Saturday, November 18, 2017

Star Grazing

Atlanta-bound stars continue to alight at Umi. Celebrity A-lister Kate Hudson dined at Buckhead’s much-acclaimed Japanese restaurant on Nov. 6, enjoying a variety of items such as edamame, miso soup, Madai carpaccio, salmon yuzuviche, spicy tuna crispy rice, yellowtail jalapeño, hamachi caviar, Hinomaru nigiri, Kobe beef nigiri, sake aioli nigiri, Otoro caviar nigiri, lobster Toban-yaki and black cod misoyaki. Her group also sipped on Ketel One vodka cosmopolitans and a bottle of Dassai sake.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Southern Proper Harvests Fresh Fall Menus at The Big Ketch, The Southern Gentleman, Gypsy Kitchen and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

Four Southern Proper Hospitality favorites -- The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Southern Gentleman, Gypsy Kitchen and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails -- are warming guests and the colder days ahead with new seasonal dishes and culinary comforts.

The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill in Buckhead and on Canton Street in Roswell is now featuring Gulf grouper and Scottish salmon. At both neighborhood beach houses, guests can enjoy seasonal specialties like lobster Cobb salad ($19.95); seafood pot pie with lobster, shrimp and scallops ($26.95) and Grouper Louisiane of blackened Gulf grouper, jumbo lump crab meat with creole BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and grilled green beans ($29.95)

At The Southern Gentleman in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, chef Danilo “Q” Myers infuses the Southern-inspired gastropub’s menu with lighter fare and larger plates meant for sharing including a “for the table” menu section, a decadent burger and three new entrées. A family style farmhouse terrine board boasts house-made rabbit rillettes, pork and chicken liver terrine, pastrami, bresaola, local cheese, seasonal preserves, pickled okra and drunken cherry tomatoes ($24). Southern chop chop salad of gem lettuce, shaved roasted vegetables and bacon lardons ($10) satisfies salad cravers, and seafood lovers can devour scallop risotto with pan-seared scallops, smoked tomato risotto, saffron-spiked “flat” empanada, torn herbs and pepper jelly ($30).

Gypsy Kitchen in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta calls on chef Gary Finzer for small plates packing big taste sensations and expanded charcuterie and tapas selections. Additions include seared tuna tataki with Moroccan spices and warm gigante beans ($15); queso frito of pan-seared Caña de Cabra goat cheese with Basque cider apple purée and arugula ($12); and charred vegetable paella “fried rice” with spring onions, zucchini, eggplant, red peppers and sofrito ($20). Add a fried farm egg for $2.

In historic Crabapple, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails picks ingredients from its on-site garden for contemporary Southern “seed-to-fork” sensibility. New fall dishes include bacon-wrapped Prime meatloaf made of ground veal, wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork served with smoked Gouda mashed potatoes, grilled broccolini and tangy meatloaf glaze ($23); and charred broccoli, cauliflower and red pears with sweet potato purée, Asher Blue cheese, pickled red onion, candied pecans and sherry maple vinaigrette ($19).

Break for Spirited Brunches on Saturday. It’s Allowed. Really.

Sure, Sunday brunch is divine. Settling in for brunch on Saturday has its own merits. Reward yourself with a brunch boost after that Saturday morning workout. Meet friends for brunch before football viewing. Brunch sustains those shopping adventures, matinees and afternoon outings. And, restaurants are usually less crowded for Saturday brunch translating to a leisurely, laid-back meal. So sit back and order a mimosa, bloody mary or your favorite adult beverage. Spirited bevs before 12:30 p.m.? Always an opportunity at these mouthwatering Saturday brunch spots.

