Guide to Alpharetta Restaurant Week

Perhaps you have heard of the Southeast’s new culinary hot spot known as Alpharetta, Georgia. Yes, it is true- Alpharetta is the place to go if you are looking for the ultimate chef-driven or locally owned dining experience. It has over 175 dining options just within the city limits and there are new restaurants by well-known chefs and local restauranteurs popping up all around town.

Every year, Flavors Magazine hosts an Alpharetta Restaurant Week to highlight the city’s foodie scene. This year the event runs from February 21-28 and features over 10 trendy eateries so epicureans can try out new spots and revisit old favorites that are serving cheap eats.

Menu prices this year are set at $15 for lunch and $25 for dinner and like other restaurant weeks, the prix fixe menus offer a variety of options that chefs are excited to show off. With so many tasty choices, it will be hard to choose. We’ve highlighted five restaurants to give you an idea of what to expect.

Alpine Bakery and Trattoria– $25 dinner menu

Serving Italian favorites, but best known for its bakery filled with the award-winning Red Velvet Cake and delectable seasonal treats. I have even known Floridians who make the six hour drive to Alpharetta every year around the holidays just to pick up a Yule Log.

What’s on the Menu (choose one from each course):

  • Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Calamari OR Mozzarella Sticks OR Rice Balls with Italian Sausage
  • Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Parmigiana (Chicken or Eggplant) with Angel hair Pasta OR

House-made Lasagna OR Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage

  • Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Peanut Butter Bar OR Key Lime Bar OR Rocky Road Bar
Bantam + Biddy’s Quarter Rotisserie Chicken with piri piri, pickled beets and goat cheese, broccoli and faro salad with Vidalia onion dressing

Bantam + Biddy’s Quarter Rotisserie Chicken with piri piri, pickled beets and goat cheese, broccoli and faro salad with Vidalia onion dressing

Bantam + Biddy- $15 lunch menu

Bantam + Biddy has been serving Atlantans with a casual family-friendly dining experience since 2012. The eatery, which prides itself with serving regional, all-natural and pastured poultry, has been in Alpharetta since the opening of Avalon in October 2014. Executive Chef and Co-owner, Shaun Doty, has a passion for creating simply prepared contemporary fare and his extensive culinary experience is the driving force behind this casually creative eatery.

What’s on the Menu (choose one from each course):

  • Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Pimento Cheese OR Chopped Pastured Chicken Liver OR Jb Farm Deviled Eggs
  • Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Chicken with two Sides OR Meatloaf with two Sides OR Pork Schnitzel with one side
  • Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Dessert of your choice
The MADE Kitchen and Cocktails bar

The MADE Kitchen and Cocktails bar

MADE Kitchen and Cocktails- $15 lunch menu and a $25 dinner menu

Chic and comfortable, MADE Kitchen and Cocktails has been on every Alpharetta foodie’s radar since the restaurant concept was announced by local restauranteur, Chris Sedgwick. The menu features savory Spanish-inspired tapas with a “Made” twist. The bocadillos, or Spanish sandwiches, accompany the menu along with craft cocktails, wines and beer.

What’s on the Lunch Menu (choose one from each course):

  • Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Made Salad (mixed greens, radish, manchego, sherry vinaigrette) OR Stewed Lentils with house- made chorizo
  • Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Braised Short Rib Croquettes with romesco OR Pei Mussels with saffron, garlic, white wine and grilled bread
  • Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Seasonal Tapas Tart with vanilla-mascarpone ice cream OR a Shattered Chocolate Bar with Marcona almonds and candied orange peels

What’s on the Dinner Menu (choose one from each course):

  • Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Coal Roasted Beets with goat cheese and mint and sherry vinaigrette OR Boquerones with anchovies, parsley, garlic and olive oil OR Pimientos Asados with blistered shishito peppers and sea salt
  • Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Crispy Duck Leg with pear mustarda and raddichio OR Camarones a la Plancha with prawns and lemon-butter OR Grilled Skirt steak with twice fried fingerling potatoes and chimichurri
  • Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Seasonal Tapas Tart with vanilla-mascarpone ice cream OR Manchego Cheese with apple-bourbon butter OR a Shattered Chocolate Bar with marcona almonds and candied orange peels
Ray's at Killer Creek

Ray’s at Killer Creek

Ray’s at Killer Creek- $25 Dinner Menu

Ray’s at Killer Creek features a coastal inspired casual dining experience that is complete with fresh seafood and hospitable staff.

