Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Beardsmas Holiday Gift-Giving Extravaganza is Underway

Atlanta’s red-bearded celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie and his spritely elves are busy cooking up a fresh batch of chef-inspired gift experiences so you won’t have to box up another shirt/tie/scarf. Well, maybe throw in an apron. Shop, a stress-reducing, one-stop online store for all of these creative gifts, cookbooks and more merry merchandise.

New for Beardsmas 2017: 
  • Buford Highway dine-around with Kevin Gillespie and Gunshow executive chef Joey Ward playing tour guides ($199)
  • Whole Hog BBQ lesson with Terminus City BBQ has the recipient pulling an all-nighter with executive chef Andreas Müller while learning the smoky magic behind Terminus City’s whole hog chopped barbecue. Next day, invite 10 friends to join in sampling the results ($5,000).
  • Gunshow field trip led by Gunshow executive chef Joey Ward. Meet local producers while visiting Ward’s favorite farms, breweries, distilleries and coffee roasters ($150).
Returning Favorites:
  • In-home dinner by chef Gillespie (starts at $15,000)
  • 2018 Hired Guns season tickets ($1,200, includes two tickets to each of six guest chef dinners)
  • Gunshow mixology classes ($65 per class or $240 for a season pass to all four classes)
  • Shop the Peachtree Road Farmers Market field trip with Gillespie, limited to 15 attendees, includes autographed “Fire in My Belly” cookbook ($99)
Wrap-able Beardsmas Gift Packs:
  • Chef starter kit of high-end, quality kitchen tools curated by chefs Gillespie and Ward
  • Red Beard Essential Seasonings Set including Gillespie’s brand-new Good Ass Ham Sugar – a sugar and spice mix for perfectly glazed ham
  • Pack of three Gunshow enamel lapel pins
  • Gillespie’s coffee and cocoa sets
  • Defend Southern Food Purpose shirt and lapel pin set (each purchase includes a donation to Atlanta Community Food Bank)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Score UGA-GT Football Action -- Pre, During and Post-- at Marlow’s Tavern Midtown Game Day Block Party Nov. 25

This Saturday, Dawgs and Yellow Jackets will swarm to Bobby Dodd Stadium to bark and buzz over a cherished “clean old-fashioned hate” gridiron tradition. Tailgating for the Thanksgiving weekend showdown kicks off at 11 a.m. at nearby Marlow’s Tavern in Midtown where chews, brews and giveaways are the game plan at a block party complete with food specials and beer tents from SweetWater Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Co. Who knows if the Nov. 25 game will go into overtime, but it’s a sure bet this party will -- Marlow’s is open until midnight! Free covered parking is available for Marlow’s guests in the adjacent deck.

Flying Away to Thanksgiving Day? Carve Time for HBF Eateries at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

If your turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie are preceded or followed by a trip through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, plan on landing at a Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF) restaurant to grab a bite to eat or toast making it to the right concourse on time. Look for HBF fast-casual eateries, chef-driven restaurants offering top-notch cuisine, wine, beer and cocktails, and sports bars where fans on the fly can catch those Thanksgiving weekend games. On Concourse A, find Boar’s Head, Piece of Cake, LowCountry New Southern Cuisine, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Great Wraps, P.F. Chang’s, Chick-fi-A, TAP, Atlanta Hawks Bar & Grill, Cat Cora’s Kitchen, Gordon Biersch, Varasano’s Pizzeria and Goldberg’s Deli. Arby’s, The Bar, Freshen’s Yogurt, Nathan’s, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Villa Pizza provide quick sustenance on Concourse E. Honing in on a couple of full-service options, Cat Cora’s Kitchen is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, and focuses on using fresh and organic ingredients for its innovative tapas and intriguing cocktails. Varasano’s Pizzeria makes and flash-bakes brick oven-style pizzas to order from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and tames nerves with craft cocktails, beer or wine (more details here). Board the plane, buckle in and rest up during your flight with a satisfying HBF meal and drink under your belt.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Royal Sips Grace Holiday Season -- Louis XIII Special at Ray’s on the River

