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Brewed to perfection

New Atlanta gastropub delivers a myriad of beers hailing from Atlanta to Belgium

By Kirsten Ott Palladino

ormsbys-atlanta

Tucked away in the bottom of the White Provision building (a former meat-packing plant in the early 20th century) on the Westside of Atlanta is Ormsby’s, a self-proclaimed good place to be. Co-owner Michael Goot won’t exactly confess to it being either a pub, speakeasy or a tavern, but the low lighting, dark milled walnut floors, oak booths, copper-topped bar with mahogany leanings, slightly secretive location with just a metal-worked O hanging by the front door and casual atmosphere of good times speak for themselves. The newly minted restaurant opened in December 2009, and has been packed most every night. The camaraderie found at Ormsby’s is scholarly in a grad student/professor way, but the fun to be had is for all drinking ages and personalities: A flight of stairs below the restaurant is a host of games, ranging from bocce ball, darts, pool, shuffleboard, ’80s videogames (think Donkey Kong, Pac-Man) and even Skee Ball is in the works for April. Ormsby’s is a collaboration between Michael Goot, a man whose work history is steeped in beer, and Warren Bruno, who opened his first bar in Atlanta in 1974. This is Bruno’s 12th bar, and he says it’s his final. He had a bocce ball court at his first one, and to bring it full circle, he wanted to have the precision game available at his last venture. Bruno also owns Atkins Park Tavern, Atlanta’s longest-standing bar and restaurant, which has two locations. The pair looked to Executive Chef Andrew Smith to design their easygoing but respectable menu, which features American-style pub dishes such as house-made sausage, hand-dipped corn dogs, New England clam chowder, bratwurst, fried cod, veal and mushroom meatballs, as well as more than 10 hearty sandwiches. But the real shining star of Ormsby’s is the beer. With more than 20 offerings on draft and 45 to 50 bottle brands available on any given day, it’s no wonder beerophiles flock to this hidden gem. Choices abound, from complex Belgian beers like Dupont Fore, which has the “Belgian funk,” according to Goot, because of its orientation in a Belgian farmhouse where the windows stay open to allow the yeast to blow in from the farm (also known as spontaneous fermentation) to simple craft beers like Avery Ellie’s Brown Ales from Boulder, Colo., which shines with vitality. Local Atlanta beer is a top seller, especially SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale, with hoppy characteristics and a crisp finish. Trappist beers like St. Bernardus Abt12, a dark ivory-colored beer with a high fermentation, is on draft, while St. Bernardus Prior 8, a fruity malt with a purple-ruby hue, is available by the bottle. While no favorites ever leave the beer menu, Goot continues to tweak the list to continue to intrigue and satiate Atlanta’s thirsty palate.

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THE PERFECT PAIR

Savor the weekly special pot roast braised in red wine and served with root vegetables and buttered noodles with the notes of fig, raisin and dark stone fruit in Dogfish Head Paulo Santo.

Loop your fingers through local pale ale-battered onion rings, and wash it down with Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, a light, citrus IPA.

Southern hospitality takes center stage with shrimp and grits, roasted peppers, caramelized onions and cream sherry. The spice in Dupont Foret Organic keeps up nicely.

The spicy orange blossom, caramel malt and crisp hop at the end of the Ommegang Rare Vos Amber Ale balances out the spicy lamb merguez (sausage) with Tzatziki sauce, cucumber and pickled red onion served gyro-style in a grilled pita.

This article was published in Draft Magazine.