What’s on the Menu (choose one from each course):

  • Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Field Green Salad with sundried cranberries, candied pecans and Maytag blue cheese OR Caesar salad with herb croutons and shaved pecorino OR Cup of crab bisque soup laced with sherry and chive crema
  • Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Cedar Plank Salmon with grilled asparagus, whipped potatoes and Chile-blue crab butter OR Grilled Beef Brochettes with Moroccan cous cous, wild mushroom jus and warm arugula OR Pan Roasted Airline Chicken breast with lemon gnocchi, sugar snaps and baby carrots
  • Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Chocolate Mousse Cake with a raspberry purée and fresh berries OR Crème brûlée with seasonal fruit compote and fresh whipped cream
Miss Emily’s Chicken Salad from Mittie’s Tea Room

Miss Emily’s Chicken Salad from Mittie’s Tea Room

Mittie’s Tea Room Café- $15 lunch Menu

Set in an adorable tea room atmosphere, Mittie’s serves traditional “tea time” menu options such as scones, sandwiches and salads. The chicken salad croissant is perhaps the most praised sandwich with almonds, sliced grapes, and a special blend of spices served on a buttery melt-in-your-mouth croissant.

What’s on the Menu:

Course 1 (Appetizer) Choices: Soup of the Day OR Lobster Bisque and a beverage of your choice

Course 2 (Entrée) Choices: Quiche OR Crepes OR Salmon filet and a salad OR fruit

Course 3 (Dessert) Choices: Teacakes OR Scones and Chantilly Cream

Other participating restaurants include: Firefly Kitchen & Bar, Haiku, La Casa Italian Grill, PURE taqueria., Sage Woodfire Tavern, Salt, Spice Brick Oven Kitchen and Vinny’s on Windward. For a list of all the participating restaurant menus click here. Happy dining!

CaitlynFlorida native turned Georgian, Caitlyn Blizzard is the Director of Communications at the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and loves advocating all things fun and unique in Awesome Alpharetta. She enjoys exploring metro Atlanta attractions and restaurants and spending time outside with her miniature schnauzer, Winstyn.

Top FREE Things to Do in Alpharetta

1With options such as exploring the city’s parks and trails to browsing the downtown shops, you don’t have to break the budget to have an awesome time in Alpharetta, Georgia!

  1. Pack a picnic and walk the Big Creek Greenway. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, look no further than Alpharetta’s 12 foot wide paved path for biking, walking or roller blading. There are five access points to the trail and after you have conquered the Greenway, Alpharetta has 12 other trails to explore.2
  2. Attend one of Alpharetta’s countless free events. Alpharetta may be known for its new foodie game but the events in the city are what give it the hometown feel that visitors keep coming back for. The Awesome Alpharetta calendar of events stays full of festivals, races and other happenings throughout the year. Almost every event has free admission and entertainment. 
  3. Visit the Walk of Memories. The only one of its kind in Georgia, this memorial pays tribute to U.S. veterans, family and friends through a walkway of nearly 8,000 bricks inscribed with the names of Georgians who have served our country. Monuments along the walkway spotlight several conflicts, including WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
  4. Arboretums and parks. Alpharetta’s three arboretums at Cogburn Road Park, Webb Bridge Park and Wills Park are living museums of trees that can be used for education, research and enjoyment. 3
  5. Browse the downtown Alpharetta shops. Great for window shopping or purchasing gifts, downtown Alpharetta offers a variety of funky retailers, antique stores and art galleries that you’ll only find in Alpharetta. If you are an art lover, you will want to visit the area the last full weekend of every month from May-September for Art in the Park. Local artists set up shop along the street and create custom art pieces for browsers and shoppers to enjoy.
  6. Play Disc Golf at Wills Park. Grab friends and participate in an 18-hole course that is set up all throughout the park. The park also features baseball fields, picnic pavilions, walking trails and Wacky World playground.4
  7. Take a history walk. Alpharetta’s extensive history can be discovered by picking up a complimentary history walk brochure at the Alpharetta Welcome Center. The self-guided tour gives you details on 17 historical markers that are located throughout the downtown Alpharetta area.
  8. Geocaching in Alpharetta will help you find treasures in and around our city. Visit geocaching.com and search Alpharetta zip codes (30004, 30005, 30009, 30002) to find a complete list of all the caches around town. Plug in the coordinates into your GPS device and start hunting!

