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POINTS NORTH ATLANTA • JANUARY 2017, ISSUE 200

PEARLS OF WISDOM AN OYSTER OBSESSION

200 MINUTES IN SUWANEE & DULUTH

IT TAKES TWO

WEDDING SPECIALISTS JANUARY 2017

CEL EBR AT ING 20 0 ISSUES & REASONS T O L OV E THE NORT HS I DE

Celebrating

POINTSNORTHATLANTA.COM

ISSUES

& Reasons to Love the Northside


In this January 2017

ISSUE

POINTS NORTH Atlanta

Celebrating Our 200th Monthly Issue

8

14 18 28 18

50

More Oysters, Please We cracked open the case on the Northside’s most desirable oysters. From a time-honored neighborhood joint to a high-class raw bar, we did the dirty work for you — shucking shells and scribbling notes on different selections and where to eat ‘em.

Hair of the Dog January 1 may be National Bloody Mary Day, but these brunch hubs give reason to partake all month long. Creativity counts at these buildyour-own bars or borrow Muss and Turner’s recipe to recreate at home.

Hopeless Romantics Need some new inspiration for date night? These ideas are guaranteed to get you off the couch, out of your comfort zone and have your heart racing.

Double the Fun Organizing the little details for your big day can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. A pair of sisters combined their talents to create It Takes Two, an Atlanta-based event planning service to design the celebration of your dreams.

Travel Colorfully Add “weekend jaunt to Charleston, S.C.” to your list of resolutions. The spirited Southern capital of sophistication isn’t short on inspiring stays, but the Historic District’s new Grand Bohemian Hotel is our pick for an art-filled departure from the norm.

DEPARTMENTS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER 38 COUNTING ON 60 TWO-HUNDRED MINUTES IN 66 OFF THE PAGE

28 facebook.com/pointsnorthatl

ON THE COVER Shot on the Marietta Square | Courtesy of Samantha Taylor Photography, samanthataylorphotography.com

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 40 Wedding and Special Occasion Resource Guide twitter.com/pointsnorthatl

instagram.com/pointsnorthatl

pinterest.com/pointsnorthatl

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE PAINTED PIN; LAUREN CARNES PHOTOGRAPHY

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Editor’s LETTER

PointsNorth Atlanta PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman

A

PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr.

Counting Our Blessings

EDITOR Heather KW Brown CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Harrison

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY? HARDLY! The issue you’re holding is our 200th consecutive monthly issue of Points North Atlanta magazine — not exactly a small feat in a competitive industry that tends to find readers swiping pages more often than turning them. To mark the milestone, we’re celebrating! Starting this month, we’ll count the many reasons we love our Northside communities as well as plenty of the peripheral benefits that accompany an Atlanta address. And January is just the beginning … from front to back, every one of our issues in 2017 will pick up where the previous tally ended until we arrive, once again, at the number 200 in December. Those familiar with our design will notice a significant amount of upgraded fun and flair, along with more content and a few new departments. To honor the neighborhoods that have bolstered us through the years, we’re launching “Two-hundred Minutes In.” An opportunity to rediscover the hubs we call home, this addition can be found toward the back of the book where Due North formerly resided. Surely, we can’t fit every fabulous stop on these allotted pages, so we encourage you to share your favorite finds with us via social media or email at editorial@pointsnorthatlanta.com. If you do, then you might find your comments shared on “Off the Page,” where we’ll post shout outs from readers, call attention to upcoming calendar events and shine the spotlight on special online features. Also tucked into the folds is “Counting On,” promising to complement each issue with inspiring imagery and insider knowledge about what’s new or worth revisiting on the Northside. Finally, a quarterly travel section dubbed Highway 200 starts in March to balance our love of wandering far and wide with driving destinations ideal for a weekend ride. On the topic of journeys, reaching this accomplishment hasn’t been easy. Having endured an economic rollercoaster and the ongoing challenge of providing informative, engaging, even entertaining content, we are grateful to have a loyal fan base. We thank you, readers, for picking up the magazine each and every month, for giving us positive feedback and praise when we hit the target and for the constructive criticism and mulligans, when despite our best efforts, our winning shot comes up short. Cheers to a year full of achievement and reasons to keep counting our blessings.

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Shannah J. Smith ASSOCIATE EDITOR Colleen Ann McNally CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linley Mobley Lauren Vastine EDITORIAL INTERN Brenna Needham ADVERTISING 770-844-0969 sales@pointsnorthatlanta.com SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT Karen Poulsen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE George Colmant CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Tiffany Willard

ALL POINTS INTERACTIVE MEDIA CORP. 568 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 770-844-0969 pointsnorthatlanta.com ©2017 Points North Atlanta All Points Interactive Media Corp. All rights reserved. Points North Atlanta is published monthly by All Points Interactive Media Corp. The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or of Points North Atlanta. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Points North Atlanta offers a 12-month subscription for $15. Visit pointsnorthatlanta.com for details.

HEATHER KW BROWN, EDITOR heather@pointsnorthatlanta.com

Please Recycle This Magazine

PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY | SAMANTHATAYLORPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

6 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


200 REASONS We

Love

THE NORTHSIDE

Oh , Shucks!

OYSTER BARS FOR THE NOVICE AND NUANCED written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY

8 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


I

HAVE A THEORY that there are two types of people: those who can eat oysters by the dozen, and those who haven’t tried them yet. It’s a food often surrounded by as much romance as rumor. As Jonathan Swift famously said, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” Historically a staple of the American diet, a recent resurgence in popularity has led to a rise in raw bars across metro Atlanta, taking away the guesswork and resulting in more opportunities to love, or learn to love, oysters. Since our city isn’t exactly coastal, chefs are sourcing their bounty from all over our continent – and they’re picky. Here are four places where you can jump headfirst or simply dip your toes into becoming a local connoisseur.

1 No

IF YOU FALL into the second category of my theory, and are willing to negotiate that status, test the waters at Norman’s Landing. This fish camp-like standby in Cumming serves more than 2,000 oysters a week, but not just any old shellfish. We cracked open the case with Bill Norman himself, who has been known to think ahead of the crowd. After all, when he began building his restaurant in 1995 on a 3-acre piece of land – then what was “the middle of nowhere” – people thought he was crazy. More than 20 years later and now surrounded by one of metro ­Atlanta’s fastest growing suburbs, Norman continues to serve the community in more ways than one. He’s shared his success by donating more than $2.1 million dollars to charity; meanwhile, the family-friendly atmosphere and quality expected at Norman’s Landing has remained the same. Norman orders his oysters through Revere Meat Co., who searched high and low for a quality oyster worthy of a “house special.” The result was the

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALAN BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY; ERIC BROWNING | NORMAN'S LANDING

Skinny Dipper, sourced from True ­Chesapeake Oyster Co. in the southernmost point of Maryland. Revere is the only vendor in the region that ­supplies 'em. Because they are farm-raised in cages that keep oysters elevated above the sea floor and are sustainably harvested, Skinny Dippers are available year-round and have a consistent profile: a unique, medium brine, soft-salt flavor that you won’t find in any other Maryland oyster. True Chesapeake Oyster Co. takes pride in the fact these oysters are exceptionally crisp and clean with plump, buttery meat inside. In fact, they hand select each, ensuring a deep cup and a solid 3- to 4-inch shell. Norman’s favorite thing about the raw oysters is that flavor, and flavor is also exactly what he said surprises most people who try them for the first time. Go bold and order a dozen on the half shell, or first-timers may enjoy their most popular and more approachable option: steamed oysters with Cajun spices and fresh Parmesan. normanslanding.com January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 9


