Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/30/20
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/30/20
Featuring Countless Hard Seltzers, Tasty Food, Live Music and More!
Saturday, August 1, 2020 From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Spiked seltzer lovers are invited to celebrate the most sought after fizzy drinks at Park Tavern’s Seltzer Fest on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Festival goers will have the opportunity to sample countless frosty seltzers while overlooking Piedmont Park. Park Tavern’s full Patio Menu featuring an array of dips, appetizers, wings, tacos, burgers, and baskets will also be available to compliment the popular bubbly beverage experience. Singer and songwriter Bradley Cole Smith, a fixture in the Atlanta music scene who has shared the stage with numerous artists including Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain, Taj Mahal, Dwight Yoakum and Jerry Jeff Walker, will be on hand to provide live entertainment throughout the inaugural Seltzer Festival.
Early Bird pricing for General Admission entrance is $15.00 for the first 50 ticket buyers and will increase to $30. General Admission includes all-you-can-taste samples. Early Bird pricing for VIP Admission for the first $50 ticket buyers is $30 and will increase to $50. The VIP experience grants early access to attendees at 12 p.m. to an exclusive VIP area, all-you-can-taste samples, upscale seating and a lounge area, access to premium indoor restrooms, private bars, and entertainment. Park Tavern’s Seltzer Fest is for ages 21 and up, dogs are welcome, and the event is rain or shine. Park Tavern’s top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is to keep guests and staff healthy and will be following the CDC-issued guidelines related to food service as well as implemented precautions to keep the venue as safe as possible. For more information on COVID-19 Safety Protocol or to purchase tickets visit, www.parktavern.com.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/27/20
On a bustling corner at The Battery Atlanta, there’s a wine oasis dotted with bluish-purple umbrellas, marble tabletops, warm vibes, and surrounded by several colors of delicate flowers and greenery. Cru Food & Wine Bar at the Battery Atlanta has mastered the art of superb wine procurement from magnificent champagne and Smell the Roses flights to a wide variety of dishes that compliment the wine on their menu. We can’t think of anything better to pair your favorite vino with than a solid charcuterie or small plate, and even a succulent filet mignon. Wine not join us on a culinary journey from our time at Cru Atlanta?
What’s the first thing you think of when you think of wine? Charcuterie and cheese OF COURSE. Yes, all caps. Cru Food & Wine Bar has exemplary flight pairings with carefully curated list of cheeses and meats. We got the Premier Cru which boasted of salami, prosciutto, soppressata, and manchego cheese and accompanied with a selection of pickled vegetables, tasty mustard, and rustic bread. What a great way to start our wine journey. To go with it we opted for the Smell the Roses flight which had 3 delicate and well-balanced Rose wines. Our favorite was Chateau Gassier Esprit. It was crisp and light with a delicate amount of tart, apples, citrus-like notes. Plus, who can go to a wine bar without sampling at least one champagne? The one we sampled was the Laurent Perrier Brut La Cuvee from France. It was everything a true champagne should be with brut bubbles and a slight tart finish. What’s your favorite wine varietal?
Beyond your traditional wine bar fare, Cru Food & Wine Bar also offers a wide array of sharable plates. The Ahi Tartare is mild and tender with creamy avocado, crunchy cucumber with a hint of earthiness combined with bitterness of the olive. I (Liz) don’t usually like olives (AT ALL) but the combination of the avocado, cucumber, and tomatoes, cuts the bitterness, while the olive actually adds to the flavor. Mix all the ingredients up on the plate and add some of the rustic bread, it’s a great bite. After something light, we decided on something a little heavier, like the Wagyu meatballs. With wagyu as the main ingredient, these meatballs are the right amount of meatiness, yet lighter than expected. Paired with a bright and light sauce that we loved, topped with basil that added a good amount of earthiness to balance the richness of the meat and the creaminess of the cheese. Our tip is to cut the meatballs up and pile all the ingredients on the rustic bread for a solid complete bite.
