Friday, December 14, 2012

Atlanta’s Awesome Eat and Drink Spots: Part One

The Optimist (Andrew Thomas Lee)

Close out 2012 with a bang...and fork!
Part One

What's up!!!

I love to talk about the finest ales and lagers out there to blissfully sip, but beer’s best friend, food, is always on my mind as well. Well thanks to a lot of friends in the restaurant business, I was able to compile a list Atlanta places who our doing special things to celebrate the Holidays and usher in the New Year. So, direct from places like South City Kitchen Midtown to arguably the best new restaurant in the nation, Optimist, here is Part One listing killer deals on where to indulge in food and drink leading into 2013!

·         On Monday, December 31, The Optimist (see photo above) will ring in 2013 with a four-course prix fixe menu. West Midtown’s new favorite restaurant is offering menu items such as shrimp pop tarts, baked Virginia oysters with spinach, bacon, preserved lemon and parmesan cheese, grouper with white wine steamed clams, lump crab meat, leeks, baby bok choy and lemon, and banana custard pocket pie with pralines and cream ice cream and salted pecans. For reservations or more information, call   

·         Roswell dwellers can gather at Aqua blue for a Christmas Eve dinner. From 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday, December 24, a special three-course menu will be offered at $29 per person in addition to the full a la carte menu. Diners can sample items from the Christmas Eve menu including the Aqua blue daily soup, 12 oz. rib-eye with horseradish sauce and house-made warm chocolate cake. For reservations, call 

Ray’s on the River 
·         Ray’s Restaurants offer’s diners a warm place to gather this holiday season. Ray’s on the Creek in Alpharetta is open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday, December 24 for Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. On Monday, December 31, the restaurant is open from 5 to 11 p.m. for New Year’s Eve and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m. On Tuesday, January 1, New Year’s Day, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 770-649-0064.On Monday, December 24, Ray’s on the River is open from 5 to 9 p.m. for Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. On Monday, December 31, the restaurant is open from 5 to 11 p.m. for New Year’s Eve and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m. On Tuesday, January 1, New Year’s Day, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 770-955-1187. Ray’s in the City is celebrating New Year’s Eve  from 4 to 11 p.m. and on New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 404-524-9224.

·         Atkins Park in Virginia-Highland and Atkins Park in Smyrna are keeping kitchens open on Christmas Day. Beginning at 6 p.m. at the Virginia-Highland location and 5 p.m. at Smyrna, a special dinner priced at $20 for adults, $15 for young adults and $8 for children under 10 years old will be offered. Atkins Park Smyrna starts the meal off with pimento cheese, deviled eggs and pickled beets. Main courses include deep fried Creole turkey breast and Dr. Pepper spiral glazed ham along with squash casserole with cracker topping, herbed bread stuffing, sweet potato soufflé with streusel topping, southern-style green beans, cranberry orange relish and pull apart rolls. Dessert tops off the meal with a pumpkin and mascarpone cheese roll. For reservations at Virginia-Highland, call 404-876-7249. For reservations at Smyrna, call 770-435-1887.

·         Atlantans can make their lives easier during the busy holiday season with Bantam + Biddy’s family meals. For $42, 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, jalapeño cheddar bread (gluten-free bread upon request), choice of dressing, three family-sized sides and a half-gallon of fresh brewed tea. Guests can phone in their order and pick it up curb-side from the restaurant. Family meals are for take-out only and 30 minutes advance notice is required. Bantam + Biddy is located at 1544 Piedmont Road, Suite 301;

RA Sushi (Frank Lazaro)

·         RA Sushi Bar Restaurant celebrates a RAckin’ New Year’s Eve with a party on Monday, December 31 from 7 p.m. to close. Food and drink specials will be offered all night. Food options to suit the evening include Firework shrimp, “RA”solution roll, Stroke of Midnight maki and Edamame Eve dip. Drinks include half price sake and specialty cocktails. Please note that RA Sushi is open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day. For more information, call 404-267-0114.

