Given that yesterday was 8-8-08, the luckiest day of the century in China and the opening day of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, a group of us decided it was only fitting to head to Frank Ma's South, the latest setting for Atlanta's favorite Chinese food guru. (2088 Briarcliff Rd NE) It's only been open a couple of weeks but the word is out. Don't be turned off by the "Wingnuts" sign outside. It's just left over from the last tenant. Frank doesn't seem to care much about aesthetics - but he cares a LOT about food. We had the Wife & Husband which I'm told is lung. It was delicious! We also had some scallion pancakes, dumplings, pork with squid, fish in hot oil (my favorite), bean sprouts, and I must mention the eggplant with basil I had last week too - yum! You can bring your own wine here which is a plus. And if you forget, Rocky's liquor store is conveniently located right next door. Frank gets a gold medal for this performance.
A couple of local restaurants are celebrating the games too. Newly opened Dogwood is pouring a “Red, White and You” wine flight in honor of our Olympians. $20 buys you two flights of white and two flights of red every Friday night during the Olympic games. Come weekly and odds are you won’t be blue! Try Schramsberg (Calistoga) blanc de blancs sparkling Chardonnay has bubbled on our nation’s tables since 1965. Chappellet (Napa) Chardonnay is summer in a glass, thanks to Napa’s cool marine breezes, Dijon varietal grapes and French oak barrel aging. Kenneth Volk (Paso Robles) Pinot Noir puts a red on the table from the family- owned Santa Barbara winery that owner Kenneth Volk notes as being “smaller, better and slower.” In this case, slower wins the race! Northstar (Walla Walla) Merlot, blended from Columbia Valley-grown grapes, wins praises as Seattle’s favorite. Dogwood is located in the Reynolds condominium building at 565 Peachtree Street; 404-835-1410.
VITA owner Tony LaRocco invites Olympic followers to dive in to a tall, wet drink named after local Olympic swimmer Kathleen Hersey. Literally the girl next door, Hersey lives in LaRocco’s neighborhood! Her namesake drink is a spirited medley of peach vodka, peach schnapps and orange juice ($8). This hometown girl swims faster than you can toss one back. Check out the YouTube video and see her dominate the 100-yard butterfly at the Olympic time trials.
VITA: 2110 Peachtree Road; 404-367-8482.