Before browsing the 5Church Atlanta brunch menu, order mimosas and sangria by the glass or carafe and build salad in a glass at the bloody mary bar (counts, right?). Go wild over the wild mushroom omelet ($14), beefy bistro steak “a la Brasa” with chimichurri, french fries and two eggs any style ($23), open-faced salmon croquette buttermilk biscuits ($16), the famed 5Church lamb burger ($14) and lots more. Walking distance to Woodruff Arts Center and just up Peachtree from the Fox Theatre, 5Church serves brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Stroll into Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland for a please-all brunch menu featuring specialties such as Big Green Egg-smoked beef brisket and eggs ($14), fried chicken pancake sandwich ($12), salmon cakes and eggs ($12), fried green tomato Benedict ($9) and more. Hearty skillets -- chorizo, Cajun shrimp and andouille, Southwestern or vegetarian -- come with crispy potatoes and two sunny-side eggs ($9-$12). Chase the day with beer, wine or a handcrafted cocktail. Brunch service begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Fun-loving brunch seekers, swing by Bulla Gastrobar in the heart of Midtown for imaginative cocktails, shareable Spanish fare and communal tables for big groups and sociable folk. Doors open at 11 a.m. Feast on the energy and small plates like crispy calamari, patatas bravas, Serrano ham croquettes with fig jelly ($6-$16), cured meats and cheeses ($6.50-$15), egg-centric specialties of Huevos ‘Bulla,’ Bulla Benedict, garbanzo frito and potato tortilla traditional Spanish omelet ($6-$12). Hazelnut waffles and other sweets ($9-$12) and plates of paella braised short ribs, pollo al chilindron and “Bulla” burgers round out the offerings.

The Federal blesses Midtown with both American steakhouse and French brasserie fare. For brunch, this means chopped chicken liver, black bread and cornichons ($10), beignets with café au lait sauce ($8), avocado toast with smoked salmon, soft boiled egg and shaved shallots ($12), the double-stack Federal burger ($16), the Southern breakfast of three eggs, Anson Mills grits, Patak bacon, pimento cheese and a biscuit ($15) or the Texas breakfast featuring a six-ounce steak, three eggs, home fries and Texas toast ($16). Brunch sippers include classics and innovations such as the grapefruit margarita, spiked Arnold Palmer or chai white Russian ($10). Brunch hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Food 101 in Sandy Springs offers an extensive brunch menu featuring modern morning and midday classics including snacks to share, starters of fried cheese grits with smoked pineapple aioli, White Lily biscuits and sausage gravy and breakfast bruschetta ($7-10); “Stuff with Eggs” including lobster scramble, crab and shrimp cake Benedict, steak and eggs and a smoked turkey and mushroom omelet ($12-$20); a skillet pancake, Belgian waffle or Simply French toast ($10-$11) to satisfy any sweet tooth. Low country-style shrimp and grits, “Skinny Brunch” with organic tomatoes, grilled asparagus, leeks, fresh herbs and soft poached eggs or “Fatboy Brunch” with buttermilk fried chicken, White Lily biscuit, scrambled eggs, home fries and sausage gravy ($13-$17) are just a few signature temptations. Brunch starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern reaches out to Midtown and Town Brookhaven brunchers with a bubbly brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday featuring bottomless mimosas for $17. Wake up with a Wake and Bake pizza, Hangover Helper, steak and eggs, Million Dollar omelet, breakfast tacos, pork belly and eggs, Nashville hot chicken and waffles, grilled cheese with cauliflower and celery root soup and other sunny specialties ($10-$16). The BASE salad is loaded with good stuff ($13), and guests can add shrimp, grilled chicken, steak or salmon for $4-$8. Or, “build your own breakfast” pulling from HOBNOB’s list of breakfast traditions like buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, bacon, sausage, stone-ground grits, two eggs any style and fresh fruit. Weekend brunch hours are 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at both HOBNOB locations.

