Thursday, December 1, 2011

TASTES, TRENDS & FLAVORS

'Best of' awards, the holiday
happenings and Toys For Tots
It’s that time of year again when local media outlets present their ‘best of’ the Atlanta dining scene. Cudos to them all... A newcomer to Atlanta in 2011, the online food blog Eater Atlanta, has announced its ‘2011 Eater Awards’ local winners and they include: Restaurant of the Year ~ One Eared Stag; So Hot Right Now ~ No. 246; Chef of the Year ~ Guy Wong (Miso Izakaya); Bartender of the Year ~ David Durnell (Bocado); and Bathroom of the Year ~ Holeman & Finch Public House... The online restaurant reservation company, OpenTable, recently published the ‘Diners’ Choice Awards’ for the top 100 restaurants in the Country and three local eateries made the list: Aria, Canoe and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails... Tom Maicon, over at Food & Beer Atlanta,  has picked his ‘Top 25 Beer Destinations’ for the year and the top 10 include: Brick Store Pub, Thinking Man Tavern, The Porter Beer Bar, Leon’s Full Service, Wild Wing Cafe Marietta, 5 Seasons Brewing Company (all three locations),  Twain’s Billiards & Tap and the Wrecking Bar Brewpub.  For the full list, visit www.atlantacuisine.com... Creative Loafing’s longtime columnist of 24 years, Cliff Bostock, has announced his top 10 Atlanta restaurants for 2011. He adds a disclaimer that this is not a ‘best of’ list, just his favorites and that some happen to be near his home in Grant Park: Spoon in East Atlanta, The Shed at Glenwood, Lunacy Black Market, Eclipse de Luna at Miami Circle, Miso Izakaya, Holy Taco, Octane and the Little Tart Bakeshop, Las Palmeras, Stir it Up in Little Five Points and La Pietra Cucina. His other moderately priced favorites are Top Flr, El Señor Taco, El Taco Veloz, Fritti, Chateau de Saigon, Daddy D’z, Pura Vida, the Bakery at Cakes & Ale, Bocado, Super Pan, Sprig, Goin’ Coastal, Fox Brother’s BBQ, Stone Bowl, Peter Chang’s, and, of course, Popeyes. His pricier faves include Miller Union, Empire State South, Sotto Sotto, No. 246, One Eared Stag, Serpas and Cakes & Ale... Atlanta Magazine’s ‘Top 50’ picks are available online (www.atlantamagazine.com) but here’s a recap of their Top 10 favorites:  1. ~ Bacchanalia; 2. ~ Restaurant Eugene; 3. ~ Cakes & Ale; 4. ~ Holeman & Finch Public House; 5. ~ Tomo; 6. ~ Empire State South; 7. ~ Bone’s; 8. ~ Miller Union; 9. ~ Aria; and 10. ~ Sotto Sotto... Food & Wine magazine recently scouted the U. S. for the ‘Best Fried Chicken’ and named two area eateries among 30 others: Mary Mac’s Tea Room ~ “This Atlanta institution, which resembles a country-style kitchen, has been serving fried chicken and yeasty rolls since 1945. In the Southern tradition, the tea is intensely sweet.” And, Greenwood’s in Roswell also made the list ~ “In a 1790 log cabin called Greenwood’s, the decorating theme — Day-Glo Grateful Dead posters on dark pine slats — doesn’t deter diners from standing in line for honey-pepper-dipped fried chicken.”... And, congratulations to Atlanta’s chef Todd Richards (Café at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead), who was named ‘one of four new chefs to watch’ in the November issue of Esquire magazine ~ “Following European masters at the Ritz, Richards, an American, shows his own sumptuous style in dishes like foie gras with huckleberry gastrique.”... Also honored recently were Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner, partners of Local Three Kitchen & Bar, who were named restaurateurs of the year at the annual Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence awards held in November.  Other awards that night included Rich Chey, owner of Doc Chey restaurants, who received the Distinguished Service Award; Will Harris of White Oak Pastures who received the Innovator Award; and Ted Turner was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Ted’s Montana Grill.
Holiday happenings...
•For the past five years, Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland has pedaled in the Christmas season with an annual 15 to 20-mile Santa Ride. This year’s ride takes place on Wednesday, December 7, setting out from the tavern at 6 p.m. and braking several times en route for holiday cheer.  This is the time for you to haul out the Santa hats and antlers affixed to helmets, elf costumes, jingle bells and wrap lights for the bike. Since it will be dark, add a Rudolph nose. This 2012 Georgia Chain Gang fundraiser benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Enter yourself or welcome the yuletide riders back around 9 p.m. Atkins Park Tavern is located at 794 North Highland, 404-876-7249.
•On Thursday, December 8, Der Biergarten (located in the Luckie Marietta District Downtown) will host its second Nikolaustag Holiday Celebration complete with adult festivities, music, food and beer specials.  Santa will make an appearance for grown-up reindeer games like beer pong on the patio, hide the pickle - a German tradition - and more.  Guests can enjoy $5 liters of draft beer, complimentary appetizers and a DJ from 5 – 7:30 p.m.     The German restaurant and beer garden has been transformed into a holiday wonderland dripping with miles of garland and lights, nearly 10,000 ornaments, 72 nutcrackers and 26 Christmas trees. 404.521.2728, www.derbiergarten.com.         
•Mark your calendars for December 15th for Food 101’s ‘12 Beers Of Christmas Dinner’ ($55 plus tax & gratuity). Executive chef Justin Keith has created a dinner featuring four courses, each paired with a tasting of three different beers. Courses include an artisan cheese plate with pickled orange cranberry relish and crostini; a blue point oyster crudo with orange coriander mignonette and micro arugula; chestnut soup with fromage blanc and fried sage; a smoked rabbit pot pie; and an updated twist on your grandmother’s fruit cake. Food 101 is located at 4969 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, 404.497.9700.
•Also on the 15th, celebrate the season at Rosebud, where beloved bar keep Jeff will create three seasonally-inspired cocktails for just $15 from 6 - 9 p.m.. Guests will enjoy the special drinks and a DJ spinning holiday tunes. For more info visit www.rosebudatlanta.com  or call 404.347.9747. Rosebud is located at 1397 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306.
•Have breakfast or dinner with Santa ($20 adults, $10 children) at One.midtown kitchen on Saturday, December 17.  The family-style breakfast includes French toast, snowball donuts, bacon, fresh fruit, hot chocolate and fresh juice. One is located at 559 Dutch Valley Road in Atlanta and reservations are required.  Don’t forget your camera for a photo with Santa, 404.892.4111.
•Meehan’s Public House in Sandy Springs is also celebrating on the 17th with a four-course Celtic Christmas Dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Each course will be paired with an alcohol from United Distributors. Meehan’s will also be hosting a toy drive for Camp Sunshine. The evening will cost $42 per person including alcohol pairings. A 10% discount will be offered to guests who bring a gift for the Camp.  Meehan’s Public House is located at 227 Sandy Springs Place. For more info visit http://101concepts.com/meehanssandysprings/ or call 404.843.8058.

