What's cooking this week? 


The DishCooler weather is trending, meaning sweaters and jackets on the outside and a hot and filling new menu from Marlow's Tavern to warm you on the inside. Baked lump crab bread, for starters, sounds extremely enticing with its creamy blend of lump crab, spinach, mozzarella, provolone, chives, citrus aioli and basil oil on toasty ciabatta. Two hands or a fork and knife are required for the "Everything AND the Kitchen Sink" burger overflowing with cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, crispy tobacco onions and more on a toasted brioche bun. More succulent proteins include the grilled turkey meatloaf and pan-roasted root veggies; grilled center-cut filet; pecan-crusted trout with roasted spaghetti squash; garlic chicken stack with spinach, oven-dried tomato, house-made carbonara sauce with asparagus, caramelized onions, tomato, Parmesan and angel hair pasta; grilled Atlantic salmon; pecan-crusted chicken salad with crumbled gorgonzola, applewood-smoked bacon and a tomato and honey pecan vinaigrette. New starters and mains range from $11 - $19.50. And, Marlow's desserts ($6) do sweetly sustain one. Choose from fried apple pie, classic
crème brûlée with a seasonal twist and chocolate banana bread pudding. Packing more heat than an Irish coffee are Marlow's strong wintry mixes of Blue Berry Buck with Hanger One Blue Berry; River Boat Sour incorporating Leopold's Sour Apple Whiskey; Boulevardier with Wathen's Kentucky Bourbon Single Barrel, Aperol liquor and Cocchi Vermouth; and a Tupelo Honey martini that hints of Deep South sunsets. There are eight Marlow's Taverns to choose from; find the location near you online.


The DishStarting Wednesday, November 16, Johns Creek-ers can quell a case of the queso attacks by high tailing it to the new Chepe's Mexican Grill in the Old Alabama Square shopping center at the corner of Old Alabama and Haynes Bridge roads. Once they open the menu, they'll want to stay for much more of Chepe's "Always Friendly, Always Fresh," generously portioned Mexican favorites. Prices are easy to swallow:  appetizers ($4 - $9), soups and salads ($5 - $8) and entrées ($5 - $15). Look forward to two kinds of salsa made throughout the day to welcome you with house-made chips, daily specials such as "Wing It Wednesday" with half-off those famous Mexican wings, and a full bar pouring everything from fresh juices and fruit smoothies to signature margaritas made to order, homemade sangria, beer and more. The three Atlanta amigos behind Chepe's are passionate about keeping it family friendly and community oriented. Chepe's covers the suburban calendar by offering call-ahead-to-go ordering, catering options and margarita machines. Open daily for lunch and dinner. More on Facebook. No wonder Chepe's is a Reader's Choice favorite for Best Taco and Best Mexican Restaurant in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!  With five Atlanta-area locations, there's a Chepe's Mexican Grill near you.    


Chepe's Mexican Grill - Johns Creek:  3005 Old Alabama Road; 770-521-2321.


The DishKeep the turkey on the back burner for another week or two -- Double Zero Napoletana has an Italian wine dinner for you on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. Fosco Amorosso of Tricana Wines will join guests to discuss the night's small production Italian wine selections that will be paired with the five-course fall dinner. 


On the menu:  butternut squash fritters on a bed of caramelized onions and garnished with watercress, lemon honey and black pepper and paired with Montesel Prosecco 2010; grilled prawns seasoned with Italian herbs and Calabrian chilies, dressed with a red pepper coulis and served with Alexandri Sauvignon Blanc 2010; lamb cheeks served over butternut squash purée with roasted chanterelle mushrooms, caramelized artichoke hearts and finished with a mint foam paired with Cairel Nebbiolo d'Alba 2008; braised beef short rib and smoked sweet potato purée finished with a pan sauce demi, crispy sage and shallots and served with Fattoi Brunello di Montalcino 2004; and house-made zucchini cake accompanied by carrot mascarpone gelato. 


Cost is $99 per person, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. For reservations, call 404-991-3666 or e-mail admin@doublezeroatl.com.


Double Zero Napoletana:  5825 Roswell Road, NE; 404-991-3666.


The DishChef /Owner Marc Taft takes wing from Marietta's Chicken and the Egg to the Georgia Dome for the Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans game kicking off at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 20. Find Taft inside 2View Restaurant located in the Dome's east end zone on the executive concourse (near the suites). 


