The Falcons might not have made it into the Super Bowl (there’s always next year), but the party is still happening this Sunday. Hit up these Atlanta joints to watch the big game surrounded by food, drinks and fellow football fans. If you’d rather stay in, one specialty craft beer store is selling a special brew for this occasion.

By Teresa Tobat
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Marlow’s Tavern
What better way to celebrate America’s most popular sport than by enjoying the classic American tavern fare at various Marlow’s Tavern locations throughout the Atlanta metro area. The grilled turkey meatloaf and hot and sweet wings are hearty and satisfying options, while the firecracker shrimp with spicy sauce provides slightly lighter fare with a powerful, spicy punch. For more information, visit marlowstavern.com.

Moondog Growlers
If you’d rather sip beer in the comfort of your own home while tuning into the Super Bowl, Moondog Growlers will be selling brews from the Abita Brewing Company starting this weekend until Fat Tuesday. And lucky for guests, this Friday is the Marietta location’s first anniversary, and anyone who purchases a growler of craft beer will receive a free gift. Expect to get T-shirts, glasses, hats, stickers, gift certificates, Frisbees and more!

688 Whitlock Avenue
Marietta, GA  30064
678/354-6268
moondoggrowlers.com/home.htm

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The Original El Taco
Fans looking for a place to watch the Super Bowl in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood can visit The Original El Taco for Mexican dishes with a Tex-Mex flair. Game day classics like guacamole and queso dip are complemented with cocktails ranging from margaritas to sangria and mojitos. Guest also can look forward to a prize wheel loaded with fun goodies. For more information, please visit eltaco-atlanta.com.

1186 North Highland Avenue NE 
Atlanta, GA 30306
404/873-4656
eltaco-atlanta.com

 
 
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Winter is the perfect time for gorgeous citrus fruit, and this ice cream recipe leverages Cara Cara oranges - a ruby-fleshed  navel orange. Check your local farmers market for this juicy, delicious orange. It's worth hunting to find it! 

Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Milk, local, organic if possible
1⁄2 cup Sugar
pinch Fine Sea Salt
2 large Eggs
1 whole Vanilla Bean, vertically sliced in half
1 1⁄2 cups Cara Cara Orange Juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 oranges)
2 cups Cream, local, organic if possible
Zest of One Cara Cara Orange

Method: 
In a medium saucepan, simmer milk, sugar and salt over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Don’t boil. Place eggs in a large bowl and whisk lightly. Working quickly, whisk 1/8-cup of the warm milk into the eggs. Continue adding milk by individual 1/8-cups until the saucepan is empty. Pour milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan. Using the back edge (not the sharp side) of a paring knife, firmly and gently scrape the vanilla beans away from the pod. Add the vanilla beans and their split pod to the milk-egg mixture. Add the cara cara orange juice. Heat milk-egg mixture (the custard) over medium heat. Patiently stir the custard until it starts to thicken. Don’t let it boil, or the custard will curdle. When the back of a spoon has a translucent coating, the custard is ready. Turn off the heat and remove the custard from the stove. Whisk in the cream and cara cara orange zest. Pour custard into a bowl set in an ice bath. Stir every now and then until cooled to room temperature. Place custard, including the vanilla pods, in a sealed container to chill for a few hours, preferably overnight. Pour custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Follow the directions of the manufacture for churning the custard. When the custard resembles soft serve ice cream, scoop into a container and seal tightly. Place in a freezer to harden for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy!

 
 
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Photo by Richie Arpino.
By Teresa Tobat

Director of Pastry Programs at JCT. Kitchen Wins Food Network’s “Sweet Genius”
Taria Camerino, creative director of the pastry programs at JCT. Kitchen & Bar, No. 246 and The Optimist and Oyster Bar at the Optimist, won Food Network’s pastry-making competition “Sweet Genius.” During the show, master pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel challenges four chefs to create scrumptious sweets using surprise ingredients.

The episode Camerino won, “Electric Genius,” aired on Jan. 3. Contestants were challenged with creating sweets using an electric guitar as their inspiration. Congrats! 

One-Man Show at Vinings Gallery
Vinings Gallery is hosting an art show featuring the creations of contemporary artist Henry Asencio. Asencio works primarily in oils, and his signature style combines elements of abstract expressionism and abstract realism. His open brushwork, sweeping color, use of texture and precise drawing appeals to art lovers and has earned him critical acclaim in the fine art world.

The show is on Feb. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Feb. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests will be able to speak with the artist during the show. To view some of Asencio’s work, please visit ViningsGallery.com/gallery-events. To RSVP, please call 404/794-7762 or visit the gallery’s website.