Trend of the month...
Meehan’s Public House Downtown joins the national fight against prostate cancer by hosting a Mustaches and Mini Skirts party on Friday, December 9, 2011. The event is to celebrate the culmination of the ever-popular ‘No Shave November,’ also called ‘Movember’ trend that has been popping up across the globe (movember.com). In 2010, the American Cancer Society noted that 447,000 Mo Bros, as the participants are called, raised more than $48.6 million dollars. Guys shave your beards and leave your mustaches for this one night and ladies show up in your favorite mini skirt to support the cause. The event starts at 9 p.m. and costs $10 at the door. Meehan’s will offer food and drink specials as well as live music for the evening,  404.214.9821. 200 Peachtree St., Downtown, www.meehansdowntown.com

Toys For Tots...
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys each year, and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. This year finds BLT Steak Atlanta (W. Atlanta-Downtown Hotel on Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.) participating through December 14th. Guests who visit BLT Steak and donate a new, unwrapped toy will receive a complimentary cocktail or dessert.  You can also receive a free appetizer by bringing in a toy for the collection going on through December 17 at Ray’s on the River, Ray’s Killer Creek and Ray’s in the City. Visit Ray’s online for location information, www.raysrestaurants.com.   Other drop off locations accepting through January 1st include One.midtown kitchen (559 Dutch Valley Road), Two urban licks (820 Ralph McGill Blvd.), TAP (1180 Peachtree Street) and Parish: Foods & Goods (240 N. Highland Avenue).
Gifting...
FIGO Pasta introduces its annual ‘2012 FIGO Pasta Pepper Shaker Calendar’ and a set of coupons valuing nearly $100, available for $9 at all seven FIGO locations through January. A portion of each calendar sold will benefit Wellspring Living. Visit www.figopasta.com for more details... H & F Bottle Shop in South Buckhead on Peachtree Road has an idea for Christmas, a new cocktail kit.  The folks over at H & F have put together a Sazerac kit with everything you need  for your bourbon-lovin’, gin-sippin’, beer-geekin’, wine-collecting’ loved ones. The drink was created at the Sazerac House around 1850, and the recipe has changed many times through the decades due to availability of cognac, absinthe and bitters brands. The kit comes with: Sazerac Rye, Angostura and Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint, a citrus peeler, and two lemons for $75. All cocktail kits come with a complimentary bag of Kold Draft ice cubes. Call 404.841.4070 or visit hfbottleshop.com for more ideas... Chef-owner Anne Quatrano and cheesemonger Tim Gaddis also have an item for the holidays and have launched Cheese & Crackers, A Southern Collective at Atlanta’s gourmet market, Star Provisions. This savory cheese-of-the-month club will offer cheese lovers and novices a selection of three themed Southern cheeses each month. Members can select three ($200), six ($375) or 12-month ($775) memberships during which they will enjoy one to one-and-a-half pounds each of three types of Southern cheeses per month. The 2011-2012 cheese themes include: December 2011 – ‘Southern Blues’ features blue cheeses from around the Southeast; January 2012 – Georgia cheeses; February 2012 – Aged Southern cheeses; March 2012 – North Carolina cheese; April 2012 – Spring picnic cheeses; May 2012 – Tennessee cheeses; June 2012 – Southern goat’s milk cheeses; July 2012 – Alabama cheeses; August 2012 – Southern sheep’s milk cheeses; September 2012 – Kentucky cheeses; and October 2012 – Virginia cheeses. Memberships are available by calling 404.365.0410 ext. 132. The monthly shipment can be picked up at Star Provisions or shipped anywhere in the United States. A $15.95 shipping fee will be added to each shipment.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TASTES, TRENDS & FLAVORS

