MIDTOWN WESTSIDE VIRGINIA-HIGHLAND INMAN PARK GRANT PARK ANSLEY PARK REYNOLDSTOWN CABBAGETOWN OLD FOURTH WARD PONCEY-HIGHLAND MORNINGSIDE n
JUNE 2018 ISSUE 17 | FREE
Authentic Living in the Heart of Atlanta
! e t Da From BeltLine bike rides to rooftop revelry, we've got your A-to-Z guide to an amorous summer in the ATL
Warm-weather skincare swaps At home with restaurateur Kevin Rathbun
Smoky dishes and drinks for summer
ANSLEY PARK 155 The Prado NE 4 Bedrooms | 3 Baths $1,095,000 FMLS# 6006536
404.234.9261 RL@AtlantaCityhomes.com AtlantaCityhomes.com
WILBURN HOUSE 266 11th Street NE 1 Bedroom | 1 Bath $304,900 FMLS# 6000809
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INTOWN OFFICE We are a dynamic, diverse, urban team working under Atlanta’s most respected, locally grown brand. 404.897.5558 | 1531 Peidmont Avenue, NE | Suite B | Atlanta, GA 30324 | HarryNorman.com/Intown LESLIE JOHNSON, Sr. VP/Managing Broker | 404.897.3462 | Leslie.Johnson@HarryNorman.com
THESE COUPLES NEED A HOME!
This couple is looking for a house. They have a history of making a home their own and appreciate the opportunity for some ‘sweat equity’…..although open to a ‘turnkey’ opportunity as well. Location: Inside or close to the boundaries of 400 & I85 toward 285. Size: 3 bedrooms / 2 baths (Minimum) *Specific need is for a space for their concert grand piano. Budget: Max $650,000
These fellas are currently renting in Virginia Highland & they are looking for their first home together! They understand that they will need to do some work on the home to be in the location they want. Location: Eastern Atlanta toward Decatur: Old Fourth Ward, Grant Park, etc. Size: 3 bedrooms / 2 baths – or 2 bedrooms + an office Budget: Max $450,000
Which of these descriptions match yours or a friends home? Who do you know? How can you help?
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Harry Norman, REALTORS® The Intown Office | 1531 Piedmont Avenue NE, Suite B | Atlanta, GA 30324 | Leslie Johnson, Sr. VP/Managing Broker | HarryNorman.com Information is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted. Offers subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales, and withdrawals without notice.
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CONTENTS JUNE 2018 7 Editorâ€™s Letter 9 LATEST
The newest restaurants, shops and other spots to arrive on the scene
Living 12 Shelter
At home with restaurateur Kevin Rathbun
George DeMeglio starts anew with A Mano
Warm up your skincare routine
17 In-Town Escape
24 Restaurant Review
A low-key weekend at Serenbe
A blissful marriage of flavors at Better Half
18 Out of Town
Gulf Coast foodie finds
Mixing up mezcal cocktails
28 Fresh Bites
Step up your smoking game
Artist Lee Arnett
31 It's a Date!
Funny guy Greg Behrens
What to see and do when youâ€™re off the clock
From restaurants to rooftops, an A-to-Z guide to summer dating
Photos: Stephen Payne: 15, 20, 31. Erik Meadows: 24. Sara Hanna: 12
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JUNE 2018 | ISSUE 17 Serving Midtown, Ansley Park, Morningside, Virginia-Highland, Westside, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown and Grant Park Holly and Joseph Peed enjoy a bike ride on the BeltLine.
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Cover Photo: Stephen Payne
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CONTRIBUTORS Malika Bowling WRITER
"Two of my favorite things are the beach and seafood. Luckily for me, these two loves dovetail frequently. I’m elated we have several beaches within driving distance of landlocked Atlanta, one being Gulf Shores. There’s nothing like the Gulf’s fresh oysters and the sweet Royal Red Shrimp at the Steamer restaurant."
Hope S. Philbrick WRITER
“When people learn that I review restaurants, one of their first questions is whether my husband gets to go along. Yes, he usually does, which helps me taste more of the menu. He’s arguably got the better half of the job as his only role is to eat my recommendations.”
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We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2018 by 17th South®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.
hat is it about summer that makes the season feel especially ideal for dating?
Extra-long hours of daylight that allow for twilight strolls? Warm, humid evenings that beg for late-night ice cream cones? Nostalgic memories of childhood, when our biggest summertime worry was how many lightning bugs we could coax into a waiting Mason jar? Whatever it is, it's palpable. And fortunately for us, summers here in Atlanta are long-lasting. To capture that spirit, writer Claire Ruhlin went in search of 26 date ideas that are just as perfect for first-time get-togethers as they are for date nights with your long-time love. Of course, many of them will still be options long after the last light of summer has faded, so I suggest hanging on to this issue and pulling it out again in a few months when you need to refresh your routine. And a special thanks to real-life lovebirds Holly and Joseph Peed and Daniel and Jillian Stevenson, who modeled for our cover and cover story. For even more dating ideas, be sure to look beyond our cover story. Our resident restaurant reviewer, Hope Philbrick, and her husband sat down to dinner at Better Half and discovered that it's one of the city's most eligible date-night eateries ("Perfect Fit", page 24). Writer Lia Picard profiled comedian Greg Behrens, a story that might inspire you to take your next date out for a night of comedy (see "Make 'Em Laugh" on page 22). And of course, few things are more romantic than being whisked away for a romantic weekend, whether to a nearby bucolic spot like Serenbe (see "Intown Escapes" on page 17), or to the Gulf Coast for a weekend of seafood feasting ("Out of Town," page 18). But, first things first: Pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and make a date with this issueâ€”you'll be all the more ready to make that next real date a winner. Enjoy!
Lindsay Lambert Dayâ€‚ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CORRECTION: In our May issue, an error was introduced into "Carolina Cool" (page 18) during the editing process. We erroneously identified Charlotte as the capital of North Carolina. Our moms, grandmas and grade school geography teachers have all reached out to remind us that North Carolina's capital is, in fact, Raleigh. We regret the error.
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Latest OPENINGS & ARRIVALS | STORIES: Claire Ruhlin |
CIDER CRUSH Atlanta Hard Cider Co. launches its first production facility and tasting room off future BeltLine this year
gluten intolerance launched Mark and Liz Deno into the quest for a local, all-natural cider. When their search turned up empty, Mark dove into researching everything he could about making cider—he even traveled from Atlanta to Oregon, where the craft cider industry is booming, and took a cider-making course at Oregon State University. Fast-forward three years, and the Denos are co-founders of Atlanta Hard Cider Co. that sells in stores throughout the city and will open its first
production facility and tasting room in West Midtown later this year. What makes their ciders different from those already on the market? “We make an all-natural cider,” says Liz. “We do not add any sugars, nor do we add artificial flavorings or colorings like most commercial brands do.” As of now, the ciders include flavors such as the flagship Crisp Apple, made with fresh-pressed apples, and a pomegranate that launched in May. This summer, keep an eye out for a honey flavor made from freshly crushed, organic ginger root. Once its cidery opens, Atlanta Cider Co.
