Fresh Bites

08/30/2012

 
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By Teresa Tobat

Capital Grille Debuts New Location

The Capital Grille, nationally known for its dry-aged, hand-carved beef selections and extensive, award-winning wine list that is routinely recognized by Wine Spectator magazine, celebrates the opening of a new Dunwoody location on August 30.

The restaurant recently received the American Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence Award.” Menu highlights include sushi-grade sesame seared tuna with ginger rice and bone-in kona crusted dry-aged sirloin with shallot butter.

94 Perimeter Center West
Dunwoody, GA 30346
770/730-8447
TheCapitalGrille.com

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Marlow’s Tavern in Dunwoody Hosts Grilling Contest

Although summer is winding to a close, you can still savor your favorite grilled foods on September 8 Marlow’s Tavern in Dunwoody from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. During this time, the restaurant will be celebrating the finalists of the restaurant’s cheekily named grilling contest—“Get Up in Our Grill.”
 
Open to the general public, grillers submitted their favorite recipes, and the restaurant’s executive chef determined six finalists. Expect to sample Kentucky sausage stuffed pork chops with bourbon-mustard glaze; Asian shrimp sliders; Asian dragon wings; stuffed, roasted poblano pepper; spiced turkey burger sliders with smoked gouda and BBQ caramelized onions; and fire-grilled corn-on-the-cob with basil parmesan butter.

During the party, attendees will enjoy complimentary samples of the six aforementioned recipes, drink specials and an awards presentation at 4 p.m.

1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Suite 102
Dunwoody, GA 30338
770/559-7528
marlowstavern.com

Midtown Restaurant Week Begins Next Week

If you’ve been craving fare from some of Midtown’s best restaurants for a fraction of the typical cost, next week is the perfect time to explore. More than 30 restaurants will be offering $15 prix fixe lunch menus and $25 to $35 prix-fixe three-course dinner menus including one appetizer, one entrée and choice of dessert. Participating restaurants include 4th & Swift, Baronda, Briza, Ecco, Livingston, Park 75 and so many more. 

For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants, please visit atlrestaurantweek.com.


 
 
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Oceanfront Cottage Rentals, photo courtesy Chris Hornaday
By Jan Hickel

Tybee Island is known as “Savannah’s Beach,” and it is. Just a couple of bridges and fifteen minutes separate the beautiful, historic town and the laid-back barrier island. Atlantans also claim Tybee as their own since, at just four hours away, it’s the beach closest to Georgia's biggest city.
  
And even though the island's vibe is strictly low-maintenance and low-key, the food is anything but low-end. There are plenty of casual but food-forward places focusing on seafood, burgers, sandwiches and cold, adult beverages which really satisfy those with discriminating taste.  

One such destination is the quaint North Beach Bar and Grille. The modest restaurant has been an island staple for years, nestled just steps from the landmark Tybee Island Lighthouse. Chef George’s Caribbean influenced menu must-haves include Plaintains-n-Salsa and Seafood Fritters to get things stared, followed by Jerk Chicken (salad or entrée) and the escovitch. Live music livens things up as the sun goes down during the summer months.

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Tybee Island Social Club, courtesy Chris Hornaday
The Tybee Island Social Club is a relative newcomer to the scene - mixing the requisite laid-back Tybee atmosphere with a bit of hipster cool taqueria vibe and some culinary risk-taking. The shady patio is the perfect place to start with one of their specialty cocktails. Be sure to try the Social Mojito, the Scientist or the Phil (made of Crusoe organic spiced rum, peach schnapps, peach nectar and a harmony of spices, proceeds benefit the Savannah Philharmonic).  

Stand-out starters include Marinated Shrimp in olive oil, roasted red pepper and toasted cardamom with French bread for dipping. Another must-try “sharing” dish is the Manchego Skillet - it is pure magic, blending just the right mixture of Spanish Manchego, white wine, roasted garlic and sage with more crusty French bread for dipping. 

The tacos are already legendary including the duck cooked to “Love Me Tender” perfection with sliced radish, apple allspice topping and tomatillo salsa. The Chorizo Burger has just enough kick and the Truffle Burger is sublime with black truffle butter and the chef’s secret sauce. Fresh seafood is a given but the Shrimpy Crab Cakes and the Sapelo Island Clams confirm you’re dealing with chefs who know their stuff. Taking the “Social” in its name seriously, Tybee Island Social Club stays open late and has a Sunday brunch with a steel band, descriptively titled evenings that include Movies on the Porch, Booze & Bingo and Open Mic.

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Ele Fine Fusion, courtesy Chris Hornaday
Fine Asian cuisine isn’t usually what you think of when dining in a quaint beach town but Elē Fine Fusion is bridging the gap between casual and elegant, traditional and modern. The culinary/design powerhouse duo of Sean Thongsiri and Ele Tran brings the best of their Thai and Vietnamese backgrounds to the serene setting on Wilmington Island between Tybee and Savannah. The decor, with muted color palettes, water features and thoughtful acoustics, is spa-like in mood. Just like a visit to a great spa, your anticipation and expectations are exceeded and you leave feeling pampered and sated.

