Friday, December 21, 2012

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

Susie Middleton of Six Burner Sue (@sixburnersue) wants to see veggies at every meal. She's penned two cookbooks toward this mission: "Fast, Fresh & Green" and "The Fresh & Green Table." Living on a small farm in Martha's Vineyard may have something to do with her voracious appetite for growing, cooking and eating fresh and green. Snatch a recipe link off her Twitter or fill up on all things veggie on her Six Burner Sue blog.

What's New on Pinterest: Cookie Corner

Who's ready for an online cookie exchange? Our Pinterest board is a virtual bakery case of ideas and finger-licking photos. Especially useful: the step-by-step guide to decorating gingerbread folk, gluten-free chocolate thumbprint cookies and the so-cute peanut butter reindeer cookies. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Appetizing Aperture: National Sangria Day at Uncle Julio's

Thursday, December 20 is National Sangria Day - cool stuff at Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food. Take it straight up in homemade sangria-on-the-rocks or stir your straw around in The Swirl, Uncle Julio's signature drink that layers homemade frozen sangria and frozen margarita. Ho, ho, ho, it's quite a festive swirl of deep red and pale green in a frosty mug. 

Kaleidoscope Celebrates 2 Years and You're Invited!

Kaleidoscope Bistro and Pub has two reasons to celebrate this season: the restaurant celebrates its 2nd anniversary and its on the same day as Christmas Eve! The globally attuned restaurant wants its guests to come out and enjoy a special three-course meal for $20.12 (see the pun?) Anniversary parties are all about tradition though, so K-Pub will still have its regular menu available along with some awesome drink specials, because what better way is there to celebrate than to raise a glass? The best part, there's no cover charge for this gathering. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m. 

Also worth celebrating... if you have great photos of the first two years at Kaleidoscope, be sure to enter the restaurant's Facebook contest - the winner will win dinner for two in January! 

Reservations are optional, call 404-474-9600 for more details.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Speaking Easily About Winter Cocktails at Atlanta Restaurants

Cocktails at No. 246

Ice has its place in the winter, preferably sparkling in a glass ready to host a mixologist’s potion at one of Atlanta’s warm and amiable restaurants. While we won’t divulge recipes, we will share some of the ingredients and tip you toward places to find the alluring elixirs.

At Fifth Group Restaurants, mixologists generate cocktails with vision. Picture where you’ll be as you sip The Shores of Paris made with Breckenridge Vodka, Lillet Rouge and Combier and Kümmel liqueurs; Fireside with smoky hints of Fidencio Mezcal Joven, The Irishman Irish Whiskey, Flor de Cana 7-year Rum, Grand Marnier and bitters; Brickwalker with baked apple and black walnut bitters muddled with Dolin Rouge Vermouth dressed with Bulleit Rye, a sugar cube and a brandied cherry; and the forceful Renegade of Redemption Rye, Cynar, amaretto and bitters.

For a cocktail as lovely to look at as to imbibe, try the elegant Haute Holiday at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Each champagne flute bubbles with Mionetto Prosecco, St. Germain and Quady Elysium. Spice girls and guys may crave the Merry Mint Spice where Gentleman Jack, Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur, POM juice, simple syrup and fresh mint leaves meet over ice in a bucket glass.

Atlanta’s Westside is home to JCT. Kitchen & Bar where guests are going gaga over winter mixers such as the Poinsettia with poached cranberries, Ruby Liqueur and prosecco; Stocking Full of Coal with Gosling’s Black Rum, Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur, Black Strap Molasses and Smuttynose Porter; Figgy Pudding rich with brown sugar syrup, aromatic bitters and fig-infused Jim Beam; Reindeer Games  playfully blending Averell Damson Gin, Knickerbocker Gin, Leopold’s Cranberry Liqueur, lemon and cranberry bitters; Feliz Navidad’s heady blend of Lunazul-infused cinnamon, Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur, chocolate and orange; a Little Rummer Boy that snares vanilla-infused 10 Cane Rum, falernum, Tuaca Liqueur, lemon juice and Whiskey Barrel Bitters; a heartwarming Mistle Toddy mug of spiced Redemption Rye, Cherry Heering, honey and chai tea; and Mull it Over served hot, cold, sparkling or still with mulled wine, wassail and spiced cider.