will roll out additional flavors such as spicy ginger and tart cherry, with additional “one offs,” cysers (a blend of honey and apple juice fermented together) and bourbon barrel-aged cider. The 12,000-square-foot cidery, which breaks ground this summer, will feature 40 taps and include a tasting room, bar and rentable event space, as well as a 1,000-square-foot patio. On weekends, expect food trucks and live music. “We want this to be a relaxed and fun place to hang out,” Liz says. It’s certainly in the right spot to do so; the cidery will be located
on Marietta Boulevard N.W., off the BeltLine’s northwest section. Mark, a real estate developer, noticed the district’s potential several years ago. “He started seeing growth in the area and heard about the development of the Bellwood Quarry Park and the extension of the BeltLine,” says Liz. “Being directly on the the BeltLine is going to be huge for us, and we feel that we couldn't have picked a better location for our cidery.” n atlantahardcider.com
OPENINGS & ARRIVALS
Nailed It Nouvelle Nail Spa moves to new headquarters in the Westside Provisions District
Break a sweat at group fitness studio MADabolic in its first Georgia location this month f you’re a group fitness junkie— or maybe you feel like it’s time to ditch the treadmill—Old Fourth Ward’s new fitness studio might be for you. Known for its small group classes that emphasize “work to rest”-style interval training, MADabolic Inc. opens in the second phase of Studioplex this month. Launched in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2011, MADabolic boasts locations across the Southeast, from Virginia to Texas, and now, Atlanta. Those intimidated by heavy weights needn't worry; you won’t find any barbells here. Instead, MADabolic clients will incorporate kettlebells, dumbbells, medballs and boxing into the 55-minute workout,
Midtown Marvel Marriott’s dual branded AC/Moxy Hotel is coming to Atlanta
arriott’s AC and Moxy hotel concepts are coming together in Midtown, with both opening under one roof this year in a partnership between Marriott and Atlanta developer Noble Investment Group. Atlanta’s Cooper Carry serves as the architect. The $70 million, dualbranded hotel will span five stories and be located between 13th and
Photo: Shea Pharik
which is comprised of three components: momentum, anaerobic and durability (MAD). Clients will also receive a full year of suggested workout schedules that cater to long-term improvement, rather than daily achievements. “Our unique program can accommodate those who are newer to strength and conditioning, alongside competitive athletes,” says Atlanta studio owner Abby Closs, who previously worked in sales at Kind snacks. “We accomplish this by dividing
each class into four levels of intensity based on natural ability and where you are in your athletic journey. Our trainers will demonstrate each movement at the beginning of class and then carefully guide you to choose the correct level of intensity for you.” New members will receive a $10 for 10 days promotion to try MADabolic’s workouts, and the studio will host a series of open house events this month. Unlimited monthly packages and drop-in classes are available. n
14th streets, encompassing a total area of 266,000 square feet, including four levels of parking. The AC Hotel concept, which will offer 133 rooms and boasts standalone locations in Buckhead and Downtown, takes inspiration from Europe and features sophisticated design elements and designated work spaces. A new concept for the Atlanta market, the Moxy Hotel is geared toward millennial travelers with affordable pricing and high-tech amenities. The hotel's 155 tech-enabled rooms will offer mobile check-in, keyless entry, motion-sensor lighting, USB outlets and free WiFi, so you can Instagram as much as you’d like. While the hotels will have separate elevators and entrances—AC Hotel’s on 14th Street and Moxy’s on 13th Street—they’ll share a rooftop amenity floor with a fitness center, business center, pool, bar and fire pits. The project also includes Arts Walk, a pedestrian path that connects 14th Street and Crescent Avenue.
The connector will eventually stretch from the Woodruff Arts Center to the 10th Street MARTA station. n
marriott.com Marriott's AC and Moxy brands will come together in a contemporary Midtown building this year.
Founded by Alayna Hoang in 2008, Nouvelle Nail Spa has been pampering customers with its signature blend of natural and organic ingredients for 10 years. With a loyal client base, it’s become one of Atlanta’s mainstay nail salons, known for its travertine stone pedicure basins and ultra-plush leather recliners that slide so far back you might just fall asleep. This August, the salon, originally located on Marietta Street, will reopen in the Westside Provisions District next to West Egg Cafe. “I love the little, tight niche neighborhood,” says Hoang about Westside Provisions. Similar to its flagship location, the new storefront won’t be outfitted like the typical bare-bones nail salon; instead, customers will find exposed brick walls, plenty of greenery and the same services that made Nouvelle a success. Offerings include basic, gel and dip manicures and pedicures, but customers can also amp up their looks with custom-blend polish, hand-painted nail art and the option for signature soaks and aromatherapy. Waxing and hot stone massages will also be offered. Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s best to book an appointment in advance to secure your spot.
SHELTER n PEOPLE n BEAUTY IN-TOWN ESCAPES n OUT OF TOWN
A PRIVATE RETREAT
Photos: Sara Hanna
At home with chef and restaurateur Kevin Rathbun
A Private Retreat Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun and his wife, Melissa, create their own urban oasis | STORY: Karon Warren | PHOTOS: Sara Hanna |
fter living near Spaghetti Junction close to ChambleeDunwoody Road just north of Atlanta, Kevin and Melissa Rathbun decided it was time to make the move closer to the heart of the city. Given that Kevin is the executive chef for four of Atlanta’s hottest restaurants—Rathbun’s, Krog Bar and Kevin Rathbun Steak, all in Inman Park, and KR SteakBar in Buckhead—and Melissa works “wherever I’m needed” in the restaurants, the couple wanted a home in town that was close to their work. “Proximity was huge,” he says. After searching for a while, Kevin finally came across the property he wanted: a one-acre lot in the Morningside-Lenox Park community. He walked the lot, surrounded by well-established trees and shrubs that masked the sounds of city life. “It felt good,” he says, “like I was in the country.”
Above: Melissa and Kevin Rathbun love relaxing outdoors in their “own bubble” of serenity.
Right: The Rathbuns spend a great deal of time on their backyard terrace, which includes a pool and outdoor kitchen.
Once the sale closed, the Rathbuns got to work with architect Joel Kelly of Joel Kelly Design in Peachtree Hills and GB Homes, which served as the general contractor. Then the original structure was torn down to make way for their dream home. Today, the 7,100-square-foot gray brick house is a mix of the Rathbuns’ personal likes: Kevin’s affinity for contemporary and Melissa’s love of New Orleans, her hometown. As a result, the house contains lots of French doors, gas lamps and balconies, along with sleek lines, eclectic light fixtures and a monochromatic color palette. The house is constructed on a large scale—wide, spacious rooms with high ceilings and big baseboards—for two reasons. One is for entertaining, and the second is for Kevin. “The scale of the house is a good size for a large man like me,” says Kevin, who is 6 feet, 5 inches tall. The main level is comprised of a large, sunken living room, expansive
kitchen and dining room, and a home office. The second floor contains the bedrooms, while the basement has a wine cellar, home theater and recreation room. The rear of the property holds a 900-square-foot guest house. The couple worked with Vic Cochoff of Georgia Cabinet & Supply to outfit the house with many custom, handmade furnishings, such as the zebra wood cabinets in the kitchen and the buffet in the dining room that was styled after one Melissa saw on a trip to Miami. The 12-foot dining table also was
an interesting find for Melissa, who saw it and fell in love with the metal table legs. She wasn’t crazy about the frosted top that came with it, so she had Cochoff construct a custom top. When she spotted the white leather and metal Holly Hunt chairs, she knew she’d found the perfect match to her table. “I had to have these chairs, and I think they complement one another,” Melissa says. The “gussied up” kitchen, as Melissa calls it, is filled with Viking appliances plus a massive, 14-footlong island. While it may seem a
Left: The Rathbuns wanted a large, open kitchen and dining room for entertaining purposes. Below: The sunken living room features Kevin’s favorite accent, an onyx wall.
Above: The wine cellar was designed with black walnut to mimic the decor at Kevin Rathbun Steak.
natural fit for an executive chef, it’s actually Melissa who does most of the cooking when the couple is at home. Kevin readily admits that his wife is a great cook, but the real reason she runs the kitchen at home is because she doesn’t want him to mess it up. “I have an eight-burner cooktop, but she won’t let me use the four back burners because it will screw up the stainless steel,” Kevin says. Melissa is quick to point out that Kevin doesn’t have a restaurant kitchen staff to go behind him and clean up along the way when he’s at home, and
she doesn’t want to take on that role. “He has four restaurants; he does not need to mess this kitchen up,” Melissa says. “When he’s at home, I’m like, ‘No, don’t use 42 pans and pots. We can do this with two, I bet.’” Instead, she gives him free rein over the outdoor kitchen on the home’s back terrace. “I do all the grilling,” Kevin says, laughing. “I do everything outside. We do not fry
bacon in the house. We fry outside.” Of course, that’s OK with Kevin, given the back terrace is his favorite place to be. “That’s definitely Kevin’s man cave,” Melissa says. The space contains several couches, chairs and tables, an outdoor fireplace, mounted TV, the outdoor kitchen and a swimming pool. Another favorite space is in the basement, where Cochoff constructed the wine cellar inspired by an
Architectural Digest feature on one of Jennifer Aniston’s homes. He used black walnut for the walls to mimic the design in Kevin Rathbun Steak. Michael Puzio of Puzio’s Iron Studio did the metal work there as well as the fencing and pergola in the backyard. Opposite the wine cellar, a “cookbook wall” is made of floor-
“When I come home, I don’t even feel like I’m in Atlanta.” MELISSA RATHBUN
Above: The outdoor living room behind the house serves as Kevin’s man cave. Below: When at home, Kevin does his cooking and grilling in the outdoor kitchen on the back terrace.
Left: The master bedroom serves as a quiet escape from the Rathbuns’ busy lives.