OYSTER B AR S

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EVEN IN JANUARY, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill aims to make you feel as laid-back as you might be on a summer day at the beach. Weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., both the Roswell and Buckhead locations offer half-off a dozen raw oysters. You can also find them fried golden brown and served with house-made spicy rémoulade dipping sauce. But as the menu simply states “Chef’s daily selection,” inquiring minds want to know – from where do these oysters come? We learned that decisions are made at the chef’s discretion based on seasonality, and Chef Derek Dollar on Canton Street’s current choice can differ from Chef Brett Bush’s picks on Roswell Road. Selections are estimated to change every two months or so, and if you head in this month, you can savor and slurp from shells harvested in the Gulf of Mexico's Louisiana Bay. Rowan Jacobsen, an authority on the subject and author of the new release “The Essential Oyster: A Salty Appreciation of Taste and Temptation,” maintains a comprehensive list – from Apalachicola to Zen – along with tasting notes, maps

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and illustrations at ­oysterguide.com. “Thank the famed Gulf oyster for keeping oysters from being an exclusive treat,” Jacobsen wrote on the website. “Oysters grow like weeds down in the Gulf. They are still natural-set, still wild, more or less, and still affordable – more or less.” He goes on to cite the lower salinity levels and warmer temperatures of the Gulf for protecting wild oysters from certain diseases in a way that hasn’t happened in the Chesapeake, as well as allowing oysters to never go dormant. “What this means is that Gulf oysters don’t change in flavor throughout the year as much as northern oysters. They are a little fatter in winter, a little thinner in summer, but always mild and somewhat soft — they relax on the halfshell in a way cold-water oysters don’t. Gulf oysters are usually sold as generic oysters —indicative of a region that pays less attention to the nuances of different raw oysters than to their culinary possibilities. After all, this is the land that invented Oysters Rockefeller, Po’ Boys, Barbecued Oysters and myriad other oyster concoctions.” | thebigketch.com PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE BIG KETCH; ALAN BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY


IF “CONCOCTIONS” CALL TO YOU, Tin Can Oyster Bar in Town Brookhaven has clever ones. Unlike its Sandy Springs sister location, which features a full menu of seafood items, the newer iteration of Tin Can is more focused on the oyster. A chalkboard behind the raw bar boasts current offerings and on separate visits within the same week, I saw two unique lists. Speaking of one’s sibling, Tin Can is the latest creation by Arte Antoniades and Nik Panagopoulos, the family best known for the original Fishmonger Restaurant and Teela Taqueria. Panagopoulos travelled extensively to sample and source these fruits of the sea, comparing how various regions produce their own variety like wine grapes. Wine – or my favorite, Champagne – also pairs well with oysters and Tin Can offers bubbly to fit your price point, from Belstar Prosecco to Veuve Clicquot. On a cold winter day, an order out of the oven isn’t a bad idea. Their oysters “Rockerfella” is a play on the New Orleans-style dish, baked with cream of spinach, a garlic sauce and bread crumbs. For those that like it extra hot, try the baked Gulf oysters in garlic jalapeño butter and topped with Parmesan cheese. Can’t convince your company to do the same? Tin Can’s other options, including their creative takes on lobster rolls, gourmet grilled cheeses and “Toasties” – open-faced sandwiches on H&F country bread – can please any appetite. tincanfishhouse.com

3 January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 11


OYSTER B AR S

4 No

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FOR THOSE READY TO DELVE deeper, cast your anchor down at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar at The Avenue East Cobb. This isn’t the first time we’ve waxed poetic about Drift, and it likely won’t be the last. The raw bar’s menu is typically a rotating list of eight delicious options, often changing throughout the day/ night as fresh oysters arrive. The last time we paid a visit, we shucked and sampled four that are available from reputable purveyors and farms yearround, recruiting help from Executive Chef Brendan Keenan to explain the flavorful divergences: Duxbury Bay from Massachusetts (“typically very briny, sweet buttery finish”), Humbolt Gold from California (“moderate California brine, deep cup, strong shell”), Mato’s from Louisiana (“large with mild, sweet light brine”) and James River oysters from Virginia (“plump, meaty, mild”). Hold off on the saltines, cocktail sauce and vinegar condiments for a round to see if you can taste the nuances, too. “Our guests have been great about trying all the different varieties

of oysters we offer,” Keenan said, pointing out the Gulf oysters are very popular during happy hour and the Northern Atlantic varieties are another fan favorite. We've also laid eyes and tastebuds on offerings ranging from Johns River, Ma. to Steamboat Island, Wa. and Alpine Bay and Beausoleils from Canada's Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick provinces, respectively. Oysters are priced individually, but Drift also offers happy hour prices between 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. These specials include half-priced half-shell oysters and $1 “buck-a-shuck” oysters of the day. That’s a pretty great deal for satiating a foodie’s thrill of trying something new, not to mention helping the environment. Whether farmed or naturally occurring, oysters act as water filters, keeping our oceans clean and ecosystems intact – making them even more lovable. driftoysterbar.com PN PHOTO COURTESY OF DRIFT FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR


IT’S THE

New

BYOB written by HEATHER KW BROWN

photography by SAMANTHA TAYLOR Though not quite like peanut butter and jelly or biscuits and gravy, the combo of oysters and Bloody Marys certainly make a good team, not to mention it rolls off the tongue almost as easily as it goes down the hatch. Having our fill of oysters, we went in search of build-your-own-beverage bars around the Northside. Turns out, we might be partial to Bloody Marys. Anyone else thirsty? 14 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


5

HUGO’S IN ROSWELL is well known for its oyster lineup and impressively so, but not many are familiar with its inspiring build-yourown-Bloody Mary bar. Insider tip: once you’ve sipped on your own concoction, try the Monster Bloody Mary, a lobster Bloody Mary unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. According to Jonathan Gorman, general manager for Hugo’s, The Lobster Bloody Mary was done as a surprise for a guest’s birthday to make the experience a memorable one. “It is a great way to start a Sunday morning with a party of four at the table,” he said. “The lobster was accompanied by four blackened shrimp, two buffalo chicken tenders, an explosion of skewered veggie and meats, then finished with a sparkler candle. We have done this multiple times for guests that got word of it.” Well, word is officially out now! While we’re disclosing information, we might as well share that Hugo’s Bloody Mary contains The Bay Seasoned Vodka, Charleston Bold and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, and a little dash of extra flavor to make the perfect Bloody. | hugosoysterbar.com

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 15


7

12 IN 2017

6

MUSS & TURNER’S SPICY BLOODY MARY MIX will infuse plenty of bite to go along with your brunch. You can, of course, choose to build your own concoction or you can trust Executive Chef Todd Mussman’s signature recipe, aptly dubbed “Mussy’s.” Rather brunch and go? Mussman shared his recipe for those wishing to channel their inner mixologist at home. | mussandturners.com

No

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Mussy’s YIELDS: 5 QUARTS

SHELF LIFE: 7 DAYS

1 can San Marzano tomato

2 tsp black pepper, ground

and juice, puréed

1 tsp white pepper, ground

2 cups jalapeño vinegar 2 cups black vinegar

Purée San Marzano tomatoes

1 cup pickled tomato vinegar

and juice in a blender. Whisk all

1 cup lemon juice

ingredients together. Transfer to

3 tbsp Tabasco sauce

quart containers. Label and date.

4 tbsp Kosher salt

Chill until ready for use.


7 No

SOME OF US SIMPLY PREFER BUBBLES to Bloody Mary fixins, so we headed to 101 Steak in Vinings to tinker with our drinks at their Libation Station. By that, we mean you can make a Bloody Mary on one side or relish in a rare make-your-own-mimosa moment, complete with fresh fruit, juice and plenty of bubbly on the other. | 101steakatl.com

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 17


DARING Same old date nights, be gone:

DIF 18 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017

DELI


FERENT Although Netflix, popcorn and sweatpants are a tempting way to spend an evening, sometimes we need to step into a nicer outfit and onto the town with our favorite person. Whether you want to stay somewhat close to home or you want to mix and match zip codes from the suburbs to the city, the choice is yours.

