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Ocean & Acre: Brunch A-Hoy!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/10/20

BRUNCH, a-hoy! Enjoyed a brunching voyage at the newly christened Ocean & Acre that set sail two weekends ago. Yes, this just in, Ocean & Acre in Halcyon Forsyth has brunch! It literally just launched two weekends ago!! Insert heart emoji here. Take a look through our booty of beautiful sippers and savory landlocked dishes like pancakes, steak and eggs, and polenta bowls. Who’s ready to pop the champagne and dive in for a Sunday Funday?

We found it! The prettiest, most photogenic drink in all of Atlanta, it’s on Ocean & Acres brunch menu, the Gin Sour. With an orange-pink hue, white whipped crown, and dried blood orange, she’s ready for her close-up. Beyond the beauty, with Old 4th Ward Gin, Aperol, orange bitters, lemon, and whipped egg, it starts out just as sweet as it looks, but ends smooth with the addition of the egg white. This one will be a crowd favorite. We also sipped on the Gin & Cucumber Spritz, as well as the Red Tide specialty cocktail of the week. The Gin & Cucumber Spritz is one of those drinks that reminds you of the ocean, earthy and salty. With the addition of lemon, cucumber, and prosecco, this spritz is refreshing and sunny. If you like hard seltzer or something light, this one is for you. Finally, The Red Tide was a good pair with the steak and eggs we had as it is bourbon, star anise, clove, with red wine on top. This one they use their inhouse infuser and added blood orange into the bourbon. This really reminded us of a traditional Gluhwein drink, just not hot, as it has a lot of the same ingredients. It was boozy, citrus, and then ends like a fine red wine. So, unique. They have a featured infused drink of the week, so maybe they’ll have something fun when you go brunching! They’re also thinking about having a Bloody Mary bar during brunch in the future. Wouldn’t you love that? What would you like to see on this bar?

Have you ever had a Dutch Pancake? A Polenta bowl on a brunch menu? We haven’t either and we’re in love with both. If you’re looking for a unique brunch, they have some different dishes beyond the staple eggs and bacon fare, but don’t worry, they also have steak and eggs, so you’re covered if not. We tasted three dishes, the Dutch Pancake, the Breakfast Polenta Bowl, and the Steak and Eggs. Starting with our favorite dish, the Polenta Bowl is like a grits bowl, only more like mashed potatoes texture filled with bacon, ragu (tomatoes and mushrooms), and two poached eggs. Think a mixed-up, eggs, bacon, and grits dish but ELEVATED with polenta and the tart of the ragu. And here’s our tip: play with your food! The bacon is on the top and you can use it as a scoop to get all the polenta, egg, and ragu into one bite. The bacon adds a salt element to the creamy and savory of the other ingredients. What something even more playful? Eat the polenta with the steak and eggs. Wowza!

That being said, the steak and eggs were delicious, as well, with tender steak nicely seasoned and topped with perfectly cooked sunny-side up eggs. The addition of the potatoes and oil brings an element of earthiness and richness. Get the potatoes and add to the egg and a small amount of steak = paradise. Beyond that, the dutch pancake was our sweet for the brunch. What’s so unique about this dutch pancake is that it was more fruit and tart forward, not super sweet like we thought. We loved it that way because once you get down to the lemon curd and mix in the whipped cream, you’ll get some of that sweetness mixed in with the savory of pancake and the fruit. Plus, the combo of the fruit like pears and pineapple rounded out the dish to give a great tang and tart. It was a good balance between all the flavors!

This brunch will reel you in as they have a ton of other things we’d love to try. Can you say avocado toast with fish dip, Eggs Benedict Florentine, or even that amazing looking brunch burger? We know where you’re brunching this weekend, save us a bite of the Avocado Toast, please.

HOBNOB Perimeter: Come for the Game, Stay for the food.

