Friday, June 27, 2008

Kettle Chips Over Atlanta

I'm a little late in posting this, but it was such a fantastic photo I couldn't let it go to waste! Last Thursday, Marlow's Tavern in Midtown provided their amazing appetizers (including these gorgeous housemade chips with blue cheese dressing) for Skirt! magazine's 2nd year anniversary party.

The party took place on the roof of MidCity Lofts and was quite the scene! Tropical drinks, incredible tunes from D.J. Ruckus, Skirt! magazine's fabulous crowd, and Marlow's Tavern. What's not to love??

Dining Out Family-Style at VITA

It's hard to find a restaurant in Atlanta where you can get the whole group together and still enjoy a good meal. No worries, VITA has you covered. They now offer special two-, three- and four-course family-style menus for groups of six or more. Now it's easy for friends, families or office groups to gather 'round the table for delicious Italian food.

For $16 per person there is a choice of two courses - two appetizers, two salads or two pastas. If there is a bigger crowd, $20 per person will cover three courses with two appetizers, two salads, and two pastas. If the group is hungry the four-course option includes two appetizers, two salads, two pastas and three entrees for $30 per person. No more worrying about how to split the check!

Options for each course come from VITA's menu of Italian favorites, including:

  • Appetizers of tomato and basil brushetta, calamari fritti, grilled portabella mushroom, fresh mussels “VITA style” in your choice of sauce, olive or white bean tapenade, or caponata.

  • Salads such as the chef’s spinach salad, mozzarella and tomato, VITA house salad or Caesar salad.

  • Pasta piles plates with linguine in simple sauces or with sausage, meatballs, sausage and peppers; fusilli con broccoli, penne with escarole e fagiole or penne con carciofi; rigatoni ala melanzane (with eggplant) or rigatoni ala vodka; and pappardelle e fungi or Bolognese.

  • Entrées feature traditionally prepared chicken, seafood, veal, steaks and chops. Long on options, the list includes chicken Marsala, veal piccata or Genovese, linguine with red or white clam sauce, fruitti di mare, salmon Romanesco, filet of beef saltimbocca, and Tony’s filet of beef or veal chop.

  • Desserts are an additional $5 per person and include an assortment of all of VITA’S house-made desserts, including fresh seasonal fruit, house cheesecake, cannoli, and berries zabaglione.
Located at 2110 Peachtree Road and Bennett Street; 404-367-8482.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! Marlow’s Tavern Midtown Revs Up Thursday Evenings With “Men’s Night”

A few weeks ago, a friend and I had a quick discussion about “girls' night out” promotions which went a little like this:
Him: Girls' night out, huh? Why do y’all get all the specials?! We’re the ones spending the real money; we have to pay to get in, pay for our OWN drinks and buy you drinks.
Me: So?
Him: When are WE gonna get our own night? We can have “guys night” drink specials, free cover and appetizer specials or something, just like girls get everywhere? When are restaurants gonna get wise and act like they actually want our business?
Me: (Making the “bitter beer” face) Why?
Him: Because girls ALWAYS get a dedicated night. I bet guys’ night would be the most popular night of the week.
Me: But, you go anyway, why should places give you a special to do what you already do?
Him: Sooo… you’re both spoiled and hopeless.
Me: (Trying to seem introspective) Perhaps.

Guess what! Someone must have been listening, because Marlow’s Midtown is clearing every Thursday night for guys to get together for “Men’s Night” on the (mid)town. Starting this week, guys will enjoy night-long $5 cocktails, $5 beer and $5 appetizers on Thursday evenings. Complement those deals with late-night music and free parking at Plaza Midtown.


Open until 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Marlow’s in Midtown is located at 950 West Peachtree Street; 404-815-0323.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marlow's Tavern Opens in Tucker

I got a sneak peek of this new Marlow's on Saturday night and it's awesome! Granted, I don't find myself in Tucker on a regular basis but I'll be thinking of reasons to come here from now on. Located just inside the Doubletree Hotel at I-285 and LaVista Road, this Marlow's is an integral part of the newly flagged hotel. It's hip and fun, serving the same great eats we all love - shrimp and crab nachos, the best calamari in town, that great flatbread - well, you get the idea. Good food to go with the great cocktails, beer and wine. Oh! And there's a cool rooftop patio that is going to be SO popular with the office dwellers awaiting traffic relief. Stop by and say hi to GM Torleif Hoff.

