The Dish
In This Issue
"Trends with Benefits" at JCT & Ormsby's
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Justin Balmes on BMA
Georgians for Pastured Poultry
Ormsby's at Winter Beer Carnival
Fadó Great Guinness Toast
Fleming's Icon Wine
MLA On The Town
Tweep of the Week: @onehauteplate
Looking for the latest restaurant openings, 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. 
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Turn On TBS And Catch A Glimpse of Ormsby's and JCT. Kitchen & Bar On "Trends With Benefits"



Still waiting for Cupid's arrow to find its mark? You may want to watch TBS's "Trends With Benefits" segment on eHarmony that was recently filmed at West Midtown favorites Ormsby's and JCT. Kitchen & Bar. Check out the footage of the restaurants on Friday, February 11 to get some tips from a dating expert and to score some fun ideas for your next date, like beer tasting and bocce at Ormsby's.

Love These Heart-y Reasons To Dine Out With Or Without A Valentine


Alpine Bakery's Seven Sins Cake Slice
Alpine Bakery's Seven Sins Cake
Skip the last-minute run for a dozen red roses. Say "I care" to a significant other or a charitable cause or treat yourself with any of these Valentine week specials at Atlanta restaurants.


Love thy neighbor at Fifth Group Restaurants' Alma Cocina. On Valentine's Day, the contemporary Mexican restaurant in downtown Atlanta is partnering with the Atlanta Community Food Bank's Supper Club. Lunch or sup there, and 20 percent of your tab will be donated to Atlanta's Table, a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Reservations: 404-968-9662.


No reservations are needed to stop by Alpine Bakery & Trattoria in the Crabapple area of Alpharetta on February 14 for either their special Valentine's Day menu or the regular menu. Italian food, New York-style pizza, wines from around the world and award-winning baked goods are all possibilities. A dessert alone could lead to a loving relationship - chocolate mousse served with champagne. 


Luxury reigns at a reasonable price at Aqua blue in Roswell. A $50 four-course prix fixe menu co-stars with the à la carte menu from Friday, February 10 to Tuesday, February 14 and features Maine lobster chowder or a butter lettuce wedge, jumbo lump crab sushi roll, Aqua blue surf and turf and warm chocolate cake for dessert. Throw in a long-stem rose package and champagne toasts for an additional cost. There's live music on Friday, February 10 starting at 8 p.m. Reservations: 770-643-8886.


Ever the epitome of elegance and romance, Buckhead's Aria is offering a four-course menu for $90 per person on Valentine's Day night (beverage, tax and gratuity not included). Reservations: 404-233-7673.


Celebrate Singles Awareness Day at the anti-Valentine's Day bash filling Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna on Saturday, February 11 at 10 p.m. Groove to live music from the band Homefront. Couples, you're covered, too. There's a three-course prix fixe dinner with wine pairings for $45 per person on Valentine's Day. Reservations:  770-435-1887. Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland is featuring a special à la carte menu ($8-$26) on Tuesday, February 14. The restaurant will offer tuna tartare and potato gnocchi with lamb Bolognese for starters, pan-roasted black grouper and smoke-roasted prime rib for entrées and chocolaty dessert choices of house-made Oreos, caramel and chocolate meringues or bittersweet chocolate ice cream. Reservations: 404-876-7249.


Pop the cork and maybe a question at Double Zero Napoletana. On Valentine's Day, couples choosing the $59-per-person prix fixe menu also get a champagne split, champagne glasses and a Castellucci Hospitality Group (CHG) gift card for use at any CHG restaurant. Find your favorites on the regular menu, if you prefer. Reservations: 404-991-3666.


Love me tender, like the melt-in-your-mouth corned beef on the hearty Valentine's Day prix fixe menu for $44.95 per couple at Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant. On Tuesday, February 14, couples can share an appetizer of corned beef rolls or smoked salmon bites. Each person picks an entrée of corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips or trinity steak boxty. Then it's back to sharing a dessert of either black and tan brownie with Guinness ice cream, bread pudding with brown bread ice cream or crème brûlée cheesecake. Reservations: 404-841-0066.