CIOUS

written by BRENNA NEEDHAM

PHOTOS COURTESY OF IFLY; THE PAINTED PIN

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 19


8 DATE NIGHT

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RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY FOUND IN THE HEART OF MIAMI CIRCLE in Buckhead, The Painted Pin takes all the fun of bowling and elevates it to a much more chic and romantic experience. From the moment you walk through the doors of The Painted Pin, you know this is not your average bowling alley. The lighting is low, the décor is elegantly modern and live music resounds from wall to wall. As you look around, stunning chandeliers, leather couches at each lane, a dance floor and large bar grab your attention more than anyone’s score. If you aren’t careful, you may even forget you came to bowl, which works well for novice bowlers like myself. Each lane is full service from the beginning to end of your game. Your shoes are brought to you along with a menu, featuring an extensive list of both familiar and signature cocktails as well as tempting snacks. Insider tip: the Moscow Mule Slushie, one of their signature drinks, is absolutely delicious. Their cocktail menu is updated seasonally, so be sure to check out the newest featured drink. The eats at The Painted Pin are also distinctive with options that are upscale, trendy and super tasty. The “Waffle Dogs” beckoned this hot dog lover, and the malted waffle batter surrounding a petite beef frank, served with sweet soy aioli for dipping did not disappoint. The Painted Pin hosts new games everywhere you turn such as Ping-Pong, bocce ball, Skee ball, shuffleboard, a giant Jenga and basketball at no extra cost. It’s an effortlessly romantic evening spent channeling your inner child, but with cocktails. At The Painted Pin, you experience the same strikes, spares and gutter balls, but with an incomparable sophistication. Typical bowling alleys have definitely met their match. thepaintedpin.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE PAINTED PIN

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 21


DATE NIGHT

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9


9

Assisted Living and Memory Care

HEART-PUMPING FUN FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE A LITTLE more daring than most, we’ve found the perfect spot for a date night to get your heart pumping. iFLY lets you experience all the thrills of skydiving in a controlled environment — you know, without the having-to-jump-out-ofa-plane aspect. With 60 locations worldwide, iFLY’s recent expansion brought them to Atlanta and I wasted no time putting on a suit and giving it a go. When you enter the building at iFLY Atlanta Indoor Skydiving, located on Cobb Parkway just north of Cumberland Mall, your adrenaline instantly starts racing in anticipation. iFLY’s employees are welcoming, friendly and hilarious, making what you are about to do seem significantly less scary. If you hadn’t gathered, I was terrified. The short video explaining the procedure, hand gestures and safety precautions was extremely entertaining, and we were laughing from start to finish, allowing the fear to dissipate a little. When it’s time to suit up, be sure to note how this factor creates a whole new date night experience — it’s rare you get to see your partner in a onesie, helmet and goggles. It’s impossible to not giggle. Once you are all geared up, it’s time to fly! You eagerly wait for it to be your turn and when it is, you drop through the door and into the tunnel and just like that, you’re defying gravity. Being able to sample what it feels like to fly is truly an invaluable experience. Our instructor made us feel completely safe the whole time and ensured that we were having the most fun possible. You are flying, floating and soaring your way around the wind tunnel and if you closed your eyes, you would never know you weren’t 50,000 feet in the air. It’s similar in both excitement and sensation to how happy dogs look when they have their head out of a car window. After your time is up, the fun doesn’t stop there. In a package of two flights, you’ll also be given two videos from your expedition. Trust me when I say I didn’t look nearly as cool in the video as I felt — but, we were certainly thrilled to check this off our bucket list. iflyworld.com/atlanta

OPENING EARLY 2017

Please join us for our first community open house on Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Live, Love, Thrive is our philosophy that we integrate into everything we do because we recognize the importance of seniors staying active and purposeful. A FEW EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO: • Enchanting Outdoor Space with Walking Paths • Culinary Delights • Exceptional Care • Certified Dementia Practitioners

CALL TODAY TO TOUR OUR BEAUTIFUL NEW COMMUNITY

470-238-6400 Call us to better understand the Phoenix difference in senior care. 13943 HIGHWAY 9 N

www.phoenixsr living.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF IFLY

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 23


DATE NIGHT

10 24 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017

MAKE A SECRET DOWNTOWN ESCAPE ARRIVING AT RED PHONE BOOTH in the heart of downtown Atlanta on a Saturday evening, my date and I entered the restored antique London red phone booth, just like at the former Prohibition in Buckhead, dialed the phone number for the evening and watched a hidden door appear before our eyes. The Nancy Drew-loving 5-year-old inside me was a little too excited about this magical entranceway. Once inside, we were transported back to the 1920s for an experience and cocktails that would make Jay Gatsby himself swoon. I could tell you the secret code, but that would ruin all the fun of the mystery. However, first-timers are welcome, and once inside you’ll learn the trick to always being in the know. The atmosphere inside Red Phone Booth is romantic, inviting and unique. We walked past couches nestled closely beside a lit fireplace to take our seats at the bar. There, bartenders Leo de Rivera and Bob Ruede greeted us. We chose our drinks based on suggestions from them, but be sure to take a look at Red Phone Booth’s extensive cocktail menu that features funny anecdotes as well as pages of decadent drink options. My personal favorite: “No, we don’t serve Fireball, nor do we serve energy drinks. But can we interest you in 130-proof Absinthe, so potent that it was outlawed for almost a century?” I also found the Whiskey Sour is almost too pretty to drink – almost. It’s equally as delicious. Live a little. The drinks are delicately constructed from start to finish with handshaved ice and fresh squeezed juices, creating a stateof-the-art cocktail experience. If you’re looking for a kids-free evening, this speakeasy is the perfect place to hide. redphonebooth.com PHOTOS COURTESY OF RED PHONE BOOTH; AMALFI PIZZA


ROMANCING THE STONE IN ONLY A FEW SHORT STEPS, we left the 1920s and were transported to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The entrance to Amalfi Pizza, adjacent to Red Phone Booth is absolutely stunning. As you enter the restaurant, you pass fountains and a beautiful mural of the Amalfi Coast painted on brick. Seriously, is there anything more romantic than Italy? The restaurant has an open floor plan, ideal for entertaining large groups, but the horseshoe shaped booths also allow for an intimate dining experience. With the recommendations from our waitress leading the way, we spent the remainder of the evening indulging in Amalfi’s amazing flavors piping out of their 6,000-pound wood burning ovens imported straight from its namesake’s country. To start, we gobbled down their Peppadew Peppers stuffed with house-made ricotta, cream cheese, fresh basil and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. Next we delved into our waitress’s personal favorite pizza — “Pizza Carnevale,” which entails a specially formed crust filled with pockets of their house-made ricotta cheese, topped with spicy sausage and mushrooms. I consider cheese a food group, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed the ricotta-stuffed crust. It gives classic brick-oven pizza Amalfi’s own cheesy flair. We finished the night with both their tiramisu and cannoli, and as a girl who spends summers eating my way around bakeries in Boston, Mass. and New York, I can attest that their cannoli is the real deal. It’s not every day you are able to impress by traveling to a different time period and country in the same night, simply by a short hiatus from the ‘burbs. amalfipizzaatl.com

