Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gunshow Locks 2016 “Hired Guns” Season with Visiting Chef Vivian Howard October 23-24

The Gunshow 2016 “Hired Guns” season of high-profile visiting chefs concludes with a visit from East Coast native and chef Vivian Howard on Sunday, October 23 and Monday, October 24. Restaurateur, chef, cookbook author and speaker Kevin Gillespie will join Howard in the kitchen, along with executive chef Joey Ward and Gunshow’s “kitchen dudes.” In 2005, Howard and her now-husband Ben Knight opened Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, to thrill guests with creative, thoughtful cooking grounded in local ingredients and traditions. Across the street, Boiler Room, her most recent restaurant, features oysters, burgers, beer and everything in between. Howard has been consecutively named a James Beard Best Chef: Southeast semifinalist from 2011 to 2016. Among her numerous roles, she’s also television producer and host of “A Chef’s Life” on PBS, which has won a Daytime Emmy, Peabody Award and garnered Howard the 2016 James Beard Award for Outstanding Personality/Host, and her first cookbook, “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South,” is due out in October. Buy tickets through Xorbia, $95 per person (not including drinks, tax and gratuity). For more information, visit or call 404-380-1886.

White Oak Pastures Plows through 150 Years with Anniversary Celebration and General Store Opening October 15

The Harris family has been down on the farm in Bluffton, Georgia for a century and a half. It’s time to party! White Oak Pastures is going large with a 150th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, October 15. The day starts with the 9 a.m. grand opening and 11:30 a.m. ribbon cutting for the White Oak Pastures General Store at 101 Church Street, Bluffton. Lunch, supper and chef Reid’s surprise 150th anniversary signature burger will be available for guests at the White Oak Pastures food truck. A cash bar will have plenty of wine and beer thirst quenchers. Cut the rug in downtown Bluffton dancing to the Bo Henry Band from Albany, Georgia, performing at the store from 6:30-10 p.m. As an added bonus, White Oak Pastures is excited to show exclusive, live streaming of the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 111 Broad Street (Methodist church). Purchase 150th Anniversary Celebration tickets online, $25 per person, including food truck supper. On Sunday, October 16, head to the farm’s Pavilion for brunch, served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Buy brunch tickets online, $10 per person. For all ticket purchases, choose “CSA Pick Up” to avoid ghost shipping charges. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taco Me Out to the Ballgames -- Cheeky Chastain Now Open for Lunch and Sports Viewing

Good news for gringos who have been running long to Cheeky's OTP locations in Suwanee, Forsyth or the Forum in Peachtree Corners. Cheeky Chastain in Sandy Springs is now open for lunch, offering a stadium-sized menu of favorites from both sides of the border, pour-your-own brews, margaritas, cocktails and all the sports network connections needed to watch and cheer every game. Branch off from the usual fare and tackle appetizers such as alambres -- marinated beef tenderloin topped with shredded cheese and bacon and served with tortillas ($10); scratch-made verde pork tamales ($9); and agave chile lime wings ($8-$15). Handhelds include the Cheeky burger ($11), Cuban ($10) and Cheeky wrap with grilled chicken or steak ($9-$10). For a crisp fall lunch, fork into chile lime shrimp salad ($11), tipico salad with grilled chicken ($10), Cajun-seared ahi tuna salad ($12) or the house salad ($4) topped with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak (+$4-$5) and house-made dressings like avocado cream, chipotle cream or agave balsamic. More? Flip to the taqueria side of the menu to find house and top-shelf tacos sold individually or in trios ($3.50-$4.75 each; $12-$15 trio), served as you like it with soft flour, soft corn or crisp corn tortillas or a lettuce cup. The taqueria now opens at 11 a.m. daily and remains open until 12 a.m. daily. 

Oktoberfest Fun Brewing at Communion

When you’re munchin’ in the ATL area instead of München for Oktoberfest, oompah over to Communion, the outdoor beer garden at Kevin Gillespie’s Decatur restaurant Revival. Communion is well stocked for Oktoberfest “bier” imbibers, offering seasonal brews like Wild Heaven Craft Beers’ Autumn Defense and Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, European-style draft and bottled beers, Old World-style wine, punches and batch-made cocktails. Hit the bright red food truck for some of the German-inspired snacks on chef Andreas Müeller’s menu then settle in at communal picnic tables or exercise your playful side over horseshoes, darts, Giant Jenga and cornhole. Euros? Dollars? Nein. Pay for drinks and snacks with tokens, $5 each, including tax and gratuity. Inside Revival, the buzz is about Southern fare, family recipes and the cornbread, recipient of Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2016 “Best Cornbread” designation. Outside, take a walk on the Oktoberfest side. Communion opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday evenings, weather permitting. Check the day’s status here

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lots to Savor with Taste of Atlanta: Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta Award, Tuesday Dinner Series and Tickets Sales

Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2016 list is out, and Taste of Atlanta takes home the title of “Best Food Festival or Event” – for the sixth year in a row. The Southeastern extravaganza floods Midtown with samplings of fine wines, cocktails, beers and specialties from restaurants in and beyond the metro Atlanta region as well as chef demos, exclusive dinners and tasting events. Carve out time to eat, drink and be merry in Midtown over the dates of Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23. Buy tickets here.