The menu is both comforting and creative combing popular mainstays with a revolving menu of specials. The starters include spring rolls and green papaya salad (bok bok) and entrées feature Pad Thai, Panang Beef and a pork tenderloin dish called Kangekeown. Chef Sean’s gift is in establishing relationships with the local fishermen and farmers so that he gets the freshest, finest ingredients first and then works his magic to create  specials that celebrate the region’s bountiful treasures. Sushi lovers will be thrilled with the Tuna Tar Tar and the Elē and Rainbow rolls and beef lovers will definitely want to try the Wagyu filet.

Tybee Island delivers on being a sleepy beach town - and a perfect retreat from Atlanta - but you'll be surprised, and delighted, at the variety and quality of dining options that will make you want to stay awhile. 

For more info:
northbeachbarandgrille.net
tybeeislandsocialclub.com
elesavannah.com

Where to Stay:
Oceanfront Cottage Rentals - 85 properties all over the island. From one bedroom condos to  beachfront mansions with six bedrooms. Many are pet-friendly. oceanfrontcottage.com

 

Fresh Bites

08/23/2012

 
By Teresa Tobat

Cookbook Authors to Make Appearances at Book Festival

It's exciting that we have a first-class literary festival, right in our (Atlanta) backyard. The Decatur Book Festival, August 31 to September 2, is the largest independent book fair in the United States, and this year a handful of local cookbook authors will be signing books at Taste, a gourmet food store located in Decatur.

On September 1, Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, will be signing A New Turn in the South from 2:30 to 5 p.m. From 3:30 to 6 p.m. on September 2, Natalie Dupree, a writer who has penned 11 best-selling books about Southern cooking, and Cynthia Graubart, a culinary expert, author and speaker, will be signing Southern Biscuits.

To view a complete list of all the authors who will be at the festival, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com/2012

Firenze Ristorante Serving Wood-fire Grilled Menu Items

Italian haunt Firenze Ristorante is offering wood-fire grilled cuts like grass-fed local veal chop, marinated lamb chop, homemade sausage and Mediterranean sea bass on the weekends. All of these tasty dishes are served with your choice of sides including roasted potatoes, risotto, and polenta. Of course, you also can choose from the restaurant’s robust menu of homemade ravioli and pasta.

6025 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
770/817-8733
firenzeristorante.net
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Vinny’s on Windward Hosts Wine Tasting

Mark your calendars for September 14, and then be sure to head over to Vinny’s for a wine tasting at 5:30 p.m. next month. This wine tasting will feature wines hailing from Napa Valley’s Caymus Vineyard—a family-owned winery which celebrated 40 years of wine making this year.  

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

 

Fresh Bites

08/16/2012

 
By Teresa Tobat

Davio’s Celebrates Two Years in Atlanta

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse celebrates its second anniversary in Atlanta this month. Be sure to drop by for tasty cuisine that includes dishes like hand-rolled potato gnocchi and roasted maple leaf duck breast at this Phipps Plaza haunt.

3500 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
404/844-4810
http://davios.com/atl
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New Seafood Restaurant Lure Reels Guests In

We love to be able to announce a new restaurant on the Atlanta scene, and Lure--the newest offering from Fifth Group--is a worthy addition. This contemporary fish house that serves fresh, seasonal seafood, prepared in creative ways. Some of our favorites so far are fried Rhode Island calamari and Ipswich clams, with pickled shallots, parsley, tartar and lemon, fish and chips (Acadian Redfish in sourdough batter served with fries and malt vinegar) and sautéed Kitty Mitchell grouper (pictured left) paired with curried creamed corn, yogurt and spicy lime pickle. Be sure to request the bread, which is brought in fresh daily from Holeman & Finch.

The cocktails at Lure really shine. House-bottled soda cocktails allow guests to pop the top at the table and the restaurant’s gigantic punch bowls are a fun way to share with a group.

1106 Crescent Avenue, NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
404/817-3650
lure-atlanta.com

Sage Woodfire Tavern Offers Eclectic Mix of Events

If you’re looking to add some diversity to your typical culinary calendar, pay a visit to Sage Woodfire Tavern Perimeter. The restaurant offers plenty of fun activities throughout the week. Celebrate Tuesday with “Taster Tuesday,” where you can purchase 2-ounce wine tasters of your choice for $2 each all day. After that, you can enjoy “Import Wednesdays,” where you'll sip $2 domestic drafts and $3 import drafts all day. The restaurant also offers live samba music on Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.

4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
770/804-8880
sagewoodfiretavern.com

 

Fresh Bites

08/09/2012

 
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By Teresa Tobat

Marietta Baker Crowned Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” Winner

Just two years ago, Marietta resident Patricia Katopes started a new chapter in her life as a single mother and opened her own bakery, Patty Cakes Cupcakes.
Katopes can now add “Cupcake Wars” winner to her resume. “Cupcake Wars” is a Food Network show that pits four of the country’s cupcake bakers against each other as they compete in three baking elimination challenges, until only one master baker / decorator remains.