Midtown Takorea and Ssam Bar fuses TexMex, Southern and Korean flavors with flair, leading to shrimp and creamy jack grits in smoky bacon red sauce with fried egg and Korean fried chicken and sweet red bean waffles with sesame maple syrup (or solo waffle); chilaquiles with chicken, pulled pork or pork belly; pork belly Benedict, sesame spinach and chicken omelet with spinach banchan, marinated chicken and jack cheese; churro bread pudding French toast or adzuki bean pancakes. ($8-$14). Drink specials include a $4 mimosa, bloody mary or glass of sangria. Convenient to Georgia Tech, the Fox Theatre, Atlanta Botanical Garden and more. Opens Saturday at 11:30 a.m., Sunday at noon.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Beni’s Cubano Brings Taste of Old World Havana to The Hub at Peachtree Center

Downtowners, steal away to Cuba for lunch and arrive back in time for that afternoon conference call. Beni’s Cubano makes a quick jaunt possible, thanks to the opening of its newest location in The Hub at Peachtree Center. This is the second location of the fast-casual restaurant from Southern Proper Hospitality (The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, Gypsy Kitchen, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Smokebelly BBQ, The Southern Gentleman and Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails), which launched its first Beni’s location this summer at The Avenue East Cobb in Marietta. Promising a taste of Cuba without the travel expenses, Beni’s Cubano executive chef Cesar Velazquez packs the menu with innovative takes on classic Cuban dishes. Highlights include the classic Cuban sandwich with mojo-roasted pork, ham and Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and garlic aioli; vaca frita melt with grilled short rib, melted provolone, grilled onions and peppers and garlic aioli; mojo grilled chicken served with choice of yellow or white rice, black beans and sweet plantains; house salads with an option to add grilled chicken, puerco asado or vaca frita toppers; and yucca fries or mariquitas (crispy spiced plantain chips) with a choice of two dipping sauces. Caffeine fiends rejoice, Beni’s serves classic Cuban coffee all day. The Peachtree Center location is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

Give Thanks for Atlanta’s Thanksgiving Dining and Takeout Options

Can we get an “Amen!” for Atlanta’s culinary pros, eager to host our gaggle of guests or take the hassle out of homeward-bound meal planning and preparation? All-you-can-eat buffets and top-notch takeout abound at exceptional eateries, leaving you to focus on enjoying a memorable meal with loved ones. Now that’s important. And so are early reservations. Head over to Atlanta Food News to get the rundown from 5Church Atlanta, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar, Chicken and the Egg, Food 101, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, Ray’s Restaurants, Bantam + Biddy, Revival, Bulla Gastrobar, Storico Fresco Alimentari, Johnny’s Hideaway, Beni’s Cubano, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, Gypsy Kitchen, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Smokebelly BBQ and The Southern Gentleman.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tip Toward HOBNOB and Jefe’s at Town Brookhaven’s First Pub Crawl Nov. 18

Pre-empt the rush of turkey trots and jingly jogs with a good old-fashioned Pub Crawl under your belt. Town Brookhaven’s first pub crawl will spill out on the sidewalks, Saturday, Nov. 18 from 4-8 p.m. Pick up a passport at headquarters on the green space then “crawl” to participating restaurants where your passport credentials grant access to the discounted drinks and bites around the “town.” Check into the allocated number of eateries and watering holes for a chance to win raffle prizes. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern and Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila are two must-visit hot spots. HOBNOB is offering half off any appetizer (limit one per passport) and half price for any draft beer or craft cocktail (limit two per passport). At Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila, enjoy $3 Trailer on Fire tacos (Baja chicken, Jefe’s hot sauce, queso, lettuce and pico de gallo in a flour tortilla), $8 Fuma de Pina margaritas (house-smoked pineapple-infused El Jimador Silver tequila, fresh lime and agave) and $3 Dos XX draft beer. Crawlers will need tickets to obtain passports; $15 each plus small service fee.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gunshow’s Ward and Gillespie, Umi’s Fuyuhiko and Lisa Ito Wine and Dine Guests at Out of the Kitchen Atlanta for CURE Childhood Cancer Nov. 16

Holiday meal prepping, baking, gift making, entertaining …face it, the holidays can be kitchen intensive. Step out before prepping for a fine dining experience -- the inaugural Out of the Kitchen Atlanta gourmet dining event presented by The St. Regis Atlanta. Sixteen of Atlanta’s top chefs -- including chefs Kevin Gillespie and Joey Ward of Gunshow and chefs Fuyuhiko and Lisa Ito of Umi -- will create a three-course menu tableside followed by a dessert extravaganza on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. Spirits will soar, boosted by flowing wine and “Atlanta Eats” host Steak Shapiro. Come casually chic (hold off on the holiday sweaters and formal wear) for a memorable evening benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer. Buy tickets and purchase sponsorships online, $400-$10,000.

