Friday, November 7, 2008

2009 Will Welcome Marlow’s Tavern to Duluth

I enjoyed a delish lunch at Marlow’s this week, and I must say that I am excited for diners in Duluth. Yes, there will soon be six Marlow’s Tavern locations around metro Atlanta when Marlow’s opens its Duluth location in January 2009 at 1950 Satellite Boulevard and Sugarloaf Parkway near the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Neighbors can look forward to stopping at the tavern for cold drinks and upscale American tavern fare, lunchtime through dinner and into the night. Marlow’s Tavern offers a long list of wines, cocktails and bottled beers, including local favorites Sweetwater 420 and Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. Once the new restaurant opens, come at any time you like because there are no reservations and plenty of parking.
Marlow’s Tavern: 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; Northlake at 4156 LaVista Road; 678-987-1197; and coming in January to Duluth at 1950 Satellite Boulevard.

White Oak Pastures Fall Festival on Saturday

Everyone around here knows that I jump at any excuse to visit White Oak Pastures. And considering it's 3.5 hours one-way, that's saying a lot! But there's something so, well, American, about being out on a farm in the sun, socializing with friends, and eating a delicious grass-fed burger. So, I'm pretty bummed that I'm going to miss this one, but the pilot on my flight to Santiago refused to budge on the departure time. Those Delta employees can be so bitter!

Will Harris has planned a Fall Festival for tomorrow, Nov. 8, and it's sure to be a wonderful day. You can tour the ranch White Oak Pastures, try your hand at skeet shooting (I suck at it), listen to music, and enjoy local food samples from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Bluffton, Georgia. Have a burger for me and I promise to have a glass of Chilean wine for you!

Click here for directions. Find out more about grass-fed beef and Georgia’s other sustainable food sources at Slow Food Atlanta.White Oak Pastures: 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, Georgia; (229) 641-2081.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Enjoy the Twilight Hours with Aqua Blue

I can’t remember the last November in Georgia that started out this beautifully. The time change typically indicates a long period of short, chilly days on which the sun is veiled in thin clouds. On days when the sun escapes the clouds, it usually bids goodnight long before time to shut down the computers and head home from work. The weather this week has given us the opportunity to enjoy the twilight of the day, without the requisite scarf and gloves of years past, by slipping outside and taking in a deep breath of the crisp autumn air during a late noon stretch.

Another, more delicious, way to savor the twilight of the day is to stop by Aqua Blue for their Twilight Dinner special. Offered every Monday through Wednesday from 4 - 7 p.m., the Twilight Dinner let’s you can create a menu from a wide variety options: for starters, a choice of Aqua blue house salad, Caesar salad or soup du jour; for entrees, choose from chicken Marsala, bourbon- glazed salmon, ginger-glazed yellowfin tuna, pork tenderloin with Creole crawfish sauce, or blackened white tuna with citrus reduction (all entrees include garlic mashed potatoes and thin beans). End with a personal-sized dessert. Limited time menu is $19 per person (not including tax and gratuity. I plan to hurry and check it out, because, like the gorgeous weather of late, I’m, sure this generous offer won’t last forever.

Aqua blue: 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770-643-8886.

Sara in the City: Bacon Across Atlanta

You all know the ladies of Atlanta Dish can't get enough bacon in our lives. Bacon Salt, the Fabada Asturiana (chorizo with bacon and white bean stew) at Eclipse de Luna, the wonderful green tomato and bacon salad dressing at Dogwood, we even love the Italian version of bacon, pancetta, on a wood fired pizza from Ecco. Ever vigilant as we are, we strive to get bacon in our lives through any means necessary and we want to enable your bacon habit too!

First, begin your morning by flossing with Bacon Floss, a brilliant invention combining oral health and bacon flavor. Then, stop by The Flying Biscuit for a healthy bacon option - their breakfast dishes use fresh, crispy turkey bacon. Next head to work and review this bacon flowchart courtesy of an Atlanta Thrashers forum on bacon:


With all this hard work, you'll be ready for lunch in no time. Try the Fried Egg and Grilled Cheese B.L.T. from Buckhead Diner for your midday bacon fix. Add the house specialty, homemade potato chips with blue cheese, for an extra sinful and mouth watering meal. Get back to work and renew your membership to the Bacon of the Month Club, which sends fresh gourmet bacon right to your doorstep! Don't forget to join the I LOVE BACON Facebook group and check out your favorite bacon blogs: I HEART BACON and Bacon Unwrapped.


What's for dinner? Bacon, of course! For bacon-y tapas, I love Fuego's Dream Dates - dates stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in bacon and grilled to gooey perfection. For those of you with fancy bacon taste, the bacon wrapped chicken and steak at Fogo de Chao is sure to please.