Beer, spirits, wine, 3D sports
and backyard Decatur dining

H & F Bottle Shop in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center has announced that it is now licensed to sell beer and spirits in addition to wine.  The shop stocks selections of small-batch spirits and hand-crafted beers and is the latest venture from the creative team that brought Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bread Company to Atlanta. Greg Best, partner and lead bartender at Holeman & Finch Public House is largely credited with reviving Atlanta’s classic cocktail scene and bringing finely crafted drinks back into vogue in the city...  When Dantanna’s opened on Around Lenox Drive in Buckhead in 2003, they were on the cutting edge with HD TVs for all the sports fans in the crowd.  Owner David Clapp went on to upgrade to LEDs (as plasmas were catching on) and has now officially gone 3D with four 65-inch sets in the main bar and another in a private dining room.  View all your favorite teams through free paper 3D glasses and partake in Dantanna’s new ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ menu while watching the action... Ford Fry and chef/partner Drew Belline’s three-month-old No. 246 on E. Ponce de Leon in Decatur has opened its backyard just in time to enjoy the fall weather with a deck built around a tree, guest seating and an herb garden. The Italian-inspired eatery does not accept reservations for outdoor dining, but guests are welcome to make a reservation for the main dining room. For more information, visit www.no246.com... Richard Blais (Flip Burger Boutique, HD 1), recent Top Chef All-Stars winner and executive chef/partner of Atlanta’s soon to open The Spence, will lead a team of 5 first-time marathoners in the November 6th ING New York City Marathon to raise funds for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s fight against childhood obesity. Richard’s team has a combined fundraising goal of more than $50, 000. For more information and to donate, visit crowdrise.com/rblais. For more information on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, visit healthiergeneration.org... Realizing guests with gluten sensitivities, FIGO Pasta has expanded their gluten-free menu with a classic beef meatball named ‘Gluten Free Maria’ - a variation of their popular Nonna Maria meatball. Made with rice flour and rice rather than bread, it also includes a combination of ground beef sirloin, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, parmesan cheese and herbs & spices. Visit FIGO at one of its seven Atlanta-area locations or online at www.figopasta.com.
Cudos...
Inman Park’s Kevin Rathbun’s Steak staffer, Joon Lim, has been named Atlanta’s Best Sommelier in the recent Taste of Atlanta’s first-ever competition.  Joon, who won the event by answering the question, “Name the nine sub regions in Vinho Verde, Portugal,” answered by giving not one, but all nine sub regions.  31-year-old Joon is a Certified Wine Specialist via the Society of Wine Educators and a member of the Guild of Sommeliers... 99% of all olive oil used in the United States is from other countries.  But that may be about to change. Owner Jason Shaw’s Georgia-based Georgia Olive Farms has just had its first commerical harvest (the first on the East Coast since the 1800s). The Shaw Orchard, near Lakeland, Georgia, consists of 96% arbequina olive trees as well as two other varieties: Arbosana and Koroneiki. It is the goal of Georgia Olive Farms to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in the South thereby giving Southern farmers a viable fall cash crop... Chef Michael Bologna, owner of Vingenzo Restaurant in Woodstock, has accepted an invitation by the James Beard Foundation in New York City to participate in a one-time only event at the renowned James Beard House. Bologna will prepare a banquet-style dinner for upwards of 80 guests at a special affair set to take place, Thursday, December 1st, 2011. All the proceeds of this dinner will go directly to the not-for-profit James Beard Foundation... Zagat, the restaurant guidebook publisher, recently unveiled its findings from ‘The Country’s Top Restaurants’ survey.  Among the rankings, the ‘Top Five’ Atlanta eateries were 1. Bacchanalia; 2. Quinones Room; 3. Aria; 4. McKendrick’s; and 5. Bone’s.
Music, brew & food...
Starting on November 6, The Family Dog on N. Highland avenue will kick off Sunday Jazz, a series of free live music evenings featuring local group The Trio with a different guest artist every week, from 7 - 10 p.m. Each evening will include three sets of live jazz music, two sets from The Trio and featured guest artist with a third set from a select local upcoming jazz musician. Admission is free and full food and beverage menus are available. Visit www.facebook.com/familydogatlanta for the full lineup and details.
Canoe restaurant on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Vinings has launched another Song of the South live music series at the outdoor river bar. The restaurant will feature live local artists every Wednesday evening from 7  to 10 p.m. Guests can relax in comfortable chairs lining the riverside, gather around the River Bar, enjoy a meal or libation and listen to local artists. Chef Carvel Grant Gould’s menu features fresh, seasonal dishes, and of course, the bar will serve a variety of local beers, signature river cocktails and wines by the glass. Additionally, the River Bar is open nightly Wednesday through Saturday, weather permitting.
•The 3rd Annual Woodstock Art & Wine Festival on Saturday and Sunday, November 5-6, 2011 will offer something for the whole family.  Held in Woodstock City Park on Main Street, this free admission two-day outdoor festival will feature fine art, interactive children’s activities, entertainment, wine tastings and great food 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.woodstockartandwinefestival.com.
•The 10th annual Decatur Wine Festival is set for Saturday, November 5th from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.  Taste over 500 wines from around the globe and sample fare from Decatur eateries along with live music on the community bandstand. For additional info or to buy tickets, visit decaturwinefestival.org
Happenings...
•Through November 7th, Aqua blue restaurant in Roswell is honoring the other white meat with ‘Chop Month’  by featuring a menu dedicated to the versatile cut of pork along with its à la carte sushi menus.  A sampling of the offerings include a St. Louis-style Hoisin rib chop with jicama and apple slaw ($12).  Entrée features include Caribbean spiced pork chop with Maker’s Mark glaze, black currants and pineapple ($26); and an Australian lamb chop with pistachio, horseradish crust, Madeira demi and mint ($30).  All entrées are served with a loaded crispy potato cake, sautéed spinach and jumbo asparagus. Aqua blue is located at 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770.643.8886.
•On Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30 p.m., BLT Steak chef Cyrille Holota will host the second Boucherie Dinner in a new series of five course, educational dinners featuring whole animal cookery.  With beef as the focus of November’s menu, Holota will craft dishes such as beef tartare (poached quail egg, pomme gaufrettes, micro watercress) and poached beef tenderloin (beef consomme, turnips, salsify, rutabaga, baby carrots with horseradish cream). The dinner and wine pairing costs $85 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Guests can make a reservation by calling 404.577.7601.
 •Food 101 on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs is launching a new way to add some fun into the busy work week with ‘Wine Down Wednesdays.’ Each Wednesday Food 101 will be featuring new wines along with an array of food that complements them.  Each wine will be available for $7/ 6 oz. glass or $10 for a flight of 3 oz. pours.  Visit their website, www.food101atlanta.com, for more info.
Birthday celebration...
5 North Turns 5 on the 5th.  5 Seasons Brewing on Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta will be celebrating its anniversary on Saturday, November 5th with $3 beers all day long.  Chef Dave will also have $5 dishes commemorating the occasion. Call 770.521.5551 or visit www.5seasonsbrewing.com for details.
Thanksgiving...
•Don’t feel like cookin? Chef Joe Schafer of Parish: Foods & Goods on N. Highland in Inman Park will combine fresh ingredients harvested by local farmers to create a Thanksgiving ‘To Go’ menu.  Place your order by Sunday, November 20 at 5 p.m. and pick up by Wednesday, November 23rd after 12 p.m. (404.681.4434). Check out www.parishatl.com for menu... Milton’s Cuisine on Mayfield Road in Milton is presenting Chef Boyd’s ‘Twist on Thanksgiving Chef Demo’ on Wednesday, November 9th at 6:30 p.m. The demo features Boyd’s twist on traditional Thanksgiving dishes and includes a glass of wine and a three course meal for $35 per person. Seating is limited. Call for your reservation, 678.431.8753... For the ninth year in a row, 103 West on W. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead opens its doors to welcome your family for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The meal, complete with all the trimmings is served family-style to groups of 4 or more.  103 also offers the grande dessert display, prepared by Pastry Chef Joseph, featuring more than eleven desserts and pastries from pumpkin pie to chocolate pecan tarts and creme brulee.  At the conclusion of the meal, the staff refreshes the turkey & trimmings and packages it with leftover ideas to enjoy later. Seatings are available from Noon to 7 p.m. $69 per person for Adults, $35 for Children 12 years & under and Free for 6 years & under.  Tax and gratuity not included. Reservations can be made at www.buckheadrestaurants.com or by calling 404.233.5993... Back by popular demand this year is Rosebud’s legendary Thanksgiving dinner. On Thursday, November 24, Ron ‘the Angry Chef’ Eyester will offer a holiday meal for the whole family at his N. Highland Avenue eatery. Seatings are available between 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Cost is $42 per person, plus tax and gratuity; children ages 5 through 12 cost $20 and under the age of 5 are free. A $25 ‘Holiday Orphan’ plate will be offered for solo diners eating at the bar. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404.347.9747. For those looking to continue the celebration, The Family Dog, across the street, will open at 4 p.m. serving beverages and food until 1 a.m... Meehan’s Public House in Vinings is celebrating all day with a ‘Turkey Tailgate Holiday’ of drink specials and non-traditional Thanksgiving fare.  Call 770.433.1920 or visit 101concepts.com for details.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TASTES, TRENDS & FLAVORS