 

CaitlynFlorida native turned Georgian, Caitlyn Blizzard is the Director of Communications at the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and loves advocating all things fun and unique in Awesome Alpharetta. She enjoys exploring metro Atlanta attractions and restaurants and spending time outside with her miniature schnauzer, Winstyn.

 

Ride a Dirt Bike in Alpharetta

1

Alpharetta, Ga., has plenty to choose from when looking for unique adventures, but there is one hidden gem that fills every daredevil with excitement: the expansive Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Campus. It is definitely a “must do” in Alpharetta, and having never been on a motorized bike before, it was time for me to cross “learn how to ride a dirt bike” off of my bucket list.

2The state-of-the-art MSF facility is dedicated to expanding rider education and motorcycle safety opportunities. On any given day, you’ll find street bikers taking basic training, youngsters learning how to maneuver ATVs, groups team building, families learning the elements of dirt biking or, in our case, a class of first-time riders eager to learn. After signing up for the basic rider course, I felt a zing of excitement and recruited a friend (who also had never been on a bike before) to join me.

The day started off bright and early as we suited up with protective gear and learned basic hand signals and safety precautions. All training courses include motor safety gear from head to toe, certified coaches and CRF Honda dirt bikes. After we were properly geared up, we hopped on our bikes (already personalized with our names!) to learn basic skills and rules of the road. Before we knew it, our class of 10 was doing figure eights around orange cones and standing while make turns. I couldn’t believe it!

3We continued the day doing some drills, and as each instructor gave the lesson, my classmates and I would look at each other with wide eyes as we tried to picture ourselves completing the tasks. The instructors would ensure us that we could do it and were enthusiastic and patient with us as we took the time to learn the drill. The instructors were phenomenal. They were patient and motivational as we weaved around the cones and tried our newly learned skills. After each round, we were greeted with high fives and congratulations. Needless to say, after about 20 drills, we were exhausted and ready to head home to relax. It was a fun-filled day, and we can’t wait to try another class at the campus.

Tips for your first day:

  • Stay hydrated. The staff has a cooler filled with bottled water for you to have throughout the day. Make sure to use it.
  • Eat breakfast before gearing up. You need a lot of energy.
  • Be patient with yourself. Jumping on a bike for the first time isn’t easy. It sometimes took me longer to learn the skills than my classmates. I would get frustrated with myself at times, but I kept trying and eventually got the hang of things.
  • Bring snacks and pack a lunch. You have a few breaks throughout the day and an hour for lunch. We packed our lunches, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby, so a quick outing to grab a bite would work, too.
  • Don’t plan to head to the gym afterward. Pushing a 250-pound bike around and sweating under all that gear can wear you out. Plan to relax after your lesson (maybe even plan a trip to an Alpharetta spa).
  • Have fun and enjoy the ride!

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation campus is located within the American Honda Complex at 1450 Morrison Parkway. For more information about the classes offered or the campus, visit www.offroad-training.org. For more information on where to find adventure and accommodations in Alpharetta, Ga., visit www.awesomealpharetta.com.

Caitlyn BlizzardFlorida native turned Georgian, Caitlyn Blizzard graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Communication Arts.  She is the communications manager with the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and loves advocating all the fun and unique things to do in awesome Alpharetta. She enjoys exploring metro Atlanta attractions and restaurants and spending time with her miniature schnauzer, Winstyn.

