Friday, June 13, 2008

Dad Deserves a Delicious Dinner This Father's Day

Around my house, Father’s Day has always been a full fledge holiday and is also the only time when Dad allows others to dote on him. It wasn’t until I was grown that I understood why: my father works extremely hard for our family. For him, beyond birthdays, Christmas and any other gift giving season that has been added to the calendar over the years, Father’s Day celebrates the accomplishment of which he is the most proud – my siblings and I.

This year, make dad even more proud by creating lasting memories with him at his favorite (or soon to be favorite) restaurant. Cheers to dads everywhere!!! Happy Father’s Day!!!

Take Dad to Atlanta’s beef haven, Fogo de Chão, where he can sit back and be showered with 15 savory cuts of delicious meat, carved tableside by request with no limit. And for Dads who don’t do meat, their stunning salad bar is sure to hit the spot. Atlanta’s Fogo de Chão, located at 3101 Piedmont Road, provides a succulent slice of Southern Brazilian hospitality on Father’s Day for lunch ($38.50) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner ($48.50) from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. To make reservations, call 404-266-9988.

Both Atlanta locations of Morton’s The Steakhouse will offer a four-course steak and seafood dinner for two on Sunday, June 15. For $99, this special surf and turf menu includes two single-cut filets; a choice of two seafood options (Morton’s jumbo lump crab cake, shrimp Alexander or broiled sea scallops); a choice of two salads (Caesar or Morton’s salad); one Morton’s signature potato and one fresh vegetable to share; and lastly, a choice of two desserts (Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake or Key lime pie). Regular hours for both locations: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Additionally, the Morton’s Steak Bible ($30) and steak knives (set of six is $55 and set of two is $20) will be available for purchase at the restaurants as gifts for Dad. Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building at 3379 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-816-6535. Downtown: SunTrust Plaza Building at 303 Peachtree Center Avenue; 404-577-4366.

VITA will host its regular Bellini Brunch on Sunday, June 15, offering $5 martinis and a $5 Bloody Mary bar as well as $6 mimosas and Bellinis. Open all day Sunday: brunch and lunch menu served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner menu served from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. 2110 Peachtree Road, 404-367-8482.

The local Harry’s Farmers Market locations are holding a couple of creative events to get the little kids (ages two to five) involved with a gift for Father’s Day.
Sign up today for the free Kids Corner event at the Cobb location of Harry’s Farmers Market. On Saturday, June 14 at 11 a.m., Ms. Marcy and the gang will be making Dad a grilling apron for Father’s Day. The aprons and all the decorations are provided for your little ones to make Dad something he is sure to cherish forever. Harry’s Farmers Market in Marietta is located at 70 Powers Ferry Road, SE; 770-578-4400.

And if Daddy has a sweet tooth, the “decorate a cookie cake for Dad” Kids Corner event at the Harry’s Farmers Market in Alpharetta is the place to be. On Saturday, June 14, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Daddy’s little angels can add all the trimmings to a scrumptious 12-inch cookie cake for him on his special day. This program is free, but registration is required. Register by Wednesday, June 11 at the customer service desk at Harry’s Farmers Market in Alpharetta located at 1180 Upper Hembree Road or call 770-664-6300.

On June 15, Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery will host its sixth annual Father’s Day barbecue brunch. The cost is $30 per person (excluding wine, tax and gratuity). All Wolf Mountain wines are priced separately and will be available by the glass or bottle. The two seating times are 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Advanced reservations are required for all events; please call 706-867-9862 to reserve. 180 Wolf Mountain Trail in Dahlonega.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bourbon, anyone?

I was born in Kentucky so I've always felt a certain kinship with bourbon. My family handed down the Mint Julep recipe like it was the secret to Coca-Cola. But it always seems like vodka's the spirit with all the buzz. Let's give bourbon some love! At Morton's The Steakhouse Buckhead tomorrow, June 13, you'll be able to taste a variety of premium bourbons from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Try a variety of select bourbons from the Small Batch Bourbon Collection and listen to Whiskey Professor (don't you love that title??) Bernie Lubbers as he takes them on a fascinating journey from the barrel to the bottle – all complemented with Morton’s fare. Tickets are $45 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Space is limited, reservations required. Call Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead at 404-816-6535 to make your reservation. The restaurant is located in the Peachtree Lenox Building at 3379 Peachtree Road.

Tempt Your Taste Buds at the Annual March of Dimes Dining Out Event June 13

The March of Dimes Dining Out, now in its 24th year, is an evening filled with Atlanta’s most delectable dining and great fun with the proceeds going to a worthy cause. This year's Dining Out takes place tomorrow night, June 13, and features more than 40 of Atlanta’s finest restaurants in one unforgettable evening. Here is how it works, patrons enjoy a specially selected dinner with wine hosted at a participating restaurant. After dinner, the evening continues at Opera where everyone mingles for cocktails and dessert. Tables are $1,500 or $1,000, depending on the restaurant chosen, and are sold on a first come, first served basis. Price includes a three-course dinner for eight or ten guests, wine pairings, and gratuity as well as admission to the after party. Just want to join the after party? Tickets may be purchased for $40 each. Participating restaurants include some of my personal favorites like Aria and Canoe. For more information, contact Jennifer Cobb at 404-350-9800.

