Saturday, February 28, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

No need to lie low inside due to record lows outside. Today is National Tortilla Chip Day, and Willy’s Mexicana Grill has its own style of hand warmers for frigid weather -- crispy chips ready to dip in queso, guac and fresh salsa. Celebrating has never tasted so good. 

Friday, February 27, 2015


Deana Saukam, @faimfatale, is a partner at Austin, Texas restaurant Qui and a frequent traveler with fiancée, chef Paul Qui. Put two iPhone-packing, food-focused folks on a plane bound for destinations such as Japan, Vietnam, Iceland and Italy, and the photo conversation gravitates to coconuts in Colombia, shimmering coastlines, icy glaciers and gobs of gelato. Maybe your travel fantasies will match Deana’s or perhaps she’ll inspire you to explore more. 

Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails Chef Tom Gray and Team City Take On Team Beaches at Great Chefs of Jacksonville V

The Players Club Sawgrass marks the culinary battlefield for Northeast Florida’s most prestigious chefs-versus-chefs competition, pitting Team City against Team Beaches inJacksonville Magazine’s Great Chefs of Jacksonville Vshowdown. On Thursday, March 5, eight of the area’s top chefs (four per team) will wield their arsenal of secret recipes as they treat guests to their team’s special cocktail and a wine-paired four-course dinner bearing a dish from each team for each course. Each chef foursome hopes their team will garner the most “favorite dish” votes to win the year’s title. Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails chef Tom Gray is on Team City, and he’s not revealing his mouthwatering weaponry. Chef Gray is well prepared for the battle, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York; honing his expertise over the years in restaurants from New York City to California to Jacksonville; receiving numerous awards and opening Jacksonville’s own Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails in 2013. Now in its fifth year, this event always sells out. Buy tickets now if you’re planning to attend; $175 per person plus service fee. Event proceeds benefit Feeding Northeast Florida

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kiss and Tell: Nikolai’s Kiss Anniversary Cocktail Marks Year One of New Look

Snatch a ruby red Nikolai’s Kiss on the 30th floor of the Hilton Atlanta. It won’t leave a telltale lipstick mark on your collar, although gals, you might leave a lip gloss imprint on the glass of this rosy cocktail at Nikolai’s Roof. The lovely libation commemorates one year gone by since Atlanta’s iconic restaurant completed renovations and reopened to reveal new vibrant, modern decor and cuisine backed by renowned service. Nikolai’s Kiss bubbles with Chambord, Grand Marnier, sparkling wine and bright cranberry juice ($12). Whether you’re a first timer at the rooftop restaurant or you’re tight with Nikolai, chef de cuisine Stephanie Alderete and staff invite you to come enjoy a Nikolai’s Kiss, dinner and a fabulous skyline view Tuesday through Saturday evenings from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Psst. Nikolai’s Roof is onThrillist’s “The ATL’s 9 Most Romantic Restaurants” list, and they didn’t even know about Nikolai’s Kiss. 

Smokebelly Sizzles at Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Say amen to this shrine of swine and bastion of barbecue and bacon graced with copious samplings of bourbon and beer. The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival is back at Atlantic Station on Saturday, February 28 with more space and bigger tents than last year and tent heaters to ward off chills if needed. The Saturday VIP Bacon and Whole Hog session oinks from noon-6 p.m. VIP session guests are privy to exclusive tastings from some of Atlanta’s most pork-perfect restaurants from noon-2 p.m. Smokebelly BBQ will serve up 1,000 bites of pork rind topped with pimento cheese and spicy barbecue bacon jam. Pays to be there sooner than later to snag these delicious morsels! Saturday’s general session cruises through the afternoon from 2-6 p.m. Guests receive a souvenir tasting glass for unlimited beer and bourbon tastings (please drink responsibly), will be able to buy all kinds of barbecued meats and listen to live rock, blues and bluegrass music. Scope out more event offerings, the entertainment schedule and be sure to read all the FAQ do’s and don’ts before you go (i.e. blankets and chairs are cool, pets and outside alcohol are not, and while kids can attend, the event is not designed for them). VIP Saturday Bacon and Whole Hog session tickets are $85 each and are expected to sell out. Tickets for the regular Saturday session are $45 each, and designated drivers get in for $29.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bantam + Biddy's Monday Night Brewing Beer Dinner

Be thankful for Monday Night -- on Saturday night. This Saturday, February 28, Bantam + Biddy Crescent Avenue hosts Atlanta craft beer favorite Monday Night Brewing for a three-course dinner with beer pairings preceded by a reception at 7 p.m. Bantam + Biddy co-owners Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere have invited the brewmasters to the Midtown restaurant to pass along some brew’s clues during the hop-happy evening. Monday Night Brewing avows “weekends are overrated” -- meaning rather than live for the weekend, enjoy every day (weekdays included), love what you do and savor quality to the fullest in beer and relationships. Bantam + Biddy adds loving all-natural meats and regional delights to this embraceable philosophy -- as evident in the night’s menu. At the 7 p.m. reception, guests will relish Fu Manbrew, a Belgian-style wit, paired with poutine and duck gravy, tête de cochon (pig’s head) sliders and oysters Rockefeller. Dinner follows at 7:30 p.m., presenting a first course of fresh shrimp bisque and Eye Patch Ale, an American IPA, followed by succulent meat from a whole barbecued pig, fennel slaw and  Ester’s potato salad teamed with Blind Pirate, double IPA. Dessert is a spoon-licking sticky toffee pudding plus Drafty Kilt, a Scotch ale. $32 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Seating is limited; to make reservations. Good to know that parking is available in the 1010 Midtown parking garage, which can be entered on Crescent Avenue, and the first two hours of parking are free. A guest entrance for the restaurant is available in the garage.

