Monday, May 4, 2015

Atlanta food events, May 4-10

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 9:31 AM

Luca Varuni, maestro pizzaiolo and owner of Varuni Napoli will be teaching how to make his childhood favorites at the Cooks Warehouse on Mon., May
  • James Camp
  • Luca Varuni, maestro pizzaiolo and owner of Varuni Napoli, will be teaching how to make his childhood favorites at the Cooks Warehouse on Mon., May 4

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to


Stem Wine Bar Mon., May 4, 6:30-9:30 p.m. St. George Spirits Cocktail inner Chef and owner Doug Turbush will host a cocktail dinner that consist of a five-course dinner, cocktail selections using products from St. George Spirits, and a selected staff available for any questions. Details

MAX's Wine Dive Mon., May 4, 6-10 p.m. Monday's a Drag Every Monday night until May 30, MAX's Wine dinner will donate 10% of all proceeds to Lost-n-Found Youth, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization. Drag queen servers, hostesses and food and drink specials will be featured. Enjoy classic movies such as “Tootsie” and “The Birdcage” and drag-inspired TV shows at the bar. Details

The Cook's Warehouse, Midtown Mon., May 4, 7-9 p.m. Luca Varuni at The Cooks Warehouse Join Luca Varuni, maestro pizzaiolo and owner of Varuni Napoli at the Cooks Warehouse Midtown as he reminisces with dishes from his childhood. Varuni will be teaching guests how to make stuffed peppers, eggplant Parmesan, Mamma graffe and one surprise as well as a special guest. The evening will also offer a wine tasting sponsored by National Distributors. Details

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Quick Bites: Victory Sandwich Bar, Brigantine Beer Parlor open and more

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Victory Sandwich bar opens in Inman Park (RIP Old Victory, above) - JAMES CAMP/CL FILE
  • James Camp/CL File
  • Victory Sandwich bar opens in Inman Park (RIP Old Victory, above)

At long last, Victory Sandwich Bar has soft-opened in Inman Park — this time at 913 Bernina Ave. The popular bar and restaurant shuttered in summer 2013 due to development of 360 Elizabeth St., soon to become known as Inman Quarter. Owner Ian Jones had to jump through about a year's worth of permitting hoops with the city to get his drinking establishment, perhaps best known for its cheap sandwiches and bourbon-and-Coke slushies, back in the neighborhood. A second location resides in Decatur.

Brigantine Beer Parlor and Recreation Hall has soft-opened in the back of East Atlanta Village restaurant and bar Argosy (470 Flat Shoals Ave.). The hidden spot is themed to the hilt with antique-style parlor games and lots of trivia. Patrons will also find slightly more modern diversions like skee-ball and table shuffleboard. Creative cocktails and comfortable lounge spots are both in abundance.

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Atlanta food events, May 1-May 3

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 10:38 AM

  • Rachel Hortman

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to


Meehan's Public House Atlantic Station Sat., May 2 Derby Day at Meehan's Dress up, wear the best hat, play outdoor games and bookie bets. Meehan's will offer drink specials, along with food items like Kentucky hog cakes, burgoo, a cream cheese plate and more. Details

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Korean Barbecue at Breakers BBQ in Duluth

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 5:25 PM

Assorted meats at Breakers
  • Courtesy of Breakers
  • Assorted meats at Breakers

Korean BBQ is a gateway drug for most Americans. Tabletop grills, hunks of meat, kimchi, and lots of cheap booze translate into super happy fun times. KBBQ used to be a Buford Highway thing, but the concentration in restaurants has shifted North to Duluth where the choices seem endless. It depends on your mood. You can opt for cheap all you can eat barbecue at or something more upscale like Breakers Korean BBQ (3505 Gwinnett Place Dr NW #101, Duluth. 770-946-1000., which opened in January.