Cognac connoisseurs, adorn the holidays with regal sips at Ray’s on the River -- the LOUIS XIII Cognac perfect pour. For more than a century, LOUIS XIII has been synonymous with refinement and French taste and sophistication, captivating Europe’s royal courts and becoming a fixture at prestigious hotels. Treat yourself and that special someone to the luxury of sipping a world-renowned legacy, available in 0.5 ounce ($90), 1 ounce ($180) and 1.5 ounce ($270) pours. Don’t put off what you can sip today; this special is available all day, every day -- but only through the holiday season.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest

Okay, put down the spoon. We know you’ve been dipping into the peanut butter (a.k.a. PB) jar but save some of the smooth and crunchy spread for Peanutty Perfection recipes during National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Add PB cheesecake cookie bars, Nutter Butter PB cake, secretly skinny PB biscotti and white chocolate PB fudge to the Thanksgiving dessert sideboard. The kids will love PB puppy truffles, and Fido will go bonkers over PB and pumpkin balls. Rise and shine to PB&J French toast sticks, PB waffles with PB syrup and PB&J doughnuts. Plant peanuts in every meal and prepare a big bowl of raw super sprouts pad thai with spicy peanut sauce for lunch or dinner.


What’s for brunch in London? A culinary gallery of hearty British and enticing global delights at IG Brunch Club. Pull up the screen, pour some tea (or a mimosa) and let the brunching begin.

Appetizing Aperture

Bold, fresh and ready in a flash, the tzatziki lemon artichoke bowl at gusto! brightens any day with vibrant colors and flavors. Price runs from $8.95-$10.95 (depending on chicken, portobella or shrimp topper) for the wealth of jasmine brown rice, grilled portobella mushrooms, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, baby kale and Israeli cous cous tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with homemade tzatziki with fresh dill and za’atar spices and sweet pickled onion garnish. Dig in! FYI, the gusto! Ponce location rewards flannel shirt wearers with a BOGO special on Fridays!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Star Grazing

Atlanta-bound stars continue to alight at Umi. Celebrity A-lister Kate Hudson dined at Buckhead’s much-acclaimed Japanese restaurant on Nov. 6, enjoying a variety of items such as edamame, miso soup, Madai carpaccio, salmon yuzuviche, spicy tuna crispy rice, yellowtail jalapeño, hamachi caviar, Hinomaru nigiri, Kobe beef nigiri, sake aioli nigiri, Otoro caviar nigiri, lobster Toban-yaki and black cod misoyaki. Her group also sipped on Ketel One vodka cosmopolitans and a bottle of Dassai sake.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Southern Proper Harvests Fresh Fall Menus at The Big Ketch, The Southern Gentleman, Gypsy Kitchen and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

Four Southern Proper Hospitality favorites -- The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Southern Gentleman, Gypsy Kitchen and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails -- are warming guests and the colder days ahead with new seasonal dishes and culinary comforts.

The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill in Buckhead and on Canton Street in Roswell is now featuring Gulf grouper and Scottish salmon. At both neighborhood beach houses, guests can enjoy seasonal specialties like lobster Cobb salad ($19.95); seafood pot pie with lobster, shrimp and scallops ($26.95) and Grouper Louisiane of blackened Gulf grouper, jumbo lump crab meat with creole BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and grilled green beans ($29.95)

At The Southern Gentleman in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, chef Danilo “Q” Myers infuses the Southern-inspired gastropub’s menu with lighter fare and larger plates meant for sharing including a “for the table” menu section, a decadent burger and three new entrées. A family style farmhouse terrine board boasts house-made rabbit rillettes, pork and chicken liver terrine, pastrami, bresaola, local cheese, seasonal preserves, pickled okra and drunken cherry tomatoes ($24). Southern chop chop salad of gem lettuce, shaved roasted vegetables and bacon lardons ($10) satisfies salad cravers, and seafood lovers can devour scallop risotto with pan-seared scallops, smoked tomato risotto, saffron-spiked “flat” empanada, torn herbs and pepper jelly ($30).