Atlanta, Bios, Portfolio

Chef Andrew Isabella, No. 246

No. 246

No. 246 Photo by Access Atlanta

 

CHEF DE CUISINE ANDREW ISABELLA  NO. 246

Andrew IsabellaQUICK HIGHLIGHTS:

Italian tradition courses through No. 246’s Chef de Cuisine Andrew Isabella’s veins. Growing up in an Italian family who emphasized helping people, he knew at an early age that he was destined to serve others through community outreach and drawing upon his culinary talents. In November 2012, the Floridian native arrived at Atlanta’s luminary restaurateurs and chefs Ford Fry and Drew Belline’s Italian-inspired No. 246 restaurant, which is deservedly praised for its affection for farm-fresh ingredients. Isabella’s career includes the role of sous chef at Luma on Park, in Winter Park, Fla., from 2010 to 2012, as well as the lead line cook and sous chef under Bravo’s Top Chef contestant Tracey Bloom at Table 1280 on the High Museum of Art’s campus from 2009 to 2010. Isabella, who has been wowing dining guests and employers alike with his flair for creative dishes, earned his associate of science in culinary arts from Keiser University in Tallahassee, Fla.

He now is settled happily in the heart of Buckhead with his wife Kaylen. Together, the sweethearts enjoy antiquing and traveling, though she might be in fierce competition for time with Chef Belline, who’s just introduced Chef Isabella to the exciting world of foraging. The Belline/Isabella duo makes for an impressive combo of leadership and style at No. 246, which places importance on the seasonality of locally sourced ingredients to build fresh, everyday dishes utilizing Italian cooking techniques in the heart of Decatur. “I like working with seasonal and locally inspired ingredients,” says Isabella. “I believe good food brings people together, so my passion for food also corresponds with my calling to serve others.”

FULL BIOGRAPHY:

Italian tradition courses through No. 246’s Chef de Cuisine Andrew Isabella’s veins. Growing up in an Italian family who emphasized helping people, he knew at an early age that he was destined to serve others through community outreach and drawing upon his culinary talents. “During my senior year, there was a family who had a tragedy,” recalls Isabella. “Instead of bringing them food, I asked my mom if I could go over there and cook. The feedback I got and the happiness I brought, and just being there with them during a difficult time helped me to know this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

Since his teen years, this Marianna, Florida, native has dedicated himself to the culinary craft—from paying his dues at a small family restaurant in his hometown to gaining familiarity with kitchen practices and managing a staff at a country club. The lure of kitchen life drew Isabella to enroll at Keiser University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he graduated with an associate’s degree in culinary arts.

During his education, Isabella interned at Wolfgang Puck’s Catering at the Georgia Aquarium, where he assisted in cooking for parties from 10 to 10,000. After culinary school, Isabella’s career path led him to Table 1280 on the High Museum of Art’s campus from 2009 to 2010. Under Bravo’s Top Chef contestant Tracey Bloom’s tutelage, Isabella gained a greater understanding for refined American cuisine. When she went on hiatus to film Top Chef, he was tapped for the position of sous chef, and wowed his employers and guests with his creativity and food knowledge.

Isabella returned to his home state in 2010, accepting the position of sous chef at Luma on Park, a Concentrics concept owned by NASCAR CEO and Chairman of the Board Brian France, and remained until the fall of 2012. “We worked with a lot of local farms, changing our menu every day,” says Isabella. “I learned a lot about fish butchering during my time there.” Luma’s modern American style served Isabella well, enabling him to master sous vide like nobody’s business. After his promotion from sous chef to management, Isabella began to yearn for Atlanta. Luckily, Luma’s executive chef Brandon McGlamery is close friends with Drew Belline, co-owner of No. 246, and he happily connected the two. “I fell in love with No. 246,” says Isabella, “and Drew took me right in.”

In November 2012, the Florida native became the chef de cuisine at Atlanta’s luminary restaurateurs and chefs Ford Fry and Drew Belline’s Italian-inspired No. 246 restaurant, which is deservedly praised for its affection for farm-fresh ingredients. Isabella is now is settled happily in the heart of Buckhead with his new wife Kaylen (the newlyweds tied the knot in November 2011). Together, the sweethearts enjoy antiquing and traveling, though she might be in fierce competition for time with Chef Belline, who’s just introduced Chef Isabella to the exciting world of foraging.

The Belline/Isabella duo makes for an impressive combo of leadership and style at No. 246, which places importance on the seasonality of locally sourced ingredients to build fresh, everyday dishes utilizing Italian cooking techniques in the heart of Decatur. “I like working with seasonal and locally inspired ingredients,” says Isabella. “I believe good food brings people together, so my passion for food also corresponds with my calling to serve others.”

