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Park Tavern: Piedmont Park’s Go-To Spot

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/16/20

Piedmont Park is one of Atlanta’s best features, boasting miles of walking trails, public amenities, a serene pond, and a fantastic view of the Midtown Skyline. On the corner of Monroe and 10th sits Park Tavern, go-to spot for post-run and group activity patio grub, as well as fresh sangria, cocktails, and a refreshing beer. They have a little bit of everything from fried seafood to tacos, buffalo chicken wings, freshly brewed beer on-site, cocktails, and even buffalo cauliflower to Nashville Hot Chicken. It’s hard not to find something to enjoy after your day at the park, meeting friends, or to just enjoy a cocktail or two. In Real Estate they say, location, location, location. Park Tavern has that in spades and so much more. Parkside adventure ahead, so grab your walking shoes, and come hungry.

Park Tavern isn’t lacking in beer options, since they brew their own beer with everything from an IPA, Pilsner, Amber, and more typically on draft year-round, you can grab a pint and watch the sunset, hang out at the fire pits, or catch the stars over the midtown skyline. Plus, they have tons of cocktail options, and even a tasty red sangria that’s fruity and refreshing. Not big red wine fans, we were surprised by the refreshing citrus and orange forward sangria that was perfectly paired with the sprawling Park Tavern patio and gardens. Impressed.

Of the array of appetizers, the best one of the bunch was the rich and meaty chicken wings with tender meat and the right amount of medium spice. From the crunch of the skin to the meatiness of the chicken and the overall flavor of the sauce, this was a delicious overall bite after a day at the park! We also really enjoyed the buffalo cauliflower, which was perfectly breaded and fried tender cauliflower with a spicy, hot sauce kick on the back-end. It’s spicier than expected. Take a moment to dip it in the blue cheese or ranch, it almost like eating a chicken wing! Creamy. Spicy.

The best handheld was the delicious Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. The perfect fried chicken filet breaded and fried just right with a serious hot sauce bite. We can’t get over how tender and meaty the chicken turned out to be, plus, the addition of the pickles gave it more crunch and tartness! Let’s not forget the creamy coleslaw that cuts through the spiciness and ending up making the entire bite cool as a cucumber. This dish ramps up the heat and flavor and then cools it. Amazing. Paired with fries, the sandwich is even better if you stuff a few of those seasoned fries on there for a little more crunch! Even better with Park Tavern’s legendary tots. Yum!

So, as the sunsets over the Atlanta Midtown Skyline, park lovers are heading to Park Tavern to find the perfect pairing of beer and wings or sangria and hot chicken. They relax watching the sun fade, feeling good about their day and raising a glass to their night cap at Park Tavern.

Ray’s on the River: Ultimate Lawn Party

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/27/20

On a sunny day in late May, there was a light breeze over the Chattahoochee River and the intermittent clouds cooled down the late afternoon heat. Next to the river sits a beautifully landscaped lawn dotted with large patio umbrellas and a collection of tables, patio furniture, and a serene walkway with purple, red, and pink flowers. Ray’s on the River is the ultimate lawn party that reminds us of an all-day Kentucky Derby soiree with pretty dresses, upscale, sippable cocktails, and on-point tasty bites. They wooed us with their impeccable cocktail menu and service, plus you absolutely can’t. beat. That. View. Being from Atlanta, why hadn’t we visited this wonderful, magical happy place before? Are you ready to go down by the river for a culinary adventure? Make sure to grab your Derby Hat, you’ll need it.

You can’t beat Ray’s on the River’s cocktail menu, there’s a little bit of everything. Fig Old Fashioned, Gimlet, Vitamin Sea tiki drink, and an array of sangrias. Of the ones we sampled, the Vitamin Sea was the hands down favorite and an unexpected treat from a high-end restaurant. When you think of Ray’s the Old Fashioned cocktail does come to mind, even a Gimlet, but not a refreshing, pineapple-forward tiki drink that’s both creamy and foamy. It’s all the flavors of the islands in a glass. Like a beautiful beach day where the sand is lined with palm trees and you sit in the shade with a rum drink in your hand. Don’t forget the little umbrella! Another one that we enjoyed was the Cucumber Mint Gimlet, which was a mixture of earthy, minty, boozy up front and cooling cucumber on the back of the throat. Perfect pair with the patio. Throw up that pinky because you’ll feel high end. Their most popular drink on the menus is the Fig Old Fashioned, which was smooth and boozy with a sweet of the fig, nuttiness of the bitters, and warming of the bourbon. It’s an all-around balanced concoction!

