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By VSOP Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom

Crispy & crunchy on the outside with soft, billowy chipotle & garlic spiked potato on the inside, concealing a gooey melted cheese center. 


Ingredients:
3 pounds Russet Potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
pinch Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons VSOP Organic Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon VSOP Chipotle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1⁄3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 large Egg
1⁄4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, finely minced
1 1⁄2 cups Bread Crumbs
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten    
1⁄2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes    
2 1⁄2 cups VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, very low free fatty acid, very high polyphenol count
pinch Fine Sea Salt, to taste

Directions:
Step 1: Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool completely. 
Step 2: Mash the cooled potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and add the Garlic EVOO, Chipotle EVOO, Parmesan, parsley, and one beaten egg. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Step 3: Beat the remaining two eggs in a separate bowl, and add the bread crumbs to another bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 4: Form the potato mixture in to a 2" oblong shape. Push a piece of mozarella in to the center of each oblong, and form the potato around in so that it is completely encased. Coat each croquette in egg, and then roll in bread crumbs to thoroughly coat. Set aside on the baking sheet.
Step 5: Heat 2" of Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oi in a heavy frying pan over medium high heat. When a deep fry thermometer reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit, fry the croquettes in batches until deep golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Season with additional sea salt, if necessary. Enjoy immediately.

 
 
Hollywood Cocktails
In Honor of the 85th Annual Academy Awards, Davio’s Atlanta Serves Up Movie Inspired Sips!

WHAT: As Hollywood’s finest rock the red carpet at the 85th annual Academy Awards, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Atlanta will serve three cocktails inspired by some of the best on screen performances, including: Daniel Day-Lewis as President Lincoln, in ‘Lincoln’; Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in ‘Les Misérables; and, Robert De Niro as the sports-obsessed father in fan-favorite, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.

Available on Sunday, February 24th, 2013, these libations designed with three of the big screen’s most talented men in mind, Davio’s Oscar-themed cocktail specials will be served as follows
  • The Daniel Day Lewis mint leaves, pulverized sugar, cognac, fresh berries, crushed ice, sliced orange
  • The Hugh Jackman  Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, bitters, lemon twist
  • The De Niro Prosecco, Aperol orange liquor, seltzer, sliced orange



WHERE:  
Davio's Atlanta  3500 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326 (Phipps Plaza)
WHEN:  Sunday, February 24th, 2013 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm
COST: $13 each
MORE INFO: For more information, please visit: www.davios.com, or call: 404-844-4810
 

The Year of Fives

02/15/2013

 
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This heritage piggy went to market, this heritage pig stayed home; this heritage piggy had roast beef, this heritage pig had none.  And THIS heritage piggy went “wee-wee-wee!” all the way home… to Atlanta, home of COCHON555 organizer Brady Lowe!

This Sunday’s event is a must for foodies and supporters of sustainable farming.  Five heritage pigs honored by five Atlanta chefs, paired with five independent winemakers and five bourbon distilleries, in the fifth year of COCHON555 making this year’s event particularly special.

For this anniversary, COCHIN555 adds the Chupito Bar featuring mescals such as Ilegal, Mezcales de Leyenda, Fidencio and Pierde Almas to taste alongside the popular Craft Cheese Bar with dairies including Cypress Grove Chevre, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Spring Brook Farms, Rogue Creamery and Kerrygold.

For more gastronomic thrills, VIP guests may enjoy the Punch Kings cocktail competition where six Atlanta bartenders shake, rattle and mix their stuff to prove whose bevs can beat ‘em all.  For nibbles, VIPs gain exclusive access to the hand-cut Tartare Bar featuring Alma Cocina’s Chad Clevenger and sustainable oysters from Rappahannock River.

Attendees are invited to a not-to-be-missed after-party at Fandangle’s where those still hungry can enjoy food and drink specials for $5.55, presented by Host Chef Marc Suennemann of Sheraton Atlanta.

Why drive home after so much fun?  The Sheraton Atlanta, Official Hotel of COCHON555, is offering special room rates plus admission for $199, or with VIP admission for $274.



 

Fresh Bites

02/13/2013

 
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By Teresa Tobat

Lure Launches Weekend Brunch
Lure has added brunch service on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Executive Chef David Bradley’s creative menu features signature coastal cuisine including plates like fried North Carolina catfish biscuit, served with tomato and Crystal mayo and dulce de leche French toast served with muscadine syrup and toasted almonds. Lure favorites like the River View Farms burger and the fried oyster slider trio are also offered during brunch. Punch bowls and prosecco on tap are also available.

