Friday, July 24, 2009

Cocktails in the Garden with Aqua blue

Last night I finally checked out the popular "Cocktails in the Garden" event at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Over 400 people were there to taste yummy food from Aqua blue, sip some wine or a cocktail, and stroll through the gardens and view the Henry Moore sculpture exhibit. It was tons of fun. Aqua blue's food was a huge hit. They served hangar steak on endive and these little crispy cups of tuna and avocado. YUM. Of course I wanted to leave enough for the other guests which required an after-event run to The Nook for totchos. Oy.

Cocktails in the Garden is every Thursday night from 6 - 10. It goes through September. The Moore exhibit goes through Oct. 31.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge 2009

Last night I attended the much-anticipated foodie event on Cheshire Bridge -- the Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge. Many of the restaurants offered tastings and tapas while high-end businesses offered product samples, discounts and raffles. Tickets were only $10 per person for a one-day pass to check out all the places participating on Cheshire Bridge Road. Proceeds went to benefit Open Hand Atlanta. Included in the fee was transportation provided by a trolley, but we decided to walk since it was such a nice night out. Food highlights from the evening included teriyaki shrimp and sushi rolls at Nakato, poached shrimp on toast points at Woodfire Grill, ricotta cheescake at Alfredo's and wonderul Ethiopian food at Amy's Ethiopian Cafe. I really liked this event because in addition to tasting food from the restaurants, I also got go inside the restaurants and check out the space. My only regret is that I didn't get there earlier enough to make it to all of the restaurants! And, my feet were a little too tired to make the trip down to Rain (new Thai restaurant). If you're counting pennies and looking for something fun to do - I highly recommend going. The last night for the tasting and tour is tonight - you can purchase tickets at Nakato as well as other restaurants.

Uncle Julio's is the Place to Celebrate National Tequila Day on July 24

This Friday, July 24, is National Tequila Day, and Uncle Julio's Casa Grande serves up 15 types of tequila and several different margaritas to help you celebrate. Among the restaurant's 14 locations nationwide, about 200,000 margaritas and tequila drinks are prepared each month. While purists can head for the straight tequilas, those fond of frozen varieties will want to try the signature Swirl (classic frozen margarita layered with homemade frozen sangria); the Baja Gold (margarita and Corona) or other classics such as the strawberry or passion fruit margaritas.

Uncle Julio’s managers attend tequila training in Mexico each fall, bringing home novel tequila ideas such as using it as a marinade in Uncle Julio’s chipotle borracho shrimp. Click here for the full recipe if you are celebrating at home.

Uncle Julio’s Casa Grande: 1860 Peachtree Road, NW: 404-350-6767.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Conscience Grocery Shopping

With the release of movies such as the new Food, Inc. and older books like Fast Food Nation consumers are more concerned than ever about the food they are putting in their body--and they should be! Movies and books such as these raise the question of not only where our protein or produce is coming from but how it was raised. This year Whole Foods Market tops the Humane Food Survey rankings of supermarkets compiled by The World Society for the Protection of Animals, the world's largest alliance of animal welfare organizations. Whole Foods Market, the nation's largest organic and natural grocery store, offers twice as many humanely labeled products per store as the next stores on the list. Shop at Whole Foods Markets and fill your grocery cart with good conscience!

Click here for a Whole Foods Market near you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don't Forget to Cast Your Vote!

It's time to speak your mind, Atlanta! Anyone and everyone can vote for their favorites in a big ballot of categories during Creative Loafing's "Best of Atlanta" selection election for 2009. Vote through July 31 then look for the results come September!

Celebrating One Year at Dogwood

I remember the first time I met Shane Touhy and Scott Black. Dogwood was just a gleam in their eyes at that point, but I knew it was going to be a wonderful restaurant. One year later and everyone knows! The one year anniversary dinner last night was fabulous! Five courses paired with Falcor wines, benefitting Breast Friends. What a celebration! My favorite dish was the smoked pheasant meatballs with apricot gastrique, black pepper and summer truffle aioli paired with 2005 Falcor Syrah. YUM. My friend's fave was the Coca-Cola marinated duck breast (above) with coffee cous cous, carrot marmalade and red wine aioli, served with the Falcor 2003 "Le Bijous" meritage. And of course our favorite bartender was Doc!
It was a rough year to open a restaurant, much less such a beautiful, ambitious one. These guys never wavered in their vision, no matter what. We're lucky to have them and I can't wait to celebrate more milestones with them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge

The first Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge is this week! July 21 through the 23 celebrate the eclectic business mix on Cheshire Bridge along with a variety of ethnic restaurants. Marissa is going to check it out and make a stop by Woodfire Grill to see Bernard, Nick, Kevin and the crew, so stay tuned for a recap!

Some details: Cheshire Bridge restaurants and businesses have pulled together to bring the community a fun three-day event complete with trolleys going up and down Cheshire Bridge Road for a tour of this one-of-a-kind street. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., July 21- 23, all participating restaurants will have tastings including appetizers, discounted prices/specials and all retail and specialty stores will have a raffle or silent auction.

Tickets are $15 for one evening or $30 for all 3 evenings and children seven and under are free. Tickets can be purchased here, in select stores or at the event. Stores with tickets: Antiques and Beyond, ChocoLate Coffee, Flora Dora, Las Margaritas, New Baby Products, Ninos Italian Restaurant, Rich Vision and Topaz Salon.

All proceeds will go to Open Hand.