During his time at No. 246, Isabella’s feeling most appreciative of the simplicity in approach. “It’s great letting the ingredients speak for themselves,” he says. “Coming from Luma, where there was so much put into every dish, it was very complex. At No. 246, we let the produce talk.”

No. 246 is hailed for its veneration for local produce and meaningful relationships developed with local farmers. “It’s amazing,” says Isabella of the fresh produce. “The farmers cut it and bring it in dripping wet, still covered in dirt. It means a lot. It’s a good way to see it.”

An integral figure in the design and development of the oft-changed menu, Isabella’s philosophy is represented in every dish. It’s refined farm-to-table food rooted in Italian techniques—served at lunchtime and evening to ravenous Decaturites and Atlantans alike.

 

 

Atlanta, Bios, Portfolio, writing

Chef E.J. Hodgkinson, JCT. Kitchen and Bar

Chef-EJ-Hodgkinson-Atlanta-food

E.J. HODGKINSON: EXECUTIVE CHEF – JCT. KITCHEN AND BAR

QUICK HIGHLIGHTS:

Before becoming the Executive Chef at JCT. Kitchen and Bar in January 2013, E.J. Hodgkinson crisscrossed the country, polishing his culinary chops at luxury resorts, cafés and the Texas Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu. Hodgkinson’s comfort in the kitchen came easy, as he watched his grandmother tend to her garden, turning fresh, local ingredients into fulfilling and nourishing meals at the family dinner table. The 29-year-old California native is in an unabashed love affair with the South now, and aims to rocket JCT. Kitchen to the national acclaim it deserves.

FULL BIOGRAPHY:

Executive Chef E.J. Hodgkinson has been immersed in a vibrant culinary culture for half of his life. The Placerville, California, native began cooking professionally at the ripe age of 14 in a neighborhood coffee shop. It was during this chef-driven childhood that Hodgkinson developed his insatiable appreciation for locally sourced ingredients, observing his grandmother canning the tomatoes grown in her lush California garden. “My grandmother taught me the art of preservation and the concept of farm-to-table long before it was cool or a cliché,” says the family-oriented chef who could cook an egg at the tender age of 6. “I fell into cooking comfortably.”

Once he finished high school, the adventurous spirit headed to Idaho, polishing his gourmet chef skills at the posh Sun Valley Resort, a luxury travel destination teeming with celebrities seeking refuge and anonymity. Chef Hodgkinson continued with his training in Ashland, Oregon, where he kept beat to a high-paced rhythm at a cozy restaurant which caters to the Shakespeare festival that attracts 1.8 million people annually.

At only 21-years-old, Hodgkinson was named executive chef at Tomei’s, a hip restaurant in his historic hometown, which is famous from the Gold Rush days. He says that “to take the next step I had to take a step back.” So he enrolled in Texas Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas. Graduation landed him the sous chef position at for 34th St. Café, where fresh, locally sourced food was the focus.

Chef Hodgkinson’s love affair with the South blossomed when he moved to Atlanta with his girlfriend, who wanted to be closer to her family. He sought out chef positions with premium restaurants, and caught the attention of Bravo’s Top Chef luminary Kevin Gillespie, who was at the helm of Woodfire Grill’s kitchen at the time.

Hodgkinson earned multiple promotions from line cook to sous chef to chef de cuisine in his 4-and-a-half years at Woodfire Grill. “Kevin played an integral role in my falling in love with Southern cuisine,” says Hodgkinson, who confesses he used to think grits played second fiddle to polenta. “I quickly learned it was the other way around,” he says, adding that “Southern cuisine is the richest and most fulfilling in America because of the history and heritage behind it.” Perhaps what has made the deepest imprint on the chef’s heart is how the Southern family values its meals around the table, which reminds him of his own family back in California. “Sitting down with your family every night and eating dinner together is how I grew up, but it’s not the norm in California. It seems to be the norm in the South, and it’s why I fell in love with it.”