Gypsy Kitchen in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta calls on chef Gary Finzer for small plates packing big taste sensations and expanded charcuterie and tapas selections. Additions include seared tuna tataki with Moroccan spices and warm gigante beans ($15); queso frito of pan-seared Caña de Cabra goat cheese with Basque cider apple purée and arugula ($12); and charred vegetable paella “fried rice” with spring onions, zucchini, eggplant, red peppers and sofrito ($20). Add a fried farm egg for $2.

In historic Crabapple, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails picks ingredients from its on-site garden for contemporary Southern “seed-to-fork” sensibility. New fall dishes include bacon-wrapped Prime meatloaf made of ground veal, wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork served with smoked Gouda mashed potatoes, grilled broccolini and tangy meatloaf glaze ($23); and charred broccoli, cauliflower and red pears with sweet potato purée, Asher Blue cheese, pickled red onion, candied pecans and sherry maple vinaigrette ($19).

Break for Spirited Brunches on Saturday. It’s Allowed. Really.

Sure, Sunday brunch is divine. Settling in for brunch on Saturday has its own merits. Reward yourself with a brunch boost after that Saturday morning workout. Meet friends for brunch before football viewing. Brunch sustains those shopping adventures, matinees and afternoon outings. And, restaurants are usually less crowded for Saturday brunch translating to a leisurely, laid-back meal. So sit back and order a mimosa, bloody mary or your favorite adult beverage. Spirited bevs before 12:30 p.m.? Always an opportunity at these mouthwatering Saturday brunch spots.

Before browsing the 5Church Atlanta brunch menu, order mimosas and sangria by the glass or carafe and build salad in a glass at the bloody mary bar (counts, right?). Go wild over the wild mushroom omelet ($14), beefy bistro steak “a la Brasa” with chimichurri, french fries and two eggs any style ($23), open-faced salmon croquette buttermilk biscuits ($16), the famed 5Church lamb burger ($14) and lots more. Walking distance to Woodruff Arts Center and just up Peachtree from the Fox Theatre, 5Church serves brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Stroll into Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland for a please-all brunch menu featuring specialties such as Big Green Egg-smoked beef brisket and eggs ($14), fried chicken pancake sandwich ($12), salmon cakes and eggs ($12), fried green tomato Benedict ($9) and more. Hearty skillets -- chorizo, Cajun shrimp and andouille, Southwestern or vegetarian -- come with crispy potatoes and two sunny-side eggs ($9-$12). Chase the day with beer, wine or a handcrafted cocktail. Brunch service begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Fun-loving brunch seekers, swing by Bulla Gastrobar in the heart of Midtown for imaginative cocktails, shareable Spanish fare and communal tables for big groups and sociable folk. Doors open at 11 a.m. Feast on the energy and small plates like crispy calamari, patatas bravas, Serrano ham croquettes with fig jelly ($6-$16), cured meats and cheeses ($6.50-$15), egg-centric specialties of Huevos ‘Bulla,’ Bulla Benedict, garbanzo frito and potato tortilla traditional Spanish omelet ($6-$12). Hazelnut waffles and other sweets ($9-$12) and plates of paella braised short ribs, pollo al chilindron and “Bulla” burgers round out the offerings.

