Friday, May 8, 2009

AltoRex is the King of Rooftops!

Last night was perfect for a little MLA outing to AltoRex, the rooftop lounge located atop the new Pacci Ristorante in Midtown. The team has been working hard so we took advantage of the warm sun, cool breezes and stiff cocktails! We all tried something different. My cherry apple whiskey sour was so good that I forgot to write down what the others ordered. But those drinks look tasty, don't they? (MacKenzie and Marissa)
And the bar bites were awesome too! Definitely get the tacos tartare (pictured). We enjoyed the lobster deviled eggs and the pimento cheese grits balls too. Very cool choices and priced for sharing. There is no question that I plan to be a regular here!

2nd Annual Wine and Dine at Marlow's Tavern Northlake

Marlow’s Tavern Northlake and the Doubletree Hotel have teamed up for a night full of flavors and fun with the 2nd annual Wine and Dine on Monday, May 11 at 7 p.m. Marlow’s Executive Chef Ben Krawiecki has planned a four-course meal paired with Argentinean wines from Crios de Susana Balbo. Steve Hinternhoff from Quality Wine and Spirits will serve as master sommelier. The event will be held in the Doubletree’s Cabernet Sauvignon room, and cost is $61.99 (includes tax and gratuity). For a feel good treat, the famous Doubletree chocolate chip cookies will be available for purchase for $1 per cookie with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to Midvale Elementary School’s Dollars for Dreams program. Dress is business casual, and reservations are requested by May 7. Don't miss out on this great event!

Marlow’s Tavern – Northlake and Doubletree Hotel - Northlake: 4156 LaVista Road in Tucker; 678-987-1197.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chefs Know How to Party!

Yesterday, I attended Share Our Stength's Taste of the Nation event. I had been looking forward to the event, held at the Georgia Aquarium, for quite some time. Participating chefs included John Metz of Aqua Blue; Gerry Klaskala of Aria; Micah Willix of Ecco; Keira Moritz of Pacci (pictured below), Kevin Rathbun and Scott Serpas.
While I had a great time rubbing elbows the likes of Kenny Rogers and his lovely wife Wanda (below), and “sampled” much more than I should have, there is another, less publicized part of the evening that stole the show for me.
The chef after party is where the chefs go to let their hair down, and apparently, let their diets down, too. The night was full of catching up with old friends, making new ones and relaxing after a great Taste of the Nation event.
On the menu: Cheese Wiz and crackers, Slim Jims, Pringles, Gummy Bears on a stick, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, pimento cheese sandwiches, Ho-Hos, Twinkies, Little Debbie Oatmeal sandwiches and Cracker Jacks. But, the night was all about everyone’s favorite menu item: Jell-o shots with Pop Rocks!! Who’d have thought a childhood candy like that could be the star of a party of chefs!?
With a menu that sounds eerily like my 9th birthday sleepover, a room full of chefs and a belly full of tastings from Atlanta’s most celebrated chefs, I had a full night! Can’t wait until next year; I heart chefs!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Grand Zinfandel Tasting May 12

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, Zin lovers and those who want to learn more about the richness and versatility of the wine get the opportunity to taste from more than 30 wineries at the The Grand Zinfandel Tasting. The event will be held in The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern overlooking Piedmont Park where guests can chat with winemakers and winery owners and nosh on wine-complementing hors d'oeuvres prepared by chefs from Haven,, Park Tavern, Taverna Fioretina, Valenza and other noteworthy Atlanta restaurants.

This evening is hosted by Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) and sponsored by, the Irish Dairy Board and the Atlanta Wine School. Advance purchase tickets start at $45 per person and are $50 at the door; tickets for ZAP members are $37 each.

The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern: 500 Tenth Street, NE; 404-294-0001.

Mom Always Knows Best!

Still unsure of where to take mom for her big day? Here are some more suggestions of our favorite restaurants and places to celebrate your mama!

Send mom to Sunday Supper at JCT. Kitchen & Bar for a savory Mother's Day celebration! Chef Ford Fry has whipped up a special menu priced at $36 per person, full of their famous Southern farmstead fare. Moms can start their meal with a selection of warm biscuits, house made jams, deviled eggs and Benton's country ham, followed by a local "farm stand" salad. Some of the menu's meat items include slow-cooked rabbit, pan-roasted halibut and cider braised short rib "pot roast," while scrumptious side items include Carolina golden rice, fried artichokes and squash casserole. For a sweet treat, moms can take their pick of the two dessert options: coconut rum cake or local strawberries and cream. JCT. Kitchen & Bar is located at 1198 Howell Mill Road in Suite 18; 404-355-2252.

