Friday, May 6, 2011

Hold Your Horses - It's Almost Derby Time at South City Kitchen Vinings

Dressing up and sipping mint juleps for "The Run for the Roses" is a Southern tradition.  All that horsepower.  All of those juleps.  Oh-so-hospitable South City Kitchen Vinings is throwing a Kentucky Derby party from 5 - 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.  You won't miss a minute of the action as the restaurant will televise it, high volume, on its flat-screen TVs.  Out on the patio, saddle up with cocktail tastings of mint juleps, mojitos and Kentuckyritas and enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvre including smoked chicken wings, Kentucky sausage meatballs, grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and burgoo-a traditional Kentucky stew. 

Hold your horses -- there's more: bartenders will teach guests step-by-step how to stir and shake up these cocktails themselves -- you'll even get recipe cards to take home so it'll be perfect every time. Even if your horse loses the Derby, you'll still win because partygoers will receive 10 percent off dinner if they choose to stay for another lap.  Purchase Kentucky Derby party tickets online for only $25 per person plus tax and gratuity. 

It's Follow Friday; Meet Our Tweep of the Week @dloveatl

With the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival coming up May 19-22...and all of the preliminary events leading up to it, it’s not like Dominique Love is sitting around twiddling her forks and corks.    

Being the energetic entrepreneur that she is, the CEO and co-founder of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has plenty to tweet (@dloveatl) about and info-bites to share on Southern food, wine and spirits. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cocktails in the Garden and Piedmont Park's Green Market Start This Week

Botanical GardenEven though it was a little chilly this morning, rest assured that it's Springtime in Atlanta and your favorite outdoor activities are back! Tonight kicks off the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Thursday night Cocktails in the Garden. Spice Market, in the W Atlanta-Midtown, will provide the yummy, complimentary appetizers for the season opener May 5 from 6-10 p.m. I love this event! Mingle around in the beautiful garden grounds, listen to the DJ, enjoy a cocktail and nosh on delicious nibbles. Free for garden members; guests are $18.95. Guest passes will be accepted. Join the Atlanta Botanical Garden's email list to receive Evites to future events.

Saturday, May 7 is the day for another Midtown staple to come back for the season - Piedmont Park Green Market, Enjoy checking out the fresh produce, catch up with your favorite vendors and then head over to the culinary demo area to watch RA Sushi General Manager Bryan Benavidez and a RA Sushi sushi chef demonstrate how to make one of RA's sensational sushi rolls so you can wow friends with your prowess.The roll-down takes place at 11 a.m. at the Piedmont Park Green Market chef demo area. It's opening day for the market's eighth year; hours are 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. every Saturday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grab Your Sombrero! It’s Time for Cinco de Mayo!

You’ve still got one day to plan your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Whether you want to hit the town or host your own fiesta, we’ve got some great options for this fun holiday!

Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland will be celebrating all day long tomorrow. Stop by and indulge in the neighborhood eatery’s special Cinco de Mayo selection that includes everything from tasty tacos to tequila! (794 N Highland Ave; 404-876-7249).

The Original El Taco is opening earlier than usual on Cinco de Mayo. Eager señors and señoritas will be glad to know they can arrive at 3 p.m. for El Taco's frosty drink and beer specials and its menu of fresh Tex-Mex favorites. (1186 North Highland Avenue, NE; 404-873-4656)

Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food, with locations in Buckhead and Sandy Springs, is always ready to celebrate with potent, custom-made margaritas, ice-cold beer and all kinds of Tex-Mex specialties from shareable appetizers to sizzling fajitas and the Plato Gordo platter. The Buckhead location boasts a huge patio on Peachtree. Heads up in Sandy Springs where a balcony and patio double the fun. Both Uncle Julio's locations open at 11 a.m. for weekday lunch. If the fiesta is at your casa, call Uncle Julio's to handle to-go or full catering needs. (In Buckhead at 1860 Peachtree Road, NW; 404-350-6767. To-go line: 404-974-2991. In Sandy Springs at 1140 Hammond Drive, NE; 678-736-8260. To-go line: 678-736-8261.)

Go al fresco by grilling or stirring up fajitas from New York Butcher Shoppe for Cinco de Mayo. Pick up CAB flank steak ($8.99/lb.), CAB skirt steak ($9.99/lb.) or locally raised all-natural chicken marinated in homemade carne asada marinade ($5.49/lb.). Their fajita kit makes it a meal, adding sliced onions and green peppers, shredded pepper Jack cheese, eight tortillas, homemade black bean salsa, NYBS queso dip and a big bag of tortilla chips for only $11.99! (Dunwoody at 2458 Mt. Vernon Road; 770-399-6328. Sandy Springs at 4969 Roswell Road; 404-303-0704. Alpharetta at 5354 McGinnis Ferry Road; 678-624-0047.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mom's Favorite Restaurants Know Best

On Mother's Day, May 8, it's mom's turn to ask you "What's for dinner?" Or brunch. Or lunch. Lucky for you, quite a few Atlanta restaurants are ready to help you without any hesitation! We recommend making Mother's Day meal reservations for your chosen restaurant.