There are three romantic nights -- February 12, 13 and 14 -- to take in three romantic Valentine's entrées and take home a $25 gift card at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Filet mignon and prawns, prime New York strip and king crab, and colossal North Atlantic lobster tail with lobster mac and cheese will be offered, each at $69.95. Add on a Valentine's Day "Bella-tini" cocktail ($9.95) and a sinfully rich red velvet cake with espresso truffles ($9.50). The regular à la carte menu also is available. Each couple celebrating Valentine's Day at Fleming's from Sunday, February 12 through Tuesday, February 14 will take home one $25 gift card valid from Wednesday, February 15 through Saturday, March 31. Reservations:  770-698-8112.


Lovin' the South, Executive Chef Ford Fry is offering a $55 four-course menu (a "taste"+ three courses) at JCT. Kitchen & Bar on Tuesday, February 14. Reservations: 404-355-2252.

Your heart may still belong to Krispy Kreme's Original Glazed, but it's okay to spread the love with one or a dozen Valentine's treats at the Krispy Kreme store in Columbus, Ga. Why play favorites?  Mix up a dozen of the three Valentine's-inspired doughnuts:  Decadent chocolate Drizzled Hearts are drizzled with red icing; the Heart with Sprinkles sports white icing and red and white sprinkles; and the Chocolate Iced Glazed with Sprinkles showers classic iced doughnuts with red and white sprinkles. And there's more to love through February 14, as you'll receive 12 FREE Valentine cards when you purchase a dozen doughnuts - each is good for a free doughnut. (One set of 12 cards per dozen doughnuts purchased, while supplies last).

There's amore galore at La Tavola Trattoria in Virginia Highland where a $49 three-course prix fixe menu will win hearts on Valentine's Day. Reservations: 404-873-5430.

Wherever your heart lies in metro Atlanta, there's a Marlow's Tavern nearby featuring a $35 prix fixe menu as well as their entire à la carte menu on Tuesday, February 14. Locations and info are on the website.

Devoted in Decatur, No. 246 is offering a four-course prix fixe menu for Valentine's Day. Choice of entrée options includes wild mushroom tagliatelle and pan-roasted North Carolina flounder. $55 per person, not including tax or gratuity. Reservations:  678-399-8246.


All three Ray's Restaurants locations are ready for spontaneity with Valentine's specials and their regular menus over a long Valentine's weekend - Friday, February 10 through Tuesday, February 14. A special prix fixe menu at Ray's at Killer Creek in Alpharetta lets couples choose a starter, salad and soup and share the entrée course of red wine-braised Wagyu short rib with porcini sauce, jumbo shrimp and scallops, lobster mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. There are chocolate truffles for dessert.  Better than the real thing? The "Your Kiss on My List" cocktail shakes Finlandia Wild Fruit Vodka and cranberry juice and serves the mix over ice in a martini glass with a dollop of raspberry sorbet. $120 per couple, tax and gratuity not included. Reservations: 770-649-0064. For riverside romance, Ray's on the River on the Chattahoochee is featuring dishes such as lobster fondue, baby spinach and raspberry salad with candied walnuts and goat cheese vinaigrette, two-pound stuffed lobster, surf and turf with filet mignon and lobster tail and molten chocolate cake with white chocolate-raspberry ice cream for dessert. Reservations: 770-955-1187. Ray's in the City is offering an all-inclusive, four-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person that includes tagliatelle pasta tossed with butter and poached lobster, butter lettuce salad topped with house-made ricotta, slow-roasted certified Angus tenderloin and house-made chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream. For an additional charge, wine pairings are available. Reservations: 404-524-9224.


