I went to a Blogger Brunch at Nava with Mom to preview their new brunch menu with other Atlanta Food Bloggers. They just recently started serving brunch, and it was an amazing experience. I had never been there before, although I had heard great things about its luxurious details and Southwestern Cuisine. Basically, many restaurants you visit serve run-of-the-mill cuisine that you could probably easily make at home. At Nava, every bite elicits an “OMG!” reaction. I am not joking. We loved every bite of our meal, and the other bloggers seemed to as well.
Nava Restaurant is known for its bold Southwestern flavors, prime Buckhead location, and comfortable environment with excellent service. The Executive Chef is Ryan Delesandro. Ryan has a lot of experience with Southern and Southwestern Cuisine. He lives in Alpharetta, and practices mixed martial arts. The décor at Nava is a gorgeous southwestern theme, and there is also an outdoor seating area. You can order a bottle of Prickly Pear Margarita with enough for several drinks, and lounge out on the beautiful patio eating an unforgettable brunch while watching the well-heeled Buckhead atmosphere.
Below is the Brunch Preview Menu I sampled, all of which was fantastic. Click here for the full Nava Brunch Menu. Nava Brunch Menu
When you first arrive at Nava and are seated in the casual, yet opulent ambience, servers bring you a basket of warm cornbread shaped like corn sheaves, and made from blue corn, with a large square of fresh butter. You will also get a basket of corn chips, and three gourmet salsas. We had Mango Habañero, Avocado Tomatillo, and Chipotle Tomatillo. Then, you should probably try one of their margaritas like the Prickly Pear, which is made with Cuervo Gold Tequila; or the GA Peach Bellini, or the Peach Payaso Mojito. My favorite of all was the Spiced Flower, which is mixed with Hangar One Chipotle Vodka, and is surprisingly tasty and spicy.
After brunch, we were treated to some desserts, which were heavenly. Just listen to what they were – Key Lime Pie with Guava Ice Cream, Chocolate Mud Pie with Kahlua Ice Cream and Black Cherries, and Blue Agave Cheesecake with Prickly Pear Sorbet. To die for!! Everything on the menu was just perfect. Really. I was so impressed with Nava, and I can’t wait to go back.
Nava Taco Trio – Baja Fish Taco, Chipotle BBQ Brisket Taco, Shrimp and Grits Taco
Johnny Cakes – Spring Tree Maple Syrup, Thick Cut Apple Wood Smoked Bacon
“Bacon” & Eggs – Crispy Pork Belly, Masa Gorditas, Chorizo, Chipotle Aioli, Pan Fried Farm Eggs, Citrus Arugula Salad
The first Atlanta Food and Wine Festival begins today. It will showcase authentic foods, wines and spirits from across the Southern region, from May 19 - 22, 2011. The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival will be the first luxury festival in the nation dedicated exclusively to Southern food and beverage traditions. The Festival will highlight the best of the region from Texas to West Virginia and the states in between, building upon three key themes: old traditions, new traditions and imports and inspirations that have influenced Southerners in the kitchen.
Inspired by the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, the Atlanta Festival will take the best elements of other national festivals, build upon them and then infuse a spirit of honoring the regional food culture. Leveraging the expertise of a Founders Council of the best Southern culinary talents, the Festival will offer carefully-designed seminars, demonstrations and tasting experiences, representing the unique flavors of the region. The festival “will unite leaders of their craft – barbecue pit masters, award-winning chefs and mixologists, Master Sommeliers, fry cooks and local growers – to provide Festival guests the opportunity to sip, savor and learn about the best of Southern food and beverage traditions."
Festival programming will be complimented by tasting and learning opportunities provided by wine makers and chefs from other southern regions around the world like Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece whose southern European food and wine traditions have influenced local flavors and techniques.
Midtown Atlanta will serve as home to the Festival, which will open to ticket holders on Friday with seminars and special connoisseur programming. Saturday will include seminars, demonstrations, the opening of the Tasting Tents, and a number of special events around town. The grand finale will begin Sunday morning with additional demonstrations and the Tasting Tents. I will be there on Saturday. Hope to see you there!
Hard Rock Café Atlanta Velvet Underground (Additional Photos at bottom, including Shakira's pants) Dan and I were lucky enough to be invited to a special Hard Rock Café Media Dinner to taste the new and improved lighter Hard Rock Café menu last week, and it was a really cool experience. Hard Rock is rolling out 12 new healthier menu options. We ate, drank, were merry, and we learned a lot. For instance, I didn’t know that there are 170 Hard Rock Cafés around the world!
The atmosphere in the Velvet Underground private room was luxury rock and roll, and the food was great! The Velvet Underground room is available for private parties and corporate events, and you can order from a banquet menu and request extras such as a potato bar or carving station. I loved the décor – lots of rich woods, red, and copper, with a gorgeous pink marble bathroom.
Dina, Jennifer, and Elise were our super sweet PR Diva hostesses at the party, and Chef Anna spoke to us about each course as it was served. The servers were all friendly, hip men and women, and took wonderful care of all of us. Meanwhile, the expert bartender Dimples mixed up delicious cocktails. We also met the new manager of the Hard Rock Café Gatlinburg, Trisha, and we watched a film about Hard Rock’s philanthropy, which is extensive.
I am impressed by Hard Rock’s commitment to “Love All, Serve All,” and by their new menu, and I have to say I love their swag! I have been to Hard Rock before – last time at a Librarian luncheon, where I got a very cool guitar keychain. I love their pins and shirts, bags, etc. We also got a 40th Anniversary pin since it’s been 40 years since the first Hard Rock Café was started by two Americans in London. I always have a good time there! I guess I am a rock & roll girl.
