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Back to the Mothership: Polaris Reopens

21 Jul

We’re suckers for good food with a spinning view. That’s why when we heard the blue-domed UFO was reopening after 10 years of darkness, we had to check it out. We sat at the bar, which meant we were facing the window at all times–kind of a nice perk, since that’s half the reason of going. We were handed literal books featuring a history of the restaurant in addition to the drink and food offerings. The menu is a rotating (ha) collection of locally sourced and locally grown seasonal foods by executive chef Michael Pfefferkorn–including items that are literally grown on the Hyatt’s roof and can be seen from the restaurant. Most of the dishes are tapas style small plates for sharing. We started with bacon popcorn and a Holeman & Finch bacon baguette.

Polaris bacon

Bacon popcorn and bacon baguette

Next we decided to go full-on ritzy with Steak Oscar, served with Dungeness crab, potatoes and asparagus; and a Maine Lobster Cocktail served with a strawberry horseradish sauce.

Polaris steak

Steak Oscar

Polaris lobster

Lobster cocktail

We were not disappointed. The food was top quality, and though the portions are small, the flavors are rich and intense–usually a sign that you don’t need to eat a whole bucket of whatever’s on the plate. They bring each item separately and with a fair amount of space in between. Of course, a highlight of the Polaris is the drink menu–featuring Polaris’ own barrel of Elijah Craig bourbon.

Polaris Elijah Craig

What happens when you’re closed so long you can age quality liquor.

Plus local beer offerings and standard bar fare. Allow us to call attention to the Camper’s Hooch. This fun little concoction is bacon-infused Polaris bourbon, apple and blueberry-infused maple syrup, and a toasted marshmallow. BOOM.

Polaris Campers Hooch

Camper’s Hooch

Take this in for a moment. Of course, we couldn’t leave without some kind of chocolate dessert.

Polaris chocolate

Chocolate

This featured some kind of chocolate mousse and hazelnut air cake and something else we honestly can’t remember (mascarpone?). It looks tiny, but it was actually hard to finish. Overall, this is an elegant little spot and it’s nice to have it back on the Atlanta dining scene. They don’t take reservations, so get there early or be flexible with seating arrangements. Don’t expect heaping portions or get in a rush with your order. Just sit back and let Polaris spin you right round. view from Polaris

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Celebrations: Krispy Kreme Turns 77

10 Jul
krispy kreme

image via krispykreme.com

This is kind of a big deal. Beloved Southern doughnut chain Krispy Kreme will celebrate its 77th birthday on July 11. (Best. Friday. Ever.) For that day only, you can buy a dozen glazed doughnuts for 77 cents. That’s about 6.5 cents per doughnut. We’re not sure how the hot light will keep up with demand.

But we’re sure it’s never been easier to jump to the top of the list for Employee of the Month.

Local Food On Your Doorstep: PeachDish

17 Jun
Peach Dish box

PeachDish arrives

We are pretty much in love with the idea of cooking, but not so much with the shopping and prep-work. Now that there’s a crop of new businesses offering to deliver fresh ingredients a recipe, it pretty much keeps the entire process a pants-not-required experience.

PeachDish is Atlanta’s own meal-in-a-box concept, featuring local ingredients and delicious ways to combine them before shoving them into your face. Sometimes they team up with local chefs. We’ve actually been subscribing since October of last year, but haven’t gotten around to blogging about how awesome it is. (For shame, we love supporting local businesses!)

peach dish meal

BOOM, food

It works like this: you sign up and pay $50 to get two meals for two people per week. Sign up by Monday night, and your box of food arrives on Wednesday if you’re in Atlanta.

Then, you get what we call the “TV chef” cooking experience. Where everything is already pre-portioned for easy combining. Do your own slicing and dicing, follow the directions, and ta-da–a yummy meal.

Sophie's chicken

Sophie’s Chicken, with a side of almonds and chocolate dessert in a mason jar

Of course, unlike the TV chef experience, you don’t get to put raw food in the oven and immediately pull out beautifully plated cooked food. But sometimes sacrifices must be made.

steak

Steak

The customer service is great, too: Sometimes deliveries go awry, and sometimes perishable things don’t survive their journey, but PeachDish has always been understanding when mishaps inevitably happen.

Sign up here to see for yourself: https://subscribe.peachdish.com/ Pay with your Amazon account if you so desire. Get in on the new trend of having fresh, healthy meals delivered to your doorstep (some assembly required). It’s like Ikea for your dinner.

