Friday, March 25, 2011

Dish-Tested, Lent Approved at Atlanta Restaurants

Those Friday night fish fries are a Lenten staple, but what about some other ideas for those opting out of meaty menus for Lent?  Rejoice!  Our Atlanta restaurant friends will tempt your taste buds and fill you up without beef, pork or chicken through Lent and beyond.

Vegetarian Bento BoxOn Mondays, Spice Market offers its vegetarian bento box created by Executive Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten for only $24 per person.  Each bento box includes white or brown rice, the chef's soup of the day and your choice of three dishes from the varied list:  market green salad with radishes, cherry tomatoes and sesame seed vinaigrette; fragrant mushroom egg rolls with galangal emulsion; vegetables in green curry; spicy Shanghai noodles with chilled silken tofu, garlic and herbs; wok-charred eggplant with sweet chili glaze and peanuts; or spicy Thai slaw with Asian pear, crispy shallots and mint.  (In the W Atlanta-Midtown, 188 14th Street, NE; 404-724-2550)  

Woodfire Grill stays true to its farm-to-table mantra with a five-course vegetarian tasting menu for $65 (excluding tax and gratuity). Some items in season now that may show up on the menu are sunchokes, micro spring greens, baby red potatoes, arugula, baby Vidalia onions, fennel, turnips and green onions.   (1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055)

Aqua blue's Crabfest will turn hungry crabs into happy clams, so to speak, through April 18.  Executive Chef John C. Metz and Chef deAqua blue Cuisine Kien Sam created the limited-time Crabfest menu featuring she-crab soup; jumbo lump crab cakes with avocado, mango, chili aioli, rice wine vinegar and wasabi honey mustard;  soft shell crab rolls made with thin asparagus, crab cake, sweet herb, futomaki, soy paper and red tobiko served with wasabi honey mustard and fresh lemon; a chilled Florida stone crab claw taster served with traditional mustard sauce; drunken king and snow crab legs or large Florida stone crab claws served with green peppercorn cocktail sauce, tri-color tiny potatoes, corn on the cob slather and jicama slaw.  (1564 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell; 770-643-8886) 

RA Sushi is always swimming with fish, and they've recently added two more meat-free dishes:  vegetable tempura roll with lightly battered asparagus, sweet potato and Japanese eggplant rolled and topped with colorful crunchy tempura bits and drizzled with a sweet eel sauce and the Tropical roll that rolls cucumber, mango and avocado together and tops them off with spinach tempura bits and spicy shrimp mixed with masago and mango salsa. (1080 Peachtree Street at 1010 Midtown; 404-267-0114)

It's Follow Friday; Meet our Tweep of the Week @firstbite

First BiteJessica is a recent Georgia Tech graduate moving on through GT grad school, but her food-techie story starts way back with her first elementary school science fair project when she compared soda pop leavenings in 7-Up cake.  

Now, a fan of Alton Brown's "Good Eats," she professes to "cook stuff and eat out, and then I write about it" on her blog First Bite.    Do you think she wrote about it on her college essays?  Look for shorter bites on Twitter (@firstbite).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Season, New Delights at Atkins Park in Virginia Highland

Spring's gorgeous days have us hankering for fresh new tastes to match the season.  Who can get enough tender asparagus this time of year? Always obliging, Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland pops up with new brunch, lunch and dinner menu items to satiate spring equinox-driven cravings.  Blooming on all menus are the chilled asparagus salad with house pancetta, shaved Parmesan, sherry vinaigrette and a soft-poached farm egg ($8) and a Southern classic cheese plate topped with Flat Creek cheddar, Sweet Grass Asher Blue, Sweet Grass Green Hill, local honey, house preserves and grilled bread ($12).  

A spring lunch fave is the chicken salad sandwich on toasted sourdough ($10).  More lunch and dinner offerings include a pan-fried crab cake with mashed potatoes, asparagus and tomato jam ($12 lunch/$18 dinner), lemon-rosemary roasted natural chicken with preserved lemon and roasted new potatoes ($11 lunch/$16 dinner), grilled hanger steak ($12 lunch/$18 dinner) and farm egg carbonara with spring peas ($10 lunch/$14 dinner). Dinner adds a grilled Painted Hills New York strip steak ($22) and lamb two ways -- grilled porterhouse and sausage ($20).   

A weekend stroll leads to new brunch offerings of Kentucky hot brown ($6); bruschetta of spring peas, ricotta, local radish and garden mint ($6); biscuits and gravy ($6); chorizo potato hash with asparagus, roasted peppers and poached eggs ($10); fried egg sandwich with house bacon, avocado and tomato jam ($10); flank steak Benedict ($12), fried green tomato Benedict ($9); and the Highland brunch of three eggs any style, applewood smoked bacon or house-made pork sausage ($8).  

