Friday, July 8, 2011

2, 4, 6, 8, No. 246 Has Been Worth The Wait!

Ford Fry, owner/executive chef of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, and Chef Drew Belline, previously the chef de cuisine at Floataway Café, are opening No. 246 -- their new Italian-inspired, locally driven restaurant in easy-going Decatur next week! Stay tuned to their Facebook page to get the scoop! No. 246 (twofoursix) takes its name from the original number of the plot of land where the restaurant sits. Through their joint venture, Fry and Belline share their passions for using seasonal, local ingredients, simple preparations and wood-fired cooking -- key strengths of both Californian and Italian kitchens.

The No. 246 menu veers off the Southeast's meat-centric path, setting forth more vegetables and dishes driven by local farm produce. Dinner dish examples include "start" of wood oven-roasted razor clams with salsa verde and lemon. Among the "flour & water" selections are garganelli with soffritto-braised rabbit, sultanas, broccoli rabe and pecorino and a cherrystone clam pizza with grana padano, parsley butter, garlic and chilies. "From the hearth" items include wood oven-roasted Springer Mountain chicken with hen-of-the-woods, roasted young carrots and a sherry-bacon vinaigrette or a whole wood-roasted fish of the moment. As a "finish," dessert options include lemon balm buttermilk panna cotta with lemon marmalade and brown butter blueberry croustade with crème fraîche. Lunch features entrée salads and sandwiches including the No. 246 burger with Teleme and house pickles and a BLT featuring Belline Farm's tomato, fior di latte, backyard basil and prosciutto.

Lara Creasy directs the beverage program, pouring wines from Italy and California and providing a revolving list of "house wine" values by the glass or half-carafe. Cocktails contain numerous traditional Italian ingredients -- vermouths, amaros, aperitivos, digestivos, seasonal fruits and produce, Italian sodas and house-made mixers. Coffee also will be a priority at No. 246 -- perfect to enjoy in a place where the front doors spill out onto the sidewalk while the backdoor opens into a yard green with an herb garden, shuffleboard court, and a deck built around a tree where live music will be played on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily and will not accept reservations. So, what comes after No. 246? Ate, of course.

No. 246
: 129 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue in Decatur; 678-399-8246.

It's Follow Friday; Meet our Tweep of the Week @BeerGuruATL

Ron Smith is on a mission to spread the word about great beer in Atlanta and far beyond.  Easy enough in this Tweetable world.  Latch onto his finds on Twitter (@BeerGuruATL).  

If you're already sitting down, beer/stout/ale in hand, twist open his blog for more worthy brews, destinations, reads and beer info!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smash, Sizzle and Savor the New Burger Joint that Just Rolled into Atlanta

Smashburger is here! This “better burger” joint just opened their doors today at the intersection of Piedmont Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard. More than 100 Smashburger locations across the U.S. are already pleasing customers with the "Smash - Sizzle - Savor" effect as hand-formed balls of 100-percent-fresh, never-frozen Certified Angus Beef are smashed to order, seared on the grill to hold in all that juicy goodness then eased onto a buttered artisanal bun and topped with cheese. Over the next seven years, 20 more locations are set to open. With a selection of burgers, hot dogs, grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches, signature salads, and sides like veggie frites, seasoned Smashfries and sweet potato fries, this burger place has it all! But we can’t forget to mention their regional specialty, the Atlanta Burger topped with peach BBQ sauce, Wicked® Pimena cheese, grilled jalapeños and Vidalia coleslaw on an egg bun, which is sure to please anyone below the Mason Dixon line. Smashburger also has a selection of beer and wine to please the adults and brian-freezing Häagen-Dazs shakes and root beer floats to keep the kids happy!

Don’t forget to stop by today and join their mobile club by texting “SmashburgerATL” to 90210 to receive updates and special offers!

Smashburger: 2625 Piedmont Road, NE; 404-237-2374.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Four Days of Peas & Love" Starts Tonight at Ecco!

If you're looking for a more satisfying way to squeeze those veggies into your diet, Ecco is your answer. Head to the Midtown restaurant for dinner tonight through Saturday, July 9 for "Four Days of Peas & Love," which includes an array of veggie-centric specials that will be offered in addition to the regular menu. Specials include items like crisp oyster mushrooms a la plancha with smoked paprika and garlic oil; grilled artichokes with smoked bacon and lemon mousseline; and green peanut fritter (or field green fritter) with dried shrimp, Thai basil and Sungold tomatoes. Visit Ecco's website for the full menu and be sure to make reservations - this delicious veggie love will only last four days!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Start Your Weekend with "Summer of Giving" at Fleming's

Charity budgets have taken a bite over the past few years with demand up and donations down.  Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is eager to help out and is hosting a series of fundraisers during their "Summer of Giving" series benefiting local charitable organizations.  Each event will feature wine and hors d'oeuvre pairings in the restaurant's private dining room.  Fleming's will donate 20 percent of each night's proceeds to the particular charity being recognized.  

The "Summer of Giving" begins this Friday, July 8, when the restaurant welcomes The Learning Tea, followed by Kate's Club (July 15), Atlanta Children's Shelter (July 22) and Camp Twin Lakes (August 5).  All events are from 6 - 8 p.m. and are $25 per person.  Call Fleming's at 770-698-8112 to purchase tickets. Fleming's also is giving a $25 gift card to "Summer of Giving" attendees to use at their next visit.