Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Appetizing Aperture of the Week

This week's aperture comes all the way from Charleston's Tristan! Executive Chef Nate Whiting's inventive style is evident in this grilled beef rib loin dish with poached eggs, molten smoked potato fritter and malt steak sauce.

Lots To Gobble Up for Atlanta Diners This Thanksgiving

Decision time. One, nail down those Thanksgiving meal plans (and be thankful for so many choices). Two, what to do about braving Black Friday, even as it edges into Thanksgiving Thursday. Tough choices, but remember, Atlanta restaurants are ready to come to your rescue with order-ahead meals, dining-out reservations and spreads...and plenty of places for bargainistas to take refuge on Black Friday.  

The night before the relatives arrive, both locations of Atkins Park Tavern will be holding a Thanksgiving Eve Party to usher in the holiday! Then enjoy Big Green Egg smoked turkey breast with caramelized apples, sage stuffing and cider gravy, along with braised pork shoulder with roasted root vegetables and bourbon glaze at Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland starting at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna opens doors at 4 p.m. to serve deep-fried Creole turkey breast and Dr. Pepper spiral glazed ham for the main course joined by Southern sides of pimento cheese deviled eggs and pickled beet and squash casserole with a cracker topping. At both restaurants, the meal is $20 for adults, $15 for young adults and $8 for children 10 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). And yes, there will be desserts. Reservations are recommended; call Virginia Highland at 404 -876-7249 or Smyrna at 770-435-1887.

At Midtown-fave Briza, seasonal American cuisine with Southern inspiration tops the tables on the day's Thanksgiving turkey plate along with fall squash soup and pie served until 8 p.m. Or, take advantage of the lounge and bar area's all-day menu. Reservations are recommended; call 678-412-2402.

Head north to Marietta for a traditional Southern meal at Chicken and the Egg, where the menu offers a choice of entrée, three sides and a dessert. Served 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $18 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended; call 678-388-8813.

Ease into the kitchen and simultaneously enjoy your company by including the New York Butcher Shoppe in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs on your guest list. Turn over your own casserole dishes, and they'll fill them with your choice of sides to serve 8 to 10 people. Sides include green bean, squash or broccoli casseroles, Grandma Mary's potatoes au gratin, mashed regular or sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, sausage or bacon/egg casserole, roasted veggies or roasted baby dill carrots, and an array of salads including tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella, Caesar, Greek pasta or broccoli.  There's even cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Talking turkey, theirs are $2.99 a pound and come in three sizes to feed 6-8, 9-12 or 13-16 people -- and they'll brine your turkey for you. Fresh Tanglewood Farms free-range, all-natural turkeys are raised in North Carolina and packed fresh, not frozen or deep chilled. These are the same turkeys featured by four- and five-star restaurants and private clubs! Contact your nearby shop via email or phone:  Dunwoody at 770-399-6328 or Sandy Springs at 404-303-0704.

"RA Retail Therapy" at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant reveals food and drink deals extended from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on the busiest shopping day of the year, November 25. You have time to rack in some retail action first -- RA Sushi's doors open and specials begin at 11 a.m. Shop the menu of more than 35 sushi, appetizer, and tapas selections, plus a wide variety of beer, wine and signature cocktails ranging from $2 to $7.

Two Ray's Restaurants locations will dish up Thanksgiving feasts. Spoon some of this, more of that from the extensive Thanksgiving buffet at Ray's on the River at the perimeter top end$39.95 for adults and $19.95 for children 5-10; available from 10 a.m. until the last seating at 7:45 p.m. For reservations, call 770-955-1187. A few miles north at Ray's at Killer Creek in Alpharetta, savor a Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, house-made dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and succotash. The by-the-plate cost is $27 or choose the three-course option with soup or salad anddessert is $36. For reservations, call 770-649-0064.

Southerners seeking kitchen relief can turn to South City Kitchen Midtown and South City KitchenVinings, where doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A special three-course menu offers guests their choice of one appetizer, entrée and dessert, priced at $39.95 for adults and $19.98 for children 12 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended. If you prefer a Thanksgiving meal at home, order a complete dinner to go for eight people for $200. Included are a boneless, roasted turkey breast, collard greens, buttermilk whipped potatoes, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, house-made biscuits and corn muffins and a whole pumpkin or pecan pie with whipped cream for dessert. Orders must be received by Monday, November 21 for pick up on Wednesday, November 23. For reservations or to-go orders, call Midtown at 404-873-7358 or Vinings at 770-435-0700.  

The pilgrims ventured west, but you can head towards a Southeast Asian-inspired Thanksgiving meal at Spice Market in the W Atlanta-Midtown for $39 per person (tax and gratuity are not included). The menu is available from 5 - 9 p.m.  For reservations, call 404-724-2550.

Home chefs saying "yes" to impressing guests with their own poultry prowess can order an American Standard Bronze turkey from White Oak Pastures (WOP). Raised in an open-pasture lifestyle, WOP's Free Range Pastured Turkeys are very different from the hybrid industrial turkeys filling freezer cases during the holidays. No antibiotics, no added hormones, pure taste. Three sizes:  $75 small (8-12 pounds), $100 medium (12-16 pounds), $125 large (17+ pounds). Shipping costs are calculated per mile per pound. Order online or by calling 229-641-2081.

Falcons and the Egg: Chef Marc Taft Takes Over the Local Chef Stand November 20

Chef /Owner Marc Taft takes wing from Marietta's Chicken and the Egg to the Georgia Dome for the Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans game kicking off at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 20. Find Taft inside 2View Restaurant located in the Dome's east end zone on the executive concourse (near the suites). 

