Saturday, July 1, 2017

Appetizing Aperture: Brine Seafood Shack

Faced with a bowl of mussels swimming in a broth of tomato, white wine, garlic and herbs, it’s difficult to say which is more addicting…the mussels or the slice of grilled bread soaking up all of those umami rich flavors. Shell out $12.95 for a steamy mussel bowl at Brine Seafood Shack in Avalon and see what we mean.

Star Grazing

Even cloudy skies can’t hide celebrities dining at Atlanta restaurants. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Nick Williams and guest enjoyed green tea, miyabi omakase and miso soup at Umi. A few days later, “Cheech” Marin from Cheech and Chong dropped in with a friend, indulging in gekkeikan hot, agedashi tofu, baked lobster tempura, live scallop sashimi, otoro nigiri, uni nigiri with quail egg and other artful delicacies from executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s menu.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Himitsu Artisanal Ice Rocks the Cocktail World

Chip off the old ice block? Hardly. At Himitsu, the artistry of creating perfect libations begins with the ice in your glass. Himitsu creative director Shingo Gokan oversees an impressively chill ice program influenced by both classic and modern Japanese bartending and executed by Himitsu’s bar team. Each and every piece of frozen water served in a drink is hand-crafted. Physics, thermodynamics, saws, cleavers, ice picks and a special menkiri bocho knife all come into play creating precisely shaped and sized ice pieces. Under Gokan’s direction, it’s crystal clear – just like the ice itself – that ice is a vital ingredient specific to the texture, temperature, mouthfeel and aeration of each cocktail. At the reservation-only Buckhead cocktail lounge, specially trained staff adheres to an ice prep schedule, perfecting skills daily to hone the various formats of ice used in the different shakers and mixing vessels. Another cool consideration, Himitsu ice spheres are individually embossed using ice presses fabricated in Japan especially for the lounge and 3-D printing is used to create specific ice branding for private parties. Every sliver of detail counts here, just as you would expect at the luxury companion lounge to popular Buckhead sushi restaurant Umi.

Chicken and the Egg Cracks OpenTable List of 100 Best Brunch Restaurants

OpenTable diners, your brunch reviews are in and tallied. We’re thrilled to announce that Chicken and the Egg in Marietta is designated one of the “100 Best Brunch Restaurants” in America, based on an analysis of more than 10,000,000 OpenTable reviews of more than 24,000 U.S. restaurants, all submitted by verified diners. Make plans to brunch on modern farmstead fare at executive chef and owner Marc Taft’s restaurant by making reservations…where else, but on OpenTable.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Go Roast or Go Raw at Food 101 Sunday Oyster Socials

Food 101 in Sandy Springs salutes oysters with Sunday Oyster Socials every Sunday from 4 p.m. to close. Enjoy three raw oysters on the half shell and choose a topping of hot sauce, horseradish, tomato and lime, salsa, citrus vinaigrette or herb and garlic sauce, all for $7.50. Coasting toward roasting? Three roast oysters are $8 and come topped with your choice of house garlic and herb butter; piccata with lemon caper butter; Crab Imperial of crab meat, lemon, scallion, aioli and breadcrumbs; and Rockefeller with spinach, ham, parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and breadcrumbs.

Whisk-ey Away to Vermont in The Southern Gentleman and WhistlePig Giveaway through July 18

Will sipping whiskey whisk you away to Vermont? Could happen when you savor WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey at The Southern Gentleman in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Through July 18, each WhistlePig purchase enters you for a chance to win a trip for two to the WhistlePig Distillery in Vermont (entry form requires name and email address). The Southern Gentleman serves several varieties of WhistlePig whiskeys so guests can taste the different nuances. Partake in a WhistlePig flight, Whiskey Pig Rye Sidecar cocktails or try WhistlePig 10-year Rye ($22), 12-year Old World Marriage ($39) and 15-year Maple Smoked ($50).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern Opens in Town Brookhaven July 10

Happening Town Brookhaven will soon be HOBNOB-ing as well when HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern opens at 804 Town Blvd. in the pedestrian-friendly urban village of Town Brookhaven on Monday, July 10. HOBNOB’s inviting atmosphere and menu of refined tavern fare welcomes guests to weekday lunch, nightly dinner and weekend brunch. Presenting a tempting signature cocktail menu, an extensive selection of craft beer and wine and one of the most comprehensive bourbon lists in the city, HOBNOB is sure to become a local gathering place for socializing. Live music and daily specials such as half-priced wings, Trivia Tuesdays, Slider Night, BBQ Thursdays and a Kids for Kids charity fundraiser offer something for everyone, and free parking abounds. This dynamic sense of community, already enjoyed at the Midtown location, is exactly what owner Sean Yeremyan has in mind.