This winter, The Optimist promises smooth sailing with a cocktail glass or mug for every taste. Coconut eggnog twists a tropical classic of eggs, cream, Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum, coconut milk and nutmeg while Shandy Claus wraps a woodsy blend of Tanqueray, Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps, IPA, lemon, sugar and grapefruit bitters. Cold noses will thaw over Mexican hot chocolate spiked with Hangar One Chipotle Vodka, Kahlua, cinnamon and sea salt or a hot buttered rum with The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, cinnamon-clove butter and brown sugar. Ticklers include Christmas on Cape Cod, which tops citrus vodka and cranberry juice with a prosecco floater and spice-poached New England cranberries or the Sparkle Motion of cava, true-pomegranate grenadine and pomegranate seeds.

Come in from the cold to cheery No. 246 in downtown Decatur where gem-hewed glasses include Pimm’s Cup, Red Ryder, Poinsettia, Royal Tannenbaum and a fragrant spiked cider with a cinnamon bark swizzle stick.

Ten nostalgically named winter signature cocktails top the cocktail menu at The Pinewood in Decatur. Roots Radicals mixes Bulleit Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, sugar beet, Maraschino and lime; El Wormhole shakes up Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Fidencio Mezcal, amaretto, caramelized apple gastrique and bitters; Golden Fiddle strums Bacardi Solera, Cardamaro, Georgia sweet potato, white balsamic, house ginger soda and Grains of Paradise spice. More options include Day that I Die with Riverboat Rye, buckwheat honey and Georgia pecan tincture; the PWTR Draft Old Fashioned of small batch bourbon, bitters and oleo saccharum; PWTR Draft Sazerac with rye, bitters, gomme syrup and absinthe rinse; Pinewood Porch Punch of spiced tea-infused vodka, fresh citrus, orange flower water, bitters and sugar or a star-struck list including B. Bardot, Violet Beauregarde and Jackie O

Roots Radicals at The Pinewood

10th and Piedmont Turns Sunday Into a Social Event with Bellini Brunch and Afternoon Tea Dance

10th and Piedmont may be the new folks in town, but they sure know how to draw in the crowds on a lazy Sunday. The new Midtown restaurant hosts a Bellini brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a tea dance until close. 

A traditional afternoon tea dance followed garden parties in the English countryside in the 1800s and has since carried over to the States in the 1920s (think the song "Tea for Two" in the Broadway musical "No, No Nanette.") Restaurant owners and brothers Sean and Gilbert Yeremyan have modernized this tradition by bringing in a live DJ for dance music. Just like those old garden parties, there is no cover charge. 

Bellinis are only available during brunch and the bubbly complements the menu of Chef Brett Ring. The multicultural and southern cuisine feature items such as "Hair of the Dog," toasted Cuban bread topped with smoked tomatoes, Asiago cheese, two poached eggs and vodka tomato gravy; a meaty breakfast with two eggs, link sausage, ham, toasted bread and butter, bacon and grilled tomatoes; chicken and waffles; grits with applewood smoked bacon, sweet corn and sorghum syrup; grilled cheese and tomato bisque; So-Co bagel and lox; buttermilk biscuits with vodka tomato gravy and choice of country ham sausage or bacon; as well as customary morning foods such as blueberry pancakes, oatmeal and more. 

FYI, the Yeremyan brothers also own and operate HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern and Gilbert's Café & Bar as part of their restaurant group, Communitas Hospitality.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pop the Cork on New Year's Plans and More in this Week's Dish

Leave the cooking and party planning to Atlanta restaurants this New Year's Eve and Day. Check out the offerings from some of the top dining spots in the city, plus plenty more to celebrate in this week's Dish!