DESIGN DETAILS Architecture
Joel Kelly Design joelkelly.com
to-ceiling shelves holding a massive cookbook collection. Choosing the color palette for the home was an easy choice for the Rathbuns. “We like monochromatic,” Kevin says. “That’s who we are. Grays, the dark woods and the off-whites just worked. That’s what we like.” However, one selection that challenged the couple was deciding on a floor color for the oak hardwoods. “That was a very hard decision
because I didn’t want dark,” Melissa says. “So for this we mixed a gazillion colors together, and we call it gumbo.” The resulting “gumbo” is a milky off-white with very subtle hints of the dark zebra wood of the kitchen cabinets. It took two and a half years to complete the home, but the couple is thrilled with the results and wouldn’t change a thing—except, possibly, one. Melissa says she would have chosen a different flooring material than oak that would hold up well to heavy traffic, especially high heels. Because
the couple does so much entertaining, the floor endures a lot of abuse. “I love my floors, but for maintenance reasons only, I wish I’d gone with something bullet-proof,” Melissa says. Otherwise, the Rathbuns love having a place of comfort where they can relax after a hectic day at the restaurants. “When I come home, I don’t even feel like I’m in Atlanta,” Melissa says. “When we’re in the backyard, it is so scenic and relaxing and calming. We’re out of that spotlight, and we’re in our own bubble.” n
Georgia Cabinet & Supply 404.827.9386 Ironwork
Puzio’s Iron Studio puzioironstudio.com Kitchen appliances
Viking Distributing East (formerly HADCO)
vikingdistributingeast.com Dining chairs
Holly Hunt Jim Thompson Furniture | Lighting | Textiles
e s r Cou From engineer to restaurateur, George DeMeglio jumped the corporate ship to indulge in a lifelong passion for Italian cuisine | STORY: Juliette Cheatham | | PHOTO: Stephen Payne |
ebuting in Altana’s bustling restaurant scene at an age when many are considering retirement, A Mano owner George DeMeglio is just getting started. With his kids away at college, DeMeglio found himself ready for an extreme career change and hungry for an opportunity to pursue his love of authentic Italian fare. The product of two first-generation Italian families, DeMeglio was raised with food at the center of his upbringing. “I remember helping my grandmother roll gnocchi,” DeMeglio says of his youth. “Those moments left a huge impression on me. They taught me what good food is.” A long-time resident of Candler Park, DeMeglio admits that despite having plenty of culinary influences throughout childhood, cooking wasn’t always his first priority as an adult. After years of cheap food and many
trips to The Majestic Diner thanks to a demanding work schedule, he decided it was time to learn how to cook—again. “Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist Cooks at Home was my first cookbook, and I absolutely fell in love with creating in the kitchen,” DeMeglio says. “The kids weren’t too upset about my new hobby, either.” Almost a decade before A Mano’s grand opening in the fall of 2017, DeMeglio was running along Freedom Parkway Trail, feeling unsure of what he wanted the next chapter of his life to look like. “I always passed this little church and would stop a nd say a prayer to my grandparents. This time, something happened in that moment, and there was no doubt in my mind that opening a
restaurant was what I wanted to do.” DeMeglio looks back on his decision to make a drastic and sudden career change so late in the game with serenity. “You have to do what you love,” he says. “You can’t always do it when you want to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan. It’s truly amazing that when you believe in something wholeheartedly you attract likeminded people to you who support your dream.” A Mano, Italian for “by hand,” embodies the spirit of its name not only in its meticulously crafted, handmade pasta and other dishes, but also in its setting, the old bungalow DeMeglio flipped. “I felt that, wherever I was going to build a restaurant, it was important to be
an active part of the community myself, so I wanted to live and work in the same space,” DeMeglio says. So he packed his bags and cozied up in the converted living quarters behind the restaurant, where he immediately became involved in Old Fourth Ward organizations and committees, and volunteered to help preserve buildings around the neighborhood. “I have created A Mano’s canvas, but the staff that fills this place paints it every day,” DeMeglio says. “My job is to get them excited to do what they do…so they can deliver an enchanting experience to our guests and service the community of Atlanta.” n
Your warm-weather skin and hair care questions, answered | STORY: Karina Antenucci | Should you be switching up your beauty routine for warmer weather? Answer: Yes. Your skin and hair have different needs depending on the season. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to ditch every product you’ve been using, and what you do apply still hinges on your skin and hair type. Sara Lamond (left), founder of Fig & Flower Natural Beauty, shares her recommendations for summer swaps that make sense.
Update Your Cleansers “To better remove the heavy film of SPF, plus sweat accumulating during the day, dry skin types should use an oil cleanser, and oilier and congested skin types should double cleanse with an oil cleanser followed by a foaming cleanser in the summer,” says Lamond. Oil? As it turns out, oil fights oil.
HERE’S HOW TO USE AN OIL CLEANSER: Don’t wet your face first. Put the oil in clean hands and rub them together to slightly heat the oil. Then apply
it in a circular motion around your face. “That oil-to-skin contact is going to break up the makeup, sunscreen and oil,” Lamond says. Next, wet a washcloth with warm water and place it over your face for a minute. When the towel cools, wipe away the rest of the oil.
ONE TO TRY: One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover, $42
Stick with the Nighttime Moisturizer You never want to lose your night cream, even in the summer. “That’s your holy grail of skin care. Our
Swap Some Shampoos
bodies are more restorative at night, so use your heaviest product then, when your skin is doing its resetting. One of the most profound things you can do for anti-aging is to keep your skin hydrated,” Lamond advises. However, you can pare down your daytime moisturizing since your skin is producing more sebum and sweat. Choose one high-performing hydrator like a serum or lightweight moisturizer with hyaluronic acid that “helps hold moisture to the skin but is a light ingredient,” says Lamond.
ONE TO TRY: HiQ Cosmetics COQ10 Facial Serum, $125
Trade Exfoliating Masks If you’re spending more time outside, put the kibosh on the mask with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) you have been using since the winter; AHAs, including glycolic and lactic acids, can make your skin sensitive to light. Instead, choose a clay- or charcoal-based detoxifying mask or scrub that does double duty, clearing grime from those pores and exfoliating your skin. “If we don’t exfoliate, our lovely, expensive moisturizer can’t get where it needs to go under a layer of dead skin and product laying on its surface,” Lamond says. Use an exfoliating mask one to three times per week.
ONE TO TRY: Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub, $10 (tip: use it as a mask)
You’re going to feel tempted to shampoo more often in the summer thanks to increased oil production, humidity and sweating—but fight the urge. “It’s not great for the hair and will strip the natural oils. Frizzy hair is actually over-dry hair,” explains Lamond. She suggests replacing every few shampoos with co-washes, which stands for a “conditioner wash,” cleansing with your conditioner instead of shampoo. Just massage it into the scalp. “Co-washes do a great job of not leaving buildup, similar to oil cleansing for the face.” In addition, once per week, use a clarifying or exfoliating shampoo to remove any buildup of oils or products from your scalp.
ONE TO TRY: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal & Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, $42
Grab a Salt Spray Summer in Atlanta is a great time to embrace natural waves instead of trying to get hair to perform with straight styles and styling products—the humidity just doesn’t cooperate. “Spritz a salt spray to add texture and let it dry naturally,” says Lamond. “This is also a great way to cut down on using heat tools and give your hair a break.”
ONE TO TRY: Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, $28. n
Fig & Flower Natural Beauty
636 North Highland Avenue N.E., 30306 404.998.8198 shopfigandflower.com
Above: Blue Eyed Daisy serves up fresh, cozy cafe fare.
Left: The Inn at Serenbe is adjacent to the community’s farmhouse and offers visitors a charming and quiet place to stay.
Above: The General Store offers tastings of wines from small, estatefocused wineries.
Gone Country For city dwellers, Serenbe offers bucolic comforts and a welcome respite from urban life
tlanta doesn’t have a beach, but it does have its own version of the Hamptons. Serenbe, the planned community about 45 minutes south of Midtown in Chattahoochee Hills, is a getaway with all the trappings of a high-end beach town—but instead of the beach, it’s the countryside. The brainchild of founders Steve and Marie Nygren, the community came about as a way to preserve the Chattahoochee Hills countryside. The founder of Peasant Restaurants, the Nygrens gave up the hustle and bustle of city life and moved to Chattahoochee Hills in the mid-1990s. They renovated a historic farmhouse on the property in 1994, and now 400 residents live and work there. The neighborhoods are called hamlets, each with beautifully designed, eco-friendly homes. Like the Hamptons, not all of the homes are occupied year-round, but a good number are used as weekend destinations. You may not want to buy a weekend cottage, but you can get a taste of the sweet country life without the real estate investment.
Begin your visit with a stop at Blue Eyed Daisy (blueeyeddaisy.com) for lunch. The cozy cafe serves up sandwiches and salads with organic (when possible) ingredients. Among the standouts is the pulled pork salad with braised pulled pork over mixed greens and shredded cabbage, and topped with crushed peanuts and Thai peanut sauce. Don’t leave without one of the house-made baked goods, such as a black-andwhite cookie or classic cupcake. After lunch, browse the high-end clothing boutiques and scope out the art galleries on Selborne Lane, the community’s main thoroughfare. After exploring the footpaths with meditation areas and a stone labyrinth, stroll over to the General Store at Serenbe (generalstoreatserenbe.com) for an afternoon wine tasting. The store is run by Nadine Bratti, a vibrant New York transplant who traded in her sales job to become a wine and food purveyor in Serenbe. On Saturdays she leads the tastings, during which she shares her wisdom along with sips from mostly small, estate-focused wineries.
