Friday, July 20, 2012

Prime Time for Dining Downtown at Alma Cocina and Ray's in the City

Downtown Restaurant Week starts tomorrow, and it's a great way to try out three courses at some of Atlanta's best restaurants like Alma Cocina and Ray's in the City. Each participating restaurant is offering a three-course prix fixe meal for $25 or $35 per person, plus gratuity and tax. If you're in the mood for modern Mexican fare, we recommend Alma Cocina (pictured at right) in the One Ninety One Peachtree Tower. The steak and seafood lovers will be lured by Ray's in the City. But as you can imagine, tables go fast during this event, so make reservations for July 21 through July 29 online or phone your desired restaurant directly.

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

The Dish  

This Atlanta Dawg (yes, she's a UGA grad) loves life, laughs, books and Chihuahuas. The rest of the time she's a CNN journalist and contributor on CNN's Eatocracy blog. Follow her tweets (@WynnWs) to keep up with her take on news quips.  

Affordable Lunch in Buckhead - Ole!

Lunch doesn't have to be pricey when you go to Uncle Julio's on Peachtree this summer. They have 10 dishes that are under $10, like Mario's Especial (above). In addition to being affordable, it's convenient, fast and delicious! And with those kinds of savings you could splurge and have a Swirl with lunch. Just don't tell your boss we suggested that! 

If you're closer to the Perimeter location, you can save too. Sundays sizzle there with chicken fajitas priced at $10 all day and they have Swirls, frozen margaritas and Julio's Gold for $5 on Sundays. Gracias, Uncle Julio's!

MLA Taste And Tell: Blue Moon Pizza

Our intern Becca is bonkers about Blue Moon Pizza in Buckhead. She's crazy about their garlic rolls and their pizzas. Phone ready? After you watch YouTube, the number-one way to get her pizza raves off the brain is to call in and order one. Or two.   

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jazz up your Saturday with Ray's on the River

Don’t miss the end of the Ray’s on the River summer jazz series before it heads downstream. The last lawn concert benefiting the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CR) will be on Saturday, July 21. Renowned trumpeter Joey Sommerville will be entertaining guests from 2-4 p.m., and American Spirit Whiskey will be providing the cocktails. Purchase tickets for $35 each on Eventbrite. Ray’s on the River applauds UCR’s work to keep the waterway clean. Mike Ross, director of operations for Ray’s Restaurants, shares that “the Chattahoochee was recently ranked third on the American Rivers' Most Endangered Rivers list, and we want to encourage everyone to help keep our waters clean." Concert-goers who show their tickets will receive 20 percent off of their lunch tab that day; lunch seating will be at noon and 12:30 p.m. Call 770-955-1187 to make reservations. 

What's New On Pinterest: Tantalized By Tomatoes

Creamy Tomato Soup by Dixie Caviar
We'll take 'em, lots of them. Plump, sun-worshipping, vine-ripe tomatoes to slice, dice, drip juice down our chins and stain our tank tops. This week's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival is homegrown tomato nirvana. Our pins are ripe for the picking!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Woodfire Grill Pours Summer Whites for Wine Tasting on July 19

The Dish 

None of those Memorial Day to Labor Day rules, summer whites are refreshing anytime it's hot, and Woodfire Grill has planned this month's wine tasting to prove it. Loire Valley Vouvray, Muscadet and Sancerre wines will be poured this Thursday, July 19 from 6 - 8 p.m. Dinner guests may choose the eight-wine tasting to go along with their dinner. Woodfire Grill Wine Director Nicolas Quinones or Sommelier Cate Hatch will be present for tastings. $15 per person; open to 30 guests. Reservations are required; call 404-347-9055. Corks up - summer series concludes with Rieslings from Germany on August 16. 

Don’t Miss Chef Ford Fry and Executive Sous Chef Tony Ballester Cookin’ It Up At The Farmer’s Markets

While you’re shopping for fresh farm food from this week’s farmers markets you’ll have the chance to see two of Atlanta’s tastiest chefs in action. Executive Sous Chef Tony Ballester of The Optimist and Ford Fry of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, No. 246 and The Optimist are stepping outside their kitchens for an extra hit of vitamin D. Ballester will be stepping into the show-me-how booth at the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market on Thursday, July 19. Across town, Fry will rise early Saturday morning, July 21, to get ready for his 10 a.m. demo at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Buckhead. Why choose? You don’t have to miss either -- shop both farmers markets this week!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Aria Serves a Lovin' Spoonful at Summer In The City Benefit

Enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Clara Meer at Piedmont Park during Summer in the City benefitting the Shepherd Center, Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. Chefs from Buckhead beauty Aria will join associates from 11 other top ATL restaurants at specialty tasting stations. Wine tastings and a mixology bar keep spirits soaring. Attire is dressy casual. Click here to purchase general admission tickets at $80 each.

