Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Hats, Big Drinks, Big Horses, Big Fun

You might say that the Kentucky Derby is practically a holiday in the South. We’re pretty sure that it’s the birth right of every natural born Southerner to don large, spectacular hats (or for the gents, a classy seer-sucker suit) with a refreshingly classic Mint Julep clasped tightly in hand. Oh, and yes, of course, the majestic horses with ridiculously fun names – we can’t forget about them!

If you can’t make it to Kentucky this year, select locations of Marlow’s Tavern are bringing the party to you. Venture to the Alpharetta, Duluth or Kennesaw locations to cheer on your favorite horse and jockey – they’ll have the race on all televisions so you can watch while enjoying some delicious food and drinks! Make the party extra fun by dressing up – you could win “Best Dressed” or “Best Hat” contests! They’ll have derby themed menu items like the aforementioned Mint Julep and Kentucky burgoo. Even if your horse loses, The Atlanta Community Foodbank Hungerjam will still be a winner – Marlow’s is donating 10 percent of the day’s proceeds!

It’s Follow Friday – meet our Tweep of The Week @GingerCM

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. turns the gluten-filled world into a gluten-free one for those who need to cut the G-word from their diets. The three-year gluten-free twitterer/blogster is a professor of mass communications at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, a self-dubbed gluten-free social media fan, journalist, wife and mother, and a "War Damn Eagle." She's the author of the blog Gluten Free in Georgia. . . Finally and an avid #gf twitterer.  Follow her at!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Night Scotch & Cigars

If your week has been as long as mine has you definitely need some Friday night plans to start the weekend off right... How about scotch, cigars and dinner at Ray's Killer Creek?

Tomorrow night from 6 - 8 p.m. Ray's Killer Creek is hosting a Rocky Patel Scotch & Cigar event. Each $10 ticket purchase includes one cigar (Patel Brothers, Super Toro or Nicaraguan), one glass of House of Glenmorangie Scotch and one raffle ticket. Raffle prizes include goodies from The Cigar Merchant and gift cards to Ray's. The more you buy, the better your chances of winning!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ain't no party til it's a patio party!

With spring in full swing, people are ready to get outside and enjoy all the warmth and sunshine that was missing this past winter. What better way to enjoy the sunshine than to sit out on a patio and enjoy food and drinks while basking in warm rays of the sun? Aqua blue will be christening the patio season by throwing their 2nd Annual Patio Kick-off Party on April 30 from 4 p.m. until close.

For those of you who are worried about the weather, don't fret because I've got an inside guy (The Weather Channel) that says it'll be 80 degrees and mostly sunny. Also, the Kristin Tinsley Band will be performing from 7 - 10 p.m. for those in the mood for good music and a little dancing. As if that isn't enough, there will be $6 wine features, $5 drink features, $3 Peroni and Bud Light Golden Wheat and a tapas menu for you to enjoy while you're partying it up.

So get your weekend started out right and put on your patio party pants and make your way to Aqua blue on Friday.

Aqua blue: 1564 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA 30076 · Phone: 770.643.8886

Calling All Disastrous Cooks

It was Thanksgiving and my mom was visiting. She brought all the fixins' for a proper traditional meal to my little apartment in Buckhead. That morning we turned the oven to pre-heat and waited, and waited, and waited. Oops. It didn't work. And I had no idea how long it had been broken. A helpful neighbor with oven space to spare saved the day and my landlord quickly replaced my oven with a brand new one. Fast forward one year later to the next Thanksgiving. Same scene. Mom turns the oven to pre-heat and, after a few minutes, a weird smell fills the air. A quick inspection turned up the melting plastic-covered instruction manual inside. Yeah. Oops again.

I was reminded of this true story when we got an email from the Food Network about their new show for "hopeless home cooks" and those who are "totally incompetent in the kitchen." Details are below if you, or someone you know, want to apply. Please note that I will not see you in line although I qualify!

Food Network is looking for the most disastrous home cooks in
Atlanta to participate in a very different
culinary competition show!

This is the opportunity of a lifetime—to work with the best chefs in the country and learn to cook like a professional. Seeking people with a genuine inability to cook, but a need and desire to improve!

Has your wife told you it was probably better if you ordered take out?
At the big potluck dinner, are you always asked to “just bring the napkins?”

