Saturday, December 9, 2017

Appetizing Aperture

Soup’s on at Willy’s Mexicana Grill! ‘Tis the season for Willy’s beloved chicken tortilla soup, which, by the way, is on FourSquare’s list of “The 15 Best Places for a Chicken Tortilla Soup in Atlanta.” Order a cup ($2.95) or a bowl ($4.75) and get to slurpin’.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Let Kevin Gillespie and Team at Revival Wrap Up Your Holiday Cooking -- Smoked Hams, Southern Sides, Cakes, Pies

Be the host with the most delicious holiday spread this year thanks to Atlanta chef, restaurateur, speaker and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie and his Revival team led by chef de cuisine Nicole Edwards. Gillespie’s grandmother loved to create farm-fresh Southern dishes, inspiring her grandson to share the love with Atlanta families through Revival holiday at-home menu items. All eyes and forks will focus on Riverview Farms ham, cured and smoked in the Terminus City BBQ pit, cooked in-house and baked to crunchy-crust perfection with Gillespie’s new Good Ass Ham Sugar. It feeds 10 people for $90. Revival signature sides available for order include Granny’s pole beans, braised greens, lemon-glazed sweet potatoes and cranberry relish that will feed four to six guests for $20 each. The chef and his crew cover desserts as well: Revival’s chocolate cake or yellow cake with chocolate icing for $55 each and lemon icebox pie, apple streusel pie, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie for $35 each. Baked pies come complete with reheating instructions. Email orders to by Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. Pick-up is on Saturday, Dec. 23 between 1-5 p.m. at the American Spirit Whiskey Distillery (199 Armour Drive, just off the Northside BeltLine trail in the Armour Yards neighborhood near SweetWater Brewery), where the Terminus City BBQ team is currently on-site every Saturday with delicious barbecue and sides.

Atlanta Restaurants: Weather Status

Check out these Atlanta-area restaurants if you are looking for a cozy place to stay and a warm meal today. We'll keep updating this list as things change. #OpenInATL #SnowDay

#OpenInATL for regular business hours:
  • Livingston
  • Edgar's Proof & Provision
  • Babalu Tapas & Tacos
  • Umi
  • Ray's in the City
  • Ray's at Killer Creek
  • Ray's on the River

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Live Music Rocks the House Sunday Nights at Johnny’s Hideaway

Even the busiest elves need a night off from the holiday hubbub to rock and roll along with the band. Live music jams at Johnny’s Hideaway in Buckhead on Sunday nights beginning at 8:30 p.m., and we’re not talking reindeer bands. On Dec. 10, Cold Draft Beer plays hits to fill the dance floor, and on Dec. 17, Band X churns out party music galore. Cover is only $5. Food and drink specials fuel merry souls, and DJ Spin follows the bands to keep the party rolling into the wee hours. Additionally, hospitality industry workers enjoy their in-the-biz specials on Sunday nights.

Kids Eat Free when Grown-ups Dine Sunday-Thursday Nights at HOBNOB

Mom and Dad, add dinner at HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern to your holiday plans -- and bring the kids. Both the Midtown and Brookhaven locations of the casual eatery are running a Kids Eat Free promo from 5-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday evenings. Limit one free kids meal per adult entrée purchased. Available to kids ages 12 and under ordering from the kids menu. Dine in only. HOBNOB Midtown is a fabulous place to convene or cap a family outing to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights Holiday Nights extravaganza. Stop at HOBNOB Town Brookhaven on the way home from visiting Santa at a nearby mall or viewing holiday lights from the family sleigh, err, car.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Merry Caymus! Ray’s Restaurants Features Caymus Vineyards Wines during December

