Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Share Our Strength’s Give Me Five Event is Announced

  • 6:01 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
The chefs and sommeliers for the Give Me Five Dinner, (photo credit- Heidi Geldhauser)

The annual Give Me Five dinner from Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is Sunday, August 17.

Cherokee Country Club will pay host to Atlanta’s top sommeliers and chefs for a five-course meal. Chefs serving include Honorary Chef Michael Deihl (A Kitchen Kalamity) along with Sean Woods (Cherokee Town and Country Club), Jonathan Beatty (Ecco), Meherwan Irani (Chai Pani), Eli Kirshtein (The Luminary), Dave Snyder (of Halyards and Tramici on St. Simons Island) and Kathleen Miliotis (Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse).

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception and live entertainment, followed by dinner and both live and silent auctions [More]

Are your plants killing bees?

  • 11:47 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

According to a recent study by the Gardeners Beware 2014, 50 percent of plants purchased at garden retailers (like Lowe’s and Home Depot) contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides, despite being labeled as “bee friendly.” These pesticides are the most widely used in the country, and are chemically similar to nicotine, and have a harmful or deathly affect on bees. Neonics can harm bee’s reproduction, learning and memory, hive communications and immune responses.

“Bees are important, actually literally crucial to human life, because they pollinate 70 percent of the plants that humans consume,” said Michael Wall, Programs Director at Georgia Organics. “You’re heard the [More]

Where are you eating for National Junk Food Day?

  • 5:33 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

As if we need a day to celebrate consuming massive amounts of calories and fat, today is National Junk Food Day. Mondays are the perfect excuse- you feel more stressed about the week ahead and you tend to crave something sweet, salty and oh-so-bad for you. But why? Because when stress hormones are released, they stimulate both your appetite and chemicals in the brain that crave fat and sugar.

We think of two iconic Atlanta establishments that serve up a combination of sweet and salty: Zesto and The Varsity. Both serve up classics like fried onion rings, double stacked hamburgers, chili [More]

Smart cooking at One Eared Stag

  • 2:58 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by John Kessler
Carolina Gold rice with crab and fennel

The food geek in me likes no restaurant in Atlanta half as well as One Eared Stag. He loves reading the menu, can never decide among a half dozen different dishes to try and never frets about the bad acoustics and uncomfortable seats. He knows that he may not like every dish — in fact, he may actively dislike several — but he’d rather eat Robert Phalen‘s failures than many another chef’s successes.

This dude thinks his way out of the box. Whatever you can say about his food, it is rarely derivative.

Check out this mound of Carolina Gold rice [More]

Chef Asha Gomez confirms Cardamom Hill closing

  • 12:15 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Bob Townsend

Chef/owner Asha Gomez confirmed this morning that after dinner service on July 28 she will close Cardamom Hill, the critically acclaimed Indian restaurant she opened on Northside Drive in Berkeley Hills in January 2012.

Recently, Gomez announced a new bakery cafe concept, Spice to Table, she calls an “Indian patisserie.” It’s set to open August 1 in the Studioplex development on Auburn Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward. And later this year, she will debut a new fast food fried chicken concept, Spice Road Chicken, at nearby Krog Street Market.

With all that in the works, Gomez called [More]

Search Atlanta for Moe’s Gift Cards

  • 8:50 am Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

The first Moe’s Southwest Grill can call Peachtree Street its home, and to celebrate this week, they are teaming up with Atlanta’s hometown beverage giant- Coca Cola- to launch “Vanilla on Peachtree.” The new soda flavor is a Sprite-based beverage with vanilla and peach flavorings.
To help promote the launch, Moe’s is hiding gift cards around town starting today July 21 and ending this Friday July 25. Each day is one opportunity to win a gift card, but the only way to be in the know is to follow their Twitter (@moes_HQ), where they will post clues for the hidden gift [More]

RECIPE: Peach & Fig Cobbler

  • 8:03 am Sunday, July 20th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
peach cobbler

Are you looking for a tasty summer dessert or crowd-pleasing brunch option?

Now that the peaches are finally in season and bountiful at the farmers markets (our favorites being from Watsonia or Pearson), you are probably looking for ideas to celebrate Georgia’s fruit. One of my favorite, simple ways to create a dish with peaches is to roast them in the oven. This works especially if the peaches are still firm, because it brings out their natural sweetness. We are almost to the summer fig season, and this cobbler is healthy enough to be served for breakfast, but it could just as [More]

Have you ever tried blood plums?

  • 2:12 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
blood plums

I was exploring one of Denver’s local farmers markets this week and came across these tasty “blood plums.” A member of the stone fruit family, their name comes from their dark red skin and flesh. They are typically no bigger than a golf ball. In fact, they  look like a bigger, plumper red cherry, but they lend a juicier, sweeter taste reminiscent of a plum.

These came from

As for the rest of the farmers market, it was very similar to any of Atlanta’s: there was an artisan granola seller, a goat farm selling goat cheese and soaps, many gluten-free and vegan [More]

Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Company

  • 8:37 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
beer samples are $1 each-  and a hefty pour gives you a good taste.

I know beer is usually Bob’s thing, but I have been traveling in Denver and found it worthwhile to check out their beer scene. The top breweries in the state range from Golden, Colorado’s Miller-Coor’s brewery to Denver’s microbrewery scene that includes Wynkoop Brewery and Prost Brewery.

I took a tour of The Great Divide Brewing Company, a brewery located near Denver’s downtown district. The brewery was founded in 1994 and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. With this milestone, the brewery plans to expand and add a second production facility in Denver. The current brewery is nestled in an old [More]

Lusca restaurant review, Atlanta

  • 1:00 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett

In tomorrow’s AJC, I have a review of Lusca, the new Brookwood Hills restaurant from the folks behind East Atlanta’s Octopus Bar. I gave it a grade of 3 stars.

At first glance, it may seem like things don’t quite jibe at Lusca. There’s a lot going on here. But this one’s worth a second look.

Lusca doesn’t have the edge of sister restaurant Octopus Bar, but it isn’t the place for a traditional three-course meal. The fare reflects the varied cooking experience of co-owners Angus Brown and Nhan Le and comes together as a melange of Mediterranean-inspired seafood, [More]

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