Valentines Dinner Menu at Alpine Bakery & Trattoria

Valentine’s Weekend Menu

Make Your Reservations

February 14 – 17

Romantic Piano Music, A Luscious Chef’s Created Menu, A Full-Bodied Bottle of Wine,
Tuxedo Strawberries, Chocolate Truffles….all make for an incredible Valentine’s Weekend at Alpine.
Join Us. Taste the Love.


Spinach Salad
Baby spinach tossed in cocoa-balsamic vinaigrette, topped with strawberry, goat cheese garnished with watermelon

Clams Casino
Cherrystone clams on the half shell topped with Italian bread crumbs, bell pepper, parmesan cheese, & Applewood smoked bacon

Grille Cobia
Accompanied by oven roasted vegetable medley, spiced carrot puree, & red beet coulis

Lobster Ravioli
Hand stuffed ravioli in a saffron champagne cream sauce, topped with a broiled lobster tail

New Years Eve Clock and Confetti

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The Biggest Bashes Around the World.

New Years Eve Clock and Confetti

It’s that time again! The ubiquitous New Year’s Eve…an occasion steeped in traditions and symbolism. While some of us prefer a quite evening of reflection, and others prefer a massive crowd, December 31st is the day for most of the world to ring in the New Year.

However, historically, New Year’s Eve was not on December 31st. Beginning with the Ancient Greeks, originally New Year’s Eve was held with the new moon after June 21. Before the time of Julius Caesar the Roman New Year started on March 1. In most European countries during the Middle Ages the New Year began on March 25, the day of the Feast of the Annunciation.

New Year’s Eve

Today, New Year’s Eve Celebrations are high spirted, noisy occasions that are made up of sights and sounds that are synonymous with New Year’s Eve. Ringing church bells, blowing horns, tooting whistles, shrieking sirens all echo all over the world. Well known American Traditions are to toast in the New Year with champagne and kiss someone (sometimes a perfect stranger) at the stroke of 12:01am.

According to National Geographic, here are some more notorious celebrations and there traditions held (and sometimes heard) around the world.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

New Years Eve in Times SquareNew Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square defines the evening for hundreds of millions around the globe who watch on television, wishing they were there. A million revelers squeeze into the city’s neon epicenter where Broadway and Seventh Avenue come together, waiting for the Waterford crystal LED ball to drop from the former New York Times Building, for which the iconic square is named. It’s an American tradition more than 100 years old.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Ring in the New Year casino style in kitschy Las Vegas, where fireworks blast over Paris Las Vegas, the MGM Grand, the Bellagio, and the array of other casino hotels on the famous Strip. The city buzzes with tens of thousands who come in for special concerts and performances with the biggest stars, until the sun comes up over the surrounding desert.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Réveillon, Rio’s New Year’s celebration, is one of the world’s largest. Dressed in white like Candomblé priestesses, millions of locals and visitors line the city’s miles of beaches, throwing flowers into the waves at midnight for the African sea goddess Yemanjá, whose traditions have become mixed with the Virgin Mary. Afterward, the streets, bars, and restaurants fill with parties, dancing, and music.

LONDON, ENGLAND

Millions of eager Londoners line the Thames waterfront and gather in Trafalgar Square, waiting for the city to explode in a dazzling display of sparks and color. At midnight, the tower around Big Ben pulses with fiery blasts timed for the 12 strokes of the hour. All eyes then turn to the London Eye as the famous wheel produces a swirling fireworks and light show timed to British rock music echoing through the city.

PARIS, FRANCE

The City of Light becomes a city of fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of thousands line the Champs-Élysées, Champagne bottles in hand, for a view to the Eiffel Tower. At midnight, fireworks burst from the entire length of its iron structure, in one of this evening’s most beautiful displays anywhere. Other gathering spots with great views include the steps of Sacré-Couer church and the Trocadéro.