Monday, November 13, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest

We’re thankful for friendships 365 days a year. And so we pause, as we enter the season of Thanksgiving, to express our gratitude in our favorite food-centric way through Friendsgiving Festivities. We’re talking good old-fashioned hospitality, centered around unpretentious yet delicious eats involving brining (look out, turkeys), wining and dining. Try siding a Cajun turkey with easy holiday slaw with apples and pomegranate, crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon and garlic, grandma’s corn casserole, roasted butternut soup with pears along with “thankful” rolls and no-knead Dutch oven crusty bread. We’re all for toasting friends with bourbon butterbeer, cinnamon maple whiskey sours, Crock-Pot mulled wine and homemade hot apple cider. Getting together for morning coffee? Crock-Pot apple pie breakfast and one-minute cinnamon rolls in mugs deserve a place at the table.


The Art of Plating demonstrates frames can be round and food artistry can rival any painted masterpiece. Fines herbes sorbet with mara des bois strawberry and elderflower, clear pumpkin pie, and a composition of orange, blood orange, orange Madeleine, mandarin curd and orange honeycomb could easily and deliciously grace any art gallery.

Appetizing Aperture

Atlanta is buzzing about the imaginative cocktails crossing the bar at Bulla Gastropub in Midtown. Case in point is November’s featured cocktail -- the Mariposa Negra ($11). DIYers, Bulla is sharing the recipe as an early holiday gift to you! In a shaker, combine 1.5 ounces Old Forester 100, 1 ounce Butterfly Pea Powder syrup, ¾ ounce lemon juice and ½ ounce St-Germain. Shake vigorously and strain into cocktail glass. Cheers!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Picture Pets, PJs, Ugly Sweaters with Santa on Photo Theme Nights at Cumberland and Perimeter Malls 

Santa draws the line through same-old, same-old cookie-cutter photos during the most festive and photogenic time of year. This season, everyone gets in the Santa act during photo theme nights with the jolly old elf at Cumberland Mall and Perimeter Mall. Strike a pose…no one says you have to limit yourself to one theme night.
  • Pet Night – 5-9 p.m. Mondays (through Dec. 11): Bring four-legged friends to pose with Santa.
  • Grandparents’ Night – Friday, Nov. 10: Create a special memory with Maw-Maw and Pop-Pop.
  • Holiday PJ Night – Friday, Nov. 17 and Dec. 8: Have a picture taken in festive holiday-themed pajamas.
  • Ugly Sweater Night – Friday, Dec. 1: Santa loves tacky holiday sweaters- -- the more reindeer and candy canes, the better!
  • Christmas Carolers – Friday, Dec. 15 through Sunday, Dec. 17: Enjoy rousing renditions of favorite holiday songs.

Because waiting in long lines wins a “Bah! Humbug,” both malls allow booking Santa visit times in advance online at both and  

October Harvest for a Cure Raises $383K+ for Multiple Sclerosis

The fourth annual Harvest for a Curewhich took place Oct. 19 at Mason Fine Art, has harvested a bounty of funds and hope for those living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Thanks go to all the generous donors, Atlanta chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and contributors of exquisite raffle prizes. The culinary nirvana-for-a-cause event cooked up $383,335 to support the Georgia Chapter of the National MS Society and its efforts to help research, treat and end the debilitating disease globally. Roy A. Rangel, president of the Georgia Chapter of the National MS Society, credits the incredibly committed group of sponsors, volunteers and guests with the accomplishment of raising almost $30,000 more than last year. “Our chef chair Gerry Klaskala and his extraordinarily talented and generous team of chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers and mixologists once again created a delicious experience our donors will not soon forget,” commends Rangel. Elaine Carlos, an event co-chair, wholeheartedly agrees. Her husband was diagnosed with MS at age 28. A cure can’t come soon enough.