Saturday, March 1, 2008

Atlanta Cooks at Home Chefs Signing

We had a nice Atlanta Cooks at Home cookbook event today at Twigs and Lace in Alpharetta. Chefs Shaun Doty/Shaun's, Piero Premoli/Pricci, Jay Swift/Fourth & Swift, and Sheri Davis were there to sign cookbooks and give out tasty treats. The event was actually just behind the store in a catering facility called The Prospect House. I had never been here before. The store is adorable and the facility is very nice - would be great for a wedding.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap for Joy! Leap Year's Extra Day Turns Into An Extra Night To Dine Out!

There are two things you can do in Atlanta only once every four years: vote in a national election and dine out on February 29. True, November’s a few months off, but February 29 is this Friday! Carpe diem and dine on at these Atlanta classics and newcomers:

Aria – Executive Chef Gerry Klaskala’s slow food is an appropriate pick for this bonus day. And Aria has other bonuses – sexy environs, very attentive staff and Pastry Chef Kathryn King’s captivating desserts. 490 East Paces Ferry Road; 404-233-7673.

Canoe - Slow down and savor the extra hours amid the serene Chattahoochee setting of Canoe in Vinings. Award-winning regional menu, wine list and service. 4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW; 770-432-2663.

Morton’s – Steak out the extra hours…or choose succulent lobster at this American classic steakhouse known around the world for its prime, aged beef, fine wines and impeccably trained staff. Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building at 3379 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-816-6535. Downtown: 303 Peachtree Center Avenue in the SunTrust Plaza Building; 404-577-4366.

South City Kitchen® – This bustling hub for Southern hospitality and new-South favorites has exhibition kitchens and friendly faces at both locations. Reservations suggested. South City Kitchen Midtown: open daily for lunch and dinner, and Sunday brunch at 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358. South City Kitchen Vinings: open for dinner nightly and Sunday brunch at 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

Allegro – Time stands still when you’re dining on authentic Central Italian fare rich with the flavors of local and imported ingredients. Buon appetito! 560 Dutch Valley Road in the Belvedere condominium building; 404-888-1890.

Marlow’s Kennesaw – What more of an excuse do you need to meet friends for a signature cocktail and hearty tavern fare at this congenial gathering place? 745 Chastain Road, NW, Suite 1160; 770-425-8777.

Trilogy – Food, drinks, entertainment…it’s a leap year party waiting to unfold at this suburban hot spot with an urban edge. 4930 Davidson Road behind the Parkaire shopping center in East Cobb; 770-971-4770.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cast Off on a Cocktail Dinner Cruise at Food Studio

Come Thursday, February 28, Food Studio® will shake things up by sailing right by the wine cellar for more exotic ports of call: cocktails of the world. Fifth Group Restaurants’® unique Westside dining destination offers a one-night-only, Around the World in Four Courses cocktail dinner. The culturally enriching, four-course meal paired with handcrafted cocktails comes at a prix fixe cost of $65 per person. Reception starts at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be seated at 7 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404-815-6677. While the regular dinner menu will be available, we’re onboard for this globally inspired menu:

  • Coldwater raw oysters, served with grapefruit and Campari granita in a parmesan-cucumber and ginger mignonette, are paired with the Latin Lover, a cool citrus cocktail.

  • Red snapper with leeks, daikon and pea shoots in a Meyer lemon-ginger broth, paired with the sweet Geisha Girl (candied ginger vodka, sake and lemongrass).

  • Pastrami pork tenderloin with rye gnocchi and pickled cabbage in a Russian dressing, paired with a Blue Grass Cherry Bomb cocktail (Woodford Reserve bourbon, Kirschwasser, amarena cherries).

  • Coffee “cup” cake served in a tuile coffee cup with chocolate ganache and vanilla sabayon, paired with a soothing Molinillo Aztec coffee containing cognac, spiced hot chocolate, fresh espresso and chantilly cream.

Serving lunch weekdays and dinner Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Located in the King Plow Arts Center at 887 West Marietta Street, Studio K-102.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Got A Goat Cheese Feta-ish? You Just Well May After Taking This Class At Whole Foods Market - Marietta!

