The Dish
In This Issue
The Optimist Sails onto Condé Nast Traveler's List of the World's Best New Restaurants
Ray's on the Creek Lobster Dinner
Big Green Egg Event at The Cook's Warehouse
BBQ & Blues are Smokin' at Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails
Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival
BurgerFi Opening in Kennesaw
Chick-a-Biddy Opens July 3
Celebrate July 4th in the ATL
Eat It & Tweep: @Miltons_Cuisine
Appetizing Aperture: Fire & Flavor Grilling Products
What's New on Pinterest? All-American Appetizers
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. 
Follow us online to keep 
up-to-date on new and ongoing restaurant events around Atlanta!
Like us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Find us on Google+ 

View our photos on flickr

Visit our blog

The Optimist Sails onto Condé Nast Traveler's List of the World's Best New Restaurants
Andrew Thomas Lee Photography

That's quite a catch! Chef Ford Fry's award-winning restaurant, The Optimist, has reeled in yet another accolade. This time it has landed onto Condé Nast Traveler's list of Hot Tables of 2013: The 70 Best New Restaurants in the World representing the American South region. Conde Nast's editors turned to their most-trusted food critics, bloggers and writers for recommendations of their favorite new restaurants in foodie destinations worldwide. In his nomination, John Kessler, The Atlanta Journal Constitution's dining columnist, described The Optimist as a "nouveau seafood restaurant" with "sustainable fish smartly and simply prepared."  

$19.95 Lobster Dinner Makes Waves at 

Ray's on the Creek




You won't have to dive deep into your pocket to haul in a classic lobster dinner at Ray's on the Creek in Alpharetta. This summer promotion lands lobster, red potatoes and green beans with a well of drawn butter on the side for $19.95. Wipe your chin and fingers. Ray's has plenty of napkins to go around. Make reservations online or by calling 770-649-0064.

Chef and the Fatman Record Radio Show during Big Green Egg Event at The Cook's Warehouse in East Cobb on June 29 

It's a grill, it's a smoker, it's an oven. And it's local (based in Tucker, Ga.). The versatile Big Green Egg struts its stuff during a daylong BGE salute at The Cook's Warehouse in East Cobb on Saturday, June 29 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Grilling demonstrations will enlighten both BGE masters and wannabes throughout the day. In the hot seat, Chef and the Fatman will record their James Beard-nominated radio show with a special appearance by Jessie Lysiak from noon-2 p.m. Lysiak, from nearby Social Circle, Ga., is on the current season of "MasterChef." Whole Foods Market is providing beef from Brasstown Beef and Thompson Farms pork to cook and gift cards for giveaway prizes. Springer Mountain Farms will bring its steroid-, hormone- and antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed chicken and hand out money-saving grocery coupons. Giveaways and special pricing on Big Green Egg items are egg-cellent incentives, so come find out why the Big Green Egg has captivated so many fans and followers for more than 30 years.

BBQ & Blues are Smokin' at Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails on June 30




A Sunday night dose of BBQ & Blues sets your mind straight for the week ahead, especially when the setting is Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails nestled at historic Crabapple's crossroads. From 5-9 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, the 150-year old farm-turned-restaurant is the place to pig out on barbeque and live music. Hard to believe you're still in North Fulton when you're tapping toes to the Full House Band while devouring some of Chef Derek Dollar's signature barbeque specialties. Menu highlights include ribs, pulled pork and smoked hens and possible side items of pimiento cheese mac and coleslaw. No cover charge; just cost for food and drinks.

The Price of Being Attacked by Killer Tomatoes Goes Up July 1




Be forewarned, dangerously delicious tomato dishes and drinks will invade JCT. Kitchen & Bar and its Westside Provisions District surroundings on Sunday, July 21 from 1-5 p.m. The fifth annual JCT. Kitchen Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival unites a strong force of more than 40 of the South's top chefs, 15 skilled mixologists and more than 30 farmers, all armed with as much ripe tomato ammunition as they need to create knockout concoctions and raise money for Georgia Organics. They're backed by The Spazmatics, local chef band Five Bone Rack and a bountiful supply of foodie celebrities and writers who'll judge culinary and cocktail creations. So, how can you help the cause? Buy your tickets now online for $55 per person and $50 for Georgia Organics members because starting Monday, July 1, all ticket prices shoot up to $70 per person. There are only 1,400 tickets available, which sounds like a lot, but like sun-kissed tomatoes in a garden, tickets to the summer's juiciest food party will be snapped up. Besides, buy now and you have more green to buy your own tomatoes for the home front.

