Tag Archives: Cocktails


D.C. restaurants are selling tropical cocktails to raise money for hurricane relief

Source: Washington Post Going Out Guide

For Jill Tyler, the co-owner and service director of Tail Up Goat, the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the U.S. Virgin Islands was intensely personal and all too familiar. In the summer of 1989, Tyler’s family moved to St. Thomas, where her parents live. Not long afterward, Hurricane Hugo hit the islands. “Our roof peeled away […]

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First Look: Bar Mercado debuts Spanish tapas at Krog Street Market

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Bar Mercado crispy chicken legs with romesco and blanched almonds, and Churros with spiced sugar and hot chocolate. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Last week, Castellucci Hospitality Group — Cooks & Soldiers, Double Zero, Iberian Pig, Sugo — officially opened Bar Mercado.

The Spanish tapas restaurant took over the Krog Street Market space formerly occupied by the Cockentrice.

The makeover by Atlanta’s Square Feet Studio features bold colors and geometric patterns in keeping with the theme of a lively Spanish market. Seating stretches through the bright sunken dining room adjacent to the open kitchen to a cozy-cool bar area with a ...

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14 New Cocktails to Help You Accept That Summer Is Ending

Source: Grub Street NY

It’s always a good time to drink in New York, but it’s particularly good these days. Cocktail culture has spread so that all restaurants of a certain stripe offer interesting original drinks, while loosening its collar and relaxing a bit in recent years. With fall around the corner, many of …

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ITV Teams Up With D.C. Chef for a Cocktail-Centric Tasting Menu

Source: Philadelphia Magazine » Foobooz

Nick Elmi’s ITV is all about inventive bites and high-class cocktails. So it makes sense that when Elmi and his crew paid a visit to Columbia Room in Washington this past summer, they were inspired by the D.C. restaurant’s practice of building a tasting menu around craft spirits. And on Monday, September 18th, Elmi and…

The post ITV Teams Up With D.C. Chef for a Cocktail-Centric Tasting Menu appeared first on Philadelphia Magazine.

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Buy This: 3 things you need for your home bar

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Time to update your bar with a new mixer option, a syrup that takes the work out of cocktails and a delicious nibble to sustain you while mixing  those drinks.

Bruce Cost Ginger Ale

What’s a round of cocktails without a little tasty nibble? We are total snobs about cheese straws, preferring to make our own from a 1930s recipe we inherited from a lovely neighbor, tediously squeezing them out with her ancient screw-top cookie press. But we have to admit, Marilyn’s Gluten Free Gourmet Cheese Straws could make that a thing of the past. Marilyn Santulli makes her cheese ...

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These Philly Cocktails Are as Beautiful as They Are Boozy

Source: Philadelphia Magazine » Foobooz

Trying to remember Philly before craft cocktails is like trying to remember life before cell phones. It’s nearly impossible. So now that every neighborhood beer-and-shot watering hole has French aperitifs, bartenders are upping the ante. Here, four new-to-market drinks that could double as works of art. Pineapple-Cinnamon Daiquiri at Walnut Street Café This University City…

The post These Philly Cocktails Are as Beautiful as They Are Boozy appeared first on Philadelphia Magazine.

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First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Angry Fried Chicken Sandwich with white bread and pickles. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Former Portofino executive chef Matt Marcus recently opened the first restaurant of his own, partnering with Andy Lasky to create Bluetop on Peachtree Road in Chamblee.

Serving both lunch and dinner seven days a week, the concept combines fast-casual service with a menu from Marcus that’s both quirky and comfy.

Consider the likes of a Maine lobster corn dog, a signature burger made with Snake River Farms beef and Red Dragon cheddar, and a kale salad tossed with milk blanched garlic, dried blueberries, toasted oats, and fermented hemp nut vinaigrette.

In addition to draft and canned beer, and a concise list of wines by the glass or bottle, there are adventurous drinks from beverage director Jonathan L. Joy, including “Meat Locker” cocktails stirred with duck and lamb washes.

While the name pays homage to the taxi stand that once occupied the space, the Bluetop build-out offers multiple places to drink and dine, including two bars, two dining rooms and a design that melds the indoors and outdoors with backyard picnic tables, bocce and cornhole, and sometimes live bands.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Back dining area, looking out into backyard and patio. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

In keeping with Chamblee’s history as a destination for antique and curio shops, Marcus and Lasky bought a 1969 45-foot Global Van Lines moving truck for $500 and retrofitted it to be the kitchen.

