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Do Restaurant Satisfies Foodie/Techie in You

Dino Thompson-Sarmiento, Fenuxe Contributor

I had no idea what I was walking in to when I arrived at Do restaurant (pronounced “dough”), but I sure am happy I went.

The walls feature moving art with your preferred music videos playing all around you. You get to send music and video requests to the DJ from your iPhone. That’s right … you are in control of what appears on the giant-sized screens. The contemporary sleek white decor accentuates the light show with hues of greens, pinks and gold shimmering and dancing around you as you feast.

My table for two had two comfy eight-foot white leather sofas on both sides and came equipped with an iPad so I could peruse the menu and cocktails. It was like shopping on Amazon.com. The iPad also was our way to connect to the Do chat room with everyone else dining. This definitely makes it easy to find a new date if the one you are in isn’t working out.

On a visit to the bathroom I found myself in front of elevator-looking doors. A quick press of a button and the doors rapidly slid open like in a Star Trek episode. Once inside, the doors zipped closed behind me and I was looking in to a reflection of me—not in a mirror but on another iPad mounted on the wall that was filming my image. I soon discovered that I could leave a photo of myself for the next occupants … ooooh this could be FUN!

The menu is fresh and features contemporary pizzas with fun and light appetizers like spicy Chipotle Shrimp Flat Bread and flavorful Bruschetta. The bar is fully stocked with your favorites, and the masterful dessert menu makes for a perfect end.

Worry not if you feel like you won’t be pampered, the staff is Do’s best attribute. In addition to the handy iPad, a smiling server is just a touch of button away to make sure your visit is perfect. Owners Christian and Nacasha Ruffin have made bold and out-of-the-box decisions to make this dining experience one you will come back to over and over and over again.

Where: 955 W. Marietta Street
Details: TheViewAtKingPlow.com

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DINO’S DISH : Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Family Oh My!

words by Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

It’s that time of year again when you are paying premium bucks to fly coach in a crowded plane, get to sit next to kooky great aunt Vera for a 4 hour dinner and then get questioned the remainder of the evening about your single status by your married kin and told not drink anymore by dear mother. Welcome to the LGBT Thanksgiving we have all endured at one time or another.

I know many of us are fortunate to have accepting families and friends but there are still some in our LGBT community who do not share this luck. What is on their/your agenda turkey-night? Who will they/you spend Thanksgiving with? Maybe they/you don’t want to cook… Maybe they/you just want to enjoy some great drinks and the company of friends… What to do?

Dean Chronopoulos, owner of ROXX Tavern & Diner, has come to the rescue this year. I chatted with Dean about his LGBT friendly restaurant and why he is opening his doors this Thanksgiving.

Dino: Dean how did your restaurant become one of Atlanta’s LGBT favorites?

Dean: Since day one it was embraced by the LGBT community because we encouraged folks to be themselves. It is a safe and welcoming place and has been for the last eleven years.

Dino: What is on the menu?

Dean: It is comfort food; American cuisine with international flair, high quality ingredients and always great.

Dino: Why are you opening this Thanksgiving?

Dean: Our clients requested it and I listened. It is a place many call “home” throughout the year and it just made sense that we open our doors on a night when you are suppose to be “home”.

Dino: What will ROXX Tavern & Diner be serving that day?

Dean: It is a limited menu but it is well rounded including a Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings. You can add a salad and dessert for a full 3 course meal – only $19.95. We will also have pork chops, fish & chips, salmon, shrimp, steak and more. The full service bar will also be opened serving your favorite cocktails, beer and wine.

ROXX Tavern & Diner
1824 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30324

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The Art of Dining – Southern Art Opens in Atlanta

words by: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

Calling all food lovers…There is a new extraordinary culinary locale in town and it will soon be your favorite.

The Chef was Oprah Winfrey’s private food guru for nearly a decade. Top Chef Masters: Chef Art Smith has opened “Southern Art” at the Intercontinental Hotel Buckhead. I am happy to share that his food is an experience you will never forget. It had been years since I have had the WOW factor while dining and let me express this was nothing short of perfection.

