The Dish 2

Chefs Share Their Favorite Fare

Hook Line & Schooner

Fresh catches, hearty helpings and family tradition make Hook Line & Schooner a Vinings necessity. With new ownership, this family-run operation offers waves of fresh catches and with subtle changes to the menu proves itself sea-worthy. Here’s Rosey Varno on their family jewel.

What has changed at HLS since the change in ownership?

We’ve kept the menu but added new creations by our chefs, Esteban Garcia and Wilber Cruz. The majority of our fish specials will be made with wild-caught, fresh, sustainable seafood from the Gulf. The environment is important to us, and sustainability ensures that our ocean resources aren’t depleted. When the fishing boats come in, we’re on the dock waiting. The fish are delivered from the docks to us at HLS. Once they arrive, our chefs filet them in-house.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

I would say the most popular is our grilled salmon picatta, cooked in a light lemon butter sauce, sprinkled with capers and parsley over a bed of sauteed spinach and a side of linguine. Fresh is best. Our guests know the difference between wild-caught fresh fish and frozen farm-raised fish. Several of our guests are from coastal areas, and they tell us it feels like they’re back home.

What are the chefs’ culinary backgrounds?

Both chefs have numerous years of experience, and they have a culinary background with seafood and Italian dishes. Since our family is of Italian heritage, they thought it would be great to marry the two since there are so many delicious Italian seafood dishes, as well. Many of our sauces are made in-house; dishes are never pre-cooked. When you eat at HLS, you can rest assured that your meal will be cooked-to-order and fresh when it’s brought to the table.

Pro Tip: Get over hump day with half-price bottles of wine, and kids eat free all day(with purchase of adult entree).

4600 W. Village Parkway #3009, Smyrna, Georgia, 770.333.3338, HookLineSchooner.com

Local Three

Considered by many to be the best brunch in the land, Local Three has been serving Vinings for years with an array of delectable lunch and dinner offerings and a brunch menu that changes by the week. For chef Chris Hall, it’s all about innovation and variety. 

What is your favorite item on the brunch menu? 

Our brunch menu changes weekly, so this is a really hard one. It’s kind of like asking which of my kids is my favorite—nearly impossible to do. I think I would say my favorite thing about brunch, in general, is that we get the chance to change the menu all the time and reinvent ourselves! The French toast is definitely a fan favorite. We change it every week, so it never gets old! Also, any of the in-house baked goods from our pastry chef, Gary Scarborough, are a big hit, but those also change weekly.

What is the most popular mainstay on your brunch menu?

As far as staples go, I would have to say it’s definitely the bacon. We use really high-quality bacon and cook it until it’s nice and golden and delicious. People eat it by the pound! It’s really insane how much bacon we serve.

Pro Tip:  A little-known secret is that we somewhat recently started serving our famous brunch on Saturday as well. You can typically get in for a reservation easier than Sunday, and you can drink all day, so it’s a win for everyone!

3290 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 404.968.2700, LocalThree.com

Pho Dakao

To know pho is to love pho. A traditional Vietnamese dish is a delight to food enthusiasts everywhere. No longer do pho lovers have to make a small pilgrimage to delight in its steamy goodness. The owners of local sushi bar Kuroshiro have brought us Western Atlantans this culinary delight in their newest venture, Pho Dakao. Vinings Lifestyle sat down with owner Khoa Nguyen to give us more insight into his new restaurant and its star player.

What exactly is pho, and how is it prepared?

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a popular Vietnamese soup, a comfort food and a social dish that is best enjoyed together with family and friends. Typically when you think of pho, it is a piping hot bowl of rice noodles in a beef broth served with slices of raw beef that cooks while you’re eating, but pho can also come in other varieties such as chicken, tofu and shrimp.
Preparing pho is an art. The secret to a great pho is its broth. We simmer our beef bones for 8 hours before the rich essences of the bones are mixed with flavorful herbs and spices, delivering a balanced flavor of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, onions and beef.

Which dish keeps people coming back? 

The Pho Combo with eye round steak, flank, brisket, tendons and tripe is our most popular dish which has the full experience of the flavors and textures that most people love about pho. Our pho is garnished with the traditional cilantro, jalapeños, lime and bean sprouts. Sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce are also provided, which people commonly either mix into the soup broth or mix together into a small plate as a dipping sauce for the meats.

Pro Tip: Slurping is not only allowed but encouraged. 

2411 Cobb Parkway SE, Smyrna, Georgia, 678.909.6088, PhoDakaoRestaurant.com