MADRID, SPAIN

Madrileños celebrate the New Year by swallowing 12 grapes—one for each stroke of the clock at midnight. Finishing them on time is considered to be a sign of good luck in the upcoming year. Tens of thousands gather in front of the clock in Puerta del Sol plaza for the annual ritual and line Gran Via to watch fireworks.

BEIRUT, LEBANON

Each New Year’s is a promise that everything will be better in the capital of formerly war-torn Lebanon. Thousands gather to watch the light show on the city’s 1933 art deco clock tower in Nejmeh Square, the heart of central Beirut. At midnight, couples kiss and fireworks burst, shining over a mix of floodlit church steeples and mosque minarets in this eclectic Levantine metropolis.

TOKYO, JAPAN

On New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, streets and restaurants teem with people, many eating buckwheat noodles to ensure health and happiness in the New Year. Temples ring bells as a countdown to midnight, adding a dreamy quality to the celebration. Stay in town through January 2, one of only two days when the emperor opens the palace grounds to the public.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Everyone comes to the waterfront in Sydney to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and nearby buildings ignite at midnight with one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks productions.

Whatever your plans are this year, we here at Alpine Bakery and Trattoria, wish you a healthy and very Happy New Year!

The Christmas Cookie… A Tradition Worth Keeping, And Savoring

In Medieval Times, originating with the Winter Solstice Celebrations, cookies were served as a dessert. There was practicality to both the timing of the Celebration, and the focus on hearty food. The Winter Solstice Celebration was literally “the feast before the famine” of another long, bitter winter. Solstice typically marked the arrival of the first frost, which permitted animals to be killed and stored safely to eat throughout the winter, while the fermented beverages (beer and wine) that had been brewed in the spring were finally ready to drink. With the meat and the drink in order, the special occasion dessert —the cookie– was born.

holiday-2cFast forward to the Middle Ages where Christmas had overtaken solstice rituals throughout much of present-day Europe. While Christmas was now the Holiday, the old feasting tradition remained. With meat and beverage preparation pretty much unchanged, these things were carried over, and maintained. The pastry world, however, was in the midst of a renaissance! Nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper were becoming common, and dried exotic fruits like citron, apricots and dates opened up new possibilities. Sugar, lard and butter were considered premium ingredients and were reserved for the Christmas Special Occasion. The smaller size, and portability of the cookie made it easy to share and gift to neighbors and friends. Our modern Christmas cookies date back to these medieval gifts. Today, Christmas Cookies remain a staple of the season. They are the stars in neighborhood cookie exchanges, the ultimate hostess gift, and the traditional snack offering to Santa himself.

Whether you prefer black and whites, basic sugar, or crunchy biscotti, chances are you’ll enjoy some fresh baked Christmas cookies this holiday season. While the custom of the Christmas Cookie dates back hundreds of years, we say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

At Alpine our Christmas Cookies are legendary. With over 25 varieties, the possibilities seem endless. Ranging from classics to contemporary, and with some cookies larger than your face, we know we have something perfect for you and your Christmas Tradition. We package them by the pound and wrap them up in festive Holiday wrapping. Come in today and get yours. You can gift them to friends and associates, take them to your favorite hostess, sit back at home and keep them all to yourself, and leave a few for Santa (warning… you may not want to, but wind up at risk of being on his “naughty” list if you don’t). Whatever you decide, it’s the season to “Taste the Love.”

Happy Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving: A Closer Look (Part Two of Two)

Turkey Pardon

President John F. Kennedy was the first one on record to pardon a turkey – sparing its life. In 1963, he sent back a turkey mailed by the National Turkey Federation, saying, “We’ll just let this one grow.” President Richard Nixon sent turkeys to a Washington, D.C., petting farm but didn’t officially pardon them, according to the White House Blog. President George H.W. Bush gave the first official pardon to a turkey in 1989.

FUN FACT: The survivor lived out its days at a Virginia petting zoo called Frying Pan Park

Macy’s Parade

Thanksgiving ParadeIn 1924, Americans began to watch the spectacular Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. A tradition that began when Macy’s employees held a Christmas parade filled with knights, clowns and jugglers. Turns out there was a great turn out! The 6-mile (9.7-kilometer)-long parade attracted a crowd of 250,000 viewers. The iconic department store decided they needed to do it every year.