The Federal blesses Midtown with both American steakhouse and French brasserie fare. For brunch, this means chopped chicken liver, black bread and cornichons ($10), beignets with café au lait sauce ($8), avocado toast with smoked salmon, soft boiled egg and shaved shallots ($12), the double-stack Federal burger ($16), the Southern breakfast of three eggs, Anson Mills grits, Patak bacon, pimento cheese and a biscuit ($15) or the Texas breakfast featuring a six-ounce steak, three eggs, home fries and Texas toast ($16). Brunch sippers include classics and innovations such as the grapefruit margarita, spiked Arnold Palmer or chai white Russian ($10). Brunch hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Food 101 in Sandy Springs offers an extensive brunch menu featuring modern morning and midday classics including snacks to share, starters of fried cheese grits with smoked pineapple aioli, White Lily biscuits and sausage gravy and breakfast bruschetta ($7-10); “Stuff with Eggs” including lobster scramble, crab and shrimp cake Benedict, steak and eggs and a smoked turkey and mushroom omelet ($12-$20); a skillet pancake, Belgian waffle or Simply French toast ($10-$11) to satisfy any sweet tooth. Low country-style shrimp and grits, “Skinny Brunch” with organic tomatoes, grilled asparagus, leeks, fresh herbs and soft poached eggs or “Fatboy Brunch” with buttermilk fried chicken, White Lily biscuit, scrambled eggs, home fries and sausage gravy ($13-$17) are just a few signature temptations. Brunch starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern reaches out to Midtown and Town Brookhaven brunchers with a bubbly brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday featuring bottomless mimosas for $17. Wake up with a Wake and Bake pizza, Hangover Helper, steak and eggs, Million Dollar omelet, breakfast tacos, pork belly and eggs, Nashville hot chicken and waffles, grilled cheese with cauliflower and celery root soup and other sunny specialties ($10-$16). The BASE salad is loaded with good stuff ($13), and guests can add shrimp, grilled chicken, steak or salmon for $4-$8. Or, “build your own breakfast” pulling from HOBNOB’s list of breakfast traditions like buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, bacon, sausage, stone-ground grits, two eggs any style and fresh fruit. Weekend brunch hours are 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at both HOBNOB locations.

Midtown Takorea and Ssam Bar fuses TexMex, Southern and Korean flavors with flair, leading to shrimp and creamy jack grits in smoky bacon red sauce with fried egg and Korean fried chicken and sweet red bean waffles with sesame maple syrup (or solo waffle); chilaquiles with chicken, pulled pork or pork belly; pork belly Benedict, sesame spinach and chicken omelet with spinach banchan, marinated chicken and jack cheese; churro bread pudding French toast or adzuki bean pancakes. ($8-$14). Drink specials include a $4 mimosa, bloody mary or glass of sangria. Convenient to Georgia Tech, the Fox Theatre, Atlanta Botanical Garden and more. Opens Saturday at 11:30 a.m., Sunday at noon.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Beni’s Cubano Brings Taste of Old World Havana to The Hub at Peachtree Center

Downtowners, steal away to Cuba for lunch and arrive back in time for that afternoon conference call. Beni’s Cubano makes a quick jaunt possible, thanks to the opening of its newest location in The Hub at Peachtree Center. This is the second location of the fast-casual restaurant from Southern Proper Hospitality (The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, Gypsy Kitchen, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Smokebelly BBQ, The Southern Gentleman and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails), which launched its first Beni’s location this summer at The Avenue East Cobb in Marietta. Promising a taste of Cuba without the travel expenses, Beni’s Cubano executive chef Cesar Velazquez packs the menu with innovative takes on classic Cuban dishes. Highlights include the classic Cuban sandwich with mojo-roasted pork, ham and Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and garlic aioli; vaca frita melt with grilled short rib, melted provolone, grilled onions and peppers and garlic aioli; mojo grilled chicken served with choice of yellow or white rice, black beans and sweet plantains; house salads with an option to add grilled chicken, puerco asado or vaca frita toppers; and yucca fries or mariquitas (crispy spiced plantain chips) with a choice of two dipping sauces. Caffeine fiends rejoice, Beni’s serves classic Cuban coffee all day. The Peachtree Center location is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

Give Thanks for Atlanta’s Thanksgiving Dining and Takeout Options

Can we get an “Amen!” for Atlanta’s culinary pros, eager to host our gaggle of guests or take the hassle out of homeward-bound meal planning and preparation? All-you-can-eat buffets and top-notch takeout abound at exceptional eateries, leaving you to focus on enjoying a memorable meal with loved ones. Now that’s important. And so are early reservations. Head over to Atlanta Food News to get the rundown from 5Church Atlanta, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar, Chicken and the Egg, Food 101, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, Ray’s Restaurants, Bantam + Biddy, Revival, Bulla Gastrobar, Storico Fresco Alimentari, Johnny’s Hideaway, Beni’s Cubano, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, Gypsy Kitchen, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Smokebelly BBQ and The Southern Gentleman.