Want something a little sweeter? Cru Food & Wine Bar has these goat cheese beignets that are surprisingly decedent treat. Almost dessert-like, we’re in love with the creaminess and tart of the goat cheese, the crunch of the beignet, and the sweetness of the honey. That last touch really adds a ton of rich, sweet flavor. The secret ingredient in this dish, though, is the mascarpone. It lightens up the goat cheese and gives it more of a creaminess to the inside. Make sure to get every bit of honey, beignet, and filling into one bite and get ready for a flavor explosion. This was the biggest surprise of the night and ended up being my (Liz’s) favorite thing!
Earlier we asked what’s the first thing you think of when you think wine, but now we have a follow up. What’s the second? Before you answer, you were thinking steak, right? We knew it and this one is filet mignon at that! This beauty is a perfectly tender piece of meat cooked medium with the right amount of seasoning, sauce, and the tart of the blue cheese. The tasty sauce on the plate around the steak was a chianti-based that was slightly sweet to balance out the tart of the blue cheese and heaviness of the meat. Add in the earthiness of rosemary to round out the flavor! On the side, the au gratin potatoes are like a hearty potato pie with layer upon layer of cheese and potatoes, which goes so well with the sauce. It was also paired with green beans that had the right crunch and seasoning, adding a little hint of freshness and brightness to round out the succulent dish.
Sipping on a cool glass of champagne, we relaxed in the shade and just watched people walk by Cru Atlanta. The people around us glasses clinked, and the light sound of chatter filled the warm summer air. We couldn’t eat another bite, so we just sat full and happy. We know it’s hard but if you could choose one thing to try, what would it be?
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/27/20
Friday, July 31 5pm – 9pm
Outrun Brewing Company
July 31st is National SPAM® Day! From musubi to fries, SPAM® has been a delicious influence in cuisine all over the world.
Celebrate with our hosts, Outrun Brewing Company and local chefs Seoul Chikin, adobo_atl, Foodcation Forever, KETTLE BLACK, Chef Lino Yi, Mighty Hans + more as we each cook up a dish featuring SPAM® with a special raffle held by Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)!
This event will be held outdoors with social distancing in place. All staff will be wearing masks & gloves, and vendors will only be doing contactless payments and take-out. More details to come!
*Hormel Foods has granted us (Outrun Brewery and Spam Fest participants) special permission to use the SPAM® logo & trademark.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/26/20
Steps away from Truist Park, Live! at The Battery will offer a place for fans to experience Braves baseball in a relaxed, ballpark-style atmosphere
Live! at The Battery will offer an immersive gameday experience from being able to hear the crack of the bat to providing live broadcasts of the games in all areas, including Sports & Social Atlanta on the giant state-of-the-art LED screen. Fans can also expect live entertainment and outdoor games throughout the season.
For the safety of guests and team members, a series of procedures have been developed and implemented for all spaces at Live! at The Battery in compliance with the CDC’s recommendation for sanitation and social distancing. For more information, please visit https://
The following areas will be open:
Sports & Social Atlanta and Expanded Outdoor Patio
The expansive centerpiece of Live! at The Battery, Sports & Social Atlanta features an impressive LED screen for incredible sports viewing and an immersive gameday experience. The venue offers plenty of seating inside on two levels, as well as a greatly extended exterior patio to enjoy ample outdoor seating in a relaxed, fun atmosphere steps away from Truist Park.
The Tavern, a celebration of beloved Atlanta sports players, features archived photos, memorabilia and several TVs throughout the venue. The Tavern also features a great outdoor patio steps away from the ballpark.
