Friday, December 13, 2013

#Foodgram: @beerstreetjournal

This foodgram knows how to put the "happy" in "happy hour." The crew over at @beerstreetjournal is pouring glass after glass of some of the best beers around because, as they say, no great story ever started with someone eating a salad." Wise words, friends.

Appetizing Aperture: Shrimp and Grits at Aqua blue

After bouncing around malls, galleries and boutiques for an intense session of holiday shopping, the last thing we want to do is settle for dull food court fare. All that retail action deserves a fitting reward, so settle down and regroup at Aqua blue, just east of 400 at Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. Sautéed shrimp and Nora Mills stone-ground grits ($9) accompanied by something spirited in a glass...pure comfort and joy.

Downtown Eateries Put the Icing on Ice Skating Fun at Centennial Olympic Park

Ice skating at Centennial Olympic Park's Ice Rink in downtown's Luckie Marietta District is already a beloved holiday tradition, but the adventure just isn't complete for us without a way to refuel all those calories we will burn gliding around the ice. Luckily, some of the city's best restaurants or nearby and ready to be pre- and post-skating destinations. For hearty German fare and beers, slide into Der Biergarten. Just getting warmed up? Keep the momentum going with games, beverages and American fast-casual fare at Game-X. Hot pizzas warm cold hands and fill hungry tummies at Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria while sporty STATS satisfies with classic American favorites and thirst-quenching brews. Date night deserves a visit to the Glenn Hotel where Glenn's Kitchen exudes sophisticated ambiance and drinks flow at SkyLounge, its rooftop hangout. Add south of the border Latin and Mexican flavors to your polar experience with a visit to Alma Cocina for roasted chicken mole Oaxaca, pork pibil tamale, beef brisket enchiladas and many other savory dishes, including bowls of hot tortilla soup. Or, go coastal at Ray's in the City where a wide variety of seafood selections dock alongside a classic cheddar cheeseburger, hand-cut steaks and other landlubber temptations. Can't fit them all in? These restaurants will welcome you even after the ice rink closes for the season on January 20.

What's New on Pinterest: Eggnog Delights

Make a toast this holiday season using inspiration from our Eggnog Delights Pinterest board. Spike interest with these delicious recipes at your next holiday affair. Stellar with bourbon in punchbowls and toddies, its creamy riches carry over nicely into breakfast and brunch goodies, sweets and desserts. That's using the old egg noggin! Cheers!

Atlanta Restaurants Give Gift of Time through Holiday and Christmas Meal Solutions


Total immersion in holiday activities can push meal planning and shopping to the bottom of Santa's to-do list. Parties, cookie exchanging, Santa visits, ice skating, holiday light viewing, concerts, church services and shopping for the perfect gift all vie for time. By providing meal and carry-out ideas, Atlanta restaurants can provide a much-appreciated gift, freeing you up to savor the seasonal fun stuff with family and friends.  

Enjoy Christmas Eve dinner at Aqua blue in Roswell. From 4-9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24, a special three-course menu is offered for $29 per person in addition to the full à la carte menu. Look for the Aqua blue daily soup, a 12-ounce rib-eye with horseradish sauce and house-made warm chocolate cake. Reservations: 770-643-8886.  

On Christmas Day in Virginia-Highland, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar will light something big and green that doesn't shed needles. Turkey breast smoked on the Big Green Egg and served with caramelized apple and sage stuffing and cider gravy stars on their prix fixe Christmas dinner menu. Bourbon-glazed ham with roasted root vegetables joins the party as a second main while green bean casserole with crispy onions and roasted mushrooms, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry Grand Marnier compote and sweet potato biscuits are new twists on classic sides. Peppermint cheesecake and Southern pecan pie close the festive meal. $28 for adults, $18 for young adults and $10 for the under-10 set (tax and gratuity not included). Doors open at 6 p.m., and reservations are recommended: 404-876-7249.

Bantam + Biddy's family meals provide the gift of time during this jam-packed season. For $45, three to five family members or friends can take home a whole rotisserie chicken, meatloaf or herb-roasted pork loin, served with a family sized organic green salad, choice of dressing, cornbread (gluten-free bread upon request), three family sized sides and a half gallon of fresh-brewed tea. Family meals are take-out only and require 30 minutes advance notice. Phone orders at 404-907-3469 and pick up curbside. 

Take a breather at a Communitas Hospitality restaurant on Christmas Eve. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern10th & Piedmontand G's are all open and serving their regular menus on Tuesday, December 24. New American gastropub G's is open with its regular hours and serving from the bar menu on Christmas Day. Convenient to know if you want to head out for some Christmas cheer, or Christmas dinner doesn't quite turn out as you hope. 

Outsource holiday dessert crafting to Sweet Dee's Bakeshop. Place custom orders by Friday, December 20. Open for limited hours on Tuesday, December 24 for custom-order pick-ups only. Sweet questions? Call 770-696-4461. 

