Saturday, January 31, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

Photo Credit: Erica George Dines

Atlas is now open in The St. Regis Atlanta! If only we could bite into this photo. Jamison Farm lamb loin and roasted garlic lamb kielbasa flanked by lentils, curry-cauliflower purée, roasted cauliflower and tapenade reflect the kitchen artistry of chef de cuisine Christopher Grossman and consulting chef/restaurateur Gerry Klaskala as the gents draw inspiration from a seasonal, locally sourced culinary palette.     

What's New on Pinterest

Super Bowl Sensations pits healthy against hedonistic in a game-day snack table showdown. Our Pinterest picks meet in the middle to appease both factions. Toss out the double-dipping conundrum by layering dips in individual cups. Turn food into mini-footballs by adding "laces" using white chocolate on chocolate-dipped strawberries or chives on deviled eggs. Mix up Game Day Pep Corn. Perhaps the ultimate edible centerpiece is a pan-sized football field turfed with guac anchored by opposing queso and salsa end zones, all flanked by adoring tortilla chip fans. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wine, Food & Fun at Fundraising Event to Benefit Michael Bryan

We often take our legs and feet for granted...until a prosthesis-clad Peachtree Road Race runner bounds past, giving us at least 5K to mull over how much they've endured and persevered. Since being diagnosed with stage 3 pleomorphic sarcoma cancer in 2012, Michael Bryan has persevered through chemo, radiation, surgery, months of rehabilitation, the removal of his left leg at the hip, the addition of a prosthetic leg in its stead plus more rehab and therapy. Medical expenses have piled up beyond insurance allowances for Michael and wife Lelia, who had opened Vino Venue three weeks before the diagnosis. Vino Venue/The Atlanta Wine School, Flavors magazine and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine are collaborating to help out by hosting a Friends of Michael Bryan FUNdraising benefit, and The Giving Kitchen is providing a matching grant. Block out the hours of 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 to hang out at Vino Venue in the Georgetown Shopping Center located off I-285 at Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Top chefs collaborate in the wine school's kitchen, and guests will savor a contrast of sushi and Brazilian "low 'n slow" charcoal-grilled meats along with fine wines and craft beers. A silent auction, raffle and bottle pull play out over the course of the afternoon. Buy tickets online, $75 per person.

Tin Drum Celebrates the Chinese New Year with New Dishes and Deals

Eager to get a jump on a holiday centered on "Lucky Days" with lots of peace, harmony and good fortune, Tin Drum Asiacafé is spinning out two takes on traditional Chinese dishes for Chinese New Year 2015. Famished guests won't have to drag on until February 19, the first day of "The Year of the Ram," to chopstick into Orange Ginger Chicken or Mongolian Fiery Steak because Tin Drum starts stirring up these comforting dishes on Monday, February 2. Served atop hot steamed white rice, one dish captures a colorful parade of crispy chicken, fresh red pepper and broccoli sautéed in sweet and tangy orange ginger sauce while the other sautés juicy steak and zesty green onions in spicy Mongolian sauce and caps the mix with crispy onion strings. Each dish is priced at $7.95 and is available for a limited-time only. Got a yen to save some money? Stop by Tin Drum on Fridays and request the Friday Meal Deal: fork out $6 for either of these two Chinese New Year entrées and a fountain drink.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Oak Pastures Hosts Composting Workshop on February 7

Learn the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty facts about composting at the White Oak Pastures composting workshop on Saturday, February 7. Done correctly, composting is stink-free, easy and economical, and it diminishes waste while building a nutritional jackpot for your plants. Early birds, show up at 10 a.m. for the optional farm tour. The workshop officially begins with a noon lunch in the Pavilion. Guests rake in heaps of fun after lunch when class digs into the nuances of composting, including an overview of composting and basic requirements, how compost heaps work and various designs, methods and monitoring. After guests warm to those topics, the agenda moves on to black soldier fly biology and vermicomposting (don't try to worm your way out of that one). A Q&A session wraps up the pile of information relayed during this fruitful day on the farm. $60 class fee includes lunch and optional farm tour. Class size limited to 25 students. Call 229-641-2081 for more information or to reserve a seat. 