'Best Late Night Finds' and '50 
Fit For Foodies' list local eateries
San Francisco-based OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation system, has compiled a ‘Best Late Night Finds of 2011’ list as part of the annual Diners’ Choice awards.  The service polled nearly 10 million of its users to create the list of the country’s 50 best restaurants for after-hours eats.  Those making the list in Atlanta include Cafe Circa on Edgewood Avenue, Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern on Piedmont Avenue, Loca Luna on Amsterdam Avenue and Shout in Midtown...  On another OpenTable list, ‘50 Restaurants Fit for Foodies,’ Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s two-year-old  Abattoir restaurant on Howell Mill Road, was the only Atlanta eatery to make the list among other notable restaurants across the country. “We’re very honored to receive this award and to represent Atlanta on this list,” says Josh Hopkins, executive chef and partner of Abattoir. “We’re happy and appreciative of OpenTable and the diners who voted because we, too, are big fans of many of the restaurants on the list, such as Fig, Ad Hoc and Gather.”...  The Eatocracy blog over at CNN recently ran Kate Krader’s (Food & Wine’s restaurant editor) suggestions on finding burgers across the country and Atlanta’s FLIP Burger Boutique made the cut. Here’s what Krader had to say: “Among the less conventional toppings that ‘Top Chef All-Stars’ winner Richard Blais puts on the burgers at his Flip chain in Atlanta and Birmingham: Swiss cheese foam; seared foie gras; Coca-Cola ketchup. (Not all on the same patty.) Then there’s the steak tartare burger, a mix of hand-chopped filet mignon with garlic, chilis, pickled shallot, smoked mayonnaise and a 6-minute egg.”... Wine Spectator magazine has recognized Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Dunwoody with its ‘Awards of Excellence.’   “Wine is a huge part of the Fleming’s dining experience, and we strive to make recommending or selecting a wine for dinner easy and fun.  Our progressive lists are organized first by grape varietal, then by flavor intensity within that type.  This gives our guests a road map for making their selections,” says Fleming’s Director of Wine Maeve Pesquera... The next season of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ is set to premier in November (this season is set in Texas) and two of Georgia’s chefs will be vying for the title.  Chef Janine Falvo, representing Briza in the Marriott Midtown and chef Whitney Otawka from the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island.  Otawka has worked previously at Hugh Acheson’s Five & Ten in Athens and Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch.  She was also named one of the ‘Atlanta chefs to watch in 2011’ by Besha Rodell of Creative Loafing. Chef/owner Hugh Acheson will also be making an appearance this season on Top Chef -- at the judges table... Executive chef/partner Kevin Gillespie from Woodfire Grill recently lent his voice to a character based on himself on an episode of the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim show, ‘Squidbillies.’  We gotta hand it to him; it’s a novel way to take an apron break. (Image courtesy of Adult Swim)
Happenings...
With strong drinks, loud music and a continuous party, The Family Dog on N. Highland Avenue offers more than a typical neighborhood bar. Combining passion for food and drink with the love of music, chef Ron Eyester offers guests live music and good times every weekend. On Saturday,  Oct. 1 ~  Charlie Wooton Project; Oct. 2 ~  Mike Geier Trio; Oct. 6 ~ Frankie’s Blue Mission; Oct. 8 ~ Deep Blue Sun; Oct. 13 ~ McNary; Oct. 15 ~ The Barry Richman Band; Oct. 16 ~ The Jacob Deaton Quintet; Oct. 20 ~ Drop; Oct 22 ~ The Amazing Mongooses; Oct. 23 ~ Joe Gransden Trio; Oct. 27 ~ CC Booker III feat. Will Scruggs; Oct. 29 ~ DJ; and Oct. 30 ~ Gwen Hughes Quartet. For more info, visit www.thefamilydogatlanta.com or call 404.249.0180.
Oktoberfest takes over the Luckie Marietta District this fall as Der Biergarten and STATS team up for the ultimate celebration of Germany’s famed beer festival.  The restaurants will transform into Munich-inspired eateries (both inside and on the patio) with each room offering a different German draft beer and themed with authentic décor.  Live bands will add to the atmosphere and reusable beer boots will be available for purchase.  Guests can bring back their boots for special pricing on refills during the Oktoberfest season continueing every weekend through October 30th. Der Biergarten will also showcase classic German cuisine – including brats, wursts, strudels, pretzels and mustards – and will debut its new rotisserie for fresh, authentic roasted meat. Visit www.derbiergarten.com or www.facebook.com/derbiergarten
•The second annual Morningside Mile race and block party benefitting Atlanta’s oldest fire station is scheduled for Sunday, October 16. The race begins at noon in Virginia Highland and ends with a block party at Doc Chey’s in Morningside Village shopping center (1424 N. Highland Avenue). Runners and non-runners alike will enjoy an afternoon of festivities from noon to 3 p.m. including live music, food and family fun provided by Atlanta firefighters and other Morningside Village businesses. For more information, visit www.vhfirecompany.com or www.MorningsideMile.com
•For its 10th anniversary, Taste of Atlanta will be featuring city favorites, novel newcomers and global eateries. The street festival welcomes more than 80 of Atlanta’s favorite dining destinations Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23 in Tech Square. With gourmet grub, live cooking demos and more, Taste showcases the Barcraft Competition, the Family Food Zone, the Global Flavors International Stage adn the Home Plate Main Stage where renowned chefs battle it out and go head-to-head. For a complete list of participating restaurants, show schedules and tickets, visit http://tasteofatlanta.com/rests.php.
•The sixth annual Field of Greens festival returns to Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Hosted in part by Rosebud and The Family Dog chef Ron Eyester, this popular festival features chef-prepared food grown locally and served in a fun, family-friendly environment. This year’s event includes the always popular festival market, where approximately 60 food artisans, green living organizations, live craft exhibitors and farmers sell their products and demonstrate their artistry. The Kid’s Village combines interactive farm and healthy food activities with the classic bouncy inflatable ride. Local bands will play on the farm stage throughout the day. Proceeds from the festival will once again be donated to Slow Food Atlanta, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a good, clean and fair food system. In the past, Field of Greens has raised over $12,000. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Admission includes unlimited tastings from the Chef’s Tent. Admittance is free for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.fieldofgreensfestival.com
•P’cheen International Bistro & Pub will host a pumpkin carving contest fit for the whole family in the historic Old Fourth Ward on Saturday, October 22nd from 2 to 6 p.m. Arrive early, because pumpkins will be free for the first ten contestants. All pumpkins will be displayed for dinner at P’cheen later that evening. The winner will receive a $100 prize. And, don’t let the crisp autumn air keep you away - hot apple cider will be served during the carving. P’cheen is located at 701-5 Highland Avenue, Atlanta. For more info visit www.pcheen.com or call 404.529.8800.
Canoe restaurant on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Vinings has launched another Song of the South live music series at the outdoor river bar. The restaurant will feature live local artists every Wednesday evening from 7  to 10 p.m. Guests can relax in comfortable chairs lining the riverside, gather around the River Bar, enjoy a meal or libation and listen to local artists. Chef Carvel Grant Gould’s menu features fresh, seasonal dishes, and of course, the bar will serve a variety of local beers, signature river cocktails and wines by the glass. Additionally, the River Bar is open nightly Wednesday through Saturday, weather permitting. The Music Schedule includes Wednesday, Oct. 5 ~ Sam Thacker; Wednesday, Oct. 12~ Sydney Eloise; Wednesday, Oct. 19~ Lauren St. Jane; and Wednesday, Oct. 26 ~ Tim Brantley.
Birthday celebrations...
•It has been 11 years since Agave opened its doors on Boulevard in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown area becoming a local favorite.  In celebration of its Anniversary, the New Mexico-Southwestern cuisine  eatery is offering a Tequila Dinner featuring Tequila Revolucion on Tuesday, October 11 at 7 p.m.  Chef/owner Jack Sobel’s menu for the evening ($65 per person plus tax & gratuity) begins with a Tequila Revolucion Silver traditional Margarita served on arrival.  Served for Course 1 will be a grouper taco with a chile avocado dipping sauce; Course 2 ~ A shrimp & poblano soup with cirtus crema & chili dusted crostini; Course 3 ~ Spicy pork tenderloin medallions over a chorizo potato hash and seard maple apples; Course 4 ~ Seared chile rubbed wild bass; and Course 5 ~ Homemade peanut butter mousse pie with spicy pecans over a Belgian chocolate puree. A traditional raffle will take place following the dinner. For reservations, call 404.588.0006.
•On Saturday, October 15th, Krog Bar on Krog Street in Inman Park will celebrate its 6th Birthday Bash with wine, pig & paella.  The celebration begins at 6 p.m. and will continue until 11 p.m.  Cost is $25 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity.  The price includes one glass of wine, paella and pig. Additional wine can be purchased separately. The Bar’s regular menu will also be available. You can purchase tickets online at www.krogbar.com/krog-bar-party.html or call them at 404.524.1618 for details.
•Beginning Tuesday, October 4th through November 7th, Aqua blue restaurant in Roswell is honoring the other white meat with ‘Chop Month’  by featuring a menu dedicated to the versatile cut of pork along with its à la carte sushi menus.  A sampling of the offerings include a St. Louis-style Hoisin rib chop with jicama and apple slaw ($12).  Entrée features include Caribbean spiced pork chop with Maker’s Mark glaze, black currants and pineapple ($26); and Australian lamb chop with pistachio, horseradish crust, Madeira demi and mint ($30).  All entrées are served with a “loaded” crispy potato cake, sautéed spinach and jumbo asparagus. Aqua blue is located at 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770.643.8886.