The ambience is friendly as the Intercontinental strives to make everyone feel at home. The décor is a spectacular of colors and is inclusive of some original pieces by Chef Arts long time partner the noted Venezuelan artist Jesus Salgueiro.

It includes a “Ham Bar”! Yes, it is a first in Atlanta and maybe the whole country – I have never seen this before but boy did I “ham” it up tasting the delicious cured morsels.

The menu is Southern refined taking your pallet on a journey of ecstasy and delight. My favorite dish is the Carolina Black Rice Risotto. Well, to tell the truth everything is my favorite. I bet you are wondering what the prices are like…well there is nothing to worry about in that department either. So, call your friends and head on over the Intercontinental and have a pre-dinner cocktail at the Bourbon Bar and then sit down to a meal fit for royalty. As the queen of television, Oprah dictates “live your best life” and now you can eat it too.

3315 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA

Hours of Operation
6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday
7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday Brunch:
11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Bourbon Bar:
12 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Artisan Ham Bar:
3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday


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Dino’s Dish | Frankie Goes to Hollywood

PASSION IS THE key to success. Follow the burning desire within no matter what your interest is in life. You will find happiness in your work and it won’t feel like you are punching a clock for a few measly bucks.

Prime example is Frank Picchione winner of Rocco’s DiSpiritos Dinner Party on BRAVO TV. His triumph is applauded nationwide as he satisfied Liza Minnelli and Sandra Bernhard among other notable celebrities during one of Rocco’s tough dinner parties.

It truly is a pleasure to bring you this interview with Frank. I just think he is FABULOUS with a capital FAB!

Dino: Where are you from – What’s your 411?
Frank: I’m originally from Wilton, CT but lived on South Beach in the 90’s and presently in NYC with dreams of Los Angeles in the horizon.

Dino: How did you get in to the world of cooking?
Frank: I always cooked as a hobby and I challenged myself with recipes and entertaining friends at home. It was my passion. I was a personal trainer and one day one of my clients convinced me to cook for a dinner he had coming up. He knew about my culinary interests and he had faith in me. I then catered my first dinner party for him. I was terrified! However, when the dinner came to an end the entire group applauded my production and my catering company was born.

Dino: How did you end up on Rocco’s Dinner Party?
Frank: I saw a posting for it on Facebook and it felt right. It was different and I felt suited for it. I went and did the casting and after some time it all came together.

Dino: What has happened to you since your big TV splash?
Frank: It has been fascinating! I was on Martha Stewart once before, but this was very different as Liza Minnelli was celebrating her birthday and the viewership was huge. It has been surreal to be recognized on the street. I’m enjoying it.

Dino: What is your favorite food?
Frank: I love to cook healthy foods and combined pastas and seafood and I love vegan cooking too. My personal faves to eat are sushi and pasta.

Dino: For the single reader of Fenuxe magazine; what would be your advice for easy meals?
Frank: Definitely cook in bulk. That is what I do for myself. Prepare a few meals in large quantities and freeze individually. It is perfect for when you are on the go!

Dino: Are you single?
Frank: YES! Still single in NYC.

Dino: Next step for Frank is?
Frank: I am working on a cookbook and I want to continue doing more TV.

I highly suggest visiting his website at www.frankpicchione.com and trying my favorite recipe of his “Floating Island Meringue”. It is AMAZING!


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Surprise, surprise

words by Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

BRIZA IS THE revelation of the year! This is a must do immediately.
Briza restaurant and Roof Top Lounge has won my Medal of Eats award for the year. The service was extraordinary (Thank you Sunny!), the expanded wine selection apropos, ambience sublime and the food succulent.

Chef extraordinaire Janine has created a unique menu that will satisfy even the fussiest of diners. I enjoyed seven courses and gained insight to her culinary expertise as well as a few pounds (well worth it I might add; keeps my trainer employed)

The southern cuisine has a twist of science and precision coupled with French style plating that’s a party for your eyes. Many of her plates are interactive whereby you control portions of aromatic sauces by lightly squeezing a pipette as you savor the delicacies.

Dessert was mind-blowing; a combination of coffee ice cream, warm chocolate with doughnut balls and bacon powder. Are you kidding me? I could have moved in and I sort of can, since they are located within the Renaissance hotel midtown.