“Outstanding” aptly describes Ray’s Restaurants, Caymus Vineyards and the December featured wine promotion at Ray’s in the City, Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek. Founded in 1984 by renowned restaurateur Ray Schoenbaum, the Ray’s family of restaurants is always on point with mouthwatering cuisine, thoughtful wine selections and attentive service. Caymus Vineyards releases remarkable wines and remains family owned by the Wagner family in Rutherford, California. Charlie and Lorna Wagner produced their first vintage in 1972, and the family remains focused on producing quality cabernet sauvignons, especially two velvety cabs -- Napa Valley and the flagship Special Selection. During December, share the Ray’s dining experience and these exquisite, specially priced Caymus selections. Ray’s in the City and Ray’s on the River are offering Caymus cabernet sauvignon at $24/glass (8 oz.) and $100/bottle; Caymus Special Selection at $200/bottle and Mer Soleil Reserve chardonnay at $18/glass (8 oz.) and $55/bottle. Ray’s at Killer Creek offers the same three selections and per bottle prices, while by-the-glass pours differ: Caymus cabernet sauvignon is priced at $18/glass (6 oz.) or $27/glass (9 oz.) and Mer Soleil Reserve chardonnay is priced at $14/glass (6 oz.) or $20/glass (9 oz.). Merry Caymus, everyone!

Kids, Bring Your Folks and Decorate Christmas Cookies at Atkins Park Va-Hi Dec. 13

Frosting slathers and holiday laughter will spread throughout Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland at this family friendly dining and decorating event on the night of Wednesday, Dec. 13. Cookies, frosting and sprinkles emerge at 5 p.m., right on time for appetizers or dinner and perhaps some holiday spirits for the grown-ups. Children will receive a large Christmas cookie to decorate at their dinner table, while supplies last. The Atkins Park Always Available menu has lots of kid-pleasers, including crispy chicken tenders with hand-cut fries, honey mustard and barbeque sauce ($12); Atkins Park nachos ($8, add chicken or pork for $4); Big Green Egg smoked wings with barbecue sauce, veggies and blue cheese or buttermilk ranch ($12); The Park burger built to suit on a Certified Angus Beef patty or substitute a black bean veggie burger or grilled chicken breast; and other tasty sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Enjoy Thirsty Thursdays Half-Price Bottles of Wine at Marlow’s Tavern Vinings

Thursdays, call a cab…pinot or chardonnay -- order wine by the bottle at Marlow’s Tavern in Vinings for half the price. Sip and savor the savings while making weekend plans, recapping the week or just chillin’. Half-price savings extend from open to close. What a wine-derful excuse to toast friendships with a good wine and shareables like Marlow’s Artichoke and Arugula, Roast Tomato or Fig and Bacon toasts, Marlow’s Famous Hummus and Baba Ganoush and Smoked Trout Dip or a round of Classic Tavern Burgers or other Tavern favorites.

The Bun’s Out of the Oven -- Henri’s Bakery & Café Opens Westside Location, Hosts Holiday Party Dec. 9

Visions of sugarplums will become more prolific on Atlanta’s Westside this week. Henri’s Bakery & Café, an Atlanta institution known for its freshly baked cookies, pastries, breads, cakes and other desserts, along with signature deli sandwiches, is opening its doors at 2310 Coronet Way at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Westside shop offers the same quick-service breakfast and lunch favorites and baker’s dozens of gourmet baked goods as its Buckhead and Sandy Springs siblings. The Westside opening coincides with the return of Henri’s cherished original-recipe doughnuts, adding yet another kind of sugarplum to this yummy vision. Celebrate the holidays, a most cookie-licious time of year, at the new Westside Henri’s on Saturday, Dec. 9 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Enjoy bakery samples, a balloon artist, face painting and friends from the North Pole.

Monday, December 4, 2017

There’s Still Time to Throw Together a Holiday Party

Party? No party? PARTY! Not everyone’s an early bird in the party-planning department. Procrastinators, take heart. Atlanta restaurants can still accommodate parties from intimate dinners and lively chef’s tables to cocktail receptions for larger groups. Your guests will never know you “threw a little something together” as they merrily celebrate the holidays hobnobbing with great food and spirits.

Multiple Locations

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern sets a casual environment perfect for large groups desiring to party in both Midtown and Town Brookhaven. Enjoy a mouthwatering menu of appetizers, gourmet pizzas, burgers and other favorites in laid-back dining rooms or kick back with a high gravity craft beer on the patios. Want it all?
Consider a buyout to use the entire restaurant or patio at both locations or book the semi-private dining area at HOBNOB in Brookhaven. To discuss your visions, fees and menus, call 404-968-2288 for Midtown, 404-464-8971 for Town Brookhaven.