Located on the second floor of Live! at The Battery, PBR Atlanta offers great game viewing in an open setting. The venue also boasts a massive outdoor balcony and outdoor bar.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/21/20
On the busy corner in Piedmont Heights, Grana’s newly built restaurant is a shrine to the almighty meatball – and all things Italian. Herringbone floor, two large wood burning pizza ovens, sweeping lights, and impeccable décor, Grana has an impressively upscale dining room that pays homage to the Chef’s Italian Heritage. It’s a stunner. Heading up to the beach vibe rooftop bar and patio, you’re greeted with the neon sign that reminds you that this place will be known for it’s balls, meatballs that is. Mark our words, the best meatballs in Atlanta. Beyond this, sinful appetizers, array of unique pizza, fantastic pasta, summer sippers, and impeccable main dishes make up the fabric of the best new Italian restaurant in Atlanta. That’s amore. Let’s dig in.
We get it, dreaming of the perfect meatball was never in our realm of reality either. But here we are awestruck by the master meatball-teer. We opted for the meatball flight which included Mommy’s, Nonna’s, Crisp Veal, Pork, Grana, and Brasstown Beef. All practically perfect in their own way, but our stand-out was the best meatball ever, Crispy Veal. Imagine biting into a crisp, crunchy shell and coming upon tender and mild veal, perfectly seasoned with a blend of spices, and topped with a dollop of spicy aioli. It has everything you’d want in a meatball: meaty, spicy, sweet, crunchy, earthy. Perfection if you ask us. Perusing the reset of the meatball wonders, we also really enjoyed the Brasstown Beef that boasts hearty and tender beef topped with immaculate black truffle jam(!) and gouda that rounds out the bite, bringing in a little earth and a little creaminess. All the flavors on this one!! Break up the meatball and mix in the truffle topping. WOW! As for the Pork with the whipped ricotta, it was also delicious, with a very mellow pork ball and the creaminess and earthiness of the ricotta cheese. Meaty and creamy. Nonna’s mixes the right amount of meatball with mustard seed for tart and a slight pop in the mouth. Then, on top of that the currants are sweet and tart. Cut the meatball up and mix in the toppings, yum! What feels like the original, just plain good Mommy’s that reminds you of something your grandma would make, perfect meatball, sauce, earthy basil. BAM! Finally, The Grana is a simple, yet delicious meatball that is a good mix of sage and meat, perfectly balanced. Be honest, if you could have just one, what would it be?
Now that we’ve gotten you good and hungry, our Italian journey continues on the vendura and pasta. Something we would never think of getting was the wood roasted peppers. Pat sent them up for us to try and boy, what a treat. Slightly spicy of the pepper to the creamy of the whipped ricotta to the sweetness of the honey, mix it all up and you get a great all-around flavor! The most delightful surprise of the night was the Roasted Corn Vendura. Immaculately plated standing up with the stalks in the air, the corn is surrounded by a moat of lemon aioli, peppers, and Calabrian oils, it was visually and tastefully stunning. The crunchiness of the corn, the creaminess of the aioli and then comes the spice on the back end to kick you in the teeth. We’re in love with this dish because it gives you a little bit of everything and it’s so unique! After breathing a little fire, came our Pappardelle pasta. Oh. My. Goodness. Ragu is our love language. This Pappardelle pasta, which is thick and hearty, is perfectly cooked and fresh topped with rich pork ragu and sprinkled with hard mozzarella cheese. So meaty and rich, the ragu is the perfect combination with the heartiness and heft of the pasta, plus the right amount of spices. Top with that perfect amount of cheese and you’ve got a dynamite pasta that we will have to come back for seconds to get!
Next stop, pizza. We sampled the Roni, which was a mix of fresh cheese, crisp crust, pepperoni, honey and Calabrian chili combined inside curled up pepperoni. An everchanging collaboration of flavors that seep together to make one of the most unique flavored pizza’s we’ve ever had! Tip: horde the middle. All of the pepperoni goodness and honey, chili, all come together there. It’s the best bite. We’d like to mention that John really enjoyed the Roni. He said at one point that he couldn’t get over how good the pepperoni, honey, and cheese combination was and never would have thought he would love it so much.
