’s also when they’re the cheapest. Same for asparagus in the spring.”

The interior promises to be “rough-hewn woods, Edison lamps and rustic agricultural/industrial metal elements meet hyper-modern color palettes, echoing patterns and artistic tattoo-inspired one-off artwork not just hanging from the wall but built into the décor.”


Best estimate for opening is late 2013 for dinner and brunch and lunch in 2014.

Closed eatery’s wood-burning oven being put to good use

Back over on the city’s west side, Sweet Apple Village on Etris Road is set for another eatery opening after Marco’s Pizza debuted there last month. Etris Kitchen and Bar should be up and running by late October.

Sushi Mori and Peach & the Porkchop will complete the quartet of new restaurants there.

Etris K & B has taken over the former Franco’s Italian Tavern, complete with its wonderful Old World wood-burning oven.

That open flame oven will be put to excellent use for roasting items like local grass-fed beef, chicken and wild-caught seafood. There also will be a well-rounded vegetarian menu section.

The restaurant’s owner, Massi Mekhmoukh, has a lifelong appreciation of quality raw ingredients.

Raised as a third generation farmer in the Mediterranean area of Europe, according to a preliminary press release, he learned to grow from his grandfather and raise animals from his dad.

From his father, who had vineyards, Massi also learned art and science of winemaking. When he moved to Georgia at age 18, Massi shifted to working with food as a baker and in restaurants, always planning to have his own eatery focusing on farm to fork fine dining.

Executive Chef David Guilford grew up in Maine and worked in New England restaurants, perfecting traditional, simple preparation of ultra fresh seafood as well as quality meats.

In Florida, he worked for Wayne Huizenga, owner of the Miami Dolphins, in one of his private golf clubs and later, cooked for the Heritage Golf groups as regional executive chef.

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