The chef’s expansive knowledge of sourcing the freshest ingredients and layering their flavors into perfection led to a call from Chef Ford Fry in the fall of 2012, inviting him to become part of the JCT. Kitchen family. As executive chef of the lauded dining destination known for its down-home gourmet style, Hodgkinson revels in employing the proper, fundamental techniques to bring out the best of each ingredient and letting each component speak for itself. “Something gets lost in translation when you do too much to it,” he says.

Chef Hodgkinson easily became a proud ambassador for Chef Fry’s West Midtown restaurant. “What I love about JCT is the friendly, comfortable experience offered from start to finish. I like people to feel like they’ve come into my home and had an amazing meal, accompanied by great, not-too-intrusive service and incredible drinks.”

The ambitious chef has set his sights on countrywide acclaim for JCT. Kitchen. His goal is elevating the level of cuisine without becoming pretentious, continuing to make it a fun place at which to dine and experience food. “My aim is to execute a very high level of food in a format which people can enjoy and still keep it approachable,” he says, noting that the Southern focus situated in comfortable yet refined environs is what’s kept it such high regard with Atlanta’s foodie community. “There’s a reason it’s been here for seven years. I aim to just make it make it better. I would like to take JCT to the national realm of recognition. Ford knows I’ve always had my foot on the gas.”

 

Want a professional biography like this one? Contact Kirsten Ott at ko@kirstenott.co. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, cocktails

Splashy New Tropical Spring Cocktails at RA Sushi

On the first day of spring, Atlantans were choking on 9,368 particles of pollen (per cubic meter of air), which is a new record, reports 11 Alive.

Some people might prefer to waste their time washing their cars, momentarily freeing their vehicles from this yellow dusting. But the smart ones among us, and I suspect you are a part of this select group, will head indoors and cleanse our throats from Mother Nature’s dander with cocktails. Special spring cocktails at RA Sushi Bar and Restaurant (located in the 1010 Midtown building at 1080 Peachtree Street) to be exact.

Take an island vacation with just one swig of these fine $8 concoctions, from my fave, the Pineapple Express (a jaunt down to a some remote island with Hawaiian-based Kai Young Coconut Shochu, St. Germain and pineapple juice) to the Bikini Martini, which flirts with your beach-loving soul by combining vanilla vodka, blue Curacao, pineapple juice and more of that lovely coconut shochu. Hurry, though. They’re only available at RA until April 30 (but we got the inside scoop on recipes so you can try these fab libations out at home, too). Pair them with some of Atlanta’s best and most fun sushi from RA, and your itchy throat and eyes will be a distant memory while you hold up your getaway-in-a-glass and cry out, “Spring has sprung!”

Pineapple Express and Bikini Martini at RA Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta

Pineapple Express 
1.25 oz. Kai Young Coconut Shochu
.25 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3 oz. pineapple juice
.25 oz. lemon juice (2 lemons)
Splash of Prosecco
2 Pineapple wedges
Slice of lime

Method:
Muddle pineapple with St. Germain in mixing tin. Add everything except soda, shake and strain into ice filled glass, top with Prosecco soda, garnish with a slice of pineapple and lime.

Bikini Martini
.75 oz. Kai Young Coconut Shochu
.75 oz. vanilla vodka
1.5 oz. pineapple juice
.5 oz. simple syrup
.25 oz. blue Curacao
Splash of lemon-lime soda
Pineapple wedge for garnish

Method:
Pour all ingredients into mixing tin with ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and dash of blue Curacao.

Atlanta

Free Pancakes at IHOP on Tuesday, National Pancake Day

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Flapjack lovers can get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes Tuesday, Feb. 28, at IHOP, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The International House of Pancakes offers the fluffy goodness up to celebrate National Pancake Day and to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities. For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day, IHOP guests are invited to make a voluntary donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. IHOP hopes to raise $2.7 million this year, with a goal to bring the total amount of funds raised to more than $10 million. IHOP served four million free pancakes on National Pancake Day last year, and pancake lovers donated more than $2.5 million to children’s charities, exceeding the fundraising goal of $2.3 million.

