Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Wine Week Atlanta

This week (through Sunday, September 21), Concentrics Restaurants, which owns One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, Trois, Tap, among others is having Wine week at all their respective eateries. This is a great opportunity to try some different wines and many of the restaurants are known for their great selection of wines.

Here’s the breakdown of pricing:
At Lunch try 6 wines for $10
At Dinner try 8 wines for $18 or 14 wines for $20
14 wines? I don’t think I’d be tasting much of anything after the first 3 or 4!!

Your better option is to have a meal along with your wine tastings. A 3 course lunch is available for 25 bucks AND it includes 6 wines. This is only available at Trois, Murphy’s Lobby at Twelve and Room at Twelve.

Four course meals with 8 wines are availabe at the above listed restaurants as well as One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks and Parish. And you can feel good about eating at these restaurants as a portion will get donated to the Atlanta Food Bank.

The lunch deal is by far the better deal. You get 1 less course (can you say small salad?) and 2 less wines for about half the price. Look at Room at Twelve: the only difference in their menu offering for this event is an Arugula salad.

Click the link below for menus:
Wine Week

Living It Up on a Budget: 23 Wines That Deliver Outstanding Quality for $10 or Less


The City Grill

Great special event venue. Recently went here for a wedding reception and everything – food, service, decor – was first rate. The decor of this place has not changed in years but it still looks as classy as ever. Upon entering, we ascended the marble staircase to the entrance where we were greeted with servers with h’ourderves of bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, mini beef wellingtons, and lamb chops. There was also an offering of wine, mimosas and blood mary’s.

The service and pace were great. Walking in the door we had servers with h’ourderves and drinks. And we had time to enjoy some drinks and mingle with other wedding guests before our lunch. The organization here was right on the money. They had 4 different food stations – 2 vegetarian, a carving station, and a pasta / potato station. The wait staff organized for a couple tables at a time to be at each station that way the lines weren’t ridiculously long.

As far as a wedding reception venue, the City Grill is a top notch venue. You can have great food but poor service and execution or vice versa. But everything here went extremely smoothly. I loved that we had service as soon as we walked in and never felt rushed at any point during our afternoon.

Here’s what the NY Times said about The City Grill:
“One of the grandest restaurant settings in Atlanta is the City Grill, on several levels of a former Federal Reserve Bank downtown….The space is stately, spacious, and serene…City Grill’s interpretation of new Southern cooking is equally refined.”

50 Hurt Plz SE # 200
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 524-2489
City Grill

Other Wedding Resources:
Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide
The Wedding Day Diet
Bridal Show Planner

Eclipse Di Luna – Dunwoody

Eclipse Di Luna is a great place to go with a group. It is not a great place to go with a group and not have separate checks. The food comes out really quickly, but if you aren’t careful they will overcharge you.

My friend had a birthday which was on a Thursday and asked me where she thought we should go. I’ve been getting emails from this place about this great salsa music and drink specials they have on Thursday nights. So, I suggested we check it out.

Thank god she made reservations. With a party of 14 people like we had we would have never gotten seated. The place was really packed. I guess that is why it is so hard to find parking, well that and the fact that they reserve about half the parking lot for valet.

They supposedly have drinks specials but I guess you have to remind them because when my boyfriend ordered me a Dos Equis, they charged him the regular price not the $3 special it was supposed to be. Long Island Teas are supposed to be $5 on thursday nights too. See the promotion page.

We ordered about four tapas – Ribs in Balslamic sauce, Hanger steak, Shrimp and Scallop cerviche, and 2 different types of empanadas (duck with cilantro cream sauce and black bean with bananas and caramel sauce). The ribs and Hanger Steak (both my choices) were just average. Glen chose the cerviche which had a great spiciness to it and I was pleased they didn’t skimp on the scallops and shrimp. The black bean emapanadas although they sound a little strange were actually quite good.

If there is a next time I will try the calamari. Not only did it look really good, but the portion is a good size versus some of the other menu options. That’s one recommendation I have for them. They should have a cart that shows their various menu portions or pictures on their menu as some are very small (ie duck empanada) and some are very large (calamari).

At this point, I decided to switch from beer to mojitos. Not usually what I would go for, but they are a specialty there. There were very tasty, which I guess they should be for $7.50 a pop. Be forewarned while they are good, you will go through them fast as your glass is mostly ice and mint leaves and very little liquid.