Play Around with the X-Treme Combo at Game-X

Heard that right. Shouts of "Awesome! It's Monday!" resonating across Atlanta. X-Treme Combo days run rampant at Game-X in downtown Atlanta's Luckie Marietta District, shaving dollars off the price of food and fun. Monday through Friday from 3-10 p.m., Game-X guests requesting the X-Treme Combo when ordering any entrée can add a $10 value X-card to their meal order for $6. House rules: you must mention the combo when placing your order, it must be on the same check as the entrée, and the X-Treme Combo doesn't play at private events. Fuel up with American fast-casual burgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads ($8-$11), grab your Game-X card and tackle some of the 60-plus action-packed new-tech and classic games. Full bar stocks your favorite quenchers.

Join Der Biergarten for the 7th Annual SchlagerParty

The 1970s are so schlager-full, what with 70s schlager songs, 70s attire and schlager dance moves. This ever-popular music party boogies down at Der Biergarten when Atlanta's authentic German eatery hosts its 7th annual SchlagerParty on Saturday, February 7 from 7 p.m. until closing. Belt out your best vocals after lubricating those vocal cords with Krombacher pilsner or Weihenstephaner hefe, priced at $9 per liter for the party. What to wear? Considering Der Biergarten will dole out prizes for costumes, you'll want to throw on that kitschy, campy 70s wear or German costume crooning in your closet.

Atlanta Restaurants Share the Love on Valentine's Day

When you were a kid, Valentine's Day whirled around cheesy little cards (for the whole class), message-emblazoned candies, heart-shaped cookies smeared with really red icing and maybe a box of chocolates. Adult life sure is a lot more complicated, whether you're smitten or not. Hugs to Atlanta restaurants for stepping in to save the date with delicious terms of endearment on Valentine's Day menus.

10th & Piedmont and G's Midtown double date -- both offer a romantic Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner for two from 5-11 p.m. For $79 plus tax and gratuity, couples will enjoy a four-course menu that includes grilled Belgian endive salad, a shareable chef's tasting of smoked salmon mousse cups and mini crabcake bites, as well as an entrée choice for each person, such as cumin-crusted duck breast, roasted lamb loin or a surf and turf with lobster tail and filet medallions. Spoon a swoon-worthy dessert, chocolate soufflé for two. Make reservations online or by phone: 404-602-5510 or 404-872-8012.

Roses are red, and Aqua blue is equally romantic this Valentine's weekend. From Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15, a Valentine's three-course prix fixe dinner is $50 per person (excluding tax or gratuity), and the à la carte menu also is available for those who already have a "love" on the menu. Reservations: 770-643-8886.

In the heart of Buckhead, a four-course dinner at Aria sets the stage for romance on Saturday, February 14. Chef Gerry Klaskala's avant-garde take on fine American cuisine woos and wows for $95 per person. Reservations: 404-233-7673.

Book a date at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland and embrace the delicious chef's menu February 13 and 14. À la carte selections include flash-fried oysters, pan-roasted black grouper, grilled lamb porterhouse and crispy sweet ricotta ravioli for dessert ($6-$28). Reservations: 404-876-7249.

You flipped over each other, now flip over the creative burgers at FLIP burger boutique, especially the special Valentine's lobster burger available February 13-15. The loaded lobster roll burger hugs a topping of Duke's mayo, crème fraîche, shallots, chives, parsley, avocado and pecan-smoked bacon, all on a toasted brioche bun for just $19.

Whether you're going duo or solo, there's a Valentine's special to love at Midtown's HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern. From 5-11 p.m., a couple's dinner featuring chef's specials plus the regular menu will be offered. From 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., the restaurant hosts a Broken Hearts Club singles party with all-you-can-eat pizza and all-you-can-drink beer and bubbly. Party tickets are $29 per person in advance; $39 at the door. Reservations: 404-968-2288.

