Friday, April 9, 2010

Dogwood Festival Restaurant Week Finds Atlanta Diners With Appetites Blooming

Now that most of the pollen has been washed away, hopefully Atlantans can look forward to all the beauty of spring without the sneezing! It wouldn’t be spring in Atlanta without the pollen, or without the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park for that matter! The festival hits the park Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18 and we’re excited to enjoy it during its 74th year.

Does April 16 seem too far away? Well, don’t worry, you can start the springtime fun earlier! Monday, April 12 in fact, is when Dogwood Festival Restaurant Week starts up offering great deals at select Atlanta restaurants through Sunday, April 18.

RA Sushi will be offering a $25 sharing menu for two that will appeal to Asian fusion fans with a Viva Las Vegas roll, pineapple wontons, a spicy tuna roll and bowl of green tea ice cream. A tall glass of colorful Dogwood Punch celebrates festival finds and might even influence future festival art purchases!

Spice Market will be presenting a delicious three-course menu for $25 per person and includes a first course choice of chicken and coconut soup; green papaya salad with apples and candied ginger; or Market green salad with radishes, cherry tomatoes and sesame seed vinaigrette. Entrée choices include a choice of salmon in a lemongrass, peanut and noodle broth with herb salad; char-grilled chicken with kumquat-lemongrass dressing; or vegetables in green curry. Finally, choose between two desserts -- Ovaltine kulfi with caramelized banana and spice milk chocolate sauce or Vietnamese coffee ice cream.

Follow Friday – meet our Tweep of the Week @AtlantaWineGuy

Being laid off from a steady day job could lead to some heavy duty whining. In blogster Kevin Glowacki's case, it led to some serious wining -- but not the kind where you drown in your glass. The self-dubbed "vino-gastro-indulgist" put his social media skills to work in the wine and food blog world to post and tweet as Atlanta Wine Guy. Instead of points, he rates wines on a scale of "not for me" to a "classic" to treasure, has lots of wine lists and doles out 140-character-or-less tips on wines and menus. We like his philosophy: "wine...the greatest collaboration of man and nature."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hugh Acheson Advises You to Finish Your Taxes Early

Yeah, yeah, April 15 is tax day. Get that chore finished up this weekend so your calendar will be free for this awesome dinner at JCT. Kitchen & Bar . Chef/Owner Ford Fry will host the restaurant's first quarterly "Farm to Table and Back" guest chef dinner on Thursday, April 15, and the featured chef is Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten, The National and Gosford Wine in Athens. Acheson will create the night's special prix fixe menu, available for $75 per person including wine pairings. And 100% goes to Georgia Organics! Now that's a tasty donation.
Call 404-355-2252 to make reservations and be sure to say you want the night's "Farm to Table and Back" menu. Everyone at your table must order the special menu, served during regular dinner hours of 5 - 10 p.m. (The regular menu will be honored at tables not wishing to participate in the event.) Future quarterly guest chef dinners include: Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala. on July 15; John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, Miss. on October 14; and Mike Lata of FIG in Charleston, S.C. on December 9.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Toulouse Toasts to a Good Cause

On Wednesday, April 14, Toulouse is hosting a very special wine dinner featuring ZD Wines. The five-course dinner with wine pairings will support alternative cancer treatments such as those that helped ZD Wines Founder and "health fanatic" Norman deLeuze battle non-Hodgkins lymphoma. ZD's Estate Vineyard and deLeuze Family Vineyard have been Certified Organic since 1999 and have been following organic farming practices since way back in the 1980s (before all the media buzz). When deLeuze was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, he followed his wine production philosophy, choosing a natural healing route that helped him live beyond a doctor-predicted eight-month life expectancy. Toulouse made a contribution to the deLeuze Family Endowment in Norman's honor and continues to show support for their non-toxic fight against lymphoma. At the dinner, Teresa D'Aurizio, vice president of ZD Wines, will discuss complexities and characteristics as guests savor the organically raised and produced ZD Chardonnay, Carneros Pinot Noir, Founder's Reserve Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. On the menu: seared scallops served with broccoli and sundried tomatoes in a rosemary-citrus reduction; pan-seared duck breast intermixed with poached pears lightly covered in a red wine-citrus reduction; Toulouse rack of lamb; beef tenderloin filet offered with mash potatoes and mushroom cream sauce; and Robert's flourless chocolate cake with chocolate glaze. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. $125 per person, includes tax and gratuity. Call 404-351-9533 to make reservations.

Toulouse: 2293 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-351-9533.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Get Your Garlic Fix at Ecco

For once, it's acceptable to have garlic breath - from April 8 - 18, when Ecco turns into Garlic Nation to offer a celebratory menu for garlic lovers. Be sure to bring your taste buds because on the menu you'll find mouthwatering dishes from Chef Micah Willix like black garlic boulle with cultured butter; garlic soup with pimento and fried egg; clam pizza with green garlic pesto and fresh mozzarella; and squab stuffed with farro, lemon and fried garlic, among many more ($4-$30). For reservations, call 404-347-9555 or visit OpenTable.

Ecco: 40 7th Street, NE; 404-347-9555.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Atlanta’s Up & Coming Restaurateurs – TV is calling you!

Get cookin'!

If you follow the Atlanta culinary scene, then you know that it is a hotbed of constant new activity! What bad economy?? Here comes a march of delicious new burgers, piping hot new pizzas, new pubs to check out, new fine dining for date nights – you name it, and Atlanta’s hopeful restaurateurs will give it a try to see if it sticks.

If you’re one of those hopefuls with pipe dreams of making it big with local food lovers, it could be your chance to shine in the spotlight – we just heard about a new Food Network Atlanta based restaurant reality TV show that will feature just such folks called “The Openers”!

You must be a first time restaurant owner (with an award winning personality and fantastic team, naturally) that will be opening within one to six months from now, and your new hotspot cannot be a chain or franchise. If your restaurant will be full service and serves alcohol with at least 30 seats and needs or wants the help of a restaurant consultant, then make sure to click on over to We Sell Restaurants to find out more information about the opportunity to be a big star on the small screen!

Root, Root, Root For The Home Team

As The Braves step up to the plate for their season opener against The Cubs, RA Sushi is rooting for the home team with the introduction of the Tomahawk Chop roll! Check out this tasty demonstration from Fox's Good Day Atlanta this morning.

Wondering what is in a Tomahawk Chop? In RA's case it is an eight-piece spicy lobster roll with cucumber and avocado rolled in rice and seaweed, topped with fresh tuna tataki and red beet tempura bits, drizzled with wasabi aioli and served with a creamy tataki dipping sauce ($10). Adoring fans who have been out-to-the-ball-game can bring in their same day game ticket stub to receive half off of the Tomahawk Chop Roll when the team wins and $2 off on loss days.

Go Team!