The Dish
In This Issue
Ring in the New Year at Atlanta Restaurants
Nourish and Flourish in the New Year
Dining To-do List for 2015
Appetizing Aperture
What's New on Pinterest
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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What are Your Game Plans

to Ring in the New Year? 

Did you drop the ball on locking in New Year's Eve plans? The clock is ticking, but there's still time to ring up restaurants and make reservations to ring in the new year. Get hoppin', John, on those New Year's Day brunch plans. Atlanta restaurants ease guests into the new year with brunch hours that allow for some sleeping in after a night out and that include all of those traditionally Southern good luck foods. Our quick picks are below, more details on our blog post.

Both 10th & Piedmont and G's Midtown celebrate New Year's Eve from 5-11 p.m., offering their regular selections or a special menu that includes a glass of Champagne for $45 per person. 10th & Piedmont throws a New Year's Eve Bash from 10 p.m. on with DJ Club Soda, party favors and a Champagne toast; no cover. Brunch at either Midtown restaurant on New Year's Day is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


Aria rings in a chic new year with a four-course New Year's Eve dinner priced at $95 per person. The second, third and fourth courses give diners meal options.


Leap from 2014 to 2015 at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland and enjoy shredded confit duck leg ($12), pan-roasted halibut ($24) and smoked prime rib ($26) on New Year's Eve. Sleepyheads note, the $12 New Year's Day brunch starts at 11 a.m. with roasted pork loin with hoppin' John, braised local greens, cornbread and more.


Visit any of the four Bantam + Biddy locations for an updated Southern New Year's Day tradition, available all day. On January 1, $20 per person buys honey-glazed ham, stewed black-eyed peas, braised collard greens, jalapeño cornbread and sweet potato pie or carrot cake. Mimosas and bloody marys are $4 each all day.


Chick-a-Biddy flies into 2015 with brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on January 1. Doesn't get more satisfying than specialties like these: fried chicken and waffles with honey butter and maple syrup, almond pancakes with ginger apples and maple syrup, and The Southern, including three Jb Farm eggs, grits and black pepper bacon, pimento cheese and toast.


Gunshow loads Kevin Gillespie's seven-course tasting menu on New Year's Eve. The price is $125 per person with seven beverage pairings available for an additional $65.


Gypsy Kitchen celebrates its first New Year's Eve with a $75-per-person menu featuring NYE Spanish toast, chicken croquetas and a shrimp duo of garlic shrimp and crispy kataifi-wrapped shrimp and entrée choices of Rioja-braised short ribs, Catalan-style seafood stew or veggie paella fried rice.


HOBNOB is open for dinner New Year's Eve and is offering a special menu as well as its regular fare. At 10:30 p.m., a late-night party preps for 2015 with all-you-can-eat pizza, beer and Champagne, a balloon drop, party favors and a Champagne toast. James Patrick Morgan plays tunes until 12:30 a.m.; party on until 2:30 a.m. Tickets are $25 in advance here; $35 tickets at the door. Afterward, go home for a nap then return for New Year's Day brunch.


Start the new year at a high point -- Nikolai's Roof atop the Hilton Atlanta. A delectable menu, $110 per person, features roasted diver scallop, rye-crusted halibut and seared beef tenderloin, with the option to buy a four- or five-glass wine pairing (add $55 or $67 per person).


New Year's Eve at The Pig & The Pearl cues up a special four-course menu for $50 per person in addition to the regular menu. Four-course menu indulges with oysters, smoked prawn and octopus, coffee-rubbed lamb ribs and flourless tuxedo chocolate cake with bubbly for dessert. 


All Ray's Restaurants locations will be open to ring in the new year. Feast on a New Year's Eve prix fixe dinner between 5-11 p.m.; bars stay open until 1 a.m. Party in the Grand Pavilion at Ray's on the River from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. The Riverside New Year's Eve Celebration is $135 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and includes an open bar, hors d'oeuvre, live music and dancing, a balloon drop and Champagne toast at midnight.


The Shed at Glenwood celebrates New Year's Eve with a four-course prix fixe meal with bubbly and a midnight toast. Menu items include tuna tartare, pumpkin ravioli, hot smoked salmon, saffron risotto and vanilla crème brûlée.


On New Year's Eve, The Southern Gentleman offers a $75 five-course menu of favorites such as pimento cheese gougères, she-crab bisque and filet mignon.


At Trader Vic's, Bogey and the Viceroy Quartet sings in the new year from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Start the evening with the Trader's special New Year's Eve menu, $60 per person, featuring Thai pepper shrimp, Trader's crumbled goat cheese salad and smoked Maple Leaf duck breast or Asian stir fry beef. Finish with coconut and cardamom pudding.

Resolve to Nourish and Flourish in the New Year


New year, new outlook. Build on last year's progress or choose to start down a healthier path in 2015 by being a go-getter. Go outdoors. Get some exercise. Go investigate new foods and recipes. Get together with friends and eat out. You read correctly. Eat out. Atlanta restaurants flex their muscles in your favor, offering lighter dishes, options for special diets and nutrient-packed creations to help you achieve your goals. DIY-ers, Whole Foods Market has ingredients for cooking up a wholesome lifestyle and prepared foods to nourish your fast-paced life.