Atlanta Restaurants: Winter Weather Status

If cabin fever strikes during today's wintry weather, check here for updates on where you can head for a bite to eat. Stay safe, Atlanta!

  • 10th & Piedmont: open
  • Aria: open
  • Asante: open, guests advised to call after 8 pm
  • Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar, Virginia-Highland location: open 
  • Atlas: open
  • Bantam + Biddy: all locations closing at 8 pm, all locations opening one hour later on Thursday morning
  • Der Biergarten: closed
  • FLIP: Atlanta locations closing at 5 pm, Birmingham location closing at 3 pm, Nashville location will remain open.
  • G’s: open 
  • Game-X: closed
  • Gunshow: open 
  • Gypsy Kitchen: closing at 4 pm
  • HOBNOB: open 
  • Johnny's Hideaway
  • Marlow's Tavern: all locations open
  • Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria: closed
  • Milton's: closing at 4 pm
  • Ormsby's: open
  • RA Sushi: open
  • Smokebelly: closing at 4 pm
  • STATS: open, guests advised to call after 8 pm
  • The Big Ketch: closing at 4 pm
  • The Southern Gentleman: closing at 4 pm
  • Tin Lizzy's Cantina: Midtown location closing at 5 pm, all other locations closing at 10 pm

  • Umi: open
  • Willy's Mexicana Grill
    • Closing at 2 pm:
      -Peachtree Center
      -AT&T Lindberg
      -Georgia State
      -Midtown Place
    • Closing at 3 pm:
    • Closing at 6 pm:
      -North Buckhead 
      -West Paces Ferry 
      -Howell Mill 
      -Athens Promenade 
      -East Cobb 
      -Druid Hills 
      -Sandy Springs
      -Peachtree City
    • Normal hours:
  • TRACE at the W Atlanta (free valet too)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Atkins Park and Ormsby’s Tap into Atlanta Sport & Social Club

Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland andOrmsby’s are both sending crews off-site to party and provide spirited sips and sustenance at the Atlanta Sport & Social Club’s Uncorked Atlanta wine and craft beer tasting experience at the Westside Cultural Arts Center on Friday, February 27. Now in its second year, Uncorked Atlanta pops the top on unlimited tastings of wine, craft beer and premium spirits plus light food pairings and the artsy vibe of live acoustic music and viewing gallery installations. The tasting experience runs from 6-9:30 p.m. After that, a cash bar opens for drink purchases, and a DJ commands the music and the party for the remainder of the night’s festivities.Atlanta magazine lists Uncorked Atlanta as one of four February Atlanta event picks not to miss! Tickets are $50 per person through February 27 and include a commemorative sampling glass, all the wine and craft beer one can safely consume during the 6-9:30 p.m. tasting and enables the ticket holder to stay on for the 9:30 p.m. post-tasting party

680 The Fan Broadcasts Live at STATS with Hawks Ticket Giveaways

The Atlanta Hawks are flying high this NBA season! 680 The Fan and STATS are teaming up to celebrate with Hoops Happy Hours before the Hawks tip-off at nearby Philips Arena. 680 The Fan drive-time show hosts Chuck and Chernoff will broadcast live at STATS from 3-7 p.m. (that’s four Hawks happy hours) prior to upcoming home games on February 25 and 27 and March 3, 6, 9, 27 and 30. Basketball fans, keep jumping for joy because during their live broadcasts, these guys will give STATS guests a chance to score free tickets to that night’s game. Sideline close in the Luckie Marietta District, STATS is a slam-dunk place to meet up with friends before the game for pull-your-own tap beer and bottled beer, cocktails and shareable appetizers like the Dip Duo, blue cheese tots (watch that dribbling with the blue cheese fondue) and the Big Boy Sampler piled with wings, kung fu ribs, tortilla chips, salsa and queso. After a long day, fuel up for cheering with a hefty Dirty Bird or BBQ pork sandwich and entrées such as steak frites, wood-grilled salmon and “Taco Del Dia.” With five bars and 70 high-definition screens tuned to the courts, every seat is prime and no one has to climb to the nosebleed section. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

We’re taking a stab at a one-pot hot topic that spans appetizers, mains and desserts. Dip into Fondue with us! Pull out the vintage fondue pot or fork out some dough for a flashy new one, then spear some of our tips on how to host a fondue party and fix up a fondue that’s restaurant-worthy. Meld the word “fondue” to any of these ideas: Gouda, brie or oozy Velveeta; broth recipes for meat and seafood; low carb, low fat or paleo; and sweetly addicting salted caramel, cake batter or chocolate peanut butter. More recipes here than you can shake a (fondue) stick at.