Saturday, February 6, 2016

Atlanta Restaurants Tackle Game Day Appetites at Your Stadium or Theirs

Super Bowl 50 kicks off in Santa Clara, California, at 3:25 p.m. PST this Sunday, February 7. That’s 6:25 p.m. and prime eating time back here on the East Coast. Atlanta restaurants command the field, regardless of what plays the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers throw down. Party fare to go and champion catering are best bets for home-viewing hosts expecting a “passing” game where guests pass the game table swooping first, second and third downs. Others may opt for a “run” strategy -- running to venues pumping multiple screens and food and drink specials. Ultimately, our blog is your end zone for a win-win game, no matter which team (or commercial) you’re rooting for that evening. 

Set Sail to Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar, Now Open in The Avenue East Cobb

Diners seeking upscale seafood in a casual setting can prepare to drop anchor at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar, the third dining destination from chef/restaurateur Doug Turbush. A port-side view reveals a chef-driven showcase of sustainable seafood and the high level of service guests have come to expect from Turbush and his other popular Marietta establishments Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar. Drift executive chef Brendan Keenan and Turbush collaborated on menu offerings, netting an appealing mix of shareable plates, raw bar favorites, enticing entrées and traditional seafood staples. Oyster platters, oven-roasted clams, wood-grilled whole fish and rib-eyes and seaside delights such as seafood po'boys and lobster rolls will appeal to everyone at the table. Drift director of operations Jason Raymond and bar manager Jose Pereiro have respectively developed a wine list to complement the seafood menu and a program of craft cocktails built around top-notch spirits. A beach theme prevails from the "Oar Room" where approximately 100 oars dangle from the ceiling to the handsome bar area, the oyster bar backing up to a wood-burning oven, and an ample, partially covered outdoor patio. Custom-built furniture and sculptures from local artisans are complemented by a collection of antique oyster cans. Drift serves dinner nightly with lunch and brunch service to follow at a later date. Find Drift in The Avenue East Cobb, 4475 Roswell Road in Marietta. Call 770-635-7641 for reservations. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Love Flows at Ray’s on the River Wedding Receptions, Dinners and Parties

Perhaps “ringing in the New Year” involved an engagement ring, or maybe someone’s hinting about something round and sparkly mixed in with the chocolates and bubbly on Valentine’s Day. Wedding bells are coming and towing a joyful boatload of details along for the ride. Ray’s on the River in Sandy Springs is one of the most picturesque venues around for engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and anniversary parties, too. Atlanta’s premier riverfront restaurant offers private room options accommodating up to 120 guests. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Picturesque Chattahoochee River views, fresh seafood, fine meat and an acclaimed wine list create a memorable experience. Ray’s team of award-winning chefs, highly trained service staff and a dedicated events manager provide invaluable assistance to couples trying to stay afloat amid all the wedding planning details. The best place for a wedding party is in your own riverside backyard, whether you’re marrying the girl next door or the boy from a couple states over. For more information, call 770-955-1187 or visit the website, and take a moment to look at event photos here

Culinary Classes -- Chocolate, Bread, Valentine’s and More -- Feed a Love for Learning at Bellina Alimentari throughout February

Sign up for Bellina Alimentari Culinary Club classes to increase your knowledge about Italian foods and cull cooking skills and pointers for preparing authentic Italian dishes at home. Participants enjoy 10 percent off any market purchase after class. Who’s luckier? You, toting your new skill set or friends accepting post-class invitations to come on over and devour your handiwork? Unless otherwise noted, all classes begin at 6 p.m. and prices are per person, not including sales tax.

  • Taste all three cocktails bar manager Corey Phillips covers during the Winter Cocktails class, Tuesday, February 2 ($48).
  • For pasta fiends, Pasta Making is hands-on action, offers hands-down delicious sampling of class creations and sends homemade pasta home with students on Wednesday, February 3 ($45). Bring your best gal or guy to Pasta Date Night on Thursday, February 11, ($80 per couple). Hungry for more? Return on Wednesday, February 17 for Filled Pasta Making, tastings and take homes included ($45).
  • Chocolate Workshop is chock full of info and tastes from Cacao Atlanta, Tuesday, February 9 ($30).
  • Impress your sweetheart by skillfully preparing a romantic three-course dinner for two and a signature cocktail after completing the Valentine’s Chef class on Wednesday, February 10 ($48).
  • Take a guided “tour” through Italy’s finest products with tips on how to use them during an Olive Oil & Balsamic Workshop, Tuesday, February 16 ($25).
  • Bread Making is easier than you think. Make, bake, taste and take home creations and sample spreads from the market, Tuesday, February 23 ($40)
  • Fill an Italian Lunch Box with quick-and-easy recipes during this demo by Bellina Alimentari owner and mom Tal Baum, 10-11:30 a.m. on February 24 ($42).