Everything delish that we love about the South is on the Valentine's Day dinner menus at South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Vinings. Both restaurants are featuring similar three-course prix fixe menus (Midtown menu and Vinings menu) for $39.95 per person, not including tax or gratuity. Guests can choose from a list of appetizers; nine please-all entrées including buttermilk fried chicken, smoke-roasted filet of beef, Low Country shrimp and grits and a vegetable plate with celery root and fennel hash; and a choice of three decadent desserts (plus ice cream/sorbet in Midtown). Midtown reservations: 404-873-7358 or online. Vinings reservations: 770-435-0700 or online.


Spice up your relationship with the four-course prix fixe Valentine's Day menu at Spice Market. The Tuesday, February 14 Valentine's dinner for two is $75, tax and gratuity not included. Toast your twosome with the prix fixe dinner plus a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot for $99, plus tax and gratuity. The regular à la carte menu also will be available. Each guest receives a special red fortune cookie that could reveal complimentary items or discounts to be used on future Spice Market visits. Among these are complimentary appetizers or desserts, 25 percent off an entire check, 50 percent off wine, a buy-one-get-one-free entrée, a complimentary five-course chef's tasting menu or a complimentary one-night stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown. Reservations: 404-724-2550.


Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food invites you to share the love with their Plato de Amor from February 9 - 19. For $49.95, the platter includes cold water lobster tail, shrimp brochette and mesquite-grilled combination fajitas served with guacamole, pico de gallo, rice and frijoles a la charra.  


For those who prefer to show their love on the grill at home, White Oak Pastures is featuring a special online sale on their delicious tenderloin filet for $9 per 8 ounce steak, regularly $11.52. The sale lasts until this Friday, but be sure to order by 10 a.m. Wednesday if you'd like to receive in time for a Valentine's Day feast.


Make much ado about the occasion at the 4th annual Fools For Love wine dinner and cabaret hosted by Woodfire Grill in support of Georgia Shakespeare on Monday, February 13 at 7 p.m. Executive Chef Kevin Gillespie pairs premium wines with four courses, and Georgia Shakespeare's Associate Artists will serenade with jazz standards and love songs. $150 per person ($90 tax deductible). To purchase tickets, call Georgia Shakespeare at 404-504-3404. On February 14, value your vegetarian friend or pescatarian pal with special five-course Valentine's Day menus along with the regular five-course dinner menu at Woodfire Grill. Regular and pescatarian menus are priced at $115 per person, and the special vegetarian menu is priced at $105. Pair with wine for $6 per course for a half glass or $12 for a full glass. Reservations are required: 404-347-9055. 

"My Best Enemy," Gerry Klaskala And A Fine Food And Wine Cruise Up For Bid At Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Gala



Fabulous site, fabulous night.  The opening night gala for the
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will be held at the Fabulous Fox Theater on Wednesday, February 8. Aria Owner/Executive Chef Gerry Klaskala is one of the celebrity chefs manning tasting tables at the preshow VIP reception. His dish, veal schnitzel with red wine apple sauce, ties in with the German flavor of the night's feature WWII thriller, "My Best Enemy." Along with food and film, guests will be able to place live-auction bids on a cruise cabin aboard a Fine Food and Wine Cruise. Reception starts at 5 p.m. followed by film showing at 7:30 p.m. Purchase Young Professionals ($150) and Red Carpet VIP ($300) Reception/Film packages and film showing general admission tickets ($10) online. 

Hankering For This Hunk - Justin Balmes Cooks Up Aphrodisiacs On" Better Mornings Atlanta" And Launches Website




Tune in or set your DVR to CBS's "Better Mornings Atlanta" at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, February 9 to latch on to some mouthwatering aphrodisiacs courtesy of Chef Justin Balmes. And there's much more to love about this "Food Network Star" Season 7 heartthrob as his recently launched website reveals. Currently a chef instructor at the Art Institute or Atlanta, Balmes is well seasoned in almost all culinary areas and has a playful side - if you call competitive mountain and road cycling play. Take a look and learn more about what he can do for you or your special event.

