First Annual Atlanta Lobster Festival

Did someone say Lobster? I am all over the inaugural Atlanta Lobster Festival. The festival will include an afternoon of live music, arts and crafts, light bites from a selection of the city’s top restaurants, as well as a variety of craft brew options.

General Admission tickets include 10 tasting tickets. VIPs receive exclusive tastings, beer/wine/cocktail samplings, special fancy bathrooms, and 10 Food & Drink Coupons for General Admission areas. These prices for Atlanta Lobster Festival tickets go up after 10/1.

What: Atlanta Lobster Festival
Where: Candler Park
When: Sunday, November 2, 1-6pm
Cost: $25 for Admission and 10 taste tickets, $85 for VIP

atlanta lobster festival

Pampas Ribeye Steak

Pampas Steakhouse, Johns Creek, GA Restaurant Review

After being out of work for several months, my talented, successful hubby found a terrific job in Alpharetta that he loves!  Yep, he has many other skills besides the amazing photos he takes for me. Hooray for a non soul-sucking commute! To celebrate, we decided to have dinner with some friends at Pampas Steakhouse, an Argentinean steakhouse in Johns Creek, not too far from his new office. It was fitting, as Pampas is not for those on a budget.

The upscale steakhouse was packed on the Thursday when we visited. The groups mostly were business dinners – with the likes of Siemens, Microsoft and other major players in the area, Pampas picked a very strategic location for their steakhouse.

As you’d expect, there were dark woods and impeccably dressed servers throughout Pampas. There’s also a wood burning oven and kitchen that can be seen through glass from the dining room. On this particular evening there was live music too.

Pampas steakhouse johns creek Pampas agentinean steak atlanta

We chose two starters, the Peruvian Ceviche, with shrimp and Orange Roughy, plus the Pampas Tower, which includes a mix of Empanadas, sausage and grilled provolone. Although the seafood in the ceviche was quality, the acidity of the lime juice way overpowered the seafood, unfortunately.

As for the Pampas tower, it is designed for two but Pampas will expand it to suit your party, which is good to know. I thought the Empanadas were pretty forgettable. Sure, fried dough with cheese and meat is indulgent, but it didn’t seem very flavorful or special. The sausage, on the other hand, was rather delicious as was the grilled provolone. This was Argentine Provolone cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, tomatoes and roasted red peppers. In retrospect, I wish we would have only ordered this latter appetizer and saved more room for the main course.

pampas steakhouse pampas steakhouse johns creek

We didn’t try cocktails, but did decide to share a bottle of wine, as Pampas has a Sommelier on staff to make recommendations. Since we were at an Argentinean steakhouse, I thought it only fitting to get a Malbec. The middle of the range Malbec the sommelier recommended ($64), even after being decanted, was nothing special.

Before you choose your entree, servers come around with a tray of uncooked steaks, to show diners the different cuts of steak and the various sizes and marbling. Nice touch. There are many tempting options – the 12 oz NY Strip?, the 14 oz Ribeye?, or an 18 oz Kansas City Strip? In the end, I went with the Ribeye and had no regrets.

Pampas steakhouse Mixed Grill

Pampas Mixed Grill

The Tuna and Seabass pictured above, which I sampled both of, were fabulous as well. They practically melted in your mouth. The Pampas Mixed Grill (pictured above), a trio of sausage, lamb chop and Ribeye cap offers a good meat selection for those that can’t commit to one particular cut.

Like most steakhouses, you must order sides separately. The basil fried corn caught the attention of all of us, and lived up to our expectations. The Gnocchi did not. It was served in a kind of blue cheese sauce which totally detracted from it for me. Although the Mixed Grill diner in our party seemed to be pretty taken with it.

Pampas Steakhouse definitely is good for the businesses in the area that might not want to drive too far to host a dinner. They also have plenty of private rooms as well. My recommendation when not on the company dime? Order a glass of Cab or Merlot and one of their perfectly prepared steaks. Enjoy.

