Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekend Must-Do: "Beat It" To Center Stage tonight!

We know we usually focus on bringing you the latest culinary news. But it’s Friday, and we could all use a little boogie in our step after this busy winter week, so we’ll digress for a moment about a special duo of events coming up in the next few days!
It’s been less than a year since the King of Pop made his exit from our world, and audiences everywhere were glad that the film “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” gave us all a last glimpse into his world. Tonight, you can celebrate his legacy of music (and get your moonwalk on) at Center Stage Atlanta with Who’s Bad – the ultimate Michael Jackson cover band!
And in an extra special deal for you Michael fans, you can take your ticket stubs from the concert to the Brookhaven Blockbuster for their “This Is It” DVD release party on Monday night between 9 and midnight, and win a prize! There will also be dance lessons for classic routines to Jacko’s hits from Dance101’s Desiree Nathanson, and a glove (and coat) drive held by Atlanta Coats Of Love going on. For more about either event, check out Center Stage Atlanta and the Blockbuster event page. Who’s bad, indeed!

Follow Friday: Our Tweep Of The Week @ATLCheap

Everybody is looking for a way to save a buck or two where they can these days, and Jennifer Maciejewski brings Atlantans a way to hold on to their money and still have fun in the big city practically every day. We love that!

Whether it’s a museum exhibit ticket deal or a way to eat out for less you’re looking for these days, you’ll definitely want to follow her on twitter and keep up with her blog for the best tips on keeping your hard-earned cheddar securely in your wallet!

It's Sublime

Between RA Sushi and Noon Midtown I spend more time than is healthy at the 1010 Midtown building. RA Sushi has become my go to spot for post-work cocktails and delish sushi dinners - seriously, go try the Tootsy Maki and then just try not to go back... But, Noon Midtown has become my favorite spot for breakfast meetings. I love the central location and easy parking, but what I really love is that now I can get my Sublime Doughnuts fix while I'm there. Yep, you heard right; Noon Midtown offers Sublime Doughnuts (ahem, AND Counter Culture coffee) so there is really no excuse to go anywhere else in the mornings. After my breakfast of sugar and caffeine, I'm happy to stay the day working off of Noon's free Wi-Fi until I'm hungry for lunch and then it's hellllloooo roast beef sandwich! Can you beat a day like that?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A festival for feathers?

Do you love chicken, turkey, duck, hen or any other type of feathered meats? If you said yes, then you're in for a treat because it's time for Featherfest 2010. Nearly 40 Atlanta restaurants are taking part in the friendly culinary competition during the week of January 22 - 27 by creating egg-ceptional appetizers, entrées and desserts using poultry meat or eggs. Tweet, cluck or sweetly henpeck your wingman or roost mates to fly the coop and alight with you at participating nests of nourishment, including Ray's in the City, Truva and Fifth Group Restaurants'® Ecco, La Tavola Trattoria, South City Kitchen Midtown and The Original El Taco.

So grab your knife and fork and feel free to join me when I chow down on some of my fallen feathered friends.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mark Your Calendar: Unite For Haiti!

If you’re like me, the images I’ve seen in the past week from Haiti’s devastation have tugged at my heart in an intense way, and it’s easy to feel helpless when you’re so far removed. This Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., Atlantans will have an opportunity to help, through a great fundraiser Unite For Haiti! being held at Aurum Lounge in Midtown.

Your check or cash donations get you in the door and will be given to Care International, Partners In Health, and Save The Children. All money raised at the party will be given to these very worthy organizations who are helping in big ways in Haiti.

DJ Y will be keeping the crowd entertained, as will the delicious nibbles from favorite Atlanta restaurants. There will also be a can’t-miss raffle featuring great prizes from fantastic local business like Spice Market, Decatur Yoga, Decatur CD, The W Midtown and more. For more information, check out their Facebook event page. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for Haiti and every penny counts!

What Does Dunwoody Taste Like?

Circle Feb. 5 on your calendar so you can be at the W Perimeter to sample Dunwoody's finest fare. Not only will you be nibbling your way through 25 restaurants' specialties, but it's a benefit for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to boot. It's always a sell-out event so buy your Taste of Dunwoody tickets this week! The new Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food in Sandy Springs and Roswell’s upscale Aqua blue will be there. Details: 7 – 10:30 p.m. on Friday, February 5 at the W Atlanta Perimeter. Cash bar. Silent Auction. Live music by RELIX . Contact Julianna Rue or call 404-785-7337.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get Three Courses of Comfort for Only $35 at Ray's Restaurants

Come in from the cold to Ray's Restaurants (Ray's on the River, Ray's in the City and Ray's Killer Creek) where you can warm up with Ray’s Wonderful Winter dinner menu for a sizzling price of $35 per person. This definitely beats curling up on the couch with hot cocoa and a Snuggie! Choose a selection from each of the three menu courses. Start with a soup or salad, with options such as crab bisque with aged sherry or Ray’s house salad. Then move on to the entrée course which features garlic shrimp penne pasta, a six-ounce petite filet, a 12-ounce New York strip or Chef Tom’s award-winning 10-ounce Niman Ranch Frenched bone pork chop. The sweet finale includes the classics: chocolate cake or crème brûlée. Wine is not included in the menu price, but wine pairings are suggested on the menu for those guests who would like to add them to the meal. Substitutions are not permitted for this prix fixe menu, and items cannot be split.

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, January 18, 2010

Throwdown at Le Cordon Bleu Challenge

As a big Top Chef/ Iron Chef/ insert any cooking competition here fan, I was more than thrilled to be able to participate in the Le Cordon Bleu Challenge last week at their school in Tucker, Georgia! The event was held to celebrate the national re-naming of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and to benefit Ronald McDonald House. And as it turns out, it’s just as much fun to participate in a challenge as it is to watch, even though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

We were given the challenge of creating Poulet Sauté aux Fines Herbes (Sautéed Chicken with Herbs) and lucky for me, I was paired with talented local chef Jeff Sigler from River Room, Fox 5’s Blaze, and quite a few VERY capable Le Cordon Bleu students who more than knew their way around the school’s huge restaurant kitchen. We got to work with the clock ticking down from 60 minutes as a hungry audience of more than 60 people watched and waited to judge our creations!

The dish our chef had in mind was inspired by a classic mirepoix combination – the celery, onion, carrot goodness that makes up every delicious chicken stock you’ve ever tasted. Our sautéed chicken sat atop an insanely good celery root cream, accompanied by pearl onions and shaved celery with pickled white beech mushroom salad. Some light and airy carrot foam (that yours truly whipped up) topped the dish off for a little extra flair.

Our hands were flying over pots and pans as the timer quickly counted down… I felt the true sense of stress and urgency the contestants on those shows feel as I piped the last of the celery root cream into our samples for the audience! Luckily, the audience enjoyed our flavor combinations – and our team walked away with the 1st place “Bleu” Ribbon! I’ll have a special sense of appreciation now when I’m watching other challenges, and will always remember my one night as a Le Cordon Bleu chef.

Cast Your Vote

It’s election time at Metromix, with a full ballot of "Best of" categories to be filled. Here are some of our prime picks: Morton's The Steakhouse -- Best Steak Restaurant; AltoRex -- Best Hotel Bar; Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food -- Best Margarita; Pacci Ristorante -- Best New Restaurant. We're also excited to see that Woodfire Grill snagged nominations in two categories: one for Best Restaurant and another for Kevin Gillespie for Best Local Chef. Take a look and make your picks today!