Uncle Julio's Casa Grande spices up mom's week, May 4 - May 10, with Plato de Madre (20.95)--mesquite grilled carne asada (beef fajita steak) smothered with sautéed seasoned vegetables, melted Monterrey Jack cheese and three mesquite grilled shrimp diablo (butterflied jumbo shrimp) plus guacamole, pico de gallo, Mexican rice and frijoles a la charra. Knowing that moms crave chocolate, Uncle Julio's will have plenty of chocolate empanadas and chocolate flan on Mother's Day. 1860 Peachtree Road; 404-350-6767.

Woodfire Grill thrills the mom who loves to dine on the season's freshest and locally grown foods whenever she can. In addition to enjoying a memorable meal selected from the regular menu or the special prix fixe Mother's Day menu, mom will take home a complimentary box of homemade truffles. We can't say whether or not she'll share them! Serving Mother's Day dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Make Your Mom's Day!

Mother's Day is right around the corner, leaving many in a last-minute scramble to find the perfect gift. Well, have no fear! We have some great ideas to make the perfect Mother's Day memory. Check out the cool events and specials that some of Atlanta's hottest restaurants are offering in honor of this special holiday!

The way to Mom's heart is with a hug...and a meal out to make her feel like a queen. Atlanta restaurants are here to help you thank your special gal! Aqua blue spreads a special brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. for $29.95 per person, $9.95 for children under 14 and free for children under four. Carved strip steak and turkey, roasted pork tenderloin, omelettes-to-order, and decadent desserts and pastries will make her happy. A bottomless mimosa ($15 per person) will keep her in good cheer. If she prefers dinner out, bring her to Aqua blue for the regular dinner menu plus seasonal specials from 5:30 - 9 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 770-643-8886. 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road.

When she's a cosmopolitan gal at heart with roots in the suburbs, take her to Kozmo Gastro Pub in Johns Creek for a chic and subtly healthy meal. From noon until 8 p.m., enjoy a special prix fixe menu designated heart healthy by the Queen of Hearts Foundation for $19.95 per person. Choose a starter of roasted pepper gazpacho soup or Kozmo mixed green salad with lemon thyme vinaigrette; an entrée of organic free range roasted chicken served over sautéed green beans with garlic and shallots or pan roasted filet of salmon with white bean ragout and sautéed spinach with shallots; and end with seasonal berries with dark chocolate swirls or flourless dark chocolate cake. Mom gets a gift from Kozmo and the Queen of Hearts Foundation. Reservations not required. 11890 Douglas Road, 678-526-6094.

Visit a Marlow's Tavern location in Kennesaw, Midtown or Vinings for a Mother's Day Brunch that's both tasty and easy on the wallet. At only $14.95 plus tax and gratuity, Marlow's buffet includes an array of specialties including crab cake Benedict, made-to-order omelettes and French toast plus a selection of Marlow's Tavern favorites. And $15 bottomless mimosas are sure to keep a smile on mom's face all day long. Marlow's Tavern: Kennesaw at 745 Chastain Road, NW, 770-425-8777; Midtown at 950 West Peachtree Street, 404-815-0323; and Vinings at 2355 Cumberland Parkway, 770-432-2526.

To give mom that mountain-top experience, surprise her with a scenic drive to Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery for a getaway brunch. She can choose her favorite Wolf Mountain wine, priced separately by the glass or bottle. $30 per person (excluding wine, tax and gratuity). Reserve a seating time of 12:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. by calling 706-867-9862. 180 Wolf Mountain Trail in Dahlonega.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

In case you still don't have plans for Cinco de Mayo tonight, check out the festivities we mentioned last week....

Atlanta Dish: So Many Choices, So Little Time! Here's a Peek at What's Coming Up for Cinco de Mayo Next Week!

There is one more fiesta to add to the list! JCT Bar will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with great specials, tequila punch, fresh lime margaritas and tex-mex from Houston native Executive Chef Ford Fry. 1198 Howell Mill Road.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hardy Wallace's Quest To Get "A Really Goode Job"

Hardy Wallace from Dirty South Wine is looking to land his dream job, the Murphy-Goode Winery's "A Really Goode Job." It's a six month contract with Murphy-Goode Winery working on their web 2.0 presence like videos, blogs, Twitter and Facebook to tell about their wines from the Sonoma County Wine Country.
Hardy is perfect for this job and once you start following him around online, you will see. Help him build his online presence so the Murphy-Goode Winery will choose the first guy in line at their infomration session last week in San Francisco. Yes, he caught a red-eye and was the first one waiting to hear more about the dream job.

Read more about it on his new blog, Goode To Be First, and follow him on twitter, facebook, youtube, viddler and!