Saturday, May 9, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

How does your garden grow? At Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in historic Crabapple, the backdoor Milton’s Acre garden grows some of the makings for the chef’s vegetable plate ($21), newly sprouted on the spring menu. Pick this veritable rainbow of colorful veggies -- garden vegetable and almond quinoa, grilled asparagus, garlic wax beans, pickled beets, summer squash casserole and sunflower pesto. Then, call mom, tell her you love her and confirm you are eating your vegetables. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Basque in the Sun, Sangria in Hand, Every Sunday at Gypsy Kitchen

In Spain, no one says, “Paddle faster, I hear flamenco guitar music.” The mesmerizing notes of the flamenco guitarist invite listeners to hang out and appreciate the moment and the music. To, as they say at Gypsy KitchenBasque in the Sun. Totally doable. Come “Basque in the Sun” every Sunday between 5-8 p.m. on Gypsy Kitchen’s new, open-air patio overlooking Buckhead Atlanta. Sip a few glasses of tinto de verano, the “red wine of summer” spritzer adored by locals in Spain’s Southern regions and along the Costa del Sol, only $4 each. Tip back heady, fruity sangria at $5 a glass. Select dishes are half off; go ahead and order several plates for the table to share -- it’s the Iberian way. And, there really is a flamenco guitarist strumming away in the background. Olé! 

Nikolai’s Roof, Ray’s in the City and Trader Vic’s Beef Up Downtown Steak Week

Seafood and veggie lovers take heart, Downtown Steak Week woos you, too, as restaurants showcase tantalizing specialties from Delmonico ribeye to diver scallops, yellow fin tuna steak to cowboy sushi rolls and lamb chops to lasagna. Presented by Central Atlanta Progress and Creative Loafing, this meaty occasion returns for its second year over the week of Monday, May 11 through Sunday, May 17. Downtown Atlanta is a tasty destination whether you come by foot, car, streetcar, MARTA...or elevator up to the top of the Hilton Atlanta to feast eyes on the special menu at Nikolai’s Roof and the spectacular view. Chef Stephanie Alderete combs land and sea for her Downtown Steak Week menu featuring starters such as braised short rib piroshki ($12), Brussels sprout salad ($13) and caviar ($95-$145); first-course options like jumbo lump crab terrine ($13), diver scallop ($14), red beet and beef borscht consommé ($12) or beef carpaccio with olive beignets ($14); and seared beef tenderloin with duck bacon ($36), sautéed tilefish with shrimp confit ($32), roasted Magret duck breast ($36) and oven-roasted lamb chops ($39) among the entrées. Conclude the divine meal with local and global artisanal cheeses ($18 for three) and sweets such as blackberry crème brûlée ($12) and chocolate soufflé with espresso crème fraîche ($16). Order à la carte or choose the Chef’s Menu with three ($61), four ($71) or six ($91) courses. Make reservations online.

Ray’s in the City stakes a share in lunch and dinner plans with steak and seafood specialties including a featured lobster-stuffed filet ($30), Delmonico ribeye ($39), seven-ounce filet (à la carte, $29), steak frites ($20) or yellow fin tuna steak ($32). Round up special cowboy sushi rolls of steak, asparagus, crab meat and cream cheese ($15), available for weekday lunch only. Make lunch or dinner reservations online.

Trader Vic’s Atlanta in the Hilton Atlanta dashes Pacific Rim karma over its Steak Week dinner features of smoked oven New York strip steak with wok garlic green beans, scallop potatoes and red wine sauce ($30) and stir-fried filet de boeuf uniting beef tenderloin, sugar peas, carrots and steamed jasmine rice ($28). Make reservations online. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bantam + Biddy Avalon Hosts Foster Care Support Benefit Night May 11

Bantam + Biddy co-owners Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere have soft spots for children and keep tabs on ways to reach out and help where needed. Here’s a way we can all step up to the plate to aid Georgia foster families. Monday, May 11 is Foster Care Support Foundation (FCSF) benefit night at the Bantam + Biddy Avalon location. Ten percent of restaurant sales after 5 p.m. will go to support children through FCSF. Each year, the non-profit serves an average of 3,000 foster children all over Georgia, working to chisel away some of the expenses families incur. Without receiving government funding, FCSF assists foster parents and grandparents by supplying equipment such as cribs and car seats for infants, providing clothing for preemies through college-age young adults, holding Promapalooza each February where foster teen girls can select prom attire, and leading free classes to help foster parents better care for neglected or abused children. 

