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Joke backfires at Woodfire Grill and other tips from readers

I received an anonymous tip that Raymond Hook, our city's god of cheeses, had left Woodfire Grill. A few phone calls later, and I had confirmed it was true. It seems that the restaurant wanted to hold an April Fool's edition of its monthly cheese tastings, which Hooks hosts, featuring Velveeta, Cheez Whiz and so forth. Hook refused to be associated with the event and the restaurant sent out a news release announcing it anyway, but without mentioning Hook's name. Nonetheless, since the event was associated with Hook's monthly Woodfire Cheese Club event, he was offended and quit. The restaurant's spokeswoman says the event was never intended to actually occur, but Hook disputes that. ...

Woodfire is quite taken with theme events recently. The next one is an Artful Wine Dinner featuring Harrison Vineyards Winemaker Lindsey Harrison and Marcia Wood Gallery Artist Mary Engel on March 19. A cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Chef Mike Tuohy will create a five-course meal that reflects his Northern Californian cuisine and Lindsey Harrison wines.

A news release says that Engel's sculptures of animals, primarily dogs, will be paired with Harrison Vineyard's finest selections. Harrison and Marcia Wood will be on hand to speak about the respective art forms. Tickets are $90 per person and include tax and gratuity. To reserve a seat, call 404-347-9055. And after that, call me and tell me what it was like to drink wine with a sculpture of a dog staring at you. I wanna know! ...

This is from Judy Willis from Sevananda:

"I would very much like to invite you to Sevananda to sample our vegan desserts. We have quite an array of sweets including cupcakes, carrot cake, chocolate, carob and raspberry cakes, brownies, cookies, etc. Many of our patrons are allergic to traditional cake and pastry ingredients while others prefer not to consume any dairy products. Our vegan sweets satisfy the sweet tooth without having a detrimental health effect."

I'm communicating this for the rest of you. I have, over time, developed a deep mistrust of any dessert without lots of sugar and flour in it. ...

A man called my voice mail and asked to know the best French restaurant in town. It's Joël. I also like Brasserie le Coze, Anis, Soleil and, when there's service by people not acting like cadavers, Cafe de Nice. ...

Steven Markham wrote me this impatient e-mail: "I've sent you several e-mails concerning a place in Dunwoody off Mt. Vernon Road called Oscar's Villa Capri. Seriously, man, you gotta check this place out. I'm not at all affiliated with it in any business sense, but I'm just so overwhelmed by the meals I've eaten there that I think you should try it. I've eaten at a lot of the places you write about in your column, and I appreciate your taste in great cuisine. I'm telling you, man, you won't be disappointed!"

Well, Steven, I am very disappointed in the Dunwoody location. Do you really expect me to drive to the area where I grew up, perhaps experience recovered memories of my traumatic adolescence and then return to Grant Park in one piece? OK, I'll try it. ...

Dang! I missed the free peach schnapps at Tangier on Feb. 15. The nightclub sends me more e-mails than the American Pork Association. ...

I got this e-mail, rich in fine print from Cavu: Cavu - A Midtown Bistro will be offering "Buy One Entree, Get One Free — Sundays only in March from 5:30 to 9 p.m. This offer will be good for one complimentary dinner entree valued up to $20 when a second dinner entree of equal or greater value is purchased. Not to be combined with any other specials or promotions. Reservations, 404-875-2229, are recommended." You must be in good health, be height-and-weight proportionate, have at least half your teeth and hold a college degree. Seriously, it sounds like a deal. I like the restaurant's seafood menu. ...

Oh ... Maria is now closed for lunch on weekdays. However, the city's most gourmet Mexican restaurant continues to serve the "Super Sabado" lunch Saturday and brunch Sunday. Call 404-261-2032 for details. ...

Atlanta is lucky to have a very active chapter of Slow Food, the international organization that promotes real cooking with local ingredients. Julie Shaffer heads the local chapter and informs me that it will host a tasting and lecture March 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m. "A world-renowned cheese producer from the Piedmont region of Italy will speak about his production methods, and we will sample the fruits of his labors," she says. (Apparently he is too famous to mention by name.) The event will be held in the Cabbagetown Clay and Glass Works Gallery/Studio. E-mail Julie at indiasjules@hotmail.com for details. ...

Olivia Walker sent me a nice virtual-reality box of chocolates for Valentine's Day. ... Someone wrote and asked who Wayne, my constant dining companion, is. Recently, I have been accused of creating Wayne as a fiction, an invisible dining companion, so I can eat two plates of food at every meal. No, Wayne is real. He is an epidemiologist at CDC, he likes to garden and he's been my partner for 10 years.

Stalker: A woman called and made this comment: "Cliff, you were recently pointed out to me while I was having coffee at Starbucks. I am wondering what your height and weight are. We are looking for someone like you." She did not bother to explain who the "we" is and I did not call back. Anyway, I am 6 feet 1 inch tall and 215 pounds. I wear kaftans to restaurants and keep up my energy by stealing handfuls of mints from the hostess stands at restaurants. ...

A Turkish man called and told me, after some comments I made here comparing India and Turkey, that I am not good enough to set foot in his country. Hey, dude, we're occupying your country in a few weeks. Speaking of Turkey, whose food I love, I've received several recent reports of good meals at Efes on the square in Marietta. The restaurant stresses Turkey's vegetarian cuisine, but there are also plenty of meat dishes, including kebabs. ...

Is there a travelin' sushi chef in the house? This is from Steve and Susan Silverman: "We are transplants from Maryland living in the mountains north of Atlanta. This summer our son will marry here to a young lady from Japan. Our son has been living in Japan for nine years and that, coupled with his growing up in Maryland (where the best seafood comes from the bay), has made him a seafood snob. We would like to have a sushi chef come and prepare and serve for a party we are giving for the Japanese and American guests but I am clueless as to how to find one willing to come here. Any suggestions? We're also in need of a band if you know of someone there at the paper who wants to make suggestions." Anyone with advice can write the Silvermans at suesteve@alltel.net. ...

Sam Harrison says: "Give the new Cajun House on Memorial Drive (outside I- 285) a try. No atmosphere at all, but great oyster po boys." ...

Ron Bayless writes this: "I have just read your article about Delhi Darbar. I think you should try Clay Oven in Duluth. I recently discovered this great place to dine, or should I say start a journey (their logo is "where dining is a journey"). This is the best Indian restaurant I have ever been to in Atlanta. They serve authentic gourmet Indian cuisine from naan to goan fish curry. They still have to work on their wine menu, but I love their food. They tried to put up an Indian Village theme which gave a pretty cool ambience." Duluth? Where is that? Isn't there a Falcons training camp or something out there? They have restaurants in Duluth? ...

Two students called to interview me for their journalism class. Sure.

Leave Cliff Bostock a voicemail at 404-688-5623, ext. 1504, or e-mail him at cliff.bostock@creativeloafing.com.



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