11 January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 25


12

DATE NIGHT

FANTASY SUITE SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO extend your night out, indulge in the rare chance to sleep in an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of the city. Walk diagonally across the street from Amalfi Pizza into the lobby of Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown, which opened earlier this year and has been touted as the postmodern tribute of revered architect John Portman, the man credited with shaping much of its surrounding skyline. The lobby’s objets d’art, abstract paintings and floating glass-andsteel spiral staircase, all meticulously masterminded by the acclaimed Portman, may cause your eye to linger, but the custom design details in every guest suite coupled with soaring windows overlooking 230 Peachtree Street will make it harder to leave. The same could be said of the cosmopolitan sophistication awaiting in JP Atlanta Restaurant and Bar downstairs, helmed by distinguished Executive Chef Julio Delgado formerly of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta and Château Élan Winery & Resort. It’s hard to choose, we know, so go big and then go home. indigoatlantadowntown.com PN PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOTEL INDIGO ATLANTA DOWNTOWN

26 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


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Love 13 Number

IS IN THE

DETAILS The Sisters behind It Takes Two Events Make Your Event Twice as Memorable

��

written by LINLEY MOBLEY

WEDDING PLANNING IS NO JOKE. As brides-to-be quickly discover, it’s not all just tasting delicious cakes and trying on pretty dresses. You have to budget and organize and plan and customize and design and coordinate and make decision after decision until you find yourself so worried about planning for that one day you forget to make any plans for your future as a married couple. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun along the way.

28 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


PHOTO COURTESY OF MELISSA SCHOLLEART PHOTOGRAPHY

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 29


EVENT PL ANNING

��

“It’s our goal to relieve the stress of planning the wedding so our clients have the time they need to [start] their marriage with the best foot forward.” LAUREN SMITH, It Takes Two Events

This is exactly why sisters Jenny Salter and Lauren Smith came together six years ago to create It Takes Two Events, a multi-service event-planning company that specializes in coordinating weddings tailored to each couple’s personalities and preferences. “It’s our goal to relieve the stress of planning the wedding so our clients have the time they need to [start] their marriage with the best foot forward,” Smith said.

TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY Salter, who is currently a 28-year-old wife and mother of twins living in Alpharetta, interned at Modern Luxury Brides Atlanta in 2010 where her passion for the wedding market grew. She went on to study under a wedding planner and fell in love with the process. From there, she decided to start her own wedding planning business. “My goal throughout college was always to be an entrepreneur,” Salter said. “I also wanted to work in a business that was relational, creative and always changing. This was truly a long-term goal, but once I got the idea to start the company, it became a reality a lot quicker than I expected.” While Salter was playing with the idea, Smith — now 26 and living in Suwanee with her husband and baby — was in her senior year at University of Georgia working on her pre-vet degree. Salter and Smith’s styles, personalities and tastes have always balanced each other well, so Salter knew from the beginning that she wanted to ask her sister to join her as a partner. “I was Jenny’s hype girl from day one, and I knew I’d love getting to work with my sister every day,” Smith said. “When Jenny introduced me to the idea of going into business with her, I was immediately all in.” With the strong support of their family and friends, they quickly got to work PHOTO COURTESY OF RUSTIC WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

30 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


EVENT PL ANNING

branding and naming their business. “When we were coming up with the name, we tossed ‘It Takes Two’ onto the table mostly as a joke,” Smith said. “But as we mulled over it, we actually ended up really liking the idea because it encompasses everything that’s involved with wedding planning and marriage. It takes the two of us to run this business, it takes two people to get married, it takes us plus our vendors to make the wedding great; there’s nothing about wedding planning that’s an individual job. We just love the meaning behind it.” The sisters launched It Takes Two Events in July 2011 and hit the ground running with a strong client base. As Salter and 32 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017

Smith devoted their time to building their business, happy brides quickly spread the word about the amazing duo.

CREATING THE RELATIONSHIP Although their company specializes in offering wedding planning from the very beginning of the process, they also offer multiple levels of service including event styling, budget guidance, vendor coordination and timeline construction. Salter and Smith offer complimentary consultations to all of their potential clients in order to take time to find out what the bride and groom have in mind and allow the couple the

opportunity to see if It Takes Two is the best fit for their needs. “That initial consultation is so important for both parties,” Salter said. “The planning process relies so heavily on having a good couple/planner relationship, so that first meeting provides a great, pressure-free environment where we can give them realistic expectations based on their vision and budget.” Whether their clients need help with every facet of wedding planning or just someone to coordinate everything the day, week or month of the wedding, It Takes Two is ready to jump in and help where they’re needed.


FEATURE HEADER

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January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 33


EVENT PL ANNING

��

WEDDING PLANNING ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS If you’re currently planning your wedding, here are Salter and Smith’s top three tips: 1. Bring in a wedding planner first. It Takes Two helps a lot of couples with budget guidance, so hiring a planner first allows you to spend smarter. 2. Seek premarital counseling and find a couple that is 15 years ahead of you that you can relate to and will serve as your mentors. 3. Eyes on the prize. Never forget that the wedding is not about flowers and cakes and catering — it’s about two people celebrating the beginning of their lives together.

know their tastes, what’s important to them and what’s unique about them as a couple that can be reflected on their wedding day.” Once they have a clear understanding of the couple’s needs, they collaborate with a team of artists to create sketches that allow the couple to have a realistic idea of what to expect. “This not only allows the bride and groom to be an integral part of the design process,” Salter said, “but it also helps them see their wedding before it happens.” Once the vision and design have been finalized, the girls assemble a team of vendors that can execute everything while making it look like one person came in and did it all. “We’re definitely very close with the vendors we collaborate with,” Smith said. “We know them on a personal level and have created some very strong relationships, and that’s great because not only do we trust them, but we can immediately determine which vendor would work best with which bride and that helps us provide personalized service.” Whether it’s getting trapped in the elevator for three hours the day of the wedding and still pulling off a flawless event (which really happened to Smith!) or having to run out in the PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARLA GATES PHOTOGRAPHY; CASTO PHOTOGRAPHY

34 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 35


EVENT PL ANNING

middle of the reception to purchase more drinks (which Salter has done without hesitation), the gals of It Takes Two ensure that the bride and groom have nothing to worry about on their big day except celebrating each other with friends and family. While the women put in a lot of sweat and tears, the day is not complete without a little fun and games. “At all of our weddings, I always play a prank on Jenny,” the younger sister said. “She’s terrified of the dark and any creepy crawly thing, so I always have to take advantage of that.” “And we have a secret victory dance that we do together after every wedding,” Salter said.

MORE THAN JUST A JOB After investing so much time with each couple, Salter and Smith often find themselves creating strong friendships with the brides and grooms. “We become really invested in their lives and we truly care about them,” Smith said. “Most of the time after a wedding is over, I deal with a little separation anxiety because I’ve grown so close to the bride.” Once that relationship has been formed with the couple, the sisters often find themselves working with the same families again as siblings, cousins and friends of the bride and groom start planning their own weddings. The sisters have also had the exciting

opportunity to coordinate celebrations for their own family members, including planning the wedding for former "The Bachelor” contestant, now sister-in-law Ashley Salter in the Bahamas. The sisters have also had the chance to plan destination weddings in Savannah, Ga., and parts of Florida as well as coordinate large events for nonprofits like Wings From Above and various churches in the metro-Atlanta area. “This really is more than just a job for us,” Salter said. “It gives us a creative outlet, strengthens our sister relationship, introduces us to new friends and provides us with a way to give back in a very special way.” takestwoevents.com PN