Try out the game-day favorites he'll be preparing -- smoked chicken nachos with bacon, pimento cheese fondu and green tomato and Vidalia onion salsa, and beer-brined turkey wings with celery and garlic/buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Screens show turf action so you won't miss a beat while you eat! 



The DishDecision time. One, nail down those Thanksgiving meal plans (and be thankful for so many choices). Two, what to do about braving Black Friday, even as it edges into Thanksgiving Thursday. Tough choices, but remember, Atlanta restaurants are ready to come to your rescue with order-ahead meals, dining-out reservations and spreads...and plenty of places for bargainistas to take refuge on Black Friday.  


The night before the relatives arrive, both locations of Atkins Park Tavern will be holding a Thanksgiving Eve Party to usher in the holiday! Then enjoy Big Green Egg smoked turkey breast with caramelized apples, sage stuffing and cider gravy, along with braised pork shoulder with roasted root vegetables and bourbon glaze at Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland starting at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna opens doors at 4 p.m. to serve deep-fried Creole turkey breast and Dr. Pepper spiral glazed ham for the main course joined by Southern sides of pimento cheese deviled eggs and pickled beet and squash casserole with a cracker topping. At both restaurants, the meal is $20 for adults, $15 for young adults and $8 for children 10 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). And yes, there will be desserts. Reservations are recommended; call Virginia Highland at 404 -876-7249 or Smyrna at 770-435-1887.


At Midtown-fave Briza, seasonal American cuisine with Southern inspiration tops the tables on the day's Thanksgiving turkey plate along with fall squash soup and pie served until 8 p.m. Or, take advantage of the lounge and bar area's all-day menu. Reservations are recommended; call 678-412-2402.


Head north to Marietta for a traditional Southern meal at Chicken and the Egg, where the menu offers a choice of entrée, three sides and a dessert. Served 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $18 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended; call 678-388-8813.


Ease into the kitchen and simultaneously enjoy your company by including the New York Butcher Shoppe in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs on your guest list. Turn over your own casserole dishes, and they'll fill them with your choice of sides to serve 8 to 10 people. Sides include green bean, squash or broccoli casseroles, Grandma Mary's potatoes au gratin, mashed regular or sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, sausage or bacon/egg casserole, roasted veggies or roasted baby dill carrots, and an array of salads including tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella, Caesar, Greek pasta or broccoli.  There's even cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Talking turkey, theirs are $2.99 a pound and come in three sizes to feed 6-8, 9-12 or 13-16 people -- and they'll brine your turkey for you. Fresh Tanglewood Farms free-range, all-natural turkeys are raised in North Carolina and packed fresh, not frozen or deep chilled. These are the same turkeys featured by four- and five-star restaurants and private clubs! Contact your nearby shop via email or phone:  Dunwoody at 770-399-6328 or Sandy Springs at 404-303-0704.


"RA Retail Therapy" at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant reveals food and drink deals extended from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on the busiest shopping day of the year, November 25. You have time to rack in some retail action first -- RA Sushi's doors open and specials begin at 11 a.m. Shop the menu of more than 35 sushi, appetizer, and tapas selections, plus a wide variety of beer, wine and signature cocktails ranging from $2 to $7.


Two Ray's Restaurants locations will dish up Thanksgiving feasts. Spoon some of this, more of that from the extensive Thanksgiving buffet at Ray's on the River at the perimeter top end. $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for children 5-10; available from 10 a.m. until the last seating at 7:45 p.m. For reservations, call 770-955-1187. A few miles north at Ray's at Killer Creek in Alpharetta, savor a Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, house-made dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and succotash. The by-the-plate cost is $27 or choose the three-course option with soup or salad and dessert is $36. For reservations, call 770-649-0064.


Southerners seeking kitchen relief can turn to South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Vinings, where doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A special three-course menu offers guests their choice of one appetizer, entrée and dessert, priced at $39.95 for adults and $19.98 for children 12 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended. If you prefer a Thanksgiving meal at home, order a complete dinner to go for eight people for $200. Included are a boneless, roasted turkey breast, collard greens, buttermilk whipped potatoes, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, house-made biscuits and corn muffins and a whole pumpkin or pecan pie with whipped cream for dessert. Orders must be received by Monday, November 21 for pick up on Wednesday, November 23. For reservations or to-go orders, call Midtown at 404-873-7358 or Vinings at 770-435-0700.  


The pilgrims ventured west, but you can head towards a Southeast Asian-inspired Thanksgiving meal at Spice Market in the W Atlanta-Midtown for $39 per person (tax and gratuity are not included). The menu is available from 5 - 9 p.m.  For reservations, call 404-724-2550.


