Lobby Bar and bistro Atlantic Station

Lobby Bar and Bistro, Atlantic Station, Gets a New Chef

I’ve always liked the food and Lobby and Bar and Bistro. Unfortunately, for me it is like a middle child that often gets forgotten. Lobby has a new chef and I was invited to sample some of his tasty new treats. Chef Justin Kurtz has spent a considerable amount of time working for the Ritz-Carlton and also served as the executive chef at Chateau Elan Resort.

There’s a good mix of craft cocktails all priced at $12. Some of the more interesting sounding ones were the White Whiskey Punch, Ginger Blossom (made with vodka, ginger beer and muddled strawberries) sounds like a fun twist on a Moscow Mule. My choice was the Cucumber Collins with vodka, muddled cucumbers and thyme which was very refreshing.

Rather than indulge in a second cocktail I moved on to wine. There’s definitely a nice selection wines by the glass including Malbecs and Tempranillos, perfect to go with the spice of many of the dishes you’ll find on Lobby’s menu. However, I wasn’t really in love with either of the wines I sampled.

Lobby Bar and Bistro #ASNation

Cucumber and Green Apple Caprese Salad

Lobby’s menu is divided into three sections: Small Plates (average price / dish $5), Shared Pates (average price / dish $12) and Large Plates (average price / dish $29). With each section the choices get slimmer, with the Large Plates section only having five choices. But that’s okay, because I guarantee by the time you make it through the first two, you’ll only have room to share an entree, which is exactly what happened to me and my hubs.

Chef asked if he could just select things on the menu to have us try. When a chef suggest this, I never turn him down. Note the first dish (Cucumber and Green Apple Caprese salad pictured above) is a half portion of what would normally be served. I thought this was an incredible, yet simple twist on your normal caprese salad. The green apple (only slightly tart) and mint added such a wonderful change from normal tomato and basil. And what a deal for just $5.

Lobby bar and bistro in Atlantic Station review

Fried Egg

Another new favorite at Lobby Bar and Bistro? The Fried Egg. But this is no ordinary fried egg. It has a mustard base, but with the jamon serrano and fried bread crumbs it seem like a cross between a deviled egg and a scotch egg. Who would think so much pleasure could come from something so small? Another starter we sampled, the scallops with creamed corn (pictured at the top of the page) was quite good too and seems almost like a holdover from the last menu.

seafood restaurants in Atlantic Station Atlanta, ga

Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz

Under the shared plates we stuck to chilled seafood with Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz and Tuna Ceviche. We did sample the Duck Confit Flat Bread as well, and it was pretty disappointing. There seemed to be little duck and the “roasted grapes” had an overall displeasing taste. While I’m a slut for Tuna Ceviche, and Lobby’s with dates, grapefruit, pistachio and sweet potatoes sounded so promising, I’m a fennel hater and it seemed particularly overpowering in this dish.

seafood restaurants Atlantic Station

Blackened Salmon

Too full to share an entree each, we shared the Blackened Salmon. With charred corn and tomato coulis, the dish had a pretty smokey flavor. While I did love it, the smokiness might not be palatable for everyone. All throughout the menu there are touches of peppers  and spice, which shows the chef’s proclivity to south of the border foods, probably from his time spent working in South Beach.

Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal. But the opinions expressed are my own.

361 17th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363

 

 

Oktoberfest at Petite Auberge

No need to travel to north Georgia’s Helen, to celebrate Oktoberfest this year. Petite Auberge, has a traditional Oktoberfest dinner menu all month long and an authentic Oktoberfest Party on the third weekend of the month.
Oktoberfest at Petite Auberge
Now through Fri., Oct. 31, the restaurant offers an Oktoberfest dinner menu, featuring traditional German and Bavarian appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. Entrée selections, include: braised Bavarian Pork Roast, marinated German Sauerbraten, roasted Schweinshaxe, braised Beef Rouladen, pan-seared Wiener Schnitzel, sautéed Jaegerschnitzel, pan-fried German Rostbraten and, of course, Bratwurst and Knackwurst. Sides include are: potato pancake, spaetzle, Bavarian dumpling, whipped potatoes, red cabbage, sauerkraut and vegetables of the day. And of course, homemade Apple Strudel, for dessert.
The Oktoberfest Party happens on Fri., Oct. 17 and Sat., Oct. 18, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and features a buffet with all-you-can-eat traditional German and Bavarian cuisine (served until 9 p.m.). Items on the buffet include everything mentioned above. The restaurant’s courtyard and banquet rooms are transformed into a Bavarian-style festival hall for the festivities. The event also boasts a cash bar with select German draft beers and a selection of German wines as well as traditional “oompah” music by the famous polka party band Bavarian Express. The party costs $40 per person including gratuity.

