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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Reader’s Favorite Dishes

This Friday, our annual Spring Dining Guide will be released and we are divulging some of our picks, chef’s and reader’s favorite dishes on served up in the restaurant scene.

So here’s our question to you: What go-to dish do you order at your favorite restaurant? We want you to share your photos via Instagram or Twitter so we can include it in our photo gallery. Include your name, restaurant and dish and tag photos with #AJCWheretoEat.

4_14_halibut

My latest craving? This amazingly tender and smoky wood-roasted halibut oscar with Maine lobster.

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Passover Dining Specials

chocolate covered matzoh

chocolate covered matzah

Passover begins tonight at sundown, and for those observing, the holiday entails one week of keeping kosher. The first thing to go is chametz, but don’t let that stop you from dining out. Some Atlanta restaurants have curated special menus for this celebration.

For a quick lunch:

MetroFresh is known for their rotating soups, and this week they are serving up a Guinness and brisket soup.

**This is not Kosher, however they are simply serving it during Passover. **

For one night only:

Tonight Ecco created a family style four-course prix fixe dinner for $40 per person that includes European-style saffron matzo ball soup. The General Muir’s second night Sedar Passover dinner takes place Tuesday, and they may still have a few reservations left.

For dinner:

Rosa Mexicana does an annual Mexican Passover menu that will run from now to the 22nd. The four-course prix fixe is $42 per person. The special Gefilte fish will make an appearance on Lure ‘s menu …

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Pick 5: National Grilled Cheese Day

Prime's grilled cheese, photo credit: Meridith Ford

Prime's grilled cheese, photo credit: Meridith Ford

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day! Let’s take a bite into the crusty, buttery, gooey goodness of America’s childhood lunchbox staple with a few choices that have reinvented this sandwich. Do you like to branch out or stick with the classic?

Here2Serve Restaurants
Various locations
All eleven concepts are putting their personal spins on grilled cheese. Try Shucks Oyster Bar’s “figs with Manchego and bacon jam on olive bread” or Prime’s “Southern Andouille sausage and crawfish pimento cheese on sourdough.”

Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Road, Atlanta
404-262-3336
This glorified diner serves a grilled cheese sandwich that is worth the splurge: “two fried eggs grilled cheese B.L.T.”

Ocean Market Atlanta
489 Peachtree Street, Atlanta
404-665-1495
Rethink “PB & J,” this Panini oozes with pear, brie and jambone. Bitter arugula and creole mustard finish it off.

Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road, Atlanta
404-467-8950
Some people …

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Missing HD1’s Fries?

One Atlantan certainly is. She’s created a petition on Change.org to bring back the waffle fries that were a staple on HD1’s menu. While the restaurant in Virginia-Highlands has been re-opened as a Flip Burger and kept a few of the hot dogs on the menu, the fries received a farewell.

4_11Fries

Her pitch?

HD Fries were the single best thing on the haute doggery’s menu. They were perfectly crisp waffle fries, seasoned deliciously and served up with the maple-oy (yum yum in my tum tums) sauce. Since HD1 closed and re-opened to another Flip Burger location they have paid homage to the menu by keeping some hot dogs but left the delicious waffle fries off. But I say: no more to this abomination! We have the roof top patio finally, now give us back our freedom…..er, fries! #bringhdfriesback #fightforfries

She needs 1,000 signatures, so c’mon. Help a sister out.

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Pick 8: Patio Dining Near the Dogwood Festival

Two Urban Licks patio

Two Urban Licks patio

The quintessential welcoming of warm weather at Piedmont Park happens this weekend at the 78th Annual Dogwood Festival. Crowds will flock to the park to wander amidst shaded flowering dogwoods, revel at fine art from national vendors, and listen to the sounds of local music. We mapped out a few outdoor patios for alfresco dining before or after the festival.

NEAR: 0 miles

Park Tavern
500 10th Street, Atlanta
404-249-0001
The sun-drenched patio is so close, you can reach out and touch the grass in the lower meadow. Ideal for sipping cool brews (they craft a few of their own). Plan to stay a while because prime location means big crowds.

0.2 miles

MetroFresh
931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta
404-724-0151
The humble, pet-friendly patio and counter service make this the perfect choice to satisfy your hunger right when it hits. This healthy gem always has an array of colorful salads, grilled chicken and hot or cold soups. They’re easily portable if you’d rather …

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Better Half restaurant review, Atlanta

Costa Rican milk truffles (credit: Becky Stein)

Costa Rican milk truffles (credit: Becky Stein)

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Better Half, the new supper-club-turned-restaurant funded by a Kickstarter community funding campaign. I gave it a grade of 3 stars.