Fun Fact: First Balloon was Felix the Cat.

Football Fever

Football TurkeyAnother family pastime is Thanksgiving football, which began in the Great Depression. In 1930, the Portsmouth Spartans moved to Detroit. In 1934, in order to draw fans, the team’s owner arranged a match between the Spartans (renamed the Lions) and the world champions, the Chicago Bears. Though the Spartans lost, a Thanksgiving tradition was born. The ticket sold out two weeks in advance, and the event became a hit!

Turducken – Hybrid meats

A relatively new creation is the turducken…a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. We can give credit to Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme for popularizing this culinary marvel, although it first appeared in central Louisiana meat shops sometime between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

FUN FACT: The tradition of stuffing birds inside of other birds dates back even further and can be attributed to French foodie Grimod de la Reynière who first described the rôti sans pareil (roast without equal) in L’Almanac des Gourmands between 1803 and 1812. The dish packs 17 birds inside one another, from a tiny warbler all the way up to a giant bird called a bustard.

Whatever your Thanksgiving Traditions are, we hope your Holiday is filled with a good fun, plenty of family and a delicious meal. On behalf of our Alpine Family, we’d like to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Place Setting at Alpine Bakery and Trattoria

Thanksgiving: A Closer Look (Part One of Two)

turkey illustration

 

Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Thanksgiving is filled with so many long standing traditions, we thought it might be fun to examine some of the more universal ones, and explore where the more iconic traditions come from. Although our traditions have evolved, most are deeply rooted in American History. Read on and this year you can be the one at the table with all the fun facts to impress your friends and family.

 

 

Thanksgiving, the Beginning

fall groupingThe “historical version” that we are taught as early as Kindergarten (compete with reenactments) is that in 1621, the Pilgrims come to Plymouth Rock woefully unprepared, almost all die of hunger and are saved as the local, friendly population lovingly teaches them to farm. A successful harvest of new crops are reaped by the pilgrims and then they prepare a bountiful feast for their agricultural teachers and new neighbors to express their gratitude.

However, at least two other theories exist when it comes to the origin of Thanksgiving. One claims a Thanksgiving in Texas marks the beginning. The residents of San Elizario, Texas, say the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated in 1598 by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate following the survival of a treacherous crossing through the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico.

The second story centers around Spanish admiral Pedro Menendes de Aviles and Thanksgiving feast with 500 soldiers and hundreds of the local Timucuan Indians in 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida.

Wherever Thanksgiving started, Plymouth Rock, Texas or Florida, suffice it to say, Thanksgiving is thriving today an considered one of the MAJOR Holidays. So let’s check out what is consistently true for today’s Thanksgiving while taking a look back.

Official Holiday – Thank You Mr. Lincoln

President Lincoln is responsible for declaring the last Thursday in November for the day of thanks. Celebrations and Feasts went on way earlier, with every state having a different day. Lincoln nationalized the day, so we can all get on the same page!

Turkey Hasn’t Always Been the Star 

Pilgrims actually preferred duck and goose, and seafood shared equal billing. Lobsters, clams, mussels and even eels made it to the table. On the other hand, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce weren’t even on the menu for at least another 50 years.

Check back next week for Part Two of Thanksgiving: A Closer Look

Thanksgiving: What to bring when you are the guest.

DOM-Pumpkin Cheesecake-blogAre you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or, do you get to play the lucky “guest” role? If it the latter, give some extra thought as to the hostess gift. Flowers or a bottle of wine are fine, but expected. With a little pre-planning and some instructions from us, you can show up with something exciting and memorable from our bakery!

Below are some other things to consider before making your final choices.

 

Ask.

ALWAYS ask your hostess if there is something specific you can bring. Sometimes the hostess will literally assign a specific dish, wine or dessert. This is common in extended families where the hostess may only provide the turkey and the location and assign everyone something specific.

