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Piastra: The Perfect Date Night IN

In the early days of quarantine, we took a drive to Marietta Square to pick-up some Italian food for our first date night IN. The square had some kids playing close to the fountain and a couple sipped on wine at a table outside the restaurant. For a Friday night, it was eerily quiet. Piastra reminds us of that local Italian restaurant that you’d go to on Friday Night, grab a bottle of vino to share at the table and split a pizza or a hearty bowl of pasta, while finished off with some silky tiramisu. This time, when we picked up, we got the duck carpaccio, the rigatoni Domenica, and a Salsiccia pizza. What a meal.

Starting with the duck carpaccio, show of hands who DOESN’T love a solid carpaccio? Told you, everyone does! The duck will melt in your mouth. The fattiness and savory of the duck pairs well with the sweetness of the honey in a melody of flavors topped with earthiness of arugula and acidity of citrus vinaigrette. Pro tip: eat all ingredients together. This way it’s every flavor and done so well. This is a must get.

The best all-around ingredient we loved at Piastra was their mild fennel sausage, crafted in house. The two main entrees we sampled had it in both. While fine Italian restaurants are known for their wine selection and pasta, can’t they also be known for an outstanding Pizza? We got their Salsiccia with the mild fennel sausage and pomodoro and it was an all-around great pizza. From the sausage, crushed tomatoes, and mozzarella, to the tasty and well-seasoned bread, it would be a crowd pleaser for any meat pizza lover. We’ll have to try this when it’s pipping hot at Piastra when restaurants re-open. If it’s this good when you get it home, it must be even more amazing hot!

The other dish we got that featured the sausage was the Rigatoni Domenica. Talk about a truly authentic delectable pasta dish, you got it right here. The sausage was savory, meaty, slight spicy but mild, and very tender. You mix that with handmade rigatoni that’s perfectly cooked between soft and al dente, covered in a tomato-based sauce and a hint of cream, that’ll hit the spot. Creamy, savory, sweet, spicy, such a wonderful dish. Next time, we want to try a Secondi Salmon, Pork Chop, or half Chicken. They all sound amazing.

Piastra is open for curbside pickup and delivery through DoorDash and Zifty. They also have $10 and $15 bottles of wine. Who’s hungry for Italian fare and a good bottle of wine tonight?

#ATLFAMILYMEAL LAUNCHES TO HELP HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/25/20

#ATLFAMILYMEAL is a community of Atlanta area chefs, restaurant owners, hospitality workers, and business/non-profit leaders rallying together to help the Atlanta hospitality community and its people survive and thrive. In the hospitality industry, “family meal” is a universal slang that encompasses the sacred time before or after a shift where the entire restaurant staff comes together, breaks bread over a humble, hearty meal, enjoys each other’s company, and finds their center. Chefs and hospitality groups who are actively participating in this effort include Gina and Linton Hopkins, Electric Hospitality (Golden Eagle, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Muchacho), King of Pops, Fox Bros., and more.

MISSION + VISION: The mission of #ATLFAMILYMEAL is to help feed, nurture, and support hospitality workers during and immediately after the COVID-19 crisis by activating and connecting the Atlanta restaurant community unlike ever before. There are more than 500,000 hospitality industry workers in the state of Georgia, and more than half of this group live and work in the metro Atlanta area. The majority of these hospitality industry workers live paycheck to paycheck and have found themselves jobless overnight.

This initiative involves a united front across the industry supply chain, with extraordinary teamwork, communication, and a commitment to attain a common goal––doing whatever it takes to feed the ATL restaurant family. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is a newly-formed nonprofit with end-to-end logistics capabilities actively seeking funding, sponsorships, and in-kind donations to purchase, prepare, and deliver free “family meals” to the doorstep of hospitality workers across the metro Atlanta area, potentially employing hundreds (or thousands) of out-of-work hospitality professionals in the process.