Just when you think you can’t get a better meal, in comes the Wood Roasted Chicken. Having the Porchetta (WOWZER!) at the preview, we figured since our waitress recommended it, we’d give it a whirl. Good. Choice. Tender and fall off the bone roasted chicken in a blend of spices and mixed with peppers and surrounded by the sweet and spicy rosemary lemon sauce that elevates the chicken. The best part was the fattier chicken thighs paired so well with the spiciness of the sauce and the peppers. If you have any leftovers, make a quick panini or sandwich with it the next day. Delicimo!
Full to the brim, now, while we sat on the patio and the rainstorm rolled in, we sipped on several cocktails, like the Lemonada, which was Liz’s favorite! It’s just a gin slushie with lemon Pellegrino! It’s simply refreshing and perfect for a hot day. They’re frozen cocktail changes every so often so you might go and get an Aperol Spritz slushie or even a Froze. Our favorite shaken cocktail was the Amalfly Coasting that is the right mix of Pellegrino pompelmo, gin, peychaud’s. It’s sippable heaven.
That evening as we left, a lone beam of light shown under the clouds. A glimpse of the sunset could be seen from the rooftop and we stopped to take it in. The perfect ending to a wonderful meal. It just proved to us that meatball heaven does exist.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/19/20
In this month’s iteration of AJFF In Conversation: The Webinar, AJFF is thrilled to showcase an interactive conversation around the film Flawless. Nominated for 12 Israeli Academy Awards and an audience favorite of the 2020 festival, the film is the coming-of-age dramedy about a trio of teenage girls who seek to remake themselves before their high school prom. Hiding that she’s transgender, mysterious new student Eden (played by transgender actress Stav Strashko) enters a cliquish Jerusalem school, where she befriends two other girls who harbor their own unrealized dreams. Envious of their picture-perfect classmates, the teens band together on an impulsive adventure to Ukraine, going to queasy extremes to bankroll cosmetic surgery.
This beguiling, cautionary tale of identity, self-discovery and prejudice tackles issues facing LGBTQ+ teens worldwide, and features a standout performance by Strashko, the first transgender woman nominated for Israel’s top acting prize. AJFF is thrilled to welcome her for a live webinar and Q&A to discuss the film.
Ahead of the webinar, the incredible film can be streamed in its entirety here. It is available exclusively via Vimeo for a special promotional rate of $3.99 to AJFF subscribers. Use a free Vimeo account to complete payment and rent the film for a 48-hour streaming window.
Who: Flawless actress Stav Strashko. More details on additional guests to come.
What: The webinar will offer viewers a chance to ask Strashko pre-submitted questions about her experience with the film.
When: Sunday, July 26 at 12 PM
Registration: The live Q&A will be held via Zoom. The film, free registration, and submission for questions can be found here.
Interviews: For media interested in interviewing Stav Strashko or AJFF’s Executive Director Kenny Blank, please email Lindsay Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on all of AJFF’s virtual programming, head here.
Posted by Liz and John, 7/19/20
Same Location, New Street Name!
This season at NETHERWORLD Haunted House means new monsters, new haunt themes, and a creepy new address. Incredible effects and sets, fan-favorite monsters and a new crop of creatures will be lurking for you at the same amazing location in Stone Mountain, but with a brand-new street name…Netherworld Way. While the street name may be changing, the location remains the same, as does all the fun and excitement haunt fans have come to expect from NETHERWORLD.
“Since planting roots here in Stone Mountain three years ago, those roots have only grown stronger, but having this new address really cements this place as home,” said Billy Messina, NETHERWORLD Haunted House co-creator. “It’s been a crazy year and the news of the new street name is truly a positive light and a hopeful sign of things to come. I’m beyond thrilled that our guests will be plugging 1313 Netherworld Way into their phones when we open the doors for our 24th year of fear.”
Over the next few months, guests can expect Google Maps and other online listings to be updated accordingly. However, for the time being, GPS services will recognize the old address (2076 W Park Pl. Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30087). Additionally, government services such as emergency and postal already recognize the new street name.
