Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ho, Ho, Ho. Gypsy Kitchen and The Southern Gentleman “Christmas in July” Promo Gives Gift Cards to Early Bird Holiday Party Planners

We could swear we saw Santa sporting swim trunks and sunscreen while running the Peachtree. He’s training for the holiday party season that will race in faster than one can lap the last drip off that boozy snow cone. Gypsy Kitchen and The Southern Gentleman are looking ahead past fall and adding incentives for party planners who do likewise. If your crystal ball shows a seated dinner, happy hour, luncheon, social or a takeover-the-restaurant event on the holiday horizon, note that the two restaurants in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta are handing out gift cards to those who book events by August 31. Gift card ratios are $50 for events under $1,000; $75 for $1,000 to $2,000; $100 for $2,000 to $5,000; $200 for $5,000-$10,000; and $300 for bashes more than $10,000. Additionally, early bookings receive a complimentary bottle of bubbly for every 10 people in the party. Something to toast while roasting in the July and August sun.

New Lunch Menu at Ray’s Rio Bravo Speaks Fluent Texican

The new lunch menu at Ray’s Rio Bravo in Sandy Springs is a game changer, injecting a fresh Tex-Mex punch into the daily routine. Start with a few group-friendly munchables like “no beans about it” Texas chili Frito pie ($8), duck meat-filled “Taquito Quackers” ($12) or crispy mole chicken wings ($9). Crisp “Field Fare” includes the Meredith D. salmon salad with pineapple-marinated salmon, grilled avocado, roasted corn, pico de gallo, cilantro-lime vinaigrette and cortija crisps ($15). Take the fork in the road toward Tex-Mex and Texican specialties such as the fried grouper tacos that come with three soft flour tortillas -- two hold fried grouper, grilled jicama-tortilla slaw, chipotle aioli and pineapple salsa -- and one catches the drop outs ($14). Fajitas sizzle their way to the table over a bed of sautéed onions and peppers with compadres of lettuce, guac, pico de gallo, El Machino flour tortillas, rice and refried beans ($18 steak; $10 roasted veggie; $12 chicken). When it’s not lunch without a sandwich, grab the Texas brisket sandwich boasting house-smoked brisket, grilled jicama-tortilla slaw, pickled jalapeños, grilled red onion, barbecue sauce and mango on a challah bun with fries ($12). Depending on how your day is going, opt for Ray’s house-made lemonade or a potent margarita. Ray’s Rio Bravo opens for lunch at 11 a.m. seven days a week. Si, lunching along the Rio is “Rio” grand.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Gunshow Welcomes Billy Cole as Restaurant’s First Pastry Chef

Atlanta chef, restaurateur, speaker and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie welcomes Billy Cole to his Gunshow team. Cole, the first pastry chef for the Glenwood Park restaurant, totes a well-balanced background that includes 12 years of culinary experience in both the pastry and savory sectors. The innovative chef comes to Gunshow from The Luminary, a French brasserie where he served as chef de cuisine for two years. Before The Luminary, Cole was the assistant pastry chef under James Beard Award semi-finalist Aaron Russell at Restaurant Eugene for four years. His foundation-building timeline includes overseeing pastry production for The Chocolate Bar in Decatur and staging at Michelin-starred restaurants In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium, and Manresa in Los Gatos, California. The graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York began his culinary career working for chef Richard Blais in Atlanta as chef de partie at Element Gastro Lounge and Food Lab, then as sous chef at Home Restaurant & Bar and at culinary production company Trail Blais. Calling Gunshow “Atlanta’s best sounding board for culinary creativity,” Cole loves the freedom of “not being restricted to one genre of cuisine...and being surrounded by so many great young chefs in the Gunshow kitchen.” Taste and see what he’s all about --- the restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6-9 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made one month in advance online.

Nosh Talks Networking Event Tackles Technology and Staffing at Monday Night Brewing July 25

Keeping up with the latest technological advances is one of the key challenges facing Atlanta’s food and beverage industry, especially when it comes to staffing. To help hospitality workers understand those challenges and advances, Nosh Talks, the networking organization for the city’s restaurant industry, is hosting the Restaurant NEXT: Technology & Staffing Panel. This can’t-miss event takes place Monday, July 25, at Monday Night Brewing (670 Trabert Ave., NW) from 2-5 p.m. Nosh Talks is teaming up with SPLIT, the platform that allows users to pay restaurant and bar bills from their mobile devices, to host the event that includes light bites and signature beers from Monday Night Brewing. Additionally, Nosh Talks is partnering with Culinary Agents, a professional networking and job matching website for the food, beverage and hospitality industry, to launch an Atlanta job board on the Nosh Talks website. See the page debut during the Restaurant NEXT event. Tickets, available through Eventbrite, are $15 for industry members and $35 for non-industry guests. For more information and to discover ways to get involved, go to or follow Nosh Talks on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Avión Tequila Flight Special Soars at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina during Weeklong National Tequila Day Celebration through July 24