1106 Crescent Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
678/302-3251
lure-atlanta.com

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Margarita Making Class at El Taco
If Valentine’s Day has left you with wishing for another fun holiday, celebrate National Margarita Day on February 20 with a margarita making class at El Taco.

The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with samplings of small, tasty bites and El Taco’s house margarita. At 6 p.m., bartenders will give step-by-step demonstrations on how to blend a variety of different margaritas—from tart to sweet to spicy—and Taco’s famous margarita mix. Guests can sip samples of each margarita the bartenders are mixing and will bring a set of recipes home.

The cost is $30 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and El Taco will offer you 15 percent off dinner after the event.

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

National Heritage Breed Pig Competition Comes to Atlanta
If you’re a fan of pork, head to the Sheraton Atlanta on February 17 for a celebration of heritage breed pigs and a cooking competition in one. This extravaganza, Cochon 555, challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. The competing chefs include Ryan Smith of Empire State South, Joseph Schafer of King and Duke, Eric Ottensmeyer of Leon’s and Brickstore, Whitney Otawka of Farm 255 and Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya. Twenty judges and 400 guests will pick the winning chef who will compete against other regional winners (the tour travels to a total of 10 cities) in the final Grand Cochon event at the FOOD & WINE Classic in June.

Guests will feast on pork and enjoy wines from five small family-owned wineries plus special tastings from celebrated food and beverage producers. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Cochon 555, a traveling culinary competition and tasting event created to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs.

General admission is $125. To purchase tickets, please visit cochon555.com.

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“Sherlock Holmes” Debuts at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre  
One of literature’s favorite detectives is back and on stage at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre in “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club.” Holmes joins The Suicide Club, and everyone’s talking. Does he want to die? Or is something else afoot when the corpses of Europe’s power players start turning up all over London? Find out during the show’s run from February 28 to March 17. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit get.org.

 
 
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Traditional Polpettine (meatballs) are made lighter by substituting lean ground turkey or chicken for the traditional beef, pork, & veal.  Here's a fresh (but still filling and hearty) take on the dish from our friends at VSOP Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom. It's just perfect for a grey winter day!

Ingredients: 
1⁄4 cup VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, any robust, high polyphenol varietal
1 small onion, diced 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika, sweet or hot
pinch fine sea salt, to taste
pinch fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

5 quarts chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1 pound dried cannellini beans, or great northern beans, soaked overnight
1 medium bay leaf
2 heads escarole, torn into bite-size pieces

2 slices white bread, or whole grain bread
1⁄2 cup whole milk

2 pounds lean ground turkey or chicken
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
pinch fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

1⁄3 cup VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, any robust high polyphenol varietal
2 quarts fresh marinara sauce, or your favorite bottled variety


Method: 
In a heavy 8+ quart stock pot over medium heat saute the onions in the extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and paprika (if using) saute for another minute. Season with sea salt & pepper. Add the stock, soaked beans (drained from soaking liquid), and bay leaf. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, add the escarole during the last 10 minutes of cooking. While the beans are cooking, make the meatballs. Soak the bread in the milk. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground poultry, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Squeeze the soaked bread of excess milk and add to the bowl. Mix the contents thoroughly and portion out 1" diameter meatballs. (A small ice cream scoop works well.) Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches until golden, drain on some paper towels then place in marinara sauce in a large pan over medium-low heat to simmer gently. To serve this dish as pictured above. Ladle the beans onto a plate and top with a scoop of meatballs and sauce. Enjoy!

 
 
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© Nevit Dilmen
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is next Thursday. But lucky for you, there are plenty of options around the Atlanta area where you can go out for a good meal, purchase candles or even make your own cocktails. So no matter what your relationship status, you’ll be sure to have a food lover’s good time.

By Teresa Tobat

Alma Cocina
If you’re downtown this Valentine’s Day, consider heading to Alma for its modern, Mexican cuisine. Dine on guacamole, crispy pork belly, ceviches, taquitos, soups and salads and much more.

One Ninety One Peachtree Tower
191 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
404/968-9662
alma-atlanta.com

Aspen’s Signature Steaks
From Feb. 14 to 16, Aspen’s East and West Cobb locations will be offering its regular menu and specials. Those specials include Berkshire bacon salad, seared red snapper, roasted 12 oz New York Strip loin, grilled domestic lamb T-bone, strawberry cheesecake and chocolate-covered strawberries. For more information, please visit SedgwickRestaurantGroup.com

Bistro VG
Bistro VG will be cooking up its regular menu along with the following specials: seared Hudson Valley foie gras, grilled veal strip, brick-oven roasted oysters, passion fruit crepes with coconut sorbet and gateau chocolate with white chocolate-raspberry mousse and macerated raspberries.