4686 South Atlanta Road, Suite F
Smyrna, GA 30080

Warm Up at Ecco With S’mores and Hot Cocoa
The weather outside has been quite chilling; and for a delicious way to “warm up,” consider enjoying mulled wine and s’mores at Ecco on Feb. 5 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. You can gather on the restaurant’s patio around a fire to enjoy house-made s'mores, mulled wine, brandied hot cider, spiked hot cocoa and (maybe) a few snowflakes.

The cost is $25 per person. Ecco will offer you 15 percent off dinner if you eat before or after the event. Call 404/347-9555 for reservations.

40 7th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
ecco-atlanta.com

 

Fresh Bites

01/17/2013

 
By Teresa Tobat

The Cook’s Warehouse Offers Wine Education Tours
If you’re a wine fanatic (and really, who isn’t?) who’s always wanted to sip vino straight from the source, consider going on one of The Cook’s Warehouse Wine Education Tours. This year, the Warehouse will offer two tours—one starting on May 26 that takes guests through the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France and one starting on June 2 that takes attendees through the Tuscany and Piedmont regions of Italy. Each tour includes a six-day hotel stay, breakfasts, most lunches and dinners and all of the wine tastings.

Guests are sure to get an authentic education about each region’s contribution to the wine world as both tours are hosted by Cook’s Warehouse senior wine educator and certified sommelier, Don Hackett, and language and culture expert Jennifer Pounds. You must reserve your spot by March 15. For more information, please visit cookswarehouse.com.

Davio’s Serves Up “Natty Ice” to Celebrate NFC Championship Game
In honor of the Atlanta Falcons playing the NFC Championship game on this Sunday, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse will serve Natural Ice Beer or “Natty Ice.” This drink special pays tribute to Falcons’ starting Quarterback, Matt Ryan, who also goes by his beer-inspired nickname “Matty Ice.” One drink is $3 and can be purchased at the bar area of Davio’s. 

3500 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
404/844-4810  
davios.com
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Lure to Host Specialty Event Featuring Inventive Oyster Plates
If you like oysters, or have always wanted to try them, you should consider attending Lure’s “Oysters & Bubbles” event on January 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. This causal gathering on the restaurant’s patio will feature inventive dishes including oysters with herb mayonnaise and house-cured bacon and apple wood-grilled oysters with fresh Georgia apples, creme fraiche and horseradish. Guests will also enjoy a tasting of eight sparkling wines from around the world.

The cost is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. The restaurant also will offer attendees 15 percent off dinner after the event. If you plan to eat dinner after the event, please make reservations.

1106 Crescent Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
404/817-3650
lure-atlanta.com

 
 
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The greens this time of year are just beautiful, so it seems only natural that we offer you a recipe featuring spinach! This delicious salad would make a perfect starter for a dinner party or as a main course, served alongside a protein. Enjoy! 

Ingredients:
2 quarts Fresh Spinach, washed and stems removed
4 slices Bacon, (or maple bacon)
2 tablespoons Shallot, finely minced
1⁄2 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, good quality
4 tablespoons VSOP Maple Aged Dark Balsamic Vinegar, (or traditional 18yr balsamic)
2 tablespoons VSOP Barrel Aged Red Wine Vinegar
4 tablespoons VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (your favorite varietal)
pinch Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled

Method:
Remove stems and veins from washed spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces; place spinach in a large bowl. In a small frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon approximately 5 minutes or until crisp; transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from pan but leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. Saute shallots over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until softened. Add sea salt, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar to pan. Whisk to incorporate. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Adjust seasoning with cracked pepper and more sea salt if necessary. Dress the spinach with the warm vinaigrette and toss gently to wilt (when properly wilted the leaf edges soften slightly but the spinach retains some crunch). Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and blue cheese over the spinach and serve immediately.

To find the specialty vinegars and olive oil, visit 

 

Fresh Bites

01/09/2013

 
By Teresa Tobat

Chadwick’s Opening New Tap Room
Alpharetta's Chadwick’s Tap Room will celebrate its opening day on January 24. Trent Chadwick, Co-owner, says the property is "a comfortable, casual neighborhood bar and grill with an eclectic menu of new and tried and true favorites." Chef Marcus Small will focus on fresh, local ingredients, free of additives. Small will be roasting a fresh turkey every day to make warm sandwiches and pot pies, and menu items range from small plates to full dinners.

Adjacent to The Tap Room, Chadwick’s also has created The Oak Room, a 3,500 square foot private event space available for meetings, weddings, team banquets and fundraisers.