BurgerFication of the Nation Extends to Kennesaw When BurgerFi Opens July 2




BurgerFication of the Nation is spreading across metro Atlanta with the opening of BurgerFi at 2844 South Main Street on Tuesday, July 2. Kennesaw State students, Kennesaw Mountain hikers and Kennesaw shoppers and residents can power up on BurgerFi's menu of all-natural, farm-raised Angus beef burgers, specialty Wagyu Kobe beef hot dogs and fresh-cut french fries all cooked to order. Craft beer, wine, cane sodas, frozen custards and desserts round out the meal. Besides honing in on fresh ingredients and interesting toppings (fried eggs on your bun, hun?), BurgerFi patties up burgers from humanely raised, sustainably farmed and antibiotic- and hormone-free beef. Veg-heads, BurgerFi prepares vegetarian quinoa burgers daily just for you. Guests can even banish the bun and go for a green wrap of lettuce instead. Breakfast food for dinner? The B.A.D. (breakfast all day) burger fulfills. Look around and notice the furniture made from recyclables and the energy efficient fans. Stop by for lunch or dinner seven days a week.


Drum(stick) Roll Please -- Chick-a-Biddy Opens July 3 in Atlantic Station




What fun for Atlantic Station shoppers, moviegoers and those looking for farm-fresh chicken served up in an energetic modern diner! Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere, co-owners of Bantam + Biddy in Ansley Mall, will open Chick-a-Biddy on Wednesday, July 3 in the space that formerly housed The Grape. What a transformation of space -- and a healthy menu full of chicken dishes, simple sides and cocktails to cackle about. And this just scratches the surface. Read more on our Atlanta Dish blog. 


The ATL is the Place to Be on July 4th


For an unforgettable July 4th, stay right here in Atlanta. Atlanta restaurants are celebrating Independence Day in a big way!

A band and brew jumpstart July 4th activities on the night of Wednesday, July 3 at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland. Favorite house band Homefront cranks it up at 10 p.m., and specials on local Monday Night Brewing beers slake thirsts. On July 4th, Atkins Park hosts its Sixth Annual Go Whole Hog or Go Home Fourth of July party where, for $15, guests can chow down on a meat and three sides for lunch or dinner. Backyard Beer Olympics start up at 3 p.m. Teams of two compete in Ping-Pong, ladder toss, cornhole and darts. It's free to compete, and more than $500 in prizes will be awarded to the "athletes." Reservations: 404-876-7249.


Chicken lovers can enjoy Bantam + Biddy this Fourth of July. The $42 family pack is perfect for parties, and serves 3 to 5 hungry folks. The take-out-only meal offers the choice of a whole rotisserie chicken, meatloaf or herb-roasted pork loin served with a family-sized organic green salad with choice of dressing, jalapeno cheddar bread (gluten-free bread upon request +$3), three family-sized sides and a half-gallon of fresh brewed tea. Please allow 30 minutes to prepare. No substitutions. To order call: 404-907-3469.  


For those firing up the grill this holiday, the Fire & Flavor line of John Wayne rubs and charcoals are the perfect addition to any meat or seafood. The all-natural, gluten-free rubs create authentic flavor using only the highest quality ingredients and spices. Preparing the meats over John Wayne briquette charcoal made from all-natural oak and hickory wood creates ideal flavor. For more information or to make a purchase, call 1-866-728-8332.


The Peachtree Road Race isn't the only game in town on July 4th -- downtown's Game-X has all the flash of Pac Man Smash, NBA Hoops and other gaming excitement. Drinks for both the under- and over-21 set and finger foods such as dead heat hummus and wings of fortune are available all day. After dark, watch fireworks from the new SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel in downtown's Luckie Marietta District. Information: 404-525-0728.