Try out the game-day favorites he'll be preparing -- smoked chicken nachos with bacon, pimento cheese fondu and green tomato and Vidalia onion salsa, and beer-brined turkey wings with celery and garlic/buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Screens show turf action so you won't miss a beat while you eat!

It's Follow Friday; Meet Our Tweep of the Week @JovitaMoore

We did our own investigative reporting on WSB Anchor/Reporter Jovita Moore. Turns out you can learn quite a bit by following her tweets and taking a look at her "favorites." Who else can you think of that keeps the Atlanta Police Foundation, Georgia Highway Safety, the FBI -- and TargetStyle and Clark Howard all on speed-tweet?  To keep up with more, by way of Moore, follow her on Twitter (@JovitaMoore).  Get more news and even more Moore on WSB's website.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Come on in to Chepe's in Johns Creek

Starting today, Johns Creek-ers can quell a case of the queso attacks by high tailing it to the new Chepe’s Mexican Grill in the Old Alabama Square shopping center at the corner of Old Alabama and Haynes Bridge roads. Once you open the menu, you’ll want to stay for much more of Chepe’s “Always Friendly, Always Fresh,” generously portioned Mexican favorites. Prices are easy to swallow: appetizers ($4 - $9), soups and salads ($5 - $8) and entrées ($5 - $15). Look forward to two kinds of salsa made throughout the day to welcome you with house-made chips, daily specials such as “Wing It Wednesday” with half-off those famous Mexican wings, and a full bar pouring everything from fresh juices and fruit smoothies to signature margaritas made
to order, homemade sangria, beer and more. The three Atlanta amigos behind Chepe’s are passionate about keeping it family friendly and community oriented. Chepe’s covers the suburban calendar by offering call-ahead-to-go ordering, catering options and margarita machines. Open daily for lunch and dinner. More on Facebook. With five Atlanta-area locations to choose from, hurry in and see why Chepe's was named a Reader's Choice favorite for Best Taco and Best Mexican Restaurant in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Chepe’s Mexican Grill – Johns Creek: 3005 Old Alabama Road; 770-521-2321.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tis' The Season For New Menu Items At Marlow's

Cooler weather is trending, meaning sweaters and jackets on the outside and a hot and filling new menu from Marlow's Tavern to warm you on the inside. Baked lump crab bread, for starters, sounds extremely enticing with its creamy blend of lump crab, spinach, mozzarella, provolone, chives, citrus aioli and basil oil on toasty ciabatta. Two hands or a fork and knife are required for the "Everything AND the Kitchen Sink" burger. More succulent proteins include the grilled turkey meatloaf and pan-roasted root veggies; grilled center-cut filet; pecan-crusted trout with roasted spaghetti squash; grilled Atlantic salmon; pecan-crusted chicken salad with crumbled gorgonzola, applewood-smoked bacon and a tomato and honey pecan vinaigrette. New starters and mains range from $11 - $19.50. And, Marlow's desserts ($6) do sweetly sustain one. Choose from fried apple pie, classic crème brûlée with a seasonal twist and chocolate banana bread pudding. Packing more heat than an Irish coffee are Marlow's strong wintry mixes of Blue Berry Buck with Hanger One Blue Berry; River Boat Sour incorporating Leopold's Sour Apple Whiskey; Boulevardier with Wathen's Kentucky Bourbon Single Barrel, Aperol liquor and Cocchi Vermouth; and a Tupelo Honey martini that hints of Deep South sunsets. There are eight Marlow's Taverns to choose from; find the location near you online.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoy Perfect Pairings at Double Zero Napoletana's Wine Dinner

Keep the turkey on the back burner for another week or two -- Double Zero Napoletana has an Italian wine dinner for you on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. Fosco Amorosso of Tricana Wines will join guests to discuss the night’s small production Italian wine selections that will be paired with the five-course fall dinner. 

On the menu:  butternut squash fritters on a bed of caramelized onions and garnished with watercress, lemon honey and black pepper and paired with Montesel Prosecco 2010; grilled prawns seasoned with Italian herbs and Calabrian chilies, dressed with a red pepper coulis and served with Alexandri Sauvignon Blanc 2010; lamb cheeks served over butternut squash purée with roasted chanterelle mushrooms, caramelized artichoke hearts and finished with a mint foam paired with Cairel Nebbiolo d’Alba 2008; braised beef short rib and smoked sweet potato purée finished with a pan sauce demi, crispy sage and shallots and served with Fattoi Brunello di Montalcino 2004; and house-made zucchini cake accompanied by carrot mascarpone gelato. Cost is $99 per person, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. For reservations, call 404-991-3666 or e-mail

A Smashing Good Time in Kennesaw

On Wednesday, November 30, the fourth Atlanta-area location of Smashburger will arrive in Kennesaw at 440 Ernest W. Barrett Parkway, giving Cobb County residents and visitors a chance to sink their teeth into the restaurant's "better burger." Smashburger's signature method of "smashing" burgers on a flat grill to sear in the juicy flavor is one we've come to know and love. Their 100 percent Certified Angus Beef Atlanta Smashburger and Atlanta Smashdog -- both topped with Wicked Pimena cheese and Vidalia coleslaw -- are sure to be smash hits in Kennesaw, too. Local beer, wine, hand-spun Häagen-Dazs shakes and IBC® root beer floats in frosted mugs complete the dining experience.

If you just can't wait that long to get "smashed," visit one of Atlanta's other three Smashburger locations in Buckhead, Johns Creek or Alpharetta in the meantime.