The Dish
In This Issue
Jingle All the Way to Atkins Park's Santa Ride
Bantam + Biddy Celebrates 12 Days of Christmas
Seven Lamps Anniversary Dinner
Gunshow Offers Kitchen Counter
RA Sushi December Cocktail
10th & Piedmont Friday Specials
Ice Skating Fun
Atlanta Restaurants Offer Holiday Meal Solutions
#foodgram: @beerstreetjournal
Appetizing Aperture: Aqua blue's Shrimp & Grits
What's New on Pinterest? Eggnog Delights
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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Jingle Bike All the Way to Atkins Park Santa Ride Benefitting Leukemia & Lymphoma Society December 11




Shifting gears into festive mode and braking for holiday cheer along the eight-mile route trumps bicycling at "Blitzen" speeds during the eighth annual Santa Ride on Wednesday, December 11 from 5:30-8 p.m. A favorite event of Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar founder Warren Bruno, the ride raises funds for the 2014 Race Across America Georgia Chain Gang and ultimately benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The ride sets out from the Virginia-Highland tavern at 5:30 p.m., and you can bet organizers will check their lists twice to be sure participants have the mandatory helmets and front and back lights for safe travels (Rudolph noses don't count). Donning Santa hats, elf wear, holiday lights and jingling bells is encouraged and might lead to winning a prize in the costume contest! Entry fee is a $25 suggested donation to the charity. For more information about the Georgia Chain Gang, please visit their Facebook page. Atlanta's oldest continuously licensed tavern invites riders to stay on for dinner or drinks with a couple of caveats -- Santa is not picking up the tab nor providing a sleigh ride home.

Lords are Leaping and Maids are Dancing about Bantam + Biddy "12 Days of Christmas" 

Daily Specials


 Photo by Angie Mosier


Well known year round for its regionally raised chicken specialties and neighborly generosity, Bantam + Biddy is adding a partridge in a pear tree spin during a "12 Days of Christmas" give-back of daily dining specials. The family friendly eatery in Ansley Mall rings in a different offer each day between Friday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 24. Check out the specials on their Facebook page and be sure to mark your calendars for all of the fun! 

Seven Lamps Packs in Guest Chefs and Mixologists for a 10-Course First Anniversary Dinner with Cocktail Pairings on December 15



Party in the kitchen -- and dining room -- at Seven Lamps in the Shops Around Lenox on Sunday, December 15 beginning at 7 p.m. The Buckhead restaurant is inviting some of Atlanta's top chefs and mixologists to rub elbows in the kitchen and prepare a 10-course celebratory dinner with cocktail pairings for dining room guests. Seven Lamps chefs Drew Van Leuvan and Kelly Lovett and mixologist Kevin Bragg will be joined by E. J. Hodgkinson (JCT. Kitchen & Bar), Joe Schafer and Paige Lane (King + Duke) and others. See complete guest chef/mixologist list here. Reservations are required; limited seating. Purchase tickets online for $192 per person including tax and gratuity.

Gunshow's New Kitchen Counter is 

Right on Target for Walk-ins



Be spontaneous and cast reservations to the wind. Gunshow insists. Kevin Gillespie's Glenwood Park restaurant has installed a "Kitchen Counter" bar-like seating area where up to 10 people can sit down to eat right across from the chefs' work table. Singles and couples, these seats are made for you as they're open only to walk-ins and cannot be reserved. In fact, the idea for the counter came from neighbors and passers-by desiring to pop in on a whim and not be tied to a reservation time. Gillespie and staff understand. When the urge for a fabulously creative meal experience strikes, you have to jump on it!

RA Sushi December Cocktail -- 

Anything More Tropical Would Require SPF 45



While you may be humming about walking in a winter wonderland, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is certain some of you are seeing visions of white sand and singing Bing Crosby's "Mele Kalikimaka." Pull out the Ray-Bans because Baby Umami Punch is surfing in on the Midtown restaurant's December specials cocktail list, in the nick of time we might add. Southern Comfort, Amaretto Disaronno, cold sake, liqueurs and tropical juices fill each glass with a relaxing dose of liquid sunshine and swaying palms. Getaway seekers can snap these up for $6 each instead of the usual $8 through December 31.

10th & Piedmont Rings in Friday Nights with Half-priced Hors D'oeuvre and 

Champagne Cocktails



Why wait for New Years to pop open the bubbly and bring out the hors d'oeuvre? In Midtown, 10th & Piedmont Bubbles & Bites does it every Friday night from 5-7:15 p.m. Ring in the weekend with $10 Clayton's champagne cocktails such as Habitual Hibiscus, Orange Barbotage with Grand Marnier, a 10P Bellini blended with homemade peach nectar, French 75 with Hendrick's gin and Cointreau, or a sparkling caipirinha. Half-priced hors d'oeuvre include 10P sliders, Southern pot stickers, lamb meatballs, goat cheese crispies, shrimp and scallop nachos and so-co cured salmon roulade.

