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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Second Self Beer Company - Georgia's new craft brewery

Second Self Beer Company - Georgia's new craft brewery located in Atlanta - has released a limited edition, lightly spiced summer Belgian ale called XMAS in July (6.7% ABV, 24 IBU). Inspired by one of their favorite styles - the Winter Belgian Quad - Second Self started with a light, Belgian strong beer with winter spices (coriander and a touch of clove) to conjure the season to come. For balance, they added summer spices including pink peppercorn and orange peel. The end result is a beer that's fruity yet spicy, flavorful yet light.  A true treat to get us through the hottest time of the year.

Suggested parings include roasted pork, fresh peaches, BBQ chicken, and brie.

The beer is available throughout Georgia, including at Hop City in Krog Street Market, Atlanta bars The Porter and Atkins Park, Summits Wayside Tavern and the Lincoln Fill Station in Snellville, Growler Time in Tucker, and many more.

About Second Self Beer Company

Founders Jason Santamaria (31 years old) and Chris Doyle (30 years old) started Second Self as a home brewing experiment almost a decade ago, and the highly anticipated beers were just released last fall. The two met in college at Georgia Tech and bonded over a shared passion for good beer. Chris went on to work at Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewery and earned his certificate from the American Brewers Guild Craft Brewers Apprenticeship program. Jason has a background in food and business. Second Self's beers are brewed with fresh ingredients like blue ginger and lemongrass (not dried ingredients or extracts). Each was designed to be paired with food. Second Self's brewery is located at 1311 Logan Circle NW and is open for regular tours and tastings.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hugh Acheson: Georgia at his core in the truest sense

Credit: @Grapes_HopsATL
Canadian. Honest. Witty. Authentic.  These words describe our encounter with Top Chef judge and chef/partner of Empire State South in Atlanta, Hugh Acheson.  We were invited by YP (the Yellow Pages) and Erica Key, contributing writer for the YP from @eatingwitherica to join Hugh and several prominent foodie bloggers in Atlanta to dine at Empire State South for a meet and greet.

The YP is creating new buzz around their campaign on social media with their hashtag #makeverydaylocal. The YP is focused on local communities and supporting local pockets around Atlanta.  We found a common bond with YP, because that is what stemmed our concept Grapes and Hops Atlanta.  Five years ago, we developed Grapes and Hops Atlanta to focus on local chefs, restaurants and events in the surrounding areas of Metro Atlanta to spotlight those local communities.

Hugh was a gracious host, allowing us to dine and sample his brunch menu including the fried egg and scrambled egg biscuit, along with crowd favorite french toast and house made granola, with honey and yogurt, amongst many additional foodie items.  After eating our delights, we had a chance for a Q&A session with Hugh where we learned this 20 year resident of Atlanta and father of 2, just wants to be "loved."

Credit: @Grapes_HopsATL
Hugh's upcoming project: "Spiller Park" a coffee shop, scheduled to open September 1st at Ponce City Market,  named after the former home to the Atlanta Crackers that used to sit across from the PCM site.

Hugh on social media: "Social media is a portrayal of Hugh, not my restaurants. I'm immersed and I care. It helps to allow us to have a quick and easy outlet for marketing.  I do see the worth to it and get things out there...but I'm also a jackass and like to make fun of things too." @HughAcheson

Hugh's favorite recipe: "It's kind of like choosing your child, but we all have our favorites."

Hugh's team: "I like to empower people and my team. I consider myself a baseball manager, and they are my baseball team.  You are going to want to put your best players on the field.  I surround myself by people who are better than me. Understand you staff and deliver for them."

Hugh's advice to young inspiring chefs: "It's your duty and reason to make it better. Call out the issues.  It's a lot of work and success doesn't lie in celebrity.  You have to operate a business that is successful and give back by delivering food that makes people awesomely happy."

Hugh on local farms: "Find them and support them! In Atlanta, we are only 30-60 minutes away from local farms. Buy and support from the local farms to celebrate them."

Hugh's favorite wine: "Well, if I die going into debt drinking good wine, so be it. Your credit score doesn't matter after your dead."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wondermade: Boozy and Drinkable Marshmallows

Credit: Wondermade

Wondermade started as a gift, as told to us from owner, Nathan Clark to his wife for Christmas. We were just as curious to this little confection that popped with liquor infused flavor! 

Wondermade Cafe is located in the downtown historic district of Sanford, just north of Orlando. And believe us, the way their customers eat marshmallows varies from customer to customer. Some people eat them toasted, some people eat them not toasted. Some eat them right out of the box or put them in their coffee or tea. That is why the marshmallows are so great because there is no wrong way to eat them!  

Their top selling and most requested marshmallow is the Bourbon marshmallows made from Makers Mark Straight Bourbon Whiskey from one of the finest Kentucky distillers. 