Mouths water at the mention of Ray’s Restaurants graced with award-winning chefs and impeccable service at three locations across the city. A dedicated events manager at each Ray’s Restaurant trims stress right out of the picture -- what a gift!

In downtown Atlanta, Ray's in the City welcomes guests into private and semi-private rooms and areas glowing with rich woods and ambient lighting. Consider breakfast or brunch buffets, lunch, pre-selected dinner menus or exciting dinner buffets with stations for stir-fry, pasta, salad, carving or made-to-order sushi. Toast to a full range of bar ideas including mimosa or bloody mary bar add-ons. Host parties of various sizes, from up to 16 guests for a Wine Cellar dinner to 75 guests in the Peachtree Room overlooking Peachtree Street. Email

Alongside the Chattahoochee River in Sandy Springs, Ray's on the River can host riverside events “outside” in the Grand Pavilion -- a covered, temperature-controlled environment accommodating up to 120 guests seated or 150 guests for cocktails, as well as a band or DJ and a dance floor. Inside the restaurant, host up to 70 guests for dinner or cocktails in the Private Dining Room and up to 30 guests in the semi-private River Room. Options vary, including pre-selected lunch and dinner menus, appetizers, platters, hors d’oeuvre, full buffets and chef-attended carving stations. Email

In Alpharetta, Ray's at Killer Creek encompasses several space options to accommodate up to 70 guests. Seat up to 26 guests for dinner in the private Cellar with its warm woods, stone hearth and fireplace or up to 60 guests in the dividable Wine-Jordan Room, flanked by fine wines and a private courtyard. Outside, up to 70 guests can enjoy family style seating in the covered and heated Creek Room overlooking Foe’s Killer Creek. Email

Sports fans look to Taco Mac for game days, but did you know the spirited locales score points in the fa-la-la field for holiday parties? Sure, you can have wings and beer – and everyone’s favorite American fare, wine and cocktails as well. Count on loads of space for larger parties and some locations can host events in private dining areas. Throw together an impromptu gathering or call ahead to accommodate larger groups.


5Church Atlanta sets the scene for swanky holiday parties at Peachtree and 14th streets in Midtown, beginning with the moment guests step out of their cars to complimentary valet parking. The rooftop patio accessorizes sparkly attire with the dazzling lights of Peachtree Street. Inside, large-scale artwork adds drama to private dining areas for groups large and small. See spaces, hors d’oeuvre and menu package ideas here. Email or call 404-400-3669.

Nostalgic glamour meets modern glitz at American Cut in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Three floors of top-notch party options woo you:
private dining in The Cut Bar on street level, private dining rooms with seating capacities of 14 and 42 guests within the second-floor dining level, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop setting of The Regent Cocktail Club. Thrill guests with starry skies, striking skyline views and handcrafted cocktails at The Regent Cocktail Club where there’s even space for a jazzy trio or other live entertainment. Guests at American Cut and The Regent Cocktail Club enjoy three hours of complimentary covered deck parking. Contact

For the ultimate in understated elegance for special occasions and holiday parties, buy out Aria, Gerry Klaskala’s acclaimed Buckhead restaurant. Call the restaurant at 404-233-7673 for more information.

Host the holiday shindig in Atlanta’s oldest continuously licensed tavern. Lively Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland welcomes guests into an unpretentious environment where an upstairs room accommodates 30 guests for a sit-down dinner or 50 guests for a cocktail reception. Call 404-876-7249 for more information.

Create an event that’s sure to impress at Bulla Gastrobar in Midtown. Inspired by tapas restaurants of Spain, Bulla offers options for private luncheons or dinners with three-course or tapas-style menus and cocktail parties featuring Bulla’s signature wines and handcrafted spirits. Call 404-858-1577 for more information.