Avión tequila flights to National Tequila Day are now boarding at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina locations, and they will continue to take off through the salt-rimmed day itself, Sunday, July 24. The FlexMex taqueria is celebrating “Top Gun” style, lining up $10 flights of three (one ounce) pours of Avión tequila, including Silver, Reposado, Añejo and espresso varieties. From drinks to food and seating to service, Tin Lizzy’s does everything first class. Flights will land on tables atop Avión-branded wooden paddles, and generously sized tables easily accommodate any of more than 25 soft tacos, quesadillas, specialty skillets and other items on the FlexMex menu. Flights depart when lunch service starts, 11 a.m. daily at all Tin Lizzy’s locations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Get Creamed. Sublime Doughnuts Homemade Ice Cream Takes a Licking 24/7

2 p.m. or 2 a.m. No telling when inner screams for ice cream call out. Sublime Doughnuts scoops their homemade ice cream 24 hours a day, seven days a week at both the Midtown and North Druid Hills stores. Ice cream is crafted from high-quality ingredients in edgy, artisanal flavors just like in Sublime’s doughnuts. The shops use Italian ice cream-making equipment to churn out lick-and-love flavors like orange dream, white chocolate Oreo, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and salted caramel. And, to think they’re accessible 24/7! Sublime Doughnuts is located at 535 10th Street, NW and 2566 Briarcliff Road, NE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Buy Taste of Atlanta Tickets Now and Save

Tickets for the 15th annual Taste of Atlanta are now on sale. Atlanta’s must-do food festival is already on your calendar for October 21-23 so jump on buying tickets before prices rise August 1. General admission is $20; fork over $65 for tickets to the VIP Grand Tasting Experience with exclusive tasting opportunities. Starting August 1, ticket prices rise to $25 general admission and $75 VIP. Enjoy more, save more by purchasing tickets now for the special Friday night kickoff party featuring drool-worthy bites from The OptimistMarlow’s
 and Colletta. Pay $55 for general admission tickets and $70 for VIP access to this event through July 31 or $65/$85 starting August 1. For those new to Atlanta, Taste of Atlanta is an unforgettable food, craft beer, wine and cocktail festival where guests savor tastes and spirits from Atlanta’s hottest restaurants and trendsetting chefs. Admission to the festival nets each guest 10 “Taste Points” to purchase nibbles, bites, sips and samples. Additional “Taste Points” are available for $1 each. Nibble on the list of participating restaurants, including Seed Kitchen & Bar, The Big Ketch and Smokebelly BBQ and start craving! Visit and follow updates on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Midweek Wow: Cotton Calf Kitchen Wine Dinner July 20

Cotton Calf Kitchen chef Javier Viera and the wine wizards at United Distributors are setting the table for an oenophile’s delight on Wednesday, July 20 -- an intimate four-course dinner with wine pairings at the contemporary, classic American steakhouse in historic downtown Braselton. A quick peek at Viera’s menu shows tempting unions of wild cobia sashimi and chilled tomato consommé with Stag’s Leap Karia chardonnay, Napa Valley; pan-roasted rabbit filet with saffron mashed potatoes, Romesco sauce, braised Brussels sprouts and crispy prosciutto served with Villa Maria pinot noir, Marlborough; 10-ounce Manhattan steak with risotto croquettes and sautéed wild mushrooms with Conn Creek cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley; and dulce de leche trifle with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne, France. Seats are limited for the 6-9 p.m. dinner; $135 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Call 706-684-0410 for reservations.

Monday, July 18, 2016

#Foodgram: The Most Important (and Beautiful) Meal of the Day

SymmetryBreakfast has one wondering, “Am I dreaming or seeing double of all of these amazing breakfast foods?” Not dreaming. Preparing and sharing a beautiful breakfast can set the mood for the rest of the day. Sorry, cereal. SymmetryBreakfast has us thinking outside the box (and looking forward to reading the soon-to-release”SymmetryBreakfast: Cook-Love-Share” cookbook).