The strip mall setting isn't fancy, but don't be deceived: Breakers isn't your average Korean barbecue place. There is a full glittery bar near the entrance that serves liquor, wine, and beer. No more watery beer and barbecue. However, if you happen to like watery Korean beer like me, there is plenty of ice cold Hite to go around. The restaurant has veered from the polished traditional look many restaurants adopted in recent years. If it weren't for the grills in the center of the tables, the white leather banquets, antique minimalist Korean pottery showcased on a long white illuminated partition could pass for any suburban restaurant. It feels more polished and Americanized. It's the kind of place you go if you want a more buttoned up experience. Breakers almost seems to be marketed towards well heeled Koreans and Americans - both experienced and inexperienced with Korean BBQ. One of the members of our party was new to this type of cuisine and the servers were incredibly friendly and patient explaining the ins and outs of this style of eating.

If you eat as much Korean barbecue as I do, you know smelling like smoke and meat for the rest of the evening is typically the price you pay for gluttonous joy. Breakers promises you won't have even have the slightest waft of smoke lingering on your clothes because the kitchen pre-cooks your meat selection over premium lump charcoals and you finish cooking it over electric downdraft grills. The smell was minimized, but not completely gone.

Each meal starts with a salad made with greens, strawberries, and a too sweet dressing. You should pass. A smaller than normal assortment of banchan - another trend versus the abundance of preparations - arrives shortly after you have ordered to stimulate your appetite. There are also radish and glutinous rice sheets to wrap your meat and the other usual suspects like whole cloves of garlic and sliced jalapenos.

Price and portion size will be a sticking point for most who have become accustomed to the all you can eat under $20 smorgasbords that populate Pleasant Hill. The portions here are small and it will take you more to fill up. I would say two dishes per person is a safe bet unless you are like me and have the appetite of a teenage boy. If that is the case, get three. The menu is limited (shrimp, scallops, chicken, pork, and beef) and the quality translates into higher price tags, which are sometimes nearly double the price than the competition.The higher price is worth the flavor and quality of the meat. The texture is soft and tender because of the slow-cook over charcoal in the kitchen. Scallops, shrimp, pork, chicken, and beef are all incredibly fresh and well-seasoned, if it all. Most importantly, they taste good and they are piping hot.

Towards the end of our meal, owner Bobby Kim - a man who reminded me of an older and well coiffed Korean version of Mr. Chow from The Hangover movies - came over to ask us how our meals were and offered us a special ice cream made in house. But none of us took it because we were stuffed with meat, which is better than ice cream any day.

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Westside gets a new farmers market

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 10:50 AM

  • Angela Hansberger
Last year Atlanta welcomed the Freedom Farmers Market to the scene with gusto. (And if you question the use of the word "scene," you haven't been to the Woodland Gardens booth to jockey for position in line.) This year we welcome the Westside Farmers Market (at the intersection of Howell Mill Road and 14th Street), which will make its first-ever debut Sun., May 17 at 10 a.m.

The new market comes to us from local nonprofit Community Farmers Markets, which oversees the East Atlanta Village, Grant Park, and Decatur Farmers Markets, and will set up along the lane behind Yeah! Burger and lululemon.

The market will house local farmers and artisans as well as existing tenants from Westside Provisions District such as West Egg Cafe and the Preserving Place. Market-goers will be able to shop for produce, flowers, and baked goods and be a part of interactive experiences and demos from nearby JCT. Kitchen and Ormsby's.

It may be too late for ramp season (Rammmmmmmps!), but a bonafide shroom fix can surely be had with certified naturally grown Honey Creek Mushrooms in the market. Banner Butter will be churning extra cream to bring their cultured butters and compounds, too.

Situated within a restaurant and shopping district, the market brings an new experience with brunch/lunch options before or after perusing, as well as the opportunity for extended retail shopping. The market will run Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting May 17 through Sept. 27. Visit for more info.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Varuni Napoli shuttered after "fire" damage

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Morningside's authentic Neapolitan pizzeria Varuni Napoli is temporarily shuttered after an incident this weekend.

A conscientious bystander noticed smoke coming from the restaurant located near the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive Sunday morning and was quick to alert the Atlanta Fire Department. The quick-to-respond firefighters entered the restaurant with water ready to fight the anticipated flames. Fortunately, and somewhat unfortunately, water was not necessary, as there was no fire.