ABOUT: Spearheaded by Michael Lennox, CEO & Founder of Electric Hospitality (Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Golden Eagle, Muchacho), the #ATLFAMILYMEAL movement is focused on building a virtual dinner table for the community to gather, share ideas, leverage resources, feed, and provide support for hospitality workers experiencing distress. ATLFAMILYMEAL, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit that is in the process of seeking its 501(c)(3) designation, and is actively building a leadership team and raising funds to support the following areas of focus:

(1) building and nurturing an online community engaging around ways to help the hospitality community survive and thrive

(2) aggregating, combining, and deploying existing assets in the community (food, money, production space, hospitality leadership and personnel, delivery vehicles) and pairing them with sophisticated logistics/distribution software to route “family meals” across the city to feed tens of thousands of hospitality workers in their homes in metro Atlanta

(3) supporting Georgia Restaurant Association’s (GRA) vital advocacy work on behalf of the restaurant and hospitality industry

HOW WILL IT WORK:

  1. #ATLFAMILYMEAL will take existing resources in the community (food, people, money, delivery vehicles) and connect them in a new way to create temporary links in the supply chain and local economy that have disintegrated during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the team of industry leaders and experts is working together to leverage existing resources in the community that are not currently being utilized for food production (e.g. food product in storage, restaurant/catering/banquet kitchen facilities, catering and food-service delivery vans/trucks, etc.) by raising money to reactivate these resources and the talented workers in these industries.
  1. Interested restaurants and hospitality businesses can sign up with #ATLFAMILYMEAL by emailing info@atlfamilymeal.org, share available resources (i.e., kitchen space, food product, staff, catering equipment, etc.) and #ATLFAMILYMEAL provides administrative and logistics support, and access to specialty equipment, as well as a variety of online tools and resources to help them feed their staff.
  1. #ATLFAMILYMEAL then uses donated funds to buy food, pay workers to prepare the food, and pay delivery drivers to deliver the food directly to unemployed restaurant and hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area, all while following strict federal and state health and safety guidelines over food production and distribution.

CONNECT: In the spirit of hospitality and connection, help build the virtual dinner table by using the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag online and on social media to build awareness for the movement, share ideas, connect dots, leverage resources, and show support for those experiencing distress in the hospitality industry. While we may not physically be together, we can work alongside one another to emerge stronger on the other side. Join the coalition on Facebook (@ATLFamilyMeal) and use the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag to share ideas or resources to support this movement. For more information, please visit www.atlfamilymeal.org.

DONATE/SUPPORT/VOLUNTEER: Donations are being accepted online through www.atlfamilymeal.org, and 100% of donated proceeds will go toward helping feed and support hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking and receiving in-kind donations of the following: perishables, non-perishables, food packaging, supplies, delivery capabilities (i.e., vans/trucks). Do you have expertise in one of the following domains: Logistics, Packaging, Distribution, Marketing, Communications, HR, Legal, Accounting, Design? #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking part-time volunteers with specialized backgrounds in core functions that support #ATLFAMILYMEAL’s mission and work. Inquiries and interest: please email info@atlfamilymeal.org.

THE GREAT AMERICAN TAKEOUT: SAVE OUR RESTAURANTS

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/23/20

Tuesday, March 24th

Initiative of a coalition of restaurants including one of our faves: Marlow’s Tavern

On March 24, we’re asking everyone in America to show their support for our beloved restaurant industry and incredible employees by joining #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and eating at least one delivery or pick-up meal. Looking for a restaurant to support? You can find a list of local ones here.

Where are you getting takeout?

ADVENTURES IN ATLANTA AMID COVID-19: SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS WHILE STAYING SAFE

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/15/20

Amid these times in our country, you and your family’s health is more important than anything else. With the continued cancellation of events and gatherings, what we’d really like is for you to support your local breweries and restaurants, while staying safe. How can you do that?

  • Purchase gift cards from your favorite spots online.
  • Buy local beer and wine at grocery stores.
  • As long as local restaurants are open: get take-out, curbside, or delivery.
  • Over tip in these lean times.

Once events come back and we get through this together, we will be back at it having more adventures in our beautiful city, recommending restaurants and events, but in the mean time, be nice to each other. It’s time to come together. Cheers!

