Saturday, January 31, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

Photo Credit: Erica George Dines

Atlas is now open in The St. Regis Atlanta! If only we could bite into this photo. Jamison Farm lamb loin and roasted garlic lamb kielbasa flanked by lentils, curry-cauliflower purée, roasted cauliflower and tapenade reflect the kitchen artistry of chef de cuisine Christopher Grossman and consulting chef/restaurateur Gerry Klaskala as the gents draw inspiration from a seasonal, locally sourced culinary palette.     

What's New on Pinterest

Super Bowl Sensations pits healthy against hedonistic in a game-day snack table showdown. Our Pinterest picks meet in the middle to appease both factions. Toss out the double-dipping conundrum by layering dips in individual cups. Turn food into mini-footballs by adding "laces" using white chocolate on chocolate-dipped strawberries or chives on deviled eggs. Mix up Game Day Pep Corn. Perhaps the ultimate edible centerpiece is a pan-sized football field turfed with guac anchored by opposing queso and salsa end zones, all flanked by adoring tortilla chip fans. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wine, Food & Fun at Fundraising Event to Benefit Michael Bryan

We often take our legs and feet for granted...until a prosthesis-clad Peachtree Road Race runner bounds past, giving us at least 5K to mull over how much they've endured and persevered. Since being diagnosed with stage 3 pleomorphic sarcoma cancer in 2012, Michael Bryan has persevered through chemo, radiation, surgery, months of rehabilitation, the removal of his left leg at the hip, the addition of a prosthetic leg in its stead plus more rehab and therapy. Medical expenses have piled up beyond insurance allowances for Michael and wife Lelia, who had opened Vino Venue three weeks before the diagnosis. Vino Venue/The Atlanta Wine School, Flavors magazine and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine are collaborating to help out by hosting a Friends of Michael Bryan FUNdraising benefit, and The Giving Kitchen is providing a matching grant. Block out the hours of 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 to hang out at Vino Venue in the Georgetown Shopping Center located off I-285 at Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Top chefs collaborate in the wine school's kitchen, and guests will savor a contrast of sushi and Brazilian "low 'n slow" charcoal-grilled meats along with fine wines and craft beers. A silent auction, raffle and bottle pull play out over the course of the afternoon. Buy tickets online, $75 per person.

Tin Drum Celebrates the Chinese New Year with New Dishes and Deals

Eager to get a jump on a holiday centered on "Lucky Days" with lots of peace, harmony and good fortune, Tin Drum Asiacafé is spinning out two takes on traditional Chinese dishes for Chinese New Year 2015. Famished guests won't have to drag on until February 19, the first day of "The Year of the Ram," to chopstick into Orange Ginger Chicken or Mongolian Fiery Steak because Tin Drum starts stirring up these comforting dishes on Monday, February 2. Served atop hot steamed white rice, one dish captures a colorful parade of crispy chicken, fresh red pepper and broccoli sautéed in sweet and tangy orange ginger sauce while the other sautés juicy steak and zesty green onions in spicy Mongolian sauce and caps the mix with crispy onion strings. Each dish is priced at $7.95 and is available for a limited-time only. Got a yen to save some money? Stop by Tin Drum on Fridays and request the Friday Meal Deal: fork out $6 for either of these two Chinese New Year entrées and a fountain drink.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Oak Pastures Hosts Composting Workshop on February 7

Learn the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty facts about composting at the White Oak Pastures composting workshop on Saturday, February 7. Done correctly, composting is stink-free, easy and economical, and it diminishes waste while building a nutritional jackpot for your plants. Early birds, show up at 10 a.m. for the optional farm tour. The workshop officially begins with a noon lunch in the Pavilion. Guests rake in heaps of fun after lunch when class digs into the nuances of composting, including an overview of composting and basic requirements, how compost heaps work and various designs, methods and monitoring. After guests warm to those topics, the agenda moves on to black soldier fly biology and vermicomposting (don't try to worm your way out of that one). A Q&A session wraps up the pile of information relayed during this fruitful day on the farm. $60 class fee includes lunch and optional farm tour. Class size limited to 25 students. Call 229-641-2081 for more information or to reserve a seat. 

Play Around with the X-Treme Combo at Game-X

Heard that right. Shouts of "Awesome! It's Monday!" resonating across Atlanta. X-Treme Combo days run rampant at Game-X in downtown Atlanta's Luckie Marietta District, shaving dollars off the price of food and fun. Monday through Friday from 3-10 p.m., Game-X guests requesting the X-Treme Combo when ordering any entrée can add a $10 value X-card to their meal order for $6. House rules: you must mention the combo when placing your order, it must be on the same check as the entrée, and the X-Treme Combo doesn't play at private events. Fuel up with American fast-casual burgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads ($8-$11), grab your Game-X card and tackle some of the 60-plus action-packed new-tech and classic games. Full bar stocks your favorite quenchers.