Better Half is one of our city’s newest casual fine dining spots. You’ll find the kitchen on full display right in the dining room, the absence of a liquor license (but it’s coming), and a place where the best seats are at the bar. While Better Half doesn’t adhere to formal dining traditions or ostentation, the kitchen performs with the exceptional skill and efficiency of one that does. With such artistry and precision, the food coming out of this kitchen could only be considered fine.

Vibrant colors and contrasts mark chef/owner Zach Meloy’s artistic plating style, with items like the pork belly served alongside small cylindrical sopes placed catty-corner and filled with plugs of brilliant orange carrot puree. Consider items like the seared yellowfin tuna paired …

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Hop City at Krog Street and more news bits

hopcitylogo.jpg
Kraig Torres spilled the beans to Creative Loafing that he’s set to open his third Hop City Craft Beer & Wine location at Krog Street Market. Torres opened his first Hop City on Atlanta’s Westside in 2009, and a second location followed in Birmingham in 2012.

Torres was a pioneer in the proliferation of beer-to-go growlers in Atlanta. And apparently, the new Hop City at KMS will feature another retail shop wrinkle in the form of an adjacent bar.

Here are more details from a press release sent out today by 360 Media:

Hop City will offer an eclectic and impressive collection of craft beers, fine wines and even their famous growlers. KSM Visitors will have more than 1,000 options to choose from in their new 2,400 sq. ft. location and if that’s not enough, Hop City will have an adjacent 750 sq. ft. bar for guests to sit and sip while at the market.

“We couldn’t think of a better addition to help round out our impressive group of market stalls and tenants than Hop City; they are …

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RECIPE: Buffalo Chicken Satay with Sage Bleu Cheese Dip

Today we share a recipe by Chef Shane McIntosh, executive chef and owner of Ocean Catering Company. This exuberant, well-rounded chef – once compared to Julia Child with tattoos – is just as proud of his dry-rubbed barbecue as he is of his caramelized mango foie gras. From the Caribbean cuisine of Automatic Slims Tonga Club, to The Main Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, to the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, to private dining in Paris, Chef Shane now pulls these influences together, creating his own style of robust culinary prowess. For more information on Ocean Catering Company visit www.oceancateringcompany.com.

4_9_chickenSatayBuffalo Chicken Satay with Sage Bleu Cheese Dip

(Serves 4-6 people)

Chicken

  1. Rinse 2 pounds of trimmed chicken breast in colander under running water.
  2. Shake colander, then pat dry chicken using paper towel.
  3. Cut chicken breasts into strips approximately finger-sized.
  4. Set aside.

Buffalo Mahogany Sauce

(The original …

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Drew Belline Named Creative Director of Ford Fry Restaurants

Drew Belline (Credit: Star Chefs)

Drew Belline (Credit: Star Chefs)

Publicist Melissa Libby confirmed today that No. 246 executive chef and partner Drew Belline is now the creative director of restaurateur Ford Fry’s company.

Belline’s new duties include overseeing the culinary operations at No. 246 in Decatur and St. Cecilia in Buckhead.

“I am thrilled to take on the creative director position,” Belline said in a press release. “Ford has put so much faith in me since I started working with him. I am excited to continue to do what I love while taking on this new leadership role.”

Belline takes over for Brian Horn at the red-hot St. Cecilia, with Craig Richards as chef de cuisine. Andrew Isabella remains as chef de cuisine at No. 246.

Belline, who is known as a longtime devotee of sourcing regional ingredients and even foraging for the likes of ramps and wild mushrooms, has been busy working with Richards and Isabella on new spring menus for  St. Cecilia and No. 246.

Later this month, look for a feature on wild …

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Behind the Scenes: Executive Chef MG Farris of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

4_8_MGWhen MG Farris walked into his job as Executive Chef of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre nearly eight years ago, the first thoughts from staff was, “Who’s the kid?” His clean cut finesse did not do justice to the years of experience he had racked up in kitchens ranging from international resorts and boutique hotels to five star independent restaurants in New York City.

By 32 years old, his culinary resume included:

  • Chef at Villa Via resort- Cape Town, South Africa
  • Executive Sous Chef at Jo Jo- New York City
  • Chef de Cuisine at Pano & Paul’s- Atlanta
  • Owner/Operator MGs, Food 102 and Market 102 – Florida
  • Executive Chef at Eno- Atlanta
  • Rounds Sous Chef at Omni Hotels- Atlanta

Farris took a step back from both fine dining and boutique hotels, and became the sole person in charge of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre’s food and beverage program. Now, at 40 years old, he works with only two other full-time employees- his sous chef and lead cook. The rest of his staff is …

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