Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Follow Friday; Meet our Tweep of the Week @jonesishungry

Jones Is HungryBusy culinarian Scott Jones has been active for more than a decade in magazine publishing, marketing and food.  Maybe you've seen him on TV... he's been on dozens of TV shows from "Cooking with Paula Deen" to "Food Network Challenge."  He also worked as the executive food editor of Southern Living and authored the Southern Living Wine Guide and Journal.  

Now you can find out what's next on the menu by following him on Twitter at @jonesishungry, Facebook and on his Jones Is Hungry blog.  (By the way, his wife wants you to know that he graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park.)

Our Top 11 in 2011

Image from writeclickscrapbook
Yes, it felt like an entire year went by here in Atlanta as we were all stuck in our homes (thanks, Mother Nature), but luckily it was just a drop in the bucket of time in 2011!  

We still have a whole year ahead to enjoy tons of amazing culinary adventures.   In this week’s Dish newsletter, we revealed our list of “Top 11 in 2011” – the top 11 things we here at MLA are most excited for this year! 

It’s going to be an amazing year and we’ll be sure to be here to share the latest culinary events and news as it unfolds.  Without further ado, we present our Top 11 in 2011 list!

  1.  Ford Fry, owner and executive chef of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, and Drew Belline, formerly chef de cuisine at Floataway Café, are partnering to open a new Italian-inspired restaurant in Decatur this spring.  Look for more news as the late March/early April "open" sign appears!  The new restaurant will be located at 129 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue in the old Eurasia Bistro.
  2.  In the works, Woodfire Grill Partner and Executive Chef Kevin Gillespie's new BBQ restaurant: Terminus City.  All we can say is "smokin'!"
  3. RA Sushi has new dishes and cocktails on its menu for 2011.  New friends join your favorites in the dinner, sushi, bar food and cocktail categories!  To name a few, there are Otoko salad, lobster with garlic sugar snap peas, "RA" tapas, shishito peppers, sweet mochi trio dessert and four new sushi rolls, including a vegetable tempura and tropical roll.  Fresh fruit, exotic liqueurs and premium spirits go into the nine new cocktails ($8-$9), and there are more wine selections and sake flights.  Expanded menus bring more appetizers, tapas, sushi and maki to happy hour, Monday through Saturday from 3 - 7 p.m., and to Sunday's restaurant industry night at Flying Fish Lounge from 8 p.m. until midnight.
  4.  White Oak Pastures now sells jerky so you can take the grass-fed beef raised in Bluffton, Ga. with you anywhere!  Cost is $15 a jar (1/2 a pound) in the White Oak Pastures' online store.
  5. The 34th Annual Vidalia Onion Festival makes for a sweet weekend April 30 - May 1 in Vidalia, Georgia. The world-famous onions are joined by Kellie Pickler in concert, an air show and so much more.
  6. JCT. Kitchen & Bar's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival is going down in Atlanta's Westside on July 17.  Host and JCT. Owner/Executive Chef Ford Fry promises there's a happy ending for guests, participants and beneficiary Georgia Organics.
  7. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival fills Atlanta with more than 200 food-related activities over the dates of May 19 - 22.
  8. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will open its newly remodeled patio this spring -- just in time for people watching from behind those big sunglasses.
  9. Pinkberry is coming to Buckhead and Midtown!  We can verify some sweet and tart gossip among Buckhead and Midtown fro-yo devotees:  yes, the purveyor of all-natural frozen yogurt is coming to your area this year so prepare to let the good times swirl.
  10. Jeffrey Gardner, South City Kitchen Midtown sous chef will be on Food Network's competition show "Chopped."  You'll be able to watch him in action when the episode airs at 10 p.m. on February 8.  Better yet, join the viewing party at The Original El Taco from 9 - 11 p.m. and watch the culinary battle on the restaurant's five flat screen televisions.
  1. Pacci Ristorante renews its vow for fun and romance with its second "Queen of Hearts" social.  Last year's cocktail party was such a Valentine's week hit that Pacci is planning another big night of food, drinks, games and prizes this February.  We can't commit to a date just yet, but Dish readers will be the first to know!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Meat of the Matter

