Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ray’s Guests Score Wine-to-Food Conversion, Provide almost 8K Meals for NFL KickHunger Campaign

Earlier this fall, Ray's Restaurants instigated a game plan to help the NFL Kick Hunger campaign provide meals to families in need. For each case of Orin Swift wines sold at Ray’s in the City, Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek, the NFL donated 30 meals to a local food bank. Ray’s offered the wines at special prices, adding more incentive to touch down at Ray’s and intercept a glass or bottle of the fine California wine. The successful promo helped provide 7,740 meals for Atlanta’s hungry, giving Ray’s the highest sales in the area for the NFL Kick Hunger promotion.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Terminus City BBQ Posts Last Two 2017 Saturday Pop-Ups at ASW Distillery, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30

Hit “repeat event” on your smartphone calendar to loop in this year’s remaining two Terminus City BBQ Pop-Up Saturday events at ASW Distillery. On Saturday, Dec. 23 and 30, chef Kevin Gillespie’s team turns out their awesome pulled pork barbecue sandwiches starting at 11:30 a.m., continuing until the ‘cue’s all gone. The pop-up menu covers the bases (and absorbs those smooth ASW tastings) with a chopped whole hog BBQ sandwich on a buttered and toasted bun topped with Shaker slaw ($8), a sandwich combo adding a choice of side for $12, grilled pimento cheese sandwich ($6), side of Shaker slaw or potato salad (eight ounces, $5), or a pound of chopped whole hog barbecue ($19). Spirits, friends, forks and chopped pork. Saturday downtime tastes divine.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Latch onto Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout during Special December Release at Taco Mac

Founders Brewing Company’s Canadian Breakfast Stout moves breakfast-ish essences of coffee and maple syrup (and a decadent bit of chocolate) off morning tables and into a highly sought-after beer that is such a special release, it was last bottled in 2011. When loyal petitioners insisted on a Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) comeback, Founders obliged, employing a key component in the CBS brewing process -- aging their famous Kentucky Breakfast Stout in barrels that first held maple syrup before being upcycled to bourbon barrels. Savor December’s limited-release stout at Taco Mac while supplies last. Note that this year, Taco Mac has the only U.S. release of this beer, AND its location in The Prado has an extra-large stash. What a hoppy coup! Taco Mac reigns undoubtedly, stout-ably as our area’s beer nerd nirvana.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hey Santa, Where Can We Go for Christmas Eve Dinner?

Funny you should ask. The jolly elf stays in the know by reading our blog and you can, too. See which Atlanta restaurants are open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Remember to make reservations then mark that “to do,” “Done!” Cheers!

Appetizing Aperture: Bulla Gastrobar's Sangria

Since National Sangria Day falls on Dec. 20, five days shy of Christmas, should we call it Santa-gria Day? Regardless, Bulla Gastrobar in Midtown is the place to land to raise a glass of crimson-hued sangria crafted of red wine decked out with brandy, triple sec, Sprite and chopped orange for a healthy vitamin C boost ($7 glass/$24 pitcher). Those dreaming of snow (or white sand beaches) may opt for Sangria Blanca ($8 glass/$29 pitcher) or Sangria de Cerveza ($7 glass/$24 pitcher). Cerveza? Isn’t that beer? Right you are. Don't miss this unique take on Dec. 20 at Bulla Gastrobar.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#QuackGivesBack as Duck Donuts Buckhead Donates to CURE Childhood Cancer through Dec. 23

Every bite of a dreamy donut from Duck Donuts Buckhead tastes a bit sweeter this month. Through Dec. 23, Duck Donuts Buckhead will donate a portion of its sales to CURE Childhood Cancer. Share several of the “Duckzillion” combinations of made-to-order donuts, along with that natural donut cohort, fresh-brewed 100 percent Arabica coffee. Cave to craves for the OBX, one of Duck Donut’s signature donut breakfast sandwiches or a donut sundae! Let life’s small, simple pleasures take big steps toward curing childhood cancer. CURE concentrates entirely on children’s cancer, funding some of the best and brightest scientists in the field of pediatric cancer. The nonprofit organization also addresses the critical and urgent needs of patients and their families. Conquer cancer. Duck into Duck Donuts Buckhead in the Tuxedo Festival shopping center (3655 Roswell Road NE, Unit 210); open daily from 6 a.m.-7 p.m.

Accomplish First 2018 Goal: Make New Year’s Plans

Don’t let the ball drop on solidifying New Year’s Eve dining out and celebration plans. Atlanta’s best restaurants and nightspots make it easy to arrange a night and day worth remembering with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events and food and drink specials worth popping open the Champagne. Spaces are limited, reserve your spot today.

