Saturday, November 12, 2016

Appetizing Aperture: 5Church's PEI Mussels

While the focus seems to be on turkeys this month, PEI mussels ($13) at 5Church Atlanta “mussel” their way into the picture dressed in a strong suit of flavors. Use the grilled bread to soak up every drop of the broth rich with toasted garlic, heirloom tomatoes and lime zest. No one will stop you from ordering this first course again as a main and again as dessert. Prince Edward Island mussels, 5Church-style, are simply that wonderful.

Open HOBNOB Menu to New Dishes, New Drinks and Gluten-Free Dessert

Drop by HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern to try all of the new dinner items, cocktail creations and spirited offerings. Start with one of the novel cocktails: Getting Foggy With It, Easy Ride, Southern Charm or Spanish Inquisition. Bourbon imbibers get a boost from the addition of 30 bourbons and ryes to the bar list. Sip away while deciding on the HOBNOB farmhouse salad or Farmer’s Wife’s salad. Or New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, braised short rib lettuce wrap, Southern Belle pimento cheese, Artisan Cheese & Friends, pecan-crusted North Georgia fresh trout, pork and veal meat loaf or those yummy and shareable New Generation duck nachos. If only all decisions were so palatable. Good news for those avoiding gluten. In addition to gluten-free salads, buns for burgers and gluten-free dough for pizza, HOBNOBers can indulge in gluten-free vanilla bean brûlée cheesecake.

Half-Price Bottles Flow through Ray’s at Killer Creek during Wine Down Fridays and Sundays

Looking to sip and save? Ray’s at Killer Creek Wine Down shaves half off the price of wine by the bottle every Friday and Sunday. The deal extends to all bottled wines priced $120 and under, excluding Reserve Selections. Take advantage of Wine Down pricing to explore pours like Rombauer, Jordan Faust and Stag’s Leap Winery. Savor varietals along with lunch, dinner, shareables and Sunday brunch or while relaxing to live music in the lounge Friday nights from 7-10 p.m. Not valid with any other discounts or promotions.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Boutique Wines and Small Batch Spirits Flow at Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar Wine Dinner Nov. 17

Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar executive chef Boyd A. Rose and Crafted Brands managing partner Bayard Crawley invite you to join them for the Alpharetta restaurant’s first wine dinner of the season on Thursday, Nov. 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Rose showcases the autumn harvest and flavors in his five-course menu. The pairing is a natural for Crafted Brands, which likens itself to farm-to-table restaurants in espousing local, small farms for ingredients and producer partners. Feast eyes on how the meal will unfold, opening with smoked apple-brined Springer Mountain Farms chicken, roasted apple-stuffed chive crepe and brie Mornay paired with 2015 Hayes Valley Monterey County chardonnay. Courses progress through Johnny Hoe black-eyed pea grit cake with duck confit and dried blueberry port wine duck demi with 2014 Rudy Santa Rita Hills pinot noir; seared espresso-braised lamb belly, smoked blue cheese, Carnaroli rice and black currant lamb jus paired with 2013 Rudy Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon; black pepper-crusted N.Y. strip with buttercup potato bacon gratin, red Swiss chard, dried cranberries and red wine jus paired with 2014 Square, Plumb & Level Dry Creek red wine; and salted caramel crème brûlée with a Hammer & Tongs cocktail featuring Breckenridge bourbon. $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required: 770-752-0922.

Kevin Gillespie Joins Founding Partners to Introduce KUDU Innovative South African-Inspired Live Fire Cooking System – Sure to Fan Flames of Desire Among Backyard Cooksters

Few are better qualified to blow the lid off the American barbecue experience than chef Kevin Gillespie, a guy who titled his first cookbook “Fire in My Belly.” Atlanta restaurateur Gillespie has joined founder Stebin Horne and his business partner, Stewart Vernon, as owners of the innovative KUDU Safari Braai outdoor life fire cooking system. The multifunctional grill, griddle and fire pit combined in one heavy gauge steel dream come true ignites flames of passion and kindles grill thrills in backyard fire enthusiasts. Gillespie explains, “With the KUDU, you are cooking without a lid and regulating the heat by creating distance from the heat source, enabling cooking on multiple surfaces simultaneously. From a culinary standpoint, I have yet to discover something I can’t do on it!”
Gillespie and Horne met a few months ago and immediately bonded over barbecue as Horne shared about the South African communal cooking technique called braai, where South African farmers weld a cooktop onto their old disc ploughs to cook for friends and family. Read more about the fascinating KUDU Nation story and cooking techniques. For Gillespie, who created the backyard beer garden Communionat his Decatur restaurant Revival, outdoor cooking is not about getting the food to the table gas-grill fast, it’s more akin to inviting friends to be a part of the experience – firing up the grill, cooking amazing food then gathering around the fire to watch embers glow. KUDU does all of that in one steely unit. While similar professional-grade wood-burning grills run toward the $5K mark, KUDU is being introduced at an affordable $750. Gillespie summarizes his excitement, “I don’t put my name on a lot of products, but I’m proud to attach my name to KUDU.” Ignite the fire. Buy KUDU here.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Willy Bitter of Willy’s Mexicana Grill among Finalists Rolling into GRACE Awards Gala Nov. 13