And about that brunch, it's one of Open Table's Diners' Choice "Top 10"  places to go for brunch in Atlanta on the reservation-taking website.  Pop open your laptop to take a look-see and reserve your seat! 

Get "Hooked Up" with RA Sushi

Make you sure you pick up a capture card next time you’re at RA Sushi so you can get in with “The Hook Up” preferred customer email program. After signing up, you’ll receive lots of great incentives such as a complimentary appetizer or roll certificate for up to $8 and a $20 gift certificate on your half birthday each year. You’ll always know what’s going on at RA Sushi from the frequent newsletter that keeps you up to date with everything RA. In a hurry to sign up? Don’t sweat it! Just visit RA Sushi’s website and select the “email list” icon in the upper right corner to join now. If you already receive their newsletter, you will automatically receive the new one after signing up. Go ahead and get “hooked up” with RA Sushi today!
RA Sushi: 1080 Peachtree at 1010 Midtown; 404-267-0114

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dine with four of the "Top Chef" contestants at Ray's at Killer Creek on March 27

Four of "Top Chef" Season 7 chef-testants have been invited by Ray's at Killer Creek Executive Chef Tracey Bloom to cook a feast for friends and families alike on Sunday, March 27. Assisted by Bloom's Sous Chef Robert Rambo, the contestants - Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Tiffany Derry, Kenny Gilbert and Arnold Myint - will serve a six-course meal with wine pairings. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., starting with appetizers in the bar. The dessert course will be prepared by Heather Hurlbert, a contestant on "Top Chef Just Desserts" and the pastry chef at Atlanta's Cherokee Town and Country Club.

The dinner costs $150 per person (including tax and gratuity) with a portion of the proceeds going to the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Call to reserve a table with friends or make new friends at the communal style setting. Visit to complete the sign-up form, and either E-mail or fax it back to the restaurant.

Ray's at Killer Creek: 1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta; 770-649-0064.

Bayou n' Bourbon, I Thought We Had More Time!

Who said the party's over? Bayou n' Bourbon is still going strong at all seven Marlow's Tavern locations around town. Plant your feet in Marlow's for "Mo' Betta Specials" including roast chicken and shrimp gumbo, fiery crawfish fondue, N'awlins-style po' boy, deconstructed jambalaya, pecan-crusted trout, Sweet Bourbon St. ribeye and a bayou burger of beef jazzed up with andouille sausage. Maker's Mark splashes into honey bourbon bread pudding and the Creole Lady cocktail. Other cooling beverages include Marlow's hurricane, Ramos gin fizz, Cajun cosmo and Abita Jockamo. Hurry though, the Louisiana lagniappe heads back to Cajun country on Monday, March 28.

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; Duluth at 1950 Satellite Boulevard, 770-622-2033; and East Cobb at 1311 Johnson Ferry Road (across from the movie theatre and next to Kohl's department store); 770-977-7747.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't Miss "The Ultimate Collection" at the High Museum Wine Auction This Week

This year's High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is dubbed "The Ultimate Collection," and after 19 years of successful wine auctions, you know you can't go wrong with this event. We can certainly promise tremendous food, art, wine and auction opportunities. Restaurants participating in this year's four-day fete (March 23 - 26) include Aria, La Tavola Trattoria, Pacci Ristorante, South City Kitchen Midtown and Vinings , Spice Market, Aqua blue and Woodfire Grill. La Tavola Executive Chef Craig Richards will feature Cass Winery and Row Eleven with a prix fixe menu as the Virginia-Highland trattoria takes part in Wednesday night's Toast the Tastemakers Dine Around Dinner; call 404-873-5430 for reservations. For the entire schedule, visit "The Ultimate" website.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don’t Miss the Stags’ Leap Wine Dinner at Davio’s This Wednesday

Photo by Sara Hanna

Make your reservation today for the Stags’ Leap wine dinner at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. The Phipps Plaza restaurant continues its wine dinner series with special hosts Christophe Paubert, winemaker and general manager of Stags’ Leap Winery, and Robert Evans, Davio’s sommelier. The four-course menu includes: seared diver scallop with beet carpaccio, micro arugula and yuzu emulsion served with 2009 Stags’ Leap Viognier – Napa Valley; pan-seared halibut with apple-hazelnut chutney paired with 2009 Stags’ Leap Chardonnay – Napa Valley; Wagyu beef short rib with king oyster mushrooms, baby carrots and black truffle jus paired with 2006 Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown – The Leap Napa Valley; dark Tanzania chocolate panna cotta with petite syrah-glazed blackberries and frosted almonds served with 2006 Stags' Leap Petite Syrah Estate Grown – Ne Cede Malis Napa Valley. Dinner is $95 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For reservations, call 404-844-4810.

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse: Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-844-4810.