Friday, September 2, 2011

TRENDS, TASTES & FLAVORS

'Chef Series' continues, Party in 
the Kitchen, Beer & Whiskey Fest
•The summer ‘Chef Series’ continues at One.Midtown Kitchen as resident Chef Drew Van Leuvan welcomes area chefs for a five-course dinner paired with cocktails, wine or beer. Van Leuvan will prepare the appetizer and dessert portion of the menu while each guest chef will prepare courses two, three and four.  September 4, Joshua Hopkins of Abattoir cooks along side Van Leuvan, followed by Ron Eyeter of Rosebud & The Family Dog on September 28, Cost is $75 per dinner. Visit onemidtownkitchen.com or call 404.892.4111 for reservations.
•The 32nd annual Great Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off will be held in Stone Mountain on Saturday, Septemver 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  More than 300 culinary teams from across the country battle for chili bragging rights.  In addition to sampling chili, Brunswick stew and cornbread, guests of all ages are invited to enjoy live music from tribute bands and partake in games such as the Mullet Flop. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Camp Twin Lakes (since 2005, the Cook-Off has raised more than $380,000). Tickets are $10 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can only be purchased on site the day of the event, and will not sell out.  For more information, visit www.theatlantachilicookoff.com.
•Many of the city’s best chefs are coming together for the 8th annual Party in the Kitchen to benefit Open Hand, on Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to attend, don their favorite white attire and enjoy cuisine from several of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants. The festivities will take place at Mason Murer Fine Art, located adjacent to the site of Open Hand’s future expanded campus.  Guests will also enjoy an evening of music, dancing, cocktails and a silent auction which will offer an assortment of items including travel and entertainment packages, fine dining experiences and high-end retailers.  Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on experiences which includes a private meal prepared for ten people in the winner’s home by host/chef Kevin Rathbun and friends.  Admission to the Main Event is $175 per ticket.  Patron tickets are $750, which includes admission for two to an exclusive Patron Reception at 6:30 p.m. and other special privileges. Tickets may be purchased at OpenHandAtlanta.org.
  •The 7th Annual Beer & Whiskey Fest will be held Labor Day weekend at Park Tavern located in the heart of Midtown overlooking Piedmont Park on Sunday, September 4th from 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.  This annual charity event features a  lineup of beers & whiskies, four rock tribute bands & a DJ along with food while helping raise money for the Atlanta Beltline (a 22-mile loop of historic rail corridor being transformed into a new pedestrian-friendly transit system linking over 1,200 new acres of greenspace and 33 miles of multi-use trail around Atlanta’s downtown core.) The festival will feature a silent auction & whiskey tasting from 5 - 7 p.m. with 100% of proceeds going to the charity along with a portion of proceeds from ticket sales.  Tickets for admission are $10 in advance  $15 at the gate. For more info visit www.beerandwhiskeyfest.com
•With strong drinks, loud music and a continuous party, The Family Dog on N. Highland Avenue offers more than a typical neighborhood bar. Combining passion for food and drink with the love of music, chef Ron Eyester offers guests live music and good times every weekend. On Saturday, September 3rd and Sunday the 4th, join in with live rock from The Charlie Wooton Project from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.; September 9:  Parker Smith and Mike Chesin 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.; September 10: Super Dynamite Express 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.; September 11: Jazz from The Jacob Deaton Quintet 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.; September 17: Swami Gone Bananas 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.; and September 24: Pioneer Chick’n Stand 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.   For more info, visit www.thefamilydogatlanta.com or call 404.249.0180.
•Taqueria del Sol’s second annual Hatch Chile Festival is here. On Sunday, Sept. 11, Taqueria del Sol celebrates the arrival of the annual shipment of chiles from New Mexico. Held at the Howell Mill location, the restaurant will host a block-party celebration spilling into the parking lot under tents from 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Chef Eddie Hernandez and the Taqueria del Sol team will craft an assortment of specialty dishes incorporating the spicy green peppers. Musician John Henry will return for a second year to provide live entertainment. Tickets are $18.25 per person and include entry and food stations. Beverages available for purchase. Two reservation times are available at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.  A portion of the proceeds benefits the Ossabaw Island Foundation. To purchase tickets, visit www.taqueriadelsol.com.
•The College Football Gods have spoken and it’s time for The Official SEC Kickoff Block Party.  This massive party is back and put on by the folks over at the oldest dive bars in Atlanta, Pool Hall and 5 Paces Inn on Friday, September 2nd. Once again, these bars are shutting down Irby Avenue in Buckhead for the party and here is even rumor of a Mash Potato and Hot Dog eating contest plus tons of give-aways including free game tickets. Don’t put it past these fools to have a Bikini Contest to see who has the hottest chicks, UGA or Boise State.  Gates open at 7 p.m. with free food til 9 p.m.  There will be four bars, a gigantic outdoor stage, music by 17th Floor and several DJs.  Admission is $15 at the door and $10 online at www.xorbia.com.
Oktoberfest takes over the Luckie Marietta District this fall as Der Biergarten and STATS team up for the ultimate celebration of Germany’s famed beer festival.  The restaurants will transform into Munich-inspired eateries (both inside and on the patio) with each room offering a different German draft beer and themed with authentic décor.  Live bands will add to the atmosphere and reusable beer boots will be available for purchase.  Guests can bring back their boots for special pricing on refills during the Oktoberfest season, which kicks off September 17 at 12 p.m. and continues every weekend through October 30th. Der Biergarten will also showcase classic German cuisine – including brats, wursts, strudels, pretzels and mustards – and will debut its new rotisserie for fresh, authentic roasted meat. Visit www.derbiergarten.com or www.facebook.com/derbiergarten
New hours, eats, etc...
Brothers Jeff & Matt Bowman of Georgia Farm To Table have opened a produce market, Dewberry Market, at 112 10th Street in the former Jock’s & Jill’s space at the corner of 10th & Peachtree.  It will operate 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Saturday... Starting Thursday, Sept. 1, BLT Steak Atlanta (located in the W Hotel Downtown) will offer homage to the king of mollusks--pairing oysters and sparkling wine as part of the ongoing 5@5 specials. Weeknights from 5 to 7:00 p.m. for $20, guests enjoy East and West Coast oysters, which will vary from week to week, and sparkling wine with BLT’s sommelier, Dorine Buche. For more info, go to www.bltsteak.com/atlanta or call 404.577.7601... On Thursday, September 15, RA Sushi on Peachtree invites guests to a So Long Summer Party from 7 p.m. to close to bid farewell with specials all night long and music from DJ Krillz. For more details and to RSVP on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/RAsushiAtlanta... Continuing every Wednesday night at 8 p.m., pianists Ty Reynolds, Mike Renna and Mark Kovaly will play all the requests you can think of and will tickle the ivories with their own fancies as well at Atkins Park Tavern - Smyrna: Market Village, 2840 Atlanta Road, 770.435.1887... Newly opened No. 246 in Decatur, is serving up a weekly Spaghetti Supper every Monday night during dinner 5 - 10 p.m. Priced at $24 per person, the week’s four-course menu may include toast with two spreads -- wood oven-roasted eggplant with chilies and mint and cannellini beans with braised cavolo nero and Parmesan served family-style. Next follows a salad of local greens with lemony garlic vinaigrette, breadcrumbs, blue cheese and radish served family-style. The main course might offer a choice among three spaghetti combinations: clams, garlic, parsley and lemon; No. 246 meatballs with Parmesan, San Marzano tomatoes and basil; or carbonara with bacon, crispy farm egg and soft herbs. Dessert brings a choice of gelato -- vanilla, espresso or mint. Check out www.no246.com for weekly menus.
Tastes of...
Four ‘Tastes of...’ will be featured this month including:
•Inman Park Restaurant Week September 19th - 25th with participating restaurants offering $25 and $35 menus. Check out www.inmanparkrestaurantweek.com for more info.
•Midtown Restaurant Week through September 4th with midtown eateries showcasing special three-course menus for $25 or $35 per person.  Visit www.atlrestaurantweek.com for participating restaurants and details.
•The 4th Annual Taste of Johns Creek will be held on Sunday, September 25th, 4 -7 p.m. on the grounds of Chattahoochee High School on Taylor Road. The Taste of Johns Creek supports the High School football program, and competition cheerleading. Gourmet foods from over 50 restaurants will be in the spotlight. For additional info, visit www.tasteofjc.com or www.hoochfootball.net.
•The 4th Annual Taste of Chamblee will bring together local restaurants, arts, live entertainment, kids activities, a beer garden and more for the entire family. This free admission (food tickets are $1 each) one day outdoor festival will be held Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m in Downtown Chamblee on Peachtree Road. Visit www.thetasteofchamblee.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TASTES, TRENDS & FLAVORS