Wondermade's most unique creation is the s’more marshmallows. They are half chocolate and half vanilla rolled in graham cracker crumbs.  A must try is their Beer Marshmallows made with beer and sweetened with Penzy's vanilla extract, topped with crushed pretzel. 
Beer Marshmallow

All of the boxes have a retail price of $7.95 except for the chocolate drizzled Guinness and Chocolate Drizzled Strawberry, they have a cost of $12. The Gold & Champagne Marshmallows have a retail cost of $24.  There are 16 1x1 mini marshmallows in each box.

Two sets will be available to order for Father's Day.  Use Code: DADSRULE at checkout and receive 15% off!

The regular Father’s Day set has S’mores, Neapolitan, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Cup. The Boozy Set has Bourbon, Gin, Fireball, and Beer.

Order your Wondermade marshmallows:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Local Three: Second Self Beer Dinner

Join Local Three on the Garden Terrace Patio for a beer dinner with Jason Santamaria from Second Self Beer Company on Thursday, June 18!
Jason Santamaria
A food enthusiast and Beer Architect, Santamaria serves as the Second Self's taste ambassador and chef. He concocts flavor profiles for each brew around a central ingredient. As Draft Magazine puts it, Second Self's beers are "breathing new life into Old South craft with food-forward beers and fresh takes on traditional styles."
Chef's Chris Hall and Ben Barth will prepare a menu to showcase Second Self's beers, and Santamaria will guide guests through each pairing.
Date: Thursday, June 18
Time: 6pm
Price: $59 per person + tax and gratuity


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Davio's Atlanta: Enchanting Ambience with First Class Service

Ricotta Lemon Basil Ravioli
The idea behind Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse is simple: Regional Italian foods where everything is made by hand. Davio's patrons can dine on everything from aged steaks to simple pasta creations.  In 1985, Steve DiFillippo purchased a locally-owned restaurant called Davio's on Newbury Street in Boston's trendy Back Bay.  Since then, Steve has opened six additional Davio's, including Davio's Atlanta located at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.

We were invited to celebrate National Ravioli Day with Davio's on March 20th.  We dined on their amazing three-course menu: 

Ricotta Lemon Ravioli - Parmigiano, Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

Fresh Maine Lobster Ravioli - Basil Cream Sauce

Chocolate Ravioli - Raspberry Cream Filling
Davio's Atlanta

We were not sure what to expect from Davio's, as it was our first experience dining at the restaurant. Immediately, we observed the candlelit ambiance and the attention to detail of the dressed table. We were impressed with the staff that guided us through the Ravioli Experience for the evening, making us feel comfortable and treating us like family. 

GM, Claude Guillaume
As general manager of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Claude Guillaume oversees all operations of the restaurant including the bar and private dining.  He has extensive experience in the hospitality industry and brings an abundance of fine dining expertise to the restaurant. Claude strives to make Davio’s a prominent dining destination for both neighborhood shoppers and Atlanta-area residents. “I want to give our guests a familiar face and a warm welcome every time they visit us,” says Guillaume.   “Our guests are the most important thing to us, and they should always feel that way,” he says.  

What is relevant to all diners is the level of service and quality of food. These two factors will keep us, Grapes and Hops Atlanta, coming back to any restaurant, including Davio's.  We hope you will take joy dining at Davio's just as much as we did!

You can follow Davio's on Social Media:
Twitter: @DaviosAtlanta
Instagram: @DaviosRestaurant

We would like to thank Mandy Nicholas at Premiere Agency and the entire Davio's team for a wonderful event.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bert's Big Adventure Month of Giving

Credit: Bert's Big Adventure Facebook
On Wednesday, March 25th, 32 Atlanta-area Jersey Mike’s Subs locations will cap off a month-long “Month of Giving” campaign to benefit Bert’s Big Adventure with a community fundraising event: Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving.” The Atlanta-area Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants are inviting residents to come in and enjoy a delicious sub meal – 100% of the day’s sales will go to Bert’s Big Adventure. That means every single dollar that comes in on that day goes to the local charity! (Take-out and catering orders included.)

Bert’s Big Adventure is a nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. 

We would love your help in spreading the news about this wonderful cause!

Hashtag: #DayofGiving



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Celebrate National Ravioli Day at Davio's

Photo credit: Sara Hanna
Celebrate National Ravioli Day - Get Your Fill of Fresh Pasta on National Ravioli Day at Davio’s Atlanta! 