Make Aria Dinner Reservations through Easy to Use “”

Reservations are getting a revamp at award-winning Aria, chef/restaurateur Gerry Klaskala’s Buckhead gem. Now guests will be better able to reserve a table to suit their desires. “Reserve,” Aria’s new user-friendly reservation system, delivers an exceptional guest experience and personalized service any time of day. Prefer person-to-person? Simply call Aria at 404-233-7673. Stay in the know by signing up for Aria news and events.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fourth-Coming Ways to Celebrate a Fabulous Independence Day

Fly Old Glory, watch (or walk in) a parade, wave sparklers or put on your red, white and blue swimsuit and dive into your favorite Fourth of July celebration. Declare independence from the kitchen and let Atlanta restaurants do their duty, providing all-American barbecue, brunches, beverages and a bevy of to-go options for a firecracker of an extended holiday weekend.

Open on July 4th:
The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a July 4th tradition, and 5Church is helping to feed spectators along the route with kebabs (Mediterranean steak, jerk chicken and herb-roasted vegetable) and beverages for sale in front of the restaurant. The restaurant is closed, but the sidewalk feasting happens 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 404-400-3669;  

Looking for a little adventure with your festivities this year? Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland is offering a round-trip bus ride from the restaurant to SunTrust Park for the Braves game and fireworks show on July 4. The $60 ticket includes a smoked whole hog meal, admission to the game and alcoholic beverages on the way. Not a baseball fan? Celebrate your independence by digging into a meat and three special at Atkins Park featuring whole smoked hog with mac ‘n’ cheese, tomato and cucumber salad, baked beans, grilled corn on the cob or coleslaw for $15 per plate. Available starting at noon until it’s gone. 404-876-7249;

It’s a Fourth of July Terminus City Takeover at Communion, the Mexican-inspired backyard behind Revival, Kevin Gillespie’s family-style restaurant in Decatur. This festive, all-ages event has barbecue, beer, family-friendly entertainment and games on July 4 from noon to 6 p.m. or until food runs out. Gillespie's Terminus City is serving up chopped whole hog barbecue for $15 and vegetarian-friendly pimento cheese for $12. Each plate includes pickles, bread, slaw and potato salad. “$4 on the Fourth” drink specials from Communion Cantina include cervezas, margaritas, wine by the glass and sangria. While the restaurant itself will be closed, families can mingle at communal picnic tables and on the front and side porches of Revival. 470-225-6770;

Start red, white and bluesin’ early – HOBNOB is opening for brunch on July 3 at 10:30 a.m. and at 9 a.m. on July 4. The AJC Peachtree Road Race runs right by the Midtown restaurant, so it's the perfect spot to spectate (or quit running and start drinking). HOBNOB will serve its brunch menu and specials through 4 p.m., and dinner service will run as usual. 404-968-2288;

You can’t spell freedom without free! Marlow's Tavern is sending members of its Insider Club a free burger giveaway only valid on July 4. Are you on the list? Subscribe and savor

Smokebelly BBQ is featuring a free hog roast on July 4 beginning at 4 p.m. until they run out, with music continuing until 8 p.m. Pre-party with drink specials all weekend, including $5 Moscow Mules, $5 Tito’s Handmade Vodka and $3 Bud Light and Miller Lite drafts. Smokebelly’s Sunday brunch will be sure to have you seeing fireworks, and guests can listen to live music from noon until 4 p.m. Music will continue on Monday, July 3 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. For those planning to celebrate at home, Smokebelly also offers catering. 404-848-9100;

Taco Mac is determined to make sure Fourth of July is LIT with its new 60 oz. shareable cocktails, including the Sail Away Typhoon, the LIT, the Taco Mac Margarita and the Strawberry Cooler. Each pitcher is $29.99 and is served with one 12 oz. rocks glass per guest.

Celebrate on the beach without leaving the city. Both locations of The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill are open July 4 and all weekend with live music, so come partake in the celebration of red, white, and the big blue sea! 404-474-9508 (Buckhead), 770-993-5749 (Canton Street);

The Federal is open for brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The eclectic menu features everything from chopped chicken liver toast to cold brew coffee and a heaping Southern breakfast. 413-789-1267;

Trade in your traditional red, white, and blue for a race tee. Willy’s Mexicana Grill is offering $5 burritos all day on Tuesday, July 4, to anyone wearing an AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt from any year since the race began in 1970. Baja and Frito Burritos are just $7 with a T-shirt. for holiday hours.