Marlow's Tavern Opens at Emory Point Community Today

Marlow's Tavern gives its patrons one more place to dine out in Atlanta with the newest location opening this Tuesday December 18. Located in the new Emory Point shopping district at 1627 Clifton Road, the restaurant's 160-seated dining room and covered patio are sure to draw in the Decatur community as it becomes a lively neighborhood hangout.
 The classic American tavern fare and hand-crafted cocktails are appealing and affordable.Another reason to dine out at the new Marlow's is the debut of the new winter menu that includes dishes such as stuffed turkey burgers and steak frites, classic shrimp and crab nachos and the Prestige Farms grilled chicken panini. The beverage menu showcases a variety of white and red wines, a simple yet pleasing beer menu and homemade cocktails mixed with fresh fruit, simple syrup and small batch liquors.

The first Marlow’s Tavern location opened in 2004 in Alpharetta. Over the past eight years, Marlow’s Tavern locations have sprung up in neighborhoods across the metro-Atlanta area. Marlow’s builds a sense of community through involvement with non-profit organizations such as Special Olympics Georgia and the Atlanta Community Food Bank, as well as by welcoming each guest with warm hospitality and world-class food and drinks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pop the Cork on New Year's Eve Revelry and New Year's Day Dining to Usher in 2013

Atlantans looking for a reason to celebrate Mondays have a big one: New Year's Eve falls on a Monday this year. Our city's restaurants are ready with parties and dinners both elegant and casual. If a resolution is to try out more restaurants, go ahead and start on New Year's Day with some of these suggestions.

Welcome the New Year with the new kid in Midtown, 10th & Piedmont, which is already quite at home on the corner that formerly housed Outwrite bookstore. Food and drink specials, the regular menu and a DJ are part of the plan. Reservations accepted for parties of eight or more. Rent out a booth in the "celebration lounge." Call 404-602-5510 for details and minimums.

Aqua blue in Roswell is hosting a festive Blue Year's Eve celebration. A special three-course prix fixe menu is available for $49 per person in addition to the full à la carte menu. Enjoy menu items like the Maine lobster bisque, five-spice New York strip and crispy shrimp and house-made warm chocolate cake. DJ starts up at 9 p.m. followed by a champagne toast and party favors at midnight. Reservations: 770-643-8886. 

In the heart of Midtown, Ecco rings in the new year with special menu items on Monday, December 31. The special additions include beet velouté with pears, nasturtium, bay scallop crudo and smoked paprika ($13); baked farm egg with charred duck liver, preserved lemon, lavender cream and celery leaves ($10); roasted quail with chestnut risotto and black currant gastrique ($18); wood-grilled rib-eye with smoked cauliflower, crisp chanterelle mushrooms and béarnaise ($58); steelhead trout with scarlet queen turnips, roe, saffron and arugula ($29), and milk chocolate torte with spiced pineapple and pine nut tuile ($9). The regular menu is available in addition to these one-night-only dishes. For reservations, call 404-347-9555.

Ring in the New Year over a weekend-long celebration at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. From 4 p.m. on Friday, December 28 until Tuesday, January 1, indulge in festive holiday cocktails or featured bubbly and then dine from the New Year's menu or famous à la carte menu. The special New Year's menu starts with poached gulf shrimp over Southern-style goat cheese grits, included with entrée price. Entrées include Delmonico steak with blue crab and Gruyère glassage for $74.95, filet mignon and lobster brioche bread pudding for $69.95 and lobster tail with mac and cheese for $79. Chocolate budino finishes the meal for $9.95. Tax and gratuity not included. Reservations: 770-698-8112. 

JCT. Kitchen & Bar is serving a Southern dinner this New Year's Eve on Monday, December 31. For $65 per person, the restaurant is offering a taste plus a three-course meal. Diners begin the meal with the featured taste of aged goat cheese with country ham and garlic herb toast. Other sample items from the menu include smoked baby beets with watermelon radish, Asher Blue, tiny croutons and green goddess; hickory smoked beef short ribs and seared sea scallops with root vegetable Gouda gratin and braising reduction; and "nearly" flourless chocolate cake with milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate sorbet. There is a corkage fee of $10 per bottle. For reservations or more information, call 404-355-2252.

