Saturday, May 23, 2015


“H” stands in the gap between “wine” and “whine.” For Evan Mah, food editor at Atlanta magazine, the “h” must represent happiness because he “wines a lot.” Self-admission. From the looks of his Instagram posts, wine, pizza and charcuterie also pave his path to bliss. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Warm Weather Quick Picks at Atlanta Eateries

Good riddance outerwear, hello tank tops and Top-Siders. Atlanta restaurants hear your roar, and they’re ready with tall cocktails and summery fare. Here’s a punch list of some newbies:
Article 14 in Midtown has an invigorating melon cooler featuring Double Cross vodka, watermelon, lime and a red pepper flake ($12).
The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill offers beach-house seafood favorites such as lobster egg rolls with mango sweet chili sauce; a house-made, quarter-pound crab and shrimp burger; Coca-Cola BBQ grilled salmon topped with house-made barbecue sauce; and a Buffalo fried shrimp po’boy ($9.95-$20.95).
FLIP burger boutique adds a shrimp po-boyger, a fried shrimp patty served with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickleback slaw and spicy rémoulade ($12.50). (Not available at Poncey-Highlands.)
Marlow’s Tavern boasts a tasty trifecta -- a warm Brie fondue starter consisting of melting Brie, Swiss, mascarpone, Chardonnay and buttery ciabatta ($8) and a grilled turkey burger featuring Golden Legacy Farms turkey ($9.50) or crisp red snapper with udon noodles, Thai basil and miso soy broth ($17.50) as entrées.
Ray’s Restaurants (Ray’s in the City, Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek) are places to lunch on lobster, as in the luscious lobster cobb salad or the lobster roll featuring Maine lobster salad ($19 each).
SkyLounge atop the Glenn Hotel serves an intoxicating duo of a skyline view and their basil lemon margarita made with tequila, agave syrup, fresh basil leaves, lemon and salt ($8).
Umi in Buckhead adds another reason to claim status as Atlanta’s best sushi restaurant with madai carpaccio -- Japanese red snapper carpaccio, sea salt, lemon, olive oil and yuzu kosho ($15).

Catch German Meatballs and Paprikaschnitzel at Der Biergarten Before May Rolls into June

Atlanta Braves baseball grabs sports page headlines, but in our books, classic German meatballs at Der Biergarten deserve some of the home-plate glory. One of May’s menu specials, the beefy orbs served with mushroom dill sauce over mashed potatoes ($7) are especially “wunderbar” joined by beer-of-the-month Konig Ludwig Dunkel ($9/liter). Schnitzel-of-the-month paprikaschnitzel is another May special to snatch while you can. The lightly breaded pork wears a blanket of cooling sour cream sauce made with Hungarian paprika and bell peppers ($23). House-made pickles at a dollar a pop are a crisp May munchie.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails Throws a Farmyard Chowdown on June 7

Oysters, fried chicken, Low Country boil, garden-fresh veggies and all the accoutrements befitting a Farmyard Chowdown are in store for dinner guests at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails on Sunday, June 7 from 5-8 p.m. The “farm” is a lot closer to town than you’d think. Executive chef Derek Dollar gleans his goodies right off Milton’s Acre in the backyard of the historic Crabapple restaurant. Live music and lawn games entertain farm hands of all ages. There’ll be no “cussin’,” but finger licking is allowed! $35 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and alcoholic beverages); buy tickets online. Those beach bound and out of town on June 7 can look ahead to upcoming Farmyard Chowdowns on August 16 and September 13. More info: 770-817-0161.

"Soul Train" Stops at MAX’s Wine Dive for Saturday Brunches in May

There’s a seat for you in the dining car with the likes of fried chicken and champagne when a “Soul Train”-themed brunch chugs through MAX’s Wine Dive in Midtown on Saturdays in May. The show “Soul Train” ran from 1971 through 2006, giving MAX’s Wine Dive plenty of footage to roll along with executive chef Patric Bell-Good’s themed brunch menu of comfort foods, plus $5 Bellinis and $3 mimosas, served by the glass. Wanna jump on? Pull in Saturdays from 11 a.m. -
4 p.m. In months with five Saturdays, the last Saturday (#5) pulls a well-planned wild card theme (e.g., a New Orleans Big Easy brunch). Menus, specials and prices vary weekly. MAX’s traditional brunch menu will be available, and the regular brunch menu also is available on Sundays from
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 404-249-0445 for information and reservations or make reservations 
online. Themes to come: The Breakfast Club in June and Tex-MAX in July. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Join RA Sushi for 11th Annual Nicky’s Week Fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, May 25-31