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/8/20

Hobnob is a verb meaning to drink sociably or to associate familiarly. From drinks that get you talking to dishes with southern flare, HOBNOB is a good mix of hearty food, fun cocktails, and everything in between. It’s a place you’ll grab a cocktail and eat some good food. Their claim of refined tavern fare with southern flare and that is spot on, with everything from Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders, chicken wings, comfort food like sweet potato mash paired with salmon, as well as desserts, their food will have you coming back for more. Who doesn’t love a go-to place for the game and grub or for an intimate date night? Tip: go on Thursday for their Thirsty Thursday: $3 champagne or $5 wine!

Starting with the sky-blue vodka cocktail, The Earhart, is a light and breezy drink that reminds you of a clear sky on a beautiful sunny day. This easy to drink sipper is a combo of hibiscus vodka, fresh squeezed lemon, and maraschino liquor that’s sweet on the nose, but finishes smooth and serene. You’ll definitely feel fancy with this pretty cocktail in front of you! Cheers!

Being a restaurant where you can catch the game, what’s better than some fun, sharable apps that please everyone at your table? Let’s start with the two types of wings and the Nashville Hot Chicken Slides we sampled. From the perfectly crisped chicken, to the coolness of the cole slaw, to the spiciness of the sauce, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders were one of those dishes you may not want to share. The cole slaw calmed some of the spiciness and the addition of the crunchy pickle really brought out the flavor of the entire dish. Make sure you get all elements in one bite and you’ll get spicy, salty, creamy, and crunchy. We were impressed with the unique wing flavors that Hobnob has to offer, like coke-yaki that was a sweeter take on teriyaki to honey sriracha that was spicy and sweet. Those are the two we got, and they were both delicious additions to favorites like lemon pepper or buffalo. The wings were meaty and cooked right with the right amount of sauce. Let me tell you that honey sriracha with blue cheese was a delicious overall combo. John loves teriyaki and really loved the coke-yaki combination of coca-cola and soy! Both are great choices for watching a United match or your favorite football team.

Beyond the bar food, they also have some delicious entrees for that special date night! They have a range of dishes, but we just had to sample the Tavern Salmon! What a delicious meal, the salmon was perfectly cooked, while the brussel sprouts were perfectly crisped under the salmon and paired with a sweet and salty sweet potato mash. Hobnob touts that its tavern fare with southern flare and this is case and point. Just imagine a wonderful salmon dish with the right amount of salt, sweet, and crispiness and then top it with a honey mustard and you’ve got a showstopper. The honey mustard really gives it a tartness and elevates all the flavors when you mix them all up together. We will be back for another one of these!

When you go for your special date night and try the Tavern Salmon, you should also spring for dessert. We tried the lava cake, which was everything you’d imagine from a rich, chocolate dessert with ice cream. Creamy, tons of chocolate flavor, a perfect pairing with the vanilla ice cream. Divine. They also have specialties that they make in house like cobbler. It’s the perfect ending.

The Family Dog: A Very Good Dog!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/16/20

The Family Dog in Morningside’s slogan is sit, stay, relax. That’s exactly what you experience when you walk through the doors: sit for a tasty cocktail, stay for the Brussel sprouts and chicken and waffles, relax to the live music. They have fun pub vibes mixed with unique cocktails and serious eats. Are you ready to find out why TFD is a very good dog?

Upon arrival we sat for a tasty cocktail. We tried two of them: The Gardner and Cool Heat. The prettiest of the two, the Cool Heat was everything you think it would be from the name: jalapeno tequila is both savory and spicy, combined with cool lime, agave, and grapefruit. It was spicy on the throat, but not overbearing and was citrusy, sweet, and the grapefruit pairs well with the spice of the jalapeno and gives it a depth. It’s the most unique drink we’ve tried in a while and we dig it. The other cocktail, the Gardner was a good, summer sipper, refreshing and light, with gin and cucumber then tart on the end. One of those cocktails you could drink a few of on your front porch and watch the fireflies dance in the night air.

