Saturday, October 1, 2016

Appetizing Aperture: Smokebelly BBQ's Wings

Smokebelly BBQ’s smoked chicken wings seasoned with house rub, slowly smoked and flash fried put points on your noshing and viewing scoreboard. Comes with celery, carrots and a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing ($10.75). Add $1 if you’re an all flats or drums wing dinger – and a few bucks for a cold brew or two.

Go from Market to Italian Table to Holiday Entertaining at Bellina Alimentari October Classes

Treat yourself to learning something new at Bellina Alimentari in Ponce City Market. Midweek classes leave weekends free for gridiron grooving.
  • Go from the Market to Italian Table by joining Kenan Hill on a tour of Ponce City Market to source fresh, local ingredients before shopping Bellina for artisanal Italian ingredients. Once the gathering is done, cook a family style fall meal. Tuesday, October 4 from 6:30-8 p.m.; $45 per person.
  • Pasta Making is easy once you get the hang of it at this hands-on class followed by a pasta tasting. Wednesdays, October 5 and 12, from 6:30-8 p.m.; $45 per person.
  • Introduction to Vermouth encompasses an artisanal vermouth tasting and cocktail pairings featuring Brovo Spirits, Italian bites from the Bellina Alimentari kitchen and a dose of vermouth education from brand ambassador and cocktail specialist Anthony Porquez. Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.; $28 per person.
  • You’ll find out why Versatile Vinegar is one of the most useful condiments in your pantry at this tasting of balsamic, wine and grape vinegars. Take recipes for antipasti, dressings, desserts and cocktails. Tuesday, October 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; $28 per person.
  • Lacto-fermentation is delish in kraut, ketchup, seed crackers, mustards and more. Naturopathic doctor Lupa Irie (Lupa’s Kitchen) will show you how to begin at this Fermentation Celebration demo. Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30-8 p.m.; $28 per person.
  • Get Ready for the Holidays and learn how to be the perfect holiday host. At this entertainment prep class, learn how to make a traditional Italian Christmas meal of antipasto, risotto and panettone with custard. Cooking demo followed by full dinner (drinks are not included). Thursday, October 27 from 6:30-8 p.m.; $65 per person.

Friday, September 30, 2016

101 Steak Opens Doors to Weekend Brunch

Rise ‘n shine, but not too early, for weekend brunch now offered at 101 Steak from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Executive chef Joe Ahn, an astute judge of appetites, bridges a.m. and p.m. desires with a menu that’s sure to please everyone at the table. Starters like house-made ricotta doughnuts with pear compote and lemon curd and specialties such as bananas Foster buttermilk pancakes are sweet eye-openers. Hungry after a late night out or morning workout? Order the wagyu pastrami hash with sweet peppers and onions, sunny side up eggs, potatoes and grainy mustard sauce; “Steve’s” Hangover Home Fries piled high with sausage, jalapeños, bacon, pimento cheese, red onions, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream; or the “Park Avenue Breakfast” featuring an eight-ounce filet served with a lobster and crab omelet topped with caviar crème fraîche and a side of home fries. If the brunch edict requires Benedicts, go for crab cake Benedict or steak Benedict. Kids like brunch, too, and the 101 kid’s brunch menu features favorites like the kid’s wagyu cheeseburger; buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup; “Lil’ Ga Morning” with scrambled egg, bacon and toast; and a chicken biscuit with fries or fruit. Over 21s can indulge in brunch cocktails like The Trashley, Old Pavilion Cooler, Pimm’s 101 Cup, spiced apple martini or 101 Fizz; the Libation Station where guests can add bubbly, vodka, tequila or gin to house-made purées, syrups or bloody mary mix; or choose nose-tickling sparkling wines and Champagne. Do brunch this weekend; call 770-805-8855 for reservations.

Ray’s at Killer Creek Releases October Live Music Calendar

You could hum a few bars or settle in at one bar, the one at Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta, where there is always live music on Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m. Next month, Ray’s at Killer Creek presents:
  • Brandon Crocker on October 1, 7, 14, 22 and 28
  • Lauren Jordan on October 6 and 20
  • David Pretlow on October 8, 21 and 27
  • Marty Manous on October 13 and 15
  • Lee Gamble on October 29
Come early for a good seat and a bite before the music begins.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gunshow Locks 2016 “Hired Guns” Season with Visiting Chef Vivian Howard October 23-24

The Gunshow 2016 “Hired Guns” season of high-profile visiting chefs concludes with a visit from East Coast native and chef Vivian Howard on Sunday, October 23 and Monday, October 24. Restaurateur, chef, cookbook author and speaker Kevin Gillespie will join Howard in the kitchen, along with executive chef Joey Ward and Gunshow’s “kitchen dudes.” In 2005, Howard and her now-husband Ben Knight opened Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, to thrill guests with creative, thoughtful cooking grounded in local ingredients and traditions. Across the street, Boiler Room, her most recent restaurant, features oysters, burgers, beer and everything in between. Howard has been consecutively named a James Beard Best Chef: Southeast semifinalist from 2011 to 2016. Among her numerous roles, she’s also television producer and host of “A Chef’s Life” on PBS, which has won a Daytime Emmy, Peabody Award and garnered Howard the 2016 James Beard Award for Outstanding Personality/Host, and her first cookbook, “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South,” is due out in October. Buy tickets through Xorbia, $95 per person (not including drinks, tax and gratuity). For more information, visit or call 404-380-1886.