The following restaurants are open for both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, celebrating with special menus, events and bountiful brunch options:

5Church Atlanta has a three-course New Year’s Eve dinner with a half bottle of Champagne for a party of two and a full bottle of Champagne for a party of four. Seatings are from 5 to 5:45 p.m. ($75), 6 to 6:45 p.m. ($80) and 7 to 7:45 p.m. ($90). Reservations after 8 p.m. are $120 per person. At 10 p.m., the restaurant hosts a New Year’s Eve party featuring a buffet menu, open bar, live DJ, live countdown to the ball drop and Champagne toast at midnight. General admission tickets are $80 and can be purchased here. Admission to the party is also available to New Year’s Eve diners with a $50 upgrade. On New Year’s Day, 5Church serves its regular brunch menu from 11 4 p.m. and dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. 404-400-3669;

Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland is serving up a special New Year’s Eve dinner and countdown party on Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, enjoy the full brunch menu along with Atkins Park’s traditional Southern New Year’s Day offering of braised pork, hoppin’ John rice, collard greens and cornbread. 404-876-7249;
Chicken and the Egg is serving a New Year’s Eve menu starting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. The restaurant is also open for brunch on Jan. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 678-388-8813;
Food 101 in Sandy Springs is open for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, with an à la carte Sunday supper-style dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Choose from entrées such as smoked prime rib and butter poached lobster tails alongside family-style sides like truffle and crab creamed corn and Champagne-braised Brussels sprouts. Food 101 is also serving its regular brunch menu on New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 404-497-9700;

The original Midtown location of HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern switches from its regular menu to an all-you-can-eat pizza party at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The event also offers endless beer and Champagne, live music from James Patrick Morgan, a balloon drop and party favors. Tickets are available here. 404-968-2288. HOBNOB’s Brookhaven outpost is offering a steak and lobster dinner special in addition to its regular menu, as well as special Champagne and bourbon flights. 404-464-8971. Both locations are open for brunch on New Year’s Day starting at 10:30 a.m.

Special prix fixe menus are on tap at Marlow’s Tavern on Dec. 31, then select locations are serving a New Year’s Day brunch to welcome in the New Year. Locations serving brunch include Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, East Cobb, Midtown, Sandy Springs and Vinings. All Marlow’s Tavern locations are open on Jan. 1 with regular hours. Call the neighborhood taverns for additional details.

Ray’s Restaurants (Ray’s on the River, Ray's at Killer Creek and Ray's in the City) are each offering a three-course, prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner menu for $85 from 4 to 11 p.m. at Ray’s in the City and 5 to 11 p.m. at Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek. À la carte dinner menus are also available at Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek. During the day on Dec. 31, Ray’s in the City is also serving its regular lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., while Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek are offering New Year’s Eve brunch buffets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($45.95 per adult and $22.95 per child at Ray’s on the River; $42.95 per adult and $21.95 per child at Ray’s at Killer Creek.) All three restaurants are open regular hours for lunch and dinner on Jan. 1.

In addition, ring in 2018 in grand style with a New Year’s Eve Great Gatsby Gala at Ray’s on the River. Wear “Great Gatsby” attire at this extravaganza featuring an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a live five-piece band, a Champagne toast and a midnight balloon drop. The party runs from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Price is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required, and tickets are available here. 770-955-1187;

The following restaurants are hosting New Year’s Eve festivities only; closed on Jan. 1st:
Guests who enjoy American Cut’s regular dinner menu on Dec. 31 are invited to upgrade to an after-dinner New Year’s Eve party downstairs at The Cut Bar from 9 p.m. to midnight for $40 per person. The post-dinner party features an open bar, live entertainment, live ball drop and Champagne toast at midnight. 770-415-9766; Meanwhile, The Regent Cocktail Club, American Cut’s rooftop bar, is hosting an exclusive New Year’s event from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, live ball drop and Champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $80 in advance and $100 at the door. Availability is limited, so reserve today. 770-415-9961;

Chef Gerry Klaskala and the team at Aria, which is typically closed on Sunday nights, are offering a four-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve menu for $95 per person. Drinks, tax and gratuity not included. Reserve a table here. 404-233-7673;

The Blind Pig Parlour Bar offers an intimate and sophisticated alternative to massive New Year’s Eve parties. The 1920s-inspired speakeasy hosts a private black-tie event with open bar, party favors, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, live music by Fukushima Tuna and a Champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $95 per person and are available here. 678-705-7697;

Bulla Gastrobar is an appropriately festive spot for ushering in the New Year, with its laid-back, communal atmosphere and first-class menu of innovative tapas and Spanish dishes.  The restaurant is staying open until midnight and is offering a complimentary Champagne toast, as well as hats and noisemakers for the last seating of the evening. 404-900-6926;
Celebrate on Dec. 31 at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar and Seed Kitchen & Bar with three-course prix fixe dinners for $75, plus tax and gratuity. Menu selections include roasted guinea hen and braised veal osso buco at Seed and Atlantic grouper or deviled crab cakes at Drift. Optional wine pairings are $25. 770-635-7641; 678-214-6888;

Gypsy Kitchen is serving a special five-course prix fixe menu beginning at 5 p.m. Selections include a family-style serving of chicken croquetas and patatas bravas, as well as za’atar-spiced scallops, poached halibut, duck breast and seafood paella fried rice. Guests can opt for a wine pairing with each course for an additional $45. There will also be live music, a balloon drop and a Champagne toast at midnight. Cost is $65 per person from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; $75 from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. 404-939-9840;