We stayed for several of the shareable eats like the chicken caprese flat bread, Brussel sprouts, and buffalo cauliflower. From wings without the wings, bacon-loaded sprouts, to an Italian flatbread classic, everything was on point at The Family Dog. We really enjoyed each of these apps and almost can’t decide which was our favorite. Starting with the chicken caprese flatbread, it was an Italian classic dish in flatbread form with tender chicken, mozzarella dollops, and earthy tomatoes. Topped with balsamic glaze, it was a delicious bite, something you can share with a friend or horde all to yourself. We with the latter! Have you ever had something that ate like a chicken wing without the actual “wing?” That’s what the buffalo cauliflower was with tasty buffalo sauce, perfectly fried cauliflower and blue cheese dressing. It was surprisingly good and satisfied that wing craving. If you dig down to the bottom, you’ll find even saucier bites, we recommend you do that and dip it in blue cheese. All the feels. Finally, let’s not forget the Brussel sprouts. From crispy to savory to sweet, some of the best Brussel dish we’ve had in a while! They’ll smack you in the mouth with bacon, which is always welcome, and follow up with crispy, leafy greens, sweet balsamic, and slight salt. So good we call it Brussel love!

We don’t discriminate when it comes to breakfast for dinner and the chicken and waffles hit that spot! The flaky and sweet waffle topped with some seriously good chicken tenders, drizzled in syrup, topped with whipped cream and tart strawberries. Are you hungry yet? We took the waffle, chicken tender, some whipped cream, strawberries, and syrup and rolled it all up into one bite. Insert mind blown emoji here. One of the sides we had we want to talk about, truffle cauliflower mash. Wowza! If you wouldn’t have told us it was cauliflower you wouldn’t have known. Just. Like. Potatoes. It was blended well, creamy, the right amount of salt, and of course the truffle was so deep and rich that it’s delectable. Couldn’t stop eating it!

Plus, they have live music on Thursdays, so we relaxed to the sounds as we sipped and ate our way through The Family Dog menu. If you’re looking for some good food, cocktails, and music, you should visit TFD. It’s a seriously good dog.

Ocean Wave: Mind Blowing Sushi

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/3/20

Down in the middle of the Virginia Highlands, Ocean Wave has got to be one of THE sushi destinations in all of Atlanta. From the moment you enter the building, twinkle lights greet you and the sound of drinks being shaken behind the bar. They have top-shelf cocktails, delicious sushi, tons of fried rice and entrees, as well as a good selection of appetizers, so let’s dive into some of those Yummi dishes and cocktails. Full steam food adventure ahead!

We’re not monkeying around about the superior cocktails at Ocean Wave! We sipped and loved the Monkey Business Martini that combined vodka, coconut rum, pineapple and cranberry. We declared it’s a tiki party in your mouth, boozy up front, then smoothing out into a frothy, sweet tiki drink on the backend. It was a great balance of flavors that’s easy to drink any time of year, but we can imagine sitting on the beach under the shadow of an umbrella, drink in hand. A light breeze through our hair, can you feel it?

We will get to the sushi in a moment, but we sampled a few other good dishes that included the Satay Chicken, KA Proud Lamb, and something we’ve NEVER tried before, Spicy Spaghetti. First, the Satay Chicken was very tender, and the peanut sauce and cucumber salad were a great pairing, especially the salad. It was sweet and went well with the savory of the chicken. A good bite! From there we tried the Spicy Spaghetti, which mimics a traditional spaghetti with a Thai flare. We’ve never had anything like it! Spicy, savory, and deep from the spice of the Thai chili sauce, tender chicken, and super juicy tomatoes. Maybe more of spaghetti on steroids? Yeah, that sounds about right. Super good!

The best of the entrees was the Ka Proud Lamb. The sauce was DELECTIBLE with a slight spice up front and rich deep flavor on the back that went perfect with the mushrooms and vegetables in the sauce. The lamb was tender and smoky with a delicate char. The fried rice was perfect with the sauce and lamb. What a great bite when all combined! Plus, we had a little fun with our food. We put the sauce from the lamb on the Spicy Spaghetti. Pretty tasty, we must say.