Too Damn Cute: Starbucks x Alice + Olivia

6 Nov
image

Image via Starbucks

There is a soft spot in our hearts for Alice + Olivia–Stacey Bendet’s designs are fun and sexy in an effortless way every season.

This holiday season, she’s teamed up with Starbucks to offer cute gifts for the season, a teddy bear and a matching tumbler. Retailing from $20-$40, this just may make us reconsider our love for Dunkin.

Now Open: Zeal Restaurant

30 Oct

Last week, Zeal Restaurant opened in Marietta, in an inconspicuous shopping center on Johnson Ferry that also houses Red Sky Tapas, Aurelio’s Pizza, Bagelicious, Ali’s Cookies, and other fantastic, I-can’t-believe-this-is-in-Marietta restaurants. Zeal takes the place of Empress of China II, which shuttered this past May.

Oooh, look at the fancy glasses.

Oooh, look at the fancy glasses.

The menu features farm-to-table fare from executive chef Eric Mulville–items like ribeye, jumbo shrimp, scallops, catfish and more. The bar boasts a wide selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles, including selections from local breweries like Wild Heaven, Sweetwater and Terrapin. The ambiance is a kind of “squeaky-clean rustic” look, but when it comes to eateries, squeaky-clean is always a bonus. Overall, the restaurant has a feel that is sort of reminiscent of nearby-neighbor Seed, but based on the popularity of Seed it seems like there can be more than one. The menu is supposedly “designed for sharing,” although we’ll see how that goes over time. (Sharing is caring, but touch my steak and I will cut you.) Also impressive: the comfy couches in the lounge area and large patios (which may be less impressive when the temperature isn’t 70 degrees).

Fried grits. Yes.

Fried grits. Yes.

Consumed and enjoyed: goat cheese grit fritters, ribeye with blue cheese grits, grilled catfish and strawberry cheesecake. The steak wasn’t the best ever, but it was still good. The cheesecake was surprisingly creamy.

Mine.

Mine.

Verdict: worth the trip OTP, if only for something slightly different because you’ve already tried all the other farm-to-table joints ITP.

This cheesecake is legit.

This cheesecake is legit.

It’s About Time: A Look At the New Sun Dial

23 Aug
sun dial

Inside the Sun Dial

If you’ve been writing off the Sun Dial as an overpriced tourist trap, it’s time you took another look at the rotating dinner-with-a-view. After a $3-million makeover, the shiny new spot is dressed to impress. We visited on a cloudy, rainy Friday night–turns out, when you’re a local who’s not desperate to see all the sites, literally eating in the middle of the clouds is kind of cool and eerie.

sun dial
The cocktail menu got a shake-up. There’s a lot of fun, fruity flavors; a white chocolate mudslide that seemed popular; and bartenders who also know how to make a decent standard Manhattan.

sun dial drinks

Pre-dinner: caramel apple martini. Post-dinner: mint chocolate almost-a-milkshake

Tested and approved menu items: bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, duck a l’orange, low country boil, magnolia buttermilk tart, and a candied-bacon-chocolate-pistachio-shortbread-caramel concoction of joy.

bacon wrapped shrimip

Bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, pickled peaches, and peach bbq sauce

duck

Duck l’orange

magnolia tart

Magnolia buttermilk tart

bacon

Seriously, bacon.

If you’ve never had chocolate and bacon together, you’re failing at life.

Honestly, the Sun Dial isn’t going to change the way you think about food, but where previously patrons seemed to pay for a great view and decent food, it now seems more balanced. Don’t cancel your reservations on a cloudy day, and don’t forget–this is an awesomely festive view around the holidays for those who want to see all the lights in Atlanta without having to drive.

Con: not sure if they’re trying to dump the tourist vibe, but the bar area previously had signs on the walls telling directions and a general idea of what’s currently in view (ie, “Stone Mountain” or “Buckhead”), those signs were sadly missing. Kind of sad for people who don’t know the local geography.

Coming Soon: New Brews at Starbucks

25 Jan

Image via Starbucks.com

 

Starbucks is adding some new brews to its menu–the kind you typically drink to wind down at the end of the day, instead of kick-starting your morning. Atlanta is one of a few test markets where the coffee giant will be exploring the addition of beer and wine to its menu. Four to six stores in the Atlanta area will get the upgrade, which will be tailored “reflect local customer tastes and preferences.” We’re not really sure how Starbucks is going to determine beer preference based on geography, unless this means they will try to include locally sourced brews. Either way, we think this will make study groups and book clubs and helluva lot more interesting.

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