70 West Crossville Road
Roswell, GA 30075
770/993-1156
bistrovg.com

Café Intermezzo
Enjoy a three-course dinner for two at Café Intermezzo on February 14, 15 and 16. For $80 per couple, you can choose between spinach dip, seafood dip and crostini as an appetizer to share. Each person picks one entrée including grilled salmon with wild rice, red wine braised short rib over polenta and spicy tortellini. For dessert, the couple chooses a sweet from the pastry counter and devours chocolate-covered strawberries and truffles. Each couple also receives two glasses of Champagne. For reservations, please call 678/613-1735. This special menu is only available at Intermezzo’s Ashford-Dunwoody and Peachtree Road locations. For more information, please visit cafeintermezzo.com.

Cook Hall
If you’d like to make cocktails with your honey, visit Cook Hall and shake up something special together with its “liqueurs of love” cocktail kits. Choose from the Champagne cocktail kit or the whiskey cocktail kit. If you can’t decide between those two, don’t worry. Cook Hall also will have a couples cocktail kit, so you can have the best of both and make an original V-Day cocktail on your own. The restaurant’s regular dinner menu will be served along with several romantic blackboard specials.

Reservations are recommended. To make a reservation, call 404/523-3600 or visit cookhallatlanta.com.

Inside the W Hotel in Buckhead
3377 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

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Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse
Davio’s will be serving a three-course prix fixe menu including standouts like lobster bisque, colossal shrimp cocktail and shrimp ravioli for $70 per person or $95 per person with wine pairings, excluding tax and tip. Davio’s Pastry Chef, Kathleen Miliotis, has created homemade conversation hearts in flavors such as peppermint, lavender and lemon. The restaurant will be taking suggestions via Twitter for messages on the hearts (see the picture at right for ideas). Davio’s regular menu also will be available.

3500 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
404/844-4810
davios.com


Ecco 

In addition to its regular menu, Ecco will feature the following special plates: calamari, roasted quail with chorizo, crispy black cod with young collards, hazelnuts, brown butter, capers, lemon and milk chocolate torte with blood orange coulis and spiced pecans.

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

El Taco
If you’re looking for a more relaxed Valentine’s Day, consider heading to El Taco. Enjoy a fun night complete with tequila shots, queso, Mexican pizza and fried apple pie.

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

La Tavola Trattoria
Diners can feast on a three-course Italian-style prix fixe dinner for only $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Antipasti dishes include grilled calamari and veal hanger steak, secondi plates include chestnut gnocchi, roasted trout, and grilled rib eye and the desserts on the menu are hazelnut budino, lemon olive oil cake, chocolate cake and honey mascarpone cheesecake. To see the complete menu, please visit latavolatrattoria.com/child/menus/events.htm.

992 Virginia Avenue, NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
404/873-5430

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Lucia’s Italian Restaurant
Head to Lucia’s next Thursday to sample its special Valentine sangria to get a taste of a traditional Spanish beverage in Roswell. And while you’re there, you can enjoy its regular menu along with select favorites including a panne rotunda appetizer, wedding soup, stuffed chicken with basil, goat cheese and prosciutto, seafood lasagna and chocolate crème brûlée. 

4705 Woodstock Rd NE 
Roswell, GA 30075
678/646-1000
lucias.org

Lure
This contemporary fish house will be serving up its regular menu complete with gems like steak tartare grilled eggplant puree, fried Rhode Island calamari served with pickled shallots, parsley, tartar and lemon (a favorite of the Flavors staff), baked hake fillet with white beans, saffron cream, tomato fondue, and chocolate peanut butter mousse cake for dessert. And if you think fish can’t be romantic, just remember that oysters are considered to be natural aphrodisiacs. The proof is in the history; Casanova supposedly ate 50 oysters a day.

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

Nancy G’s
Nancy G’s is rolling out a special menu for Valentine’s Day. Starters range from lobster bisque to endive and spinach salad. Entrees include pan-seared jumbo scallops, grilled lamb chop and stuffed Portobello mushroom over couscous. For dessert, feast on tiramisu or chocolate-covered strawberries. Drink specials include a French kiss martini and chocolate-covered cherry martini.