Is the fun over? Oh no, it’s just the beginning! A spiral staircase leads you to their Roof Top Lounge – a whole other world nestled above midtown. Bar supervisor, Mathew James Wessels, friend of many Atlanta folk will assure have you an excellent time. Frozen alcoholic popsicles, the best Mojitos around and a flamboyant cocktail list await your thirsty lips. A gorgeous white tented section allows you to have an intimate gathering for 2 or 20. Perfect for this autumn!

A big applause to Phillipa Giesbert, Director of B&F operations for taking a walk on the wild side and providing Atlanta’s peeps with an excellent place to graze and gather. See you there!

866 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30308

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Baking Tips for Picky Puppies

words by: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento
This week’s “EATS” is dedicated to our furry, four legged friends. Ever wonder what is in that store bought doggy biscuit? Take a gander at the ingredients and you’ll be shocked that you are feeding your best friend a melting pot of preservatives, fillers, chemicals and God only knows what else. I have a couple of easy recipes to keep your loving puppy healthy and beautiful.

Dino’s Yummy Puppy Peanut Butter Bites

1 c. Organic flour
1/2 c. low fat milk
2 TBSP. low sodium Peanut Butter
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 egg white
1 TBSP. Organic chicken broth
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray or grease a baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl, add the first 6 ingredients and stir. Add the baking powder. Mix until everything’s combined.
Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of the mix onto your greased cookie sheet.
Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes – Let them cool down and voila healthy homemade treats.

Fenuxe Puppy Chew Cookies

2 1/2 c. Organic flour
1/2 c. low fat milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 large egg whites, beaten
2 TBSP./ of Organic chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients.
3. Add organic chicken stock and the beaten egg whites and mix well. Add more stock as needed.
4. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out bone-shaped cookies or use different shaped cutters to cut the dough into the desired sizes and shapes.
5. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool

Happy Feeding!

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Thursday Eats: St. Angelos

St Angelo’s Pizza, Wings and more…

by: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

For my pizza eating friends in the Vinings area – St Angelo’s Pizza is a must try. Located right on Atlanta road by West Village and 285. This fun, hopping place is a magnet in the area – folks flock here because of the great food and service. They offer excellent specials everyday of the week including 50% off wine bottle Sundays. They have live music on the weekends in their covered patio. If it’s too hot to go out they will deliver to the lucky folks in the neighborhood. They have a fantastic international beer selection, tasty wings and Italian style ice cream to satisfy all summer hunger pangs.

Next time you are out in the burbs slide in to the award winning St Angelo’s and enjoy an excellent pizza, calzone, NY style cheesecake or gelato. This is definitely where pizza and people come together!

Price $$ Gay ** Organic **

St Angelo’s
4686 South Atlanta Road,
Suite B
Smyrna GA 30080

Monday: Closed
Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday: 11AM-10PM
Friday & Saturday:11AM-11PM


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Dino’s Dish : A Taste of Italy

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

Pasta, olives, fine wines, Limoncello, chocolatiers, Ferragamo, Gucci, Mercedes Benz, luxury, sexy Italians; these are some of the words that I love when describing the perfect vacation.

Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful chauffeured Mercedes Benz picking you up in Florence and whisking you off to a luxurious country estate. Your private suite includes a gourmet kitchen and comfy living room. While in the Tuscan sun, private VIP tours to award winning wineries and exquisite culinary feasts with some of Italy’s finest chefs are meticulously organized just for you.

The days are designed to satisfy your every desire. From shopping at famous designer outlets where you can pick up an Emilio Pucci half off to private guided tours exploring the Ponte Vecchio and Firenze’s famed charm. If it’s exercise you crave, how about hiking to medieval hamlets through ancient Italian olive groves or swimming in a hidden lake in the pristine Tuscan woods. Perhaps yoga in Sienna’s peaceful countryside… whatever your wish, it will be.