How much to spend?

DOM-White Chocolate Mousse Cake blogAre you coming for the day or the long weekend? Is the hostess a family member or friend? Both of these questions should factor in to your consideration. A weekend stay should warrant a more substantial gift, although preparing and hosting a Thanksgiving meal is no small undertaking on your hostess’ part either!

Will You Be Traveling?

Catching a plane? Driving a full day? Obviously, this information is important. Surprisingly however, there are simple methods that we have perfected that will allow you to transport our most delicate bakery creations.

Forego the Flowers. Take the Cake.

One of our dramatic desserts will show your gratitude and deliver plenty of WOW factor. We can share our tried and true methods to help you get even our biggest cakes to your Thanksgiving celebration looking every bit as impressive as they do in our pastry case.

Gift Card and a Sampling.

gift-cardAn ALPINE Gift Card with a Sampling is an equally impressive gift. A box of cookies or truffles with a gift card attached makes a beautiful presentation and says, “Something now to share with your guests, and something just for you, for later!”

We Can Help.

We would love to help you put together the perfect hostess gift and tell you EXACTLY how you can travel with your cake, pie or cookies and have them arrive unscathed and ready to impress. Stop by our Bakery Counter to learn exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. Follow our instructions and show up with one of our creations, and we’re confident you’ll be invited back again and again!

Whatever your plans are this Thanksgiving, from our Alpine Family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

BOO! Autumn and Halloween Fun Facts.

Row of fun lit Halloween Jack o Lanterns isolated on a white background

Come October, carving pumpkins, running through corn mazes and eating lots of candy are all traditions that everyone is familiar with. However, we thought we would look at some other Halloween and autumn traditions and how they got their start, as well as some Fun Facts about the season.

Orange and Black.  This striking color combination was established because orange is symbolic of fall and black represents darkness and death.

Halloween.  It first came to North America via immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

Masks & Costumes.  Thank the ancient Celts who literally thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human. Clever!

Trick or Treating.  The custom of trick or treating evolved in Ireland centuries ago. In preparation for All Hollow’s Eve, the poor would call upon the rich folks and request money, gifts and food. The food was gathered for a huge feast and celebration.

Bobbing for Apples.  Believed to have originated from the Roman Harvest Festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

Halloween = Big Money.  It’s the second most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.

Dollarphotoclub_91115876Halloween Candy.  Sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Chocolate Candy Bars.  The most popular candy among trick-or-treaters with Snickers at Number 1.

Tootsie Rolls.  The very first wrapped penny candy in America.

Pumpkins.  Not just orange, they also come in white, blue and green.

Jack o’ Lanterns.  Concept originated from Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips – not pumpkins – to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

Black Cats. Once believed to be witch’s familiars (animal-shaped spirit or minor demon believed to serve a witch or magician as domestic servant, spy and companion, in addition to helping to bewitch enemies or to divine information.)

Samhainopobia. Defined as the fear of Halloween.

halloween-treats

 

Come in to check out our incredible Fall Offerings that will get you in the spirit, as well as some special surprises just for the young and young at heart! From all of us here at Alpine, we wish you a wonderful October and Halloween. Taste the Chocolate and Pumpkin! Taste the Love!

Introducing our SNICKERDOODLE MARTINI

Snickerdoodle

 

Tastes Like Fall.

Introducing our SNICKERDOODLE MARTINI

Premium ABSOLUT®  Vodka, Butterscotch Schnapps and Cream Shaken and poured in to a layered glass of drizzled caramel, garnished with our infamous Snickerdoodle Cookie. Taste the Snickerdoodle. Taste the Love.

Apples, Pumpkins and Other Homey Fall Ingredients

DOM-Apple Pie-blogAhh… it’s finally that time of year when the blazing Atlanta sun at last gives us a break and the temperatures start to drop. Now, we can all begin to contemplate the homey flavors of fall.