The Tuesday Dinner series, sponsored by 
Springer Mountain Farms, whets appetites for the tremendously delectable Taste of Atlanta weekend through special five-course tasting menus paired with wine and cocktails at top restaurants around town. Chef Tom Catherall of Tom Tom in Virginia-Highland will host the next week’s dinner on October 4. Catherall’s menu takes off with Trailer Park taco with house margarita or craft beer; scallop with field peas served with Sancerre; shrimp and grits paired with chardonnay; Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken with pinot noir; and a dessert medley and Champagne pairing. Tickets available online. Series dinners begin at 7 p.m. and cost $85 per person (plus $5.24 service fee) and include tax and tip. The final dinner in the series will be at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails on October 18.

Taste of Atlanta thinks of everything, including keeping hands free to hold those tastings and tilt those glasses. The cashless festival uses wristbands with RFID tap-and-go technology for easy and fast festival entry and purchasing power. Each wristband “ticket” includes 10 Taste Points; load more Taste Points online pre-fest or at stations throughout the festival. Can’t load a wristband if you don’t buy one, and wristbands sell out in advance. Save money (to spend on more Taste Points) by purchasing yours before prices increase on October 7. See options, choose and buy tickets here.

Chop, Chop! Terminus City Pops Up with ‘Cue at Peachtree Road Farmers Market September 28 and Freedom Farmers Market October 1

How about some squeal with that squash or a pound or two of ‘cue to accompany the cukes? “Sow” be it, thanks to Terminus City pop-ups at two local farmers markets this week. Bag a pound or two of Terminus City chopped pork barbecue ($16/pound) or grab a meaty barbecue sandwich ($6) to stave off hunger pangs while shopping for freshly harvested veggies and fruits at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Wednesday, September 28 (4:30-8 p.m.) and at the Freedom Farmers Market on Saturday, October 1 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Chef Kevin Gillespie’s barbecue is pure pork awesomeness at its tastiest!

American Cut and The Regent Cocktail Club Take Steak and Cocktails to New Levels at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Open September 30

American Cut, a modern American steak restaurant, and The Regent Cocktail Club, companion rooftop terrace bar, open Friday, September 30 at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. American Cut features signature interpretations on fine-dining classics under the direction of local Atlanta chef John Adamson. The unique, multi-level dining experience includes a first-level lounge and bar with its own special menu and daily drink specials. On the second level, guests can enjoy an Atlanta-inspired menu in the main dining room’s upscale setting. Two private dining rooms are tucked away on this level. The Regent Cocktail Club, spanning an indoor/outdoor terrace and bar on the third level, caters to connoisseurs of the cocktail culture with a rotating selection of craft cocktails and an eclectic mix of live music. Sister restaurant American Cut Tribeca in New York City was ranked #1 in the Fox News roundup of “Top 5 Steakhouses in America” in 2015. The Atlanta restaurant menu defines its own style through bold flavors and American classics such as the house favorite chili lobster, the 40-ounce Tomahawk chop and a mix of theatrical and interactive tableside preparations ranging from the plank-smoked old fashioned to the OG 1924 Caesar salad. The LDV Hospitality restaurant, created in partnership with Marc Forgione, will serve dinner nightly. The Regent Cocktail Club opens the doors to the cocktail crowd at 5 p.m. each night, closing at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Appetizing Aperture: Secreto Kitchen & Bar

What if you dove into coastal shrimp and grits at Secreto Kitchen & Bar in Alpharetta and emerged to find yourself on Southern shores, blissfully watching the gentle roll of waves at sunset? Could happen when savoring Secreto’s dreamy dish of plump succulent shrimp, creamy Logan Turnpike havarti cheese grits, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and yes, there’s smoked bacon to make it truly Southern ($22 dinner entrée). Rush hour? What’s rush hour? 

Napa Your Way into Autumn via Ray’s at Killer Creek Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner September 28

The seasons are a changing, and Ray’s at Killer Creek executive chef Mike Fuller takes full advantage of early fall flavors when designing a special Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar Dinner for the evening of September 28. Holly J. Beach of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is guest speaker for the informative 6:30 p.m. event. Harvest riches direct the five-course menu with pairings from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars: Georges Bank sea scallop tartare with Belgian endive, satsuma orange, watermelon radish and lemongrass ginger vinaigrette paired with AVETA sauvignon blanc, Napa Valley; butternut squash fondue with Ellijay apples, local honey and almond biscotti served with KARIA chardonnay, Napa Valley; quail schnitzel with dark cherry gastrique and brown butter noodles accompanied by Hands of Time red blend, Napa Valley; charcoal-grilled, coffee-rubbed venison chop with black currants, toasted Georgia pecans and sweet potatoes joined by FAY cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley-Stag’s Leap District; and blueberry sweet biscuit with Coca-Cola jam and zabayon paired with CASK 23 cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley-Stag’s Leap District. $120 per guest (plus tax and gratuity). Space is limited. To secure a reservation with credit card, call 770-649-0094.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