PHOTOS COURTESY OF VIC BONVICINI; LARUEN CARNES PHOTOGRAPHY; SKETCH BY CHARLOTTE RYVERSE

36 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


Winter Getaway TA K E A

WHEN VISITING the Blue Ridge area, most will agree the ideal place to stay is in a cabin. For over a decade, Mountain Top Cabin Rentals has been a premiere luxury cabin rental provider. They offer water frontage cabins, Mountain View cabins and wooded setting cabins in Fannin County, generally a 5- to 20-minute drive from downtown Blue Ridge. Some are pet friendly, for those wishing to bring their furry family members along. Others are close to each other, for large groups looking to stay near each other. While reading reviews and articles across the web and magazines, it’s easy to note that

top rated customer service is just one of the many things that keep customers coming back. As of 2016, Trip Advisor has recognized MTCR with the “Certificate of Excellence” award for several years running. The cabins themselves offer an array of luxurious amenities: Wi-Fi, king beds, satellite television, beautiful stone fireplaces inside as well as outdoor fireplaces on party decks with flat screen TVs, hot tubs, rustic fire pits for marshmallow roasting, game rooms with pool tables and air hockey and of course, serene locations. All cabins have central heating and air for added comfort, well-equipped kitchens, on-site

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laundry and plenty of windows for enjoying vistas. MTCR also has four individual rental suites (224 West Main Suites) and one newly updated cottage (Bungalow ’46) downtown for visitors who desire to be within walking distance to chef-owned restaurants, boutique shopping and seasonal festivals with rates starting at just $89 per night. You’ll fall in love with

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Counting ON ...

14 No

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THE REVOLUTIONARY MEN’S CUSTOM CLOTHIER, Alton Lane, has arrived in Buckhead with an East Andrews Drive address and curated fabrics for each season at every price point. When you book an appointment, you essentially have the showroom to yourself. Their style experts pour you a Scotch while you browse sample garments and step into the 3D scanner, where more than 20 high-tech sensors take hundreds of measurements in less than 30 seconds. The results are sent to master tailors around the world, who hand cut and hand stitch your order. Appointments are available Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Make yours today to start the New Year off with a fresh look. altonlane.com


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wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

&

wedding 2017

& SPECIAL OCCASION RESOURCE GUIDE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADOBE STOCK

40 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

&

LANIER ISLANDS With more than 20 spectacular wedding

host this once-in-a-lifetime event, Lanier

venues spread throughout their pictur-

Islands will invite the prospective bride

ALPHARETTA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

esque lakeside destination, it’s no wonder

and three guests of her choosing to a quar-

From rustic farms to sophisticated

why Lanier Islands has been steadily

terly wedding menu showcase. This is an

country clubs, elegant ballrooms to his-

gaining favor among brides- and grooms-

excellent opportunity to sample the most

toric homes, Alpharetta has a multitude

to-be in recent years. Lanier Islands can

popular dishes from their event menus and

of beautiful spaces for your wedding or

even help design the perfect scenario to

to meet many of the preferred vendors.

special occasion. Their event specialist

pop the question, and have a photogra-

Then take a tour of the various

can provide free insight on these venues

To help make the decision of where to

pher on hand to capture the moment!

ceremony and reception sites, including

based on what you envision for your

Any time is a magical time to get engaged

outdoor lakeside venues, indoor ball-

celebration. Be sure to ask for a full list of

at the Islands.

rooms, stunning intimate settings, as well

their recommended event facilities.

The Islands can also play host to a

as a stunning hilltop pavilion that can

Need hotel rooms for your out-of-

terrific engagement party, an excellent

accommodate a wedding with up to 500

town guests? Book these rooms with one

opportunity to celebrate the impending

guests.

call to the Alpharetta CVB! Room rates

nuptials while giving friends and family a

Every bride and groom is different,

are collected from Alpharetta’s 23 hotels

taste of what’s to come. The lucky couple

which means that every wedding at

and provided to you as one comprehen-

can then sit down with a Lanier Islands

Lanier Islands is unique, special and

sive list of options. They offer compli-

wedding specialist to plan an event that

entirely memorable.

mentary welcome bags for your guests

proves an ideal fit for their calendar,

700 Lanier Islands Pkwy., Buford

staying in the Alpharetta hotels, which

budget, guest list and vision.

770-945-8787, lanierislandweddings.com

include visitor information about what to PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL STANCIL PHOTOGRAPHY | LANIER ISLANDS

42 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


LE MERIDIEN ATLANTA PERIMETER T +1 770 396 6800 lemeridienperimeter.com

FOREVER FROM LE MERIDIEN Allow us to bring your unique wedding perspective to life at the AAA Four-Diamond Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. Our elegant Grand Salon, chic restaurant Portico Global Cuisine and inviting outdoor space provide endless possibilities.

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©2016 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Le Méridien and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.

Points North Jan 2017.indd 2

12/9/16 11:55 AM


wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

bags for guests staying in a Roswell hotel. 617 Atlanta St., Roswell 770-640-3253  weddings@visitroswellga.com visitroswellga.com

one contact gets you all of

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Every bride wants to walk

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perfect skin and achieving

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it are very different things.

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VISIT ROWELL GA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU modern spirit. Southern Soul.

Thankfully, AYA Medical Spa is here to help. AYA is offering 20 percent off all cosmetic injectables and Sciton laser treatments as part of their Wedding Season Sale. Are you concerned about

Some things old, some things

wrinkles or unwanted lines

new, Roswell has the venue

that appear on the face over

for you!

time? AYA offers a wide array

Sitting on the northern

of facial rejuvenation options

banks of the Chattahoochee

like Botox and Dysport, as

River, this metro Atlanta

well as cosmetic dermal fillers

suburb boasts more than 35

like Juvéderm Voluma, Belo-

event spaces. Choose from

tero Balance, Radiesse and

pre-Civil war homes, colorful

more. Cosmetic injectables

gardens, water views or a

are perfect for filling areas of

rustic warehouse. With so

lost volume and rejuvenating

many one-of-a-kind facilities,

the areas around the eyes,

it’s no wonder brides praise

along the forehead and on

Roswell as “The” place for

the cheeks to create a more

weddings. To help with your

refreshed and vital appear-

planning, reach out to the

ance.

wedding specialist at the

For any bride-to-be

Visit Roswell GA Convention

looking to improve the

and Visitors Bureau. Her

appearance and health

assistance is free and she is

of their skin, Sciton laser

an expert in all things Ros-

treatments can be an ideal

well. For full service options

solution. Whether you’re

or a do-it-yourself, Pinterest

interested in improving your

wedding, find it with a phone

skin texture, skin discolor-

call. Recommendations on

ation, removing unwanted

other services are at her

hair or even treating skin

fingertips plus free welcome

conditions like acne, Sciton

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44 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION has a laser treatment that will have you

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CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER

CHÂTEAU ÉLAN WINERY & RESORT

wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

couples can choose from to design the perfect day. Whether it be an intimate ceremony or lavish affair, Château Élan’s

The beautiful landscapes, luxurious ame-

elite team of wedding experts guide cou-

nities and experienced professionals at

ples through the entire planning process,

Château Élan are just a few reasons why

providing seamless service from a flawless

You found each other! Now cele-

TheKnot.com brides rated the winery

wedding ceremony to the dream-come-

brate your love encircled by nature’s

and resort “Atlanta’s Best of Weddings

true celebration that follows.

beauty. The Chattahoochee Nature

2016.” Just 40 minutes north of Atlanta,

Designed after grand 16th-centu-

Center’s Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion pro-

the venue is close enough for convenience,

ry-styled French architecture, the elegant

vides a perfect wedding venue with rustic

but far enough to boast serene, pictur-

beauty and deluxe amenities of Château

elegance, gardens, waterfront views and

esque settings. On the 3,500-acre estate

Élan provide newlyweds, guests and

a stone fireplace. Your wedding will be

sits lush vineyards, a winery pavilion,

family members with a memorable stay.