Right: Try to find your way out of the property’s stone labyrinth.
| STORY: Lia Picard |
Serenbe has two restaurants with dinner offerings: The Hill (thehillserenbe.com) and The Farmhouse (serenbefarmhouse.com). The Farmhouse offers a dose of bucolic charm that you can’t get in the city. The sunny former home has a patio with outdoor seating, and an airy dining room with a vaulted ceiling, ample windows and white tablecloths. Executive Chef Brian Moll took the helm last summer and continues to turn out seasonal gems in keeping with what’s expected of the 10-yearold restaurant. Standouts on the menu include the Georgia white shrimp with farro and the Carolina gold rice risotto. Much of the produce is sourced from Serenbe Farms, and the menu changes regularly to reflect that. The grounds are no less magical at night. Catch a show at Serenbe Playhouse (serenbeplayhouse.com), which isn’t actually a playhouse at all. The professional theater company performs musicals and plays outside, but the location of the set changes for each show. The summer performances include Peter Pan and Titanic, with perennial favorites
SHOWTIME AT SERENBE: WHAT’S ON n Titanic runs at Serenbe Playhouse July 11 through August 12, and Peter Pan runs through August 26. serenbeplayhouse.com n Catch singer-songwriter Eliot Bronson Band in an outdoor performance at the Art Farm on Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m. artfarmatserenbe.com n Design buffs will want to take the Architecture + Thoughtful Design tour led by Serenbe founder Steve Nygren. The community has been lauded for its sustainable efforts and green homes and this tour gives you a first-hand look inside. serenbe.com/events n Learn to make the most of seasonal veggies at the Right Off the Farm cooking class held on July 19 with a guest chef (to be announced). Classes are $35 per person. serenbe.com/events
Sleepy Hollow and The Snow Queen returning in the fall and winter. Should you want to turn your day trip into an overnight stay, the Inn at Serenbe (serenbeinn.com) offers accommodations adjacent to the Farmhouse with comfortably chic rooms. If you want to feel more immersed, rent rooms in cottages and townhomes throughout the community. n
Living OUT OF TOWN
Above: A vendor cooks oysters during the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off. This year’s takes place November 2-3. Left: The Wharf is a multi-use center packed with restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Below: Outdoor seating at The Gulf, a beachside eatery made from recycled shipping containers.
Duo | STORY: Malika Bowling |
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, are go-to vacation destinations for seafood lovers
hat was once a quiet beach town frequented largely by Alabamians has evolved to be a dining destination for foodies and families. The soft, white-sand beaches are the playgrounds of the day, while the seafood-rich gulf shares its bounty with restaurants in the evenings. Here’s where to eat and drink when you play in Gulf Shores.
Gulf Shores Steamer This no-frills spot has one rule: No fried food is served here. Though you can eat your fill of oysters, don’t miss out on the signature feature, Royal Red Shrimp. Indigenous to Gulf Shores, the large, crimson shrimp have a sweet and salty taste. Order a platter of peel-and-eat Royal Reds on your visit. gulfshoressteamer.com
Red or White Wine and Gourmet Center Located at The Wharf, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, Red and White pairs unique wines with small plates and charcuterie, all with water views. After dinner, soar high above the palm trees as you take a ride on the Wharf’s Ferris wheel ($5 per person). redorwhitewine.com
The Gulf You might do a doubletake upon arriving at this beachside eatery that’s constructed from 27 bright-blue recycled shipping containers. The action is outside, where tables and couches along the beach provide spectacular views. With no refrigerator on site, the menu changes often, though the shrimp tacos, grouper sandwich and steak frites are perennial favorites. Specialty drinks include seasonal mojitos. thegulf.com
SALT at San Roc Cay For upscale eats with a conscience, head to SALT at San Roc Cay. Dedicated to oyster sustainability, the restaurant offers oyster drills—a type of sea snail and
a natural predator of oysters. The sea snails are cooked in red wine sauce and baked with bread crumbs. facebook.com/saltatsanroc BuzzCatz Satisfy your sweet tooth at this coffee and breakfast spot that’s hopping in the morning with locals enjoying kitten head biscuits (that’s kitchen speak for pull-apart biscuits), cinnamon rolls and signature, house-made pop-tarts. In the afternoon, bask in the restaurant’s outdoor seating as you linger over a salted caramel Buzz Frappe. buzzcatzorangebeach.com
Drink Flora-Bama This honky-tonk bar’s name is a nod to its location on the Florida-Alabama border—specifically, in Orange Beach, Alabama, and Perdido Key, Florida. Flora-Bama, which has been the subject of songs due to its modern take on the Wild West (think saloon-type atmosphere with bras strung on the ceilings and where anything goes) by Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton, is home to five stages for live music and features country, rock and dance. Make sure to get a Bushwacker cocktail, the bar’s signature drink. florabama.com Big Beach Brewing This open-air spot features the best of local craft beers. Not sure what to order? Start with its flagship 100 Daze Brew, a widely appealing American Ale with notes of citrus, apricot, passion fruit and black pepper. Another crowd pleaser is Dixie’s Heart Irish Red Ale, with rich caramel and toffee flavors, and a touch of spice. bigbeachbrewing.com n
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sk u D t a g n i h t 6 n 2 n y i l u J – h Beg t 7 e n Ju
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Located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University
Photo: Stephen Payne
6/7: FERDINAND 6/14: PADDINGTON 2 6/21: E.T. 6/28: CLUELESS 7/5: NO MOVIE 7/12: BACK TO THE FUTURE 7/19: GREASE 7/26: COCO
MAKE ’EM LAUGH On stage with funny man Greg Behrens
c i t s i Art A
fter growing up in Sylacauga, Alabama, Lee Arnett knew that his life as an artist would require moving to a city. In his small, Talladega County hometown, there were no art museums. There were no galleries. There were no art classes in school.
Lee Arnett turns his small-town Alabama dreams into reality as he works his way into the Atlanta art scene spotlight
But Arnett was born to make art. He would scribble fanatically from the age his hand could hold a crayon. As a small child, he even painted on the walls of his family home. And in his teenage years, his wall painting evolved into graffiti on the streets of nearby Birmingham. “It was very out of the norm, especially for a boy, to want to be an artist in a small, conservative town,” Arnett says. But the impulse to make art continued to burgeon within
him, encouraged by his mother, who always recognized his potential—seeing her son as so much more than a teenager with an affinity for graffiti. He moved to Atlanta in 2010 to attend The Art Institute, and he quickly began to thrive. While still in school, he freelanced as a graphic designer and later launched a clothing line, LASATL, which features limitededition shirts, sweatshirts and hats. And as Arnett’s network in Atlanta grew, so did his body of work. His paintings, once exclusively found on the street, made their way into
| STORY: Jodi Cash | PHOTO: Stephen Payne | galleries and fine art spaces. His confidence and artistic maturity, learned from Atlanta’s supportive artist community, became visible in his work. His first gallery show was at Mason Fine Art two years ago, which opened a whole hallway of new doors for him. Most recently, his paintings were featured in West Midtown’s prestigious Kai Lin Art gallery last spring as a part of the Fresh 2 Exhibition. Kai Lin founder Yu-Kai Lin gave Arnett meaningful feedback. “He noticed whenever I stopped painting things that I thought other people would like,
or that I wanted other people to like, and I started painted things from experiences that I’ve had,” Arnett says. “That was the turning point.” Ironically, as Arnett has grown as an artist, moving between mediums, the cultural attitude toward street art has shifted. People have started to embrace his first love. “Finally, people are starting to understand graffiti and aerosol painting as a real art form and not just view it as vandalism. I think Atlanta is embracing that, and I think that’s huge. There are some artists who can do with aerosol what some master painters can’t do with a brush.” This movement has also come along with opportunities for the young artist. He was commissioned to paint murals on the sides of Atlanta’s two gusto! restaurant locations, the first of which debuted in 2016. That lit a fire for Arnett, whose mural work has since been commissioned at GE offices in Miami and here in Atlanta. “Trying to brighten the city, [to] brighten the world, is the main goal,” he says. “To see it kind of unfolding and happening is breathtaking.” Arnett is preparing more paintings for a solo Atlanta show in October and November, and he plans to drop new cut and sew pieces for LASATL, which he’ll sell online this summer. As he moves forward, he hopes that his work will aptly represent the city that’s been so formative to his career. “I would love to be known as Lee Arnett from Atlanta,” he says. “I would love to make everyone proud.” n
1 in 5 Georgia kids faces hunger this summer. You can help at acfb.org
Culture HEADLINERS Meet funny man Greg Behrens, producer of the monthly joke battle “Jokin’ Off” | STORY: Lia Picard | | PHOTO: Stephen Payne |
e k a M ‘Em
veryday stressors ranging from work to traffic to politics are enough to make us cry, but thankfully our city is loaded with talented funny men and women who can bring us some comic relief. One such humorist is Greg Behrens. By day he works in Gwinnett County, but at night he makes the rounds of Atlanta’s bars and clubs, happy to make people laugh for a bit. Most notably, he hosts the elimination comedy game show “Jokin’ Off” at Midtown’s Laughing Skull Lounge in which comedians go head to head with zingy one liners. We caught up with Behrens to learn more about his show and work in comedy.