Netherworld: #HauntedHouse Creeps Up Again

Netherworld #hauntedhouse
Now in it’s eighteenth year of production, the creators of Netherworld, one of the top rated haunted houses in the country, have learned a thing or two along the way about scaring us silly. Never having been before, I was excited to be invited to a special behind-the-scenes look at Netherworld and have a tour by co-creators Billy Messina and Ben Armstrong.

About 75,000 people come through Netherworld each season. The space has grown to encompass 40,000 feet (no wonder they can’t locate downtown). There are 125 actors and the costume room, which is the size of a small house, contains nearly 3,000 costumes.

As we toured through the different rooms and saw witches, psycho dolls, gigantic creatures, navigated spinning rooms, and dodged flying bodies, I came to understand what the appeal of Netherworld truly is. These guys are geniuses at creating something new and exciting each year.

“We want you to use all your senses,” says Ben. Not only is there a plethora of creepy sounds going on but during the show they even pipe in offensive scents into the air. And if you get sprayed in the mouth by the creepy dolls, well…

is netherworld haunted house scary netherworld haunt

What I really loved about Netherworld is that it is well thought out in that even when crowded, a group of people in front of you won’t necessarily spoil the surprise of what you might find when you enter a room. Many of the creatures are human operated, meaning they know just when to jump out and scare you. The rooms are small and the path twists and turns so you never know what the next room will hold.

While in the past, haunted houses had a theme of evil or terror, according to owner, Ben, now the trends are more about the supernatural and apocalyptic (think The Walking Dead). Knowing this, Ben and Billy work on incorporating that into Netherworld each year.

New this season is Spliced, the story of a human cloning company gone awry. The clones morphed into insidious monsters, leaving lots of blood in their path.

Netherworld is open every night from now until November 2, plus is open on November 7th and 8th. Check out the video of their opening weekend:

Looking for a place to eat near Netherworld? Check out these three ethnic spots.

The Mughals $
This restaurant serves a mixture of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine. Really want to get into the Halloween spirit? Order the brains masala. Yes, it’s actually on the menu. Not feeling quite so adventurous? The Chicken 65, curries, Biryani are sure to please.

Nam Phuong $$
For a taste of Vietnam, visit Nam Phuong. The restaurant has a popular Buford Highway location, and opened up this second location in Norcross. Menu highlights are the Catfish in Claypot, Salt and Pepper Tofu and Ground Shrimp with sugar cane.

Hae Woon Dae BBQ $$
This Korean barbecue is a terrific choice if you have a group of diners. The restaurant has grills in the center of the table for diners to cook their own food. It works well if you can order several dishes to share.

Atlanta’s Best Fall Festivals

By Kelley Musson

taste of atlanta 2014 restaurants

The great thing about Atlanta, is that it offers an array of festivals year round. Whether you’re a foodie, or an adventurer, or simply looking to enjoy the city a little more here are a few of the best fall festivals this year:

• Atlanta Pride Festival & Parade

On October 11th and 12th prepare yourself for a fun-filled weekend with Atlanta’s alternative lifestyle community. This weekend festival will be held at (but not limited to) Piedmont Park. The pride festival will have a great deal of booths and vendors, live entertainment as well as awesome activities for all ages. Starting off the weekend you can roll out your yoga mats for YoGaga, which is yoga inspired by Lady Gaga. Dress up in your best Lady Gaga costume and enjoy and hour of yoga…don’t forget to bring your little monsters! There will also be a health expo starting from 10:00am, which will include HIV testing, cancer prevention lectures, and other general health information.On Sunday, October 12th enjoy two hours of complimentary cocktails as well as a delicious brunch, all while watching the parade from the best angle. The weekend concludes that evening with a closing party with the Grammy nominated DJ duo, Rosabel.

• Elevate Art

Last year Elevate Atlanta united with 20 organizations to present a vast display of community artworks and 12 performances and events in 8 days. On October 17th Elevate Art will feature a kick off block party and will follow with art installations, music as well as dance performances throughout the week. There will be walking and biking tours to view all of the art around the downtown area. There will also be a viewing of public artwork via the MARTA trains and buses. And of course, this event includes food from a special art inspired menu! Cocktails will be from local downtown hotspots.

