Friday, November 13, 2009

Midtown Atlanta Shop & Dine Week is offering great deals for all

‘Tis the season to hit the pavement and get cracking on those holiday gift shopping lists! Now before you start groaning and protectively clenching onto your wallet, listen up…

Fifth Group Restaurants, including South City Kitchen Midtown, Ecco, La Tavola Trattoria and The Original El Taco, are taking some of the pain out of your chore this year by offering great deals, along with many other favorite other restaurants, nightspots, hotels, and retailers during Midtown Shop & Dine Week, coming up this November 13-22!

El Taco, recently reviewed in John Kessler’s 30 Restaurants In 30 Days column, offers a dynamite date-night deal – dinner for two for only $25 (plus tax and gratuity), while other Midtown Fifth Group Restaurants are creating special three-course dinners for $25 per person (plus tax and gratuity). For reservations at your favorite Fifth Group restaurant, just visit!

Ecco: 40 7th Street, NE; 404-347-9555.

La Tavola Trattoria: 992 Virginia Avenue, NE; 404-873-5430.

South City Kitchen Midtown: 1144 Crescent Avenue; 404-873-7358.

The Original El Taco: 1186 North Highland Avenue, NE; 404-873-4656.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good Nutrition Month Gets November off to a Healthy Start!

It'a a hard-to-believe holiday considering Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but November is also Good Nutrition Month. It's an excellent time to do some nutritious noshing before the holiday gorging begins. If you're having trouble deciphering between what's naughty and nice, these Atlanta restaurants make it easy with their menus:

- Ray's Restaurants (Ray's on the River, Ray's in the City and Ray's Killer Creek) offer heart healthy menus at lunch and dinner that provide generous portions of high-quality protein while skimping on fat and calories. This month, twenty-five percent of all sales from these menus are donated to Northside Hospital’s Breast Care Program. To help increase dietary awareness, each item includes a calorie/protein/carb/fat breakdown.

- Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food has a heart healthy menu with selections such as mesquite-grilled salmon filet with sautéed vegetables and fresh pineapple pico de gallo; Ensalada Especial; and a grilled vegetable platter that is piled high with good eats. And look for a new location of this Mexican favorite opening at Perimeter Town Center on November 17!

- You can still have fast food with only half the fat...but only if you go to EVOS Feel Great Fast Food, where eating in a hurry won’t give you a heavy feeling. All meats are naturally raised and hormone free, veggies are organically grown and the fruits used in EVOS Low Fat Real Fruitshakes are real. EVOS Airbakes™ its meats and fries so you won’t find grease or hidden fats. In addition to the Sandy Springs location, the restaurant be making another Atlanta appearance in Midtown later this month with a new restaurant at the Viewpoint building.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We're Thankful... That Others Can Cook Our Thanksgiving Dinner!

Let’s be honest. Making a huge Thanksgiving meal for all your family is what you’d like to do. Everyone loves to picture themselves in a Norman Rockwell painting, apron on, turkey and stuffing and all the works coming out of the oven in sheer perfection. Everyone oohs and ahhs in your direction as the pristine dishes hit the table.

For some of us, however, that image sounds more like a horror movie, with hungry relatives clamoring to be fed and the fire alarm wailing from that sweet potato casserole you burned… It’s enough to make you run screaming from the kitchen, those same idyllic apron strings flying behind in your wake!

If we just described your take on cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you can take a deep sigh of relief, because we’ve got you covered! Thank goodness that quite a few Atlanta restaurants will be available to save the day, serving your turkey day favorites. Here are a few of our favorites.

Starting a new Southern tradition, South City Kitchen Midtown will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 6:30 p.m. with a special three-course menu. Diners can choose from a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts; $35 for adults and $17.50 for children 12 and under (tax and gratuity not included). Bring Chef Chip Ulbrich's spread to your place for $22.50 per person (plus tax). Each eight-person to-go order is fully cooked! Place your order for at least eight people with them by Friday, November 20 and pick up on Wednesday, November 25 only. Pumpkin and pecan pies can be ordered at South City Kitchen Midtown for pick-up prior to Thanksgiving Day at South City Kitchen Vinings, too. For more information, to place all orders and make reservations, call 404-873-7358. The restaurant is located at 1144 Crescent Avenue.

Go traditional with turkey or favor the French/American-inspired wild mushroom ravioli and grilled salmon from the regular menu at Toulouse American Bistro in Buckhead. This cozy bistro has something to please everyone during its Thanksgiving hours of noon until 7 p.m. Information and reservations: 404-351-9533. 2293 Peachtree Road, NE.

Ray's Restaurants will have two locations open until 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Savor your holiday buffet and a river view at Ray's on the River starting at 9 a.m.; $39.95 for adults and $17.50 for children five and under. 6700 Powers Ferry Road, NW; 770-955-1187.

Outside the perimeter, Ray's Killer Creek gratifies cravers of turkey, seafood or beef. Seafood fans can choose from a variety of appetizers and entrees including Ray's ahi tuna, hickory-roasted sea bass as well as selections from the "Fresh Fish Market" menu. For beef lovers, Ray's Killer Creek serves some of the finest cuts from Halperns' Purveyors of Steak & Seafood including filets, steaks and slow-roasted prime rib. Thanksgiving traditionalists will go for the classic turkey dinner with homemade dressing and gravy, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and homemade cranberry sauce ($25 adults, $13 children). Ray's three-course special adds soup or salad, dessert and Tunnel of Elms Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay for $39. $35 without wine. Thanksgiving Day service begins at 10 a.m. 1700 Mansell Road; 770-649-0064.

And don’t worry, you can thank us later.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marlow’s Tavern Duluth Makes November Guest Appreciation Month

Marlow's Tavern in Duluth is devoting the month of November to appreciating its guests. Every day of the week offers a different special--check them all out on their Facebook page. The restaurant also has some fun promotions up its sleeve -- lunchers will receive a card entitling them to a free appetizer when they come back to purchase two dinner entrées, and in the "Refer a Friend" promotion, guests with the most new referrals will be entered into a drawing to win a Marlow's Duluth party for up to 20 people.

Marlow's Tavern: Duluth at 1950 Satellite Boulevard, 770-622-2033

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Recommend You Read...

One of Atlanta's favorite food writers, John Kessler, has tackled the project of "30 Restaurants in 30 Days" on his blog Food and More. For the whole month of November, Kessler has taken on the challenge of eating at a variety of different restaurants to keep his loyal readers up-to-speed on what's a hit, a miss and an absolutely not. He has already covered some of my favorites -- Antico Pizza Napoletana, La Pietra Cucina and The Original El Taco. Be sure to follow him on his adventure through the restaurants of Atlanta for your daily dose of cuisine!