Pampas Steakhouse
10970 State Bridge Rd
Johns Creek, GA 30022

Pampas Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Atlanta Halloween Parties and Events

Atlanta Halloween Events

Photo credit: www.phillipsrealty.com

Not sure where you will be celebrating Halloween this year? Check out my guide of Halloween celebrations below.

OCTOBER 30 | MEEHAN’S SANDY SPRINGS | WALKING DEAD DINNER

On Thursday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m., Meehan’s is celebrating the return of Atlanta’s favorite zombie TV program with a special post-apocalyptic dinner. Victims will enjoy a five course meal with Terrapin beer pairings, including dishes like a coffee-rubbed rack of venison and fried sweetbreads. Reservations are required and the cost of the dinner is $60. Details at Meehan’s Sandy Springs site.

The Artmore Masquerade (Artmore Courtyard)
Thursday, October 30, from 5:00-9:00pm. Features live music, costume contest, giveaways, open vodka bar from 5:00-6:30.

Cypress Street Pint & Plate – 80s Zombie Prom – October 31st, 8 p.m.
On Friday, October 31st, walkers from across the city will gather at Cypress Street Pint and Plate in their finest for an evening of thrills during the inaugural Cypress 80s Zombie Prom. Beginning at 8 p.m., makeup artists will provide guests with zombie “make-unders” to help transform Midtown’s favorite neighborhood haunt into a retro 80s style prom scene.   The evening’s best-dressed pair will win the coveted titles of Zombie Prom King and Queen, as guests capture the evening’s best moments in an undead photo booth, complete with a backdrop to set the theme. General admission is free and VIP tickets are available for $25 at www.cypressbar.com. For more information, visit www.cypressbar.com or call 404.815.9243.

Coldbrews Oyster Bar and Grill – Halloween Costume Contest, October 31st, 8 p.m.
The Georgia Red Clay band will provide live music beginning at 9 p.m. while guests compete for the best costume. First place winners will take home $100, second place will be awarded $50. However, all dressed up guests will receive 20 percent off their bill for the night. For more information, please visit www.coldbrewsoysterbar.com at call (678) 639-7297.

Hush Dinner Club – Late Night Halloween Masquerade Dinner Party at Gypsy Kitchen
There are still 7 seats available for the Late Night Halloween Masquerade Dinner Party at the newly opened Gypsy Kitchen at the Buckhead Shops, Buckhead’s newest and long awaited luxury retail development at the Peachtree & Buckhead Ave intersection! Don’t have a mask? That’s fine. We will have over 50 for you to choose from!
For this event, there will be a 4-Course dinner. Tickets are $125.00 PP and all inclusive of the 4-course menu/masks/wine/tax/gratuity. To purchase:
Visit: hushdinnerclub.com/reservations

Republic Social House is having a costume contest and party on Friday night beginning at 10 p.m. DJ Prince Presto with the live music, costume contest for bar cash and more on the rooftop bar, overlooking Oakland Cemetery.

TAP 1180 Pumpkin Beer Dinner
Red Brick’s lead brewer, Steve Anderson, will be on hand this Friday, October 31 from 5-8pm. He will be bringing in a specialty cask of pumpkin imperial stout, and 2 additional kegs of coffee/chocolate porter, as well as Laughing Skull with Werther’s originals candy.
Chef McCormick’s will also be dishing out some scary good Halloween treats:

·         Candied Gala Apples – brown butter & rum caramel, chopped peanuts
·         Frog Legs & Slime – crispy frog legs with cilantro chili & vinaigrette
·         Pork “Brains” – pork dumplings tossed in a sweet chili soy and scallion
·         These items can be ordered a la carte or as a pairing at your table. Flights of each cask will also be available for $12.00.