What The Cluck? Will Harris Gets Together With Georgians For Pastured Poultry To Explore Bird's Big Impact On Georgia 


Photo by Angie Mosier

Chicken is a big bird in Georgia. Our state produces more chicken meat than any other, and if Georgia was a country, it would be the sixth-largest poultry producer in the world. No paltry stats, no paltry impact on our land and residents. White Oak Pastures Owner Will Harris has long been an advocate and follower of the sustainable practice of pastured poultry. Harris is a founding member of Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP), a group that is exploring the impact of poultry factory farming on the state and promoting pasture-raised chicken as a fair, humane and sustainable alternative. On February 9, Harris and GPP are releasing a white paper on the matter to a food industry group that includes retailers, writers, chefs, legislators and media. Currently, GPP includes Compassion in World Farming, Darby Farms, Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans & Chefs, Georgia Organics, GreenLaw, Sierra Club and White Oak Pastures.


Tap Into 100+ Beers And Ormsby's At Atlantic Station's Winter Beer Carnival February 11




Guinness-braised brats, natural Angus beef hot dogs and hot boiled Georgia peanuts are some of the items Ormsby's will sell to complement brew sampling at the 3rd annual Winter Beer Carnival coming up Saturday, February 11, starting at 3 p.m. at Atlantic Station. This year's carnival has expanded into its new digs with more midway games and more than 100 beers to sample, including traditional favorites, premium craft beers and a wonderland of winter brews. Carnival ticket includes beer samples and most games. Buy tickets online:  General admission tickets are $40 advance/$50 carnival day, and Designated Driver VIP tickets are $20 advance/$30 carnival day. "HOPtimize" to a VIP ticket ($60 advance purchase) for 2 p.m. entry and sample a premium selection of top-rated and hard-to-find beers. Sampling limited to those ages 21 and over.


Raise A Pint To The Fadó Great Guinness Toast And You Might Win A VIP Table For St. Pat's Day



You don't have to be Irish or a toastmaster or toastmistress to take part in the Fadó Great Guinness Toast. You just need another reason to drink the black stuff. Through February 17, order a Guinness and get a chance to win a VIP table for you and your friends at Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant on St. Patrick's Day. You know how hard it is to get in there on St. Pat's, let alone get a table. Wrap things up the night of February 17 beginning at 9 p.m. with $3 Guinness Black Lagers and Picklebacks, the Great Guinness Toast at 11 p.m. and the St. Pat's raffle (your presence is a must to win). More on Facebook.


Fleming's Newest Icon Wine Is "Holy Grail" Of Napa Valley Finds


Maeve Pesquera, national wine director for Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, is perpetually on the prowl for what she deems her "Icon Wine 'Holy Grail.'" On a recent trip to Napa, she uncovered Fleming's newest Icon Wine, the Swanson Family Alexis Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, powerful and resplendent with tastes of cassis, dark cherries and tobacco leaf. Swanson Vineyards operates under the helm of elite winemaker Chris Phelps. Come savor his handiwork at Fleming's Perimeter location and enjoy a bottle of this complex Cabernet at a special price of $95 per bottle, excluding tax and gratuity. Offer extends through March 31 or until supplies run dry. 



MLA On The Town



Nibbling and noshing our way around the ATL is a family affair at MLA. In January, MLA'er McCall and hubbie Shawn did some field work at RA Sushi's Sake & Sushi Social. We're proud that they managed to snap a photo before diving in to eat. RA Sushi is hosting this month's social at 7 p.m. tonight, February 7. Call and grab a place for yourself:  404-267-0114.

Eat It And Tweep: Dana Nahai Fills 
One Haute Plate




Real food, prepared simply, enjoyed daily. That's a prescription for the good life and tweets by blogger/writer/cook and eater Dana Nahai (@onehauteplate). She must burn some calories outside the kitchen, too, because she looks pretty fit. Cravings for more can be satiated on her One Haute Plate website.


Sample TweetSitting on Ponce behind @tamalequeenATL. And now I'm ready for lunch.