Join Der Biergarten for the 7th Annual SchlagerParty

The 1970s are so schlager-full, what with 70s schlager songs, 70s attire and schlager dance moves. This ever-popular music party boogies down at Der Biergarten when Atlanta's authentic German eatery hosts its 7th annual SchlagerParty on Saturday, February 7 from 7 p.m. until closing. Belt out your best vocals after lubricating those vocal cords with Krombacher pilsner or Weihenstephaner hefe, priced at $9 per liter for the party. What to wear? Considering Der Biergarten will dole out prizes for costumes, you'll want to throw on that kitschy, campy 70s wear or German costume crooning in your closet.

Atlanta Restaurants Share the Love on Valentine's Day

When you were a kid, Valentine's Day whirled around cheesy little cards (for the whole class), message-emblazoned candies, heart-shaped cookies smeared with really red icing and maybe a box of chocolates. Adult life sure is a lot more complicated, whether you're smitten or not. Hugs to Atlanta restaurants for stepping in to save the date with delicious terms of endearment on Valentine's Day menus.

10th & Piedmont and G's Midtown double date -- both offer a romantic Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner for two from 5-11 p.m. For $79 plus tax and gratuity, couples will enjoy a four-course menu that includes grilled Belgian endive salad, a shareable chef's tasting of smoked salmon mousse cups and mini crabcake bites, as well as an entrée choice for each person, such as cumin-crusted duck breast, roasted lamb loin or a surf and turf with lobster tail and filet medallions. Spoon a swoon-worthy dessert, chocolate soufflé for two. Make reservations online or by phone: 404-602-5510 or 404-872-8012.

Roses are red, and Aqua blue is equally romantic this Valentine's weekend. From Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15, a Valentine's three-course prix fixe dinner is $50 per person (excluding tax or gratuity), and the à la carte menu also is available for those who already have a "love" on the menu. Reservations: 770-643-8886.

In the heart of Buckhead, a four-course dinner at Aria sets the stage for romance on Saturday, February 14. Chef Gerry Klaskala's avant-garde take on fine American cuisine woos and wows for $95 per person. Reservations: 404-233-7673.

Book a date at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland and embrace the delicious chef's menu February 13 and 14. À la carte selections include flash-fried oysters, pan-roasted black grouper, grilled lamb porterhouse and crispy sweet ricotta ravioli for dessert ($6-$28). Reservations: 404-876-7249.

You flipped over each other, now flip over the creative burgers at FLIP burger boutique, especially the special Valentine's lobster burger available February 13-15. The loaded lobster roll burger hugs a topping of Duke's mayo, crème fraîche, shallots, chives, parsley, avocado and pecan-smoked bacon, all on a toasted brioche bun for just $19.

Whether you're going duo or solo, there's a Valentine's special to love at Midtown's HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern. From 5-11 p.m., a couple's dinner featuring chef's specials plus the regular menu will be offered. From 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., the restaurant hosts a Broken Hearts Club singles party with all-you-can-eat pizza and all-you-can-drink beer and bubbly. Party tickets are $29 per person in advance; $39 at the door. Reservations: 404-968-2288.

Whisper a sweet "meet me at Marlow's" in your Valentine's ear (being sure you are both talking about the same Marlow's location). Each Marlow's Tavern will feature a special three-course prix fixe menu for $35 per person, as well as their beloved American tavern fare served in a refreshingly modern setting.

Lovebirds can roost at Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails in Historic Crabapple for executive chef Derek Dollar's special prix fixe dinner priced at $59 per person. Sip on specialty Valentine's Day cocktails while enjoying live music. Information and reservations: 770-817-0161.

Love is way up in the air on the 30th floor of Hilton Atlanta where an elegant dinner at Nikolai's Roof awaits weekend view seekers. Chef de cuisine Stephanie Alderete is offering a five-course prix fixe menu along with the regular menu on Friday, February 13. On Saturday, February 14, only the prix fixe option will be available. Featured dishes include jumbo lump crab terrine, seared foie gras, sautéed swordfish or braised short ribs, and a dark chocolate soufflé to finish. $110 per person, with a four-glass wine pairing for $55 or five glasses for $58. Go ahead and smooch a Strawberry Kiss cocktail ($10) before dinner. Reservations: 404-221-6362.