While you’re there, take a guess at how many candy corns we have in our jar. The winner will receive a $50 TAP gift certificate! For more information, visit tapat1180.com or call 404.347.2220

Winter Wren – Trick-o-Treat Halloween Celebration – October 31st, 6 p.m.
Join Winter Wren for a spooktacular celebration this Halloween. Beginning at 6 p.m. on October 31st, all ages and pups should visit the boutique with trick-or-treating, spooky cupcake decorating, a costume contest and more. All guests in costumes (or if guests are simply escorting their favorite little monsters or furry costumed friends) will receive 20% off all purchases that evening.

Red Pepper Taqueria – Day of the Dead Celebration, November 1st, 5 p.m.
Head to Red Pepper Taqueria on Saturday, November 1st as they celebrate Day of the Dead at both the Briarcliff and Buckhead locations. With live music, traditional decorations, specialty cocktails, $3 Harpoon UFO Pumpkin drafts, and cuisine created by chef and owner Mimmo Alboumeh, all ages are welcome to experience an day that also includes complimentary face painting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Briarcliff and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Buckhead. Lynnette Della Luce will be preforming at 7 PM at the Briarcliff location while Upang will be preforming at the Buckhead location at 7 PM. Kids are also invited to create their own masks. For more information, visit www.eatredpepper.com.

FlyWheel Avalon Opens: Free Classes this Weekend

If Saturday came and went without you noticing, Christmas is two months away.  TWO MONTHS. And Thanksgiving is only a month away. I don’t know about you, but it is right around this time that my diet / workout routine / willpower seems to go out the window.

Kick your workout into gear with kick-ass class at Flywheel to start out the month of November. Sign up for a free Flywheel (spinning class) or a Flybarre (toning and sculpting) See instructions for signing up below.

flywheel Avalon classes

 

Small Bites + Can’t Miss Cocktails at Chai Pani, Bellwoods SH and Bartaco

Good things really do come in small packages. As evidenced by some of the tasty treats I’ve had from fun spots in town.

Chai Pani
chai pani decatur
Chai Pani has these new line of sandwiches. You gotta get on this. They are a bit larger than sliders but come as a pair. The Maharja lamb burger, Bengali Fish Fry sandwich and Chatpatta Paneer all have wonderful toppings.

The Fish sandwich, made with NC Catfish was hands down the best of the trio. It’s so nice to have a “fish” sandwich that isn’t Tilapia. But this was a a really generous portion of fish. Plus, the ginger-chili mayo combined with the tomato chutney were incredible. The lamb burger was a close second. The pairs of sandwiches are around ten bucks.

chai pani sandwiches

L to R: The Bengali Fish Fry Sandwich, The Maharja Lamb Burger, and The Chatpatta Paneer Sandwich.

I love the atmosphere and energy of Chai Pani too! And don’t overlook the creative cocktails that they have. The Sharaabi Nimbu with Meyer Lemon Vodka, triple sec, pineapple, lime, vanilla was outstanding. They also have bottled cocktails too. I’m looking forward to trying the Jal Jeera Tequila made with tequila, cumin, ginger, fresh-squeezed lemon, black pepper, mint, bird’s eye chili on a future visit. Not drinking? The lime Rickey is pretty fabulous too. Day drinking here is totally acceptable.

Bellwoods Social House
Bellwoods Social house punch Bellwoods SH lobster roll
A newbie to the Westside, they have a delicious lobster roll plus there’s a mini brisket sandwich that is quite glorious too. My cocktail of choice at Bellwoods is the Bellwoods Punch. You gotta try this.

Bartaco
bartaco atlanta cocktails bartaco tacos westside
Love this open, airy spot. Check out this tray of tacos they fed us at the Taste of Atlanta tweetup. I didn’t get to try all of the them but the pork belly, fried fish, and shrimp ones with a touch of curry were delicious. Wash that all down with a Poor Chester’s Reviver.

Disclosure: All food and drink I received was complimentary, but the opinions are my own.

Chai Pani on Urbanspoon Bellwoods Social House on Urbanspoon Bartaco on Urbanspoon