 To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

Atlanta, restaurants

New Seafood Restaurant Lure Opening in July

Lure, a new seafood restaurant, is slated to open in Midtown early July. It will be housed in Vickery’s Crescent Avenue Bar & Grill’s old digs, just a few doors down from South City Kitchen. Both Lure and SCK are owned by Fifth Group Restaurants, which is run by Robby Kukler, Steve Simon and Kris Reinhard.

“We have been talking about Lure for more than three years, and the basic idea of serving simple, high quality seafood dishes in a fun, uniquely designed atmosphere has been our inspiration from the start,” says Kukler.

The atmosphere Kukler speaks of is being designed by Bill Peace of Peace Design and ai3, whose created the flair at luminary mainstays such as 4th & Swift, Holeman & Finch, Flip and Miller Union. Lure will seat 150 guests in a sophisticated space that welcomes everyday dining. The feeling of Vickery’s will be long gone, as the building has undergone major renovations to the interior, exterior and patio.

“Both ai3 and Bill Peace really understand the ideas we articulate and our desire to achieve an understated, timeless look at Lure,” says Kukler. “Our design inspiration for this restaurant is, naturally, the ocean and the contrast of its unrefined and polished characteristics,” he adds.

The designers are utilizing a cool, fresh color palette reminiscent of the sea along with stripped, weathered wood and steel. Reclaimed nautical spotlights cast blue-green reflections off a zinc bar top, and, paired with gloss shiplaps and the essence of billowing sailcloths, evoke both the raw nature of the fishing industry and the mysterious charm of the ocean.

David Bradley, currently the chef de cuisine at Ecco, will oversee the kitchen at Lure. Lure will always have an extensive offering of oysters from many waters as well as other raw bar staples. The menu will also feature sharable items such as a house-smoked seafood “charcuterie” sampling, Sapelo Island clam crudo with charred Padrón peppers and a Guerrero-style spicy seafood cocktail with citrus and a shot of a summery pilsner added tableside. Sautéed pompano with Silver Queen corn and curry and grilled whole Georgia trout with pickled ramp butter cooked in the kitchen’s 1400-degree charcoal burning Josper Spanish oven are examples of simple fish preparations that will be served at Lure. On the more “seafood house” traditional side, guests can expect offerings such as Acadian redfish fried in sourdough batter with malt vinegar marinated cucumbers and Georgia shrimp broiled Scampi style with Sparkman’s cultured butter.

Fifth Group Restaurants Beverage Director Vajra Stratigos is constructing the beverage program for Lure, which will include an expansive list of both draft and bottled beers as well as a collection of interesting wines and innovative cocktails.

“Ocean wines should feel very natural, rather than display overt fruitiness,” says Stratigos. “For me, seafood wants acidity, minerality and salinity in a wine partner – all things that accent what is inherent to the ocean itself,” he adds.

Lure is located at 1106 Crescent Avenue NE in Midtown Atlanta and will be open for dinner daily first with lunch service added at a later date.

Atlanta

@Cavalia Tickets On Sale Up To 50 Percent Off

Odysseo, the mesmerizing, unforgettable and magical equestrian celebration of the senses, will be staying in town one more week: until Jan. 22.

As a post-holiday gift to the city, ticket prices have dropped up to 50 percent if you buy this week for any Atlanta show. Purchase your tickets and get more information at cavalia.net.

Also, just for today, Tuesday, Jan. 10, Cavalia is offering a free complimentary tour of the stables when purchasing tickets at The Big Top today between 3 and 7 p.m.

Atlanta

Ringing in the New Year in Atlanta

Here’s a smorgasboard of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day happenings at some of my favorite haunts around Atlanta. Feel free to add more in the comments section!