Myriam Angulo, owner of the prestigious boutique land tour operator “Divine Tours” will create the perfect package just for you or 20 of your friends. She has offices in the States and in Italy and has been successfully creating these magical culinary adventures since 1996. You can join one of her pre-existing tours or have one made just for you. Her team can have you skiing in the Italian Alps or playing on a Sicilian beach in no time.

She is considered the best in the business because of her unique ability to combine exquisite foods, fine wines and exotic Italian travel experiences others can only dream. She will have you and yours sitting with the world’s finest chocolatiers tasting fresh truffle martinis then whisk you off to the famed Frescobaldi Wine Bar and then shopping at a rural farmers market so you can try your hand at cooking in your own gourmet kitchen. So now open your eyes, cash in your Delta miles, book a flight and go spoil yourself and your loved ones with Divine Tours. By the way she does cater to the LGBT community and will create the perfect escape.

Visit her website at

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Thursday Eats: Il Localino

by: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

A favorite place to go in Atlanta when the need for good Italian food and escapism are on the agenda at the lovely “Il Localino”.

Il Localino makes me smile every time I think about it. It is a cozy, warm, romantic experience. It will take you back to the 60’s & 70’s in NYC. The live music is nostalgic and the décor is like time stood still in little Italy circa 1972. The ambience will trick you in to thinking Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra & Sofia Loren will be joining the fun at any moment. You get to wear funny hats if you feel like it and the staff will treat you like royalty, Sinatra royalty that is.

They won the “Diners Choice Award” 2011. I’m giving them three Fenuxe stars to add to their many accolades. My dear, sweet Gale Parker has succeeded where many have failed; her restaurant lavishes over their guests and delivers at customer service. You may friend “Il Localino” on Facebook and I guarantee Ms Gale will never miss a birthday greeting or loving kind word to cheer you up. This attention to detail and sincere caring nature transcends to the dining experience and I love it!
My favorite dish is the Zuppa di Pesce in Bianco – AioJi with Fresh Herbs and Spices- Clams, Mussels, Shrimps, Scallops, Calamari, Grouper and Salmon – served on top of Linguini.

Time to ask that special someone out on date and let Il Localino provide a romantic setting to your special evening.

467 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307

Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-10pm
Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-11pm

Gay *** Price $$ Organic **

Follow me on Twitter @DinosDish

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Dino’s Dish: A Chicken Story

Friend or Fowl;

A Chicken Story

It’s great to head to the grocery store right after the gym. You are all pumped up, wearing a tight muscle shirt, your Braves, Texas or Cocks baseball cap and that extra confidence that’s sure to get you a smile or two as you peruse the aisles.

The main target aside from the produce guy is protein. Yep, you got to feed the muscles. Our most popular choice is our feathered friends and I don’t mean our lovely lip-synching ladies at Blake’s on Wednesday nights.

I’m talking about the chicken, a staple in most of our homes. I have a few secrets to share to make your experience with poultry a tasty delight every time.

For a juicier chicken breast, marinade with apple juice overnight. When ready to cook, dry the breast off with a paper towel, salt and pepper and sear on both sides then slip it in the oven for 15 minutes (depending on thickness). I guarantee you’ll never have a juicier chicken. Try it – you’ll thank me later.

Other good marinades include: “Mojo sauce” an authentic Cuban marinade available almost everywhere these days, or make your own with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and a squeeze of citrus. When you are in a pinch, Italian style salad dressing will do the trick.

Another quick and delicious recipe is tossing pre-marinated cubed chicken into a veggie stir fry with a homemade glaze of orange juice, orange zest, ginger, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, soy sauce, chicken stock and a touch of corn starch for thickening. Cook on high heat and serve over brown rice.

For those of you growing basil in your garden this summer; harvest a couple of cups of the best greenest leaves, add ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts, ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese, 4 garlic cloves , ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place in food processor. Mix this tasty sauce into cooked penne pasta with chopped cooked chicken – a fantastic and mouthwatering summer dish. It’s sure to impress the produce guy!

One last thing to consider is that we have been spoiled to buy our chicken skinned and deboned. However, the most flavorful chicken is when it is cooked with bones and skin in place. It’s easy to get the lean meat separated and will save you a few bucks. For details on recipes or questions write me at [email protected]

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