The Whiskey Project: Boozy Brunching

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/23/20

Not too far from the heart of downtown Roswell is The Whiskey Project, a cozy restaurant offering lunch, dinner, and traditional and unique brunch selections. From the dynamite décor, delicious and inviting cocktails, to the delightful brunch food, The Whiskey Project does Whiskey AND everything else right. The Sunday afternoon was relatively full so we sat at the bar and tried Maple-Bacon Old Fashioned (!), Brunch Bomb, as well as Kalettes, Tartine, French Toast, and Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit served with fries. When it comes to food adventures, you’re in for an egg-celent brunch. Let’s go.

When we think of Old Fashioned, it’s just a bourbon staple drink that some of our other guy friends or their father’s drink. This will make you rethink the assumption, the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned is a miracle cocktail marring bourbon, maple, lemon, and candied bacon on top. They take a drink torch and char the bacon in front of you. But you have to eat the bacon first and sip the cocktail at the same time, so the bacon grease doesn’t set into the drink itself. Insert fire emoji here. It was EN FUEGO with sweet and light char up front with a savory, maple, and boozy bourbon back end. Love, true love.

On the lighter side, the Brunch Bomb is a cool, easy sipper with Rekorerling Strawberry Lime cider, soda, and a choice of flavor: lavender, rosemary, and thyme. We chose rosemary to give it some earthiness and it mellowed out the sweet of the cider. Just imagine being on the beaches of Hawaii with a pretty flower in your hair, sipping on a light drink. That’s the feeling you get with the Brunch Bomb.

In thinking about brunch, what immediately comes to mind? Chicken and waffles? Eggs and bacon? French Toast? Yes, The Whiskey Project has some of these staple brunch dishes, but they also have some fun and unique brunch variations that makes this place one you can go back to and have a totally different experience. This is how we felt about the Tartine and the Kalettes. Both were something unexpected and rare that we’d never had at brunch before. The Kalettes were our absolute favorite with charred kale mixed with pomegranate balsamic glaze and pulled pork belly. It was almost like getting a brussel sprout appetizer but with a twist. The charred kale started out smoky and savory of the pulled pork belly, but the tart of the pomegranate and sweetness of the glaze balanced it out. It wasn’t over saturated with the glaze so you could get all the flavors together in the bite. Make sure to include the little peppers on the top for a slight spice on the back end. Divine. We also enjoyed the Tartine with the crunch of the toast, the sweet of the glaze, cream and tart of the goat cheese, and savory of the prosciutto. We liked putting the toast together and making a sandwich with all the elements in between. Plus, did you see how pretty these dishes comes out? PS: Sometime, we’re coming back to try those deviled eggs. Pumpkin Yolk? Yes, please.

From there we went with a traditional French Toast and Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Biscuit. We wanted something over-the-top breakfast-y and something sweet. To us, French Toast like traditional pancakes is just having dessert for breakfast. We’re all in. Nothing goes better with coffee, or who are we kidding, a cocktail, then something a little sweet? Surprise, this French toast wasn’t traditional. From the egg-drenched sweetness of the bread to the bourbon apple compote which made this dish unforgettable to the whipped cream and smokier maple syrup, we couldn’t get enough of this pretty dish. Get all the dish elements in one bite. You’ll thank us. Now, all we needed was a rich cup of hot coffee and a bigger stomach. On to the Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Biscuit, which had something for everyone. From the red pepper baked into the biscuit to the crisp bacon, savory egg, and cheese, it was a great all-around bite that even the pickiest eater would love. Our suggestion: pack the fries inside the biscuit. This gives the biscuit crunch and even deeper flavor. What fun!

With that a long, Sunday afternoon nap was in order. Can you blame us with all this good food and drink? Who wants to join us for some deviled eggs and a maple-bacon old fashioned at The Whiskey Project soon?

