Saturday, August 29, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

Cocktail glasses are so yesterday. Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar in Midtown gives cocktails the shaft by freezing spirited concoctions on sticks, Popsicle-fashion. Piña pegada (pineapple margarita) solidifies Sauza Blue tequila, fresh lime, muddled pineapple, pineapple juice and triple sec. Summer mojito pops are a Caribbean-gone-Arctic sensation of Sailor Jerry rum, a honeydew melon-mint-cucumber blend, fresh lime and Sprite. More good humor? Each ice pop is a sweet $8.

Friday, August 28, 2015

JAX Hop & Stop Brunch Trolley Stops at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails August 30

Jacksonville, Florida is planning a brunch-bound Hop & Stop Trolley tour on Sunday, August 30 with stops at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails plus two more restaurants in St. Johns Town Center. “Tourists” hop off at Moxie to dine on Hangtown omelet of farm eggs, fried oysters, avocado, goat cheese and bacon and summer salad of local leafy greens, shaved farm vegetables and vinaigrette paired with a breakfast brew eye-opener from Intuition Ale Works. Trivia contests and giveaways stand in for car bingo along the 1-4 p.m. trolley trip. $65 per person; 100 person limit. Make reservations with a credit card by calling Amy at 904-396-1213 or emailing

Have a Ball with MAX’s Patric Bell-Good at the Atlanta Meatball Festival August 30

Chef Patric Bell-Good of MAX’s Wine Dive is one of the mighty, meaty Atlanta restaurant hunks squaring off in a “battle of the balls” at the second-annual Atlanta Meatball Festival on Sunday, August 30. The 1-5 p.m. “meat up” takes place under big-top tents in the parking area of Belle Isle Square on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Judges and attendees vote on chef-prepared dishes to determine who will move on to the afternoon’s Meat Brawl Throwdown. Beer and wine will be available to buy, and sweet treats, limoncello tastings and music by DJ MadFlip round out the day’s offerings. Produced by TasteATL, the savory event benefits Second Helpings Atlanta. Buy tickets online, $25 each through August 30; $30 at the gate. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ray’s at Killer Creek Hosts JUSTIN Vineyards Wine Dinner August 28

Paso Robles’ limestone-rich acreage and distinctive microclimate give way to the big, Bordeaux-style wines of JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery pouring front and center at a special reception and four-course dinner hosted by Ray’s at Killer Creek on Friday, August 28. JUSTIN regional director of on-premise John Ford will be the evening’s guest speaker. Ray’s executive chef Mike Fuller’s thoughtful menu takes advantage of Georgia-grown and other seasonal flavors. The 6:30 p.m. reception opens with JUSTIN sauvignon blanc and bites of walnut raisin toast with Georgia gold figs; Logan Turnpike grit fritters with Capra Gia goat cheese and jalapeño pepper jam; and tuna wontons. At 7 p.m., dinner courses progress through cast iron-roasted day boat scallops paired with Overlook chardonnay; summer corn chowder with crispy blue crab and chile oil paired with Overlook pinot noir; wood oven-roasted lamb rack paired with Isosceles and Justification; and a finale of rich chocolate-cherry tarte paired with Obtuse. $80 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Space is limited. Reservations may be made and held with a credit card by calling 770-649-0064.  

Atkins Park Virginia-Highland Lip Sync Battle Mouths Off August 27

Sync or swim? Opt to “sync” and command the mic in the first-ever Lip Sync Battle at Atkins Park Virginia-Highland on Thursday, August 27 at 10 p.m. There’s room for individuals, duos and groups in the epic reveal of lip sync and showmanship skills hosted by the Mayor of Ponce and Atkins Park’s own Star-Tender. Props provided, costumes encouraged. Banish bashfulness because prizes of two weekend passes to Music Midtown, house cash and Milli Vanilli memorabilia are at stake. The night’s beer selections, from cosponsor Boulevard Brewing Company, should help loosen the tongue. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Table 1280 at Woodruff Arts Center Frames Wine Tasting August 26

Time to call it curtains on a day at the office and dabble in a little wine tasting at Table 1280 at the Woodruff Arts Center. Receive 10 wine tastes for $15 on Wednesday, August 26 beginning at 5:30 p.m. (not including tax or gratuity). It’s worth remembering that Table 1280 stages these wine tastings on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. No need to bow out early, the restaurant offers a dinner menu of locally sourced, farm-to-fork fare until 8 p.m.

Top Rollers Competition and $5 Burritos Wrap Up Summer of Willy’s at Newly Re-opened West Paces Ferry Location August 25

Unfurling one special after another throughout the summer, the Willy’s Mexicana Grill 
#SummerofWillys 20th anniversary celebration pulls a few more tricks out of its sombrero before the party rolls out the door. Tortillas and toppings fly fast and furious when top burrito rollers from each Willy’s Mexicana Grill location compete for bragging rights and cash prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000 at the eatery’s newly re-opened West Paces Ferry location on Tuesday, August 25. The bracket-style play-off starts rolling at 3:30 p.m. with team members competing for a $1,000 prize, and Willy’s general managers put their reputations on the line in their own 4:30 p.m. competition, vying for a $500 prize. 5:30 p.m. brings the final roll-off with Willy Bitter himself going head-to-head with the top winners in each category. Willy’s fans come out as winners all around, nabbing burritos rolled to order for $5 each from 6-10 p.m. plus a raffle, live music, a prize wheel and giveaways. Since we’re mentioning prizes, August 31 marks the deadline to enter the Summer of Willy’s Orlando vacation sweepstakes; read details here. Don’t miss the #SummerOfWillys” last “Happy Hour Monday” on August 31 for 20 percent off a selected menu item and a free small cheese dip. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“#sb4me” to Win Free Food for a Month in Smokebelly BBQ Instagram Contest