Ring in the New Year at Johnny’s Hideaway for a one-of-a-kind celebration for $50 per person. The price includes reserved seats and party favors at midnight. Reserve by phone. 404-233-8026;

In historic Crabapple, Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails is celebrating with live music and a three-course menu for $65 from 5 – 9 p.m. Selections include baked oysters casino, potato chips & caviar, bacon wrapped wagyu sirloin and roasted duck breast. 770-817-0161;

The Southern Gentleman is offering a five-course prix fixe menu featuring such dishes as seafood bisque with lobster beignet; fried oyster with balsamic collard greens; center-cut bone-in grilled pork chop, 8 oz. filet, gunpowder red snapper and roasted spaghetti squash. Guests will also enjoy party favors, a DJ, a balloon drop and Champagne toast. Reservations are $80 for seatings from 5 to 8:15 p.m.; $90 for 8:30 to 10 p.m. Unique wine pairings with each course are available for an additional $45. 404-939-9845;

The following restaurants are also open and welcoming guests on New Year’s Eve:

Both locations of The Big Ketch are offering their regular menus along with live music. Buckhead: 404-474-9508. Roswell: 770-993-5749.

The Federal is hosting its usual brunch and dinner menus on New Year’s Eve, showcasing such dishes as chicken & waffles, Alaskan king salmon, dry-aged Kansas City strip and the popular Federal burger, along with a few surprises. The last dinner seating is at 11 p.m., and the bar is open until 1 a.m. 404-343-3857; Closed New Year’s Day.

Normally closed on Sunday, Gunshow is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, offering its regular service (with chefs rotating selections tableside) and a properly festive menu. 404-380-1886; Closed Jan. 1.

Weary travelers passing through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport during the holiday weekend can count on Hojeij Branded Foods favorites on the concourse, such as Cat Cora's Kitchen, Gordon Biersch and Varasano’s.

Gamechanger at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the place to eat a lineup of tasty bites from fan favorite Kevin Gillespie while watching the Atlanta Falcons take on the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 31 or cheering on the Peach Bowl New Year’s Day.

Ormsby’s, West Midtown’s good-time gathering place, will be open during regular hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Enjoy craft beer and fresh pub fare while you play a round of bocce ball with friends. 404-968-2033;

Kevin Gillespie’s Revival is open its usual Sunday hours on New Year’s Eve, serving brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and three-course family-style dinner and à la carte menus of traditional Southern favorites from 5 to 9 p.m. 470-225-6770; Closed Jan. 1.

Smokebelly BBQ is open regular hours with chef specials on New Year’s Eve. The restaurant is also serving New Year’s Day brunch, making it the perfect spot to enjoy chef-crafted barbecue while watching the college bowl games. 404-848-9100;

Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante is open for dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, serving its regular menu and several surprises. 404-500-2181; Closed New Year’s Day.

With over 100 beers on draft, the Southeast’s Original Buffalo wings and 50+ HD TVs for enjoying sporting events, Taco Mac is a prime destination for a pre-game warm up on Dec. 31 and watching all the football action on New Year’s Day. All locations are open both days.

All Atlanta-area locations of Tin Lizzy's Cantina are open regular hours, with the Buckhead, Grant Park, Mall of Georgia, Midtown, Kennesaw and Perimeter locations open until midnight as usual. The downtown, East Cobb and Sugarloaf Parkway locations are open until 11 p.m. All locations open New Year’s Day.

Typically closed on Sunday, Umi is open on Dec. 31, serving its menu of sushi, sashimi, nigiri and other Japanese favorites. 404-841-0040; Himitsu, Umi’s exclusive Japanese cocktail lounge, is also open. Both are closed Jan. 1.

Those looking to ring in the New Year with sweets can pick up tasty treats at all three locations of Henri’s Bakery & Café on Dec. 30. The Atlanta institution will be closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  


Monday, December 18, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest; Christmas Cravings

What’s on your Christmas Cravings list? Ideas for last-minute homemade gifts? Jars of easy apple butter and cinnamon honey butter to the rescue. Family fun, kitchen-y Christmas crafts? Make a forest of chocolate-covered strawberry Christmas trees populated by Oreo cookie snowmen lollipops. Need novel ideas to brighten the Christmas buffet? Turn out red and green deviled eggs with a holiday twist, caprese appetizers, a savory pull-apart Christmas tree loaf or create a red velvet pancake-making station. And what about crave-ables for the chefs and hosts on your list? Browse a satisfying array of gifts, small and grand, such as a cupcake-shaped timer or cute man-overboard Lid Sid stocking stuffer, the ultimate oyster knife, foodie subscriptions and cookbooks, recipe art, deluxe stand mixers, a wine lover’s care package and loads more.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Appetizing Aperture: Aria's Shades of Orange

Orange? Star anise? Aria crafts its mesmerizing Shades of Orange cocktail using Ramazzotti, a digestif amaro created in Milan, Italy by Ausano Ramazzotti in 1815 from a secret, all-natural blend of 33 herbs and roots. Saffron gin, honey and lemon play along with this bright and tony tonic.