We tried two different rolls, the Dancing Dragon and the Yummi Yummi. Dancing Dragon was a good balance of sweet and spicy with tempura on the inside and eel and avocado on the outside. The variation between the eel, which was sweet, and the creamy avocado, were a great one-two punch of flavor. Add wasabi and soy sauce, it brings out the flavor of both! Even though this roll was super good, nothing could compare to the Yummi Yummi. A Trio of fresh yellow tail, tuna, salmon stuffed with cream cheese and flash fried in a moat of delicious soy-based sauce. From the creaminess of the cream cheese mixed with the salty and freshness of the fish to the crunch of the fried rice, it was one dynamic bite. What made it even better? Wababi and soy sauce. Mouth dropped to the floor, was that really possible? WOW! Yummi is definitely one way to describe it. Mind blowing is another.

A special shout-out to our waitress who was a gracious hand-model, menu master, and willing food carrier to better light. She was top-notch! That’s the kind of service you’ll get at Ocean Wave. As you leave, the twinkling of the lights follows you down the street and you’ll dream about sushi for a few nights after.

Holiday Luau with Kamayan ATL at Sweet Auburn BBQ 2019

Date: Monday, December 2

Time: 5:30 pm

About: This holiday season, Sweet Auburn BBQ, the Poncey-Highland BBQ spot offering traditional style barbecue with an Asian twist, is transforming their space into a holiday luau! To kick off the season of celebration, Sweet Auburn BBQ will host Kamayan ATL, the Atlanta-based Filipino pop-up restaurant, on Monday, December 2 for a collaborative luau-inspired menu of dishes like Fried Lumpia, Aloha BBQ Skewers, Hsu’s Kalbi Saimin, & Smoked Huli Huli Chicken. Following the pop-up event, Sweet Auburn BBQ will offer a festive food menu and tiki-inspired cocktails alongside holiday luau vibes and decor throughout the season.

More Information:

https://www.facebook.com/events/770999956660073/

Ocean & Acre: Land and Sea Perfectly Paired

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/24/19

Land and Sea come together in perfect harmony up at Ocean & Acre in the Halcyon Forsyth complex! What really sets them apart is the innovative and truly unique menu offerings like ceviche with beets, wagyu beef carpaccio, lamb belly, and savory pork chops. If meat isn’t your thing, they have tons of fish, a take on fish and chips, oysters, and even more shellfish to choose from. Like we said, perfect harmony! Beyond this, we really enjoyed the medley of flavors that they paired together in each dish to make them remarkable. Ok, enough talk, let’s take a journey through their menu, sip on a cocktail, and sit by the fire. Come on in.

Starting with the raw bar, the Bass Ceviche was one of the most unique small plates we’ve ever had with light and flaky bass mixed with beets and in a beet vinaigrette. It was earthy, fresh, and light with every flavor you could imagine in such a simple dish. Yes, you must like beets, but they are perfectly cooked and are actually the perfect pair with the fish. Light and delicious.

Maintaining our foray into the lighter side of Ocean & Acre, we opted for the wagyu beef carpaccio. The most tender slice of tartar beef paired well with some oil, herbs, and a light whipped cheese. The best bite is to wrap up the beef, cheese, herbs, and oil and stuff it all in your mouth. Savory, creamy, light.

We took a turn from there into hearty with the Smoked Lamb Belly. The meat was fresh with very little game, a different take on a pork belly dish. What was truly amazing about this dish was the best side on Ocean & Acre’s menu: the polenta. We cannot sing the praises of this more! With the creamy polenta flavor up front then the tart and sweet of the craisins and raisins on the back it’s a savory sweet MASTERPIECE. Could. Not. Stop. Eating it. Great for the cold weather!

