Friday, June 3, 2011


Downtown dining, wing & rock
fest and a salute to the peach

The 2011 Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week (DARW) is back for its 10th anniversary running through June 5th. The event features the best Downtown Atlanta’s Dining District has to offer featuring new dishes and signature three-course menus.  Meals will include multiple options for an appetizer, entrĂ©e and a dessert at the fixed rate of $25 or $35 per meal depending upon the restaurant and their menu. Beverages, tax and gratuities are not included in the price of the meal. For reservations and a list of participating restaurants, visit The 6th Annual 97.1 The River Wing & Rock Fest will move to its new location at Woodstock City Park on Saturday, June 4th from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  The outdoor music & food festival is free to the public and will offer something for everybody with over 20 chicken wing restaurants & 5 classic rock cover & tribute bands.  Kids can spend the day in the Kid Zone with inflatable amusement rides along with face painting, kids treats & other activities.  For more info go to 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.  June 1st, Hugh Acheson of Empire State South cooks along side Van Leuvan with Shaun Doty of Yeah! Burger arriving June 15th and Bruce Logue of La Pietra Cucina rounding out the month on June 19th. Cost is $75 per dinner, $200 for three dinners or $300 for five dinners.  Visit or call 404.892.4111 for reservations... BlackStock Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega is hosting a two-day Georgia Fine Wine Festival featuring the fine food, wine, music and art that is found in the North Georgia mountains.  Entry includes a festival glass to sample over 60 Georgia-grown wines from several wineries; two food tickets to sample tapas-style offerings from 25 North Georgia restaurants; live music from the Kip Dockery Jazz Quartet; and folk crafts demonstrations.  Additionally, a complimentary petting zoo is provided for children. Cost is $50 per person for one-day tickets.  Children are admitted free.  Advance tickets are now available online at or at 706.219.2789 x 223...  An annual fundraiser for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), Chocolate! 2011 will be on Thursday, June 23, at Opera (1150 Crescent Avenue) in Midtown from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The evening features two live bands, a specialty drink tasting, a chocolate lager and a chocolate cappuccino tasting, tasty tapas and a silent auction. Atlanta’s top bakers, chefs, vintners and caterers will provide hundreds of chocolate delicacies for attendees.  Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door.  An exclusive VIP experience is available for $125.  For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit  Life’s a peach at Rosebud on N. Highland Avenue on Thursday, June 16. For the salute to the summer fruit -- the ‘Eat a Peach Dinner’ -- chef Ron Eyster will feature a variety of specials including grilled Berkshire ham steak (Mr. Melvin’s smoked ham, Riverview Farm grits & pickled peach chow chow) and the Springer Mountain chicken croquette (fennel-peach slaw, creamed corn & smoked peach jus). The menu will be offered both prix-fixe and a la carte as Parker Smith performs live acoustic music. The party continues across the street at The Family Dog, with peach-inspired cocktails and Swami Gone Bananas performing from 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Visit for details... Chef Eyester is serving up a new dish on the weekends at The Family dog, Breakfast Fried Rice.  Here’s the rundown: Carolina Plantation rice, sweet peppers, sweet chili sauce, soy, house-cured & smoked Berkshire ham and scrambled eggs topped with a soft-poached egg. For details, visit or call 404.249.0180.

An Italian getaway...

Executive Chef Craig Richards of La Tavola Trattoria also in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, is hosting a week long culinary journey to the Tuscan countryside from June 18 through June 25, at the 1000-year-old Villa Montecastello organic farm and olive orchard in Italy.  The trip includes seven nights at the Villa, seven breakfasts, five lunches, six dinners, water, one bottle of wine per day, all local transportation, and airport pickup and drop off. Pricing starts at $3,300 per person for a double shared room.  Spouses who would like to join the tour but do not want to participate in the cooking classes can attend for $2,100.  For details on booking conditions, payment methods and full program schedule, visit   To make reservations, contact Amie Ruditz at 212.414.4898 or   The 3rd Annual Sausage Fest will be on Sunday June 5th from 2 -5 p.m. at 5 Seasons Brewing in The Prado on Roswell Road.    Local Atlanta chefs will compete for the title of ‘Sausage King’  during a day of live music, beer and most of all - Sausage.  Tickets are $5 and gets you a taste of all of the competitor’s sausages.  For more info, visit or call 404.255.5911.