Whisper a sweet "meet me at Marlow's" in your Valentine's ear (being sure you are both talking about the same Marlow's location). Each Marlow's Tavern will feature a special three-course prix fixe menu for $35 per person, as well as their beloved American tavern fare served in a refreshingly modern setting.

Lovebirds can roost at Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails in Historic Crabapple for executive chef Derek Dollar's special prix fixe dinner priced at $59 per person. Sip on specialty Valentine's Day cocktails while enjoying live music. Information and reservations: 770-817-0161.

Love is way up in the air on the 30th floor of Hilton Atlanta where an elegant dinner at Nikolai's Roof awaits weekend view seekers. Chef de cuisine Stephanie Alderete is offering a five-course prix fixe menu along with the regular menu on Friday, February 13. On Saturday, February 14, only the prix fixe option will be available. Featured dishes include jumbo lump crab terrine, seared foie gras, sautéed swordfish or braised short ribs, and a dark chocolate soufflé to finish. $110 per person, with a four-glass wine pairing for $55 or five glasses for $58. Go ahead and smooch a Strawberry Kiss cocktail ($10) before dinner. Reservations: 404-221-6362.

Your Valentine's a gem worthy of a multi-course meal at The Pig & The Pearl in Atlantic Station. Over February 13-14, both seafood and smoked meat lovers will adore the special three-course lunch and dinner menu. Fan the flames of desire with a shared appetizer course of smoked deviled eggs, poached shrimp and smoked salmon followed by a shared smoke stack of pork shoulder, brisket, wings, ribs, mustard greens, mac & cheese and Sea Island red pea "baked beans." Finish sweetly with flourless tuxedo chocolate cake served with bubbles. $80 per couple, plus tax and gratuity. Lovely additions: four seats will be available at the raw bar each night for a seven-course menu personally designed and prepared by chef Todd Richards and featuring the finest oysters, caviar, smoked meats and vegetables. $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 404-541-0930.

Ray's Restaurants comprise a romantic trio, and all three locations have special menus in their quivers for cupid's big day. Call the individual restaurants for menu information and reservations. Ray's in the City: 404-524-9224; Rays at Killer Creek: 770-649-0064; Ray's on the River: 770-955-1187.

Prince Charming? The Southern Gentleman, a new gastropub in the Buckhead Atlanta development, dazzles and delights guests with a three-course prix fixe menu rich with lobster and grits, black truffle-celery soup, flounder, petite filet of beef, chocolate buttermilk cake and strawberry cheesecake. Dinner is $65 per person. Reservations: 404-939-9845.

Aloha means love and Trader Vic's in the Hilton Atlanta invites you to bestow aloha on your Valentine this February 14. The Trader's special menu includes BBQ duck breast spring roll, Asian chicken breast salad, entrée choices of wok stir-fried strip loin or pan-seared yellowtail snapper and a sweet spot of white chocolate soufflé with passion fruit coulis for dessert. $60 per person (plus 20 percent gratuity and tax). Add two glasses of sparkling wine for $14.

Join The Shed to celebrate a romantic night out! There will be a three course meal served for $45 per person. There are four choices to start the night – shrimp and grits with chicken sausage, onions, peppers and baguette; tuna tartare served with ponzu gelee, cucumber, trout caviar, scallions and fried shallots; smoked beef brisket spring roll with baby corn, sweet potato, avocado puree, kung pao sauce  or Caesar salad. After that, indulge in a mouthwatering second course that includes options like pan seared bay scallops; NY strip; potato crusted flounder and Springer Mountain Farms chicken.  End this special night with a sweet treat like vanilla crème brulee, deconstructed ding dong, red velvet cheesecake or share the cheese plate for two that includes raisin toast, pecans and apple butter. 