The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill menu eases diners into a healthier new year with signature low-cal bowls such as the Mediterranean quinoa bowl studded with lettuce, cukes, feta, Kalamata olives and tomatoes, and a spunky Meyer lemon vinaigrette or the Asian quinoa couscous bowl, crunchy with macadamia nuts and toasted sesame seeds, fresh herbs and veggies (both $5.95). Crisp salads ($6.95-$14.95) include TBK Smoky Caesar with low-cal smoked tomato Caesar dressing and four gluten-free selections -- Green Goddess, Tropical, Greek and Citrus Seafood Cobb. Grilled ocean-fresh fish pack mega protein in a lean package ($14.95-$23.95). The Big Ketch designates gluten-free options to assist diners monitoring intake. 


Nutrient-dense mangos show up at Tin Drum AsiaCafé in Kang Yum mango salad that loads up on vitamin-rich spinach and ginger to clear your senses. Slurp up pad woon, a street noodle dish stirring up bean noodles, veggies, egg and chicken. Along with shrimp and all-natural chicken and beef, Tin Drum Asiacafé proteins up vegetarian versions of signature dishes with organic tofu. Get these dishes to go if you're on the run, and remember to hydrate with their healthy teas -- green, black, hot or iced.


At FLIP burger boutique, guests can opt in on a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap for any burger on the menu. Veg-heads will be in heaven here, opting for the vedge beet, black bean and brown rice "burger" dressed with lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, caramelized onion and sautéed mushrooms ($10) and the chickpea Fauxlafel with arugula, cucumber, pickled beets, red onion and tzatziki yogurt spread ($8.25). The raw tuna tartare burger shares the plate with Asian pear, pine nuts, compressed veggies, a mango sphere and avocado purée ($14). FLIP's four salads pack in the greens: Caesar, wedge, beet and goat cheese on arugula or the deconstructed chicken salad on arugula and romaine ($6-$10).


Power foods perch on nests of mixed greens or spinach in Bantam + Biddy salads. West Georgia's own Capra Gia goat milk feta graces the big Greek salad ($8.50). The Power House salad wears a Jb Farm egg, roasted broccoli, sunflower sprouts, organic almonds and more ($8.50). The Southern Cobb piles on your choice of roast chicken or pork, Patak bacon, tomato, avocado, a Jb Farm egg, blue cheese and pecans ($12.50). The organic spinach salad covers fruits to nuts with sunflower seeds, quinoa, apples, goat cheese and sunflower sprouts ($8.50). Grab some greens by adding a side of kale salad or organic quinoa and spinach salad to your entrée.


Whole Foods Market inserts "healthy" before any of these words: lifestyle, eating, cooking, pantry, community. Set aside an hour or two to explore a nearby location or venture to Alpharetta for a healthy field trip to their new Avalon store. Vibrantly hued organic and conventional produce, responsibly raised meats, poultry and seafood, local cheeses and fresh-baked whole grain bakery goods inspire setting and maintaining good-for-you goals. Build a salad and fill a cup of soup for a fast lunch or choose prepared foods for an easy, nourishing supper. Those with special dietary needs will find plenty of options here. Tackle post-holiday cleaning with safe and effective products for the whole home and whole body. Fido and Fifi will appreciate your perusing the Whole Paws aisle for pets. Coffees and teas, beer and wine deliver cozy comfort and health benefits -- select your favorite beverage to take home and savor while garnering healthy pointers and new recipe ideas on the Whole Foods Market blog.


Dining To-do List for 2015



Our 2015 bucket list is filled with new dining destinations. We'll keep you in the know as openings draw near. Here's what we're thinking:


Atlas at the St. Regis Atlanta

Bellina-Alimentari at Ponce City Market

The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill Roswell

The Blind Pig: Parlour Bar

FLIP burger boutique Nashville

Marlow's Tavern Woodstock

Ray's Rio Bravo Sandy Springs

Tin Drum Asiacafé Akers Mill

Tin Lizzy's Cantina Duluth and Augusta

Terminus City BBQ

Highly anticipated new spot from the partners of Umi


Appetizing Aperture


Photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee


Southern kitchens have long turned to buttermilk to tenderize and add tang to family recipes. No surprise then that The Southern Gentleman charms diners with its own buttermilk-poached GrassRoots Farms chicken breast accompanied by root cellar tomatoes and okra and brown butter rutabaga purée ($23). Grandma would be proud, once she gets over the fact that this new Buckhead Atlanta restaurant doesn't quite do things the way she did back in the day. Change is good. 




Ella Woodward's favorite C.S. Lewis quote encourages a positive new year: "There are far better things ahead than any we leave." Ella promotes health, happiness and inspiration through her Deliciously Ella Instagram album and blog. Both are therapeutic responses to Ella's diagnosis of postural tachycardia syndrome, showing that thorns give way to roses. In for the long and healthy haul, she advocates a whole food, plant-based diet in her new cookbook, recipe app and in classes she teaches.  


What's New on Pinterest



Don't be caught with your mouth full when the ball falls on New Year's Eve. New Year Nibbles promise foolproof assembly and mess-free eating for your soiree -- and they complement any toasting glass. Good to consider, thus saving yourself from midnight selfie posts displaying the spinach between your teeth and saucy red lips for all the world to see. Bowl game viewing approved, for those looking to double-dip on recipe ideas.