New York Times’ Atlanta bureau chief, Kim Severson, recently wrote a piece on dining in Atlanta and touted the likes of Chef Scott Peacock (who left town about a year ago to make films) as well as Anne Quatrano and such eateries as Cakes & Ale in Decatur, Miller Union on Atlanta’s Westside and Empire State South in Midtown, for serving sophisticated southern fare... Chef Emeril Lagasse’s new show on the Cooking Channel, The Originals with Emeril, visited Atlanta for a June episode and made the rounds to Mary Mac’s Tea Room, Busy Bee Cafe and Horseradish Grill... Over at The Food Network, local chefs Justin Burdett of Miller Union and Tom McEachern of Ray’s On The River, both take on tree competitors on the competition show ‘Chopped.’ And on Sunday, June 5, Justin Balmes goes blade to spoon against the other finalists in the running for “The Next Food Network Star.”  The 32-year-old Atlanta native works at Harry’s Farmers Market in Marietta... Travel & Leisure magazine announced their choice for ‘America’s Best Burger Cities’ in May and graced Atlanta with  No. 19 out of 20 singing the praises of Ann’s Snack Bar —famous for its chili-bacon-and-cheese-laden ‘ghetto burger’ and Richard Blais’ newcomer Flip Burger, where you can choose from burgers made of lamb, tuna tartare, or just the ‘local,’ garnished with Coca-Cola ketchup, pickled peaches and pecans... And, among Travel & Leisure’s ‘World’s Hottest Rooftop Restaurants,’ French American Brasserie placed among 10 in the world: “This restaurant spans four floors with flouirshes like a circular bar, chandeliers and hand-painted ceilings.  Take in downtown Atlanta from the rooftop, not far from Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium.”... bon appetite magazine’s foodist, Andrew Knowlton, searched nationwide for the ‘Top 6 Izskayas’ (a Japanese tapas bar) and Atlanta’s Miso Izakaya on Edgewood Avenue made the cut.

The last Tuesday of each month, Diesel Filling Station on N. Highland Avenue will be hosting a ‘Bacon & Beers’ evening from 6 to 9 p.m. $25 gets you a sample of bacon-related dishes, five new beers and specialty cocktails concocted by guest bartenders. An example of what you might expect includes grilled bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with shrimp; a bacon & green apple fennel soup; a molasses cheesecake with orange ginger glaze & bacon graham crust; a potato ball stuffed with beef, sausage & cheese thats rolled in bacon crumbs, deep fried and served with a chili cream sauce; pan fried veal in a marsala reduction with bacon fat and capers; and bacon-themed cocktails such as a shot of reposado tequila with a pineapple jalapeno mix garnished with bacon-wrapped pineapple; or the B.L.Tini made with Bakon vodka, tomato water, spices and a Rosemary grape tomato garnish. For more info, visit Escape each Tuesday with a visit to Atlanta’s only South African restaurant, 10 Degrees South on Roswell Road in Buckhead.   Enjoy live music by Christian Jones from 6 to 9 p.m. along with $5 cocktails. Arrive early and sample South African fare with complimentary appetizers from 6 to 6:30 p.m.  To learn more visit or call 404.705.8870... Straits Restaurant, located at Fifth Street and Juniper in Midtown, has started serving lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., offering Singaporean dishes of Kung Pao chicken 'Lollipops,' Singaporean spring rolls and garlic noodles along with traditional lunch fare like soups, salads and sandwiches.  Prices range from $3 for Jasmine, chicken, coconut or brown rice to $16 for calamansi shrimp but most items are in the area of $6 to $8.   For more information, visit or call 404.877.1283... Beginning Wednesday, June 1, Spice Market, located inside the W Atlanta Midtown, is offering a way to cool down during the hot summer months: “The 90 Degree Freeze.”  The restaurant will be giving away complimentary ice cream with a $5 minimum purchase when temperatures reach or exceed 90 degrees during June, July and August. The approved weather gauge for “The 90 Degree Freeze” is The Weather Channel. Spice Market’s ice cream flavors change frequently.  Popular flavors include green tea, Vietnamese coffee, banana cashew, fresh mint and caramel. Sorbet flavors include mango, passion fruit and coconut. For more information, call 404.724.2550 or visit