Dining with Van Leuvan & Hector; 
smokey nights, crab fest & music
•The summer ‘Chef Series’ continues at One.Midtown Kitchen as resident Chef Drew Van Leuvan welcomes area chefs for a five-course dinner paired with cocktails, wine or beer. Van Leuvan will prepare the appetizer and dessert portion of the menu while each guest chef will prepare courses two, three and four.  August 3rd, Hector Santiago of Pura Vida cooks along side Van Leuvan, followed by Drew Belline of No. 246 on August 17th, Richard Blais (Top Chef All-Stars’ Winner) on August 31st and Carvel Grant Could of Canoe on August 31st. Cost is $75 per dinner, $200 for three dinners or $300 for five dinners.  Visit onemidtownkitchen.com or call 404.892.4111 for reservations.
•’In the Smoke of the Night’ ~ Nothing says summer more than the smokey flavors of the grill.  Food 101 chefs Justin Keith and Ryan Smith have created an exclusive wine pairing dinner highlighting smokey flavors in each course for Thursday, August 4th on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. A sampling includes pecan smoked veal loin, peach smoked rock shrimp & grits, hickory smoked duck leg, mesquite smoked beef short rib and smoked sea salt & brown butter cake. Reception begins at 6:45 and dinner at 7 p.m. The cost if $45 for the pre fix menu and $15 optional for the wine pairings.  Call 404.497.9700 for reservations.
•Crab Fest + Live Music ~ Park Tavern at Piedmont Park in Midtown is combining their annual Crab & Shrimp festival with ONE Musicfest on Saturday August 27th.  You can enjoy crab legs, shrimp served a dozen different ways, a full food menu, sunshine, 12 hours of live music, libations, gaming and graffiti/tagging stations. Visit www.onemusicfest.com for tickets.
•On Tuesday, August 23rd, Restaurant Eugene on Peachtree will welcome South Carolina lowcountry author Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor to the Eugene Author Dinner series.  Her book, Vibration Cooking, or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, will be featured, and as usual, Restaurant Eugene’s chef, Linton Hopkins, will prepare a meal inspired by the author’s work. Beginning at 6:30 with a reception and book signing (complimentary book for each guest), a four-course dinner with pairings will be seated at 7 p.m.  Cost is $105 per person. Restaurant Eugene is located at 2277 Peachtree Road and reservations are required, 404.355.0321.
•Birthday Bash ~ Lucky’s Burger & Brew in Roswell is celebrating its first birthday on Sunday, August 7th from 5 - 9 p.m. with live music and $1 burgers & brews benefitting the Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta (the eatery is named after owners Ernie and Diane Geyer’s golden retreiver).  There will also be a ‘Birthday Burger Eating Contest’ featuring the restaurant’s ‘Grim Reaper’ burger (a four-pound beef patty, onion rings, a pound of bacon and six fried eggs layered in an oversized bun and served with chili cheese tots). Devour it in an hour and receive a $250 Lucky’s gift card, $100 cash and a T-shirt. There’s a $20 entry fee and you can register at luckysburgerandbrew.com.
•Garcia Dinner ~ On Wednesday, August 3rd, join Rosebud and chef Ron Eyester for the annual Jerry Garcia Dinner and enjoy an improvisational menu, honoring the go-with-the-flow vibe of the Grateful Dead beginning at 7:30 p.m. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment at The Family Dog, located across the street. The dinner costs $48 per person (plus tax and gratuity). For more info or reservations, call 404.347.9747 or visit www.rosebudatlanta.com. Rosebud is located at 1397 N. Highland Avenue.
   •End Of Summer BBQ ~ Canoe Restaurant joins forces with SweetWater Brewery and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (UCR) for a second year to conclude the ‘Save the Hooch Campaign’ and celebrate the end of summer. Attendants will come together on the banks of the Chattahoochee River on Saturday, August 13th, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for the End of Summer BBQ party. Using ingredients from local farms as well as Canoe’s own garden, chef Carvel Grant Gould and her team will prepare a savory barbecue meal and SweetWater Brewery is providing their trademark local beers. A portion of the proceeds will benefit UCR. In addition, SweetWater will be presenting a check for this year’s campaign. The party costs $25 per person in advance, $30 at the door, and includes food, SweetWater Beer, live music and a one-year membership and donation to UCR. To register for the event, go to www.chattahoochee.org.
•Cooking with Holota ~ Join chef Cyrille Holota on Saturday, August 20th for an interactive cooking class in the kitchen at BLT Steak. The class theme, Cool Off for Summer: Frozen Desserts, Ice Creams and Sorbets, will take place from 2  to 4 p.m. The cooking classe costs $50 per person and includes wine pairings and samples of the dishes. BLT Steak is located at 45 Ivan Allen Junior Blvd. For reservations, call 404.577.7601 or visit www.bltsteak.com.
•Corks & Forks ~ The ninth-annual food and wine event to take place at Grant Park in Atlanta on Saturday August 27th from 1 to 5 p.m. Corks & Forks is held each year in conjunction with The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The event provides a chance to experience delicious food prepared by Atlanta’s finest chefs. At we went to print, participating restaurants included  Abattoir, Legal Sea Foods, Seasons 52, Atkins Park, Market, Serpas, Bhojanic, The Melting Pot, Six Feet Under, BLT Steak, Murphy’s, Spice Market, Cake Hag, Peasant Bistro, The Sun Dial, Canoe, Rathbun’s, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, Graveyard Tavern, Rosebud and Wahoo Grill. In addition, there will be wine and beer tastings of some of the newest beverages to hit the 2011 Atlanta market. Proceeds from the event benefit the Grant Park Conservancy. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://gpconservancy.org/node/18.
•Sunday Supper ~ Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is reviving the tradition of family and friends sitting down to Sunday dinner by offering its three-course prime rib dinner at a special price of $29.95 per guest every Sunday in August (price excludes tax and gratuity).  The dinner includes 12 ounces of prime rib served with a trio of sauces; a choice of The Wedge, Fleming’s or Caesar salads; choice of one side dish; and a choice of dessert.   Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is located at  4501 Olde Perimeter Way in Perimeter Place Village; 770.698.8112. 
New hours, eats, etc...
Celebrated restaurant Abattoir, on Atlanta’s Westside, has begun opening for dinner seven days a week.  Along with his wife, sommelier and general manager Kristine Lassor, chef Joshua Hopkins presents diners with approachable cuisine featuring locally and humanely raised proteins and fresh fish served in a variety of ways, as well as the peak-of-the-season produce from local farmers.  Abattoir is located at 1170 Howell Mill Road. For more info, visit www.starprovisions.com
Peasant Bistro on Park Avenue West downtown has begun serving Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. that is built around soups, salads, entrees and desserts from executive chef Michael Patria. Visit www.peasantatl.com for complete menu.
•Livingston Restaurant + Bar, located in the Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree, has introduced ‘Brunch Unplugged’ on Sundays. Atlanta singer/songwriter Justin Borgman brings his music to the patio every Sunday from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Live music, brunch favorites from chef Zeb Stevenson, and summer cocktail specials are offered. Livingston is located at 659 Peachtree Street. Visit www.livingstonatlanta.com for details.
Bad Dog Taqueria on N. Decatur Road in Emory Village is now open for lunch everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Taqueria will be serving up a quirky, internationally inspired menu including the Uncle Morty taco, with slow roasted brisket, marinated grilled onions and served in its own special sauce; the Chickpeas in a Pod with chickpea croquettes, avocado tahini sauce, lettuce and tomatoes; or the Snooki, with slow simmered hot ‘n spicy tomato ground beef ragu, queso fresco, lettuce and tomato (priced at around $2.99 per taco). For more information visit www.baddogtaco.com. Parking is available behind the building and on the street.
•Osteria del FIGO on Atlanta’s Westside has officially opened their ‘Meatball Bar’ which offers imaginative cocktails, Italian-inspired bites and of course, made-from-scratch, oversided meatballs alongside dipping sauces.  All seven Figo Metro locations have added the new ‘meatball’ menu ($1.50 each) featuring jumbo meatballs such as chicken parmigiana (chicken with grilled eggplant, basil and mozzarella cheese), Alba (beef with potatoes, onions and white truffle oil) and Zia Emilia (lamb with mint, goat cheese and raisins). Visit www.figopasta.com for more details.
•Cafe 640 (formerly Cafe de Sol) on N. Highland in Virginia Highlands has added new summer menu items focusing on fresh, local Georgia tomatoes.  You can now kick off your meal with a fried green tomato & shrimp appetizer, a tomato basil salad with fresh mozzarella or the spicy pimento cheese appetizer, among many others. For more details, visit www.cafe640.com.
•Cypress Street Pint and Plate’s new chef, Richard Silvey, has launched new lunch and dinner menus full of seasonal specialties, mostly sourced from local vendors and farms. Located in the heart of Midtown, a sampling of the new snacks include the Scotch egg, an egg wrapped in homemade Italian sausage, fried, filled with a pimento cheese sauce, and then served with a decadent cilantro sauce; the tomatillo pork nachos with a pineapple habanero sauce; and the edamame hummus served with sweet potato chips, parsnip chips, and red and yellow beet chips. Cypress Street Pint and Plate is located at 817 West Peachtree. For more information, visit www.cypressbar.com.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