At Alpine, our fall dessert preparations are in full swing. Our fall favorites include our Rustic Apple Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Classic Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Swiss Roll, and our wildly authentic German Apple Strudel. Our Bakery hums with activity as the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger infuse the air. Here’s what’s baking in greater detail.

pumpkin cheesecakeOur Rustic Apple Pie, which NOT coincidently is our October Dessert of the Month is at once simple and majestic. Boasting a full two pounds of apples, we’re not messing around. We’ve perfected our techniques to ensure that this TWO crust beauty is baked to perfection with flaky crust and amazing flavors.

Pumpkin Cheesecake… what a lovely combination. Our creamy New York style cheesecake with graham cracker crust, combined with pumpkin and traditional fall spice (cinnamon, cloves, and ginger) topped with fresh, natural whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.

fall-1Our Innovative Pumpkin Swiss Roll is equally representative of great fall flavors. We begin with our pumpkin spice cake rolled filled and covered with our signature cream cheese frosting then we decorated with whole pecans.

Authentic Apple Strudel is surprisingly hard to find and we have stuck to the preparation that screams German Style authenticity and will have you wondering why you chose to have it any other way. Layers of buttered phyllo dough rolled and filled with fresh cut and cooked Granny Smith Apples and raisins before baking to perfection. We can serve it you your at room temperature or heated. Dreaming about Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to go with? Just wake up and ask, and we will bring out the Häagen-Dazs.

fall grouping

 

We could offer you all kinds of tips on how to pick the perfect apples, whether to go with canned pumpkin or not, but seriously, why not just come in and enjoy our fall lineup. We promise we have it figured out and you won’t be disappointed. Taste the Fall Flavors. Taste the Love.

Traveling somewhere this season? We get all sorts of disappointed folks who would love to spread the Alpine Love to friends and family who don’t reside in the Atlanta Area. We have some proven trade secrets on how to transport our bakery creations. We would be happy to share, so please just ask.

Ragu vs Bolognese: The subtle but powerful difference.

Ragu is not Bolognese. It’s true that both are Italian favorites, both are sauces made with meat, but’s it’s also true that they are different.

Ragu is also a meat-based Italian sauce and stay with me here, is a distinct variation of Ragu. Most people think of Ragu as a tomato sauce, but it’s actually a meat-based (veal, beef, lamb, pork, fish or poultry) sauce with a small amount of tomato sauce added to it. Ragu sauce has more meat and minced elements, specifically minced carrot, celery and pancetta…also known as soffritto, and is made with wine, beef broth, and usually a little bit of heavy cream or milk poured in it to lighten the color and enrich the flavor.

Ragu alla Bolognese or Bolognese is a variation of Ragu and the most popular version of Ragu. Bolognese sauce originated in Bologna, Italy and dates all the way back to the 15th century.

It uses white wine and less tomatoes. Beef, soffritto, pancetta, onions, tomato paste, meat broth, white wine, and cream or milk. Like many Italian preparations, Bolognese sauce has different variations primarily when it comes to the meat of choice. Pork, chicken, veal, rabbit, goose, and others are all candidates.

Which Sauce With Which Pasta?

Bolognese sauce for spaghetti and other pastaTypically Ragu sauces are used with spaghetti pasta, while Bolognese is used for wider-shaped pasta like lasagna. The thinking is that the thick sauce blends better with wider-shaped pasta.

When we look at Italian Cuisine, we can see that there are multiple incidents where virtually the same simple ingredients are manipulated multiple ways- often using different ratios of ingredients or methods.

For instance, a wide variety of Pasta is made with the same ingredients, but truly transformed with an endless array of shapes, sizes, widths, and textures. Some are better with certain sauces…as their shape makes a perfect vehicle for a particular sauce.

So when it comes to Ragu vs Bolognese, the differences may be primarily ratios, but nonetheless the end results are impactful.

Come in and try both to see which you prefer. Gnocchi with Veal Ragu, Baked Fusilli Bolognese, or Spaghetti with Bolognese or Ragu should give you plenty of “research” options! Taste the Ragu and Bolognese. Taste the Love.