To sign up for a class, click here. For more information, call 404-330-9933 or email

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Leap with Aria to Bonne Santé Culinary Showcase for National Kidney Foundation on February 28

Thanks to 2016 having leap-year status, there’s more time to squeeze in worthwhile activities such as the inaugural Bonne Santé, a culinary showcase and fundraising event taking place on Sunday, February 28 and benefitting National Kidney Foundation efforts in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. (Granted, February’s extra day is Monday, February 29, but close enough.) Chef Gerry Klaskala of Aria will be among the Georgia chefs preparing and serving their signature dishes in the open setting of Magnolia Barn at Pine Knoll Farms in Appling, Georgia near Augusta. Fine wines, spirits, local produce, prizes, inspirational stories and a silent auction round out the extravaganza. Event begins at 2 p.m. Buy tickets online ($100 individual, $350 family, $700 VIP group of eight). Donations are always welcome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Don’t Ruminate. Germinate. White Oak Pastures’ Seed Starting Workshop Spreads the Dirt February 20

Are you going to miss out on another growing season because you can’t seem to dig yourself out of the seed catalog stage and start germinating seeds? Not this year. Sign up for the White Oak Pastures hands-on Seed Starting Workshop taking place Saturday, February 20, at the Bluffton, Georgia farm -- and come ready to get dirty. Cover seed-starting basics to put toward year-round gardening, learn greenhouse and outdoor planting tricks of the trade and how to optimize conditions to encourage vigorous, healthy growth. Pick up harsh-weather coping skills to engage when Mother Nature throws a curve ball. $50 per person for the 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. day that includes an optional farm tour and a delicious lunch in The Pavilion. Limited to 15 participants. Reserve your space online and choose “On-Farm pickup” to avoid shipping charge. Sit a spell, even when you’re on the go, and keep abreast of what’s new on the farm and other useful information by signing up to receive the White Oak Pastures e-newsletter.

Georgia Wings, NC Trout, Scottish Salmon, Tuscan Kale Come Together Downtown on New Menus at Glenn’s Kitchen

Glenn’s Kitchen is introducing new lunch and dinner menus, generating a mouthwatering excuse to leave the office for lunch, dine downtown with clients or connect for pre-theater or sporting event appetizers and drinks. Table-pleasing appetizers cover a range of desires from savories like artisan pepperoni flatbread, artisan soft pretzels and a charcuterie board with artisan cheese and meat to spicier calamari and dry-rubbed GA chicken wings with buttermilk dressing. Can’t omit that beloved Southerner -- pimento cheese with smoked bacon jam. Tucked among soup and salad options, Tuscan kale salad wears blue cheese, Georgia apples, pecans, bacon and buttermilk dressing; add chicken, shrimp or grilled salmon for an additional cost. Specialties focus on the finest of land and sea including cornmeal-crusted North Carolina trout, 14-ounce Delmonico rib-eye and grilled Scottish salmon. A wide selection of wine and hand-crafted cocktails complement the new menus. At 110 Marietta Street, Glenn’s Kitchen is a stone’s throw from Centennial Olympic Park, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center and other downtown attractions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Appetizing Aperture

These Fish in Chips are the “reel” crispy, crunchy, tender deal because The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill really does roll beer-battered fresh fish in kettle-cooked potato chips before frying each piece until golden brown. Comes with tartar sauce for dunking and any two sides ($13.95). Land some at The Big Ketch in Buckhead or Roswell. 