THE WHITE BULL SECOND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: POLENTA PARTY!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/14/20

Thursday, March 5 at 7 pm

Go party with The White Bull in honor of their 2nd Anniversary and be ready to Grab. A. Fork.
The White Bull is the ONLY place in Atlanta that hosts The Polenta Party crafted by Chef/Owner Pasquale “Pat” Pascarella.
An interactive, table-top dining experience starts with fresh greens and to-die-for bread and butter then the magic happens.
The Polenta Table–
a generous serving of freshly-milled, piping-hot polenta
poured down the center of The White Bull’s extensive communal table.
Chef Pat then tops off the polenta with a variety proteins and locally-sourced veggies.
Final touches of fresh Pecorino Romano cheese and high-quality olive oil, accompany the polenta spread–all directly from Chef Pat’s Italian homeland.
Oh, and there’s dessert to top it off!
And the best part??
There aren’t any plates!
$65 per person
(excludes beverages, tax, gratuity)

WHOLE FOODS MARKET CELEBRATES ITALIAN CUISINE WITH POP-UP, TRATTORIA-SYTLE DINNERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND COMING TO ATLANTA – FEBRUARY 20TH!!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/10/20

National Grocer Invites Customers to Experience ‘A Little Italy’ With Unique Italian Products and Ingredients 

 

On Feb. 20, Whole Foods Market customers in New York, Los Angeles, Austin and Atlanta can indulge in an evening of Italian culinary discovery at intimate pop-up dinners co-hosted by the grocer’s cheese, wine and culinary experts alongside Italian cheesemakers and prosciutto suppliers. Each ‘A Little Italy’ event will feature an authentic, family-style meal composed of six courses, including Cacio e Pepe featuring Pecorino Romano with Parmigiano Reggiano grated tableside and Osso Buco served over creamy rosemary polenta.  

 

“Our dedicated team members travel throughout Italy to bring the finest traditionally-produced Italian items to Whole Foods Market stores, and we’re excited to offer these authentic products together on a dinner menu for one night only,” says Whole Foods Market Vice President of Specialty Cathy Strange. “We want our guests to feel like they’ve been invited for a meal in Nonna’s kitchen.” 

 

‘A Little Italy’ dinner guests will also enjoy curated wine and prosecco pairings to complement each of the six courses. At each dinner experience, American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals will take on an 80-pound Parmigiano Reggiano wheel-cracking demonstration, all while explaining the craftsmanship that goes into producing the Northern Italian favorite. In addition, during the antipasti course, Italian suppliers will shave prosciutto on-site for sampling and pairing; during the dessert course, trained baristas will expertly pour Allegro Coffee using state of the art La Marzocco espresso machines. 

 

Starting Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET, customers can reserve a coveted, complimentary dinner seat—first come, first served—by visiting: 

 

Authentic Italian Offerings and In-Store Promotions 

 

“If you aren’t able to score a seat to ‘A Little Italy,’ we invite you to experience our extensive assortment of delicious Italian products – all of which meet our rigorous quality standards – at your local Whole Foods Market store,” Strange said. “Visit select stores on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. local time to watch a hand-selected wheel of authentic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano be cracked live. It’s our annual celebration of the ‘King of Cheeses!’” 

 

Whole Foods Market invites food lovers to live la vita bella by embracing its unique assortment of Italian offerings. From Whole Foods Market Italian Gelato, to 365 Everyday Value Italian Olive Oils, to imported offerings like Principe Prosciutto Di Parma and Peroni Beer, Whole Foods Market offers a wide selection of authentic ingredients, products and specialty items to take any Italian meal to the next level. 

Whole Foods Market shoppers can also enjoy special offers on the following Italian specialties, starting Feb. 12:  

 

·         15% off Bertagni Fresh Pasta – From Bologna, by the oldest producer of filled pastas in Italy. Rich, flavorful, classic easy-to-cook pastas that feel homemade. 

·         $2 off per lb. IGOR Gorgonzola Dolce – A creamy, tangy blue with a delicate flavor and subtle sweet notes. Matured for at least 50 days.  

·         30% off Mitica Parmigiano Reggiano – Hand-selected from specific farms across Reggio-Emilia, Modena and Parma and always hand-cracked in-house. This raw-milk cheese is made from milk collected from autumn through spring and aged a minimum of 24 months.  

·         $3.99 per lb. Made-In-House Italian Sausage for Prime Members – Spiced to deliver big Italian flavor—add to red sauce, on pizza or as a stuffing for peppers. Choose varieties made from Animal Welfare Certified pork or chicken, in hot or mild. Product not from Italy. 

