The Summer Olympic Games start today (who's watching the opening ceremonies?), and in honor of the Game's British hosts, we decided to share a recipe for one of the country's quintessential cocktails. 

While we love the traditional Pimm's Cup, we found a closer-to-home version that adds an unexpected twist--a bit of Cognac. You can find it at Eleanor's, the new speakeasy-style bar tucked behind (the only access is through a secret door) Muss & Turner's in Vinings. Here, bar manager Tristan shares his twist on a classic. 

Pimp's Cup: 
1.5  oz Pimm's No.11
2 oz Camus V.S Cognac
12 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 mint leaves

Shake all ingredients together. Strain into a 13 oz chalice. Add fresh ice. Top with Barritt's ginger beer (to taste). Garnished with a pressed cucumber slice.

Tristan says, "A server at Local Three (Muss & Turner's sister restaurant) mistakenly thought a guest ordered a ‘Pimp’s Cup,’ when they ordered a ‘Pimm’s Cup,’ which the server had never heard of. We laughed pretty hard, and after that I knew that I had to create a Pimp’s Cup cocktail. I added a bit of Cognac, which works perfectly."

We hope you'll enjoy making this version at home. It would be the perfect libation to enjoy as you cheer on our U.S. Olympic team. To learn more about Muss & Turner's, visit www.mussandturners.com

By Teresa Tobat

Celebrate “Tomatofeast” at La Tavola 

To sample a taste of fresh tomatoes, consider visiting La Tavola Trattoria from July 25 to August 4 for its tenth annual “Tomatofeast.” This 11-day fete offers original dishes made out of locally grown heirloom tomatoes available à la carte or for a three-course prix fixe cost of $35 per person (plus tax and gratuity). The regular dinner menu also will be available during this time.

Guests can nosh on dishes including pickled cantaloupe and tomato soup for an appetizer, feast on pork chops or steaks for entrees and top off the night with peach crostada served with tomato gelato and black pepper.

This special menu is only available during the following dinner hours: Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Sunday, 5:30-10 p.m.

992 Virginia Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306

Enjoy Black Truffles at La Grotta

For some fine Italian cuisine with a little extra something, pay a visit to the La Grotta this week and next for shavings of fresh black truffles over any of your favorite dishes. The restaurant’s menu also has changed to incorporate more seasonal summer ingredients

2637 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

F & B Restaurant Opens 

Restaurateurs Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown are returning to Buckhead with F&B Restaurant. The eatery will be serving light French and Mediterranean cuisine made from seasonal organic ingredients, with an extensive wine selection and a wide variety of handcrafted cocktails crafted from freshly squeezed juices.

Call 404/254-1797 for reservations. The restaurant’s hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Closed on Sundays. F&B also offers complimentary valet parking.

3630 Peachtree Street at the Ritz Carlton Residences
Atlanta, GA 30326

Atlanta is full of beautiful parks and terrific outdoor music venues that provide the perfect place for a summer picnic, but deciding what’s worthy of sitting atop of your blanket can be tricky. To offer insight on the art of picnic-packing, we figured there was no one better to ask than Alon Balshan of Alon’s Bakery and Market. He shares with us what he would bring along in his basket:
  • Date and Walnut crisps (8.49) go well with a lot of different cheeses, and they’re really nice on their own too, for a more neutral choice, get some of our Lavosh made in house (2.99 for 1/3lb).
  • With the cheeses, I always like to use a sweet, spicy jam or fruit mostarda to break up the richness – my favorite is a pear with white wine mostarda (9.89) we carry in the store. And tapenade goes well with the Clarissa cheese on a nice slice of crusty bread, or our red wine walnut roll (1.89).

  • Bread and cheese are picnic staples. I like strong cheeses. Here are a few of my favorites: Cana de Oveja (4.00), a goat cheese from Spain, Robiola Bosina (3.50), a cow and sheep’s milk cheese from Italy and Clarissa (5.12), a harder goat’s milk cheese from Sardinia, Italy. At the store, we sell cheese by the quarter pound, so guests can sample several and decide which ones they like best.
  • Edmond Fallot mustard (5.99) - the black currant flavor is different and really unique. I like getting people to try that one since it’s so unusual and it goes great on bread, with cheese or on sandwiches

  • Rosé or white wine. Pinot Grigio is especially good for warm weather.  One of my favorites for a hot summer day is the Picpoul (11.99). It’s very crisp, citrusy and has a faint sparkle in the back. It’s a very easy wine to drink and reminds me of summer nights in Barcelona. My wife, Janine, opts for the Reverdy Sancerre Rosé (24.99).