Thanks to community support and fundraisers like Nicky’s Week at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is able to help children live -- without billing their families. During RA Sushi’s largest annual fundraiser, 100 percent of Nicky’s Week menu profits go to St. Jude. The math adds up: since inception and counting all 26 locations nationwide, more than $1.5 million has gone toward the hospital’s lifesaving mission. This year, the Midtown restaurant will offer the Nicky’s Week menu Monday, May 25 through Sunday, May 31. Order favorites such as edamame, Tootsy maki, shrimp nigiri, pork gyoza, sesame garlic chicken, garlic citrus yellowtail, plus a variety of select beverages. Nicholas “Nicky” Mailliard, St. Jude patient and nephew of one of RA Sushi’s founders, lost a long battle with brain cancer in 2005 at age 13. His courage and spirit won the hearts of RA Sushi associates and led to the Nicky’s Week legacy, a big “RAh” for aiding children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases at St. Jude.

Come Out of Your Shell for $1 Oysters at Aqua blue

Leave the shuckin’ to Aqua blue. The Roswell restaurant known for its global cuisine, deliciously prepared seafood and sushi is sliding an oyster promotion onto the menu.  Through May 31, diners can purchase raw oysters for just $1 each – all day, every day.  Shell out for the oysters and stay on for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner beginning at 4 p.m. seven nights a week. 

New Dishes and Cocktails, Half-Priced Appetizers are Drawing Attention at 10th & Piedmont and G’s Midtown

Mama would admonish us for talking with our mouths full, so here’s the short version on specials and what’s new menu- and mixology-wise in Midtown at 10th & Piedmont and G’s Midtown.

Friends are pulling chairs to tables at 10th & Piedmont for executive chef Javier Viera’s new shareables such as Galician octopus with creamy mashed potatoes ($15) or shrimp cocktail featuring Gulf white shrimp and sweet and tangy homemade peach cocktail sauce ($18). Javi’s fried oysters with avocado mousse and micro greens ($13), Sunday supper chicken ($16) and Cajun crawfish and andouille sausage on grit cakes ($17) opt in as new entrées. Of course, Viera’s celebrity status chicken and waffles are among returning favorites! At
G’s Midtown, enjoy seasonal swaps such as house-smoked salmon flatbread ($11), Caribbean shark tacos ($9) and kale succotash salad ($9).

Select appetizer prices dive to half price on the
G’s Midtown “Happy Hour” menu available Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m. For example, pimento chicken flatbread is $5 instead of $10. Bottom-line price on a few more options: 10P salad, Caribbean shark tacos, seasonal phyllo bites or smoked turkey melt are $4.50 each; G’s pimento bacon cheeseburger with fried jalapeños is $5.50; lamb sliders are $6.50; summer squash ravioli comes in at $7.50; and jerk mahi mahi will set you back $9.

Craft cocktails and martinis at 10th & Piedmont are as precocious as their names suggest: Shootin’ the Hooch, Peach Blossom, Man’s Man, Off to the Races, The Goddess, Midtown Garden, Southern Belle, Driven’ Ms. Daisy, Effin’ Avocado and the Metro Manhattan ($10-$11). Want Mo’? Mojitos hint of raspberries, mango, pineapple, coconut, guava or the classic regular ($8). Stargazers will light up over the 12 zodiac cocktails, $10 each, at G’s Midtown. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FLIP burger boutique and Red Brick Brewing Launch FL-IPA Beer on May 22

FLIP out over FL-IPA, the new house beer brewed for FLIP burger boutique by Red Brick Brewing Company. FLIP burger and the Atlanta craft brewery are buddying up to launch the easy drinking IPA on Friday, May 22 from 5-7 p.m. at the FLIP burger Howell Mill Road location. Come on over and order the special $12 pairing of a pint of the namesake beer and a signature FLIP burger decked out with bibb lettuce, pickled onions, sliced tomato, FL-IPA ketchup, FLIP sauce, B+B pickles and FL-IPA battered onion straws. Guests ordering a pint of FL-IPA will receive a Red Brick pint glass as a souvenir, and those completing an entry form will have the chance to win the grand prize of a Red Brick Brewery tour and dinner for two at FLIP. Red Brick Brewing reps will be on hand with giveaways (supplies limited). FL-IPA, a Session IPA (4.5% ABV) loaded with juicy tropical hop flavors, will be available at all FLIP burger locations.

Atlanta Restaurants Honor Memorial Day Weekend with Star-Spangled Specials May 22-25

Travels, festivals, memorial celebrations -- Atlanta restaurants post hours to accommodate your Memorial Day weekend plans.
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland stays open late on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (past midnight) and will serve lunch and dinner during regular hours on Monday.

