Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday cocktails to keep you festive

The weather is cooling off and those glasses of eggnog and hot cider just aren’t doing the trick anymore. These seasonal sippers will bring the joy back into your glass.

Experience “Christmas in Tokyo” ($8) at hip RA Sushi during December then bring the experience home using the upbeat Midtown sushi bar’s recipe below. Exotic fruit and a hint of ginger take this classic champagne cocktail eastward to Asia. For home party mixing, start with a martini shaker and ice, then combine:

1 oz. TY KU Soju
½ oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
½ oz. simple syrup
¼ oz. ELIXIR G ginger mix
¼ oz. Soho lychee liqueur
Squeeze of lemon

In a glass, top mixture with Mionetto Prosecco sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist. That’s right, not an Oliver Twist. A lemon twist. (RA Sushi: 1080 Peachtree Street at 1010 Midtown; 404-267-0114.)

For an adult version of gingerbread in a glass, Marlow’s Tavern™ mixes up a jovial Holiday Spice martini ($8):

2 oz. Absolut Vanilia
1 oz. Voyant chai cream liqueur

Shake over ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. (Marlow’s Tavern locations include Alpharetta at 3719 Old Alabama Road, 770-475-1800; Kennesaw at 745 Chastain Road, NW, 770-425-8777; Midtown at 950 West Peachtree Street, 404-815-0323; Vinings at 2355 Cumberland Parkway, 770-432-2526; Northlake at 4156 LaVista Road, 678-987-1197; and Duluth at 1950 Satellite Boulevard, 770-622-2033.)

Pacci Ristorante
imports a tad of minty fresh goodness into its Winter Smash ($12) that combines Bulleit bourbon, port, mint, maple syrup and Angostura bitters. When you’re already chilled, thaw out with Pacci’s Winter Nights cocktail ($12) that blends Hennessey Cognac VS, Fonseca Bin 27 port, Angostura bitters and maple syrup and serves it up with a little hot water for warmth. (866 West Peachtree Street, NW; 678-412-2402.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Give Back This Weekend

Our friends at Georgia Organics, will be working with Riverview Farms this Saturday, December 19 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. to help repair some of the farm that was severely damaged by a tornado last week. Riverview Farms is a strong and constant leader in Georgia's organic food community. Watch this Fox news story to learn more about the tornado.

This weekend, volunteers are asked to deconstruct structures that were destroyed by the recent tornado. The work is serious and potentially dangerous. If you can volunteer please be prepared for a disaster area littered with nails and splintered wood. Wear thick gloves, warm clothes and work boots. Tools would be appreciated as well, including a hammer drill (impact drill) with bits, hammers, crow bars, chain saw, metal saw, come-a-long tool, socket set, extension cords and other general tools for dismantling.

More volunteers are needed, so please RSVP here so Georgia Organics can get a headcount of how many folks are showing up. When RSVPing, please indicate in the "comment" section which tools you can bring. Lunch has been generously donated, but if you have dietary restrictions please bring your own food. Work will continue rain or shine (unless it's pouring). All volunteers must fill out this liability form, print it, and bring it with them. The farm is located at 954 White Graves Road, Ranger, GA 30014.

Go Fish for Your Birthday at Aqua blue…You’re Sure to Catch a Free Lobster!

Complimentary birthday cake is so last year. Aqua blue Restaurant & Bar lets you keep the cake and candles and offers guests a free birthday lobster instead. The Roswell restaurant known for superb seafood will treat you to a complimentary two-pound steamed whole Maine lobster when you dine at Aqua blue within 30 days of your birthday and purchase any other menu item. All you have to do is join Aqua blue’s eClub by signing up on the restaurant’s Web site or Facebook page. To claim your birthday crustacean, call 770-643-8886 at least 24 hours in advance and bring a printed copy of the eClub birthday email and your valid driver’s license to confirm your birth date. Not valid on tax, gratuity or in combination with other offers; limited to one lobster per table.

Aqua blue: 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770-643-8886.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Catching Up With Kevin Gillespie

Now that the "Top Chef" madness is slowly coming to a close, we sat down with Chef Kevin Gillespie to get the inside scoop on what he has been up to:

MLA: What's the next concert you're going to see?
KG: The Avett Brothers at the Fox on January 1. I am a huge fan.