As winner of “Cupcake Wars,” she will receive $10,000 to put toward growing her business and a chance to showcase her creations at the WildAid black-tie gala in San Francisco. She is also a potential contestant for the upcoming season of “Cupcake Champions,” in which 16 “Cupcake Wars” winners will face off against each other for a chance to be named the “Ultimate Cupcake Champion,” receive a $50,000 prize and showcase his or her creations at a high-profile event.

Patty Cakes Cupcakes operates out of the Great Harvest Bread Co.’s Marietta location and serves delicious treats that Katopes makes fresh daily using all-natural ingredients.

3894 Due West Road (Located inside the Great Harvest Bread Co.)
Marietta, GA 30064
770/421-9998
pattycakescc.com

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High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet Debuts Limoncello Sorbetto Flavor

Award-winning Atlanta-based ice cream company High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet has a new flavor on store shelves: Private Reserve Limoncello Sorbetto. For this sorbetto, High Road Craft creates its own limoncello, an Italian lemon liquor. For this flavor, High Road juices fresh lemons no more than an hour before "spinning" the ice and steeps a pinch of real saffron threads to provide the refreshing treat with some depth. Our publisher, Yolanda Jones, called this “the best sorbet” that she has ever tasted, and with just a few weeks of summer left, be sure to sample this refreshing, tasty treat.

You can find this new flavor and the company’s other products (which are all made in Atlanta) at local Fresh Markets and Whole Foods. Check out highroadcraft.com for the company’s other flavors.

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Velvet Salon Opens in a New Location

We love days when we get to celebrate the successes of terrific people and companies who are partners of Flavors. Today is such a day, as we’re proud to announce the opening of the new location of Velvet Salon (a favorite of many a Flavors staff member!). Stylist Drew Delaney and his partner, Matthew Gabriels, are now open in the hip lofts in the up-and-coming downtown of Chamblee, at 5256 Peachtree Road. Just a few miles north of Buckhead, this chic salon boasts three top-notch stylists, a bright, airy atmosphere and happy clients. The salon is open Tuesday - Sunday. Learn more at www.velvetsalonstudios.com or call 404/863-2302. 

 
 
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Photo courtesy Ashley Hesseltine.
Temperatures are soaring in Atlanta, so anything frozen is a welcome reprieve from the heat. Granita is a perfect choice, since it's light and icy and, really, you can make it with essentially no specialty equipment and with whatever fresh fruit you have on hand. Here, Wisteria's Chef Walker Brown shares one of his favorite summer granita recipes. This dessert would be great to serve at a dinner party, as it can be made entirely the day before. Enjoy, and stay cool out there! 

Watermelon & Lemon Balm Granita
1/2 medium seedless watermelon, chopped into small cubes
1 oz. lemon balm leaves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups sugar
4 cups water

To make simple syrup, combine water and sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil and remove from heat to cool. Once the syrup is cool, blend seedless watermelon with lemon balm leaves, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Place mixture in a size cake pan (6" x 9") and freeze. After placing pan in freezer, stir mixture with a wire wisk three to four times, breaking up ice crystals. Then let freeze overnight or for 12 hours. To serve, scoop with an ice cream scoop and garnish with fruit of your choice. NOTE: When making granita, feel free to use any kind of seasonal fruit you would like and experiment with different herbs. 

If you'd rather let someone else do the cooking (or freezing, in this case!), plan a trip to Wisteria by calling 404/525.3363. 

 
 
Happy August 1st, everyone! In honor of the start of a new month, Flavors NOW rounded up a few events you should put on your calendar today to ensure you don’t miss out. Enjoy this last month of summer.

By Teresa Tobat

Carbonara Trattoria’s August Events
Dunwoody’s Italian haunt, Carbonara Trattoria, has plenty going on this month to keep foodies busy. For starters, the restaurant will open for lunch beginning August 6. During the week, guests can enjoy Girls Night Out on Tuesdays which includes one appetizer, two entrées and one dessert for $50. On Wednesdays, the restaurant offers 50 percent off select wines for Wine Appreciation Night. If a cocktail is more your speed, plan to sip $5 Martinis every Thursday.

Call 678/587-9100 or visit carbonaradunwoody.com for more information.

5499 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
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Share Our Strength’s Give Me Five Fundraiser
Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States, is hosting its sixth annual “Give Me Five” event at Atlanta’s Cherokee Town & Country Club on August 19. Five of Georgia's top chefs, plus one chef chairperson and five of the state’s best sommeliers will be coming to the table to create a five-course meal complete with wine pairings and commentary from the attending culinary professionals. Flavors magazine is one of the night’s sponsors.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $275 per person and $2,500 per table of 10. To purchase tickets, please click here.

For further event details, call 404/627-4630. For more information about Share Our Strength, please visit strength.org.

SafePath’s Culinary Tour and Competition
More than 20 of Georgia’s top chefs will gather at the Cobb Galleria Exhibit Hall, from 6 to 10 p.m. on August 23 to serve up their signature dishes and to mentor cooking competitions to benefit SafePath—an organization that advocates for child-abuse victims.

General admission tickets are $75 and can be purchased here. Flavors magazine is a media sponsors for the event. For more information, visit safepath.org.