Aqua blue has planned a brunch buffet for all to enjoy. Brunch is offered from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $29.95 per person, $9.95 ages 4-14 and free for the under-four set. Or, let Mom sleep in and come for dinner's expanded à la carte dinner menu and extended hours of 5:30 - 10 p.m. (1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770-643-8886)

Whisk mom from metro to mountains to sample some of the Southeast's best wines at BlackStock Vineyards & Winery. With acoustic harp music in the background and sweeping Blue Ridge Mountain views in the foreground, mom can totally relax with her wine or lunch from the patio of the Corkscrew Café. Wine tastings and lunch available after 12:30 p.m. on Mother's Day. (5400 Town Creek Road, Dahlonega, GA; 706-219-2789)

Fun awaits at the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel with a "Mother's Day Pancake Play Date" in the Briza kitchen! Children can don chef hats, grab whisks, add a few healthy or indulgent toss ins and turn out custom buttermilk or red velvet heart-shaped griddle cakes for mom. The three-course brunch, including kitchen activities, will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is priced at $45 for adults and $25 for children ages 13 and under. (866 West Peachtree Street, NW; 678-412-2402)

At Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, a special 99-calorie "Tickled Pink" cocktail ($6.95) and three-course Mother's Day brunch menu are all about mom between 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Brunch is priced at $32.95 per adult and $15.95 per child ages 12 and under,plus tax and gratuity. Moms who celebrate at Fleming's on Mother's Day will receive a $25 gift card. (4501 Olde Perimeter Way; 770-698-8112)

JCT. Kitchen & Bar's Sunday Supper has mom's name written all over it. Begin with a selection of warm biscuits, house-made jams, deviled eggs and country ham. Next comes JCT's "farm stand" salad followed by the "meat & three" decisions mom gets to make as she selects from an array of meat options and savory sides. A slice of JCT.'s GA strawberry cake signals the finale. $36 per person; served from 5-9 p.m. on Mother's Day. (1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18; 404-355-2252)

New York Butcher Shoppe locations in Alpharetta, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs have easy ways to surprise mom with breakfast in bed or a morning spread. Buy any homemade quiche, breakfast casserole or Millie Ray's breakfast rolls and receive a second one for half price. All three Atlanta locations have delicious meats, family sides, wines and desserts. Food 101 customers who come in for Mother's Day brunch get 15 percent off all purchases at the Sandy Springs location of New York Butcher Shoppe if they bring in a receipt from their brunch until May 15. (Dunwoody at 2458 Mt. Vernon Road; 770-399-6328. Sandy Springs at 4969 Roswell Road; 404-303-0704. Alpharetta at 5354 McGinnis Ferry Road; 678-624-0047.)

Ray's Restaurants are always a Mother's Day favorite. Downtown, Ray's in the City is offering a special brunch buffet from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. priced at $29.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 5 to 10 and free for children ages 4 and under. The regular dinner menu will be available from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (240 Peachtree Street, NW; 404-524-9224)

Both locations of South City Kitchen are offering three-courses of Southern favorites to commemorate Mother's Day, priced at $25 for adults and $12.50 for children under the age of 12 (plus tax and gratuity). Serving hours are 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (In Midtown at 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358. In Vinings at 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.)

Both Sugo locations will be open from 12 pm to 8 pm. Come enjoy amazing Greek and Italian food and pamper the Mom in your family. Spend this Mother's Day at Sugo and every mom will receive a gift certificate to our new restaurant concept, Double Zero Napoletana, that will be opening May 10. (John's Creek at 10305 Medlock Bridge Road; 770-817-8000. Historic Roswell at 408 S. Atlanta Street; 770-641-9131)

Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food has a mouthwatering Mother's Day dish special. The Plato de Madre ($27.95) floats a mesquite-grilled medallion of salmon over tequila lime sauce alongside crab-stuffed shrimp and Uncle Julio's homemade rice. (In Buckhead at 1860 Peachtree Road, NW; 404-350-6767. To-go line: 404-974-2991. In Sandy Springs at 1140 Hammond Drive, NE; 678-736-8260. To-go line: 678-736-8261.)

Spice Market Gives New Meaning to Spring Cleaning with "Going, Going, Gone"

I don't know about y'all, but I have been in a major spring cleaning mode the past few weeks. While it is definitely rewarding to haul a big bag of stuff to Goodwill and to have more closet space, I still want to relax and treat myself to a glass of wine afterwards. Luckily, Spice Market at the W Atlanta-Midtown is in spring cleaning mode this month, too. For guests, this means the restaurant is slashing prices on superior wine selections and passing along the savings. Beginning this week, two different wines will be featured each week at a steal of a price. One is a high-end wine at much cheaper bottle and glass rates, and the other wine can be ordered at a reduced bottle price or $5 per glass. The wines are available until they run out, and the cut-rate selection changes each week.

Check Spice Market's Facebook page each Monday morning to discover the weekly "Going, Going, Gone" deal. The specials this week are Far Niente Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California ($18/glass and $69/bottle - usually $138/bottle) and BV Merlot, Napa Valley, California ($5/glass and $20/bottle - usually $40/bottle). Restaurant guests will also receive complimentary valet parking for up to three hours. Self parking is offered after 6 p.m. in the Colony Square parking deck located west of the hotel entrance on the corner of 14th and Juniper streets.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Celiac Awareness Month

This month (May, already?!) is National Celiac Awareness Month and we are using it as the perfect excuse to try out some of the amazing restaurants offering gluten free options for those going gluten free as a result of celiac disease (CD), gluten sensitivities or testing the waters to see what gluten-free eating is all about.

Some of the options on our list to try include the wide array of choices at Fifth Group Restaurants and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

Read more about these dining options here and check out some of our favorite bloggers posting articles on going gluten free and menu choices in Atlanta: Betsy at Gluten Freedom Atlanta; Jennifer, the writer for Gluten Free in Atlanta on; Lauren at Gluten Free and Southern; Dr. Ginger Carter Miller at Gluten Free in Georgia . . . Finally and Tiffany at Delight Gluten Free Magazine.

Happy May!