Downtown Eateries Put the Icing on 

Ice Skating Fun at Centennial Olympic Park



Atlantans love "rinking" in the holidays on ice at Centennial Olympic Park's Ice Rink located in downtown's Luckie Marietta District. All of that afternoon and evening gliding and figure-eighting burns some fuel in the way of carbs and proteins and can generate an appetite. Good tidings of joy, because some of the city's best restaurants are nearby and ready to be pre- and post-skating destinations. For hearty German fare and beers, slide into Der Biergarten. Just getting warmed up? Keep the momentum going with games, beverages and American fast-casual fare at Game-X. Hot pizzas warm cold hands and fill hungry tummies at Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria while sporty STATS satisfies with classic American favorites and thirst-quenching brews. Date night deserves a visit to the Glenn Hotel where Glenn's Kitchen exudes sophisticated ambiance and drinks flow at SkyLounge, its rooftop hangout. Add south of the border Latin and Mexican flavors to your polar experience with a visit to Alma Cocina for roasted chicken mole Oaxaca, pork pibil tamale, beef brisket enchiladas and many other savory dishes, including bowls of hot tortilla soup. Or, go coastal at Ray's in the City where a wide variety of seafood selections dock alongside a classic cheddar cheeseburger, hand-cut steaks and other landlubber temptations. Can't fit them all in? More good news. These restaurants will welcome you even after the ice rink closes for the season on January 20.


Atlanta Restaurants Give Gift of Time through Holiday and Christmas Meal Solutions



Total immersion in holiday activities can push meal planning and shopping to the bottom of Santa's to-do list. Parties, cookie exchanging, Santa visits, ice skating, holiday light viewing, concerts, church services and shopping for the perfect gift all vie for time. By providing meal and carry-out ideas, Atlanta restaurants can provide a much-appreciated gift, freeing you up to savor the seasonal fun stuff with family and friends.  


Enjoy Christmas Eve dinner at Aqua blue in Roswell. From 4-9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24, a special three-course menu is offered for $29 per person in addition to the full à la carte menu. Look for the Aqua blue daily soup, a 12-ounce rib-eye with horseradish sauce and house-made warm chocolate cake. Reservations: 770-643-8886.  


On Christmas Day in Virginia-Highland, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar will light something big and green that doesn't shed needles. Turkey breast smoked on the Big Green Egg and served with caramelized apple and sage stuffing and cider gravy stars on their prix fixe Christmas dinner menu. Bourbon-glazed ham with roasted root vegetables joins the party as a second main while green bean casserole with crispy onions and roasted mushrooms, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry Grand Marnier compote and sweet potato biscuits are new twists on classic sides. Peppermint cheesecake and Southern pecan pie close the festive meal. $28 for adults, $18 for young adults and $10 for the under-10 set (tax and gratuity not included). Doors open at 6 p.m., and reservations are recommended: 404-876-7249.


Bantam + Biddy's family meals provide the gift of time during this jam-packed season. For $45, three to five family members or friends can take home a whole rotisserie chicken, meatloaf or herb-roasted pork loin, served with a family sized organic green salad, choice of dressing, cornbread (gluten-free bread upon request), three family sized sides and a half gallon of fresh-brewed tea. Family meals are take-out only and require 30 minutes advance notice. Phone orders at 404-907-3469 and pick up curbside. 


Take a breather at a Communitas Hospitality restaurant on Christmas Eve. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, 10th & Piedmont and G's are all open and serving their regular menus on Tuesday, December 24. New American gastropub G's is open with its regular hours and serving from the bar menu on Christmas Day. Convenient to know if you want to head out for some Christmas cheer, or Christmas dinner doesn't quite turn out as you hope. 


Outsource holiday dessert crafting to Sweet Dee's Bakeshop. Place custom orders by Friday, December 20. Open for limited hours on Tuesday, December 24 for custom-order pick-ups only. Sweet questions? Call 770-696-4461. 


A Christmas Eve feast awaits at South City Kitchen Midtown. From 5-9 p.m., enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu priced at $45 for adults and $22.50 for children 12 and under. Choose one appetizer, entrée and dessert with options such as old Charleston she-crab soup with fresh cream and sherry; roasted turkey breast with giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, collard greens, whipped potatoes and orange-cranberry sauce; pan-seared salmon with mushroom farrotto, arugula salad with port wine vinaigrette; and Southern chocolate pecan pie. Reservations: 404-873-7358. 


RA Sushi Bar Restaurant will be RA-rockin' around the Christmas tree with Christmas Eve hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Christmas Day from 4-11 p.m. (bar open until midnight or later). Holiday cheer drink specials all day on Christmas.


On Atlanta's north side, Ray's on the River and Ray's on the Creek will both be open on Christmas Eve from 5-9 p.m. Celebrate this special night with mouthwatering succulent seafood, hand-cut steaks, signature specialties and carefully selected wines all served by attentive staff.
This foodgram puts it right out there "...because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad." If that's the case,
@beerstreetjournal clickers will find plenty of ways and means to start those creative juices flowing.

Appetizing Aperture



Ho, ho holiday shopping rates more than a ho-hum food court lunch. Before hitting the malls, galleries and boutiques (or after a morning of hardcore retail action), settle down and regroup at Aqua blue, just east of 400 at Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. Sautéed shrimp and Nora Mills stone-ground grits ($9) accompanied by something spirited in a glass...pure comfort and joy.

What's New on Pinterest?
Eggnog Delights 
spike our interest this holiday season and we're pinning gallons of recipes on our Pinterest board. Stellar with bourbon in punchbowls and toddies, its creamy riches carry over nicely into breakfast and brunch goodies, sweets and desserts. That's using the old egg noggin!