Is someone you know constantly offering you food that you have to turn down?
If you know a dad/mom who can’t scramble an egg, a colleague who can’t convince anyone to try their culinary creations, or a guy friend who tries but can’t seem to get it together in the kitchen, this is your chance to get them the help you BOTH need!
W Atlanta
188 14th Street NE, Atlanta GA 30361
Saturday, May 1st
9am – 3pm
*Please bring a dish that represents your cooking

Email us at
Tell us why you (or the person you are nominating) is the most disastrous cook in the country
Include name, age, hometown, occupation, contact phone number, and a recent photo of the hopeless cook
Additional information & application available at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Time to Treat Mom

Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away, so it’s time to start making plans to celebrate these special women. We’ve got a list of mouthwatering meals and great gift options that every mom is sure to love. Get ahead of the game and make mom’s day!

Aqua blue starts mom's day in Roswell with a special 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. brunch buffet for $29.95 per person. Children under the age of 14 are $9.95, and children under four eat free. A buffet peek shows carved strip steak and turkey, roasted pork tenderloin, made-to-order omelets, assorted pastries and desserts and many more tempters. Treat mom to bottomless mimosas for $15 per person. If dinner out is her preference, come from 5:30 - 9 p.m. for Aqua blue's regular à la carte menu and seasonal features. Reservations are required; call 770-643-8886. (1564 Holcomb Bridge Road.)
Dine in Midtown at Ecco's Mother's Day brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and give mom a mini-Mediterranean holiday. Ecco's brunch menu includes a shareable selection of meats and cheeses and other taste and share items such as a chocolate croissant ($6), goat cheese and lemon croissant ($6) and fried goat cheese with black pepper ($7). Main dishes include a frittata with green garlic, escarole and pecorino ($12); house-made pork sausage with lentils and a poached egg ($12) and crepes with honeyed ricotta, strawberries and pistachios ($9). Crispy, woodfired pizzas ($13-$14) are another favorite. Round out the meal with sides of polenta, sautéed spinach, sautéed potatoes with chorizo ($5 each) and more. See the complete menu and make online reservations. (40 7th Street, NE; 404-347-9555)

Mother's Day "Supper" can only mean one thing -- JCT. Kitchen & Bar is putting on a fine Southern-inspired Sunday Supper for mom's big day from 5 - 9 p.m. Chef and Owner Ford Fry starts his Mother's Day $36 prix-fixe menu with a selection of warm biscuits, house-made jams, deviled eggs and Benton's country ham. After that comes a local "farm stand" salad and then on to the entrée decision . . . will it be slow-cooked rabbit with Vidalia onion, fontina-filled pasta and wilted local greens; pan-roasted dayboat fish; hickory-roasted Berkshire pork rack; cider-braised short rib "pot roast;" black skillet-fried chicken; or the vegetable plate piled with local vegetables, buttered potato dumplings and preserved tomatoes. A classic Georgia strawberry shortcake with local honey and lavender cream makes a sweet supper ending. (1198 Howell Mill Road; 404-355-2252)

Mama mia, La Tavola Trattoria in Virginia Highland loves moms! Their Mother's Day feast welcomes guests from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. with refreshing salads, bruschetta and an antipasti platter of meat and cheese ($5.95-$13.95); and entrées such as house-made challah French toast, chicken sausage, ricotta and lemon ravioli and a smoked salmon crostini ($7.95-$14.95). See the complete menu and make reservations online. (992 Virginia Avenue, NE; 404-873-5430)
Present mom with luxurious chocolates and
truffles from LW Chocolatier chocolate boutique. Select a package filled with a variety of LW's incredible riches of chocolates and truffles or handselect her preferences for a custom-made gift box. Make sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter to find out the latest specials and events! (One Buckhead Plaza at 3060 Peachtree Road, NW, Suite 40; 404-467-8503)

Four of the Marlow's Tavern locations around town will be offering brunch for $14.99 per person and $15 bottomless mimosas for adults on Mother's Day. Savory brunch specialties at Marlow's Tavern include crabcakes Benedict and made-to-order omelets. (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; Duluth at 1950 Satellite Boulevard, 770-622-2033.)