• Little. 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade

On October 18th bring the family out to one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country! Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade has been running for 14 years and counting. It’s held in Atlanta’s leading business, arts and music district from noon until 11:00pm. Each year thousands of festival goers flock to the area to enjoy amazing food and signature craft beers (courtesy of the Wrecking Bar Brewpub), and experience the best Halloween parade in the south. You can also expect live entertainment from two stages, and enjoy displays by local artists. The parade will display a variety of acts, from marching bands to zombies! It begins at 4:00pm from Euclid at Austin Avenue and ends at 6:00pm at Freedom Parkway.

• Taste of Atlanta

If you’re a true foodie you cannot miss this event! Taste of Atlanta is held over a three day period from October 24th to the 26th.  This year’s focus is the diverse neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. From Buckhead to East Atlanta, Taste of Atlanta is looking to capture the personality and flavor of these unique parts of the city. Friday’s kickoff event will take place between 7:00pm – 10:00pm. You can expect to start the weekend off with live entertainment, craft beers, wines from around the world, and cocktails. Saturday’s tent will include food activities such as Battle of the Burbs, the Iron Chefs Kids Competition and After Top Chef – where Top Chef ex contestants talk about life after the competition. Sunday will start off with Taco Takedown, followed by the Fried Chicken Face Off, as well as cooking with craft beers. Over 90 restaurants will be participating, and there will be four live cooking stages.

• Georgia Craft Beer Festival

The Georgia Craft Beer Festival is held on October 25th  at Candler Park. It’s an outdoor festival packed with over 30 breweries showcasing some of their best craft beers, with over 100 craft beers to sample! Don’t worry about sampling on an empty stomach; there will be tons of the city’s best  food trucks in attendance. Rain, blow or shine this event is a go. While you’re sipping your craft beer, you’ll be occupied by the variety of live performances.  Games and activities will also be a part of this festival, so get involved!

• Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp

Naturally, the Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp starts off with a carefree and easy going 5k, followed by a beer, you know, just for being a good sport. Beer for breakfast, mellow bluegrass melodies playing, an artist market filled with handcrafted goods, and tons of chili vendors, this festival has to be the most relaxing of them all. But, the chomp and stomp knows how to turn up the volume! By mid-day, you can pick up a $5 spoon and do some chili tasting. There’s a cabbage shredding competition as well as a slaw eating contest. Lastly, bobbing for brussel sprouts, of course. On November 1st tap into your inner country!

Pig and the Pearl, Atlantic Station, First Impressions

Pig and the pearl Atlantic Station

Red Headed Stepchild punch at The Pig and the Pearl

How do you put barbecue alongside oysters in a restaurant? With a ceiling full of oyster shells, a welcoming bar and relaxed yet slightly upscale digs, The Pig and the Pearl in Atlantic Station manages to do just that.

If you want a nice cocktail to start your evening, but something a little low on the alcohol content, order any of the punches, but the Red Headed Stepchild is my favorite with Gin, basil and strawberries. At only five bucks ,it is a deal. Craving something more stiff? Choose from any of the classic cocktails and you’ll be pleased.

I was pretty surprised to see a wine list as extensive as they have at Pig and the Pearl. Although I’d be more inclined to drink beer at a barbecue restaurant, I just couldn’t resist the Priorat, which was delightful, albeit at my limit for what I would spend on a glass of wine at $15.

I’d been in for lunch once before and was a bit disappointed with the burnt ends and pimento cheese I had. This sits atop a a single slice of Texas Toast. Great if you are watching your carb intake, but somewhat of a sad sandwich if you aren’t.

Pig and the Pearl Atlantic Station Pig and the pearl atlantic Station

Luckily, dinner fared better than lunch at the Pig and the Pearl. A tower with tuna tartare, jumbo shrimp and huge, tasty oysters was incredible. These are some of the best oysters I have ever had. And the deviled eggs with crispy shallots were quite tasty too. Devour all three of these tasty treats? Don’t mind if I do.

If you are a cheese lover, you won’t want to miss the Pimento Cheese Fritters or the Double Cream Mac n Cheese (pictured below). Both are over the top indulgent, but oh so good.

Pig and the pearl barbecue in Atlantic Station ribs pig and the pearl atlantic station

For meats, the wings were huge and quite satisfying. I found the ribs to be rather un-meaty, my least favorite of everything we tasted that night. The best was the brisket. Full of flavor and hearty, they didn’t need any sauce whatsoever, but the Bourbon barbecue sauce was indeed a nice pairing with it.

Service was a bit slow during the evening. It wasn’t packed, so I’m not sure if the waitstaff is still getting their feet wet or what but we waited a long time for both drinks and dessert. The Pig and the Pearl is definitely a unique concept and I love that Atlantic Station is really making an effort to bring in unique and local businesses.

The Pig and the Pearl website
1380 Atlantic Ave NW
Ste 14180
Atlanta, GA 30363

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