What’s New on Pinterest: White Hot White Chocolate

Discovering that September 23 is National White Chocolate Day set our hearts melting for ways to work more White Hot White Chocolate into our week. The chameleon of the chocolate world gussies up popcorn for a snack in a flash. When there’s no time to bake, we’ll whip up no-bake lime cheesecake, Nutella bars, sugar cookie truffles or a batch of no-churn caramelized white chocolate and chocolate chip ice cream. Bark huggers, try your hand at new white chocolate combos of rose, strawberry and pistachio or matcha bark with coconut and raspberries. Tailgaters, don’t count on putting away any leftovers when you take sweet-salty peanut butter truffle bars…they’ll be gone long before kickoff.

Stake Out the Board Room at 101 Steak for “Monday Night Football”

Kicking off with the Atlanta Falcons versus the New Orleans Saints away game on September 26, 101 Steak will rent out The Board Room for “Monday Night Football” viewing. Timeout to review this perfect play for the “Monday Night” fan base in your office or circle of friends: score a private room, comfortably seating eight to nine guests for big-screen TV viewing; opt to huddle for cocktails and appetizers around 7:30-7:45 p.m. for 8:30 p.m. games; and partake in customizable or themed menu. Kind of like having your own private box at the game…in Vinings. Minimum $500 food and beverage required. Call (770) 805-8855 for more information or to reserve The Board Room. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Come on, Get Happy with Weekly Hours of Buck-a-Shuck and Half-Price Oysters at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar

The more mollusks the merrier during East Cobb’s newest tradition, oyster happy hours at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar. Slurp away Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3-5 p.m. No need to dive deep into the wallet for these specials: buck-a-shuck ($1) oysters of the day, half-shell oysters at half price and oceans of house punch at $5 a glass. Oysters and punch smooth over a crabby day faster than you can crack into a briny bivalve. But then you won’t even have to do that because Drift does the handiwork for you. Aah, pearly perfection.

Pop into Hand in Hand in Va-Hi for Fried Chicken Pop-Up after Atlanta Streets Alive September 25

Atlanta Streets Alive closes streets to motorized vehicles and connects the city’s eastside neighborhoods (Virginia-Highland, Poncey Highland, Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park) for a pedestrian-friendly afternoon from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. Afterward, stroll over to Hand in Hand at 752 North Highland Avenue for a fried chicken pop-up starting at 7 p.m. There’ll be no dilly-dallying if you want to partake of the limited “pop-up” supply of fried chicken because when it’s gone, it’s gone. Go-withs include healthy and not-so-healthy sides plus specials on drinks that pair well with fried chicken. For the record, Hand in Hand also will offer its usual beer and taco specials until 6 pm, including a choice of three chicken, fish or pork tacos for $5. Live music from 7-10 p.m. by Cold Heart Canyon, readers pick for Creative Loafing’s Best Local Bluegrass Act.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Not Just Wings, Springer Mountain Farms’ Atlanta Wing Fest Presented by Taste of Atlanta September 25

Fly into this chef throwdown, the inaugural Springer Mountain Farms Atlanta Wing Fest, presented by Taste of Atlanta, at The Foundry at Puritan Mill on Sunday, September 25. Chefs from Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Charlotte and Savannah are pulling in for one huge afternoon of wings, beer, Southern spirits and local music to benefit Atlanta-based charities Angel Flight Soars and Second Helpings Atlanta. General admission tickets, $25 each, include 1:30 p.m. event entry, wing tastes from 25 local and Southeastern restaurants, samples of Southern sides, eat and greet with the chefs, cash bar and live entertainment from Davin McCoy and Francisco Vidal. Buy tickets online. Don’t be chicken. Get ready to eat some wings by plucking up tickets today. Bring the chickees. Word has it, children 10 and under are free with a paid adult.

Party with The Big Ketch at Buckhead Anniversary Party or Canton Street Front Lawn Party September 25

Party inside, party outside, party on both sides of the Perimeter at The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill this Sunday, September 25. The Big Ketch Buckhead celebrates six years on the coast by hosting an Anniversary Party from 1-9 p.m. The weeklong celebration began Monday, September 19 (think $6 appetizers and $6 drink specials). The big six shindig settles in this Sunday afternoon with more drink specials and live music from Jason Pomar and the Cothern Miracle Band. Dine here during the anniversary week for a chance to win a $500 gift card. Our blog toes the party line of details.
Across the mighty Chattahoochee in Roswell, The Big Ketch Canton Street unfurls a Front Lawn Party to celebrate fall’s moderate temperatures. Stoke autumnal appetites with $3 fish tacos, $1 grilled oysters, $3 local canned beer and $5 mojitos and margaritas. Don’t sit down – rock to live music, try your hand at lawn games and enjoy a casual afternoon packed with family fun.