They open daily at 11:30 a.m. and continue on through dinner. Plenty of free parking; no reservations needed. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. 4156 LaVista Road; 770-938-1026.

Other Atlanta-area Marlow’s Tavern locations include: Vinings - 2355 Cumberland Parkway; 770-432-2526. Alpharetta - 3719 Old Alabama Road; 770-475-1800. Midtown - 950 West Peachtree Street; 404-815-0323. Kennesaw - 745 Chastain Road, NW; 770-425-8777.

Whole Foods Market In Midtown Hosts "A Taste of Local" Wine Dinner

When I first heard that Whole Foods Market in Midtown was hosting a wine dinner, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing...a grocery store hosting a wine dinner? Where would we all sit? What type of food would they serve? Well, my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to sign up to attend the event last night. And, boy, am I glad I did! For $20 per person, I was able to enjoy a six-course meal with wine pairings. What a steal! The marketing store leader explained to me that they host a wine dinner every month with a different theme. They are all five to seven courses and include wine. Last night's theme was "A Taste of Local" which featured all local purveyors such as Wolf Mountain Vineyards and grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures. I was quite impressed with the ambiance as well -- the staff pushed all of the tables together and covered them with white table cloths. I even saw people bringing in candleabras, just for the occasion. Over 80 people attended last night, many who had been in before. If you're looking for an out-of-ordinary wine dinner that offers great food and value, I highly recommend signing up to attend. Call the store for reservations -- 404-853-1681.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gerry Klaskala Names His "Key Ingredient" in the Sunday Paper

In the Low Country, locals call them "busters" or "peelers" when they're getting ready to bust out of their shells. If they've just shed, they're called "velvets," and they're highly sought after, especially the female ones. In modern menu lingo, the term is "soft-shell crabs," crustless-crustaceans that Aria's Executive Chef Gerry Klaskala is highly qualified to discuss, having been a part of Savannah's coastal scene for six years. Gerry relates his insight into this underwater softy in this week's "Key Ingredient" column in The Sunday Paper. For a quick dive into the topic, click here.
The June 22 issue of The Sunday Paper is free and easily within pinching range if you live in the metro area. Read it online at Visit Aria in Buckhead to enjoy soft-shell crabs in their ultimate state-on-a- plate, next to the restaurant's dill shallot dipping sauce.

Aria: 490 East Paces Ferry Road; 404-233-7673.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meet for a Meat-Free Wine Dinner at Ecco on June 24

Animal lovers can still be happy as herbivores in a pasture at this month’s Fresh Flavors Wine Dinner up for the picking at Ecco, Fifth Group Restaurants’® Mediterranean bistro in Midtown. Ecco Executive Chef Micah Willix unites summer’s bounty of locally grown veggies and fruit with tender pasta and perfectly paired wines at this 6:30 p.m. event on Tuesday, June 24. Passed hors d’oeuvres signal the evening’s start: crostini with fresh caprino, cantaloupe gazpacho and mozzarella in carozza share time with Laurenz “Charming” Gruner-Veltliner, Austria ’05. The first course follows featuring a salad of avocado and radishes topped with gewürztraminer vinaigrette and lemon verbena and served with Willm Reserve Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France ’06. The second course features house-made rigatoni with oregano, summer squash and blossoms served with Cairel Arneis, Cascina Cheirello, Italy ’06. A third course follows with confit of wild mushroom with fresh beans and oven-dried tomatoes and is accompanied by Domaine Lafage Grenache, Languedoc, France ’03 and Artazu “Artazuri,” Navarra, Spain ’06. The delectable dinner ends with a sweet note of wild Georgia blackberry preserves, short bread and crème fraîche. Cost is $50 per person. Reservations are required and are limited; call 404-347-9555. Ecco is located at 40 7th Street NE in Midtown.