White Oak Pastures Plows through 150 Years with Anniversary Celebration and General Store Opening October 15

The Harris family has been down on the farm in Bluffton, Georgia for a century and a half. It’s time to party! White Oak Pastures is going large with a 150th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, October 15. The free admission event starts with the 9 a.m. grand opening and 11:30 a.m. ribbon cutting for the White Oak Pastures General Store at 101 Church Street, Bluffton. Lunch, supper and chef Reid’s surprise 150th anniversary signature burger will be available for purchase at the White Oak Pastures food truck. A cash bar will have plenty of wine and beer thirst quenchers. Cut the rug in downtown Bluffton dancing to the Bo Henry Band from Albany, Georgia, performing at the store from 6:30-10 p.m. As an added bonus, White Oak Pastures is excited to show exclusive, live streaming of the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 111 Broad Street (Methodist church). On Sunday, October 16, head to the farm’s Pavilion for brunch, served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Buy brunch tickets online, $10 per person. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taco Me Out to the Ballgames -- Cheeky Chastain Now Open for Lunch and Sports Viewing

Good news for gringos who have been running long to Cheeky's OTP locations in Suwanee, Forsyth or the Forum in Peachtree Corners. Cheeky Chastain in Sandy Springs is now open for lunch, offering a stadium-sized menu of favorites from both sides of the border, pour-your-own brews, margaritas, cocktails and all the sports network connections needed to watch and cheer every game. Branch off from the usual fare and tackle appetizers such as alambres -- marinated beef tenderloin topped with shredded cheese and bacon and served with tortillas ($10); scratch-made verde pork tamales ($9); and agave chile lime wings ($8-$15). Handhelds include the Cheeky burger ($11), Cuban ($10) and Cheeky wrap with grilled chicken or steak ($9-$10). For a crisp fall lunch, fork into chile lime shrimp salad ($11), tipico salad with grilled chicken ($10), Cajun-seared ahi tuna salad ($12) or the house salad ($4) topped with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak (+$4-$5) and house-made dressings like avocado cream, chipotle cream or agave balsamic. More? Flip to the taqueria side of the menu to find house and top-shelf tacos sold individually or in trios ($3.50-$4.75 each; $12-$15 trio), served as you like it with soft flour, soft corn or crisp corn tortillas or a lettuce cup. The taqueria now opens at 11 a.m. daily and remains open until 12 a.m. daily. 

Oktoberfest Fun Brewing at Communion

When you’re munchin’ in the ATL area instead of München for Oktoberfest, oompah over to Communion, the outdoor beer garden at Kevin Gillespie’s Decatur restaurant Revival. Communion is well stocked for Oktoberfest “bier” imbibers, offering seasonal brews like Wild Heaven Craft Beers’ Autumn Defense and Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, European-style draft and bottled beers, Old World-style wine, punches and batch-made cocktails. Hit the bright red food truck for some of the German-inspired snacks on chef Andreas Müeller’s menu then settle in at communal picnic tables or exercise your playful side over horseshoes, darts, Giant Jenga and cornhole. Euros? Dollars? Nein. Pay for drinks and snacks with tokens, $5 each, including tax and gratuity. Inside Revival, the buzz is about Southern fare, family recipes and the cornbread, recipient of Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2016 “Best Cornbread” designation. Outside, take a walk on the Oktoberfest side. Communion opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday evenings, weather permitting. Check the day’s status here

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lots to Savor with Taste of Atlanta: Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta Award, Tuesday Dinner Series and Tickets Sales

Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2016 list is out, and Taste of Atlanta takes home the title of “Best Food Festival or Event” – for the sixth year in a row. The Southeastern extravaganza floods Midtown with samplings of fine wines, cocktails, beers and specialties from restaurants in and beyond the metro Atlanta region as well as chef demos, exclusive dinners and tasting events. Carve out time to eat, drink and be merry in Midtown over the dates of Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23. Buy tickets here.

