Saturday, January 16, 2016
Consider the January juxtaposition, balancing those “eat healthy” resolutions with comfort-food cravings generated by cold weather and longer nights. Thwart the lunchtime temptation to hunker down and hibernate by grabbing some sunshine and soul-satisfying victuals like country-fried steak with creamy pan gravy, cornbread and a choice of two sides, a $15 Southern blue plate special off the new lunch menu at Revival in Decatur.
Friday, January 15, 2016
That bald eagle in your pocket...the one on the quarter? Our national symbol of freedom and strength since 1782. The imprint doesn’t do it justice like seeing this awe-inspiring, majestic bird in action. Here’s your chance. On Saturday, January 16, zip to White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia for an enlightening indoor/outdoor bald eagle workshop led by two eagle experts, Jim Ozier and Brad Alexander. Bundle up for a 10 a.m.-noon farm tour to view these protected birds of prey in their natural habitat. The eagles are on their own for lunch, but workshop participants will dine in the Pavilion before nestling in for the afternoon’s educational workshop. $55 per person. Sign up online, designating CSA pick up to avoid shipping charges. Find more info nuggets on our blog -- and a connecting flight over to the White Oak Pastures eagle album.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Sunday brunch at The Southern Gentleman inserts a breather in a week that reads like a run-on sentence. At ease. Executive chef Matthew Ridgway wants families and friends to relax at the Buckhead restaurant’s recently introduced brunch, served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May the day’s most challenging questions be menu related -- whether to choose the traditional Monte Cristo triple decker of Southern ham, roasted turkey and Swiss cheese with bourbon barrel maple syrup ($15), the Maryland deviled crab sandwich with comeback sauce ($16), the crispy anadama toffee waffles ($13) or one of the other seductive brunch specialties. Why hurry? It would be a shame to race through that starter of smoked trout rillettes ($10), the pimento cheese-Dixie bacon soft omelet prepared in the traditional French style and served with home-fried potatoes ($15) or dessert of caramelized banana and hazelnut bostock French toast ($8). Cocktails enter the picture after 12:30 p.m., when guests may want to choose The Southern Gentleman bloody mary with Tito’s vodka, pickled shrimp and a Dixie bacon garnish; the Scarlett Belle blushing cranberry-infused vodka; or a sturdy Brunch Punch of Four Roses bourbon, allspice dram, cinnamon honey syrup, black true sea salt, hard cider, bitters and apple spice. Ridgway also has recently introduced new lunch and dinner menus at the restaurant located in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Make reservations online or call 404-939-9845. Valet parking is available.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Loving leaving gluten behind? No longer is that a tale of woe. You know, “Whoa! That tastes like cardboard. What else can I eat -- enjoyably?” Atlanta chefs are taking advantage of naturally gluten-free foods and the ever-growing list of gluten-free, sowing their wildly appealing “GF” oats to create dishes full of flavor yet devoid of gluten. Menus clearly designate gluten-free and modifiable options so playing the do/don’t guesswork game is a thing of the past. This list of area restaurants offering gluten-free menu items (along with yummy selections) is definitely a keeper.
Start with a toast to new dining opportunities. Revival in Decatur offers Angry Orchard Stone Dry cider, which like all Angry Orchard ciders is naturally gluten-free. Cheers!
The menus at all Bantam + Biddy locations clearly designate gluten-free options, and there’s a whole flock of dishes scattered across all menu categories, starters through dessert. Entrées such as fried chicken tenders, meatloaf, oven-roasted chicken and the Southern Breakfast (served all day) are a few tempters. Covet Bantam + Biddy’s popular jalapeño cornbread? Score. The golden, gluten-free bread accompanies all entrées and is available as a side. When only a sandwich will do, the kitchen will swap in gluten-free bread. Good to remember when dining in Midtown (Ansley Mall or Crescent Avenue), Lenox Square or Avalon.
Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station also identifies gluten-free items on its lunch/dinner and weekend brunch menus. Flip over almond pancakes with ginger apples ($10) or a protein scramble ($12.50) at brunch as well as onion rings ($6), a chicken tender basket ($13.50) and Cobb, Club Med and Power House salads ($10).
Lunch, dinner or in between, Ormsby’s shrimp and grits is an all-around favorite, rocking palates with succulent shrimp, red peppers, caramelized onions and cream sherry ($16). Ask servers about more gluten-free menu options.
At Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, a plethora of gluten-free options await. You can’t go wrong with the pan-roasted lamb sausage with creamy grits and smoked Gouda, charred okra and harissa jus ($10) or the Southern paella with Carolina gold rice, pan-seared red snapper, mussels, scallops, smoked andouille and shrimp ($21).
In Midtown, 10th & Piedmont harmonizes sweet, salty and savory for gluten-free and paleo devotees in its bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with roasted apples, currants and cane syrup crème ($6.95)
At the magic hour of 5 p.m. every evening, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern starts serving its fall-apart tender pot roast. Midtowners can’t get enough of the comforting short ribs sided by buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and red wine gravy ($14.50).
Seed Kitchen & Bar generously peppers its lunch, dinner and brunch menus with gluten-free options. Smoked chicken tacos with pimento grits, chipotle-lime crema and piquillo peppers ($8.95); deviled eggs served with short smoked salmon, jalapeño cream, pickled onion and capers ($7.95); and Georges Bank sea scallops with butternut squash-Parmesan risotto, apple and pancetta ($26.95) are a few of the palate-rewarding selections at this East Cobb restaurant.
Thankfully, most wines get the go ahead. Small plates at Stem Wine Bar in East Cobb also get the green light. Everyone’s happy to share “Deviled Eggs Three Ways” -- Spanish, French and Italian ($6); shaved Brussels sprouts with warm bacon vinaigrette, apple, pine nuts and Parmesan ($9); Spanish octopus “A la Plancha” slow braised in red wine and accompanied by fingerling potatoes, chorizo and salsa verde ($14); and garlic chicken wings with preserved lemon, black pepper, Calabrian chiles and parsley ($10).
Monday, January 11, 2016
Some of us are menu-impaired, meaning dinnertime sneaks up on us. Clueless no more. Assemble one of these Crafty Crock-Pot Meals in the morning and come home to tantalizing aromas and dinner on the table in no time flat with Crock-Pot “crack” such as honey garlic chicken and veggies, Mongolian beef, chicken and dumplings, vegetarian taco soup, four-ingredient macaroni and cheese and chicken Caesar sandwiches.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
To err is human. To eat the “best doughnuts in the world” is Sublime. As in Sublime Doughnuts, the very same doughnuts featured on the cover of January’s Atlanta magazine “Best of” issue. Cravers, your heavenly handfuls await at the 10th Street shop in Midtown Atlanta. Grab your hands on the salted caramel and reduced balsamic vinegar doughnut or “The Dirty D”, topped with milk chocolate cookie crumble.