Terrific News: Tuesdays Mean 20 Bottles of Wine for $20 Each at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub

All it takes is one portrait of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson to try a bottle of wine from the 20 for $20 list each Tuesday night at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub in Brookhaven. The variety is plentiful with wines including Belle Vallee Pinot Noir, Redwood Merlot, Maggio Petit Sirah, OZV Zinfandel, Grooner Gruner Veltliner, Fritz Zimmer Piesporter Riesling, Lamarca Prosecco and many more. Now the only thing left to do is decide who you will share this juicy deal with!

Get ready - Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival is back! Plus Lots More In This Week's Dish

This week finds us plotting a culinary course with killer tomatoes on the loose, garden parties by night, riverside jazz and much more in The Dish! If you aren't already receiving The Dish, you can sign up either here on our blog or on our Facebook page

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seven Hens Brings Worldly Chicken Schnitzel To Emory Area

Swallow that southern pride because at Seven Hens fried chicken is a worldly bird. Overseas, chicken takes a pounding before the breading and frying dip to become the golden perfection known as schnitzel. In Germany, schnitzel is a term of endearment, as in “I’m crazy about you, my little schnitzel,” and in Israel, it tops falafel as the top street food. In Decatur, fried chicken lovers in search of the schnitzel-ed bird for lunch or dinner will find it at fast-casual Seven Hens, recently opened in North Decatur Plaza. Seven Hens Schnitzel is customized to order with suggested recipes and seasonings -- American, Mexican, Italian, French, Chinese, Indian or the design-your-own seasoned Traveler -- and fried crispy-crunchy on the outside and moist and tender inside. To escort bird to mouth, go with a locally baked white or wheat baguette ($7.49), wrap ($7.49), salad ($6.99) or on a platter with two sides ($7.99). Sides include fries, Seven Hens salad and chips are also available separately. Finishing touches are a DIY array of house-made dressings, spreads, sauces, toppings and cheeses inspired by world cuisine. Guests not snatching up schnitzel will find dark meat, vegetarian (tofu) and grilled chicken options, and fountain sodas and bottled drinks are available to quench thirsts. Like our southern staple, Seven Hens schnitzel is a picnic waiting to happen.

The Plot Thickens This Week As JCT. Kitchen Attack Of The Killer Tomato Festival Strikes On July 22

Such a juicy storyline: bushels of real tomatoes give in to the hands of a united front of 37 star Southern chefs, 12 maniacal mixologists and 30+ farmers whose toiling enables the whole coup. The victors? Georgia Organics, beneficiary of the fourth annual JCT. Kitchen Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, and tomato devotees. 

The event will spill out of headquarters at JCT. Kitchen & Bar and into the Westside Provisions District complex on Sunday, July 22 from 1-5 p.m. Purchase tickets online through Xorbia for $70 per person. 

Last year’s event raised almost $40,000 for Georgia Organics, and Ford Fry, owner/chef of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, No. 246 and The Optimist, hopes this year’s event will grow even more greens for the group. 

The festival is ripe for people watching as judges include Garden & Gun Deputy Editor Dave Mezz, Esquire Restaurant Features Writer John Mariani, Food & Wine Associate Food Editor Daniel Gritzer and actor David Miller, who played Mason Dixon in the original “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” movie. Co-masters of ceremonies are Angie Mosier, food writer, stylist and photographer, and Carolyn O’Neil, registered dietician, author and food journalist. Jump to live entertainment from The Spazmatics and local chef band Five Bone Rack. 

Get more juice on participating chefs, etc. at!

Lure Opens Tomorrow...And You'll Be Hooked

Trust me, it's a shore thing. Lure, Fifth Group Restaurant's newest eatery, opens to the public tomorrow, and I can assure you it's quite the catch. The restaurant is located in a 1920s bungalow at 1106 Crescent Avenue in Midtown and serves a menu of amazingly fresh seafood and seasonal produce from Chef David Bradley. The restaurant achieves a perfect balance between sophisticated and casual, making guests feel as though they are in both a fine-dining restaurant and a seaside fish house all at once with eye catching accents like reclaimed nautical spotlights and an old anchor from the Boston Harbor. Lure's three-part menu is broken down into “Raw, Marinated, Chilled” ($2-$20),“For You Or For Sharing”($4-$14), and “Sizeable Servings” ($19-28). My personal favorite is the grilled whole Georgia rainbow trout served with pickled ramp butter and new potatoes. And if you're nervous about getting a whole fish, don't be, you can order it at Lure without feeling like a novice because the restaurant is smart enough to bring out these handy dandy "de-boning with confidence" diagrams to help you out. The spicy Veracruz-style seafood cocktail is a fun appetizer to share, and the grilled North Carolina mahi mahi with summer salad and fresh goat cheese is another outstanding entree choice. Check out the menu for yourself and go fishing for favorites. Lure is also sure to become a favorite watering hole among Atlantans with a variety of punch bowls, bottled cocktails and shochu blends. Try the Blue-Eyed Boy (pictured above) with gin, mint, elderflower and peach bitters - nice and refreshing for summer! Lure will serve dinner nightly to start out, with lunch and weekend brunch service beginning in September. Call 404.817.3650 to make your reservation.