“We’re basically running a restaurant out of a food truck,” Marcus said during a recent interview, “but the concept is basically about utilizing the relationships that I’ve built with local purveyors and farmers in over 14 years-plus of being in Atlanta.

“I’m trying to deliver that to the guests at a way more reasonable price than I’m used to in fine dining. The way we found to do that was we took out the china, we took out the fine silver, and we took out the servers, essentially. That freed up a lot of overhead to where we can put that into the menu. Actually, my food cost is higher than it’s ever been.”

Marcus calls his cooking at Bluetop New American, though somewhere along the line that got translated as Americana. Either way, he’s using high-quality ingredients, often in unusual ways, including a Border Springs lamb sloppy Joe.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

(From left to right) The Bluetop team: Jonathan L. Joy, beverage director, executive chef/co-owner Matt Marcus, and Paul Sidener, chef de cuisine. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

“I’m taking things that came throughout my life,” Marcus said. “My grandmother used to make me a sloppy Joe with lamb necks, and it’s just happy comfort food for me. A double stack burger with a cheese I found 12 years ago in Mississippi. The Red Dragon cheese makes it for me. And so that’s my little taste of a Mississippi gas station burger.

“I remember the first time we ever figured out how to fry gnocchi. I said if I ever open a fast-casual place, I’m going to put them on the menu and call them tater tots, and give them to the people.”

Besides calling fried gnocchi tater tots, Marcus said the atmosphere was meant to reinforce the cool casualness of the food.

“We totally want it to be a hangout,” he said. “We don’t want any tension in the building. We want you to feel at home. It’s a place where on the weekend I’ve seen people hanging out in the backyard from like 2 in the afternoon until early evening, playing some bocce, and listening to the band.”

Another thing Marcus likes about the backyard, which is close to the kitchen, is that he has a place for his custom Kudu grill.

“I love the Kudu,” he said. “We sat down with the engineer and we designed the one for Bluetop. I’ve got to tell you, it’s everything I ever dreamed it could be. My favorite thing I’ve done on it was an Ossabaw pig head that I let sit for about eight hours on the highest elevation with a pound of chervil underneath.”

While certain items will remain for the long run, Marcus said he’ll be tweaking the menu fairly often.

“The menu will constantly organically grow, and we’re going to really try to pay attention to the neighborhood and what they want. Seeing 80 to 90 ceviches sold a day lets me know that I should probably put a crudo on and maybe expand the oyster program.

“But as far as a demographic, we don’t have one. I don’t know how that’s possible. I’ve seen everything from strollers to wheelchairs in here. And I’m happy with that. I think we’ve created a place for everybody.”

5362 Peachtree Road, Chamblee. 678-620-3490, bluetopchamblee.com.

More images from a First Look at Bluetop

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Ceviche with native seafood, Georgia shrimp and yuzu, lemon, and capers. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Blue Top Buffalo Octopus small bite. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

The Kale salad with baby kale, milk blanched garlic, dried blueberries, toasted oats, and fermented hemp nut vinaigrette. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Chilled Peach Soup. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

Bluetop Burger with Snake River Farms beef, onion jam, red dragon cheddar, butter lettuce, Dukes, and a pickle with fries. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee

0 Ducks Given cocktail with apple brandy, averna, duck washed curacao, bitters blend, orange oils, and salt (left) and Whisky cocktail with bourbon, lemongrass, pomegranate, brown sugar, lime, champagne vinegar, mint, and angostura bitters (right). Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

First Look: Experience an Asian brewpub at Hopstix in Chamblee

First Look: The first Atlanta Halal Guys franchise is open in Chamblee

More First Looks at metro Atlanta restaurants

Explore where to eat in Atlanta with the AJC’s Spring Dining Guide

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews  on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

First Look: Find a fresh taste on fast-casual at Bluetop in Chamblee


Trend watch: what’s next for Atlanta’s cocktail scene

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Rum continues to rise in popularity with classics like the Hemingway Daiquiri. Photo: Veronica Rodriguez

Last month marked the 15th anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. The yearly, week-long booze conference is attended by 15,000 bartenders, beverage professionals and journalists from around the world. Each July, the booze industry descends upon the Crescent City to partake in over 300 educational seminars, tasting events and parties. The AJC Bar Scene hit Tales again this year in search of the next big cocktail and spirits trends Atlanta may find at its bars over the coming months.

Low-ABV cocktails
Atlanta ...