MLA: Are you dating anyone seriously?
KG: Not yet, but I'm currently interviewing.

MLA: Have you changed since being on "Top Chef"?
KG: I haven't changed at all, but my world has changed a lot because I get recognized everywhere I go.

MLA: Are you thinking about restaurant number two?
KG: I'd love to have a little BBQ shack. If it could be on Cheshire Bridge, that'd be awesome, so it would be close to Woodfire Grill.

MLA: What do you want for Christmas?
KG: As for a gift I would love a Macbook or a new TV. I generally don't buy Christmas gifts or receive them, and instead give all of the money to a needy family or donate it to charity. I prefer Christmas to be about family than gift giving.

Find out more tonight when "Top Chef" airs their reunion episode at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Now Delivering Happiness (And Grilled Cheese) To Midtown

It’s about that time of day where your stomach starts to rumble and you start to think about lunch. What to get, what to get? Oh, we know.

And if it’s also one of those days where you are too swamped to leave the office, or have to plan food for the afternoon meeting, Noon Midtown has the answer for you!
Noon Midtown has started delivering to the central Midtown area, which means their savory sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as coffees, teas and juices can all be obtained by a simple phone call to 404-496-4891.

There’s a $10 minimum and delivery hours are between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Delivery is free in the areas highlighted on Noon Midtown’s website, but tips are always appreciated.

Don’t wait – the best grilled cheese in town is simply a phone call away from landing at your desk!

Noon Midtown: 1080 Peachtree Street, Suite 6, on Crescent Avenue between 11th and 12th streets; 404-496-4891.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Real $5 Find

A good martini is hard to find. A good martini for a good deal is even harder to find! Ray's Restaurants has solved this martini mystery by offering $5 premium martinis seven days a week at all three Atlanta-area locations. Whether you’re up in Alpharetta or in the heart of the city, taking time to try one of these cost-effective cocktails is a must!

Each martini starts with Absolut Vodka then adds:
  • Ray's Blue Smoke martini: Blue Curacao and Blue Smoke

  • Ray's Lemon Drop martini: lemon juice, sweet and sour mix and a sugared rim

  • Maytag martini: olive juice and Maytag blue cheese-stuffed olives

  • Pomegranate martini: pomegranate liqueur, Triple Sec and cranberry juice

  • Chocolate martini: a hint of vanilla, Godiva chocolate liqueur and Bailey's Irish cream

  • Georgia Peach martini: peach schnapps and a splash of orange juice

  • French martini: Chambord liqueur and pineapple juice

Ray's on the River: 6700 Powers Ferry Road; 770-955-1187.
Ray's Killer Creek: 1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta; 770-649-0064.
Ray's in the City: 240 Peachtree Street, NW; 404-524-9224

Monday, December 14, 2009

12 Meals, 12 Great Deals at Evos

Crime? Eating too much junk food!
I don't know about you but I get so tired of all the over-the-top eating we do at the holidays so I am loving the new promotion EVOS Feel Great Fast Food is doing - 12 Meal of Good Deals. We’re talking steakburgers and Airfries, not turtle doves and partridges. From now until Christmas Eve, Evos is featuring a different signature value meal each day at a price that will leave a little extra jingle in your holiday shopping budget.

December 12 – Crispy Thai Trout Wrap
December 13 – EVOS Original Championburger
December 14 – Chopped Steak Taco Wrap
December 15 – Honey Mesquite Chicken Burger
December 16 – Tomato Basil Chicken Wrap
December 17 – Chipotle Turkey Burger
December 18 – Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wrap
December 19 – Veggie Garden Grill Burger
December 20 – Spicy Thai Chicken Wrap
December 21 – Spicy Trout Filet Burger
December 22 – Avocado & Turkey Wrap
December 23 – EVOS Original Steakburger

*Vegetarian substitutions available upon request

EVOmaniacs who have a healthy holiday and collect six out of the 12 Meals of Good Deals cards will receive a $20 Greenback Gift Card. For those who prefer giving rather than receiving, you can choose to donate your $20 Greenback to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. I'm looking forward to using this as an opportunity to try out some new items on their menu starting with the avocado & turkey wrap - sounds delish!