Holiday Weekend Specials:

“Basque” in the sun this holiday weekend at Gypsy Kitchen while enjoying paella on the patio on Sunday, July 2 at 4 p.m. Diners can also cool off with $6 Ketel One Moscow Mules, $6 Tanqueray No. Ten gin and tonics, $6 rosé and half-off select bottled wine. A flamenco guitarist and DJ will provide the music and entertainment. Gypsy Kitchen will be closed on July 4. 404-939-9840;

While Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante will not be open on Independence Day, the Buckhead Italian restaurant is offering both pasta to-go and in-house on July 3 for those carb-loading for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Complete your pre-race ritual with a piping hot bowl of their incredible gnocchi. 404-500-2181;

For those entertaining family this holiday weekend, The Southern Gentleman is serving its creative take on contemporary Southern cuisine for brunch on Sunday, July 2. Enjoy a $5 mimosa or one of the gastropub’s famous $10 Bloody Marys.  The Southern Gentleman will be closed on July 4. 404-939-9845;

If you are struggling to come up with holiday weekend activities,  has you covered! Whether your family enjoys hiking, nature, art or food, the Historic Roswell District has fun for everyone. Shoot the ‘Hooch or visit Vickery Creek Park, grab a bite at Grand Champion BBQ or 1920 Tavern and a beer at Gate City Brewery, then enjoy the annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza starting at 5:30 p.m. on the 4th. Plan your trip today at

Take a Walk on the Wine Side at Taco Mac or Opt for Brews of the Month, Shareable Cocktails and a Summer of Soccer

So many Taco Mac summer specials, where to begin? Atlanta’s craft beer, wing and sports-viewing headquarters is also a well for wine and cocktails, enabling everyone to order their preferred adult beverage. Taco Mac is partnering with Cupcake Vineyards Wine and Ibotta for a Red, White and Brew promo giving guests an incentive to explore Taco Mac’s wine offerings. First, download the Ibotta app. Then, earn $3 each time you purchase a glass of Cupcake wine and any beer on the same receipt at Taco Mac’s Georgia and Tennessee locations through August 2.

While one’s sipping wine, another may want to explore brews from Atwater Brewery, the Detroit, Michigan brewery motoring into the Beer of the Month parking spot July 1-30. Try a flight of the featured beers or come in Thursday nights for a free Atwater pint glass with your Atwater Brewery purchase (while supplies last) of Dirty Blonde Ale - 4.5% ABV, Whango Mango Wheat - 4.9% ABV, Purple Gang Pilsner - 4.8% ABV or Better Life Choices IPA - 6.5% ABV.

Leaning more toward a cocktail? Taco Mac pitches a shareable cocktail promo July 1 through September 30. Pay $29.99 for a 60-ounce pitcher of summery concoctions made with Sailor Jerry and Solerno, such as “Sail Away Typhoon” with Black Cherry Reàl, pineapple and fresh lime juices or “LIT” with Hendrick’s Gin, Finlandia Vodka and citrus sour; Taco Mac Margarita packing El Jimador Reposado Tequila and Solerno; or “Strawberry Cooler” of Finlandia Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Strawberry Reàl, lemonade, Red Bull Yellow, mint leaves and fresh lime juice. Each pitcher is served with one 12-ounce rocks glass per guest. Only parties of two or more may order a pitcher of cocktails or beer. Brewniversity members continue to gain additional credits with shareable pitcher purchases.

Taco Mac Summer of Soccer is your ticket to catching Atlanta United games, the FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, providing ample large screen viewing and specially priced buckets of beer. During Atlanta United games on July 1, July 4, July 21 and July 29, fans can purchase a bucket of four cans of Tecate or Tecate Light for $11.99 or mix and match 12-ounce bottles of Heineken, Heineken Light and Dos Equis (Amber or Lager) for $13.99. Guests can also request Tecate as part of the $13.99 bucket mix. These specials stand during Confederations Cup now through July 2 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup July 7-July 26.

Monday, June 26, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest

The summer solstice is this week. Point being, who wants to spend the longest day of the year stuck in the kitchen or being weighed down by heavy eats? Healthy and Easy eats to the rescue! Start the day with four-ingredient flourless breakfast brownies, quinoa breakfast recipes, slimming breakfasts or grab-able no-bake oatmeal energy bites. Go “bowling” by assembling kale, mushroom and roasted chickpea rice bowls, zucchini noodles with grilled shrimp in lemon-basil dressing, veggie bowls or pull together one fast pot of zucchini pasta. Come clean through clean eating recipes for fish, stir-fries and even kung pao chicken. Prep meals for the week and make healthy bites to take to the pool -- guaranteed to be a splash with the snacksters!

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Need a quick, positive news fix and some ideas on what to do around town this summer? Consume quick bites on intriguing topics through The Atlanta, a blend of 100-word stories, photographs and 100-second videos to give a short, yet thorough, weekly view into Atlanta. The Summer in the City guide is especially timely, focusing on food, beer, travel and summer events. Land at to sign up for the weekly newsletter, sunglasses optional. 

Appetizing Aperture

Cast off into the weekend with one “see”-worthy brunch dish. Hangtown Benedict at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar is meaty with 12-hour thick-cut bacon, the decadence of fried oysters, golden-yoked poached eggs and a pool of brown butter hollandaise ($16). Aye, aye, captain. This dish has your name on it.