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Best of Philly: Suburban Cocktail Spots

Source: Philadelphia Magazine » Foobooz

Autograph Brasserie/Facebook

Best of Philly 2017 is now online as well as at newsstands. Check out the best in suburban cocktails as well as the rest of the Best in food, drink, shopping, beauty, health, fitness, fun and games.

Q: Where are the best cocktails in the ’burbs?
— Thirsty Sailor in Media

A: Look, we get it. When you’re in the city, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a mustachioed gent in a vest shaking up some interesting blend of kumquat juice, artisanal beet liquor and heirloom ice.

But in the ’burbs, finding a solid cocktail can ...

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First Look: Same old brand new Big Tex open again in Decatur

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chicken Flautas with shredded chicken, cotija cheese, onion and poblano in a corn tortilla, topped with lettuce, pico and cilantro with sour cream and queso. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Big Tex in Decatur has an interesting history.

Back when the Texas-inspired comfort food restaurant and bar opened in the summer of 2011, it was another outlet for the vision of brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox of the widely popular Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.

But things didn’t go quite as planned, and in late 2014, Big Tex closed, though the kitchen continued to operate for a time as a commissary for the ...

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New York’s Best Cocktail Bar Is Also Its Least Intimidating

Source: Grub Street NY

It’s not hard to find a drink in New York City, but it can be hard to find a bar that’s fun to spend time in. For the absolute best cocktails New York picked a place with a relaxed vibe, a huge menu, and helpful bartenders who are happy to …

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This art exhibition will have augmented reality cocktails that shift before your eyes

Source: Washington Post Going Out Guide

When you look at Artechouse’s cocktail menu through your phone, words and images might leap off the page and swirl around. The exhibition around you could be visible inside your drink. It might even look like someone else is taking a sip. That’s the plan for the interactive art space’s upcoming augmented reality cocktail experience, […]

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First Look: Latin meets Southern at Babalu in Midtown

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Babalu Pollo tacos with Tinga chicken, smoked corn, pico, cheese (left) and Carne De Credo tacos with Niman Ranch pork belly, citrus BBQ sauce, roasted peanut slaw, cheese (right). Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Pitched as “Latin-inspired dishes with a unique Southern flair,” Babalu Tapas & Tacos opened its first Atlanta restaurant in late June in the 33 Peachtree Place mixed-use development in Midtown.

The location at the corner of West Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place is a busy intersection, both for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. And the space is designed to take advantage of that urban energy with patio and ...

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Get Custom-Crafted Sips at Prohibition Taproom’s Bespoke Cocktail Night

Source: Philadelphia Magazine » Foobooz

Photo courtesy of Prohibition Taproom

Prohibition Taproom has long been known for its excellent craft beer list — but did you know they’ve got a great cocktail program, too?

And to show you just how special it is, the folks behind the bar are highlighting their spirits-based beverages with Bespoke Cocktail Night each Monday.

When you hit the bar at ProTap on Monday nights looking for a cocktail, bartender Riley Duffie and general manager Amy Hartranft will design a custom cocktail based on your answers to three questions: which base spirits you’d like (whiskey, gin, vodka, or tequila, for example), a ...

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6 peach cocktails to sip around Atlanta

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Elberta Fashion is a peachy Old Fashioned riff. Photo courtesy of Eight Sushi.

The end of the peach season is nigh, Atlanta, and it wasn’t the best of years for the state fruit. It’s estimated Georgia farmers lost 80% of their peaches after a warmer than average winter followed by a deep freeze in March killed off the blooms of prematurely flowering trees. This could equal a loss of nearly $50 million dollars when the final numbers are tallied later this summer.

Chefs and bartenders around the metro area have taken the loss to heart and have been buying up ...

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First Look: Roswell’s Monkey 68 offers sushi, small plates and cocktails

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Monkey 68 Red Snapper Carpaccio with red snapper, sweet cucumber, pickled jalapeno, radish, and cilantro. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Mali Hu, the restaurateur behind the One Sushi+ in Brookhaven and Katana on Lenox Road in Buckhead, recently opened Monkey 68 on Green Street, a stone’s throw from bustling Canton Street in historic Roswell.

Dubbed “Refined Asian” — and named for Hu’s Chinese zodiac sign and birth year — the restaurant serves up a contemporary combination of Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes, with an emphasis on sushi, small plates and cocktails.

While many of the offerings carry over from the greatest ...