Morton's The Steakhouse honors mothers with a special $59 menu. The prix-fixe menu includes a choice of Morton's salad or Caesar salad; single-cut filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, Filet Oskar, broiled salmon fillet with beurre blanc sauce, Colossal Shrimp Alexander with beurre blanc sauceor Chicken Christopher with garlic beurre blanc sauce; one vegetable or potato side dish; and crème brûlée or double chocolate mousse for dessert. Each mom dining at Morton's Buckhead on Mother's Day will receive a mini-spa package of a 30-minute massage, mini-facial, and a shampoo, blow out and style at the newly-opened William David Salon in the Terminus Building. Both locations are open from 3 - 9 p.m. on Mother's Day. (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)

Elegant Pacci Ristorante pays tribute to moms with an abundant brunch buffet laden with flavorful dishes by Executive Chef Keira Moritz, including deviled eggs, crab fondue, cheese grits, pesto squash casserole and an assortment of pastries. The Mother's Day brunch buffet is available from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. and is priced at $22 for adults, $12 for kids ages six to 12 and no charge for children under six. (866 West Peachtree Street, NW; 678-412-2402)

Let Mom choose brunch or dinner riverside, downtown or in the 'burbs at Ray's Restaurants on Mother's Day. From 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Ray's on the River is offering a Mother's Day brunch buffet priced at $35 for adults and $17 for children ages five to 10. From 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., both Ray's Killer Creek and Ray's in the City are offering a brunch priced at $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages five to 10. Both locations also are offering the regular dinner menu from 5 - 8 p.m. (Ray's on the River: 6700 Powers Ferry Road; 770-955-1187. Ray's Killer Creek: 1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta; 770-649-0064. Ray's in the City: 240 Peachtree Street, NW; 404-524-9224)

Shaun's, in historic Inman Park, is offering a Mother's Day brunch spread that will make mom swoon. Served from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Executive Chef Shaun Doty's brunch menu boasts breakfast fare including cage-free organic eggs, applewood smoked bacon, homemade sausages, cheddar waffles with Steen's cane syrup, Anson Mill speckled grits, eggs Benedict and a selection of artisan breads and biscuits. Other items include Southern-style fried chicken, braised local collard greens, cedar-planked salmon, marinated pork loin, a selection of farmhouse cheeses and assorted desserts. Price is $40 per person; $10 for children 10 and under. Reservations can be made online. (1029 Edgewood Avenue, NE; 404-577-4358)

Treat your modern-day Southern belle to the regional flavor of Mother's Day brunch at South City Kitchen Midtown or South City Kitchen Vinings. Bask in Southern hospitality while dining on first flavors such as chocolate muffins, fried green tomatoes and sautéed chicken livers; brunch specialties like a country frittata, peach "French toast" pudding, Southern-style eggs Benedict and crab hash; and regular menu favorites including their famous buttermilk fried chicken and pan-fried mountain trout. See the South City Kitchen Midtown menu and make online reservations. 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358. View the South City Kitchen Vinings menu and make online reservations. 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

Mom has her own Mother's Day dish at Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food! The Plato de Madre ($29.95) fills her plate with cold water lobster tail, chicken and beef fajitas, guacamole, pico de gallo, Mexican rice and frijoles a la charra. So delish, everyone else may want to order their own "plato." The special dish will only be available from May 3 - 16. (Buckhead: 1860 Peachtree Road, NW; 404-350-6767. Sandy Springs: 1140 Hammond Drive, NE, Building K, Suite 100; 678-736-8260).

For a meaningful Mother's Day celebration, take mom to Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery. The North Georgia winery offers a memorable meal with breathtaking views. Since both Mother's Day brunch seatings are already sold out, surprise mom early with a lovely lunch at the winery's Vineyard Café. The café is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Advance reservations are required for all food service events and can be made by calling 706-867-9862. Wolf Mountain Vineyards is located at 180 Wolf Mountain Trail in Dahlonega, Georgia, 706-867-9862.

Lastly, if you want to get mom a gift she'll use for years, the Atlanta Cooks at Home cookbook is a great Mother's Day option. Whether your mom is an Atlanta native or an at-home cook who is eager to learn the culinary ways of the South, this book gives readers cool recipes and insight for different occasions as well as personal interviews from the city's top chefs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Green Egg-cellence at Atkins Park

If you're like me, you can't get enough of patio dining now that the spring weather has finally arrived. Luckily, the folks at Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia-Highland feel the same way and have begun offering a weekly Big Green Egg "Chill & Grill" patio cookout. Every Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the restaurant's Sous Chef Justin Carr will prepare seasonal à la carte appetizers and entrées on the Big Green Egg that will change each week. The “chill” comes from a weekly selection of wine and craft beer chosen as ideal mates for the night’s menu. You can start teasing your taste buds every Monday when Atkins Park posts the week’s Chill & Grill menu on their Facebook Fan Page.

Atkins Park Tavern: 794 N. Highland Avenue; 404-876-7249.