Article 14 is the place to take your lover this Valentine’s Day. Abandon your normal routine and try the menu specifically created for this special night. Begin with a decadent appetizer of oysters and caviar, two choices of entrees: mouth watering diver scallop, asparagus and a petite herb salad priced at $29 or pan roasted filet of beef with cauliflower and hazelnuts for $34. Don’t forget to finish the night off with the $8 “Chocolate Love Affair” so amorous it may feel like cheating. 

Sneak away to Bluffton, Georgia for an idyllic Valentine's Day dinner at White Oak Pastures on February 14. Pavilion meal includes four courses for two, lining up an appetizer, salad, choice of entreé and dessert with a complimentary glass of Champagne for each guest. $85 per couple, $55 for singles, and those who partake in the dinner will receive 10 percent off lodging for the night. Reservations required: 229-641-2081.

Gotta love Willy's Mexicana Grill for this heartwarming special. On Valentine's Day, bring a homemade or store-bought Valentine's card to any Willy's location, and they will love you back with a special offer to use on a return visit.

Buy roses that make a difference this Valentine's Day: Whole Trade® Roses at Whole Foods Market help provide fair prices to producers, safe and healthy working conditions for farm workers and promote environmentally-friendly growing practices-plus each bunch provides a one percent donation to Whole Planet Foundation for poverty relief.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's New on Pinterest

Your average Joe pomegranate holds 600 arils (seeds), rosy gems bursting with tart juice, vitamins, antioxidants, health benefits and a pop of tart juice to wake up winter recipes. Pick some Pomegranate Pleasures off our Pinterest board, beginning with a cutting and aril removal tutorial and progressing to a protein-packed pomegranate berry smoothie, five-ingredient pear and pomegranate salsa, sweet and savory baked brie, superfood salad with pan-seared salmon, pomegranate-glazed shrimp and so many more. We'll never take pomegranates for granted again. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

The pork schnitzel plate at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails in Jacksonville, Florida is a testimony to locally sourced and house-made goodness. This dish stars range-raised pork, brought up specifically for Moxie at Cognito Farm in Starke, Florida. Pounded thin, coated in house-made cornbread crumbs and pan fried until golden, this Moxie star hangs with "redneck risotto" creamy with house-made pimento cheese and chow-chow. Snitch some at lunch or dinner, $18. 


Turning the tables on global eats this week. Pick your dream destination @travelandleisure. Visualize doing the shore thing, drifting in a crystal blue lagoon, rounding the corner and discovering a secret Mediterranean courtyard or whatever floats your boat. If you hunger for more, sleuth out the local cuisine in recipes, carryout or dine-in restaurants here in the ATL. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Article 14 Docks Prices on Two Renowned Wines on Wine Wednesdays

Photo Credit: Dan Carmody

You be the judge, but we think this is a super deal for Midtown wine aficionados. Turning Wednesdays into Wine Wednesdays, Article 14 offers bottles of Jordan Vineyard & Winery cabernet for $35 (regularly $110 per bottle) and Cakebread Cellars cabernet for $65 (regularly $150 per bottle). Toast savings of 60-70 percent as you share a bottle or two with friends. Small plates and entrées on the Article 14 menu are delicious go-withs!

Enter to Win Tin Lizzy's Annual Taco Contest

Photo Credit: Jeremy Adamo

Caught you playing with your tacos again. Using that tortilla as a blank plate to capture Sriracha'ed shrimp and pineapple slaw, barbecued bison or roasted cauliflower and calamari. Now that's flexing your Mex-ination! Don't be taco shell-fish. Enter your "A" game ideas in the sixth-annual taco contest now underway at all eight metro-Atlanta Tin Lizzy's Cantina locations. Tin Lizzy's fans rave about this yearly opportunity to share their taco-coctions. Through February 27, customers can visit any Tin Lizzy's location and submit their creations online. By scanning the QR code on a Tin Lizzy's server's nametag, participants will be directed to the entry page. On February 28, Tin Lizzy's will select four finalists' tacos to debut on the March menu. The grand prize winner receives $500 cash and may even have his or her taco featured on the next menu. Second place wins $300 cash, third place takes home $150 cash and fourth place will be awarded a $75 Tin Lizzy's gift card.  Last year's winning taco, the Steak Out, corralled steak, crispy onions, lettuce and blue cheese crumbles drizzled with garlic aioli. Other winners have included the Southern Comfort taco and Big John's Low Country Boil taco.

