Dining with Dad


Last month, I put together a short list of foodie gift ideas for Mother’s Day. All of them should also work for the foodie Dad—I’ve never bought into the theory that women love chocolate more than men! But if your Dad is anything like mine, the special events of the day should revolve around eating (and golf, but that’s not exactly my area of expertise). Here are a few food-centric Father’s Day events happening around town this Sunday if you’re looking for something a bit more unique than a prix-fixe brunch menu.

Steak dinner plus a gift?

If Dad requests red meat for his Father’s Day meal, a pricey steakhouse dinner may preclude any gift you were thinking of buying him this year. But head to Chops this Sunday and Dad can have it all. The Buckhead power spot is giving all fathers a gift bag from the luxe Grooming Lounge—and it’s not just a bunch of throw-away product samples. A gift certificate entitles him to a complimentary haircut, hot lather shave, or “quick fix” facial (all retail for $50). Even if Dad’s haircut normally costs $8 at the local barber, a trip to the spa-like, men-only Grooming Lounge—where haircuts include drinks and a scalp massage—will be a relaxing treat.
Chops Lobster Bar, 70 West Paces Ferry Rd.; 404-262-2675; www.chopslobsterbar.com
Grooming Lounge, 3280 Peachtree Rd. NW; 404-467-7766; www.groominglounge.com

Eat for charity

Real Men Cook is a national movement with charity events all around the country on Father’s Day. Here in Atlanta, 100 men will be cooking for an estimated crowd of 3,000 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Georgia Railroad Depot. It’s too late to sign up to cook on Sunday, but maybe Dad will be inspired to show off his signature dish next year: each man prepares 200-300 sample-sized servings to feed the crowd. Proceeds from ticket sales ($20 for adults; $10 for kids) go to several worthy causes including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, and Real Men Charities, Inc. Further inspiration? President Obama has participated in Real Men Cook events several times and wrote the foreword to the organization’s cookbook.
65 MLK Jr. Drive. 404-344-8496. www.realmencook.com

Sports, beer, and good views

This Sunday’s special brunch at the Westin’s Sun Dial restaurant may very well combine three of Dad’s favorite things: sports, food, and beer. The rotating restaurant is located on the hotel’s top floor, so great views of Atlanta’s skyline are a given. For Father’s Day, the 72nd floor becomes a “club house” where Dad can act like a kid again and get up from his pulled pork benedict with barbecue-spiced hollandaise to watch sports, practice his shots on a putting green, or challenge fellow diners to a game of Wii. There’s also a complimentary Sweetwater Brewery beer tasting, and beer pairings are just $5 extra if you splurge for the $40 3-course brunch.
Sun Dial Restaurant, 210 Peachtree St.; 404-589-7506; www.sundialrestaurant.com

Golf and (free!) brunch

Here’s one for you, fellow children of golf fanatics. Turns out, Dad might skip the greens this Sunday, opting for a comfy seat near a TV instead—the final round of the U.S. Open is on that afternoon. Take him to Stats, where plenty of the 70 high-definition screens will surely be airing the tournament. Come early, because from 11 a.m. to noon, Dads eat free as long as you purchase another entree. After brunch, Dad can stay right in his seat and relax—the round starts at 1:30 on NBC. Make an afternoon of it with beers (some tables have personal taps) and spiffed-up bar snacks like spicy grilled cheese wedges with tomato bisque “dip”.
Stats, 300 Marietta St.; 404-885-1472; www.statsatl.com

Hot dogs and home cooking

Show off your culinary prowess and make dinner for Dad this year. He might even want to come shop for ingredients with you if you’re heading to the Briarcliff Whole Foods—a hot dog cart will be set up outside the store all afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.) and the first 30 Dads who show up get a free one. It’s probably a treat he doesn’t get to indulge in very often, and given that it’s Whole Foods, I’m betting that these dogs are free of bad-for-you nitrates. So grab a snack, then troll the market together for the makings of your Father’s Day feast.
Briarcliff Whole Foods, 2111 Briarcliff Rd. NE; 404-634-7800