enhanced by nature while you dance

intimate galleries, expansive ballrooms

The resort features an award-winning

under the stars. This Roswell venue won

and rustic settings of the cask room – just

AAA Four Diamond Inn, a luxurious

the WeddingWire Award three years in a

a few of the romantic location options

European spa mansion and 63 holes of

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 45


wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Atlanta in a distinctive community

&

that has preserved its rural character and rich history. Located in a restored 155-year-old farmhouse and 1930s cottage, Milton’s is beloved for its friendly yet refined service, Southern charm and true farm-to-table fare thanks to the on-site garden, Milton’s Acre. Milton’s Acre offers a serene setting for wedding ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners and showers. Milton’s property also encompasses a beautifully restored home, sprawling lawn and expansive patio. The historic farmhouse provides the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated Southern wedding with vintage charm. The professionals at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails custom tailor each event to the bride’s specifications reflecting her own style and a timeless experience for guests. 800 Mayfield Road, Milton, 678-431-8753 jill@miltonscuisine.com, miltonscuisine.com

THE SEA PINES RESORT A world-renowned destination, The Sea Pines Resort is situated on Hilton Head Island amid the remarkable landscape of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Boasting beautiful beaches with captivating views of the Atlantic and new one-of-a-kind wedding venues and facilities, The Sea Pines Resort is an exceptional site for ceremonies and receptions. The lush lawn of the 18th hole of famed Harbour Town Golf Links is among the resort’s most popular venues. Georgia’s finest championship golf. Also

Château Élan’s commitment to excellence

This unique setting, overlooking Cal-

available are winery tours and tastings,

continues to awe couples throughout the

ibogue Sound, is considered one of

an interactive culinary studio and seven

Southeast.

the area’s most breathtaking. Another

distinctive outlets featuring a variety of

100 Rue Charlemagne Dr., Braselton

popular venue is Sea Pines Beach, which

dining experiences from full-service bars

678-425-0900, chateauelan.com

is ideal for those seeking a special place

with live entertainment to seasonal wine inspired menus. Whether couples are looking to plan

with soft sands and gentle breezes. Over-

MILTON’S CUISINE & COCKTAILS

looking this beach is the Atlantic Room at The Sea Pines Beach Club, a stunning

the perfect wedding ceremony, an inti-

Nestled in the heart of historic Milton,

reception venue for those who desire a

mate elopement, vow renewal, a dazzling

Ga., Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails is

spectacular oceanfront setting with a

reception or a luxurious honeymoon stay,

approximately 30 minutes north of

romantic, under-the-stars atmosphere. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRANDY HAWKINSON PHOTOGRAPHY | MILTON'S CUISINE & COCKTAILS

46 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 47


wedding & SPECIAL OCCASION

RESOURCE GUIDE

&

wedding receptions, graduation parties or

beautiful to burn.

any other reason worth celebrating. Jack’s

With so many options, you can say “I

Attic can be adapted to meet the needs of

do” in an antebellum mansion, then cele-

any kind of event. The venue features a

brate your marriage in one of Madison’s

full bar and of course, a delicious menu

gorgeous reception venues, or embrace the

from Smokejack.

great outdoors and begin the adventure of

If you prefer hosting in your own

a lifetime on a sprawling farm. No matter

home, no problem — Smokejack still has

your theme, dream or vision, Madison has

accommodations, including The Inn &

you covered. Their catering menu features

what you’ve been looking for. You’ve said

Club at Harbour Town, an intimate and

all of your Smokejack favorites — pulled

yes to the perfect gown, now it’s time to yes

elegant 60-room boutique hotel that is

pork, ribs, brisket, wings and all the side

to the perfect town!

rated the No. 1 luxury hotel on Hilton

dishes and dessert your heart can desire!

115 East Jefferson Street, Madison

Head Island, and a diverse 400-plus selec-

They also have a mobile grill for smokin’

706-342-4454, visitmadisonga.com

tion of outstanding rental properties.

right in your driveway or backyard so you

The Sea Pines Resort also offers superb

sionals help you create your perfect day and

29 S Main St., Alpharetta, 770-410-7611

LE MÉRIDIEN ATLANTA PERIMETER

memories that will last a lifetime. Begin

catering@smokejackbbq.com

Allow their team to bring your unique

planning your unforgettable wedding at

smokejackbbq.com

wedding perspective to life at the AAA

Let their experienced wedding profes-

The Sea Pines Resort by calling Wedding Sales Manager Ann Goodman today. 32 Greenwood Dr., Hilton Head Island, S.C., 843-842-1495 agoodman@seapines.com, seapines.com

SMOKEJACK BBQ

can bring the party home with you.

Four-Diamond Le Méridien Atlanta

MADISONMORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Perimeter. Their wedding specialist will work with you to choose the ideal venue, customize your wedding plans and ensure your magical day is exactly as you

Picking the perfect town for your

dreamed. Ceremonies, rehearsal dinners

special day is a lot like picking the perfect

and receptions run perfectly with their

Just because the holiday buzz is winding

gown. It has to fit your personality,

dedicated staff and unparalleled custom

down, the party doesn’t have to stop

emphasize your style and feel just right.

catering offerings, ensuring an unforget-

there. You can host your next gath-

Luckily, Madison can be the perfect fit

table beginning to your “forever.”

ering at Smokejack BBQ’s private events

for any wedding celebration. Invite your

The elegant Grand Salon, chic

facility, Jack’s Attic. The rustic and beau-

guests to celebrate your special day in the

restaurant Portico Global Cuisine and

tiful environment is perfect for birthdays,

town that General Sherman found too

inviting outdoor patio provide endless

Wedding &

PARTY RENTALS

Tents | Table & Chairs Distinctive Table Linens Beautiful Tablescapes Stages & Dance Floor Unique Wedding Décor and MORE!

Located in Johns Creek, St Ives’ 45,000-square-foot stone encased clubhouse sits majestically atop one of the highest points in North Fulton. We have multiple spaces to host parties of 10 to 200. ONE ST IVES COUNTRY CLUB DRIVE ❦ JOHNS CREEK 770-623-1239 EXT 1107 ❦ stivescountryclub.org

48 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017

770-594-9000

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION possibilities. Exchange vows

nary. Their vast inventory

in front of the luxurious

has everything imaginable;

waterfall wall on the outdoor

elegant linens, glassware,

pool deck or walk down the

flatware and china as well

aisle in their modern Grand

as dance floors and special

Salon. Boasting 3,850 square

lighting for your tent that

feet, the Grand Salon with

lends a festive, romantic glow

adjoining pre-function foyer

in the evening to enhance a

can be used as a blank canvas

garden setting.

to bring your unique vision to

Come and browse their

life. For an intimate occasion,

large showroom and let them

the restaurant Portico Global

provide the personalized

Cuisine features floor-to-

services you deserve to make

ceiling windows and beautiful

your dream event a reality.

views of outside scenery. From

The Rental Place's showroom

the romantic lighting to the

is open Monday through

upscale global fare, Portico

Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and

will make an unforgettable

Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

setting for any wedding event.

8650 Nesbit Ferry Rd.,

The outdoor patio provides

Alpharetta, 770-594-9000

a truly inviting atmosphere,

info@atlantasrentalplace.com

featuring an outdoor fireplace

atlantasrentalplace.com

and luxurious seating. They can simply add romantic can-

ST IVES

dles or transform the space

Whether entertaining honored

with a dance floor to bring

guests, planning a wedding,

your vision to life.

social or business event, or

Le Méridien is the premier

outing, St Ives Country Club

eter neighborhood within

provides the perfect combina-

the upscale community of

tion of private elegance and

Dunwoody. Le Méridien is

impeccable service to meet

situated directly across from

your every need. and an 18-hole golf course,

and your guests to enjoy.

they can host events and

111 Perimeter Center W, Atlanta

meetings of 10 to 250 people.

lemeridienatlantaperimeter.com

THE RENTAL PLACE

Celebrate your love at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. Nature sets the stage for beautiful lakefront weddings under the pavilion. GREEN WEDDINGS MAKE LIFETIME MEMORIES.