A Christmas Eve feast awaits at South City Kitchen Midtown. From 5-9 p.m., enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu priced at $45 for adults and $22.50 for children 12 and under. Choose one appetizer, entrée and dessert with options such as old Charleston she-crab soup with fresh cream and sherry; roasted turkey breast with giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, collard greens, whipped potatoes and orange-cranberry sauce; pan-seared salmon with mushroom farrotto, arugula salad with port wine vinaigrette; and Southern chocolate pecan pie. Reservations: 404-873-7358. 

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant will be RA-rockin' around the Christmas tree with Christmas Eve hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Christmas Day from 4-11 p.m. (bar open until midnight or later). Holiday cheer drink specials all day on Christmas.

On Atlanta's north side, Ray's on the River and Ray's on the Creekwill both be open on Christmas Eve from 5-9 p.m. Celebrate this special night with mouthwatering succulent seafood, hand-cut steaks, signature specialties and carefully selected wines all served by attentive staff.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Forget the Toddy, Get a Baby Umami Punch at RA Sushi

Yeah, yeah, it's cold outside. But that doesn't mean you have to limit your beverages to hot and heavy. How about some sunshine in a glass at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant? Try the Baby Umami Punch with Southern Comfort, Amaretto Disaronno, cold sake, liqueurs and tropical juices and dream of warm days and swaying palms. Getaway seekers can snap these up for $6 each instead of the usual $8 through December 31. Weather is a state of mind!

Visit 10th & Piedmont on Friday Nights for Bubbles & Half-Priced Bites

The work week is almost over, and 10th & Piedmont is ready to help you unwind. Every Friday
night from 5-7:15 p.m., the Midtown hotspot offers Bubbles & Bites. Try any of Clayton's 
champagne cocktails like the Habitual Hibiscus, Orange Barbotage with Grand Marnier, a 10P Bellini blended with homemade peach nectar, French 75 with Hendrick's gin and Cointreau or a sparkling caipirinha for $10. And since we don't recommend drinking bubbly on an empty stomach, make sure to sample the half-priced hors d'oeuvre. Some of our favorites are the 10P sliders, Southern pot stickers, lamb meatballs, goat cheese crispies, shrimp and scallop nachos and So-Co cured salmon roulade.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Count Down the "12 Days of Christmas" with Bantam + Biddy Specials Plus More in this Week's Dish

Over the river and through the traffic to delicious eateries we go. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season wear out your appetite just yet. Between Gunshow’s new kitchen counter open to walk-ins, allowing guests to watch Kevin Gillespie create culinary magic and the half-priced hors d’oeuvres and cocktails served every Friday night at 10th & Piedmont, Atlanta’s food scene is right on par. Plus, our Pinterest page is filled with “Eggnog Delights” for those in the mood to taste the season, too. Holiday drink specials are happening at RA Sushi while lords are leaping at Bantam + Biddy. See what else Atlanta restaurants are cooking up for the holidays and more in this week’s Dish.   

Walk-ins Welcome at Gunshow's New Kitchen Counter

Need dinner plans? Be spontaneous and head to Gunshow. Kevin Gillespie's Glenwood Park restaurant has installed a "Kitchen Counter" bar-like seating area where up to 10 people can sit down to eat right across from the chefs' work table. Singles and couples, these seats are made for you as they're open only to walk-ins and cannot be reserved. In fact, the idea for the counter came from neighbors and passers-by desiring to pop in on a whim and not be tied to a reservation time. Gillespie and staff understand. When the urge for a fabulously creative meal experience strikes, you have to jump on it!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Seven Lamps Packs in Guest Chefs and Mixologists for a 10-Course First Anniversary Dinner with Cocktail Pairings on December 15

Party in the kitchen -- and dining room -- at Seven Lamps in the Shops Around Lenox on Sunday, December 15 beginning at 7 p.m. The Buckhead restaurant is inviting some of Atlanta's top chefs and mixologists to rub elbows in the kitchen and prepare a 10-course celebratory dinner with cocktail pairings for dining room guests. Seven Lamps chefs Drew Van Leuvan and Kelly Lovett and mixologist Kevin Bragg will be joined by E. J. Hodgkinson (JCT. Kitchen & Bar), Joe Schafer and Paige Lane (King + Duke) and others. See complete guest chef/mixologist list here. Reservations are required; limited seating. Purchase tickets online for $192 per person including tax and gratuity.

Daily Dose of Dining Deals During "12 Days of Christmas" at Bantam + Biddy

Photo by Angie Mosier

Scrooges beware: Bantam + Biddy is bringing twelve full days of holiday events and dining specials to Ansley Mall during a "12 Days of Christmas" giveback sure to put a smile on any face. The family friendly eatery rings in a different offer each day between Friday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 24. Check out the specials on their Facebook page and be sure to mark your calendars for your most anticipated deals!