Our main course consisted of some of the most flavorful, savory pork chops we’ve had in a long time. Perfectly cooked with herbs and a hearty au jus, this chop was well, perfect. It comes with two, cooked onions to add flavor to the sauce, as well as mushrooms. Two people can share it, it’s that big. Suggestion: get the pork chop with a side of the polenta from the lamb belly dish. We ended up mixing them together and WOW. This is THE combination to try! Highly recommend.

Let’s not forget their drink menu which had a good mix of classics and signature sips to try. The one we like the best was Barracuda. It’s their drink of the week this week, November 22nd 2019 through the Thanksgiving. They have an in-house infuser and backed it with habanero, blood orange and tequila. They paired this with crème de chassis on the top. Perfecto. We also enjoyed both the Rosetta, the drink of the week last week with whipped egg and cloves, as well as a fun tiki drink called Ebb Tide: pineapple, rum, mint. A tiki mule if you will. Wonder what fun drink of the week they will come up with next week? Can’t wait to find out.

We must say that the Halcyon up in Forsyth is really a destination for anyone living in Atlanta. They have a brew pub, sports bar, movie theater with delicious eats, and more. Let’s not forget this absolute gem, Ocean & Acre. Take your family, friends, and life mate, grab a cocktail and sit by the fire. You’ll be glad you did.

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR: MIRACLE HOLIDAY POP-UP RETURNS!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/15/19

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

The team behind Bon Ton, The Lawrence + Wonderkid once again host Atlanta’s
favorite holiday tradition for the fourth year   

We hope you’ve been good this year Atlanta. Everyone’s favorite holiday tradition, Miracle, unwraps its fourth season ready to spread holiday cheer!  Miracle on Monroe returns to the Midtown Promenade restaurant Tapa Tapa and Miracle on Highland, heads back to The Brasserie & Neighborhood Café PARISH. Bon Ton will once again get into Mele Kalikimaka spirit as they host Sippin’ Santa, a Christmas-themed Tiki takeover.  All locations will offer special holiday cocktails, a fun festive staff, and enough cheer for everyone!

Whether you’re as happy as an elf or as grumpy as the grinch, the classic Christmas-themed cocktails at any of our Miracle locations are sure to make you light up like a Christmas tree. From the Snowball Old-Fashioned to the Mistletoe Shot, there’s an option to make everyone on your list happy.  In addition to the drinks, every location is decked in Holiday spirit, from the staff’s attire to the decorations that make you feel as if you’ve stepped into the North Pole itself. If you want additional Holiday cheer, say snow more. Everyone’s favorite Christmas tunes will keep you bopping, and sippin’, until the reindeers come home.

“If we’ve learned anything the past three years, it’s that Atlanta is overflowing with Christmas spirit,” said Eric Simpkins, co-founder of Big Citizen along with partner Darren Carr. “With our fourth year here, we’re excited to once again host the best Christmas bar pop-ups in the city, and we hope everyone comes out for many more Holiday seasons to come.”

Miracle on Monroe, similar to years prior, will  set up shop at Midtown’s Tapa Tapa and is the classic stop for a jolly good time. The original Atlanta Miracle will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for private events, but there’s still plenty of cheer to go around the rest of the week!

Miracle on Highland returns to Parish for its second year to serve up Holiday cheer. Also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, this winter wonderland will offer a special Holiday brunch on weekends and has partial buyouts available for those of you looking for the perfect space for a Holiday special event.

Bon Ton’s Sippin’ Santa, the all-ages tiki twin to Miracle, returns for its second year at Bon Ton in Midtown. The Christmas-meets-paradise drink menu is the perfect opportunity to indulge for those who prefer their holiday on the beach. Thanks to last year’s success, Santa (and you) will be sippin’ on carefully curated cocktails all season long. Bon Ton will keep their normal hours serving lunch and dinner and won’t offer their traditional drink menu during Sippin’ Santa.