All Bantam + Biddy locations will be open over the holiday weekend with all-natural poultry and regional fare -- can’t get more American than this!

Casual Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station will be open as usual for weekend brunch plus lunch and dinner on all three days of the holiday weekend.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern will open at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, doing their duty to serve their regular lunch menu and tossing in a few brunchy items to boot.

Stop by Kabob Land for pita and hummus, tabouli salad or wraps and plates bearing slow-roasted lamb, shawarma (gyro) and charbroiled meat, chicken, veggie or salmon kabobs. Dine in or order and go to be a holiday picnic hero. The Buckhead eatery honors regular hours across the weekend.

Ormsby’s on Atlanta’s Westside keeps Sunday’s party rolling past the usual midnight hour until 3 a.m. Monday morning, then stays opens as usual on Monday from 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m.

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant in Midtown fires up its Nicky’s Week fundraiser on Memorial Day Monday and keeps the special menu rolling through May 31. Regular hours prevail throughout the weekend.

On Memorial Day, all three Ray’s Restaurants -- Ray’s in the City, Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek -- will be open from noon until 9 p.m. and will offer double points for all Dining Club members. Additionally, active duty military and veterans -- and one guest -- will receive a 20 percent discount at all three Ray’s Restaurants on Monday, May 25.

Brunch spreads over all three days of the holiday weekend at 10th & Piedmont. The Midtown restaurant will extend its Saturday-Sunday brunch menu to Memorial Day and will open early at 10 a.m. to welcome Monday brunchers.

Willy’s Mexicana Grill locations will be open over the weekend with the exception of Willy’s in Peachtree Center, AT&T Center, AT&T Lindbergh and at Georgia State. Take Willy’s wrapped-to-order burritos along on your weekend adventures.

Fun Indian Street Food and a Mumbai Mule Await at Masti

Ricky Walia, chef/owner of new Masti in Toco Hills Promenade, ate his way through the streets of Mumbai, New Delhi, Punjab and Nepal, all in the name of research, of course. The result is Masti, Hindi for “fun.” The casual spot for South Indian street food and favorites like butter chicken tacos, Nepalese momo steamed dumplings, paneer bhurji in toasted hot dog buns, a.k.a. “Paneer Dogs,” fish wraps in roti, spiced keema burgers of beef and veal with Masti sauce and fries, and Masti masala pasta topped with rogan josh, tikka masala or Alfredo korma sauce ($8.99-$12.99). Order a traditional, family style thali to taste a variety of Indian dishes, available for lunch ($9.99) and dinner ($14.99). Eliciting grins: cocktails such as the Masti Girl, Mumbai Mule and Ghandi Gimlet as well as craft beer and wines; and sharing Masti Queen, spiced chai and other hookah flavors with friends in the patio hookah bar ($19). Lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Keen korma karma, found. Information: 470-236-2784.

Monday, May 18, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest? Bacon!

Is bacon your beacon? Follow our smoked and cured link to Pass the Bacon, where the crispy strips work their way into every meal. Wrapped cheddar egg bites and maple bourbon bacon jam (smear on your favorite biscuits) squeal “Good morning!” Bacon Parmesan gougeres (cheese puffs) and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus disappear from the appetizer tray. Bacon Brussels sprouts, bacon and potato “roses” and bacon-brown sugar pork tenderloin hog the dinner plate. Addictive personalities, whip up candied bacon chocolate chip cookies and maple caramel bacon crack for dessert -- if you dare. The bacon fat candle is good to the last dripping.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

When your appetite is as big as all outdoors, ride herd toward the closest FLIP burger boutique and fold your hands around the Big Bison Burger. FLIP’s May burger-of-the-month hoists a half-pound bison patty on an ample bun and blankets it with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, crispy bacon, a fried egg and FLIP’s signature sauce. Fries squeeze onto the plate to dip into smoked mayo and ketchup. May’s burger with fries, $17. Available at all FLIP locations through May 31.

Wines Come in All the Right Shades for Summer at Max’s Wine Dive May 20

Checked your weather app today? Hotter days are on the horizon. Sunshine feels spectacular after a cold winter, but then there’s that wine quandary. Chilled white? Cool rosé? Reds that work overtime in the summer without leaving your tongue feeling sunburned? The Summer Wine Tasting at Max’s Wine Dive in Midtown answers these questions and more over tastings of five summer-friendly wines paired with chef Patric Bell’s light bites and featured appetizers. Slide over to your calendar app and set the date: May 20 from 7-9 p.m. $30 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Reservations are required for this congenial event with family style seating; call 404-249-0445.