Chick-a-Biddy Runs $15 Special during Atlantic Station Restaurant Week May 12-17

Count Chick-a-Biddy in the mix of 10 restaurants offering prix fixe menus during Atlantic Station Restaurant Week, Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 17. The easy-going eatery cracks open a three-course lunch and dinner menu priced at $15 per person (excludes alcohol, gratuity and tax). Choose pimento cheese with veggies and crackers or homestyle chili with sour cream and cheddar as an appetizer; one quarter chicken grilled (piri piri or jerk) or fried (Buffalo or mild) with a choice of two sides as an entrée; and homemade carrot cake or Key lime cheesecake for dessert. During Atlantic Station Restaurant Week and throughout May, Chick-a-Biddy will donate 20 percent of prix fixe meal sales to the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation

Bring the Whole Brood to Bantam + Biddy Spring Festival at Ansley Mall May 9

Go outside and play at the Bantam + Biddy Spring Festival at Ansley Mall on Saturday, May 9. On this Mother’s Day weekend, the casual eatery featuring regional, all-natural and pastured poultry fills the 11 a.m.-2 p.m. midday slot with family friendly festivities, live music, local vendors, a lemonade stand and a Mom’s Day card crafting table for children (adults, you should have your cards in the mail by now). Buy some steamy Bantam + Biddy chicken tamales and King of Pops popsicles if hunger pangs strike. Additionally, Jb Farm Fresh Eggs will be selling its grain-free, free-range chicken eggs and will bring baby goats for youngsters to pet. Grownups, check out The Cook’s Warehouse Big Green Egg cooking demonstration. To partake, steer your flock to the courtyard between Bantam + Biddy and Starbucks.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cowabunga! Retro in the Metro Rocks 80s, 90s, 2ks at 10th & Piedmont May 9

Back in the day, progressive radio stations aired REM and the Romantics (classic rock today) and categorized Duran Duran as “New Wave.” The Macarena led 90s line dances right into the hands of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 2ks (2000s). Vivid memories or Valley Girl and Guy wannabes, Retro in the Metro at 10th & Piedmont plays your songs -- and videos -- on Saturday, May 9. DJ/VJ Nando orchestrates interactive music video mixes hitting everything from salsa to Depeche Mode beginning at 9 p.m. Craft cocktails are the refreshment of choice at this righteous rendezvous with decades past. Free admission. 

Corner Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails at Taste of Alpharetta May 7

Stand up for a street food supper this Thursday night. It’s time for the 25th annual Taste of Alpharetta, turning historic downtown Alpharetta into one gigantic, awesome appetizer on May 7 from 5-10 p.m. If you haven’t yet dined at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, here’s an opportunity to fork into appe-teasers of their seed-to-fork cuisine. Admission is free. Buy tasting tickets for 50 cents each (most samples are $1-$3 each) and relish in tastes of appetizers, entrées and desserts from top area restaurants. More to do than chew: watch culinary competitions pitting chef against chef, cast your vote for the People’s Choice award, party with Atlanta radio stations, jump into activities for all ages and tune in to harmonic rock, folk and R&B bands on stage throughout the evening. 

Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry Fills Tanks at Georgia Aquarium May 7

The Georgia Aquarium aquatic tanks are full, and the fish are well fed. The issue is filling the tummy tanks of hungry children across the U.S. with nourishing food -- the ultimate goal of Share Our Strength’s Atlanta Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry on Thursday, May 7. While guests in the Georgia Aquarium Oceans Ballroom are there to help raise funds for this mission, they’ll be able to sample their fill of signature dishes and drinks prepared by 50 of Atlanta’s top chefs and mixologists including those from AriaMarlow’s TavernRay’s RestaurantsSeed Kitchen & BarStem Wine Bar and Umi, and they’ll enjoy more than a splash of fine wines from around the world. Great “see” life as well: looking at life through the ballroom’s huge water window, absorbing live music vibes, and auction bidding on wines, world-class trips, dining and culinary experiences and other luxury items. Event honorary chair is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent. Buy tickets online: VIP is $350, for 6-10 p.m. admission; General is $250 person, for 7-10 p.m. admission. Attendees must be 21 years or older.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Save Seats Alert: Two “Hired Guns” Chefs from Portland, Oregon Attack Gunshow May 26-27