Soar to Bluffton for White Oak Pastures' Bald Eagle Workshop on January 31

Sprawling White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia is home to more than grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and organically raised produce. America's bird, the majestic and strong bald eagle, finds this sustainable, idyllic habitat to its liking. Georgia Department of Natural Resources Eagle Coordinator Jim Ozier leads an all-American day of educational talks, bird watching walks and observations of bald eagle natural habitats on the farm on Saturday, January 31. The morning takes wing with a White Oak Pastures tour at 10 a.m. that nests at the Pavilion for a noon lunch before buckling down for the bald eagle workshop at 1 p.m. $65 per person includes lunch. Groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate of $50 per person. For more information or to make reservation, please call 229-641-2081.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Once Upon a Time at Atkins Park Story Could Win $50

Everyone has a story. Think back over your life. Does Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar occupy a dot on your timeline? You know, did you meet your true love there, tie the knot on the Atkins Park patio or throw in a relationship towel (spare the messy parts) on the way out the door? Perhaps that's where you bumped into a long-lost friend, shared cornhole love or fell head-over-heels for a cause such as the Santa bike ride. Share your "Atkins Story" between Monday, January 26 - Wednesday, February 11 and you might win a $50 gift card toward Valentine's dinner at Atkins Park in Virginia-Highland. Email your story to The Atkins Park team will post stories on the tavern's Facebook page. There's a $50 happy ending for the storyteller gathering the most "likes" and "shares."

Atlanta Restaurants Have Your Back for Super Bowl Action and Home Viewing Parties

Now that we know the teams competing in NFL Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, the next tackle involves the real "bowl" game -- as in what's going to be on the game-day table for the 6 p.m. showdown and Katy Perry/Lenny Kravitz halftime glitz. Atlanta restaurants are kicking off a slew of game-night carryout options, so delish your guests will go running back to the table for seconds. Those drawn to a big fan base will find a full roster of viewing screens, cold drinks, appetizers and hearty eats right here in the ATL.

Draft a Super Bowl platter to carry out from Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland. Key players include Atkins Park jumbo chicken wings, two dozen either smoked on the Big Green Egg or confit with your choice of sweet chili, spicy BBQ or Atkins Park wing sauce and backed by veggies and ranch and blue cheese dressings ($30); two full slabs of Big Green Egg pork spare ribs with tomato BBQ sauce ($35); one dozen bacon cheeseburger sliders ($12); house-made guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips ($25); and a veggie crudité platter with ranch dressing ($25). Call 404-876-7249 to place your order before Thursday, January 29.

Go big and go home. The Sunday Big Game Package, available at all four Bantam + Biddy locations and Chick-A-Biddy in Atlantic Station, feeds 10 people for $95. Package brings on Sunday night fried chicken (a mix of gluten-free white and dark meat), 50 buffalo wings with blue cheese and celery; mac n' cheese, a dozen pieces of gluten-free jalapeño-cheddar cornbread and a quart each of hummus and pimento cheese with oven-baked pita wedges. Place your order at before 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 31 and pick up at the location of your choice on Sunday, February 1 by 2:30 p.m. Jump on this -- limited availability. 

Super Bowl XLIX will run on all TV screens and the big projection screens at G's Midtown and 10th & Piedmont. Game-day highlights at the two Midtown gathering places involve $2 sliders, $2 shorty cans of beer and $10 pitchers of Miller draft. 

It's wings between the uprights at HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, i.e. wings are half-price all day for guests dining in the Midtown restaurant -- whether you're watching the game on their big screen or just want a wing-it Sunday. Team those wings up with $15 SweetWater pitchers and $2 shorties for an all-star experience. Home screening parties, HOBNOB's full menu also is up for grabs as to-go or catering options. For information, call 404-968-2288. 