Your Valentine's a gem worthy of a multi-course meal at The Pig & The Pearl in Atlantic Station. Over February 13-14, both seafood and smoked meat lovers will adore the special three-course lunch and dinner menu. Fan the flames of desire with a shared appetizer course of smoked deviled eggs, poached shrimp and smoked salmon followed by a shared smoke stack of pork shoulder, brisket, wings, ribs, mustard greens, mac & cheese and Sea Island red pea "baked beans." Finish sweetly with flourless tuxedo chocolate cake served with bubbles. $80 per couple, plus tax and gratuity. Lovely additions: four seats will be available at the raw bar each night for a seven-course menu personally designed and prepared by chef Todd Richards and featuring the finest oysters, caviar, smoked meats and vegetables. $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 404-541-0930.

Ray's Restaurants comprise a romantic trio, and all three locations have special menus in their quivers for cupid's big day. Call the individual restaurants for menu information and reservations. Ray's in the City: 404-524-9224; Rays at Killer Creek: 770-649-0064; Ray's on the River: 770-955-1187.

Prince Charming? The Southern Gentleman, a new gastropub in the Buckhead Atlanta development, dazzles and delights guests with a three-course prix fixe menu rich with lobster and grits, black truffle-celery soup, flounder, petite filet of beef, chocolate buttermilk cake and strawberry cheesecake. Dinner is $65 per person. Reservations: 404-939-9845.

Aloha means love and Trader Vic's in the Hilton Atlanta invites you to bestow aloha on your Valentine this February 14. The Trader's special menu includes BBQ duck breast spring roll, Asian chicken breast salad, entrée choices of wok stir-fried strip loin or pan-seared yellowtail snapper and a sweet spot of white chocolate soufflé with passion fruit coulis for dessert. $60 per person (plus 20 percent gratuity and tax). Add two glasses of sparkling wine for $14.

Join The Shed to celebrate a romantic night out! There will be a three course meal served for $45 per person. There are four choices to start the night – shrimp and grits with chicken sausage, onions, peppers and baguette; tuna tartare served with ponzu gelee, cucumber, trout caviar, scallions and fried shallots; smoked beef brisket spring roll with baby corn, sweet potato, avocado puree, kung pao sauce  or Caesar salad. After that, indulge in a mouthwatering second course that includes options like pan seared bay scallops; NY strip; potato crusted flounder and Springer Mountain Farms chicken.  End this special night with a sweet treat like vanilla crème brulee, deconstructed ding dong, red velvet cheesecake or share the cheese plate for two that includes raisin toast, pecans and apple butter. 

Article 14 is the place to take your lover this Valentine’s Day. Abandon your normal routine and try the menu specifically created for this special night. Begin with a decadent appetizer of oysters and caviar, two choices of entrees: mouth watering diver scallop, asparagus and a petite herb salad priced at $29 or pan roasted filet of beef with cauliflower and hazelnuts for $34. Don’t forget to finish the night off with the $8 “Chocolate Love Affair” so amorous it may feel like cheating. 

Sneak away to Bluffton, Georgia for an idyllic Valentine's Day dinner at White Oak Pastures on February 14. Pavilion meal includes four courses for two, lining up an appetizer, salad, choice of entreé and dessert with a complimentary glass of Champagne for each guest. $85 per couple, $55 for singles, and those who partake in the dinner will receive 10 percent off lodging for the night. Reservations required: 229-641-2081.

Gotta love Willy's Mexicana Grill for this heartwarming special. On Valentine's Day, bring a homemade or store-bought Valentine's card to any Willy's location, and they will love you back with a special offer to use on a return visit.

Buy roses that make a difference this Valentine's Day: Whole Trade® Roses at Whole Foods Market help provide fair prices to producers, safe and healthy working conditions for farm workers and promote environmentally-friendly growing practices-plus each bunch provides a one percent donation to Whole Planet Foundation for poverty relief.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's New on Pinterest

Your average Joe pomegranate holds 600 arils (seeds), rosy gems bursting with tart juice, vitamins, antioxidants, health benefits and a pop of tart juice to wake up winter recipes. Pick some Pomegranate Pleasures off our Pinterest board, beginning with a cutting and aril removal tutorial and progressing to a protein-packed pomegranate berry smoothie, five-ingredient pear and pomegranate salsa, sweet and savory baked brie, superfood salad with pan-seared salmon, pomegranate-glazed shrimp and so many more. We'll never take pomegranates for granted again.