Invite guests to enjoy an American bistro-style party at The Federal in Midtown. Big group? The more the merrier at a restaurant buyout. Two-hour validated parking is offered in the adjacent 1010 Midtown parking deck. Email

Food 101 American Kitchen & Bar in Sandy Springs excels in creating joyful memories wrapped around fabulous meals, service and special events. The local landmark restaurant’s private dining room can accommodate 40 people seated or 50 for a cocktail reception. Food 101 experts will help plan specialized menus and events within budget to keep the ho-ho-ho in your holidays. Follow this link to learn more or call 404-424-9773.

gusto! sets up a “Build your own gusto!” self-serve buffet that’s a huge, healthy hit with crowds of 20 people or more. The package includes mixed greens and Jasmine brown rice, grilled chicken and grilled portabella mushrooms plus two gusto! flavors: chile citrus barbecue, tahini cucumber feta, sweet soy Sriracha, chipotle mango avocado, apple curry peanut or Buffalo buttermilk blue. For groups of 20 folks or less, gusto! offers “Bowled Orders.” Add tea, lemonade and dessert platters for an additional charge; $100 order minimum for delivery. Contact Ryan Harrison at gusto! Ponce, 770-856-7417; Trey Strawn at gusto! Peachtree, 678-800-8372.

An event at Gypsy Kitchen transports guests to a beautiful, out-of-the-ordinary destination where Spanish cuisine mingles with foods inspired by the spice trade of India, Morocco and other countries. Chefs can create tasting menus, elaborate spreads or passed appetizers matched by a splendid bar program rich in Old World-style wines, craft cocktails and European beers. Contact Elizabeth Ridgway at or call 404-964-9253.

Himitsu impresses guests with “omotenashi,” the Japanese concept of selfless hospitality. The luxurious Japanese craft cocktail lounge located a few doors down from Umi in Buckhead hosts buyouts (65 guests seated, 100 standing) as well as semi-private events in the upper-level mezzanine (28 guests seated, 40 standing). Menus are specially created for each occasion, whether it’s passed appetizers, serving stations or a seated dinner. Consider serving sake and signature craft cocktails from Himitsu alongside Umi’s trademark beautiful sushi rolls and small bites from executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito and pastry chef Lisa Ito. Himitsu means “secret” in Japanese; after the party, the word will be out about the wonderfully memorable experience.

Located on the Westside under the White Provisions building, Ormsby’s feels like one of the city’s best-kept secrets. But it’s a leading destination for gatherings and celebrations of all sizes and stripes, thanks to a variety of games (shuffleboard, darts, bocce ball, board games and pool) perfect for socializing. With a wide selection of craft beers and a menu of classic and creative gastropub favorites, it’s a casual crowd-pleaser. Contact Leslie Battle, or 404-968-2033.

Red Beard Restaurants -- Gunshow in Glenwood Park and Revival in Decatur -- offer private and semi-private rooms accommodating small to large parties. For sizeable crowds, buy out one of the restaurants. The expert staff tailors menus and bar packages to suit, offering wines by the glass or bottle, beer, specialty cocktails and more. Both restaurants happily handle vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and food allergy sensitive needs. Gunshow‘s open kitchen, shared dining room and daily changing, family style menu lends itself to groups of 50-70, corporate buyouts or a group reservation for 13-24 guests. Chef Joey Ward pulls platters and desserts from the night’s menu, and individual chefs will visit guest tables with serving platters bearing their creations. Revival’s versatile floor plan seats lunch for 10, dinner for 25 or a cocktail party for 50 guests, and family style menus please for groups of 20-50 guests with a choice of soup or salad, entrée, chef-selected trimmings and a dessert. Contact

Storico Fresco Alimentari in Buckhead sets a Chef’s Table in the heart of the kitchen where guests revel while enjoying great food, wine and all the sights and sounds of a busy kitchen. Choose from different menu options that can include multiple courses, wine pairings or even family style pastas at the Chef’s Table, Commissary Kitchen and other options within this authentic Italian restaurant. Move quickly to lock in a date. For details and dates, email

Hurry! Sweet Charlie’s in Buckhead is offering 10 percent off holiday catering for orders booked before Dec. 1. An ice cream roll party at your place? Now that’s a novel and chill idea. Roll with it by contacting their catering staff.

With Victorian-era decor and ambiance, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar provides an intimate and sophisticated environment for dining and drinking for up to 80 guests. The 1920s-inspired Buckhead speakeasy features craft cocktails, small plates and live entertainment -- all in a smoke-free facility -- and is available as an event space any day of the week. Contact sales and events manager April Pitman, or 404-931-1251.

