Saturday, February 21, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

Savor umami in every bite of your Korean burger, February’s burger of the month at FLIP burger boutique. Bun halves hug a burger crafted with tender braised short rib, the crunch of kimchee and tempura krispie, and the bold zing of green onion and Korean Ottogi ketchup. Meet up with one before the shortest month of the year runs out.


Lunch Squad Raff and Green thrive on repetition -- work, lunch, repeat. Keeps them sane during Chicagoland winters. Headed that way? See what’s for lunch @chicagolunch.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Step Up. Stop Hunger. Support the 2015 Hunger Walk/Run for the Atlanta Community Food Bank

Two of our favorite topics, food and fitness, are tied together tighter than shoe laces at the 31st annual Hunger Walk/Run for the nonprofit Atlanta Community Food Bank on Sunday, March 15. No crack-of-dawn start time for this event, so movers and shakers can complete their Sunday morning routine before heading to Turner Field for an afternoon outing. Entertainment and day-of registration open at noon, and the 5K walk and 5K run set off at 2 p.m. Participants can direct their fundraising support to any of six agencies that support food pantries, shelters, community kitchens, senior centers and child care centers in Atlanta and north Georgia. Join #TeamTweet or support the team with a donation if you’re already booked that day. This walk/run has raised more than $7 million for hunger relief -- that’s 28 million meals -- since walkers first crossed the start line in 1984. Register in advance here.

Ray’s at Killer Creek and Bantam + Biddy Avalon During Alpharetta Restaurant Week

Date night steal! Ray’s at Killer Creek is offering a three-course dinner menu with choices for $25 per person during Alpharetta Restaurant Week, February 21-28. Choose one of three options for your starter -- field green salad, Caesar salad or a cup of crab bisque -- then choose among cedar plank salmon with grilled asparagus, grilled beef brochettes and Moroccan couscous or pan-roasted chicken breast with lemon gnocchi for an entrée. For dessert, select chocolate mousse cake with raspberry purée and fresh berries or crème brûlée with seasonal fruit compote and fresh whipped cream. Add a glass of wine for an additional charge. At $25 per person for dinner (excluding beverage, tax and gratuity), there’s still money in the piggy bank for a movie...discuss that choice over dinner. Make reservations here.
Bantam + Biddy at Avalon satisfies lunchtime appetites during Alpharetta Restaurant Week with a $15 prix fixe lunch menu. Choose among pimento cheese, chopped pastured chicken liver or Jb Farm deviled eggs for a starter. Entrée choices boast a quarter chicken with two sides, meatloaf with two sides or pork schnitzel with one side. Finish with a choice of dessert form the Bantam + Biddy dessert menu.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails Dinner Features Wines of Santa Barbara

West Coast wines venture east to the Atlantic for a Wines of Santa Barbara dinner at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday, February 23. In true vineyard dining fashion, guests will sit down at communal tables for chef Tom Gray’s menu, served family style and paired with incredible wines from this unique region. Reserve a seat if you’ll be in the area; otherwise, it’s always appetite provoking to see what’s on the menu. A reception opens the evening with chicken and waffles and smoked salmon toast paired with Brewer-Clifton chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, 2012. Cheddar biscuits and crudo paired with Palmina Arneis, “Honea Vineyard” Santa Ynez Valley, 2012 progress to a for-the-table main dish presentation of house-made gnocchi with braised oxtail; Seminole Pride flank steak with chimichurri and arugula; Cognito Farm pork and chow chow; and sides of creamy collards, whipped potatoes and three-cheese grits. Main course wine pairings are Domaine de la Cote pinot noir, Santa Rita Hills, 2012 and Tensley syrah, “Colson Canyon Vineyard” Santa Barbara County, 2013. Dessert is a sinfully rich chocolate surprise with Jaffurs petite sirah, “Thompson Vineyard" Santa Barbara County, 2012. 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner. $99 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Purchase tickets here. 

See Stars Shining at Atlanta Restaurants

Movies are moving into Atlanta in a big way. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, 158 feature films and television productions shot scenes in Georgia during 2014. With big box office draws such as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2,” “Insurgent” and “The Good Lie” filming here, .Mic declares Atlanta the next movie-making hotspot. Our take: a) you’re not imagining you just saw Jennifer Lawrence; b) spare yourself the plane ticket and party with Oscar here.

Not only are Hollywood jetsetters landing in Atlanta, they’re taxiing off the runway and into
Umi --
 or Umiwood as some now refer to the restaurant -- where modern Japanese cuisine costars with understated elegance. Celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, Usher, Kate Winslet and Jim Carey are hungry for chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s specialties such as aburi (slightly cooked sushi-grade fish), toban yaki (prepared on a ceramic toban grill) or omakase (chef’s selection of dishes). When in Atlanta, actress Jennifer Lawrence frequents Umi for her usual dirty martini, edamame, avocado salad, spicy tuna crispy rice and black cod misoyaki. “The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence and actors Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have dined there. Elton John and husband David Furnish fill up on chef Ito’s fare when they’re on Peachtree. Umi is tight with Spanx founder Sara Blakely, and Atlanta Braves player Freddie Freeman has slid in for a plate or two. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife Sarah are Umi regulars. Other well-known Umi diners include Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant and actors Theo James, Zac Efron and Robert De Niro. Some dress up, some come casual. The important thing to know is every guest dines well and receives VIP treatment at Umi, making it a beloved choice for repeat performances. For reservations, call 404-841-0040 or click here.