Here was our menu for the evening -
Cocktails – All of the drinks were expertly made. We had a Red Passion (The best!) and a Hurricane. You get to keep the glasses!
Bruschetta – Great bruschetta – ciabatta with tomatoes and shaved parm.
Crab Cakes – Wonderful! Served with an adorable tiny fork and fantastic dill sauce.
Smoked Salmon Crostini – Another lovely nosh with the amazing dill sauce.
Mystery, Surprises, Food and more at Callaway Gardens
Dust off your Deerstalker cap and polish your favorite monocle, ‘cause Callaway Gardens needs your detective skills for “Showdown at Northspoon”. At this mystery dinner theater, guests will join the Sheepling siblings as they learn who will inherit Northspoon, the family ranch. Who successfully met the goal set forth by their deceased relative for the big inheritance? The drama on the ranch continues to grow as the moment of truth approaches. Can you figure out “whodunit” before dessert is served?
The Mystery Dinner Theater will include opportunities to interact with the cast while you dine on delicious cuisine from the Callaway Gardens culinary team led by Executive Chef Joe Malone. Guests selected just before the show will receive reading parts and will be cued to deliver their award winning performances. Expect a few surprises and activities to add to the fun, and solving the mystery comes with token prizes for the winning team.
“Showdown at Northspoon” takes place at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Packages start at $115* and include accommodations at the Mountain Creek Inn, a reception,Mystery Dinner Theater, and admission to Callaway’s world-class Gardens. Visit in October for a Vampire themed mystery dinner.
Canoe's Song of the South live music series at the outdoor river bar features live local artists every Wednesday evening from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. throughout the spring. The Song of the South music series features all new musicians that are better than ever. Guests can relax in the riverside Adirondack chairs, gather around the River Bar, savor their aperitif and listen to local artists. Chef Carvel Grant Gould’s “River Snacks” features tasty, inexpensive treats, and of course, the bar will serve a variety of local beers, signature river cocktails and wines by the glass. The River Bar will be open daily, weather permitting, just in time for the beautiful spring and summer Georgia weather.
Song of the South Music Schedule Wednesday, May 18 Sam Thacker Wednesday, May 25 Tim Brantley Wednesday, June 1 Ben Deignan Wednesday, June 8 Scotty Cram
Canoe has been featured in notable publications such as Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Gourmet, The Wine Spectator, and the New York Times.
Yoforia is now open at Perimeter Pointe
Gregor Turk - whose show Shift will open at the White Provision gallery, Astolfi Art, on Thursday, May 19 and run through June 30. Astolfi Art Turk`s work typically references mapping and place-making and often incorporates elements of institutional markers, signs, symbols, iconography and pictograms (see awesome map of Miami that he gifted us and which we proudly hang at LLPR). The new series features panels and sculptures that are all pairings of trapezoidal shapes in the blues and greens found on world maps. Turk has permanent public art installations in the International Concourse at the Atlanta Airport and in the Jacksonville Airport. His work is included in the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection in New York and numerous other public and private collections. The opening is Thursday, May 19 from 6 to 9 p.m.
I volunteered to try out Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken for a FoodBuzz Tastemaker Event, and here is my recipe idea for the Tyson Chicken Strips, since I love tempura. (stock photo)
Tempura Chicken Strips with Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken
1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 pinch salt 1 cup water 1 egg yolk 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 1 bag Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips - thawed (22 oz.) 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1.Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 2.Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Make a depression in the center of the flour. Stir in the water and egg yolk. Mix just until moistened; batter will be lumpy. Stir in egg whites. 3.One at a time, dip chicken strips into the batter to coat. Carefully place a few strips at a time into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. 4.Dip in hot mustard, ginger or duck sauce, and enjoy! (Adapted from a recipe by S. Sundt on Allrecipes.com)
The Marietta Greek Festival is next weekend! I am very excited about going, because I have never been to a Greek Festival before. I have heard that the festival is a lot of fun.
2011 Marietta Greek Festival
ADMISSION Only $3!
When • May 13, 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM • May 14, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM • May 15, 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Where On the grounds of the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church 3431 Trickum Road Marietta, Georgia 30066 770.924.8080
• FREE PARKING • FREE SHUTTLE • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT plus a chance to win TWO ROUND-TRIP TICKETS TO GREECE!!!
Please note: no animals or pets are allowed, except those registered for the disabled.
And the best part - the Homemade Greek Food and Greek Beers and Liqueurs! Greek Beers and Liqueurs like Ouzo and Metaxa, Sampler Platter, Souvlaki Platter, Greek Salad, Gyro Wrap, Saganaki, Spanakopita, Chocolate Baklava, and Greek Meatballs for the kids! Greek Festival MENU
Also, there will be an Agora with shops, Folk Dancers at the “Zorba Show,” and Tours of the Beautiful Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church.
Music Events Today Northside Drive Baptist Church’s Music on the Hill series continues with a concert of Trios by Dvorak and Brahms at 3 p.m. May 8.
The Atlanta Wind Symphony offers a program titled “City Music,” which will take listeners on a musical journey through London, Paris, New York and other metropolises at 3 p.m. May 8 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.
The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Spring Concert includes works by Barber, Respighi, Copland and Liszt. 3 p.m. May 8 at Atlanta Symphony Hall.
Comedy This Mother’s Day Celebration is all about the laughter as comedians Arnez J, Earthquake and Lavell Crawford are joined by host MC Lightfoot. At 7 p.m. May 8 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.
Thank you for 9 Years of Atlanta Foodies! Fun reviews of Atlanta restaurants and much more! Atlanta Foodies includes food news, history, and foodies news. I'm Becca, the epicurean writer. I have lots of foodie and chef friends in the Atlanta area who contribute as well.
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