Girls Day in Alpharetta

Alpharetta Farmers MarketAlpharetta, Ga., known for its year-round family-friendly events, welcoming community, delectable foodie experiences and exceptional shopping, is the perfect place to plan an adventurous weekend getaway with the girls. I had been trying to get my friends together for awhile for a girls’ day, but with our busy social and travel schedules, it is hard to find a day when everyone is free. Thankfully, the girls were free on an action-packed weekend in Alpharetta, so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful Georgia summer day to explore. We started off the day piling in my Camry in Buckhead around 7:30 a.m. and driving up to Alpharetta, a mere 22 miles north of Atlanta.

Our first stop was the Alpharetta Farmers Market, which was already bustling with couples on leisurely morning strolls and families planning their meals for the week. The vendors had that great Georgia hospitality and were eager to strike up conversations and to let us sample their specialties. We were blown away with the variety of goodies available, including everything from fresh fruits and veggies to homemade Bloody Mary mix.

Exploring Alpharetta Art in the Park in downtown AlpharettaAfter browsing the market and making a few unexpected (and very tasty) purchases, we made our way over to Milton Avenue just around the corner to browse the pieces at Alpharetta Art in the Park. The event happens the last full weekend of every month from April to October. Each piece of art on display was created by local artists, some of whom were creating art as we were strolling through.

The streets of Alpharetta were filled with people, and the doors of the downtown shops were propped open and ready for business. We dropped into Sis and Moon’s to browse the eclectic artwork, Gallery 35 to see pieces from local artists, and the Cotton House Antiques and Consignments to get some decorating ideas. Each store was filled with shoppers looking for great deals.

Having a fun time at Bucca di BeppoNext, we were off to lunch at Bucca di Beppo. The staff was exquisite; they led us on a tour of the kitchen (where the highly coveted “Kitchen Table” sits) and to the back room where we had our own private vintage setting to dine in. We all shared a bowl of apple gorgonzola salad and chicken saltimbocca topped with sage, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, lemon and capers. Authentic Italian fare was just what we needed to refuel for the rest of the day.

After filling up, it was time for the spa! We were greeted with warm smiles at the Youthopia Medical Spa, a world-class skin rejuvenation and total body wellness facility. We checked in easily with an iPad as we sipped coconut water and talked excitedly about what procedure we were having done. Each of the girls had a different service, including a pedicure, massage, teeth whitening and facial. We were beyond pleased with the staff’s service and have all vowed to return on our own for another spa day.

Then, we were off to Vino 100’s weekly wine tasting party, which takes place every Saturday. (They also offer complimentary wine tasting daily.) After sampling an excellent array of wines, we ventured to Alpine Bakery and Trattoria for dinner, where we were immediately greeted with friendly hosts who seated us in a quiet table toward the back of the restaurant. The lighting and soft music created the perfect ambiance. Our appetizer was a combination of a caprese salad stacked with mozzarella – my taste buds literally jumped with excitement! We continued our delectable meal with the grilled sea scallops and the lobster, alpine rustica (penne baked with shrimp, chicken, prosciutto, and gratinata sauce), lobster ravioli and baked fussili bolognese. Everything was delicious, and we were “forced” to end the meal with a slice of one of Alpine Bakery’s famous cheesecakes, which was enough to feed all four of us for a week.

Enjoying great company at Matilda'sIt was time to cap off the night at Matilda’s. There is something special about Matilda’s – maybe it’s the hospitable environment and the diverse crowd nestled around funky tables enjoying the company of friends as they share bottles of wine and goodies from picnic baskets. Or maybe it is looking up and seeing that you are comfortably settled under perfectly placed pine trees that make you feel like you are in your own little world as you sit back and sway to the funky tunes of the performing artists. Alpharetta is well known for its Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, but the smaller music venues are starting to set themselves apart and help pinpoint Alpharetta as a music lover’s destination. Matilda’s was the perfect spot to end our day. As we walked back to my car to head back to Atlanta, the planning was already in full force for the next girls outing in “awesome Alpharetta.”

See a video of our Girls Day in Alpharetta here.

Caitlyn BlizzardFlorida native turned Georgian, Caitlyn Blizzard graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Communication Arts.  She is the communications manager with the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and loves advocating all the fun and unique things to do in awesome Alpharetta. She enjoys exploring metro Atlanta attractions and restaurants and spending time with her miniature schnauzer, Winstyn.