September brought exciting word that Willy’s Mexicana Grill founder and CEO Willy Bitter is a finalist for the 2016 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Award. This weekend, GRACE award winners will be announced at the 10th anniversary of the GRACE Awards Gala on Sunday, Nov. 13. The event, a high spot of the year for those in Georgia’s restaurant industry (as evident by sold-out ticket status), takes off at 6 p.m. in the Delta Flight Museum. Eight peer-nominated award categories will be honored by the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA). Willy Bitter and Willy’s are up for the Distinguished Service Award recognizing leadership, demonstrated community service, charitable involvement and/or service to the restaurant industry. Kindness overflows from Willy’s eateries like the abundance of fresh fillings spilling out of their big rolled-to-order burritos. One example is Willy’s commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta through fundraising as well as involvement in the organization’s “Positive Sprouts” initiative to establish healthy eating habits and nutritional awareness. A portion of gala proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

NYC’s Famed Pride of Japan Dinner Makes Atlanta Debut at Umi Nov. 13

New York City’s Japanese sushi masters unite at Umi to cook together and share the popular Pride of Japan dinner with Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 13, thanks to an invitation from Umi chef Fuyuhiko Ito. The dinner celebrates washoku, the best in Japanese culture and cuisine, known for following centuries-old cooking techniques and using seasonal ingredients. The renowned chefs joining Ito and pastry chef Lisa Ito are from three of New York’s finest Japanese restaurants. Chef Kazu Yoshida from 1 or 8, called “Brooklyn’s Finest Sushi Counter” by Bloomberg Pursuits, has numerous accolades from restaurant critics and guests alike; chef Kunihide Nakajima is from Jado Sushi, named “Best Sushi” in 2015 by The Village Voice; and Hakata Tonton's famed chef Koji Hagihara is known for his authentic Kyushu Japanese soul food. The omakase dinner of chef-selected dishes paired with sake is $200 per guest. Only 80 seats are available, spread over four seatings. For reservations and seating times, call 404-841-0040. Valid credit card information is required to secure a reservation. Please note that additional alcohol and tax are not included. The regular menu will not be available, and chefs kindly ask that no substitutions are made. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Get Down to Nitty Gritty Good Eats at Grits Fest at The Cottage School Nov. 12

Grits are the tie that binds the culinary and agricultural worlds of chefs and farmers at the Saturday, Nov. 12 Grits Fest 2016 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Cottage School in Roswell. Locally grown and ground grits, greens and other produce provide creative fodder for grits-based sides, mains, breakfast dishes and desserts when chefs Derek Dollar from Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill Canton Street, John Flagella of Seed Kitchen & Bar, Boyd Rose from Secreto Kitchen & Bar and others get corny in the kitchen, so to speak. Plunk down $10 for a wristband to taste all of the entries, vote your opinion for the “People’s Choice Awards” for greatest grits and see how that stacks up against the judges’ “Best in Fest” opinions. Go with the grain to learn more about the true grits culture from growing to grinding to eating, shop the Roswell and Sweet Apple Farmers & Artisans Markets, enjoy live music by Craig Gleason and imbibe local beer from Jekyll Brewing in collaboration with Peach & The Porkchop. Proceeds benefit The Cottage School’s new high school technical skills Culinary Program. Buy tickets here. “Carload” tickets also are available for up to three adults/six passes ($25). For more information,​

Steer Toward Sandy Springs for Taste of the Trucks and Second Helpings Atlanta Food Rescue Nov. 12

Head full throttle to the Concourse Office Park (King and Queen Buildings) in Sandy Springs for Taste of the Trucks for Second Helpings Atlanta on Saturday, Nov. 12. Atlanta’s food truck faves pull in for this awareness-raising event benefiting the nonprofit food rescue organization’s waste not, want not mission to drive out hunger and reduce food waste in the metro-Atlanta area. Bring the herd to the 11 a.m.-7 p.m. event and enjoy live music, rock the kids’ zone with inflatables, join in a children’s service project, visit the artist market and buy food truck chow. General admission tickets are $5 each in advance, $10 at the door; kids under 10 enter for free. VIP tickets ($50 each) include valet parking, private tented area, complimentary tastings, three drink tickets plus VIP bar and restroom access. Grab tickets online, additional online service fee applies. Proceeds benefit Second Helpings Atlanta.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Poncey-Highand Gives Rise to Newly Opened Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads

Thin crust cravers can get their lunch or dinner fix at Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads, now open at 675 N. Highland, a mixed-use development in Poncey-Highland. Global and American fare revolves around handcrafted salads and pastas with bold flavors along with gelato and carefully crafted beverages. Small plates ($7) and salads ($11 full/$7 half) include charred cauliflower, charbroiled wings, spice road chicken salad and superfood salad. Signature pizza options ($13.50) include the Waverly with prosciutto, Gorgonzola, fig jam and more and Asian BBQ chicken with charred red onion, green chili sauce, sesame seed, scallion and lime zest. Specialty pizza selections ($12) include the ATL BLT with Beeler’s bacon, baby spinach, fire roasted tomato, charred red onion, shredded mozzarella and Grana Padano and the Delphi topped with roasted artichoke, Kalamata olives, fire roasted tomato, charred red onion, shredded mozzarella, feta, roasted garlic purée and baby kale. Classic choices ($9.50) might be the Margherita or the Bianca. Guests are invited to build their own pizza ($12.50) using four toppings from an extensive list.
Non-traditional pasta ($10) dishes and flatbreads ($8) also are offered, such as fennel sausage and kale orecchiette, pork meatball pesto orecchiette, chicken and pear flatbread and prosciutto and pomegranate flatbread. The 10-and-under set may want to order a cheese or pepperoni pizza, pasta or a hummus and veggie combo with a kid’s beverage and kid’s scoop of Rize’s premium gelato, all for $7.50. Soups ($4.50) and sandwiches ($8) and pick two combos ($10) of flatbread or sandwich and soup or salad grace the lunch menu. A bold beverage selection features wine by the glass ($7), craft beer ($6) and Marbella red and Andalucia white sangrias ($7 glass/$35 carafe) as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as fresh brewed iced tea, fresh lemonade and craft sodas. Rize serves lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday, and the outdoor patio is BeltLine-close. For more information, visit or follow the restaurant onFacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Get In the Spirit for Tin Lizzy's Cantina's Grand Opening Week at The Avenue East Cobb

East Cobbers can cha cha their way into spirit days at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina to celebrate the grand opening of their 13th location at The Avenue East Cobb. Now through Friday, Tin Lizzy’s is donating 10% of sales to benefit schools in the surrounding area. That’s not all! In addition to those donations, Atlanta’s favorite FlexMex cantina is featuring specials and live music all week long. Today, Pope High School Greyhounds can celebrate the end of the school day with $2 tacos after 2 p.m. Wednesdays are for Walton High School PTSA, where the first 50 tables get a chip salt to take home. Enter to win a kayak giveaway on Thursday and toast your luck while Sweetwater takes over the taps from 6-8 p.m. Savor every sip on Friday from 6-8 p.m. while sampling Tin Lizzy’s blood orange margarita, a colorful, potent blend of Casa Nobles Organic tequila and Napa blood orange juice. Consider your weekday plans made.

Sublime Doughnuts Election Day Treats are Candidates Everyone Can Agree On

Did you vote early or wait until Election Day itself to pull the lever, exercising this sweet American privilege and duty? Either way, you did it. Relax and savor a melt-in-your-mouth doughnut at Sublime Doughnuts. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, both the Midtown and North Druid Hills Sublime locations are turning out red (vanilla) and blue (blueberry) doughnuts for $1.75 each. Subtly toe the party line by nibbling your team color, cross the aisle to taste the other side or go bipartisan and eat one or more of each. “I voted” sticker not required. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

#Foodgram: Bibethplybon

Move over da Vinci and make room at the supper table for Elizabeth Plybon, cookie decorator at Suarez Bakery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bibethplybon, your work is gorgeous, and while we hate to destroy the artistic evidence, we feel compelled to devour every morsel.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What's New on Pinterest: Loaded Nachos

Everybody chip in for National Nachos Day on Nov. 6. We’ve Loaded Nachos onto Pinterest so start shoveling in Johnny Carino’s Italian nachos, lobster nachos, Hawaiian pulled pork nachos, shrimp and chorizo nachos with fresh pico de gallo and skillet nacho dip. Van o’ fans pulling in the driveway? Pull sheet pan nachos out of the oven and you’re good to go. Wait, we’ve spotted several imposters: Cuban nachos totchos, caramel apple nachos and s’mores nachos. Better eat the evidence.