Yacht Rock Revue

Park Tavern – The Yacht Rock Review NYE Celebration
Classiest. NYE celebration. Ever. Round up your friend and raise your
glasses at Park Tavern this year with the smooth sounds of Yacht Rock Revue
and Please rock’s DJ arsenal Quasi Mandisco and DJ MP3.P.O in the Piedmont
Room. Ring in the New Year overlooking the midtown Atlanta skyline with an
open bar, all-inclusive drinks and food, including fresh sushi, gourmet hors
d’ouvres and s’mores (for the kid in all of us). Doors open at 9 p.m. and the
party will rock on until 2 a.m. Tickets can be purchased
at www.parktavern.com.

Park Tavern is conveniently located on the corner of 10th and Monroe in
Midtown at 500 Tenth Street NE, Atlanta GA 30309. For more information,
visit www.parktavern.com or call 404.249.0001.

Cypress Street Pint & Plate NYE

Cheers to the New Year at Cypress with good eats and free drinks. Doors open at 8 p.m. so you can get your celebration started early. Guests can enjoy a free well bar and free house beer from 9 -10 p.m. If you work up an appetite (and it’s certain you will), the midnight breakfast buffet will satisfy and what NYE party is complete without a champagne toast? Pre-sale party tickets are a steal of only $10 and $15 at the door–so there’s no excuse to miss out!

Cypress Street Pint and Plate is located on the corner of 6th street and
Cypress Street at 817 West Peachtree, Suite E-125, Atlanta, Georgia. Hours
of operation are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until
2:20 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. and Sunday from 10
a.m. until midnight. For more information, visit www.cypressbar.com or call 404.815.9243.

Tongue and Groove: Glitz, Glam & Groove
Ring in another year of groovin’ at Tongue and Groove’s Glitz, Glam & Groove
New Year’s Eve 2012 celebration. Groove to beats by DJ Huda Hudia and DJ
Bobi K all night and pause for a champagne toast at midnight, snacks and
party favors. Dancing is not required, but recommended. Tickets are $25 in
advance and the price increases after December 20th, so get them while the
gettin’ is good at www.tandgonline.com.

Tongue and Groove is located at 565 Main Street in Lindberg City Center,
just off Piedmont Road in Buckhead. Valet and self-parking are available.
Call Tongue and Groove at 404.261.2325 and stay connected online
at www.tandgonline.com, on Twitter at @TongueandGroove and on Facebook: The
Original Tongue & Groove – Atlanta.

P’cheen International Bistro & Pub – New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day
Munch on a late night breakfast buffet at your favorite neighborhood haunt,
P’cheen. They’ll be serving up some yummy breakfast foods to bring in the
New Year deliciously and the best part? It’s free. If your NYE party
plans are already set in stone, then P’cheen surely has your New Years Day
covered for their annual New Years Day Leftover Party. The afternoon will be
filled with traditional New Year’s Day fare, tunes by 10 different DJs
and drink specials all night long. Who doesn’t love a good after party?

A neighborhood institution, P’cheen has become known for its seasonally
influenced, international cuisine, critically acclaimed BBQ, and extensive
beer and spirit selection. A contemporary hot spot with a distinct local
flare, P’cheen features rotating work from local artists and guest DJs and
offers a modern, yet unpretentious menu of updated classics. P’cheen is
located at 701-5 Highland Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30312. For more
information or to make a reservation visit www.pcheen.com or call
404.529.8800

D.B.A. Barbecue – New Year’s Day
There’s nothing like following up a late-night celebration with a delicious
next-day spread and it will be in abundance at D.B.A. Starting at 11:30AM
they’ll be serving up some Fare for Good Fortune with all the good luck grub
you can handle, including collard greens and black eyed peas, the South’s
traditionally acclaimed New Year’s Day dishes. Since NYD falls on a Sunday,
alcohol will be served starting at 12:30 p.m. so stick around for $10
bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas or a scorching $6 Habanero Moonshine
Bloody, if you dare!

With the primary goal of serving up the best authentic hickory smoked
barbecue in Atlanta, D.B.A. is a favorite local haunt in the heart of the
Virginia-Highland neighborhood. D.B.A. offers an expansive barbecue menu
with comfort food and eclectic options alike, this lunch, dinner and social
destination has also become known for its distinctly southern cocktail menu
and weekly offerings. D.B.A. Barbecue is located at 1190 N. Highland
Avenue NE Suite B Atlanta, Georgia 30306. For more information,
visit www.dbabarbecue.com or call 404.249.5000.