The Southern Gentleman celebrates the essence of the South, and relaxed, yet polished, entertaining plays a major role. Treat guests to a fresh, modern and locally sourced take on Southern cuisine with handcrafted cocktails. Expansive space accommodates up to 150 guests, and dinner menus begin at $35 per person. Patio parties, group dinners and private, customized bourbon, rye or whiskey tastings are perfectly delightful ideas. Contact Elizabeth Ridgway at or call 404-964-9253.

Outside the Perimeter

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in historic Crabapple provides a charming setting for parties of eight to 200 guests. Follow this link for a taste of what’s in store when hosting an event in the restored areas of the farmhouse including the Breezeway (16 guests), the Milton Room (40 guests), the Mayfield Room (24 guests), the Broadwell Room (12 guests), the Banquet Porch (40 seated) or the Bar (32-50 guests). Contact sales and events manager Jill Hayes at or 678-431-8753.

Celebrate with sustainable seafood and spirits at Brine Modern Seafood Shack in Alpharetta’s beautiful Avalon development. Come casual for Cape Cod meets Santa Monica style with awesome private dining options for events of all sizes and occasions and oceans of free parking. For more information, contact

Stop flip-flopping on whether to have a party or not and coast into beachy holiday party bliss at The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill - Canton Street in charming Roswell. Come ashore to seafood, cocktails and casual vibe where heels and Hawaiian shirts are equally appropriate. For inquiries about large parties and events, email

Chicken and the Egg in Marietta offers intimate, private chef’s table dining for 24-28 guests around custom-made, distressed wood tables. For more information, contact Elizabeth Taft at 678-388-8813 or

Beyond the Perimeter, Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar in East Cobb provide lunch, dinner and cocktail party options and copious free parking. At Seed, select from prix fixe brunch, lunch and dinner menu options or mix and match from menus for get-togethers of 10 to 50 guests for dinner, more for cocktails on the patio. Download Seed’s Event Planning Guide for more space details and a sample menu. Stem Wine Bar is a mighty “vine” option for a private lunch event Monday through Saturday, a private wine dinner or a restaurant buyout for groups of up to 40 seated or 60 for cocktails. Contact Chris McNeill, general manager, at or 678-214-6888.

Cruise to Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar at The Avenue in East Cobb for a deliciously doable venture thrilling seafarers and landlubbers alike. Seat up to eight guests in the Wine Room, Oyster Bar or at a Chef’s Table. Groups of up to 20 guests can be seated at one table or 28 at multiple tables in the Shiplap Room. Deck the halls outside, hosting 26 guests in the covered patio area or up to 50 on the full patio. Buyouts are available. Follow this link for more information or call 770-635-7641.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest

Coo-Coo for Cocoa nixes mixes in favor of the genuine article, luscious cocoas to cup and chocolates to covet. Mug shots of hot chocolate elixirs bring comfort and joy after cold weather activities -- Brazilian hot cocoa with snowman marshmallows and slow cooker white, paleo, Italian, Nutella, black cherry bourbon, non-dairy peppermint and even hot chocolate floats for those who want both hot and cold in one rich dose. Pop no-bake brownie batter truffles onto the dessert table or Santa’s plate and make spiced cocoa nuts to divvy up for gifts. It’s okay to nurture yourself with intensely chocolate pudding…avocado and banana are smooth secret ingredients.  


Lily Diamond @KaleAndCaramel shines at sharing food for all five senses, coming from a Maui/LA perspective. Imagine the depth of flavors behind vividly good-for-you greens soup with garlicky caraway breadcrumbs. If Thanksgiving’s pumpkin pie left you pumped for more pumpkin recipes, pumpkin mousse with ginger caramel is “life changing.”

Appetizing Aperture

When dining at Revival, serious chocoholics may want to eat dessert first…and again after dinner. Revival pastry chef Danielle Cuff creates the Decatur restaurant’s highly addictive triple chocolate tart with candied orange ($7). Choco-chasers may want to try making it at home using the recipe recently shared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.