Join Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse in celebrating “National Ravioli Day” on Friday, March 20th, 2015, from 11:30am to 11:00pm, guests will be treated to a three-course prix fixe menu featuring delectably stuffed pastas. Guests can enjoy items such as the handmade Ricotta Lemon Ravioli, Fresh Maine Lobster Ravioli and Chocolate Ravioli. The specialty three-course menu will be available for $45 per person during lunch and dinner!
Ravioli Menu

Ricotta Lemon Ravioli - Parmigiano, Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

Fresh Maine Lobster Ravioli - Basil Cream Sauce

Chocolate Ravioli - Raspberry Cream Filling

$45 Per Person (excluding tax & gratuity)

Call: (404) 844-4810

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wine on Tap at Vine and Tap

Photo Credit: Grapes and Hops Atlanta
Named one of the 21 BEST wine bars in the country, according to Thrillist, local wine bar and gastro pub Vine and Tap recently celebrated their 1 year anniversary.  Located in Buckhead, the name is influenced by the restaurant's use of actual  "wine on tap." Yes, you just read "wine on tap."  Vine & Tap feature's both beer and wine as well as small plates, a charcuterie plate, wide variety of seasonal cheeses and delicious deserts. The atmosphere is warm, cozy and inviting ~ perfect for a first date!

Warm Cronut
Sommelier Ian Mendelsohn started as a sommelier at Windows on the World (Kevin Zraly’s wine bar that resided on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, North Tower) then ran the wine department of Christie’s auction house and was wine director of the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  Eventually, Ian was recruited to become the wine director at the St. Regis in Buckhead and more recently, the wine specialist at H&F Bottle Shop.  Ian is a native of Baltimore and resides in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

Highlights of Vine and Tap:
Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese
  • Zero corkage fee on Tuesdays when you bring your own bottle
  • Enjoy $1.00 oysters every day from 5-7pm
  • Wine flights with 3 selections for a set price, but on Wednesday's it's HALF OFF. Enjoy 3 pours for $15.00 or 3 pours of bubbles for $20.00 per person.
  • 25 wines by the glass, four wines on tap, and 130 wines on the bottle list,
  • Vine and Tap Twitter/Instagram: @VineandTap 
  • Follow Ian @IansVino 

Vine and Tap is located at: 2770 Lenox Road, Atlanta 30324
Thank you Tori Allen PR

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pumped About Pure Pork Awesomeness

Atlanta chef and “Top Chef” alum Kevin Gillespie is pumped about pork. Kevin has dedicated his second cookbook, “Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes From Around the World,” to all things swine. The book hits shelves on March 31 and he's inviting fans to come pig out with him on Sunday, March 29 for a special release party at his nationally recognized restaurant, Gunshow.

The party for “Pure Pork Awesomeness” takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. Admission includes a signed copy of the book, including a rare edition of the “lost” chapter, and an array of appetizing pork offerings, such as Korean barbecued pork bulgogi, Indianapolis-style fried pork loin sandwiches and buffalo pork “wings.” Guests will also enjoy drink specials, including local brews from SweetWater Brewing Company. Tickets are $50 and are available through Xorbia.

“Pure Pork Awesomeness,” the follow-up to Gillespie’s successful cookbook debut “Fire in My Belly.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brazilian Steakhouse to open in the heart of Buckhead

Brazilian steakhouse Chama Gaucha will open in the heart of Buckhead this spring.

Reintroducing a bygone era of Brazilian cowboys, who ended their days preparing dinner around a fire pit, Chama Gaucha embraces and elevates the cowboys’ fireside culture and rustic culinary traditions. With locations in Houston, San Antonio and Chicago, the Buckhead restaurant will be the fourth to open and the first in the Southeast.

Drawing inspiration from the menu’s Brazilian flavor and style, local design, construction and consulting agency Restaurant Consulting Group (RCG) transformed the restaurant into an upscale, yet comfortable space. An organic palate of tans and browns, uniquely designed fabric panels and gold textured ceilings yield an upscale yet comfortable dining experience.                                                                                                              
Chama Gaucha is located at 3365 Piedmont Road, NE, Suite 1350, Atlanta, GA 30305, and will open nightly for dinner and for lunch Sunday through Friday. Weekdays lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday dinner service will be offered from 4 to 10:30 p.m. and the restaurant will be open continuously from 1 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, serving both lunch and dinner. For more information, visit or call 404.842.0011.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Pig & The Pearl Launches Beer Dinner Series

The Pig & The Pearl is kicking off their beer dinner series on January 15th with Orpheus Brewing. Dinners to follow will take place on the third Thursday of the month partnered with a local brewery. The evening will begin with a reception featuring Orpheus Brewing's first release, Atalanta, and passed appetizers such as tuna and trout tartare and smoked oyster toast.  The three-course dinner showcases Orpheus Brewing's second flagship beer, Lyric Ale, as well as sours Sykophantes and Wandering Blues.  Pairings include The Pig & The Pearl's Szechuan pork belly, smoked short beef ribs and huckleberry pound cake. Cost is $50 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 404-541-0930.


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