The Tuesday Dinner series, sponsored by 
Springer Mountain Farms, whets appetites for the tremendously delectable Taste of Atlanta weekend through special five-course tasting menus paired with wine and cocktails at top restaurants around town. Chef Tom Catherall of Tom Tom in Virginia-Highland will host the next week’s dinner on October 4. Catherall’s menu takes off with Trailer Park taco with house margarita or craft beer; scallop with field peas served with Sancerre; shrimp and grits paired with chardonnay; Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken with pinot noir; and a dessert medley and Champagne pairing. Tickets available online. Series dinners begin at 7 p.m. and cost $85 per person (plus $5.24 service fee) and include tax and tip. The final dinner in the series will be at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails on October 18.

Taste of Atlanta thinks of everything, including keeping hands free to hold those tastings and tilt those glasses. The cashless festival uses wristbands with RFID tap-and-go technology for easy and fast festival entry and purchasing power. Each wristband “ticket” includes 10 Taste Points; load more Taste Points online pre-fest or at stations throughout the festival. Can’t load a wristband if you don’t buy one, and wristbands sell out in advance. Save money (to spend on more Taste Points) by purchasing yours before prices increase on October 7. See options, choose and buy tickets here.

Chop, Chop! Terminus City Pops Up with ‘Cue at Peachtree Road Farmers Market September 28 and Freedom Farmers Market October 1

How about some squeal with that squash or a pound or two of ‘cue to accompany the cukes? “Sow” be it, thanks to Terminus City pop-ups at two local farmers markets this week. Bag a pound or two of Terminus City chopped pork barbecue ($16/pound) or grab a meaty barbecue sandwich ($6) to stave off hunger pangs while shopping for freshly harvested veggies and fruits at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Wednesday, September 28 (4:30-8 p.m.) and at the Freedom Farmers Market on Saturday, October 1 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Chef Kevin Gillespie’s barbecue is pure pork awesomeness at its tastiest!

American Cut and The Regent Cocktail Club Take Steak and Cocktails to New Levels at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Open September 30

American Cut, a modern American steak restaurant, and The Regent Cocktail Club, companion rooftop terrace bar, open Friday, September 30 at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. American Cut features signature interpretations on fine-dining classics under the direction of local Atlanta chef John Adamson. The unique, multi-level dining experience includes a first-level lounge and bar with its own special menu and daily drink specials. On the second level, guests can enjoy an Atlanta-inspired menu in the main dining room’s upscale setting. Two private dining rooms are tucked away on this level. The Regent Cocktail Club, spanning an indoor/outdoor terrace and bar on the third level, caters to connoisseurs of the cocktail culture with a rotating selection of craft cocktails and an eclectic mix of live music. Sister restaurant American Cut Tribeca in New York City was ranked #1 in the Fox News roundup of “Top 5 Steakhouses in America” in 2015. The Atlanta restaurant menu defines its own style through bold flavors and American classics such as the house favorite chili lobster, the 40-ounce Tomahawk chop and a mix of theatrical and interactive tableside preparations ranging from the plank-smoked old fashioned to the OG 1924 Caesar salad. The LDV Hospitality restaurant, created in partnership with Marc Forgione, will serve dinner nightly. The Regent Cocktail Club opens the doors to the cocktail crowd at 5 p.m. each night, closing at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Appetizing Aperture: Secreto Kitchen & Bar

What if you dove into coastal shrimp and grits at Secreto Kitchen & Bar in Alpharetta and emerged to find yourself on Southern shores, blissfully watching the gentle roll of waves at sunset? Could happen when savoring Secreto’s dreamy dish of plump succulent shrimp, creamy Logan Turnpike havarti cheese grits, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and yes, there’s smoked bacon to make it truly Southern ($22 dinner entrée). Rush hour? What’s rush hour? 

Napa Your Way into Autumn via Ray’s at Killer Creek Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner September 28

The seasons are a changing, and Ray’s at Killer Creek executive chef Mike Fuller takes full advantage of early fall flavors when designing a special Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar Dinner for the evening of September 28. Holly J. Beach of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is guest speaker for the informative 6:30 p.m. event. Harvest riches direct the five-course menu with pairings from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars: Georges Bank sea scallop tartare with Belgian endive, satsuma orange, watermelon radish and lemongrass ginger vinaigrette paired with AVETA sauvignon blanc, Napa Valley; butternut squash fondue with Ellijay apples, local honey and almond biscotti served with KARIA chardonnay, Napa Valley; quail schnitzel with dark cherry gastrique and brown butter noodles accompanied by Hands of Time red blend, Napa Valley; charcoal-grilled, coffee-rubbed venison chop with black currants, toasted Georgia pecans and sweet potatoes joined by FAY cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley-Stag’s Leap District; and blueberry sweet biscuit with Coca-Cola jam and zabayon paired with CASK 23 cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley-Stag’s Leap District. $120 per guest (plus tax and gratuity). Space is limited. To secure a reservation with credit card, call 770-649-0094.