The Red Carpet Oscar Party at 10th & Piedmont rivals attending the actual 87th Oscar Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, February 22. For one thing, when the Midtown restaurant’s festivities begin at 7 p.m., guests are free to socialize and enjoy bottomless glasses of bubbly for $15. They’re not confined to theater seats for hours on end, smiles glued on their faces. Here, when stargazing partygoers glitz and glam up, they might win cash or prizes in the “best-dressed” contest (as versus critical reviews). Party viewers benefit from commentary by host Angelica D’ Paige, plus televised emcee remarks and entertainment, beginning with the red carpet arrivals and continuing through the closing credits. In Hollywood, the Academy votes. In Midtown, everyone votes! Download the Oscar ballot and choose your winners before you go. Reserve a table by calling 404-602-5510.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tin Lizzy’s Cantina Stretches National Margarita Day

The head honchos at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina recognize that National Margarita Day is Sunday, February 22. Amongst themselves, the buzz was “Our margaritas are so powerfully good, let’s expand the celebration over a three-day weekend!” So be it. One big weekend deserves one big margarita, a.k.a. “The Big House,” made with 1800 Tequila and filling a sturdy 22-ounce cup for $10. This deal is going strong from Friday, February 20 through Sunday, February 22. Keep the cup to help remember the weekend. (Cups available while supplies last.) 

Heard It Through the Grapevine: The Disapyramids Rock at Trader Vic’s

Thursday night $6 mai tais are another reason to twist and shout for joy at Trader Vic’s on the ground floor of the Hilton Atlanta. The Disapyramids hit the Trader’s shore with their style of high-energy 60s beach music on Thursday, February 19 from 8:30 p.m. until midnight. We’re pretty sure “The ‘Mids” are bringing Peggy Sue, Mary Lou and Johnny B. Goode along with cohorts mod, soul, doo-wop, sock hop and rock ‘n roll. Segue from office to beach mode with some of Trader Vic’s signature Polynesian dishes beforehand. Hawaiian shirts optional, but a splash of coconut suntan oil hints you’re beach party bound. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Willy’s Mexicana Grill Salsas into Peachtree City

Peachtree City Willy’s Mexicana Grill fans, it’s your turn to step up to the counter for some wrap and roll, Willy’s style! Hand-rolled California-style burritos, loaded nachos, tacos, quesadillas, crispy tortilla chips, freshly blended salsas, refreshing salads, vegetarian versions and more are now available south of Atlanta at the restaurant’s newest location, 2775 Highway 54. Join in the grand opening festivities on Wednesday, February 18: munch a $5 burrito, available all day long and spin the prize wheel between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 5-7 p.m. to win swag and free food. Watch Willy’s Mexicana Grill CEO Willy Bitter roll burritos at the counter during the 11 a.m.-1 p.m. lunch hours. What you will see: Willy’s famous salsa bar, expanded to accommodate innovative salsas such as HOT roasted tomato salsa and a fresh prep area that puts the fresh preparation of salsas and guac on display. You won’t see freezers and microwaves because local, seasonal products are preferred and menu items are prepared from scratch. That includes the expertly seasoned lean sirloin steak, chargrilled adobe or sinaloa chicken, chipotle pork, marinated tofu, fresh veggies and more than 20 flavorful toppings. Note that beans and rice are free of lard and animal products. Four freshly prepared lemonades (regular, mango, raspberry and prickly pear), Coca-Cola brand sodas, Luzianne iced teas and beers are available now; margaritas chime in soon. Exclusive King of Pops flavors and baked in-house Christie Cookies are just-right desserts. The restaurant offers an eye feast as it reveals a new look of rich, bright red, blue and yellow hues cavorting with rustic wood plank walls and metal patina tables. Open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call 678-489-7919 or visit for more information.

Tin Drum Asiacafé Plans Akers Mill Grand Opening

Happy Chinese New Year, Akers Mill area! Tin Drum Asiacafé opened its newest location at 2955 Cobb Parkway on Monday, February 16 -- just days before the Chinese New Year rings in on February 19. The Asian-inspired fast-casual eatery plans a week of grand opening daily specials through Sunday, February 22. On Tuesday, once per hour, everyone at one lucky table wins a free entrée for their next visit. Taiko drummers perform from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, and guests will receive a free entrée with the purchase of another entrée. Buy two tacos for $5 on Taco Thursday. Yum yum -- order the $6 Meal Deal of any regular-price entrée and a fountain drink on Friday and dabble with a henna artist from 5-8 p.m. The first 100 guests to purchase an entrée on Saturday win an entrée and drink each month for a year. Bring the kids back on Sunday for balloon artist fun from noon-3 p.m., and get a free kids meal with an adult entrée purchase (one per adult) all day. Open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., the Akers Mill location offers a well-rounded menu of Asian classics and contemporary twists powered up with all-natural meat and organic tofu. Deviate from your brown bag routine with basil Thai rolls, coconut soup, a crisp chop chop salad or street tacos. Panang, massaman or Tin Drum curries, tikka masala, mango stir fry, basil fried rice, pad thai, noodle dishes and a menu fired up with Asian specialties banish bland from mealtime vocabulary. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
More info: 678-388-0515.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

When February makes you shiver, drive your Chevy to the levee to rock and roll out some pastry to the tune of “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie.” Our flakiest board yet promises a pie for every season and reason: Almond Joy Magic, salted honey, dark chocolate raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, apple bacon, cherry pie cookie cups, pecan pie balls and a savory tomato pie among them. In the time it takes to play Don McLean’s classic song through (eight minutes plus some), you can dish out a cinnamon roll pie crust or learn 23 new ways to make your pies more beautiful. Now, if we could just nail a whiskey and rye pie...