  • Deli salads: potato salad (7.99/lb), pimento cheese (5.29) and green apple coleslaw (5.99/lb) are good choices, but if the danger of sitting out in the heat too long with a dairy-base worries you, try these options sans-mayonnaise: hummus (7.99/lb), edamame salad (6.99/lb), spicy soba noodle salad (8.99/lb), artichokes (6.99/lb), cranberry orange wild rice salad (8.99/lb), black bean and fresh corn salad (5.99/lb), chick pea and feta salad (5.99/lb), guacamole (5.29) and black bean dip (4.29)– there are lots to choose from and something to suit any taste.

  • Phickles Pickles carrots (8.99) are a really good snack and they come right from Athens. 
  • For dessert, Heath bar brownies (1.99) and cookies (13.49/lb) travel well. If you’re really careful, you could probably successfully transport some macarons too (1.99 each, 15.99 for 8 and 26.99 for 16) Alon’s also has house made caramel popcorn (5.49) that would be great for a picnic.

  • Rieme’s drinks are good – especially the Clementine Sparkling Lemonade (1.99).

With locations in Virginia Highlands and Dunwoody, Alon’s Bakery and Market is stocked with all of the above items in order to create an experience that is truly picnic-perfect. Learn more at here. Or, better yet, let the expert staff at either Alon's location pack a picnic according to your tastes! 


Fresh Bites


By Teresa Tobat

Cowlicks Yogurt & Floats Sells Famous Float to Benefit Animal Shelter
If you’re craving an ice-cream float (and in hot July weather, who isn’t?), head to Cowlicks Yogurt & Floats to try their “Candy Necklace” float. Designed by Jessica Dauler of JessicaShops, a portion of float sales will benefit Furkids—the largest no-kill shelter in Georgia that provides a cage-free environment for rescued animals where they can reside until they are adopted.

The themed float fuses Cowlicks’ vanilla and banana-flavored yogurts with Sprite. From July 16 to August 16, 20 percent of the specialty floats sold will help Furkids. Cowlicks will serve the Candy Necklace float at its Vinings and Sandy Springs locations.

Sandy Springs
1100 Hammond Drive  
Atlanta, GA 30328

2460 Cumberland Parkway  
Atlanta, GA 30339

Downtown Restaurant Week Begins Saturday
If you’ve been dying to go to a downtown Atlanta restaurant for some fine cuisine, consider making reservations at a local hot spot starting on July 21 during Downtown Restaurant Week. Feast on sautéed salmon and chorizo at Café Circa or indulge in New Orleans-style bread pudding topped with rum sauce at Paschal’s Restaurant—all for a fraction of the usual price.

From July 21-29, enjoy $25 and $35 fixed dinner menus from some of downtown Atlanta’s top restaurants.

For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants, please visit http://atlantadowntowndining.com.

Local Television Channel Donates Money to Meals On Wheels Atlanta
Meals On Wheels Atlanta accepted a $37,000 check from WSB-TV and Cox Enterprises during the “Salute to Monica Pearson” party at the Fox Theater on July 11. The party celebrated Pearson, a prime time Channel 2 WSB-TV anchor, who will retire later this month after 37 years on the air. The check represents $1,000 for each year that Pearson has served as anchor. 

Pearson has served as a board of trustees member for Meals On Wheels Atlanta for six years and was named a “Lifetime Trustee” at the organization’s board meeting in March.

For more information, please visit MealsOnWheelsAtlanta.org.
JCT. Kitchen & Bar Hosts Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival 

The fourth annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, hosted by JCT. Kitchen & Bar, will see some of the South’s best chefs, farmers and mixologists join forces to benefit Georgia Organics, a nonprofit connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families.

This year’s event, which will be held on July 22 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will feature 37 chefs, 12 mixologists, and more than 30 farmers. Each chef will be paired with a local farmer to create a tomato dish for attendees to sample, and the mixologists will make creative, potent cocktails. Participating chefs include David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing Company and Cooper Miller of The Feed Store. Co-masters of ceremonies include food writer, stylist and photographer Angie Mosier and registered dietician, author and food journalist Carolyn O’Neil

“The tomato festival is a wonderful way to honor small-scale sustainable, organic food producers and our earth-friendly methods of farming. We are very particular about our growing practices, and this event enables us to share our tomatoes with so many attendees so they can taste the difference that our production methods make,” says Will Moore of Moore Farms, a longtime farmer participant in the festival.

Tickets are $70 per person and can be purchased here. For more information, please visit killertomatofest.com.

Ray’s on the River's Jazz Concert 

On July 21, Ray’s on the River will host the final installment of a three-part jazz concert series to benefit local charities. Renowned trumpeter Joey Sommerville will entertain guests from 2 to 4 p.m. on Ray’s event lawn overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Tickets are $35 and proceeds will benefit the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. The organization’s mission is to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River—the most heavily used water resource in Georgia—and its tributaries and watershed.