How did you first get involved in comedy? I’d always been interested in it, so in 2009 my wife bought me a sketch writing class with Sketchworks, a comedy troupe in Atlanta. I took some classes, wrote sketches and got them put on stage by student actors. Eventually they had me come on as a writer for the troupe, and I performed in the cast for five years. I started
doing standup while I was there, and it got to be too much doing both. Do you prefer standup comedy to sketch? Yes. I like the accountability of standup comedy. If it doesn’t work, it’s totally on me. Sometimes, in sketch comedy, I would write something, and the director may not have had the same vision, and it didn’t deliver the way I wanted it to. After a while I was like, “I could throw this out in the world, or I could use it myself.” How did your show at Laughing Skull, “Jokin’ Off,” come about? I was invited to a charity event one time through Andrew George of Laughing Skull along with different performance artists from Atlanta. They wanted us to competitively read our Tweets live. Reading those Tweets received some of the best responses from the show, and I realized that if we took the time to do this with jokes, it could be a great show. I asked Andrew what he thought about the idea, and he said I could do it at Laughing Skull. We’ve been doing it every month for two years.
How do you pick the comedians who compete? When I first started, I picked people I knew and tried to get the best lineup I could. Just recently I took recommendations from a Facebook group for Atlanta comics. There are so many comics in Atlanta that it’s hard to keep track of everybody, but if I see somebody who’s out and doing their thing, and they’re funny, I’d love to have them on my show. The January production of “Jokin’ Off” featured an all-female lineup. Was that a coincidence? I had done the show a year and a half at that point, and only one woman, Sam Severin, had won. I’ve had women on every show— there are so many funny women in Atlanta—and at the end of the year I do a tournament of all champions. One year there was one woman champion, and the following year, none. And I wanted to guarantee that we’d start off the year by having a woman champ, so I brought in a bunch of people who hadn’t done the show yet. The woman who won was Spencer Taylor, and I think she has a chance of being the overall champion in December.
The competition ends by having the two final comedians roast each other, but they seem to have a pretty good attitude about it. Everyone is so used to doing it in general; it’s such a huge part of comedy. I’m already doing the competitive thing (with the show). Most people who aren’t familiar with the show ask me if it’s a roast, but I try to make it as far from that as possible. It seems like the comedy community in Atlanta is a pretty supportive bunch. Some of the best friends I’ve made are in the comedy scene. A lot of my contemporaries have moved on to L.A. and New York, but there’s still a lot of people whom I started with. There are so many new people all of the time that it seems like it can’t be that close, but there’s a lot of people looking out for each other and trying to lift each other up. You seem to have a really positive outlook versus the cynical comedian view. I don’t like jaded comics… just don’t do it, then. To me, this is supposed to be fun. I told my wife when I started doing comedy that if I didn’t feel like I was progressing or having fun, I wouldn’t do it anymore. n
Check out Greg Behrens’ schedule at gregularcomedy.com. “Jokin’ Off” is the first Saturday of the month at Laughing Skull Lounge, 878 Peachtree St. N.W., 30309.
Handmade pasta, perfectly cooked steaks & fresh seafood expertly prepared using the �nest ingredients.
REVIEW n LIQUIDS n FRESH BITES
PERFECT FIT Complementary flavors at Better Half
Photos: Erik Meadows
For reservations please call 404.844.4810
t c e f Per
ome couples order the same thing when dining at a restaurant. Others order different dishes. Some folks are eager to share. Others don’t want your fork in their food.
Whatever your preferences, Better Half in Midtown is a delicious date night destination where you can create the type of dining experience you crave. If only it were as easy to assemble the perfect partner. Better Half is the first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the U.S. by Zachary and Cristina Meloy, the husband-and-wife duo who previously ran PushStart Kitchen supper club in Atlanta, and before that owned a restaurant in Costa Rica where they met. Zach helms the kitchen; Cristina manages behind-the-scenes.
Griddled beef coulotte is served with a potato hash brown, garlic confit, huitlacoche and porcini caramel corn.
With its heartfelt food and welcoming ambience, Better Half is a failsafe pick for date night When Better Half opened, the intent was to change the menu every day with no repeats. As the relationship between the restaurant and its guests has evolved, the pace of change has slowed. Now you can anticipate a second date. “To lessen the sense of urgency and give diners an opportunity to come back to enjoy something a couple of times, most of the dishes stay on for a few weeks,” says Zach. Dine twice in the same week and the menu will likely feature one or two new options; it changes entirely every month or so. Once a dish runs its course, it won’t return to the menu. “We want to grow and push ourselves, not fall back on the familiar,” says Zach. There is one exception: “The only dish we intentionally keep on the menu is the silk handkerchief pasta with wild mushrooms because it’s the first thing I cooked for Cristina on our first date.” The soft, creamy dish hugs taste buds with rich earthiness. A dollop of tomato marmalade adds a kiss of color as well as a sweet contrast to the savory flavors.
| STORY: Hope S. Philbrick | | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows | Love at first bite is common here. Every dish is comprised of multiple components, some familiar, some unexpected and even uncommon. Beef coulotte was griddled to perfection and plated with potato hash brown, garlic confit, huitlacoche (a rare corn fungus that tastes like truffles) and porcini caramel corn. It looked like a party on a plate and tasted better than any steak dish of recent memory. Flavors synced like a happy marriage. Dishes change often, but you can count on Zach’s favorite ingredient, onions, being on the menu. “They’re available year-round and very versatile,” he says. “There’s any number of ways you can manipulate onions. It’s a really indispensable ingredient.” If a dish like sautéed snapper with mussels in escabeche piques your interest, go for it. It’s not like you can go wrong here. Tortilla fried chicken impressed with its crunch/juicy juxtaposition. Pimento cheese profiteroles offered the justright level of spice. Cocktails are well-balanced, from classics such as Sazarac to creations of
Right: Don't forget to order cocktails, of course.
Above: Tortilla fried chicken is topped with dabs of cilantro green goddess sauce.
Above: Cinnamon crumb cake with coffee ice cream, orange curd and honey pecan granola is one example of Better Half's oftenchanging desserts. Right: Cocktail time—Pip'n Ain't Easy, Paloma and Runaround Suze Left: Silk handkerchief pasta is the only dish that's always on the menu.
In the kitchen with…
Runaround Suze, a twist on the gin and tonic. Save room for desserts such as guava tart and cinnamon crumb cake, sized right to share. While Chef Zach finds inspiration “from all over the place,” he says—including shapes, colors, techniques, and flavor memories—“first and foremost, it’s tied to the local season and natural progression of the year.” His focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients earned him a place among the six 2018 Georgia Grown Chefs. Now in its seventh year, the program is a partnership between the Georgia Restaurant Association and the state’s Department of Agriculture that helps promote the Georgia Grown campaign and raise awareness about local, seasonal products. Better Half is a good match for date night. Whether it’s a first outing with someone you barely know or a night out with your longterm significant other, Better Half nails the
EXECUTIVE CHEF/OWNER ZACH MELOY
Who is the “better half?" Without question, it’s my wife, Cristina.
What’s behind the name Better Half? My wife and I opened the restaurant together as a team. We were hoping to provide a unique dining venue, to be Atlanta’s better half. We crowdfunded the restaurant through Kickstarter; we couldn’t have done it without Atlanta. It’s a really symbiotic relationship.
What’s the secret to working successfully with your spouse? In Spanish, when you talk about a better half, it is half an orange, and the other half makes you whole. For us, I do feel our personalities are geared toward working as a team. It’s not a scenario you find everywhere. Where I’m weak, my wife is incredibly strong. That’s guided our way, and we’ve been able to grow together.
food and drink without batting an eye. The welcoming ambiance is a place to get real and be yourself—the only way to make a genuine connection. Cozy and intimate, the space offers built-in conversation starters. “Sit at the bar and you get to have dinner with your date but at the same time have interaction with the person preparing your meal,” suggests Zach. “It’s easier, especially if it’s a first date, and you’ve run out of small talk, you don’t have to worry about what to say next. You can watch the cooks.” Another idea is to opt for the five- or nine-course tasting menu rather than order à la carte. “It’s kind of a conversation starter,” says Zach. “As the little dishes come out, you get to talk about them, and by the time you run out of things to say, a new dish comes out.” If all else fails, the robot art on the back wall will certainly give you something to talk about.