Home chefs saying "yes" to impressing guests with their own poultry prowess can order an American Standard Bronze turkey from White Oak Pastures (WOP). Raised in an open-pasture lifestyle, WOP's Free Range Pastured Turkeys are very different from the hybrid industrial turkeys filling freezer cases during the holidays. No antibiotics, no added hormones, pure taste. Three sizes:  $75 small (8-12 pounds), $100 medium (12-16 pounds), $125 large (17+ pounds). Shipping costs are calculated per mile per pound. Order online or by calling 229-641-2081.


The DishYou are having a party, right?  Little perks like these can go a long way toward generating holiday cheer without spending much green when you work with Spice Market's planning staff. 
A complimentary dinner for two at Spice Market is an awesome reward for a top employee or someone who has done something extra special for the office team. It's Spice Market's gift to you for mentioning The Dish when you book your holiday party.  


Additionally, earn Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points with your booking:  a $1,500 food and beverage booking receives 5,000 SPG bonus points; a $2,500 booking receives 10,000 SPG bonus points; $3,500 earns a one-night stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown and 10,000 SPG bonus points; $5,000 booking receives a one-night stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown - Fantastic Suite (subject to availability) plus 15,000 SPG bonus points.  Good for parties taking place through December 31, 2011. Contact Cristina Perry at cristina.perry@whotels.com.


Spice Market:  In the W Atlanta-Midtown, 188 14th Street, NE; 404-724-2550. 


The DishThat Cooper G. is a sharp yelper . . . he knows not to judge a book by its cover or a restaurant by its non-descript exterior. Beyond the stucco, inside Buckhead's Georgia Grille, Cooper G. uncovers an oasis of amazing food, drinks and fantastic service. A little undercover work yields a delectable payoff!


I mean is this place a huge secret among Atlanta natives?  I loved it. It's tucked away in a strip mall in the shadows of Holeman & Finch, Restaurant Eugene, and Willy's/Panera Bread. Haha.

The margaritas were amazing. They were pricey, but definitely not just made with a mix. I think it was 33.00 for a carafe.

Had the smoked chicken flautas. Really good. Not a massive dish, but a perfect starter. I think it was 6.95.

Just going off on a limb picked the Lobster Enchilada. I had no idea it was their signature dish. So good. I definitely would go back to get this. The sauce around was so hot and good. We ended up eating it with our spoon.

The mousse for dessert just topped off the meal. I don't think I've ever had a mousse like it before. It wasn't as soft as a normal one. Yummmmmmm!

Service was fantastic. I"m not sure if we ended up being waited on by a waiter or the host. He made excellent suggestions and was very patient.

We really liked the interior also. Candles on every table. There was a rustic look throughout the place. Very romantic in some aspects. Lighting was perfect also.

Parking is free in the strip mall. I get it if some of you think it is overpriced. It's definitely not a cheap El Azteca. Really... if you want to keep the price down just split an entree and a starter.
Georgia Grille:  2290 Peachtree Road, NW; 404-352-3517. 


The DishWe did our own investigative reporting on WSB Anchor/Reporter Jovita Moore. Turns out you can learn quite a bit by following her tweets and taking a look at her "favorites." Who else can you think of that keeps the Atlanta Police Foundation, Georgia Highway Safety, the FBI -- and TargetStyle and Clark Howard all on speed-tweet?  To keep up with more, by way of Moore, follow her on Twitter (@JovitaMoore).  Get more news and even more Moore on WSB's website.

Sample TweetAt 5:Police are looking for a cross-dressing bank robber. Huge rats, 'big like rabbits', in one local school. And, a freeze warning tonite.




This week's aperture comes all the way from Charleston's Tristan! Executive Chef Nate Whiting's inventive style is evident in this grilled beef rib loin dish with poached eggs, molten smoked potato fritter and malt steak sauce.

Looking for the latest restaurant opening, weekly wine tastings and drink specials, or other culinary happenings? Whatever makes your mouth water, Melissa Libby & Associates will point you in the right direction. Our monthly calendar, blog, flickr, Facebook page and Twitter feed will keep you up-to-date on new and ongoing restaurant events around Atlanta.
Melissa Libby & Associates is an Atlanta-based public relations firm specializing in the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries.
For information about these and other great Atlanta restaurants, go to www.melissalibbypr.com, check out our Facebook page, follow AtlantaDish on Twitter or call 404-816-3068.
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