By this time everyone had finished eating, and about half of our group settled their tab and headed out. Fast forward half and hour when I ask for our check which comes to $230. Of course, they helped themselves to a 20 percent gratuity. The entire table’s tab was $300, so I found it really hard to believe that we owed as much as it said. We all kicked in more than our fair share, I still can’t help but wonder if the 20% gratuity we paid was in addition to what our other dining companions paid.

Pros: Really cool atmosphere, good music, great tasting drinks
Cons: Parking, Expensive Drinks

What are your thoughts? Should restaurants be allowed to add on a gratuity to your bill when you may feel they really don’t deserve it?

Siam Square Thai Restaurant

We went here with a group of 6 to celebrate a birthday on a Saturday night. Located in a strip mall off of Windy Hill Road, you wouldn’t expect this place to be so nicely decorated on the inside. I love the stained concrete floors . They really add a nice touch. Candle lit tables make for a romantic evening, but it also works for groups too.

The Food: I always try to read any reviews of restaurants before I go there, so I know if there are any special dishes I should try OR avoid. Almost every one mentioned the cucumber flavored water. If there was supposed to be a cucumber flavor in the water, I didn’t taste it. We had basil rolls as an appetizer and the portion was just right for our size group. It also came with a tasty dipping sauce.

I think I was the only one in the group who enjoys really spicy food, so I ordered the ginger chicken medium spicy which was spiced just right. And I had plenty of leftovers to take home. I would like to go back to try the Green Papaya Salad, Coconut Chicken Soup, and the Siam Square Curry (they all sound pretty tasty to me).

The Service: Our server was excellent! He was always around if we needed something but not pushy. Most of the group didn’t want spicy food. He was very attentive about accomodating everyone’s special requests.

I also hear it’s a great lunch spot. So, if you work around the area definitely check it out.

1995 Windy Hill Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 333-1700

Read my review of Red Elephant Thai Restaurant

Taste of Kennesaw

Looking for something fun to do with the family this Saturday? A Taste of Kennesaw is going on right now in Downtown Kennesaw on Main Street.

Of course, as the name suggests there will be lots of food to try. There are over 35 vendors with food samples. Tastes range from $1 to $3 each. There are lots of other activities with bands, children’s activities, etc. So, there’s something for the whole family.

The event will last until 8 pm tonight, September 6. Admission is free and free parking is available.

Casablanca Restaurant and Hookah Lounge

So, there was a huge wreck on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw the other day when my coworker Brandon and I wanted to go for lunch. So, we decided we’d venture up to Wade Green and try this new Mediterranean restaurant. It is tucked away in a strip mall near I75. There’s also a Johnny’s Pizza and Cold Stone in the center.

I don’t know what the place was before it became this restaurant but obviously a lot of money went into decorating the place. Lots of curtains (more for decoration than privacy) and low seating with comfy cushions. Very colorful setting. This would be great if you have a group of people to go. And I bet they would draw a bigger crowd if they had belly dancing.

Appetizers to try? Stuffed grape leaves and Falafel. I always thought Falafel was like a wrap but apparently its some sort of meat and spices that are fried and resemble a small doughnut. It was exquisite. We each had the beef wraps (I had the ground beef and Brandon had the beef tips). It was good but a little salty. Next time I’ll try the gyro.

Prices are like $7 for the wrap which comes with a side of fries. So, it is definitely reasonably priced. Hookahs are like 15 bucks if I am remembering correctly. I can’t wait to try these next time. Didn’t have enough time as I was on my lunch hour.

Casablanca Restaurant & Hookah Lounge
3490 Cherokee Street #303
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Read my Sahara Restaurant Review

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Atlanta Greek Festival

Attended the 19th annual Greek Festival yesterday in Marietta. I had no idea this Greek Festival was going on until Saturday and literally stumbled upon it. I’ve been to the Greek festival in Decatur and I have to say this one was so much better. The entertainment, and cultural information that was avaiable was superior to that of the Decatur festival.

There is a tour of the beautiful church that gives details of the meaning of the artifacts and provides a history of the church and how it differs from a traditional western church. In addition, there is a small amphitheatre on site which provides great seating and viewing for the traditional greek dances. You can catch one every couple hours.

The food was pretty good. I had lamb which was ok but the pork kabobs were a better choice. I think the dessert was the best part however, They are all kinds of tasty treats including baklava sundaes – yummy! I’ll definitely be heading back here next year.