Terminus City is offering chef Kevin Gillespie's award-winning Southern fare for game day grazing. The menu of traditional barbecue pork and chicken ($15 per pound), sandwiches ($8), Brunswick stew ($7) and sides ($5) will be available, as well as the restaurant's Lunch Boxes ($12 per box), which include choice of sandwich, one side and a sweet treat. All orders must be placed by Wednesday, January 28. For more information, please contact Gunshow at 404-380-1886 or email to place an order.

Catch the action from the ­50-yard line at your neighborhood Marlow's Tavern. Watch every pass (or fumble) on bar-area screens while filling up on game-day specials. Marlow's menu wins points for satisfying appetites, sweet petite to linebacker size, and for keeping a steady stream of cold brews and cocktails moving down the sidelines.

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant in Midtown is in for the long haul, offering happy hour sushi and appetizer specials all day long to cover pre-game, kickoff and post-game conversations. Sushi platters to go score extra points for home teams and include salmon, yellowtail, tuna, and shrimp nigiri as well as a wide range of sushi rolls and vegetarian delights. Customized platters are available, and all platters are served with a full roster of wasabi, soy sauce, ginger and chopsticks. Orders must be placed at least 24 hours before pick up. For more information, call 404-267-0114.

Smokebelly in Buckhead fires up a Super Bowl to-go package that pits pulled pork lovers against smoked wing fans. Or maybe they'll compromise and share the two pounds of pulled pork (substitute turkey or brisket for an additional cost), 25 smoked wings (all flats or all drums add $3), three quarts of sides, 12 signature sandwich rolls and two pints of barbecue sauce ($99, serves seven to eight people). Call 404-848-9100 to place an order.

Pigskin action prep begins with a meaty lineup of Game Day and Family packages at The Pig & The Pearl in Atlantic Station. Game Day packages feed 10 fans and include two bags of pork skins with sauces. The Slider Pack ($65) features two quarts of pork, pulled smoked chicken or Sloppy Joe and 10 cookies. The Rib Pack ($90) lines up two full racks of St. Louis-style ribs, two quarts vinegar slaw and a half pan of mac and cheese. Smoked chicken pack ($75) has two and a half chickens, quartered, plus two quarts vinegar slaw and 12 deviled eggs. Wing Pack ($75) loads up 50 wings and two quarts each of vinegar slaw and Sea Island red pea "baked beans." Family packages are training table ready (24-hour notice, please) to feed four to six folks with four family style sides, cornbread and choice of meat. Choose whole smoked pork butt (5-7 lbs., $130), whole smoked brisket (11-13 lbs., $180) or whole smoked turkey breast (5 lbs., $140). Call 404-541-0930 to place your order.

Twin Smokers BBQ is providing double coverage for game-day get-togethers. The barbeque restaurant's call-ahead catering system is available for mouthwatering meats such as brisket, pulled pork or pork ribs, satisfying sides and delectable desserts. Guests who take advantage of call-ahead ordering (24-hour notice required) will receive $10 off every $100 spent - SCORE! Call 404-698-4707 to place an order.

Ray's at Killer Creek Hosts Woodford Reserve Wine Dinner

Small batch bourbon lovers, Ray's at Killer Creek has four blissful hours in store for you on Monday, January 26. Chris Morris, the seventh master distiller in Brown-Forman Corporation's 140-year history, will be in the Alpharetta restaurant's bar area from 5-9 p.m. If you've poured a glass of Woodford Reserve, you may have noticed his signature on the "Approved by" label. The Louisville native knows volumes about bourbon. Absorb his stories and pour out your own bourbon questions while enjoying Ray's complimentary hors d'oeuvre and sipping Woodford Reserve craft cocktails, available to purchase for $7 each. Please let Ray's know you're coming by calling 770-649-0064.