Ray’s on the River has so many light bites you can share like the seafood tower with lobster, crab, and oysters, but our favorite of the appetizer was the Ahi Tuna Poke. Perfectly marinated and perched atop creamy avocado in a moat of citrus ponzu and crowned with crunchy macadamia nuts, it was a magnificent bite. Do we need to go on? Beyond that, the Goat Cheese Pimento Fritters, were the right amount of crunch, sharp cheddar cheese, and sweet honey. The bar manager called it fire, and we must agree, this dish IS fire. Our tip is to take that little, cheese ball and roll it in the honey. It’s amazing. Isn’t it the truth that when calamari is done RIGHT, it’s really good. Ray’s version is done right with tender squid perfectly seasoned, breaded, and crunchy then mixed with red and banana peppers. The crunch of the breading and the spiciness of the peppers were a great bite together. But the best part? The addition of the sauces! Slather on some marinara and cheese or load up on the spicy aioli, both take this dish up a level and add a level of earthiness or creaminess! Now, don’t forget the loaded Statesboro Blue Cheese Chips because they were the right amount of blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes and onion. Plus, the manager mentioned a menu hack and we have to share it with you! Get the chips and the poke together and use the chips with the poke instead of a fork. It’s the ultimate appetizer!

From there we tried a new menu item called the Horseradish Black Grouper. Let us tell you, this is one of the best fish dishes we’ve ever had with crunchy horseradish cracker crust, flaky and mild fish on a bed of shaved brussels sprouts doused in dijonaise. The tart of the horseradish, crunch of the crust, to the flaky and meatiness of the fish to the earthiness of the sprouts and finished off with the kick of Dijon and mayonnaise, we’re still thinking about this dish. Tip, if you mix the fish, crust, and all the other elements together, it’s a one of the best dishes to date. You may want to pace yourself.

We can’t say enough about the view at Ray’s on the River. The river backdrop and serenity of the water, to the manicured lawn and everything in between, it’s easily one of the best patio experiences in Atlanta for any occasion. We can’t wait to go back and relax.

A SPANISH VALENTINE’S AT BULLA

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

Thursday, February 13th at 7 pm

Wine and dine with that special someone. Bulla Gastrobar is bringing Spain to your table with this paella and sangría making class for two! This special event hosted by Bulla’s Executive Chef on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 7-9:30 and includes class, dinner, toast and a limited edition Bulla branded apron.

This event will make for a unique experience and a Valentine’s date that you won’t soon forget. Reserve your spot today!
Cost is $200 per couple.
Tickets and more information can be found here.

Bulla Gastrobar: Who Loves Sangria?

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/3/19

Cozy and warm in atmosphere, Bulla Gastropub has an expansive menu with a mix of fresh, light tapas to hearty large plates, as well as a hefty wine list and some of the best Sangria Blanca in Atlanta. We’d argue the best! When we went it was before Christmas, so they had decked out the tables with small poinsettias and bows, and a beautiful Christmas tree with tons of presents under it. Being in the festive spirit, let’s find out what there is to celebrate about the menu. Hint: it’s celebratory!

Being more of a white wine gal, I’ve been thinking about how much I really like Sangria. Leave it to Bulla to invite us to National Sangria Day to discover what is probably the best Sangria Blanca I’ve had in a very long time. John liked it too, but he’s more a beer drinker. From the bubble of the cava to the sweetness of the fresh fruit, this pretty lady drinks refreshing and cool. It’s a good, year-round sipper!

Starting with the tapas, the Lacon Al La Gallega is a smoked ham dish sliced very thin like a tartare topped with arugula, dressing, and potato dollops. It ate like a light salad, a very light bite with a ton of flavor and the meat adds salt and heft. Tip: Take the dollops and wrap them in the arugula and ham. It’s creamy, savory, and the right amount of salt. We also got a Charcuterie plate that consisted of Manchego and Murica Al Vino cheese, as well as Jamon Serrano (ham) and Lomo Iberico. They definitely have a great selection of meats and cheeses that come with olives, crisp bread, and candied nuts. Our favorite was the earthy, nutty, sweet, and sharp Manchego cheese that paired well with the cured pork loin (Lomo Iberico). A great little snack with the bread and nuts.

We thought we got the Salmon Carpaccio but in looking at what we got versus the menu, it looks like we got the 5 oz Salmon large plate. So, moving on to the Platos Fuertes the Salmon was paired with spinach, chickpeas, and a lemon cream. The meat itself was perfectly cooked at medium and topped with a cool lemon cream that added balance between the meat and the accompaniments. The spinach and chickpeas were crunchy and earthy and mixed well with the Salmon. Overall, a great bite.

The other large plate is what we always want to try every time we get to taste a menu: Lamb! Lamb is my (Liz’s) favorite meat and this one did not disappoint. The Lamb Chop itself was fall off the bone tender with a sweet and savory honey, thyme sauce. The sauce was delectable with what starts off as sweet to herbaceous of the thyme. So unique! Paired with charred kale, asparagus, and potato foam, a tasty bite with the meatiness of the lamb, creaminess of the potato foam, and earthiness of the charred kale, and brightness of the asparagus. So much flavor!

From the wonderful meal, to the coziness and warmness of the atmosphere, to the attentive staff, Bulla Gastropub is a great place to take friends and family for an intimate meal. You’ll enjoy it.