Contact: Venue Sales rentals@chattnaturecenter.org

770-992-2055 x 250 Chattnaturecenter.org/rentals/weddings

With multiple event spaces

and entertainment for you

770-396-6800

You found each other!

coordinating an executive golf

focal point of Atlanta’s Perim-

Perimeter Mall, restaurants

ELEGANT RUSTIC WEDDINGS

They understand how important the little details are in making an event exceptional and they appreciate your interest in St Ives for

Weddings are their specialty

your special occasion. Let

at The Rental Place. From

them help you create an event

small intimate ceremonies to

for all to remember!

the most extravagant, they

One St Ives Country Club Dr.,

can transform any setting

Johns Creek, 770-623-1239

from ordinary to extraordi-

stivescountryclub.org n

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 49


15

ROAD TRIPS


Painting the Town

PERUSING THE COLORS O F C H A R L E S T O N written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY

MY GPS ANNOUNCED I had arrived, but I accidentally drove right by the valet. I missed the left-hand turn because I didn’t want to miss anything about the scene unfolding around me on Wentworth Street. Even in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, amid stalled delivery trucks, coeds whizzing by on bikes and stylish Southerners strutting their stuff, Charleston, S.C. can hold a gaze. I circled the block, my serendipitous mistake excused as a second chance to take in the sight of one of the Historic District’s newer additions: the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston. Located on the corner of Meeting Street, the exterior’s stately Chantilly white façade greets guests in the way a blank canvas calls to an artist. Stepping inside the lobby, however, suddenly felt more kin to Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Regardless of which direction you turn, within the luxe property’s gallery-like walls or through the streets of the South’s capital city for sophistication, you’re in for a kaleidoscope of surprises.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHARLESTON AREA CVB | EXPLORECHARLESTON.COM; GRAND BOHEMIAN HOTEL CHARLESTON

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 51


A RARE BLEND If a Grand Bohemian Hotel is kin to Wonderland, then the stylish Hatter himself may very well be a man by the name of Richard C. Kessler, the visionary and eccentric entrepreneur behind The Kessler Collection — 12 outstanding, four-star boutique hotels throughout the country. Since debuting the Grand Bohemian Charleston in August 2015, the Collection added a hotel in Birmingham, Ala. as well as recently broke ground on their latest project in his hometown of Savannah, Ga. Each is further evidence of his unique approach to hospitality and all are designed to “inspire mystique and experiences beyond reason.” Kessler properties are also distinguished as founding members of the Marriott Autograph Collection, meaning that while their

stay may be unparalleled, guests can still accrue and utilize their Marriott Rewards points. Rather than tea with the March Hare, I imagine a Kessler party might include fine wine and Head Sommelier Sarah Young – not unlike what I e ­ xperienced in the wine blending and tasting rooms, located just across from the front desk. Taking a seat at the long wooden table, the stemmed glasses in front of each seat resembles a chic science project, with flutes bouncing light from the overhead chandeliers. It’s obvious a one-of-a-kind experience awaits, even without being told the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston was the first stand-alone hotel in the U.S. to offer this type of indoctrination. For 90 minutes, Young guided us through sipping different varietals before letting them loose with carafes and pipettes to PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAND BOHEMIAN HOTEL CHARLESTON

52 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


CHARLESTON , S C

Rather than tea with the March Hare, I imagine a Kessler party might include fine wine and Head Sommelier Sarah Young. play winemaker. Once you’ve settled on your own custom blend, it’s time to bottle and cork your creation, complete with a personalized label. No need to hesitate to enjoy, nor save the souvenir until you return home, either. The keen staff will keep your specifics on file, so you can order a shipment at anytime or request a replica to celebrate a special occasion – perhaps a wedding or anniversary blend – upon a return visit. In fact, couples that get married at a Kessler Collection property are treated to a complimentary one-night stay to be used on their anniversary date every year. The Kessler Collection is built upon pillars of art, food, wine and music, so you can expect your senses to be fully engaged as you explore the onsite art gallery featuring national, regional and local artists, admire masterpieces in the hallways (many pieces rotate from Kessler’s private collection) or unwind in one of the 50, well-appointed rooms. There’s also my favorite feature of all: interior windows that allow peeka-boo glances into an art atrium, built purely for aesthetic purposes and causing pedestrians to pause. Want to know more about a particular piece? Ask the Gallery Director Dayna Lorraine Caldwell for a complimentary hotel tour. You can even play the role of muse, thanks to one of the hotel’s artists-in-residence, Daniel Velasco. During the hotel’s one-year anniversary celebration, the talented fashion illustrator skillfully captured those who sat for him. It was a timeless memento made within minutes.

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FROM PALETTES TO PALATES A stay at a Kessler Collection hotel piques curiosity and challenges perspective. Combine that with The Grand Bohemian Charleston’s central locale, and it doesn’t take long to crave an outing to explore its surroundings. There’s something intrinsic to Charleston that gives it such a distinct sense of place. There’s the popular connotation of historic streets, lined with palm trees, pastel homes on Rainbow Row and the way "Charleston" gets an extra syllable when spoken with a Southern drawl. Yet, for each who comes, the city has an uncanny ability to also hold its own meaning, 54 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017

with plenty of blocks beckoning you to stroll down and discover your own. For instance, the hotel’s front door is just steps away from the famed shopping along King Street, where storefronts of local favorites like Candlefish, Worthwhile and countless others appear in one direction. Meanwhile, serious foodies may flock across Meeting Street to Mike Lata’s iconic FIG (Food is Good), or venture half a mile to Frank Lee’s SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) or Sean Brock’s HUSK (not an acronym). As “Top Chef” fans tuning into the latest season – filmed in Charleston – can attest, the city


CHARLESTON , S C

has grown into an epicenter for epicureans. Some of the most notable chefs, including the ones noted here, have garnered much of that attention for their novel abilities to preserve and to reinvent Lowcountry ­cuisine. Pursuing a penchant for oysters, my party enjoyed reservations upstairs at Lata’s The Ordinary, which prides itself on “fancy seafood” and is anything but what the name suggests. It’s been three years since the King Street establishment was announced as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award, Best New Restaurant category, but just as classic works get

better with age, perhaps so it goes with dining here. Order a shellfish tower to sample a variety of raw and cooked seafood from the East Coast, accompanied by garnishes like ginger-citrus mignonette, red wine mignonette, fresh prepared horseradish, red jalapeño hot sauce, lemongrass cocktail sauce and sauce Bagnarotte. The restaurant is housed inside a building that was once a 1920’s bank with high ceilings and large windows, and from a lingering glance over the upstairs railing to the scene below, it nearly appeared as if I was looking down at a living painting.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAND BOHEMIAN HOTEL CHARLESTON; THE ORDINARY | ANDREW CEBULKA

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 55


Despite a wealth of history or, thanks to it, new artists and artisans continue to flourish here.


CHARLESTON , S C

MODERN MASTERPIECES After polishing off a few more courses (this is not the time to skip dessert), more strolling may be in order. First-timers to the city tend to go for a ghost tour by foot. A morning carriage ride by horse or sunset harbor tour by boat also remain as popular options, however a discerning or frequent traveller may prefer an architectural-focused tour or self-guided saunter through the Gibbes Museum of Art. The first gives you glimpses into the history behind lush secret gardens, blue porch ceilings, coral limestone walls and black wrought iron gates; however, depending on the time of the year and the weather, the latter’s controlled heating and air may be a welcomed alternative. Added bonus: it’s only half a mile from the hotel. Dating back to 1905, the Gibbes can help a visitor understand the city’s bigger picture. Since emerging as a bustling seaport powered by slavery, rice and indigo trade in the 1700s, Charleston has been a host city to a mix of cultures, religions and traditions. It was the fourth largest city in America in 1790 – and the wealthiest, but art is what particularly distinguished this Southern port from places like Philadelphia, Penn., Boston, Mass., and New York, N.Y.

