Tour: Set your food on fire at these metro Atlanta restaurants


Baby, it’s cold outside.

So, what better way to warm your hands than by the fire of your own food (or drink)?

There are several spots in and around Atlanta that create some heat — with a side of theatrics — by adding flames to their dishes tableside before serving them to customers.

Check out some of the appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks that will set your holiday ablaze with spirit.

Saganaki

This classic Greek side dish is delicious, but it wouldn’t be half the fun to order without the “Opa!” that comes with it as it’s set on fire.

Kasseri cheese — a Greek cheese made with sheep’s milk — is first lightly fried in a pan before getting a squeeze of lemon juice and a shot of brandy, which is set afire as the waiter shouts the celebratory declaration.

“(The fire) gives the cheese texture and a different flavor,” according to Roozy Dehgahi, a cook at Messina’s Mediterranean Cuisine in Lawrenceville.

Indeed, starting with the chewy-without-being-gooey cheese is a surefire way to set a festive tone for the rest of the meal.

Messina’s Mediterranean Cuisine,4075 Lawrenceville Highway N.W., Lawrenceville. 770-935-9990, mymessinas.com.

Nutella and burnt marshmallow milkshake

Yes, there’s a nip in the air, but is it ever not milkshake season, especially with this Flip Burger version that delivers some smoke and heat?

Made tableside, the shake is topped with marshmallows, roasted with a torch and covered with liquid nitrogen, which creates a cloud of smoke as it freezes.

“Everybody loves the smell of burning marshmallows, and they love the experience of watching the smoke,” said Kristopher Barker, general manager of the restaurant’s Buckhead location.

Add more heat of the adult variety by asking for a shot of Kahlua.

Flip Burger Boutique,3655 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-549-3298. 1587 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-343-1609. flipburgerboutique.com.

Bananas Foster

An oldie but a goodie, this dessert with New Orleans origins has been on the menu at Viande Rouge for several years, and has made a comeback “after being passe for a long time,” according to Executive Chef Brian Thomas.

The decadent dish sees bananas sauteed in brown sugar and butter, then lit with high-proof rum and topped with a dash of cinnamon. The heat is tempered with a scoop of gelato from Marietta-based High Road Ice Cream & Sorbet.

Looking for other dishes with a spark? The restaurant also offers up Steak Diane, a flambéed filet made tableside and covered in porcini mushroom sauce. During peach season, look for peach Louie, similar to the bananas Foster, but using peaches flambéed in bourbon.

Viande Rouge,9810 Medlock Bridge Road, Dululth. 770-623-4959, vrsteakhouse.com/vrs.

Baked Alaska

Another old-school steakhouse favorite is this dessert that dates back to the 1800s and incorporates ice cream and cake covered by a meringue. Chrysta Poulos, the pastry chef at Ford Fry’s Marcel, changes the dish’s ingredients seasonally — right now, expect a black forest chocolate cake base with chocolate crumble ice cream and meringue, finished with a warm cherry compote and set on fire with kirsch, a fruit brandy. (In the fall, Poulos uses ingredients such as graham cracker ice cream and browned marshmallow meringue.)

The whole shebang is set up tableside, making for a bit of a show after the main event of steak and cocktails.

Marcel,1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-665-4555, marcelatl.com

Hot buttered rum and black stripe

Trader Vic’s, which has been keeping the tiki party going at the Hilton Atlanta since 1976, has not one but two drinks with fire components. The hot buttered rum and the black stripe — Jamaican rum, honey, crushed cherries and spices, served hot — are both served up with a flaming spoonful of Bacardi 151 on top. 

If you’re looking for something else with a little flair, the tiki lounge also has its own version of bananas Foster with caramelized bananas, macadamia nuts and vanilla ice cream flambé, made tableside.

Trader Vic’s,255 Courtland St. (inside the Hilton), Atlanta. 404-221-6339, tradervicsatl.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

Restaurants in metro Atlanta still accepting RSVPs for Thanksgiving meals
Restaurants in metro Atlanta still accepting RSVPs for Thanksgiving meals

Guests will be treated to a three-course meal for Thanksgiving at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Eat, but don’t cook. Thanksgiving is less than a week ago. If you haven’t done so already, now—like today—is  a good time to make reservations for breakfast,...
VIDEO: Make this crowd-pleasing side dish from Ted’s Montana Grill for Thanksgiving
VIDEO: Make this crowd-pleasing side dish from Ted’s Montana Grill for Thanksgiving

Squash casserole from Ted’s Montana Grill / Photo courtesy of Ted’s Montana Grill If you’re still putting together your Thanksgiving dinner menu, Ted’s Montana Grill’s Aunt Fannie’s squash casserole should make the cut. The savory dish is easy to make and provides a perfect complement to main dishes....
Wear flannel, get a free meal every Friday at this Midtown restaurant
Wear flannel, get a free meal every Friday at this Midtown restaurant

Wear flannel, get a free meal every Friday at gusto!. Photo credit: Melissa Libby & Associates. Got flannel? Get free food. Local restaurant,  gusto! , offers Flannel Fridays, a food and fashion event that gives guests a buy one, get one free meal. Here’s how it works: wear a flannel...
Good lamb curry or gulab jamun? Follow the cabdrivers
Good lamb curry or gulab jamun? Follow the cabdrivers

Richly seasoned lamb curry, chana masala and saag paneer fill the chafing dishes. Cases display confections like gulab jamun and rasgulla, sweet milk and cheese dumplings. Overhead a television broadcasts images of Bollywood stars. These features so define Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants in New York City that, at first glance, such places appear...
Made Coffee's cold brew creation is brewed and canned in Tampa Bay
Made Coffee's cold brew creation is brewed and canned in Tampa Bay

Let's start with the actual can itself, a turquoise-tan-orange vessel emblazoned with text and illustrations: "Ingredients: coffee, water, time"; an image of a simple coffee brewing process under "How we made it." The colors pop, the fonts are hip, and the vibe is instantly clear: pure coffee, made right here in the increasingly...
More Stories