For all the meat lovers out there (me! me!) we'd like to call your attention to National Meat Month! Yes, it's January. So let the meat fest begin. And wouldn't you know that we have a few suggestions of great places to celebrate. For succulent prime meat, dining is a must at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Ray's Restaurants (Ray's at Killer Creek, Ray's on the River and Ray's in the City). Top your bun with grass-fed beef or bison at YEAH! BURGER on Atlanta's Westside or in Virginia Highland. And if you like to DIY, order grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures' online store or pick some up at Publix or Whole Foods Market.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Got A Case of Cabin Fever? Good Eats Are the Cure

It’s been an icetastic week here in Atlanta, and if you’re getting tired of rifling through the pantry and using up that milk/ eggs/ bread you so smartly bought on Sunday, good news!  The roads have finally cleared enough for lots of restaurants to open tonight and tomorrow. 

We’ve gathered the latest news from all our clients here at Melissa Libby & Associates, so strap on those snowshoes and head out to the closest on our list to break your cabin fever!  We recommend calling ahead to make your reservation and confirm hours.  Whatever you decide to do, be careful and cautious on the roads this week!

Open Tonight:

Atkins Park Taverns in both Smyrna and Virginia Highland
All Marlow’s Tavern locations
Both Uncle Julio’s locations
JCT Kitchen
RA Sushi
All Fifth Group restaurants, including Ecco, South City Kitchen Midtown, South City Kitchen Vinings, The Original El Taco and La Tavola Trattoria

Will Open Tomorrow:

Feathers Are Flying

Every January, the International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo arrives at the Georgia World Congress Center for a week of talking turkey and crowing about chickens. And during their visit each year, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the U.S Poultry and Egg Association hatch FeatherFest, the weeklong culinary competition between Atlanta restaurants to see who can create the best poultry meat-based appetizers and entrées. From Jan. 21 - Jan. 27, Atlanta restaurant goers and IPE convention attendees can vote for their picks on the FeatherFest website and be entered to win an iPhone! Our recommendations for poultry perfection include Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, Fifth Group Restaurants, Marlow's Tavern - Northlake, Ray's In The City, and Spice Market in the W Atlanta-Midtown!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Celebrating 30 Years of History

It's been 30 years since The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant opened its doors along the south runways of the DeKalb Peachtree Airport. In honor of this special occasion, the World War II aviation-themed eatery is hosting month-long celebration of anniversary-themed menu specials, nostalgia-inducing events and a chance to win a ride in a P-40 Warhawk plane!

Through January 31, restaurant guests can enter to win the plane ride ($950 value), courtesy of Pat Epps, owner of The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant and Epps Aviation and an April 2011 Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame inductee. Come often to enjoy Executive Chef Gregg Herndon's menu specials, including a daily entree and glass of house wine combo for $19.81; classic 1940s cocktails such as Manhattans, sidecars, hurricanes and more; and blast-from-the-past original menu items including crab-stuffed mushrooms, Chicken Jack Daniels, onion straws, creamed corn and farmhouse chicken.

On Sunday, January 16 from 5 - 8 p.m., the restaurant is hosting a celebratory bash with big band entertainment, $5 classic cocktails and menu favorites from the early days. Guests who bring a picture of themselves from a previous visit will receive a free dessert and will be able to add their photo and memory to the official 30th anniversary scrapbook. Professional swing dance instructors and a swing dance contest with prizes twirl through on Saturday, January 22.

The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant and its lounge are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday as well as for Sunday brunch. Closed Mondays.

The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant: 3829 Clairmont Road; 770-234-0057.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Take a Break from Beef with January's Burger and Shake of the Month at YEAH! BURGER

I'll admit that I usually get my beef or turkey burger fix at YEAH! BURGER , but this month it's time to steer clear of the regular menu and try the restaurant's Burger of the Month. January brings a juicy lamb burger for only $7.99. This is also the time to splurge on a milkshake and forget your New Year's resolutions for a day. This month's specialty shake is sticky toffee pudding ($4.99), and if you've ever had Chef Shaun Doty's famous sticky toffee pudding dessert, you know that every sip will be delightfully worth it. As with all of YEAH! BURGER's shakes, this one is made with Straus Family Creamery organic soft-serve ice cream from Marin County, California. January is almost half-way gone, so don't dilly daddle!

YEAH! BURGER - Virginia Highland: 1017 North Highland Avenue; 404-437-7845.
YEAH! BURGER - West Midtown: 1168 Howell Mill Road, Suite E; 404-496-4393.