Gunshow is offering barbecue-to-go packages for four, filled with Southern classics. Dishes include a quart of whole hog pulled pork and a quart of Brunswick stew, a pint of coleslaw, eight buns, dill pickles, saltine crackers and cookies. The cost is $50 plus tax, and diners can reserve by Saturday, June 29 to guarantee pickup between noon and 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. A few extra packages also will be available at the restaurant, but reservations are highly recommended to ensure a barbecue feast on the Fourth. For information and reservations, visit online or call 404-380-1886.

Marlow's Tavern is offering guests more than just a day of celebration this season. From Tuesday, June 18 through Monday, July 29, a selection of patriotic plates, hand-crafted cocktails and local brews are available to diners. During these six weeks, the "Red, White and Brew" menu celebrates summer in the good ol' U.S.A. with star-spangled dishes and beverages, like the beach house bruschetta and the summertime watermelon margarita. The restaurant also is hosting the Fourth Annual Marlow's Tavern Grilling Recipe Contest during this time, where grill-masters can submit their best recipe for a chance to win a Big Green Egg and other great prizes. For more information and to enter the contest, visit


An easy-going fourth is in store for guests at No. 246 in downtown Decatur. Ping-Pong in the backyard, drink specials, and lunch menu pizzas, salads and sandwiches from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. set the tone. Reservations: 678-399-8246.

Rise and shine, Midtown hot-spot Olmsted is pouring bottomless mimosas and bloody marys for $14 to celebrate America and the Peachtree Road Race. Order off the a la carté menu beginning at 7 a.m. Reservations: 404-443-8431.

Glenn Hotel guests can view the fireworks at Centennial Olympic Park from the hotel's rooftop when they purchase the hotel's special Red, White & Boom package for $169. The package includes a deluxe room for the night and two access passes to the rooftop. SkyLounge delivers that fireworks view with sparkling drinks and tasty appetizers. Information: 404-531-2250

Ventanas and Q100 team up for a night full of music, food and drinks. The $26 ticket includes delicious hors d'oeuvre and a complementary well drink. A/C keeps the dance floor guests cool (even with a hot DJ). Look outside -- the fireworks are at eye level! Purchase a Ventanas ticket and receive a $10 play card to use at Game-X before the event from 5-7 p.m. Information and tickets are available online or by calling 404-766-3867.

A Southern-inspired Fourth of July menu wouldn't be complete without fresh, organic peaches from Watsonia Farms. Watsonia Farms products are available at local farmers markets and add sweet, juicy flavor to sides and desserts for holiday parties. For information on Watsonia Farms, visit


Grill-masters can stock up on meats from White Oak Pastures for Fourth of July cookouts.  Ordering meats from White Oak Pastures ensures the highest quality meat and flavor. Free-range beef, poultry, lamb and pork are available for shipping to complete the holiday. For information and details on ordering, visit


Woodfire Grill can't wait -- their "BBQ & Beer" party comes on Wednesday, July 3 from 5:30-11 p.m. For $38, guests dive into a barbecue feast framed by skillet cornbread, southern sides and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Buy SweetWater 420 draft for $6 each; proceeds benefit the "Save the Hooch" campaign. Reservations: 404-347-9055.

Eat It and Tweep: Historic Farm Turned Restaurant Tweets in Crabapple 


150-years-old and still tweeting. Set on an 1800s farm and raising its own produce, Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails values the past but tweets (@Miltons_Cuisine) news for today's crowd.


Sample Tweet: 20 Ways To Spend Your Summer! The Atlantan says at our Fork & Screen OTP! 
Appetizing Aperture

Fireworks have met their match for lighting up a summer night. Fire & Flavor is headquarters for your stash of John Wayne Stock & Supply spice rubs offered through a collaboration of Fire & Flavor and John Wayne Enterprises. Think about what you're throwing on the grill and choose accordingly for heat, smokiness or exotic nuances with spice rubs for  beef (espresso, cocoa and chilies); pork (paprika, garlic and guajillo chili); chicken (cumin, curry and chilies); or Bar-B-Q (ancho chile, garlic and oregano). Rubs retail for $5.99-$6.99 per 2.3-oz. jar and are available online and at select retailers. 

What's New on Pinterest? 




Sometimes only All-American Appetizers will do when you're partying it up in honor of the good old U.S.A. If our nation's founding fathers had noshed on these delights after signing the Declaration of Independence, they would be smiling more in those paintings.