Reservations are recommended, but if your date nights are more spontaneous than meticulously planned you might be able to snag a table in the small dining room if you call ahead. Better Half has date night covered. Finding someone to date—that’s up to you. n
BETTER HALF 349 14th St. N.W. Bldg. C-100, 30318 404.695.4547 betterhalfatl.com Recommended: Runaround Suze ($9); pimento cheese profiteroles ($4); silk handkerchief pasta ($22); tortilla fried chicken ($27); griddled beef coulotte ($30). Bottom Line: Better Half serves high-quality cocktails and food at market prices in a neighborly setting that’s welcoming yet intimate. It’s perfect for date night or any evening you crave upscale preparations, sophisticated flavors, artful presentations and attentive service.
Above: Fresh mint adds an earthy flourish. Left: Thandi Walton prepares a mezcal cocktail.
Try one of these mezcal cocktails around town: Oaxacan Eagle Lure, Midtown A fruity, slightly bitter blend of mezcal, aperol and pineapple rum lure-atlanta.com
Sleepless in Jalisco Punch Gunshow, Glenwood Park Mezcal, passionfruit and blood orange come together for a juicy concoction gunshowatl.com
Hot ’Lanta Bone Garden Cantina, Westside Sweet and spicy mingle in glass with Serrano pepper-infused mezcal, brown sugar and peach bonegardencantina.com
l a c z e M
Mix up cocktails with Mexico’s smoky export for drinks with satisfyingly earthy flavor | STORY: Lia Picard | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |
n the heat of summer, it may be tempting to cool off with a refreshing cocktail like the margarita, but this year we’re sipping tequila’s smoky cousin, mezcal. Although mezcal’s history dates back more than 400 years to when the Spanish conquistadors taught Mexicans how to distill liquor, only in recent times has the spirit risen to prominence. To learn more about it, we chatted with Adolfo Gonzalez, coowner and chef of Taco Cantina in Old Fourth Ward, and Thandi Walton, the restaurant's drink menu consultant.
Unlike tequila, which is mass produced, mezcal is still made on a smaller scale. “Mezcal is very artisanal. Some call it the father of tequila. It’s similar to tequila, but made with a different process that makes it very artisanal,” Gonzalez explains. Mezcal is made is by extracting the piñas (hearts) from agave plants and cooking them in an in-ground pit with lava rocks, a method that imparts the smoky flavor. Next, the piñas are mashed and distilled; some go in to barrels to be aged in a fashion similar to whiskey. Because mezcal is made in 11 Mexican states with a variety of agave plants, each has a terroir associated with it. You likely won’t hear people singing about mezcal making them take their clothes off. “It’s great for sipping, not taking shots,” says Gonzalez. The best way to enjoy it is simply in a glass. “It opens up more once you
place it in a rocks glass, neat,” says Walton. Although, she does find that people love it in cocktails, too. “A lot of people are looking for mezcal old fashioneds, margaritas and mules. But a lot of people are also asking me to just make them something with it, which I love.” One of her default mixers for mezcal is lemon juice, which brings out the spirit's sweetness. At Taco Cantina you’ll find mostly blanco mezcal. This is un-aged and a bit easier for uninitiated palates. But even within these young mezcals there are variations. The Montelobos is salty and smoky with a silky mouthfeel. For an easy introduction, try the Ilegal mezcal, whose smokiness is stronger in the finish. After dinner, try the Banhez, smooth with floral notes that pair excellently with ice cream. At home, play around with mezcal infusions. Walton recommends throwing in hibiscus and chipotle pepper for a flowery yet spicy sipper. n
Taco Cantina 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. N.E., 30312 404.963.2146 mytacocantinao4w.com
Michael Bertozzi prepares to place a slab of meat in a smoker at Two Urban Licks.
READY, SET— GET SMOKING! SMOKED BRISKET
Yields 20 servings Plan on this recipe taking 12-14 hours 1 prime brisket, 16 to 18 lbs. ¼ c. kosher salt ¼ c. freshly ground pepper TOOLS NEEDED:
Smoker Hickory or oak logs for smoking 1 roll of butcher paper (not waxed) 1 probe thermometer DIRECTIONS:
Start a fire in the smoker and allow the chamber to reach a temperature of 275 degrees. Season brisket with salt and pepper (use more as needed). Place brisket in the center of the smoker and close the door. Watch the heat of the smoker—if it drops from 275 degrees, add a one or two logs. About eight hours in, check the temperature of the thickest part of the brisket. Once the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove and wrap in butcher paper, ensuring that no part is exposed. Return to the smoker and continue cooking until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 203 degrees (begin checking every 45 minutes to an hour).
Thank You for
Smoking Give this outdoor-ready cooking technique a try
moking is a cooking technique used all over the world, but in our backyards it may be tempting to toss it aside for the quicker method of grilling. Although grilling takes less time, smoking deserves its place in the sun, too. Besides achieving a mouthwatering, earthy flavor, smoking meats makes tough pieces tender. Michael Bertozzi, executive chef at Old Fourth Ward’s Two Urban Licks, gives us the scoop on how to ace smoking. “Most of the stuff we do at Two Urban Licks is done over a wood fire grill, a rotisserie over a wood fire or in a wood fire oven," Bertozzi says. "And then we have a J&R smoker in the prep kitchen. I spend most of my time around it.”
| STORY: Lia Picard | | PHOTO: Erik Meadows | The first thing people should know about smoking is which wood to use and not use. Bertozzi recommends oak for beginners as it’s a mediumbodied wood that imparts a smoky flavor without being overpowering. For a little more oomph, choose hickory, which leaves a bacon fat flavor. And there are fruit woods such as pecan, cherry, peach and apple that impart a slight sweetness. The heaviest flavored wood of the bunch is mesquite. Once you know which one you like, you can get creative—think blending oak and a fruit wood. The one wood not to use? Pine. It releases a sap that makes your meat inedible. Next, it’s time to choose a smoker. The Big Green Egg reigns supreme in the South, but it’s not what Bertozzi prefers. “The best smokers to use are offset barrel smokers. The firebox is on the side, and the chimney is on the
Serve with sauce (recipe follows), pickles, shaved yellow onion and white bread.
opposite end, so what you’re doing is creating a convection current,” he explains. In a Big Green Egg, the meat is directly over the heat source, and it can’t be controlled. Offset smokers range from $100 to $2,000. If you’ve been to a barbecue restaurant you know that the most common meats to smoke are brisket, pork shoulder and beef short ribs. What you may not know is the brine vs. rub debate. A brine is a salty solution where meat is soaked for a period of time before cooking. A rub, on the other hand, is a dry mixture of spices. Bertozzi’s stance is circumstantial. “Pork benefits from being brined just to get salt into its interior,” he says. Brisket is a fattier meat, so a rub works better. The fat melts as it cooks and infuses the flavor into the meat. Whether you’re team brine or rub, the fun doesn’t stop at smoking meat. Mushrooms are one of Bertozzi’s favorite foods to smoke over hickory. He simply tosses oyster and trumpet mushrooms in olive oil and salt and smokes them for 30 minutes. “They get enough of that smoky flavor that it makes them taste meaty.” Then he throws them in a stir fry and has a simple dish with an added layer of flavor. He also likes to smoke
MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE 2 c. French’s yellow mustard 1 ½ tsp. onion powder 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. hickory powder (usually found at local butcher shop) 1 ½ tsp. cracked black pepper 2 tbsp. brown sugar 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp. hot sauce (such as Texas Pete) 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 3 tbsp. bourbon 1 tbsp. ketchup 2 tbsp. honey DIRECTIONS:
Combine in a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat until the sauce simmers. Cook until thick (about 10 minutes).
oysters on the half shell and salmon. When it comes to smoking, the most important thing to remember is patience—there’s a reason they say “low and slow.” Too often people try to rush through smoking by cranking up the heat, but all that does is overcook your meat. Plan on getting an early start (as in 6 a.m.) if you want your meat ready by TWO Urban Licks 820 Ralph McGill dinner time. Ready Blvd. N.E., 30306 to start smoking? 404.522.4622 twourbanlicks.com Bertozzi shares a recipe above. n
P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 â€¢ 404-538-9895
The ABCs of
g n i t a D in the ATL
From first date to long-term relationship, Atlanta offers no shortage of ways to woo your sweetheart | STORY: Claire Ruhlin | | PHOTOS: Stephen Payne |
Deciding how to spend date night can be a head-scratching task, especially when warm, summer nights and weekends bring with them too many options to count.