6700 Powers Ferry Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30339


Fresh Bites


By Teresa Tobat

Downtown Restaurant Week Starts July 21

Downtown Atlanta is quickly becoming a dining destination. Boasting more than 300 restaurants—ranging from traditional Mexican like Alma Cocina to classic steak from BLT Steak (image pictured at left) to menus with French and Mediterranean flair like Peasant Bistro. Make plans to sample meals at terrific prices from some of the areas’ best hot spots during Downtown Restaurant Week.

From July 21-29, enjoy $25 and $35 fixed dinner menus from more than 300 of Atlanta’s top restaurants.

For more information, please visit http://atlantadowntowndining.com.

Fifth Group’s Newest Restaurant, Lure, Opening Soon 
Seafood restaurant Lure, the latest offering from Fifth Group, is scheduled to open on July 17. Located in Midtown, Lure’s inventive beverage menu seeks to complement its seafood menu (such as scallop crudo with sugar snap peas, pictured at right) by emphasizing the subtle nuisances of the entrees.

In addition to its cocktail, beer and wine menu, Lure will be serving up something usually reserved for informal gatherings: punch. Punch bowls will come in two sizes to serve groups from two to eight people, with a selection of three different flavors at any given time.

In addition to the punch bowls, Lure will be serving seven-ounce, in-house bottled cocktails that, after being made at Lure, are carbonated, bottled and chilled. The bottled selection will change seasonally.

Lure is located at 1106 Crescent Avenue NE in Midtown Atlanta and will be open for dinner nightly. Lunch service will be added later. For more information about Lure, please visit fifthgroup.com closer to the restaurant’s tentative opening date.

Vinny’s on Windward to Host Summer Wine Tasting

If you’re in the mood for a cool chardonnay to take your mind off of the summer heat, consider heading over to Vinny’s on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. The restaurant will be serving wines from hailing from Napa Valley’s Wagner Family of Wine vineyards.

For $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity, you can sip Chardonnay, Cabernet   
Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Complimentary hor d’oeuvres also will be served.

There are limited reservations available for this event. Call 770/772-4644 to secure your place at the tasting.

5355 Windward Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Hamburgers, BBQ and hot dogs typically come to mind when you think of traditional Independence Day fare. But who says it has to? Below is a list of restaurants that will be serving up some fine food this Wednesday. So go ahead and really treat yourself this Fourth of July. We’ve also included a few concert and firework shows in case you’re looking for things to do post-meal.

By Teresa Tobat
Photo courtesy Chris Lee.
Activities Abound in Alpharetta 
Head over to Wills Park to celebrate with live music and fireworks. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. The Atlanta Symphony will perform at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre starting at 8 p.m. Expect post-show fireworks, too.
For more information, please visit awesomealpharetta.com.

This European-inspired bistro will be open for dinner.

40 7th Street, NE

Atlanta, GA 30308

El Taco
This spirited-Mexican haunt will be open and serving up its Mexican fare and drinks.

1186 N. Highland Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Imperial Fez
This Moroccan restaurant will be serving a special fixed menu including choice of one entrée and dessert starting for $19.99 per person. Enjoy $5 mojitos, martinis and sangria at Imperial Fez’s recently opened patio from 5 to 7 p.m.

2285 Peachtree Road NE #102  
Atlanta GA 30309

La Tavola Trattoria
For an Italian dinner in Virginia-Highland, consider paying a visit to this restaurant.

992 Virginia Ave, NE 

Atlanta, GA 30306


MARKET Hosts Fourth Fest
MARKET Buckhead and the W Atlanta-Buckhead will host the second annual Fourth Fest, a two-day celebration complete with music, food and fireworks on July 3 and 4. Five dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to support Operation Homefront Georgia, a nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our military members and wounded warriors.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit marketbuckhead.com

W Buckhead at 3377 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Ray’s in the City
This chain’s Downtown will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.

240 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Ray’s on the River
The Sandy Springs’ location of this haunt will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.

6700 Powers Ferry Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30339

South City Kitchen Vinings
For traditional Southern food, head over to South City Kitchen’s Vinings’ location.

Ivy Walk Place
1675 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 401
Smyrna, GA 30080

Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food
Celebrate the upcoming holiday with a Mexican fiesta at this chain’s Buckhead and Sandy Springs’ locations.

For more information, please visit unclejulios.com.

Watershed on Peachtree 
Enjoy a chicken-fried steak sandwich and a side of firecracker green beans for $14 at lunch and fried chicken and biscuits for $14.50 at dinner.

Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner will be served from 5 to 10 p.m.

1820 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30309