Lego my cheese? Tim the Cheeseman Tim Gaddis directs operations at Many Fold Farm. The Certified Cheese Professional is a member of International Guilde Des Fromagers. From the looks of it, when he lets go of the cheese, he grabs hold of LEGO blocks. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Delicious Maneuvers Tackle Game Day Appetites February 7

Watching the year’s biggest game, even sideline QBs, linemen and cheerleaders work up stadium-sized appetites. Atlanta restaurants conquer those cravings with food and drink specials, catering packages and pigskin parties that will put points on your scoreboard during the NFL championship on Sunday, February 7.

Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland fields an MVP carry-out menu lining up two dozen jumbo chicken wings, confit or smoked in a Big Green Egg, with your choice of sweet chili, spicy BBQ or Atkins Park’s classic wing sauce (ranch, blue cheese and veggies included) for $30. Other winning plays include 12 pulled pork sliders; house-made guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips; and a vegetable crudité platter with ranch dressing, each $25. Call 404-876-7249.

FLIP burger boutique has drawn up a special to-go menu so you can order your favorite sliders ($37.50 for 10), including the classic stack, turkey or the rBQ with angus beef, pulled brisket and coleslaw. Don’t forget appetizing starters and sides like baked beans ($25 feeds four to six fans), braised brisket empanadas, FLIP chips and kale slaw ($20 for four to six). Call and order ahead of time to guarantee availability. FLIP will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, so pick up orders before 4:30 p.m.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern posts a slate of “Super Sunday” specials for dine-in, to-go or delivery ( Order 50 chicken wings for $49 and get 25 pretzels and beer cheese dip free. An order of 24 chicken tenders merits 12 free pretzels for $69, and HOBNOB’s party-size chili, which feeds 12 people for $79, also comes with 12 free pretzels. Place to-go orders at least 24 hours in advance, 404-968-2288.

Victory dance? 
Johnny’s Hideaway will broadcast the game in full house sound. A DJ spins Johnny’s signature mix of classics and contemporary dance hits immediately afterward.

If wings is your thing, Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails has the perfect to-go option to watch the big game at home. They're offering 50 smoked wings and white chocolate chip brownie bites for $50 plus tax. Flavors include traditional medium, espresso rubbed with pomegranate molasses or Kentuckyaki with sesame seeds. Order by February 5 at 5 p.m. Available for pick up on February 7 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Snap up Smokebelly BBQ game-day specials. Hosting at home? Through February 7, order two pounds of pulled pork, a one-quart side, one pint of sauce and a package of slider buns to feed four of your hungriest friends for $40 or field a platter of 25 wings with celery, carrots and sauce for $20 per platter. Smokebelly game viewing opens the door to specials such as 25 wings and a bucket of five beers for $35, $3 draft specials and $5 well drinks. Also through February 7, dine-in customers can register to win a 50” TV courtesy of American Born Moonshine. The winner will be announced during the third quarter of the big game and must be present to score the prize. Call 404-848-9100.

STATS offers the ultimate viewing party with more than 70 TVs. Watch with up to five of your friends (six people total) in the main dining area for $250 or enjoy delicious draft beer right at your fingertips at one of the restaurant’s tap tables (seats six to eight) for $500. For a VIP experience, kick back in one of four semi-private suites ($500 for up to 10 people) or super suites ($750 for up to 15). Ticket purchase includes reservation and food and beverage minimum for your desired section. To reserve a spot today, click here or call 404-885-1472.

Flex muscles, FlexMex. 
Tin Lizzy’s Cantina catering options include the taco bar ($9 per person), the stacked taco bar ($11 per person), chicken tender platters ($4 per person) and Tin Lizzy’s FlexMex salad ($2.50 per person). Order at least 24 hours in advance. Free delivery within a 10-mile radius; $100 minimum order for delivery. Email for all catering inquiries.

Twin Smokers BBQ has a smokin’ hot package for February 7 that includes a choice of three meats (one pound each), three one-quart sides, cornbread, BBQ sauces and sweet tea or lemonade for $75. Drop-off catering for parties of 25 or more with 48-hour advance notice (delivery fee may apply). Call 404-698-4707. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Foodgram: FoodDeco

When winter’s gray days need a pep talk, click on FoodDeco for a huge dose of brightly hued edibles. Collette’s “Superfood Garden” rivals rainbows. Fuchsia-hued watermelon radish and edamame salad ousts winter blues. And if the day’s too serious, have fun tossing bacony popcorn on a bowl of bright orange sweet potato-cheddar soup.