WINE AND DINE YOUR VALENTINE AT CITY WINERY ATLANTA

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/2/20

Atlanta’s Only Urban Winery Presents a Special Three-Course Prix Fixe Dinner and ATL Collective’s Reliving of Sade’s Love Deluxe on the Sweetest Day of the Year

Friday, February 14, 2020

This Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020, couples and singles alike are invited to visit City Winery Atlanta at Ponce City Market for an unforgettable experience celebrating the sweetest day of the year. The popular urban winery, restaurant and live music venue is hosting a special three-course prix fixe dinner in the Barrel Room Restaurant and Wine Bar for just $40 with hand selected wine pairings by resident winemaker Travis Green for an additional $20.

An ideal gift, City Winery will also have its 2017 Rose of Syrah featuring a special Valentine’s Day label on sale now (available onsite) through Valentine’s day for $20.

Music lovers can also enjoy an intimate performance as ATL Collective Relives Sade’s Love Deluxe.  Tickets are sold out, but wait list signups are still available. For the first show, doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. For the late show, doors open at 9:30 p.m. and the show begins at 10 p.m. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to make a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day, visit www.citywinery.com/atlanta or call 404-946-3791.

~ City Winery’s Valentine’s Day Menu ~

First Course

Pan de Baguette
Marinated Heirloom Tomato, Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette

Or

Baked Mussels
Grated Parmesan, Panko, Herb Blend

Second Course

Cajun Butter Ribeye
Rapini, Saffron Rice

Or

Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese
Gruyere Bechamel, Elbow

Or

Poulet Roti
½ Roasted Chicken, Seasonal Vegetables, Fingerling Potatoes

Or

Cavatappi Alla Putcanesca
Olive, Anchovy, Caper, Garlic, Tomato

Third Course

Red Velvet Skillet Cookie
Maple Bourbon Ice Cream, Whipped Topping

Or

Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun

WAHLBURGERS ATLANTA ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING DATE

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/2/20

The burger-forward casual dining restaurant opens city’s second location on February 4, 2020

Wahlburgers has announced that its highly anticipated restaurant in Atlanta at Peachtree Street will open Tuesday, February 4 at 11 a.m. The new restaurant and bar will be the brand’s second restaurant in Atlanta, with the first located at The Battery. The 5,550-square-foot restaurant is located at the corner of Andrew Young and Peachtree (218 Peachtree Street, Atlanta GA 30303) and will be open daily for lunch and dinner.

The popular casual dining burger concept founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Chef Paul Wahlberg (which recently wrapped 10 successful seasons as A&E Network’s Emmy-nominated reality show) will give Atlanta fans another opportunity to enjoy its diverse lineup of crave-worthy burgers, sandwiches, sides and specialty drinks from its chef-inspired kitchen.

“We have fallen in love with Georgia and its people as they have been so welcoming to our family. We are truly looking forward to bringing our second location to the state as we open our doors on Peachtree in Atlanta,” said Mark Wahlberg.

Created by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg, the chef-inspired menu features an emphasis on made-to-order, high-quality, delicious food that represents a selection of his family’s favorite dishes they shared together. The brothers’ favorite burgers include:

  • Donnie’s choice: BBQ Bacon Burger, described as a “spiced-up weekend barbecue on a bun,” topped with white cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, fresh jalapeños and barbecue sauce
  • Mark’s choice: Thanksgiving Day, “like Thanksgiving leftovers on a bun,” made with fresh ground seasoned turkey, stuffing, Paul’s housemade orange-cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash and mayo
  • Paul’s choice: Wahlburger’s signature Our Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, government cheese, Paul’s signature Wahl sauce and pickles “just like Dad used to grill in the backyard”

“Each of our openings here have been really special for us,” said franchise owner Nino Cutraro. “The continued love and support from our guests has been overwhelming, and we are thrilled to add another Wahlburgers to the state of Georgia.”

Wahlburgers’ full-service bar is a perfect gathering spot offering an impressive selection of cocktails, wines and beers including the signature Wahlbrewski: A Boston-based Harpoon Brewery custom, unfiltered Pale Ale. In addition, Wahlburgers is well-known for its dessert selections, most notably its frappes, made with farm fresh milk and local ice cream, available in several delicious flavors.

The location hours will be Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Learn more online, including details about menu offerings, at Wahlburgers.com.