4920 Roswell Road  
Atlanta, GA 30342
404/705-8444
nancygscafe.com

Ray's Restaurants

Ray's Restaurants is celebrating love in grand style. Ray's on the Creek (1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta) is offering a chef-created Valentine's Menu for two, for $120. Call 770/649-0064 for reservations. Ray’s on the River (6700 Powers Ferry Road, Sandy Springs) is offering Valentine’s Chef Specials (including appetizer, salad, entrees and desserts); prices vary for each item. Call 770/955-1187 for reservations. Ray’s in the City (240 Peachtree Street, Atlanta) will offer a special three-course, prix-fixe menu, priced at $49.  Call 404/524-9224. 
Learn more at raysrestaurants.com
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South City Kitchen Midtown and Vinings
Both South City Kitchen locations are featuring a three-course Southern-style prix-fixe dinner for only $42 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Enjoy appetizers ranging from she-crab soup to escargot and fried green tomatoes; entrees including buttermilk fried chicken, grilled salmon and seared duck breast; desserts including velvet Elvis cake, caramel apple toffee pudding and butter chess pie. To view the Vinings menu, please visit http://www.southcitykitchen.com/vinings/child/menus/events.htm. To view the Midtown menu, please visit http://www.southcitykitchen.com/midtown/child/menus/events.htm.  

Vinny’s on Windward
This Alpharetta haunt is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu. Start the night off with jumbo lump crab cakes, scallops or burrata. Main course highlights include shrimp, lobster and scallop risotto, veal marsala linguini or filet mignon and butter-poached lobster tail. Finish your night with your choice of chocolate mousse, white chocolate napoleon, tiramisu or raspberry gelato. Your server can recommend a wine pairing for you and your significant other.

Vinny's On Windward
5355 Windward Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30004
770/772-4644
sedgwickrestaurantgroup.com/vinnys.html

VSOP Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom
If you’d rather stay home with your sweet heart, consider purchasing candles or wine from VSOP. All the store’s Rewined candles—each handcrafted from a repurposed wine bottle and designed to smell like the aromas found in wine varietals—are 20 percent off. These candles are made from soy wax, all-natural, non-toxic and burn clean for 60 to 80 hours. While you’re picking up your candle, consider buying wine too. Enjoy deep rich notes of black cherry and currant in the Cabernet or crisp clean tropical fruit notes in the Riesling. The store also offers Champagne, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. VSOP also sells aged balsamic vinegars, olive oils as well as accessories and gift sets.

8400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 420
Alpharetta, GA 30022
678/795-2002
vsoptaproom.com

 
 
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By Jennifer Bradley Franklin

The eyes of the sports world (and, admittedly those of us who don't care about the game but love the commercials!) will be on New Orleans tomorrow for Super Bowl XLVII. Regardless of if you're pulling for the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers, delicious bites to accompany your game-watching are a must. In the spirit of the game, Flavors is pleased to share this delicious recipe from Lilburn's Three Blind Mice Chef Matthew Murphy. His braised chicken nachos are a healthy interpretation of a classic Superbowl favorite without the guilt. They're hearty enough to sate even the 

 

Braised Chicken Nachos
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh, skin-on chicken thighs (bone-in)
8 oz. Sacramento tomato juice
8 oz. Negra Modelo beer
16 oz. homemade vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2-3 oz. corn oil (such as Mazola)
1 jalapeño (cut in half and seeded)
1 bunch cilantro (freshly chopped - rough sized pieces
5 to 6 ripe, hothouse tomatoes (round, on stem)
2 fresh limes
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 oz. sliced black olives
8 oz. freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 oz. freshly grated aged white cheddar
2 pkg. La Banderita flour tortillas (burrito size)

Method: 
Heat the corn oil in heavy bottomed skillet until hot and close to smoking. Quickly dry the chicken skin with paper towels and season with salt on both sides just before searing.  Start with the skin side down and color well and remove (work in batches). When all of the chicken thighs are seared, drain oil and add the liquids, plus any stems from the cilantro to the pan and bring to a low boil. Add in the chicken and cover the pan with aluminum foil and braise at 275^ for an hour and a half, or until the chicken meat is quite soft and the bone pulls away easily.

Cut the tomatoes in small dice and set aside; juice the limes and finely dice the chile pepper - reserve all separately until you are ready to serve. Cut the tortillas into larger "kite-shaped" triangular pieces, roughly 3" across at the widest point. Deep fry in fresh oil until lightly golden and crisp - season lightly with sea salt and set aside.  When the chicken is cooked, remove the skin, bones and connective nerves and material that is not meat.  Break it up with a fork, or tear with hands and check seasoning.  One can add a small amount of the strained cooking liquid (save for another usage, such as Tortilla Soup) if it needs more moisture. Keep warm. Combine the diced chile, tomatoes, and lime juice with a pinch of salt and let the flavors mingle for a few minutes. Drain off juices.

To assemble: Pile on the cooked chicken meat onto individual tortilla chips and sprinkle over the mixed, grated cheeses - bake in a 375^ oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. Arrange on a platter, close to each other, or even shingled and top with the sliced olives and freshly mixed salsas and serve straight away.