10595 Old Alabama Road Connector at Mansell Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022
404/754-4500

Cook’s Warehouse Offers "Healthy Cooking in the New Year" Classes 
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to best prepare fish, consider taking a class about it at the Cook’s Warehouse. Chef Mandy Landefeld will show you how to cook your fresh catch to preserve its flavor without drying it out. You can expect to learn how to make dishes including catfish amandine with Creole muniere Sauce, seafood enchiladas and island jerk fish with grilled pineapple and jicama Salad

This session “Fish, Fish, Fish!” will take place on January 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. It costs $50. To register, please visit https://classes.cookswarehouse.com/ClassReg/Public/classes.asp?classid=5870.
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Ecco Adds Additionally Eco-friendly Touches to its Rooftop Garden
In an effort to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious, European restaurant Ecco added eight new cedar beds with “cold frame” structures to its rooftop garden, allowing a larger variety of produce to be grown and for seeds to be planted earlier. The cold frames are covered with Agribon, a material that protects crops from wind, frost, severe cold and insects. Atlanta-based organic-gardening supplier Farmer D Organics custom-built the beds and installed a new irrigation system that includes a 250-gallon food-grade tote, an increase from the 55-gallon rain barrel the restaurant was using. The water filling the tote, which is used to water Ecco’s garden, is collected entirely from air conditioning condensation and is pumped from the tote through a drip irrigation system to each bed. The drip system is also connected onsite to the city water supply and managed with a timer for optimal watering. During peak gardening months, Ecco hopes to use only the condensate from the air conditioner to water the gardens, reducing cost and waste. The restaurant is currently growing Tuscan kale, broccoli rabe and Southern giant curly mustard in the new beds to use in dishes found on its seasonally inspired menu.

Ecco has a history of being environmentally conservative and became the state’s first dumpster-free restaurant and the first Georgia restaurant to receive Green Foodservice Alliance certification. 

40 7th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
404/347-9555 
ecco-atlanta.com

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Georgia Ensemble Theatre Debuts “Swell Party”
Georgia Ensemble Theatre, North Fulton’s only professional theatre company, has opened the play “Swell Party” at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

The “Swell Party” revolves around the mysterious death of tobacco heir Smith Reynolds. The year is 1932, and Reynolds returned to his family’s North Carolina estate after a trip to New York and brings home a new wife. But the festivities end quickly. The couple’s wedding party is flat-out ruined when the groom turns up dead. As the guests gather to reconstruct the evening’s events and try to solve the mystery, it becomes clear that for Southerners, the truth isn’t nearly as important as a good story.

Ticket prices range from $23 to $33, with student/senior discounts available for some performances. Tickets are available at get.org, or by calling the box office at 770/641-1260. The play runs from January 10 to 27.

 
 
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The sweet earthiness of the golden beets, along with the salty blue cheese, nutty arugula, tangy tangerines, and pungent Extra Virgin Olive Oil make this salad a virtual party in your mouth. Beyond that, the impeccably fresh seasonal ingredients are visually arresting, and resemble a ray of golden sunshine on the plate.

Ingredients:
3 medium Golden Beets
1 tablespoon VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Water
pinch Fine Sea Salt, to taste
2 medium Satsuma Tangerines, 1 peeled & divided into segments, the other juiced
1 tablespoon VSOP Cara Cara Orange & Vanilla Aged White Balsamic Vinegar
1⁄4 cup VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, any peppery/robust varietal
4 cups Baby Arugula, washed
1⁄3 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled, good quality
pinch Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup Garlic Croutons

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub the beets removing any debris, roots and green parts. Place the beets on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fully enclose the beets into a package. Drizzle the beets with a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and 1 tablespoon of water. Seal the package by crimping the foil and roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool and then peel. Cut the beets into six wedges and set aside. Just before serving, whisk the tangerine juice with the White Balsamic and a pinch of sea salt. Slowly drizzle in the remaining EVOO while whisking constantly to make a vinaigrette. In a large bowl, gently toss the arugula with 1/2 of the vinaigrette and then arrange on a plate or platter. Arrange the tangerine segments, golden beet wedges, and blue cheese over the arugula. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top, then add the croutons, and finish with fresh ground pepper if desired. Serve immediately.


 
 
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If your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier, including wholesome nuts into your diet could be a step in the right direction. This simple recipe from our friends at VSPO Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom is really delicious! Of course, the specialty oils are available in their Atlanta-area store or online. 

Ingredients: 
1 pound Almonds, fresh, whole
1⁄4 cup VSOP Organic Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1⁄4 cup Fresh Rosemary, slightly chopped
2 teaspoons Medium Sea Salt, or fine, to taste
1 tablespoon VSOP Organic Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a medium bowl toss the almonds with the Organic Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves.Distribute the almonds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and slow roast for 40 minutes, until the almonds smell toasty and the rosemary leaves are fragrant and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. While still warm, toss with sea salt and garnish with remaining tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves and 1 tablespoon of Organic Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Allow to cool fully and serve.