TASTES, TRENDS & FLAVORS

'Day of Dining' raises $130,000
Eating light with Cyrille Holota

23-year-old Open Hand, the community-based nonprofit organization providing comprehensive nutrition care, recently held its largest annual fundraiser, the 19th Annual Dining Out for Life event at more than 100 metro Atlanta restaurants. Participating restaurants donated 20% or more of each diner’s bill and through restaurant contributions, sponsorships and individual donations, this year’s event has raised over $130,000. For more information on Open Hand, visit OpenHandAtlanta.org, and to find out more about Dining Out for Life, visit DiningOutforOH.org...  The summer ‘Chef Series’ continues at One.Midtown Kitchen as resident Chef Drew Van Leuvan welcomes area chefs for a five-course dinner paied with cocktails, wine or beer. Van Leuvan will prepare the appetizer and dessert portion of the menu while each guest chef will prepare courses two, three and four.  July 20th, Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen cooks along side Van Leuvan followed by Hector Santiago of Pura Vida on August 3rd. Cost is $75 per dinner, $200 for three dinners or $300 for five dinners.  Visit onemidtownkitchen.com or call 404.892.4111 for reservations...  As if the summers aren’t hot enough in Atlanta, Café Circa on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward district is heating things up with ‘Dinner and the Blues’ dates with Atlanta vocalist Francine Reed. To make the musical experience delicious, Café Circa is offering a two-course dinner special for $20 - choice of an appetizer or a dessert and an entrée - on the nights Reed performs created by executive chef Hopeton S. Hibbert. After Francine’s set, head upstairs to The Reserve to enjoy cigars and libations from the new summer cocktail menu. Reed is slated to perform on Monday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m., July 11th and 18th. For more info, visit www.cafecircaatl.com or call 404.477.0008... Genki Noodles and Sushi, with locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and now Virginia-Highland, is adding new weekly events to their ranks: Sake Sundays with $1 sushi nigiri, $3 rolls, $3 Genki draft beer, $3.50 sake bombs and $5 cold sake. The Buckhead location will also feature live music starting at 6 p.m. In addition to Sake Sundays, all three Genki locations host Wine Wednesdays with half price bottles of wine starting at $12 and Genki Hour every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $3 appetizers, sushi rolls, wine and beer.  Visit www.genkiatl.com for addresses and numbers... Also offering tunes with food, The Charlie Wooton Project will perform on Saturday, July 2 from 10 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at The Family Dog located at 1402 N. Highland Avenue in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.thefamilydogatlanta.com or call 404.249.0180...  Who says all wine tastings have to be the same?  The new H&F Bottle Shop on Peachtree Road is bringing a whole new kind of wine tasting starting with the Thursday night ‘food and wine’ tasting events, themed around a song, a movie, a type of food or a wine, and the ‘Unplugged and Uncorked,’ a rock and roll kind of tasting --- debuting on Saturday nights --- pairing wines with live music.  For $35 guests attend a private party with Atlanta’s best musicians. Saturday evening July performers include: Herb Harris on July 2nd; Book of Colors on the 9th; Adron on the 16th; Phillip Frobos on the 23rd; and Anna Kramer on the 30th. Check out the website, hfbottleshop.com or call 404.841.4070 for all the details.
Cooking light...
You can join Chef Cyrille Holota on Saturday, July 16 for an interactive cooking class in the kitchen at BLT Steak on Ivan Allen Junior Boulevard in Atlanta. The class theme, ‘Eating Light: Flavorful yet Healthy Entrees including Salads and Dressings,’ will take place from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. The cooking classes cost $50 per person and include wine pairings and samples of the dishes. For reservations, call 404.577.7601 or visit www.bltrestaurants.com... The third annual JCT Kitchen ‘Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival’ is set to take place on July 17th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Check out all the details on page 15... Food 101’s Executive Chef Justin Keith has created a series of local summer crop dinners that highlight the best produce available that month.  His first featured produce is sweet corn and the ‘Corn Crop Dinner’ will take place Thursday, July 14th. Highlights of the menu include: Hickory smoked pork belly “Tamale” of roasted corn, green tomato & poblano pepper relish and ham hock jus; Corn vichyssoise of lump crab, chive and truffle oil; Littleneck clam bake of chorizo, corn, fennel, fingerling potatoes and aromatic corn broth; 1855 shoulder steak a la plancha of triple creamed corn, crispy onion and red wine demi; and Sweet Corn souffle with blueberry compote, corn shoots and Cracker Jacks. The cost is $45 for the pre fix menu and $15 for optional wine pairings. Food 101 is located at 4969 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Call 404.497.9700 for reservations... Cheshire Bridge Road has taken a lot of rap over the years, which only adds to its quirky edge. Where else in Atlanta can you find food, antique stores, boutiques and strip clubs without making any turns?  Learn more about the road’s colorful history and colorful offerings by taking the ‘Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge’ from 5 - 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, July 20 and 21.  Ticket prices are $15 per person per day or $25 per person for both days until July 1; after July 1, they’re $20 and $35 respectively.  