·         Atlantans who want to host Christmas dinner at their home without the hassle of cooking it all can place orders with Buckhead Barbecue Company (BBC).  Offering  selections for any size party, the restaurant is cooking  classic, take-home  entrees such as hickory honey and cracked pepper smoked turkey, apple-brandy and brown sugar smoked ham and all-natural, Black Angus brisket.  Sides feed between 12 to 15 people and include squash casserole, cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé and macaroni and cheese. Pies and cobblers finish the holiday meal, like the Buckhead cobbler (peach, apple, blueberry, blackberry and chocolate) or a traditional pumpkin pie, also all feeding 12-15 people. BBC is currently taking orders for the holiday meal until 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 22. Customers can stop in or call404-792-9388 to place orders.

·         Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is ringing in the New Year with a weekend-long celebration. From Friday, December 28 to Tuesday, January 1 starting at 4 p.m., guests can indulge in festive holiday cocktails or featured bubbly and then dine from the New Year’s menu or famous a la carte menu. The special New Year’s menu starts with poached gulf shrimp over Southern-style goat cheese grits, included with entrée price. Entrées include Delmonico steak with blue crab and Gruyére glassage for $74.95, filet mignon and lobster brioche bread pudding for $69.95 and lobster tail with mac and cheese for $79. Chocolate budino finishes the meal for $9.95. Tax and gratuity is not included in menu prices. For reservations, call          

South City Kitchen-Midtown 
·         On Monday, December 24, South City Kitchen Midtown is open for a Christmas Eve feast. For $42 for adults and $21 for children under 12, a three-course prix fixe menu is offered. Each guest can choose one appetizer, entrée and dessert. Some menu options include fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and sweet pepper coulis, smoke-roasted filet of beef with celery root potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and truffle jus, and Southern chocolate pecan pie. For more information or to make reservations, call 404-873-7358.

·         Christmas Eve marks the two year anniversary of Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub. To celebrate the holiday and the occasion, the restaurant is offering a special three-course menu for $20.12 in addition to the regular menu. Reservations are optional and the restaurant will be closed on Christmas Day. Come Monday, December 31, Kaleidoscope is hosting its second annual New Year’s Eve party. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. with an optional three-course meal for $20.12. Food and drink specials are available all evening and DJ B-Dub starts spinning tunes at 10 p.m. Champagne is available for a midnight toast and the bar is open until 2 a.m. There is no cover charge for the New Year’s Eve party. For reservations or more information, call

·         Little Cake Bakery in Buckhead has perfected holiday cupcakes by baking up traditional favorite flavors this season. Eggnog, peppermint, German chocolate and Black Forest cherry flavors are available for order and pick up before Santa arrives. For more information or to place orders, call 

·         Atlantans can visit their neighborhood Marlow’s Tavern this New Year’s Eve for a chef-driven, prix fixe menu. On Monday, December 31, diners can enjoy starters including Maine lobster and shrimp chowder or the winter tavern salad. The main plate is a grilled veal chop with Canadian milk-fed veal, harvest vegetable and lump crab hash, dried cranberry, beurre blanc, asparagus and cranberry veal demi. The meal is sweetened up with chocolate crème brûlée for dessert.  The meal is $37 per person and is available throughout the evening. Visit the Marlow’s Tavern website for more information and

No. 246 (Helena Peixoto)
·         For those looking for a spot in Decatur to celebrate New Year’s Eve, No. 246 is serving a special four-course menu for $55 per person. Some menu items include local cauliflower panna cotta with frothy sea urchin sweet butter, Osetra caviar soft herbs and brioche; Nantucket Bay scallop carpaccio with Meyer lemon, local crispy parsnips with Tennessee black truffles, butter poached Maine lobster with young fennel, blood orange, tarragon, olives and arugula, and brie and white chocolate cheesecake with roasted pears and walnut nougatine. No. 246 is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For reservations, call

·         This holiday, Atlantans can have their Christmas holiday catered by Market Street Café or Bistro 191. From casual breakfast and lunch gatherings to fine dining affairs, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management can handle any party. As a bonus, guests booking a catered event for 10 or more people will receive a complimentary $10 café gift card. Pre-orders can also be placed for take-home treats, such as holiday breads and pies for any special gathering. For more information on locations and hours, please visit

·         Woodfire Grill is offering five-course vegetarian and pescatarian menus in addition to a regular five-course menu on New Year’s Eve. The regular and pescatarian menus are priced at $115 per person, and the vegetarian menu is priced at $100. Wine pairings are also available for $12 for a full glass and $20 a glass for premium wines. Reservations are required and can be made by calling

Look for Part II coming soon!

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