Varuni Napoli's Italian-made tiled Stefano Ferrara ovens burn at 900 degrees and can emit smoke throughout the restaurant. What the bystander stall was just that, an every day occurrence. Naples born co-owner Luca Varuni assures us that those ovens (and their corresponding smoke) will be up and running soon after water damage can be cleaned up. Those famous Neapolitan pies will have to wait a few days, the amount of time they are expecting to be closed. Not the sort of one year anniversary a restaurant desires. Varuni first opened for business April 23, 2014.

1540 Monroe Drive N.E. 404-709-2690.

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Urban Cannibals team plans three new ventures

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 12:01 PM


Last week, we learned Calavino Donati and Doria Roberts, the duo behind East Atlanta's Urban Cannibals (477 Flat Shoals Ave.), are working to open three new ventures by summer’s end. One, their signature Urban Cannibals Bodega and Bites, will take over the former Cruzado space in Midtown at 368 5th St., while Latin American-Southern fusion concept Madre and Mason will move into the old Couscous spot at 560 Dutch Valley Road. Tipple and Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary will open next to Surin in Virginia-Highland — at 806 N. Highland Ave. — and will offer more than 100 teas along with breakfast, pastries, light lunch items, four versions of high tea service, and apothecary items like bitters and drinking vinegars.

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Atlanta food events: April 27-May 3

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 10:01 AM

  • Rachel Hortman

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to


The Cook's Warehouse, Midtown Mon., April 27, 7-9 p.m. Simple Abundance cooking class Executive chef Martin Pfefferkorn of Polaris is hosting a cooking class to benefit the the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The menu consists of yellow watermelon gazpacho, avocado, cucumber and strawberry salad, sautéed Georgia white shrimp with lobster cream and stone ground grits, and strawberry shortcake. Guests can order tickers through the website or by calling. Details

Taqueria del Sol - Westside April 27-May 2 The Giving Taco Chef Eddie Hernandez will be collaborating with The Giving Kitchen board member and local Atlanta chef, Chris Hall for The Giving Taco week. With each taco bought, Taqueria del sol will donate money to The Giving Kitchen. Details

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Quick Bites: Woodfire Grill closing, chef changes at Last Word, and more

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Woodfire Grill will close on May 20.
  • Photo by Matthew Smith Photography
  • Woodfire Grill will close on May 20.

Woodfire Grill will close next month at 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, following more than 13 years serving Atlanta foodies. Though it has not attracted a sufficient number of patrons in recent months to support the cost of business (says owner Nicolas Quinones), its kitchen has played host to an array of top culinary talents, among them Kevin Gillespie, Tyler Williams, and Matthew Weinstein. The final dinner service will be held on May 20.

While co-chefs Matt Palmerlee and (the Four Coursemen supper club founder) Eddie Russell have both departed Inman Park restaurant Last Word (701 Highland Ave.), a new cuisinier has already come along to take over the kitchen. Departing Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market to assume her new executive chef role on April 28, Layla Walk brings with her extensive experience at such acclaimed eateries as King and Duke, Bella Cucina, and The Optimist. Look for her personal twist on Mediterranean cuisine in the coming weeks.

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Crawfish for Cancer uses art to spread the word

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 12:28 PM

  • Dylan York

New York is known for a lot of things: bagels, Rockefeller Center, the Yankees, and even its newest transplant, Taylor Swift. As multifaceted as the Big Apple is, however, there are some time-honored Southern customs that fade away across the Mason-Dixon Line. That’s why, when Georgia native Daniel Gura and four of his college buddies decided that they would bestow part of their knowledge — and philanthropic motives — on the Northeast with the first annual Crawfish for Cancer (CFC), it was met with open arms.

Since its launch in 2008, the charity has seen exponential growth, expanding the event to five other cities: Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Atlanta; Boston, and Charleston, S.C. Last year alone the organization raised $90,000 for its charity of choice, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Whether by causation or correlation, these record numbers were attained in the same year that demand for attendance reached new heights — at one point tickets were even being scalped online. Clearly, the novelty of Southern culture (and seafood) is profitable up north.

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