Here, we help take the guesswork out of planning your next amorous outing with an A-to-Z guide to Atlanta’s most eligible date ideas. JUNE 2018
BIKE THE BELTLINE
Take a tour through Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods—and grab a couple beers at one of the many watering holes along the way—with a bike ride on the Atlanta BeltLine. Not a bike owner? There are plenty of spots you can rent from, including Old Fourth Ward’s Atlanta Bicycle Barn (grab a bike lock for an additional $5) and bike share program Relay Bike Share, whose racks can be found throughout the city. l atlbikebarn.com l relaybikeshare.com
Impress your date with an evening of sophisticated music at Performance in the Park, a free concert by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Piedmont Park on June 14. Dial up the romance by bringing along a picnic dinner for two. l atlantasymphony.org
COOK SOMETHING UP
If you or your honey has a knack for whipping up or consuming a good meal, put on your aprons and tackle the kitchen together. If it’s a night in you’re after, order a fresh meal kit from local companies Garnish & Gather
or PeachDish. A step-by-step-recipe and pre-measured ingredients make the process a breeze, so no need to worry about ending up with a kitchen disaster. For a night out, sign up for The Cooking School at Irwin Street, which is nestled right by Krog Street Market and holds cooking classes for individuals, couples and groups throughout the week. l garnishandgather.com l peachdish.com l irwinstreetcooks.com
Thrill-seekers and true-crime lovers should head to Big Escape Rooms Atlanta for a date that’s as fun as it is engaging. Work in a team to escape a themed setting—an abandoned circus with a murderous clown or a virus-stricken, post-apocalyptic world, for instance—by following clues and solving a series of puzzles. Attend as a pair and be assigned to a team, or make it a double date and enlist another couple to join the group. l bigescaperooms.com
DIP ’N DAB
Sip on wine while exploring your artistic sides with a BYOB painting class at Midtown art studio Dip ’n Dab. Just bring along a bottle of wine and some nibbles, and the studio will provide a step-by-step tutorial— along with a canvas, paint supplies, an apron and a drinking cup. l dipndab.com
Photo: Nic Huey
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Photo: Heidi Geldhauser
Photo: Courtesy VAtlanta Symphony Orchestra
Kevin Gillespie’s por bulgogi lettuce wraps from Gather & Garnish make for a tasty, at-home date night.
Come summer, Atlanta is blooming with outdoor festivals, from art shows to musical performances. Browse local artwork at the VirginiaHighland Summerfest June 9–10 (admission is free); enjoy live music and tours in a cemetery (yes, really) at Tunes from the Tombs June 9 at Historic Oakland Cemetery; or sip more than 200
Photo: Courtesy Oakland Cemetry
GRANT PARK FARMERS MARKET
Stroll through Atlanta’s oldest city park on Sundays and browse a robust lineup of local goodness, from pastries and pantry provisions to fresh fruits and veggies. Just make sure you come hungry; we recommend starting off with a few treats from Revolution Doughnuts and a cold brew from Banjo Coffee. Be sure to pick up a few of the most heavenly English muffins you’ll ever taste from TGM bread and seasonal soups from Mad Mama Gourmet. Feeling especially romantic? Purchase a bouquet of fresh, local flowers from Chattahoochee Queen. l cfmatl.org/grantpark
HOP CITY CRAFT BEER & WINE FREE WINE TASTING
Two words: Free. Wine. Every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Krog Street Market’s Hop City Craft Beer & Wine hosts a free tasting featuring three to four different wines. If you’re hungry afterwards, grab dinner from one of Krog Street’s food stalls, and then, if you have room, head to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for dessert. hopcitybeer.com
IMPROV AT VILLAGE THEATRE
Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and intimate comedy venue Village Theatre offers just that. Pay $5–$10 to attend a live improvisational show that takes its material from audience suggestions, so no two performances are the same. l villagecomedy.com
JAZZ AT THE HIGH
Enjoy music, drinks and art every third Friday of the month at the High Museum of Art’s Friday Jazz. Held in the atrium from 6–10 p.m., the event features a rotating lineup that spans a range of jazz styles, from bebop to swing. Performances are free with museum admission, so be sure to tour the latest exhibitions while you’re there, including Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, opening this month. l high.org
For a date on the creative side, try your hand at custom candlemaking at a workshop led by Aaron Tovi and Anderson Duncan of Lumary at Ponce City Market’s Citizen Supply. After settling in with some libations, you and your date will learn about the science behind candlemaking and how to concoct your own personalized scent. You’ll also name your fragrance and create a custom label for your 7-ounce candle, which can be picked up a few days after the workshop once it’s cured. But you won’t be leaving empty-handed: Each guest also receives a 4-ounce Lumary travel candle. l citizensupply.com
MOVIES AT MIDTOWN ART CINEMA
Put an indie spin on the classic movie date and show off your artistic taste. In addition to certain mainstream releases, Landmark Midtown Art Cinema features harder-to-find independent and foreign films. The charming theater also serves beer, wine and spirits. l landmarktheatres.com/ atlanta/midtown-art-cinema
NEW REALM BREWING
New Realm Brewing, which opened on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail at the beginning of 2018, has quickly become a local go-to, and it’s easy to understand why. The sprawling venue offers a brewhouse, restaurant, tours, a dog-friendly patio and a sprawling rooftop garden with views of the Atlanta skyline—all the ingredients for the perfect date night. “We wanted to create an environment that was casual, laid back and fun,” says New Realm cofounder Carey Falcone. “Our location on the BeltLine lends itself to making New Realm Brewery the perfect spot to mix and mingle with friends new and old.” l newrealmbrewing.com
THE OPTIMIST HAPPY HOUR
The Optimist offers some of the best seafood around, and you won’t find a better bargain than $1 oysters at the restaurant’s Oyster Happy Hour, available at the Oyster Bar from 5–6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3–4 p.m. on weekends. Linger on the outdoor patio for drinks and a game of mini golf. l theoptimistrestaurant.com
Slurp fresh oysters à deux at The Optimist.
KAHLUA COFFEE AT CAFE INTERMEZZO
A cozy, Italian-inspired cafe nestled among Midtown’s high-rises, Cafe Intermezzo feels like a romantic spot in the heart of Europe, and it boasts some of the city’s most indulgent desserts. Choose from an extensive beverage menu, whose highlights include boozy coffee drinks, and pick out a hearty slice of cheesecake or pie from the restaurant’s sprawling pastry counter to share. l cafeintermezzo.com
Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee
beers, wines and ciders at the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest June 16 at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park. l vahi.org/summerfest l oaklandcemetery.com l atlantasummerbeerfest.com
Tunes from the Tombs at Historic Oakland Cemetery makes for an unexpected date night.