Follow the event on Twitter (@tourofCB) for timely info... On Thursday, July 14, Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead location will host an interactive event featuring stemware from Riedel Wine Glass Company. Guests will explore the effect the shape of the glass has on the taste of the wine during a comparative stem to stem tasting. Signature hors d’oeuvres will be served including chicken goujonettes, petite filet mignon sandwiches and broiled sea scallops wrapped in bacon served with apricot chutney. Each attendee will receive a tasting set of four (4) Riedel Wine Glasses valued at $116. An array of featured wines will be served and the evening will also present a silent auction with 100% of proceeds benefitting Birdies for the Brave. Tickets are $95 per person (which includes tax, gratuity, hors d’oeuvres, tasting wine and set of 4 Riedel ‘Vinum’ wine glasses). Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 3379 Peachtree Road. For tickets and additional information, call 404.816.6535.
New eats...
Through Monday, July 25, Atlantans can get a taste of America at all seven metro Marlow’s Tavern locations with its “Red, White and Brew” celebrating the flavors of the season. The menu includes the following dishes: Beer & cheese soup - a light beer soup with garlic, thyme, provolone, Swiss and Parmesan served with a ciabatta crisp ($6); Firecracker deviled eggs - pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon, fresh herbs and firecracker sauce ($3/$5); Watermelon, feta and arugula salad - fresh basil, ginger and balsamic glaze ($9); Red, White and Bleu Burger - made with lean ground beef and decorated with red pepper, Vidalia onion and Maytag blue cheese on a toasted sesame brioche bun served with American fries ($11); Backyard blackened swordfish - dusted, grilled, pressed and stacked with baby arugula, citrus aioli, toasted challah and Red, White and Blue Potato Salad ($14); Honey glazed grilled chicken-grilled chicken glazed with honey mustard and Meyer lemon served with loaded Red Bliss potatoes and chili-slathered corn on the cob ($17); Grilled skirt steak - “hot off the grill” skirt steak blazed with house made chimichurri, summer squash and jumbo Vidalia onion rings ($19); Chili slathered corn on the cob - secret seasoning, chili butter and fresh parsley ($3); Red White and Blue Potato Salad - Red Bliss and Peruvian purple potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, chopped egg and fresh herbs ($3); and Key Lime Pie in a Glass - made with Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime juice, stacked with a graham cracker-pecan crust and fresh berries ($6). The menu also features the following specialty beverages: ‘Summertime’ Watermelon Margarita - Herradura  Reposado, fresh watermelon syrup, house made sour and fresh lime ($8); Tommy’s Favorite Sangria - Savida sangria, the freshest seasonal fruit and Agave nectar ($8); Red - Rogue American Ale ($5); White- SweetWater Sch’Wheat American Wheat Ale ($5.50); and Blue - Terrapin Hop Karma IPA ($6).  Marlow’s is also hosting its Second Annual Marlow’s Tavern Grilling Recipe Contest. This competition gives grillers the opportunity to enter their favorite recipe for a chance to win an array of prizes.  Contestants can submit their recipe through July 25 at www.marlowstavern.com or fill out an entry form at one of the seven tavern locations.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the winning menu item will be donated in the winner’s name to Special Olympics Georgia.  Visit www.marlowstavern.com for locations and all the details...  Restaurant Eugene on Peachtree celebrates desserts with Pastry Chef Aaron Russell’s new dessert tasting menus. The three and five course tastings can be enjoyed every night and as with any tasting menu, the desserts are coursed and come with optional pairings.  A recent five course tasting included:  lavender lemonade and vanilla ice cream float, followed by caramel ganache with espresso anglaise and streusel, followed by pickled strawberries, vegan cocoa cake and orange blossom mousse, then a bite of sweet tea crème brulee and finished with blueberry sorbet and citrus shortbread. The tasting menu will change nightly and will feature the best fruits, herbs and spices of the season at just the right time for $18 and $24 respectively.  Restaurant Eugene is located at 2277 Peachtree Road and reservations are encouraged, 404.355.0321... 11-year-old Agave restaurant, located on Boulevard in the historic Cotton Mill General Store in Cabbagetown has added to its eclectic southwestern menu with new summer dishes.  Agave has kept the customers’ favorites and added new dishes such as homemade chile rellenos, spicy grilled swordfish and roasted poblano chicken soup.  Agaves signature Herb & Chile Rub is now also available ‘for sale’ at Savi Urban Market in Inman Park.

Get Shakin’...  

The second-annual Mayfield Dairy Milkshake Recipe Contest is underway offering a $10,000 grand prize to the 2011 winning ‘Below Zero Hero.’  Aspiring milkshake makers can submit their milkshake masterpiece recipes to the contest website until August. A panel of culinary judges will pick the top-10 recipes nationally based on overall appeal, originality and taste. The recipes will be posted online for consumers to test and to vote for their favorites. The first place winner will receive $10,000, second place $3,000 and third place $1,000.  Plug in the blender, purchase Mayfield ice cream and milk, gather your favorite add ins -- fresh fruit, candy or cookies --  and start shakin.’  Like the contest on Facebook and follow it on Twitter (@IceCreamFun) for tips and recipe ideas.