Open season has begun! Capture pics of your favorite Smokebelly BBQ dish to enter into the Buckhead barbecue joint’s Instagram photo contest. Focus your view finder on the Delta Double, baby back ribs, 21-hour Angus beef brisket, the pimento cheese and smoked turkey BLT or any of your other Smokebelly favorites for a chance to win free food for a month. Upload the photo to Instagram tagged “@smokebellybbq” and “#sb4me.” Deadline to enter is October 5. The winner, to be announced October 6, receives $500 Smokebelly BBQ credit to use as he or she chooses.

Labor Day Eats Never Looked so Sweet

Labor Day comes “late” this year - Monday, September 7 - squeezing in time for one last summer getaway or cookout before fall unofficially arrives. Some of our favorite Atlanta restaurants are remaining open on Labor Day for destination dining, serving sustenance for those returning from vacations and providing the fixings for labor-less holiday eating.

Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland, regular hours of 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m. prevail on Labor Day, but the Sunday fun is extended until 3 a.m. Monday morning.

Bantam + Biddy locations (Ansley, Crescent, Lenox and Avalon) are open normal hours serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Ansley restaurant is home plate for Monday Slider Night beginning at 5 p.m. At Avalon, guests can tilt back $2 Jekyll Brewing Big Creek Kolsch in the restaurant or take their brews out to the streetscape for a stroll and window shopping.

Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and offering its usual lunch and dinner menus packed with all-natural chicken dishes, burgers, wraps and more.

If you’re heading downtown for Labor Day, swing by 
Der Biergarten, Glenn’s KitchenMax’s Coal Oven PizzeriaSkyLoungeSTATS or Twin Smokers BBQ Each will be operating normal business hours. Pay no mind to the villains and creatures you’ll see walking down Peachtree for Dragon Con though. 

The new Tin Lizzy's Cantina downtown location will be open as usual, along with all other Tin Lizzy's locations! Tacos, anyone?

Loyal to the core, 
Johnny’s Hideaway is open normal hours on Labor Day so Johnny’s friends can uphold their Monday night traditions. Team trivia begins at 7:30 p.m., the DJ spins dance tunes at 9 p.m. and food and drink specials twist the night away until 3 a.m.

With 14 metro Atlanta locations, all open as usual on Labor Day, there's a 
Marlow's Tavern close at hand with hearty American food and beverage favorites.

In addition to being open for lunch and dinner, 
MAX’s Wine Dive spreads out its popular 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekend brunch over all three days of the holiday weekend.

Ray's Restaurants cover lunch and dinner on Monday, September 7. Ray's in the CityRay's on the River and Ray's at Killer Creek will be open from noon-8 p.m. and offering Ray’s Dining Club cardholders triple points on Labor Day purchases. Newly opened Ray’s Rio Bravo in Sandy Springs stays open for a holiday fiesta from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Revival in Decatur will be open from 5-9 p.m. on Labor Day and serving its dinner menu of à la carte and family-style dishes inspired by the Southern culinary heritage of Kevin Gillespie’s family tree.

Nothing says end-of-summer celebration like a frozen cocktail on a stick. 
Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar has that - in pineapple margarita or cucumber melon mojito flavors - and more on Labor Day until 10:30 p.m.

Summer in the South is all about barbecue, sweet tea and cold brews. Sounds like 
Smokebelly BBQ in Buckhead, which is open 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Even the landlocked can wiggle into their flip-flops for a coastal holiday weekend both inside and out on the covered deck at 
The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill in Buckhead. Atlanta’s local beach house will be open on Labor Day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. offering an ocean of seafood dishes and evening live music.

Firing up the grill this Labor Day? Pick up some 
White Oak Pastures pastured poultry or grass-fed beef for the backyard barbecue.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

Sushi for the Choosy reaches out to the squeamishly hesitant and chopstick champs jaded by the usual choices. Salmon sashimi with ginger and hot sesame oil or in a rice bowl intros simply into the sushi scene before stepping up to easy-to-make spicy tuna hand rolls. Smokey portobello rolls and raw collard greens sushi rolls welcome vegans to the party. Adorable spring kazari makizushi decoration sushi rolls and shrimp-shaped into Japanese koi entice youngsters to try something new. There’s an ocean of ideas on our Pinterest board. Jump in.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Cattle! Give them free range and they start hamming it up for White Oak Pastures’ Instagram of course the chicks and pups have to finagle their way onto the page. Farm life. Love it. Eat it up.

Appetizing Aperture

Japanese matcha tea is high in antioxidants, amino acids and the chlorophyll that imparts its rich green hue. Bantam + Biddy Crescent Avenue whips up a matcha latte ($5) that’s the perfect blend of decadence and health with just enough caffeine to perk up your afternoon at the office. Lenox Square shoppers, grab the same at Bantam + Biddy on the mall’s main level to power up while accomplishing some retail therapy.