To stay up to date on the latest NETHERWORLD Haunted House news, visit www.fearworld.com. Fans don’t have to wait until fall for all the fun to start! Escape the NETHERWORLD escape rooms and outdoor laser tag, Laser Adventure Battle Arena, have both reopened to the public with precautions in place in light of COVID-19. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit www.escapethenetherworld.com or www.netherworldlasertag.com.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/15/20
With the white table cloth crisp and clean, adorned with fine linen wrapped silverware, china, tall shiny wine glasses, and the smell of fresh baked bread, this sets the stage for the elegant Italian food that Piastra makes from scratch with love. Tucked in the charming downtown Marietta Square, Piastra boasts handmade, in house mozzarella or pasta, fresh baked bread, hand stuffed sausage, and even made-from-scratch desserts like their peach cobbler, it’s all so fresh and feels authentic. From the rich meatballs, to the crunchy risotto balls, refreshing peach caprese salad, to the delicate salmon sausage entrée, to the unbelievable pork chop, and finally finishing it off with crumbly peach cobbler. This authentic Italian meal was a walk through Italy, but with a hint of the south sprinkled in to remind us we’re not in the Lipman family kitchen in the outskirts of Rome. Bring your elastic waste pants, you’ll need them for this journey.
Starting with the meatballs, these three beauties were hand-made with pork, beef, cheese, and perfectly seasoned with garlic and topped with a silky red sauce. They were rich and meaty with great flavor and balance. A good little appetizer to share or on the side. Beyond these, we got two other dishes, the Arrancini (Fried Risotto Balls) and Peach Caprese Salad special. The risotto balls were outwardly crispy and crunchy with creamy risotto and pancetta pieces, then the balsamic drizzle is earthier completed the entire bite. So, a crispy, crunchy, creamy, with hints of meat and earth all in one fun little ball. Enough for sharing or not. We opted for NOT. Opting for something a little lighter after fried and meaty starts, Piastra’s seasonal take on a traditional caprese salad was to add peaches and orange tomatoes. The mozzarella is the freshest we’ve ever had, so light and mild paired well with the earthiness, sweetness, and slight pine of a fresh sliced peach. Take the peach, mozzarella, basil, tomato, all in one bite, you’ll get a ton of flavors that’s perfect for the patio on a hot summer day.
Every Thursday through Saturday, Chef Lipman offers a Chef’s Tasting Menu, a 4-course menu with appetizer, pasta, entrée, and dessert. It’s only $65 and a steal! Off that menu, we sampled the Salsiccia de Salmone, the salmon sausage. Now this, we’ve never had anything like it! This isn’t your momma’s sausage, it’s lighter and flakier. Just imagine perfectly ground salmon encased and mixed with spices, herbs, while paired with onions, garlic, and zucchini. It screams summer with the lightness of the fish to the bright and crispness of the zucchini squash, and richness of the onion. The addition of the lemon vinaigrette really brought the whole thing together with a bright, light flavor. We’re definitely a fan of this one!
If you’ve been waiting for our favorite dish, it’s ready for it’s close-up. The Braciola di Maiale, Tomahawk Pork Chop, was a thick cut piece of pork heaven. We only had a pork chop this thick and juicy one other time at a fancy, upscale, Atlanta steakhouse to be unnamed and this one was BETTER! From the absolute divine char on the top, the juicy and thick perfectly cooked cut of pork, to the sweetness of the sauce, this piece of meat is perfection. Then, you pair it with out of this world mashed potatoes boasting of creamy and rosemary(!) goodness. On top of that, the earthiness of the garlic drenched spinach and you’ve got a melody of flavors that work in perfect harmony to bring to life one amazingly beautiful dish. What more could we say about this dish besides, “GET IT?”
One thing we did not anticipate when we stepped into Piastra was the dessert passion that comes with visiting Chef Lipman’s kitchen. Made from scratch and one of the freshest peach cobblers, their desserts are all made fresh daily and change seasonally. Peach is perfect for the summer, especially in this dessert because the sweetness and cool of the peach matches the creaminess of the whipped cream and the nutty, buttery, crumbly, graham cracker crust. Overall, the crunchy crust mixed with the peach and the whipped cream is every dessert flavor we can imagine. We need more peach cobbler in our lives. Don’t you?
