Friday, October 17, 2008

El Taco Preview Party

Last night I attended one of the preview parties for Fifth Group Restaurant's newest venture, The Original El Taco (which translates as The Original The Taco). As expected, this place was packed with people who couldn't wait to try out this new Mexican joint. Menu selections included lime-salted corn chips with salsa, "just-crushead" avocado guacamole, Mexican pizza, fajita salad and tacos. Cocktails that were served included beer, wine, margaritas and the favorite of the evening -- a frozen mojito. Fun, funky and fresh are all words I would use to describe this new eatery. Oh, and the best part -- they have a prize wheel! Upon entering, we were handed a chip with a number on it. Every 30 minutes, a server would spin the wheel and call out the winning chip. Customers won items such as a cup of queso, fajitas and I believe they were giving away beer as well. To my surprise, I learned that the prize wheel is going to be part of the restaurant every day.

Carbonara Night at La Tavola Trattoria

Be sure to drop in La Tavola Trattoria on Monday nights for heaping bowls of carbonara. The Virgina Highlands neighborhood trattoria offers a hearty bowl of carbonara and a mixed lettuce salad every Monday night for $15.95. Since this great deal is sure to bring in crowds, the restaurant recommends making a reservation by calling 404-873-5430.

La Tavola Trattoria: 992 Virginia Avenue, NE; 404-873-5430.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sheryl Crow Bag at Whole Foods

I got my Yelp bag, my Sackaroos bags, and now I'm gonna get my Sheryl Crow bag too. Cuz a girl can never have too many reusable grocery bags, right? Kinda like shoes. And admirers.

Starting this week, stylish Whole Foods Market® shoppers can tote a new reusable bag designed by Sheryl Crow. Her exclusive design supports The Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Simple Steps program by reminding shoppers that simple lifestyle changes have big results in helping the environment. You can buy the earth-toned bag with a charcoal sketch of a tree for 99 cents (large) or 79 cents (small). They are made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles (about four 20-ounce bottles for each bag).
These will make cute holiday gifts filled with some "green" goodies.

VITA Rocks Your Week With Live Music

Head to Tony LaRocco's VITA for live music and heaping plates of New York Italian-style cuisine every Wednesday through Saturday night starting at 9:30 p.m. The Darren Winters Band plays on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and the Atlanta Soul Band performs on Fridays and Saturdays. No cover charge, and the kitchen cooks until 1 a.m. Reserve your table by calling 404-367-8482.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Be Blessed By The Brew Of Belgian Trappist Monks At Morton's The Steakhouse In Buckhead

In the quiet Abbey of Scourmont, in the small Belgian town of Chimay, Cistercian Trappist monks have been hopping -- brewing Chimay ale on-site from all-natural ingredients and Abbey spring water since 1862. Fast forward to 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 16 at Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead to sample three different Chimay ales – Chimay Première, Chimay Grand Réserve and Chimay Cinq Cents - while also helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Completing the fellowship of the ales will be Morton’s petite filet mignon sandwiches, tuna tartare canapés, sliced smoked salmon and Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake . . . and a Chimay glass goblet to take home. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Chimay in the U.S.! $45 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity), with $5 per ticket going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® as part of the restaurant company’s national “30 Wishes for 30 Years” campaign. For tickets or information, call 404-816-6535. Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building, 3379 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-816-6535.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rhone River Valley Wine Tasting at Woodfire Grill

Woodfire Grill's next wine tasting will be through the Rhone River Valley's most distinct red wine making regions on Wednesday, October 15. With the beautiful fall weather we're having, guests can opt to sit on the patio to enjoy Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre based wines from Gigondas, Côtes du Rhône, Chateauneuf du Papes, Côte-Rôtie, Roussillon and Crozes Hermitage along with a couple from South America and Australia.

I like to think of the tastings at Woodfire Grill as laid back learning . You simply sit in the dining room or on the patio with your friends and they bring the wines to you, at your own pace. Commentary included! Pouring beings around 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per person excluding tax and gratuity. The menu that night will be focused on dishes that pair well with the chosen wines. For reservations, click here.

Woodfire Grill: 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055.

DailyCandy Definition

Wouldn’t you want to know if you had PST? Thought so. “PST,” this week’s useful word from The DailyCandy Lexicon, is actually an acronym.

PST: Acronym. Poppy Seed in Teeth, pronounced “pssst” so as not to alert everyone else at the table.

Suggested usage: Psst. PST!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Atlanta's Table Supper Club at Dogwood Tomorrow

If you don't have plans this Tuesday, take the night off from cooking and dine out for a good cause. Dogwood is hosting this month's Atlanta's Table Supper Club from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14. Enjoy refined regional cuisine in an elegant atmosphere while benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank. On Supper Club night, 20 percent of your tab will go directly to the Atlanta Community Food Bank to help fight hunger in our metro area. Reservations are strongly encouraged for this popular night out; call 404-835-1410.

Date Night With Diver Scallops

Periodically, the hubby and I try our hand at working cooperatively by cooking “together.” We systematically look for a recipe, shop for all the ingredients and spend an evening preparing it. Typically, this means he walks and talks to me while I shop for the ingredients, then, I cook and he assists. This is actually a great system for us since, in the end, it’s mostly about the time we share in the kitchen, and I tend to be more adventurous when it comes to tweaking the recipe.

Our next dish is courtesy of Todd Annis, executive chef of Bold American Catering. This week, his diver scallops with arugula recipe is featured in the “Key Ingredient” column of The Sunday Paper. I can’t wait to try it, since Annis notes that this is a quick and easy recipe, hopefully even we can’t mess it up. According to the chef, the most important things is to make sure to pick good, fresh ingredients, which works well with my effort to buy sustainable products.

Although I am sure they will not look as good as Annis', we're going to give it a whirl. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with photos when we try it…wish us luck!