Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler 

Atlanta restaurant reviews and food news with John and the AJC's dining team
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Jenny’s dish of the week: Charred greens and peaches at Kimball House

  • 1:00 pm Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
photo 2

We are starting something new over here at the Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog. Most weeks I’ll be posting a dish of the week where we can take a closer look at some of the components that make it a standout. Just mouse over the image to dig in.

Join me in exploring Atlanta one dish at a time.

First up: Kimball House’s charred greens and peaches. It’s simply a beautiful expression of the season’s bounty.

Bon appétit!

–Jenny Turknett, Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog

Behind the Scenes: bartender John Scroggins of Ink & Elm

  • 9:33 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

“Performing and bartending are similar because you are connecting with people and taking them on an experience.”

-John Scroggins, Ink & Elm bartender and performer for Performing at weddings, what songs do you always know will be hits?

Motown always gets people going, whether we perform Earth, Wind and Fire or KC and Sunshine Band. But whenever we perform “Ice Ice Baby”, people go crazy. It’s ridiculous.

Is there a format that your band follows throughout the evening for your performances?

The first set is a dinner set, and that involves the special dances like the father/daughter. Then we ease people in with slow [More]

Endive Publik House restaurant review, Atlanta

  • 1:00 pm Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Jenny Turknett
beef tenderloin with sweet potato nettle

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Endive Publik House. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.

Endive, which began catering operations in 2003, recently added restaurant service three nights a week. You’ll find this new neighborhood hangout, Endive Publik House nestled back in the Loring Heights area, just a stone’s throw from Atlantic Station in Midtown.

Endive has taken on the challenge of bridging the chasm between catering and restaurant dining, but it is still straddling the two worlds. Servers and bartenders are still working to make the jump and the reasonably priced menu [More]

First Look: Polaris at the Hyatt Regency

  • 8:55 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by John Kessler
photo by Becky Stein

There are a couple of things you need to know before planning a trip to Polaris — the everything-old-is-new-again revolving restaurant atop the Hyatt Regency:

Polaris doesn’t take reservations and isn’t particularly big. So if you’re hankering to set foot inside the landmark blue dome, which first lit up the Atlanta skyline in 1967, plan accordingly.
The food offerings are slight, though pretty to look at and often tasty. But if you go looking for a full dinner you might be disappointed. Your mission should be drinks from a canny retro-modern cocktail list, a few nibbles, and an evening finished elsewhere.

You can [More]

Celebrate National Tequila Day with these Specials

  • 8:10 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona
Agave's tequila bar

Ole! It’s National Tequila Day! This Mexican spirit is made by steaming the hearts of the blue agave plant, then mincing the pulp, combining it with water and fermenting to make a distilled and bottle spirit. The bottle must contain at least 51 percent blue agave to be classified as tequila. So how are you going to get in the “spirit” to celebrate? We’ve got a round-up of some tequila cocktails.

Tin Lizzy’s Cantina 
Multiple locations
All locations are featuring one-ounce pours of 1800 tequila for $2, so pick your elixir- will drink it straight or top it off? House margaritas [More]

Weird Kitchen Gadgets- Spirooli Spiral Slicer

  • 10:43 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

My friends know that any type of culinary gift is bound to make me happy, and the weirder, the better. Hence I received the

It’s summer and like me, I’m sure you’re craving cold, raw foods and lightly prepared dishes. A favorite summer pasta dish of mine is carb-free, light and healthy- summer squash pasta. Instead of noodles, I use zucchini, yellow squash, hook neck squash (really whatever squash is available) and dress it simply with a fresh herb pesto and tomatoes.

The Spirooli is a little complicated to maneuver. Sometimes I’ll attempt to secure my squash on the built-in holder [More]

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]

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