Finally, try and make some time to visit your local YMCA and hop on the treadmill to prevent clogged arteries. Just a suggestion from one bacon lover to another...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

South City Kitchen's "Power of Pinot" Wine Dinner

Tomorrow night, South City Kitchen Vinings will host “The Power of Pinot” wine dinner - covering the range from the rich berry red of Pinot Noir to mellow golden Pinot Gris - and the real estate from France through New Mexico to California and Oregon. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Fifth Group Restaurants® are known for their dedication to wine education, and there’s no exception here! The four-course prix-fixe dinner costs $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 770-435-0700. On the menu: passed hors d’oeuvres of chopped chicken liver profiteroles, pickled beet and country ham skewer with pear accompanied by Domaine-Schlumberger, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France ’04. The first course brings to the table pan-fried Georgia mountain trout with grapefruit-butter sauce and crisp capers and Solena, Pinot Gris, Oregon ’06. Move on to the second course of “Country Captain” braised lamb shoulder with roasted tomatoes, cured olives, dried cherries and Carolina plantation mushroom risotto served with Domaine Alfred, “Goss Creek,” Pinot Noir, Central Coast ’06. Dessert ends on a sweet note with warm pear crisp with cardamom sorghum ice cream and Greut, Brut Rose, Sparkling Pinot Noir, New Mexico NV. South City Kitchen Vinings: 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

Drink Up For the November Wine Specials

You won’t hear any complaining from me this month! Atlanta restaurants are offering some fabulous wine specials this November. It is a perfect time to go out and enjoy great food and even better wine specials!

Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead enjoys Wine Down Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the bar area. Today’s November 5 tasting features Italian wines -- Donnafugata Anthilia, Frescobaldi Nippozzano and Guado al Tasso. For $12 per person you get to sample all three wines and nibble on complimentary appetizers. Can’t make it to the wine tasting? November is full of drink specials at Morton’s The Steakhouse! Drink specials include $5 glasses of Canyon Road California Cabernet or Chardonnay and $3 Samuel Adams “Octoberfest” every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Morton’s The Steakhouse-Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building, 3379 Peachtree Road, NE;
404-816-6535.

Toulouse American Bistro will host two Sunday wine tastings this month: Reserve wines ($40) on November 9 and Port/dessert wines ($35) on November 30. In just two hours the Toulouse Wine Guy will have you walking away feeling like a wine sommelier! Both tastings consist of a sample of 15 wines accompanied with palate cleansers.

Toulouse American Bistro: 2293 Peachtree Road, NE;
404-351-9533.

Tony LaRocco’s VITA hosts weekly Tuesday Tastings from 6-8 p.m. in the bar area. Branch out and go for the Italian feel by tryingTerre Valse Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vagnoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano, La Monesca Verdicchio di Matelica, Illuminate Riparosso Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo, Silver Palm Cabernet Sauvignon and Dona Paula Malbec. $15 per person includes 5 to 6 featured wines and of course delicious complimentary appetizers.

Tony LaRocco’s VITA: 2110 Peachtree Road at Bennett Street; 404-367-8482.

Woodfire Grill will offer up their advice on completing your Thanksgiving meal with the perfect feature wines. On Wednesday, November 19th at 6 p.m. for $15 per person you will have the chance to sample eight different wines! The perfect way to taste test for the upcoming holidays!
Woodfire Grill: 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Georgia Leads the U.S. in Pecan Production! No Wonder Atlanta Chefs are Nuts About Pecans.

Wow, Georgia sure can produce the pecans! According to the Georgia Pecan Commission, Georgia farmers harvest 88 million pounds of pecans each year -- enough to fill 176 million pecan pies. Nutworthy news? Defi-nut-ly. Why should pecan pies be privy to all of the nuts? Atlanta restaurant menus are laden with a variety of pecan-infused dishes you'd be nutty not to enjoy!

Aqua blue has quite a catch: pecan-crusted trout served over sweet potato hash with sun corn, thin green beans and peach beurre blanc ($22).Aqua blue: 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770-643-8886.

Eclipse di Luna tiptoes past the tapas to the dessert pages, where toffee, pecans and caramel sauce top chocolate fudge turtle pie ($6). Eclipse di Luna - Miami Circle: 764 Miami Circle; 404-846-0449. Eclipse di Luna - Park Place: 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Suite 11; 678-205-LUNA (5862).

South City Kitchen® Midtown cracks out of the dessert section to create southern steak frites ribeye, which comes with sweet potato fries, creamed Georgia greens and Abita Pecan Harvest Ale jus ($28.95); and grilled Atlantic salmon, swimming alongside butternut squash hash with country ham, toasted pecans, spinach and cider butter ($22.95).South City Kitchen Midtown: 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358.