The second annual New Year's Eve party at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub happens Monday, December 31, beginning with dinner service from 5 p.m. on and an optional three-course meal for $20.12. Food and drink specials roll all evening, and DJ B-Dub starts spinning tunes at 10 p.m. Champagne is available for a midnight toast, and the bar is open until 2 a.m. No cover charge.

Atlantans can bite into the New Year with Little Cake Bakery's strawberry and champagne cupcakes. These sweet confections pair perfectly with a glass of bubbly. For more information or to place orders, call 404-841-8856.

Visit your neighborhood Marlow's Tavern this New Year's Eve for a chef-driven, prix fixe menu for $37 per person. Start with Maine lobster and shrimp chowder or the winter tavern salad. The main plate is a grilled veal chop with Canadian milk-fed veal, harvest vegetable and lump crab hash, dried cranberry, beurre blanc, asparagus and cranberry veal demi. Chocolate crème brûlée fulfills the sweet tooth. More information and locations are on the website. The newest Marlow's Tavern in Emory Point will be open on New Year's Eve.

Add an Italian twist to New Year's Eve at Decatur's No. 246. Their four-course menu is $55 per person and features local cauliflower panna cotta with frothy sea urchin sweet butter, Osetra caviar, soft herbs and brioche; Nantucket Bay scallop carpaccio with Meyer lemon; local crispy parsnips with Tennessee black truffles; butter-poached Maine lobster with young fennel, blood orange, tarragon, olives and arugula; and brie and white chocolate cheesecake with roasted pears and walnut nougatine. Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Day. Reservations: 678-399-8246.

In West Midtown, The Optimist will ring in 2013 with a four-course prix fixe menu on New Year's Eve for $65 per person. Menu items include shrimp pop tarts; baked Virginia oysters with spinach, bacon, preserved lemon and parmesan cheese; grouper with white wine-steamed clams, lump crab meat, leeks, baby bok choy and lemon; and banana custard pocket pie with pralines, pralines and cream ice cream and salted pecans. Reservations: 404-477-6260.

Midtown's RA Sushi Bar Restaurant throws a RAckin' New Year's Eve party from 7 p.m. to close. Evening-long food specials include Firework shrimp, "RA"solution roll, Stroke of Midnight maki and Edamame Eve dip. Party drinks include half-price sake and specialty cocktails. Note: RA Sushi is open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day. More information: call 404-267-0114.

Ray's Restaurants offers diners a warm place to gather this holiday season. Ray's on the Creek in Alpharetta is open from 5-11 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m.; New Year's Day hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 770-649-0064. Ray's on the River is throwing a New Year's Eve party from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. in the Grand Pavilion. Guests can partake of the premium open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvre, oyster shucking station, six-piece live band with dancing plus a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast. $125 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 770-955-1187 or email; credit card number required to hold reservations. The restaurant itself is open from 5-11 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m. They also will be open New Year's Day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Ray's in the City is open New Year's Eve from 4-11 p.m. and New Year's Day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 404-524-9224.

On Monday, December 31, South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Vinings  are celebrating New Year's Eve with a special three-course prix fixe menu at $42 per person. Both locations are offering options such as house-made pimento cheese with toasted corn crackers, butter pickles and celery hearts, pan-seared duck breast with butternut puree, mustard greens and sweet garlic jus, and Velvet Elvis Cake, banana-chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter icing. For more information or to make reservations, call 404-873-7358 for the Midtown location and 770-435-0700 for the Vinings location.

Woodfire Grill is offering several five-course menu options on New Year's Eve. The chef's tasting menu and pescatarian option are priced at $115 per person and the vegetarian menu is $100. Wine pairings are also available for $12 per glass or $20 per glass for premium wines. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404-347-9055. 

Celebrate New Year's Day with Bantam + Biddy's special menu or order from the regular menu. On Tuesday, January 1, the restaurant offers a traditional Southern special of corned Brasstown ham and ham gravy, stewed organic black-eyed peas, braised collard greens, Buckeye Creek grits and sweet potato pie, all for $20. Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas are offered all day for $10. Call 404-907-3469 for more information.