Gunshow chef Kevin Gillespie shares his Glenwood Park restaurant’s kitchen with Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, chefs and co-owners of the renowned Portland, Oregon restaurant Ox, on Tuesday, May 26 and Wednesday, May 27. The two chefs are visiting Gunshow as part of Gillespie’s “Hired Guns” guest chef series that brings top talent from across the U.S. to the nationally acclaimed restaurant. The Dentons come armed with the arsenal of inventive fare that catapulted them on Food & Wine’s list of the Best New Chefs for 2014 and earned finalist spots for the James Beard Foundation's 2015 Best Chef Northwest recognition. Gunshow guests will be blown away by the couple’s signature Pacific Northwest style influenced by Argentinian wood-fired grilling and the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy. Oregonian coup? Naw. They’ll ally with Gunshow’s regularly featured menu items. Make reservations ASAP: 404-380-1886. Upcoming “Hired Guns” guest chefs are JJ Johnson of Harlem's The Cecil, August 11-12; Jean-Paul Borgeois of Blue Smoke in New York City, September 29-30; and Colby and Megan Garrelts of Rye in Kansas City, November 17-18.

HOBNOB Touts Annual Tacos & Tequilas Event Through May 15

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern knows how to fold ‘em -- and hold those prized bottles of top-shelf-quality tequila right above your glass. The Midtown restaurant's annual Tacos & Tequilas event takes off where Cinco de Mayo celebrations cut the party short, carrying novel margaritas and tacos from now through May 15. Detour from your usual taco folds to tortillas hugging carne asada, lettuce, pico de gallo, fresh avocado and salsa verde; pulled pork topped with coleslaw and pickled onion; and blackened fish bearing black bean corn salsa, lettuce and chipotle ranch dressing. Blueberries are antioxidant gems, all the more reason to try HOBNOB’s roasted blueberries and fresh basil margarita incorporating Herradura Silver, Cointreau and fresh lime juice along with the aforementioned roasted blueberries and basil. The smoked jalapeño margarita lights your fire with Tanteo Jalapeño tequila, Mezcal Amarás, fresh lime juice and sour mix. Southern states meet south of the border in the White Lightening margarita that swaps American Born Moonshine for traditional tequila along with Cointreau, fresh lime juice and sour mix. HOBNOB goes easy on your pesos -- tacos run $4 to $5. Make reservations online or call 404-968-2288.

Oh Me, Oh My Oh, Today is Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo salsas into today’s agenda wielding a banner of independence from Tuesday’s usual tame fare in deference to chips, guac, tacos, margaritas and cervezas. Oh queso, where are you going to go? Tin Lizzy’s Cantina locations, Atkin’s Park Restaurant & Bar and all three Ray’s Restaurants are quick picks -- see their specials on our blog

Monday, May 4, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

Mother’s Day, graduation, bridal and family gatherings...time to get Ready, Set, Brunch! While pointing out Atlanta brunch spots above, we’re also paving an avenue to homegrown hospitality. For morning sparkle, pour cranberry brunch punch or peach or white wine sangria. Polenta Benedict, smoked salmon egg-stuffed avocado and blueberry croissant puff invite oohs and aahs on the buffet. Finger foods such as maple bacon pancake bites, eight-minute bite-sized cinnamon rolls and bacon-wrapped tater tot bombs are easy for social butterflies to handle.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Click on a quick pick-me-up. Food and lifestyle expert and TV host Chadwick Boyd posts a “Lovely & Delicious” mix of positive messages and healthy eats. So he throws in a nod to buttermilk biscuits and ice cream amongst the kale and quinoa. Balance, folks. Balance. 

Appetizing Aperture

Holding plank strengthens those abs and meaty muscles. Same goes for the protein-laden charcuterie board planks at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar in the Loews Atlanta Hotel, 1065 Peachtree Street in Midtown. Solidify your plank with Benton’s smoked mountain ham, Spotted Trotter’s “Hunter” salami or pork and duck prosciutto, country pâté, Saltwood’s own “Spam” or duck sausage, duck and pork 5 spice rillette, rabbit terrine and other house-made and locally cured and salted meats ($7-$12). Saltwood chefs will create charcuterie and cheese platters for parties of six or more for $12 per person. These savory shareables girded with pickled seasonal veggies and mustards are strong spotters for handcrafted cocktails and local microbrews from the bar.