Goat's milk is worth the obsession. It parallels cow's milk in calories and protein content, yet is easier to digest than cow's milk and has much less cholesterol and sodium. If you're still aghast at the thought of a glass, try a slice or spread of one of the many types of goat cheese that will be up for tasting in this month's free cheese-tasting class that takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. Game? Sign up at Customer Service. Whole Foods Market - Marietta is located at 70 Powers Ferry Road, SE; 770-578- 4400.

Yelpin' It Up At Marlow's Midtown

Monday night, Marlow's Tavern in Midtown hosted a very cool group of Atlantans... Yelpers! I give Yelp the cool stamp not just because I'm a member, but because it really is a great group of people. If you don't already know what I'm talking about, definitely go to the website and find out. If I had to describe the world of yelp, I would say it's a mix of citysearch, facebook and awesomeness.

Monday night was a happy hour meet up for all yelpers in the Atlanta area and Marlow's was a great venue for us socialites. There was free parking (big plus in Midtown), specialty drinks, complimentary appetizers and plenty of room for the almost 200 people that came out. Pictured above are a few friends I met at the event; Deanna J., Aanal P., Tavis N. and Sean M. I'm not one to just go to an event alone and chat with strangers, but yelp is different. I felt like I already knew everyone after reading their reviews the past few months. It was such a diverse crowd, too. I met a pre-law student, a CNN producer, an actress, a computer IT worker at Emory and a couple that just moved here from Orlando. Thanks to Marlow's for accommodating us all and to Deanna J. for setting the whole thing up. Now sign up for Yelp, Atlantans!

Check out all these people you could meet ------->

La Tavola Trattoria's "La Grassa" Menu Will Have You Licking Your Plate!

I decided to make this past Sunday night an all-out culinary celebration by trying the special “La Grassa” (which means “the fat one” in Italian – a nickname for the city of Bologna) menu at La Tavola Trattoria before hunkering down to watch Atlanta’s very own Kevin Rathbun battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. The evening turned out to be a double victory! Beginning with a round of drinks off the restaurant’s cocktail menu, my friend and I tried the Limonada and the Rose Marie Martini (pictured left to right) – both are extremely refreshing.
We started out with the blood orange salad and the tagliata di manzo (seared, thinly shaved beef with Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula and balsamic vinegar). The beef – a very meaty portion I must say! – was amazing, and the salad was a nice, fresh way to whet the appetite. We also sampled the capellacci (sweet squash ravioli in capon broth) and boccocini (chicken, sausage, cipollini onions, potatoes, rosemary and balsamic vinegar). The boccocini (pictured at the top of this post) was my favorite dish – hearty and comforting with just a hint of sweetness. For dessert, the cinnamon and clove budino (similar to custard) is a light and flavorful way to end the meal without feeling like you need to be rolled out of the restaurant! This special menu (available a la carte or as a prix fixe option) will be offered through this Saturday, March 1 and should not be missed! For those of you who want to commemorate the experience - or if you find yourself a bit larger on the way out than when you first sat down to dinner – I spotted La Grassa t-shirts available for sale at the hostess stand! If you aren’t able to make it to the restaurant by March 1, you can watch Chef Craig Richards’ instructional video on how to make the boccocini at home.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eric Solomon Wine Tasting at Ecco

The wine tasting at Ecco last night was muy bien! We tasted six Spanish wines from Eric Solomon's collection. Included were:
Gramona, "Gran Cuvee" Cava (shown here); Gessami, Bianco, Penedes, Spain 2005; La Pobla De Cervoles, Costers Del Segre 2004; Closa Batllet, Gratallops, Priorat 2003 (my fave); Ombra, Monsant, "Barrica" 2005; and Espelt, Saulo, Emporda 2004.

Additionally, we had some delicious nibbles from Chef Micah Willix of Ecco. They always do such a nice job. There were cheeses, cured meats, croquettes, pickled carrots and olives, and my favorite dish on their menu - the fried goat cheese with honey. It was funny to see my new friend "Dirty" (check out his wine blog) following on the heels of the server as she carried them from the kitchen to the dining room. The man has good taste in food too! It was great to meet his fellow blogger and friend "Rowdy" (great food blog) too.