We told you that you would need your stretchy pants for this Italian family-style meal. Let’s top that off with a glass of Pinot Grigio, which was so affordable, or some fantastic white sangria that paired perfectly with the peach caprese salad and you’ve got it all. Are you think what we’re thinking? See you at the Chef’s Table next week? You’re in for a treat.
Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/9/20
You know that scene at the end of the romantic comedy where the two love birds you’ve been rooting for the entire move finally share their first kiss and the credits roll along with that single tear on your cheek? That’s the heartfelt homecoming we enjoyed in our recent outing back to our love, Carson Kitchen. Impressed with the bacon jam and oxtail risotto on the first go-round, this time we were equally impressed with every bite we put in our mouths. Like the pork belly and it’s fantastic sauce, the beet salad with those goat cheese balls to the best %^$# salmon you’ll ever have in Atlanta, and don’t forget the bacon jam, it’s all perfection. Yes, PERFECTION. Get ready to fall in love all over again. Get the tissues ready, you’ll need them.
If you haven’t guessed, Carson Kitchen is our favorite new restaurant of 2020 thus far. We both agree on this AND haven’t had one mediocre thing in all of our tastings. With an extensive signature cocktail menu that changes with the seasons, to the long list of local beers, to the wine list, you can enjoy a happy hour on the patio, or with a meal. We sampled the Just the Tip, which is a whiskey-based drink, but doesn’t drink like it. It’s refreshing and cool with mint and mellowed by the lemon, vanilla, and brightened by the apricot preserves. Loved the sweetness and balance of this cocktail and enhanced by the sweet grand mariner finish. Patio sipping at it’s finest.
Giddy with anticipation, we ordered a foodie’s dream, the Carson Kitchen Bacon Jam. How can something be this good? We already have fawned over that in our last trip, so we’re going to transition to what we did sample on the social plate menu this time, the pork belly. We must ask you, have you ever had pork belly that melted in your mouth? This does, it’s that tender. It’s one of the best cooked and plump pork belly slices we’ve ever had and topped with THAT SAUCE. We can’t say enough about the blue cheese-forward buffalo blue cheese beurre blanc sauce that was rich, creamy, tart, to compliment the hearty meat. A complete and amazing overall dish.
From hearty Bacon Jam and pork belly, we opted for something light to eat on the patio. Enter the Young Beets off the Farm & Garden menu. This mix of beets were perfectly balanced and earthy, plus perfectly paired with the sweetness of the grapes, and the best part the creamy, dreamy, goat cheese balls rolled in our favorite nut ever, pistachio. Who knew beets and grapes would pair so well? It’s genius. All together the beets, grapes, cheese, and sauce melted into an earthy, crunchy, tangy bite that was perfectly light for the patio dining. Taste all the ingredients together, you’ll thank us. Light and bright!
Salmon. Period. Full stop. Bold this, highlight it. This mind-blowing dish boasts perfectly medium cooked salmon that’s light and flaky, yet the outside is crisped just right with light seasoning and a slight crunch. Alone, the salmon itself is an amazing piece of deliciousness, but pair it with the cheese and spinach goodness and a splash of charred lemon and you’ll get an explosion of flavors. The devil is in the details and this one is hearty fish, flaky and light with creamy and sharp cheese, complimented by the earthiness of the spinach. Decadent begins to describe it, but it’s one of the best %^$# salmon dishes we’ve ever tried. Ever.
As the sunsets over Alpharetta City Center, Carson Kitchen lights up it’s patio center-piece, the firepit. The sunset casts yellows, pinks, and purples all over the glass beads in it and it casts and beautiful fire dancing and leaping through the air. We relax in our chairs and just take in our amazing culinary journey of the day. We’d like to know what, if you went to Carson Kitchen, would you like to try? Whatever you choose, you’ll fall in love too! Big heart emoji.