LUMARY CANDLEMAKING WORKSHOP AT CITIZEN SUPPLY
THE PAINTED DUCK
West Midtown’s The Painted Duck—sister concept of Buckhead’s The Painted Pin—describes itself as “a distinguished drinkery, duckpin bowling and gaming parlour,” which might just be the ideal date-night recipe. Housed in the Stockyards Atlanta with little more than a neon sign to denote its entrance, the sprawling, moody venue is a playground of grown-up gaming. In addition to 16 lanes of duckpin bowling, Painted Duck is home to offbeat pub games of Belgian feather bowling, horseshoe, shuffleboard and snookball. There’s also an expansive bar (sample the signature Duck L’Orange cocktail) as well as a food menu. If you’re planning to bowl, make sure to get there early; lanes are first-comefirst-serve and tend to fill up quickly. l thepaintedduckatl.com
QUEEN OF CREAM ICE CREAM + COFFEE PARLOR
Mobile-cart-turned-ice-cream-parlor Queen of Cream is as Instagram-worthy as it is delicious. The sunlit eatery serves house-made, small-batch ice cream with local and organic ingredients. Flavors range from unique—think lavender honeycomb and Black Pearl, a vegan coconut ice cream with coconut ash and chocolate—to classics such as Tahitian vanilla bean and deep chocolate. Grab a cone to-go and wander the leafy streets of nearby Inman Park. l queenofcream.com
Even if you don’t like sports, you’ll enjoy watching the Atlanta Rollergirls, the city’s first flat-track roller-derby league, compete in dynamic, high-energy matches at the Yaarab Shrine Center. Prior to the show, shop local, artisanal goods and enjoy live music. The events are BYOB, so don’t forget to come prepared with your drink of choice in tow. l atlantarollergirls.com
Enjoy carnival games, mini golf and a three-story slide at Skyline Park on the roof of Ponce City Market. Inspired by retro amusement parks, the event space boasts panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline (try and catch it at sunset, if you can). Pick up a walking taco from and a frosé from the concessions stand, or nab a table on the patio of Nine Mile Station, Skyline Park’s adjoining beer garden and restaurant. l skylineparkatlanta.com
TEA PARTY AT TIPPLE AND ROSE TEA PARLOR AND APOTHECARY
Put your pinkies up and enjoy an afternoon high tea at Virginia-Highland’s Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary, whose cozy, eclectic interior is romantic in itself. Select a traditional, Southern, vegan, gluten-free or brunch menu. Choose from more than 100 different tea flavors and nibble on a spread of light bites including homemade scones, deviled egg salad, pimento cheese finger sandwiches and an assortment of macarons. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. l tippleandrose.com
URBAN TREE CIDERY
Not a beer lover? Tour Atlanta’s first hard cider producer, Urban Tree Cidery, whose modern, industrial-style tasting room boasts a selection of house-made ciders as well as full bar and liquor license. The cidery doesn’t
serve food, but guests are welcome to bring their own provisions to pair with a glass or flight of cider. l urbantreecidery.com
Located just off the BeltLine’s Eastside trail, Venkman’s is as much of a live music venue as it is a restaurant and bar. Housed on an industrial warehouse, formerly the Nu Grape Soda Bottling Factory, Venkman’s showcases an eclectic mix of sound curated by Peter Olson and Nicholas Niespodziani of Yacht Rock Revue. Sidle up to the bar for drinks or settle into a table and order from a menu of reimagined comfort food. On weekends, stop by from 12:30–2:30 p.m. for bottomless mimosas. l venkmans.com
Nestled in charming Morningside, Whiskey Bird borrows influence from Asian and American cuisine—think Yakatori, Hong Kong sliders and soba noodle salad. Belly up to the bar and enjoy a frozé or whiskey cocktail (you can’t go wrong with whiskey here), or soak up a summer evening over dinner on the restaurant’s back patio. l eatwhiskeybird.com
XOCOLATL SMALL BATCH CHOCOLATE
If the way to you or your beau’s heart is dessert, head to Krog Street Market
for a micro-factory tour and tasting at Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate. Sip on wine and learn about Xocolatl’s “bean-to-bar” chocolate-making process. Afterwards, experience a guided tasting of single-origin dark chocolates from around the world. l xocolatlchocolate.com
YOGA ON THE SQUARE
Stop by Midtown’s Colony Square any Wednesday at 6 p.m. through September 26 for a free, outdoor yoga class hosted by CorePower Yoga, Dancing Dogs Yoga and Exhale Spa. Be sure to bring a yoga mat and your “ohm.” l colonysquaremidtown.com
Zoo Atlanta hosts its annual outdoor event, Art Gone Wild, this month. On June 4–8, watch a selection of artists produce artwork “en plein air,” taking inspiration from wild animals and the zoo’s grounds. On June 16 and 17, the zoo will host a show and sale of the work produced during the event. zooatlanta.org
Photo: Courtesy Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate
Happening WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND TOWN | STORIES: Claire Ruhlin |
DYNAMIC DESIGNS EXPLORE THE MANY FACES AND FACETS OF DESIGN IN OUR CITY AND EVERYDAY LIFE
ou might not realize it, but design plays a key role in nearly every aspect of our lives. The Atlanta Design Festival, helmed by MA! Design is Human, explores just that. “We created the festival because we believe that design is human and has an important role in defining our city—it solves problems, creates culture and drives commerce,” says Festival co-founder Elayne DeLeo. “Atlanta is a growing, vibrant and
dynamic city with much to offer. We have world-class designers, architects, academia and brands in the Atlanta metro area and the Southeast. It’s an underserved market for the promotion of design.” Formerly known as Design is Human and now in its 12th year, the festival encompasses Atlanta’s annual Design Economy Expo from May 31– June 2 at the Woodruff Arts Center, as well as MA! Architecture Tours and showroom presentations, talks and installations throughout the city.
“We’re delighted to have Midtown Atlanta as the gateway to the Atlanta Design Festival, with the Design Economy Expo under one centralized roof at the Woodruff Arts Center,” says DeLeo. The expo will bring together international brands that include Roche Bobois, Artemide, Parsons School of Design and Georgia Tech College of Design. Talks will be held in the High Museum of Art Hill Auditorium. Among the festival’s components are its MA! Architecture Tours,
An apartment unit at Lilli Midtown, which will be a stop on the festival’s MA! Architecture Tour
which will take place June 2–3 across the city, spotlighting two commercial and eight residential properties in neighborhoods such as Morningside, Virginia-Highland and Midtown. “I think that much of the development today reflects the growth of the city,” says DeLeo. “All projects are helping to shape the future of Atlanta in a positive and progressive way. We need to continue the trend to look to the future with a focus on what makes Atlanta unique.” n atlantadesignfestival.net
EVENTS Coming up...
Photo: Courtesy Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
A SLICE OF SUMMER AT SKYLINE PARK JUNE 3
On June 3 from 1-4 p.m., the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership celebrates its Supporter Perks Program with its annual Slice of Summer party at Ponce City Market’s Skyline Park. A ticket will get you unlimited games, golf and rides at the rooftop
amusement park, a Tito’s Handmake Vodka cocktail and a Wild Heaven Beer. Guests will also receive Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Trekker benefits for an entire year. “Trekker is the entry level to our Supporter Perks Program that provides access to discounts at over 60 restaurants and experi-
ATLANTA MOON RIDE June 8 Piedmont Park
ences with BeltLine partners,” says Salisha Evans, director of partnerships and development for the Partnership. “Supporter Perks is our way of connecting our supporters to businesses that want to support the Atlanta BeltLine’s vision.” Program members will receive discounts at participating businesses and retailers along the BeltLine, including BeetleCat, Atlanta Movie Tours, Revelator Coffee and more. “Individual financial support is critical to furthering the Atlanta BeltLine vision of creating a better, more connected Atlanta,” says Evans. “The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership invests in culture and community by fundraising to activate the Atlanta BeltLine in new and exciting ways, including programming that supports vibrant mixedincome communities, enhances quality of life and gives the BeltLine its distinctive identity.” n
The free event officially kicks off with an opening parade that begins downtown at 4 p.m. and weaves its way to Midtown through nine neighborhoods. Make sure to get there earlier rather than later; there will be free bike decorations for guests while supplies last. “Atlanta Streets Alive allows Atlantans to reclaim our city streets as public space and experience them as a place of community, where people are the
FIT AT THE FARMER’S MARKET June 12 Ponce City Market Bring your yoga mat to the Ponce City Farmers Market (it’s held at The Shed) for a free barre class hosted by Forme studios, Batter Cookie Dough Counter and Ponce City Farmers Market. Class begins at 6:15 p.m., but plan to arrive early to snag your spot. You’ll also need sneakers, a sweat towel and water. Retox after you detox with free cookie dough samples from Batter.
CINEBASH June 23 Atlanta Contemporary
Photo: Erik Voss
focus,” says Haydée Santana, community engagement director for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. “It’s not a festival but an initiative to share a culture-shifting experience with as many Atlantans as possible.” Along the route will be an assortment of interactive experiences hosted by local businesses and organizations—think pop-up musical performances, street art and games. “We create a living street environment that highlights transportation options and where health and civic pride thrive,” says Santana. “We hope participants see a safe, vibrant, people-focused city street experience as a reality we can strive toward and embrace as part of
ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE This month, more than three miles of West Midtown’s roads will be closed to cars to allow for pedestrians to walk, run, bike, skate and frolic as they please. Held by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Atlanta Streets Alive Westside invites Atlantans to leave their cars at home and experience the city by bike, foot or wheel.
Take a late-night, six-mile bike ride through some of Atlanta’s favorite neighborhoods at the Atlanta Moon Ride, which debuts an all-new route this year. The fun begins with a pre-party in Piedmont Park at 7 p.m., and the bike ride, which is open to all skill levels, begins at 11 p.m. Make sure to break out your neon tutu; splashy costumes and add-on bike lights are encouraged. Proceeds benefit Bert’s Big Adventure.
everyday life in Atlanta.” One of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition initiatives is advocating for better cycling conditions, as well as making biking a more commonly used mode of transportation in a city that has long depended on cars. “The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is working toward a day when anyone can hop on a bike in Atlanta—when biking is completely integrated into our city’s culture, daily life and infrastructure,” says Rebecca Serna, executive director at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. n atlantastreetsalive.com
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) hosts its first Cinebash, celebrating Jewish film through other art. Held at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the event will explore a multitude of movie-related subjects, from influential filmmakers and noteworthy films to film marketing and movie poster design. This year’s event will pay tribute to graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Saul Bass. Guests will also enjoy food provided by Taste of Atlanta.
ATLANTA ADULT PROM ’18 June 30 Park Tavern Relive prom night to the tunes of the ‘80s at this throwback, prom-style event. Tickets include a VIP red carpet, small bites and open beer-and-wine bar until 11 p.m. A professional photographer will also be on hand to snap your picture (because what would prom be without those awkward portraits?) The evening will also include a silent auction benefiting PAWS Atlanta animal rescue.
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17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...
Published on May 24, 2018
17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...