On the week of November 25 only, to kick off the holiday season, Miracle on Monroe and Sippin’ Santa locations will be open Monday-Friday (except for Thanksgiving) and Miracle on Highland will open on Black Friday. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, both Miracle locations will resume their typical Wednesday-Sunday schedule, and Sippin’ Santa will maintain Bon Ton’s regular hours. All Miracle locations last through New Year’s Eve (closed only on Christmas day) and are first come first serve, with only partial or full buyouts available for reservations. In addition, they will each be hosting a charity event with details to be determined. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Beverage and cocktail menus will be the same for each location. Signature Miracle chex mix and cookie plates will be available at each location as well. Food menus will be customized per location and announced Mid-November. For more details on how to get into the holiday spirit at this festive joint, head to www.miraclebaratlanta.com.

Miracle is 21 and up (excluding Sippin’ Santa), with no entry fee. There is a 2-hour limit for tables, and due to all the Christmas cheer required to keep Miracle on Monroe and Sippin’ Santa in tip-top shape, a 20% service charge will be added to each check. Miracle will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 5pm to 12am, and Friday and Saturday 5pm to 1am. Mondays and Tuesdays are closed but available for private party bookings. Locations include: Miracle on Monroe – Tapa Tapa in the Midtown Promenade, 931 Monroe Dr. NE, Suite C-106, Atlanta, GA 30308; Miracle on Highland – The Brasserie and Neighborhood Café at PARISH, 240 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; Sippin’ Santa – Bon Ton, 674 Myrtle St. SE, Atlanta, GA 30318. Please send party inquiries to MiracleBarAtlanta@gmail.com. For updates on Miracle visit Facebook or www.miraclebaratlanta.com.

AN AFTERNOON WITH BLACK BEVERAGE ARTISANS NOV 2019

Posted by Liz and John Attaway

City Winery

Saturday, November 30th

City Winery is pleased to highlight groundbreaking beverage makers during An Afternoon with Black Beverage Artisans on Saturday, November 30 in the music venue.

This informal tasting allows guests to wander, sampling options at their leisure…all from African-American owned wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

Sommeliers will be on hand to answer any questions and make suggestions as to what specific wines will suit your preferences. A DJ will spin tunes to keep you moving.

Informative cocktail demonstrations by our friends the Taste Beverage Company.

Cheese and charcuterie will be provided, and our Chefs will craft a menu with thoughtfully curated dishes.

Some of the producers will include –

  • Mouton Noir Winery
  • Brown Estates
  • McBride Sisters
  • Vision Cellars
  • Abbey Creek
  • La Fete du Rose
  • Uncle Nearest Whiskey
  • Bomade Vodka
  • Down Home Brewery
  • Khonso Brewery

Tickets are $50 and limited as this event will sell out. Get your tickets here.

2019 Atlanta Craft Cocktail Festival

Date: Sunday, September 7th

Time: 6 pm

About: The Atlanta Craft Cocktail Fest will also be held on Saturday, September 7th from 6-10pm at City Winery. There will be a wide variety of specialty cocktails available to sample as well as a small selection of beer and wine. Live music will be upstairs and DJ Aetii will be downstairs playing your favorite dance music. Food will be available for purchase from a select menu from City Winery. More details about the event will be posted on the website as they are finalized. Tickets include entry, entertainment and all of your drinks; food will cost extra. The tickets will be $55 in advance, $65 day of the event.

More Information:

https://www.bigtickets.com/events/atlantabeerfestivals/atlanta-craft-cocktail-festival/

South by North Sunday Supper 2019

Date: Sunday, September 1st

Time: 12:30 pm

About: On Sunday, September 1, Georgia Grown invites you to gather ’round the table for a Sunday Supper at their South by North event. Located at The White Bull and hosted by Chef Pat Pascarella, the event will feature a book signing with our client, Chef Bruce Moffett of Moffett Restaurant Group, who will be coming in from Charlotte for the Decatur Book Festival! Tickets will include a five-course Sunday Supper with dishes from the cookbook, a complimentary welcome cocktail, and a signed copy of Bruce Moffett Cooks. Tickets are $65.

More Information:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/south-by-north-new-england-chefs-in-a-new-south-kitchen-tickets-68607826857