Friday, August 29, 2008

Eating Out Sound Better Than Cooking Out? Check Out These Spots!

The year is steadily flying by and I have given up all hopes of trying figure out where all the time has gone. This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and, for a change, my husband and I have decided that we are not cooking out for Labor Day this year. It was an executive decision driven by the dread shopping for a grand feast, sweating over the grill (or in the kitchen) picking up half full bottles (of whatever), all the while playing the happy hostess. I think I’ll save all that for Thanksgiving, which at this rate, won’t be long. So, just in case you may be thinking the same thing, here are a few places that will welcome us all with open arms (and bars) on Labor Day:

La Tavola Trattoria: 992 Virginia Avenue, NE; 404-873-5430.

VITA: 2110 Peachtree Road; 404-367-8482.

Marlow’s Tavern, all locations: Alpharetta at 3719 Old Alabama Road, 770-475-1800; Kennesaw at 745 Chastain Road, NW, 770-425-8777; Midtown at 950 West Peachtree Street, 404-815-0323; Vinings at 2355 Cumberland Parkway, 770-432-2526; and Northlake at 4156 LaVista Road; 678-987-1197.

Ecco: 40 7th Street; 404-347-9555.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Marlow's Tavern In Midtown Throws One-Year Anniversary Party on August 28

Marlow's in Midtown turns the corner on a fun-loving first year with an open-to-all celebration on Thursday evening, August 28. Feed on free appetizers from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and fill your glass with drink specials. Live party music is a given... and perhaps you'll win the drawing to receive dinner for a year at Marlow's Midtown.
Marlow's Tavern in Midtown is located at 950 West Peachtree Street and can be reached by calling 404-815-0323.

Woodfire Grill Rhone White Wine Tasting

I couldn't wait to check out Woodfire Grill for the first time since Michael Tuohy left. The first wine tasting by the new owners gave me just the reason I needed to get on over there. It was great!

They are putting a new spin on the classic wine tasting by allowing you to participate from your own table with your own friend(s). So instead of a formal classroom setting, you just go have a seat like a normal guest and they bring the wines to you. Worked great! And the newly promoted exec chef Kevin Gillespie had written the night's menu with the tasting in mind so all the dishes were Rhone white friendly.

Everything was delicious but our fave was the foie gras with these nutty little pancakes. YUM. In addition we had 3 small plates - the vegetable assortment (indian spiced okra and tomatoes, rattlesnake pole beans, fromage blanc stuffed anaheim chile), crisp fried flat creek lodge catfish stuffed with georgia white shrimp with avocado mousseline and dried chile sauce, and pan roasted sonoma artisan duck breast with chanterelle mushrooms, delicata squash, crushed pistachio and duck jus, and two large plates - wood grilled north carolina "poulet rouge" with wood over morels (oh gosh, were they ever delish), sweet herbs, and white cheddar mac and cheese, and the pan roasted south carolina mangrove snapper with crispy vidalia onion fritter, indian spiced okra small tomatoes.

We tasted 8 wines for $15. The fave was 2002 Treana, which is actually a Central Coast California wine, as was the 2007 Bridlewood Viognier. We also sampled and enjoyed the 2007 Yalumba Viognier (South Australia), 2006 Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc (Paso Robles), 2007 Perrin & Fils Cotes Du Rhone Reserve, 2006 M. Chapoutier Belleruche blanc, 2006 Eventide Cellar Viognier (South Africa) and the 2005 Perrin & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape Les Sinards.
The new owners are doing some sprucing up decor wise this month. I'm happy to report that the place was busy and the food and service were as good as ever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Eat and Drink for a Living...Jealous? You Should Be!

I have such a long day tomorrow! Sure there’s the typical 9-6 workday, but, after that, I “have to” go to a wine tasting. Did I say “have to”? I meant “get to”!! I feel so sorry for my friends who work long hours and at the end of the day, they are too worn out to attend anything social. My days may be long, but my job allows me to merge my social agenda with my career ambition.

On tomorrow’s schedule, Maximilian Riedel himself will host this wine tasting at Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Thursday, August 28). The Austrian native is an 11th generation glassmaker and the CEO of Riedel Crystal USA, so it’s appropriate that he bring his own glasses to the table. And, he’s sending a set of four glasses home with attendees after sipping, supping and usurping tips on how wine glass shapes do affect a wine’s personality. $70 per person (including tax and gratuity) covers wine, appetizers and includes your Riedel glassware gift. For reservations, call 404-816-6535.

Jealous yet? I knew you would be!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Woodfire Grill's August 27 Wine Tasting Showcases Wonderful Whites of the Rhone

What's better than a good glass of wine? Multiple good glasses of wine, all approved by the experts. As the new owners of Woodfire Grill, Nicolas Quinones and Bernard Moussa are keeping with tradition by hosting the next installment of Woodfire's wine tasting series. Quinones and Moussa invite guests to sample wonderful whites of the Rhone including Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier wines on Wednesday, August 27 from 7-9 p.m. Cost is $15 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Reservations are recommended as spaces fill quickly. Woodfire Grill: 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055

Whet Your Whistle With A Schlocktail

Come on girls, admit it. We’ve all sipped them. Now we know what they’re called, thanks to the The DailyCandy Lexicon. Schlocktail – n. lame, themed drink, often seen at cheesy events and made with some sort of flavored liqueur.

Suggested usage: Keep that Raspberry Beret Bomb away from me. I don’t drink schlocktails.