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D.C. bars are hosting a month-long tiki treasure hunt

Source: Washington Post Going Out Guide

August is when the summer doldrums truly settle over D.C.: heat, humidity, a desire to get out of town. In short: There’s no better time to go on a city-wide tiki-themed treasure hunt. Tiki Trail D.C. is the brainchild of Brian Nixon, the bar manager at Truxton Inn. Since August is traditionally “a slow time […]

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VIDEO: Learn how to make cocktails with Himitsu’s famed creative director Shingo Gokan

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Beton Cappuccino from Himitsu’s Shingo Gokan

Shingo Gokan, who was named International Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, is a busy guy. In addition to his work as the creative director at Himitsu in Buckhead, he owns two bars in Shanghai, is working on opening a few more, and consults at bars all over the world ( to get an idea of how much he travels, consider that he has an apartment in New York but only spends about two months total there in the course of a year).

He took a ...

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First Look: CO lands pan-Asian in Poncey-Highland

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

CO Pork and Ginger Gyoza dumplings with soy scallion sauce. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Call it pan-Asian or simply eclectic. CO in Poncey-Highland mixes a minimalist, contemporary atmosphere with a full-on bar, and a menu that ranges far and wide from sushi and small plates to banh mi and a variety of broth, rice and noodle dishes.

All that is a reflection of the background and tastes of owner Greg Bauer, who grew up in Germany, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and spent time living, traveling and eating around Asia.

Bauer moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2011, where he ...

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4 reasons to consider ordering a low-ABV cocktail

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Morning Side Daiquiri at Kimball House. Credit: Beth McKibben

It may seem odd to be talking about low-ABV (alcohol-by-volume) cocktails during the world’s largest booze conference. This year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans has crowned the martini its king and seminar subjects include everything from umami flavor in drinks to rare vintage spirits to 400 years of drinking on the high seas. But building a better low-ABV cocktail or session cocktail is on the minds of many of the nearly 15,000 bartenders who’ve converged on the Crescent City for the annual industry conference.

During the Atlanta Food ...

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New York Mezcal Mecca Mayahuel Will Close

Source: Grub Street NY

When it rains, it pours. The owners of downtown mezcal bar Mayahuel announced that it will close on August 8. It’s the fourth notable New York establishment that has been revealed to be on the way out since Friday, joining Franny’s, the short-lived Mr. Donahue’s, and

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First Look: Brine Seafood Shack is open at Avalon in Alpharetta

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Brine Seafood Shack’s small lobster roll, served hot. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

“Cape Cod-meets-Santa Monica” is one of the ways chef-owner Marc Taft of Marietta’s Chicken and the Egg explains Brine Seafood Shack, his new chic but laid-back restaurant at the Avalon retail complex in Alpharetta.

The multilevel, choose-your-own-experience dining destination clearly has a lot going on, including indoor, outdoor and rooftop seating under a retractable roof, with two bars, a takeout window and lunch, dinner and rooftop menus.

The menus, created by Taft and Brine chef de cuisine David Connolly, previously of Two Urban Licks and Tap, feature sustainable ...

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Stock Up: Three Things You Need for Summer Drinks

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Time to freshen up that drinks cart. New barware, new wine to share with your friends, new shot glasses that will enhance your appreciation of tequila.

Elegant Retro Barware

For almost 20 years, City Issue has been your stop for everything mid-century. Everywhere you look in this Inman Park shop, you find pristine vintage furniture, art and home accessories. But what caught our eye was their barware. Punch sets and cocktail shakers, ice buckets and decanters, and more sets of cocktail glasses from highball to Collins to champagne coupes than you could possibly have shelves for. Everything’s in perfect condition. ...

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Food and dining news of the week

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Sunday is National Ice Cream Day find out how to celebrate below./Photo by Chris Hunt.

4 Rivers Smokehouse is opening tomorrow. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on July 25 at 9 a.m. to celebrate the new location for the barbecue chain. AJC announced last fall that 4 Rivers would be opening its first Georgia location bringing some of the southeast’s best barbecue to Atlanta.

4 Rivers Smokehouse, 822 Marietta St NW, Atlanta. 844-474-8377. 4rsmokehouse.com.

Osteria Mattone is open on Mondays beginning July 17. The Italian restaurant in Roswell will now be open from 5 – 9:30 p.m. for dinner service.


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12 Fun Food Events Around DC This Weekend

Source: Washingtonian Food

Travel to the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on Thursday at 6:45 PM with the Smithsonian’s evening program and tasting, “Mezcal: Small Batch, Big Flavor.” Guests learn about Mezcal production, its unique tie to the Oaxacan culture, and the reason for its recent rise in popularity from ThinkFoodGroup mixologist Miguel Lancha and Washington Post food and dining editor Joe Yonan. Tickets cost […]

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