Appetizing Aperture: Pastrami-Cured Hamachi at 5Church Atlanta

5Church Atlanta is open at the corner of 14th and Peachtree streets in Midtown, and the restaurant is dazzling guests with a mouthwatering menu of new American cuisine, conversation-cueing artwork and genuine, friendly and attentive service. When you go, start with a first course of pastrami-cured hamachi dressed up with red mole, radishes, finger limes and corn nuts ($14). Not to overwhelm you with other delicious decisions, but here’s the rest of the totally delicious dinner menu.

Call Out the Chowhounds. Fried Chicken and More at Milton’s Farmyard Chowdown July 24

Yee, doggies, there’s a Farmyard Chowdown feast on the horizon at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in historic Crabapple. Mark your Farmer’s Almanac calendar for Sunday, July 24, and prepare to fill up on oysters, fried chicken, low country seafood boil and more in Milton’s backyard garden. The shindig commences at 7 p.m. with live music and lawn games, i.e. fun for everyone from wee chicks to seasoned farmhands. Tickets are $40 per person (plus small service fee; tax and alcohol not included). Buy tickets online through July 17.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Net Best of Land and Sea with Ray’s Restaurants’ Summer Prix Fixe

Sea or shore? Ray’s Restaurants straddles both options on a two-course menu available at Ray's in the CityRay’s on the River and Ray's at Killer Creek through early August. The “Land & Sea” menu dives right into a choice of artisan field greens or Caesar salad. For an entrée, choose Ray’s Surf & Turf featuring a six-ounce filet mignon, four-ounce lobster tail and Yukon Gold whipped potatoes ($29.95) or a six-ounce cut of wild salmon with asparagus risotto and red wine butter ($24.95). Call it a meal or add on a dessert course of New York cheesecake or chocolate mousse cake for an additional $5. Priced per person; price excludes beverage, tax and gratuity. Sorry, no splitting the menu.

Georgia’s on My Mind and Plate at Drift, Seed, Stem and Ray’s at Killer Creek during Georgia Restaurant Week July 18-24

Georgia is a gourmand’s paradise! Georgia Restaurant Week(GRW), Monday, July 18 through Sunday, July 24, is a fantastic time to experience the rich array of dining options and Georgia products used across our fair state. Atlantans have it easy and can spend more time dining and less time driving by visiting local participants.
Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar features North Georgia mountain trout, Georgia-grown field peas in field pea salad and wood-roasted peach crisp with brown sugar bourbon pecan ice cream. Peruse the full $35 dinner menu here.
Ray’s at Killer Creek offers a three-course menu with choices such as soup du jour, locally grown greens in an artisan field green salad with Statesboro blue cheese or Caesar salad as the first course; a choice of Parmesan colossal day boat scallops, salmon Oscar, horseradish-encrusted black grouper or an eight-ounce filet mignon for the main and chocolate mousse cake or a handmade praline basket holding High Road bourbon burnt sugar ice cream, seasonal berries, pecans and caramel sauce for dessert.
The $35 GRW dinner menu at Seed Kitchen & Bar embraces Georgian ingredients. Starter choices include Heritage Farms pork belly served with soy pineapple glaze, jalapeño and allspice crème fraîche or Pearson Farm peach salad with Craig Tucker arugula and Many Fold Farm brebis. Entrées include Springer Mountain Farms chicken sidling up to potato purée, arugula, Vidalia onions, capers and lemon; mountain trout and creamed corn with jalapeño and bacon vinaigrette and pickled summer vegetables; and Bear Creek flat-iron steak with polenta, oyster mushrooms, turnips, carrots and red wine jus. Select one of three desserts: peach crisp with Pearson Farm peaches, strawberry shortcake with strawberry sorbet or chocolate peanut butter pie with roasted banana ice cream. (By the way, the Benton’s country ham on the pimento cheese crostini and the Bear Creek flat-iron steak come from next-door neighbor Tennessee.)
At Stem Wine Bar, the $25 GRW “Tapas Tasting for Two”menu features a shareable board bearing local salumi and artisan cheese; a choice of two tapas from a list that includes caramelized peach and ricotta bruschetta, shaved Brussels sprouts with warm bacon vinaigrette and local apples, deviled eggs three ways, heirloom tomato panzanella salad, crispy Sicilian arancini with smoked mozzarella, chicken wings al ajillo, and White Oak Pastures lamb meatballs. Share salted caramel flan or house-made zeppole (Italian doughnuts) with red wine chocolate sauce for dessert. Prices exclude beverage, tax and gratuity. Reservations suggested. Thanks go out to the Georgia Restaurant Association and theGeorgia Department of Economic Development for sponsoring this yummy week and superlative excuse to eat out.