Aria: 490 East Paces Ferry Road; 404-233-7673.
Canoe: 4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW; 770-432-2663.

(photo courtesy of lhabbmar2008 at


The official countdown is on!! One week to go. That’s right, only seven days left before the one night a year I give myself permission to overindulge in the most decadent event that Atlanta has to offer… and tell myself “it’s for a good cause.” Chocolate! 2008, a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is Thursday, June 19, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. I have been spending a little extra time on the treadmill lately, since I know this event will send me home a few lbs heavier than when I arrived (and not just because of the silent auction winnings I’ll be carrying). Here is a pic of me at a previous Chocolate! event with Wynn, who I affectionately refer to as “Gerber Daisy Guy” (I’m sure it’s obvious why).

The evening, which will be sponsored by glaceau smartwater®, will include a chocolate martini bar, a chocolate lager and a chocolate cappuccino tasting, full dinner buffet, silent auction and, of course, enchanting creations from 20 of Atlanta’s best pastry chefs. Participants include Fifth Group Restaurants®, Home, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Rathbun’s, Villa Christina, the evening’s gracious host, and more.

Here is a pic from a party I recently attended for the host committee, co-chaired by Wes Moss, from The Apprentice, and his cohort, Charles Hodges, at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Buckhead. (Gerber Daisy Guy and me, again!) He promised me a dance at the event. Wynn, I’m holding you to that!!!

Come out and join us. Tickets are only $65 in advance and $75 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets online.

For more information, contact CFF at 404-325-6973, or visit their website.

Villa Christina is located at 4000 Summit Boulevard; 678-686-4272.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Highland Brewery Beer Dinner at Brick Store Pub

Last night I got to taste some of the finest ales the Southeast has to offer from Highland Brewing Company paired with a special menu created by Chef Eric Ottensmeyer at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur. The restaurant hosted a beer dinner upstairs in The Belgian Bar and it was a blast. The event began with a glass of Highland Kashmir IPA (which turned out to be one of my favorite selections) and Chef Eric’s yummy hors d’oeuvres: hamachi wontons with red grapefruit ponzu; Georgia shrimp tostada with local basil pesto; and carrot hummus on pita toast. Highland Brewing Co. Owner Oscar Wong and Brick Store Pub Partner Mike Gallagher were on hand to educate guests and answer questions throughout the evening. My favorite dish was a crispy skin duck breast served atop a Georgia blueberry hotcake with maple syrup duck demi-glace and edible local flowers (pictured above). The duck was prepared perfectly and paired with Highland Black Mocha Stout. I also really enjoyed the trio of baby beets and Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue Cheese that was served alongside a walnut crusted rabbit loin for the second course (pictured below with Highland Oatmeal Porter). All in all, I was really impressed with the menu that Chef Eric put together to accompany the Highland brews, especially all of the great locally-sourced items he used. He's informed us that he'll be doing a Chimay beer dinner next month - can't wait!

Flicks on Fifth Kicks Off With New Menu At The Globe

Summer is finally here! It isn't the hot, humid weather telling me so; it is the start of Atlanta's many outdoor film festivals that take place every summer telling me it is time to slip on my flip flops, make a reservation and catch a flick.

The annual Flicks on Fifth film series kicks off tonight on 5th Street between Spring Street and Techwood Drive with the showing of I Am Legend. Every Wednesday night through July 23, a film will be shown outdoors at 9 p.m. Rain or shine. The best part? Admission is FREE so be sure to mark your calendar.

JUNE 11 I am Legend

JULY 9 Hairspray
JULY 16 Superbad
JULY 23 21

To help kick off the film fun, the GLOBE is rolling out a new summer menu. The new menu features a variety of light, Mediterranean dishes including a fresh gazpacho with Granny Smith apple and cucumber sorbet, Spanish seaweed salad with market oysters and an organic cider mignonette, and soft shell crab with goat’s milk yogurt, crispy capers and dried apricots.

Reservations are required to watch the film from the GLOBE’s patio, and there is a $25 food and beverage minimum per person for outdoor seating. Call 404-541-1487 to make reservations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Eat Like You Work Here" and Take 25% Off Your Dinner at Ecco and South City Kitchen Vinings

Working in the restaurant industry is no piece of cake. You work late nights, handle hot plates and have to please the customer at all times. However, there is a bonus to this pressured position: the employee discount. Fifth Group Restaurants® is giving their customers the chance take part in this perk on Tuesday, June 10. They are holding their "Eat Like You Work Here" promotion at Ecco and South City Kitchen Vinings where they will extend a 25 percent discount off dinner (excluding tip) to all patrons. So make your reservations for this special evening with an employee discount soon, and Fifth Group promises not to make you wait on tables or wash a single dish. Ecco is located at 40 7th Street at Cypress in Midtown, 404-347-9555. South City Kitchen Vinings is located at 1675 Cumberland Parkway, 770-435-0700.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chowing Down at Ecco

It's looks like I'm not the only one who LOVES Ecco. Read here about Chloe Morris' (from Chow Down Atlanta) recent visit. She and her sister tried a little bit of everything from the menu so you get a really good idea of what Ecco serves. The chili-braised pork with garlic and pappardelle looks and sounds delish. I'll take Chloe's suggestion and try it next time I'm there!