Once only a dream of husband and wife partners Linton and Gina Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene is now a reality. Chef Linton Hopkins showcases his devotion to the seasons through his contemporary, upscale American cuisine highlighted with classical techniques. The polished and elegant décor lends way to an urbane, sensual ambiance, highlighting the talents of nationally recognized artists.
2277 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Chef/Owner: Linton Hopkins
The opening of Restaurant Eugene was a long-awaited dream realized for Linton Hopkins, who is not only the executive chef of the restaurant, but also, along with wife Gina, its proud owner. Restaurant Eugene features everything that Hopkins considers to be important in a great dining experience.
“A fabulous restaurant experience is composed of several elements. Fine food made with the freshest ingredients should unite with fine wine; these tastes should then be supplemented by a rich ambiance and gracious service. The pleasures of taste meet with the pleasures of décor in a layered experience of flavor and atmosphere,” says Hopkins in describing Restaurant Eugene.
Hopkins’ success in the culinary world has been remarkable, especially since it came close to never happening. As a college student at Emory University, Hopkins was pre-med, majoring in anthropology. Although he had always been fond of the culinary arts, a passion that he picked up from his grandfather Eugene (for whom his restaurant is named), he never thought of it as a career path.
While working in a bookstore after graduation, Hopkins read an array of cookbooks. His hobby soon turned into a desire to work in the kitchen, and in 1993 he entered the Culinary Institute of America. Hopkins excelled at his studies within the institute, which led him to a prestigious externship with Mr. B’s Bistro, of the renowned Brennan family restaurant group in New Orleans.
Upon graduating, Hopkins worked as a banquet cook and later as saucier for The Grill Room of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. He then transitioned to Washington’s D.C. Coast restaurant, where he rapidly moved up the chain of command, becoming chef de cuisine after only four years. In this position, Hopkins had creative freedom, which allowed him to develop new creations that often reflected his Southern roots. His culinary talents flourished during this period, providing him with the skills and desire to open his own restaurant. Restaurant Eugene now stands as an amalgamation of his past experience and continued culinary innovation.
When taking time away from the kitchen, Hopkins enjoys time with his wife and partner, Gina, and their two children, Linton and Avery.
Chef Linton prepared:
- Fried Chicken Liver Salad, Crispy Guanciale, Baby Frisee and Buttermilk Dressing
- Tosa Soy Sauce
- Wild Japanese Hamachi Sashimi
Fried Chicken Liver Salad, Crispy Guanciale, Baby Frisee, and Buttermilk Dressing
- 2 quarts baby frisee
- ½ cup simple vinaigrette
- 2 ounces guanciale, fried until crisp
- 8 fried chicken livers
- ½ cup buttermilk dressing
Dress frisee with vinaigrette and arrange on plate.
Top with pieces of guanciale and fried chicken livers.
Spoon dressing over livers and serve immediately.
- 3 parts oil
- 1 part red wine vinegar
Shake to combine thoroughly.
- 2 pounds hog jowl
- ½ cup Kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cracked black pepper
- 4 thyme sprigs
Combine the salt, sugar, and black pepper. This is known as the “cure”.
Place the hog jowl in a non-reactive container and rub with cure. Refrigerate the hog jowl, uncovered for 5-7 days depending on the size of the piece of meat. Two pounds of hog jowls should cure for 7 days.
Wash off the cure, tie the jowl with string, and suspend it in a cool (under 60°) dry place for three weeks.
Use as you would bacon or pancetta.
Fried Chicken Livers
- 8 fresh chicken livers
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup fine cornmeal
- 2 tbsp. Creole seasoning
- 2 cups peanut oil
Remove any sinew or fat from the livers. Season them well with salt and pepper.
Put ½ cup flour in a small dish. Pour buttermilk into a second dish. Combine cornmeal, remaining ½ cup flour, and Creole seasoning in a third dish. Dip the seasoned livers into the flour, then the buttermilk, and then dredge in cornmeal breading.
Heat oil to 350°. Add the livers and cook until crispy and golden brown on the inside. There should be slight blush of pink at the center.
- 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 4 tbsp. minced scallions
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients by whisking together. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Tosa Soy Sauce
Tosa is the old name of the southernmost province of Japan known for its prized bonito catch.
- 5 tsp. sake
- 3 tbsp. mirin
- 2” piece konbu
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. tamari
- 1 small handful hana katsuo
Combine sake and mirin together in a small pan. Heat and then flame to burn off the alcohol.
Wipe konbu with a damp cloth to remove the white powder.
Combine all ingredients and infuse for 24 hours.
Strain and reserve in a cool dark place for 30 days. Its flavor will be optimal between 3 and 12 months.
Wild Japanese Hamachi Sashimi
The lemon confit called for in this recipe can be found in gourmet markets. Feel free to substitute tuna or salmon for the hamachi. It’s imperative to use the only the freshest fish for this dish.
- 8 ounces hamachi filet
- 1 tbsp. lemon confit, chopped
- 4 tbsp. thinly sliced shallots, fried
- 4 tbsp. spicy micro greens or sprouts
- zest from one lime
- 3 ounces Tosa soy sauce
Slice hamachi thinly and arrange on plate.
Sprinkle with lemon confit, fried shallots, micro greens, and lime zest.
Serve immediately accompanied by Tosa soy sauce.