South City Kitchen® Vinings starts the meal with a mixed field green salad showing off toasted pecans under a balsamic vinaigrette ($6.95), then ends with an individual pecan pie with buttermilk caramel and vanilla ice cream ($6.75).South City Kitchen Vinings: 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

Uncle Julio's Casa Grande scoops out scrumptious bowls of cajeta -- vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and pecans, topped with homemade caramel sauce and whipped cream ($6.25).Uncle Julio's in Buckhead: 1860 Peachtree Road, NW; 404-350-6767.

Woodfire Grill loves Georgia pecans and candies them to mix with julienne local apples and local lettuce salad served with buttermilk dressing ($9). Woodfire Grill: 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055.

Bold American Catering® sends pecans your way in this party- pleasing recipe. 404-815-1178.

Candied Rosemary Pecans
2 lbs. pecans
5 oz. butter
3 1/2 oz. light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Grind sugar and rosemary in a food processor. Melt the butter with the rosemary and sugar mixture. Pour over nuts and then drizzle with corn syrup. Bake at 325º for 15 minutes or until sugar crystallizes on the nuts.

Holiday Wines and Decor at Toulouse

Last night, I attended the Tower Wine & Spirits Holiday Wine Dinner at Toulouse restaurant. I thought Tower Wine & Spirits and Toulouse did a phenomenal job of putting together an interesting and useful wine dinner. Tower compared one New World and one Old World wine with each course, and Toulouse pulled together a great menu that represented pretty much everything you would eat during the holidays. By the end of the dinner, I walked away knowing exactly what wines I wanted to serve this Thanksgiving.

As a unique twist, Toulouse also had Cindy Dawson from Smith Ace Hardware demonstrate some simple and beautiful holiday table decor between each course. I loved coming away with a better knowledge of wines and a great idea for decorating my table! I would show you pictures but it was so dark that none of them came out very clearly. Happily, at least I'm able to share the menu and wines we tried!


Reception
Sonoma Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Borgo Conbenti Pinot Grigio (my favorite)
Assorted Cheeses, Fruit, and Crackers

First Course
La Solatia Tuscan Chardonnay (my favorite - very surprising!)
Il Leo Chianti Superiore
Grilled Halibut with Mushroom Ravioli served with a Radicchio and Leek Sauce


Second Course
Davis Bynum Russian River Chardonnay (fabulous with the turkey!)
Davis Bynum Russian River Pinot Noir
Pan-Seared Turkey Breast w/ Serrano Ham Gravy
Baked Ham with stewed apples & strawberries

Third Course
Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet (these were both great wines but this cab had so much berry flavor, I couldn't resist it)
Ruffino Chianti Classico Reserva (Tan Label)
Water Cracker breaded Lamb Tenderloin with Sun dried Tomato and Basil Stuffing and topped
in a Rosemary Cream Sauce.


Fourth Course
Inniskillin Iced Sparkling Wine (I am not a fan of dessert wines but this went great with the cobbler)
Rodney Strong Knotty Vines (104 year old vines) Zinfandel
Peach-Raspberry Cobbler with Goat Cheese Ice Cream

DailyCandy Definition


Ahh, so you thought no one saw you snag a second and third helping at the pasta bar. The DailyCandy Lexicon knows, and anyway, you can’t hide it forever. Eventually your carbonara footprint will leave its mark on your planetary being. Carbonara offsets? Those options include boot camp, running a marathon, nibbling spring greens or buying stretch jeans.

Carbonara Footprint: n. obvious and deleterious effects of overindulgence in creamy pasta dishes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Morton's The Steakhouse Rocks the Vote

We all deserve a drink after this very long campaign comes to an end tomorrow. Both locations of Morton's the Steakhouse in Buckhead and Downtown are offering election-tinis to turn the long awaited results into a party... whatever your party may be. On the night of Tuesday, November 4, Repulicans go red, Democrats drink blue and if you are undecided, mix it up with red and blue layers. Each drink is $11. Check out the recipes below.

Republican-tini: 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Citron Vodka, 1 oz. PAMA, 1/2 oz. sour mix. Place all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake 15 times and strain into a martini glass.

Democratini: 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Citron Vodka, 1 oz. Blue Curacao, 1/2 oz. sour mix. Place all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake 15 times and strain into a martini glass.

Undecided-tini: 1 1/2 oz. Blue Curacao, 1 oz. PAMA, 1/2 oz. pomegranate syrup. Place Blue Curacao into shaker and add ice. Shake 15 times and strain into martini glass. Pour PAMA and pomegranate syrup into shaker. Shake 15 times and slowly strain down the side of the martini glass so that the mixture floats to the bottom. You should have half red with half blue floating on top.

Morton’s The Steakhouse-Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building, 3379 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-816-6535. Morton’s The Steakhouse-Downtown: SunTrust Plaza Building, 303 Peachtree Center Avenue; 404-577-4366.
Cheers!