Diesel Filling Station – Breakfast All Day on New Year’s Day
Begin 2012 with a hearty brunch at Diesel Filling Station in Virginia Highland all day and night. On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2012, starting at 12 p.m. Diesel will serve a special “breakfast all day” menu
featuring a diverse selection of its signature brunch items. The expanded
menu includes the new Benedict Explosion, a bacon explosion topped with
cream cheese on an English muffin, drizzled with honey and topped with
a poached egg and hollandaise; and, favorites like the vegetarian biscuits
and gravy made with veggie sausage; the popular Death Muffin; French toast;
and much more. Couples can also enjoy brunch for two for $25,
which includes two brunch entrees and a choice of a Bloody Mary or mimosa
pitcher or a bucket of tall boy beers. For diners in need of a little hair
of the dog, Diesel will offer a variety of Bloody Marys including its
signature Bloody Mary that was recently featured in The New York Times.

Conveniently located at 870 North Highland Avenue in the heart of
Virginia Highland, Diesel was inspired by the VaHi filling
station that once stood in its place. With a decidedly local flare, Diesel
offers an expansive high gravity and craft beer selection, a clever cocktail
menu and serves reliable comfort food with a twist. For more information and
a full menu and list of events visit www.dieselatlanta.com or call
404.815.1820.

Cafe Circa New Year’s Eve Dinner & Celebration
If a hotel ballroom and hors d’oeuvres aren’t your thing this year but you
still want to celebrate with class and style, Cafe Circa is your spot. Start
the night out with an intimate early dinner at 7:30 p.m. that includes
three mouthwatering courses. If you’d prefer to dine later, the second
seating will be 9:30 p.m. and help kick off the NYE celebration. Dinner is
priced at $45 per adult and the NYE celebration before midnight
including Champagne Toast is priced at $15 per adult. Expect party favors,
live DJs and a fabulous rooftop party. Enjoy glamour and intimacy in one
place. For more information and to make reservations visit Café Circa
online at www.cafecircaatl.com or call 404.477.0008.​​

Atlanta

Mary Moore Named President of Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Exciting news for Mary S. Moore, owner and founder of The Cook’s Warehouse, who was named president of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, this past weekend.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an invitational organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. To do this, members in its chapters provide leadership, educational opportunities and host philanthropic events within their communities.

The local Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames helps Georgia Organics, Wholesome Wave, the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market and Oakhurst Community Garden.

In 2011, the Atlanta Chapter gave scholarships of $30,500 to 10 women, ages 18 to 50, at seven different institutions. The 28 international chapters have granted more than $4 million in culinary scholarships since LDEI was founded in 1973 in New York.

The Cook’s Warehouse is a fantastic gourmet cookware store and cooking school boasting four stores in the Midtown, Decatur and Brookhaven areas in the city and the East Cobb County area of the suburbs. It offers more than 15,000 products for the kitchen and operates the largest avocational cooking school in the Southeast conducting more than 800 classes yearly, often taught by local chefs, and has a large web-based delivery-by-post site.

Mary S. Moore is the owner/operator/founder of The Cook’s Warehouse, which also sells high-end appliances; conducts private cooking classes for unique celebrations and corporate events, and is a pro bono partner with virtually every major cooking event and gourmet association in Atlanta.

Atlanta, cocktails

SIP // Rosy Ripper Cocktail

Always on the hunt for a new cocktail, I just discovered this delicious gem:

ROSY RIPPER

Ingredients:
1 can Cascal Ripe Rouge
Courvoisier Rose
Orange juice
Raspberries

Method:

Mix gently in glass over ice one part Courvoisier Rose, two parts orange juice, and one part Cascal Ripe Rouge. Garnish with raspberries.

Tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments, or share your favorite cocktail recipes.