Despite a wealth of history or, thanks to it, new artists and artisans continue to flourish here. Like the area’s most acclaimed chefs, the ones that tend to catch the most eyes have done so by putting their own spin on tradition. Consider the Charleston Rice Beads by Candy Shop Vintage. Designed by Deirdre Zahl, the shape and texture of the beads pay homage to the port city’s economical roots and are inspired by styles she found in antique stores and flea markets, but have been infused with modern whimsy. Or perhaps, you’ll prefer a taste of history from High Wire Distillery, the Holy City’s first since prohibition. After a “tour” and sample of the Hat Trick Botanical Gin, I can confirm their talk about seeking the finest ingredients available and developing recipes using a creative, culinary approach isn’t just fancy lingo, but a flavorful truth. I also learned High Wire’s other small-batch spirits tend to sell out quickly to fellow believers. Before checking out of the Grand Bohemian, there’s one more must to check off your to-do list and that’s a meal at Élevé Restaurant and Bar, located on

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CANDY SHOP VINTAGE

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CHARLESTON , S C

the hotel’s top floor and helmed by Chef Ryley McGillis. Or, make that two meals, as the Sunday morning atmosphere during brunch service is much different from the Saturday night crowd that congregates among the rooftop terrace’s funky décor, but both have their respective appeals. Previously found in the kitchen at The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island’s Jasmine Porch, McGillis’ approach to coastal-influenced, farm-to-table cuisine is inventive, yet doesn’t stray into unapproachable territory. A few cameo appearances from the Junior League’s legendary “Charleston Receipts” uphold that omniscient sense of place. Likewise, a late-night meal may also lead to chocolate indulgences exquisitely paired with the Charleston Sercial Special Reserve from Madeira, Portugal – Rare Wine Co. Historic Series vintage named for the city known for importing the drier varietal in the 18th and 19th centuries.

­ eanwhile, the brunch menu offers your stomach M a chance to savor their Charleston Benedict – Black Forest Ham with grilled heirloom tomatoes, Mrs. Leigh Tyer Deas, Jr.'s avocado mousse and Mrs. Ralph Mills' Hollandaise on Mrs. Daryl Lamar Forrester's English muffins. More of a grab-and-go kind of morning? The vibrant Maison Café, back on the hotel’s first floor, serves light bites, baked pastries and specialty coffee drinks, or nearby Caviar & Bananas is worth a gourmet pit stop on your way out of town. Gearing up to drive away from a place this charming definitely requires some strong caffeine. But being able to conjure up dreamy connotations of future weekend jaunts and bohemian-inspired travels at the sound of the city’s name seems to work best when you’re approximately a five-hour drive away. After all, you have to leave a place before you can return, miss turns and rediscover it all over again. PN grandbohemiancharleston.com charlestoncvb.com PHOTOS COURTESY OF HIGH WIRE DISTILLERY

58 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


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January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 59


MINUTES IN ...

16 Two-Hundred

SUWANEE + DULUTH written by LAUREN VASTINE

Nodding to their ever-changing charm and steady draw, we’re highlighting ways to spend 200 minutes in a different Points North Atlanta community for each of our 2017 issues. Whether you spend all 200 minutes in one place or divvy it up to discover several, enjoying your time in this neighborhood starts now.

N U M B E R

UNCLE JACK’S MEAT HOUSE JUST MIGHT BE THE BEST OPTION FOR any carnivore with an appetite. Although Willie Degel has parlayed his culinary success into many other avenues, namely as host of the Food Network’s wildly popular “Restaurant Steakout,” this New Yorker certainly knows his way around a table in the South. Start with his scratch buttermilk biscuits or Gruyère cheese popovers and then mosey on down the menu to the munchies. From Long Island duck meatballs and roasted bone marrow to Carolina shrimp and grits and beer battered okra, you’ll find plenty of tempting tasters. Just be warned: that’s only the beginning of what promises to be a great meal with main dishes consisting of U.S.D.A. prime chops and steaks as well as fish, burgers and chicken. The Ooey Gooey Mooey Burger with secret sauce, maple pepper bacon and buttermilk blue cheese fondue might be a new favorite. The jury is still out as to whether the Peanut Butter and Banana Jar — peanut brittle, bourbon baked bananas and dulce de leche — or the homemade cookie plate takes first prize for dessert. We will have to go back for seconds ... stay tuned for a decision soon. unclejacksmeathouse.com

60 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


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PHOTO COURTESY OF UNCLE JACK’S MEAT HOUSE

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 61


Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... S U WA N EE + DU LU T H

No

17

FEW THINGS BEAT THE FEELING of cheering on the home team and Atlantans are lucky to have their fair share. While a trip into the city is always an option, I recently stepped into the Infinite Energy Center, which was truly buzzing with energy and the sound of shredding ice. I grabbed my ticket and headed into my first-ever Atlanta Gladiators hockey game. The mid-level professional ice hockey team, an affiliate of the East Coast Hockey League, is based in Duluth and the spirit of cheering for your hometown certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Around me, kids and adults alike donned jerseys supporting their favorite player and made their way into the packed stands. The excitement was palpable as the lights dimmed over the gleaming ice and the players were announced. Every name called was followed by cheers from the crowd, building the tension until the puck finally hit the ice. Throughout the three, 20-minute periods and all the way down to the final seconds of the game, the energy never faltered. The Infinite Energy Center packed in a home hockey game that had more than friendly competition — it’s a dynamic, family-fun experience that also happens to be affordable with tickets starting at just $12. atlantagladiators.com

18 N U M B E R

GRAB YOUR HELMET and hit the trails. Suwanee’s bike share program is a fun and quick way to get outdoors. Bike stations can be found at two locations: Town Center Park and Suwanee Creek Park. How does it work? Easy. Use your smartphone to download the free Zagster app and follow the provided directions on signage posted at each station. Once you’re ready to go, you can take your bike near and far — and the first three hours are free! Both parks connect you to the Suwanee Creek Greenway, but offer something a little different. Start at Town Center Park for shopping and light dining. There’s an expansive green space for kids to play and dogs to run, or where on a quiet day you can string up your hammock and watch the clouds pass. On the outskirts of the green space, you can find charming consignment shops and clothing stores to satisfy most shopping urges. Want to head straight for the trails? Start at Suwanee Creek Park to access the trailhead for the Suwanee Creek Greenway. Winding four miles through natural landscapes and over scenic bridges, you’ll forget you’re a stone’s throw from bustling streets and vibrant cities. Follow the path all the way to its end at George Pierce Park to experience forests, wetlands and an array of wildlife all year long. Suwanee Creek Park also boasts a variety of recreational amenities including an 18-hole disc golf course, picnic tables and rentable pavilions. Don’t want to turn in your bike quite yet? Keep it past three hours for an additional $3 an hour, or $30 for an entire day. Explore beyond the greenway, too. Suwanee offers 16 miles of interconnected trails throughout the city and green space at PlayTown Suwanee, Sims Lake Park and Harvest Farm, Georgia’s largest organic community garden. bike.zagster.com/suwanee

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DALE ZANINE | ATLANTA GLADIATORS; LAUREN VASTINE

62 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


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PREFER TO SAVE YOUR energy for jamming to live music? Take a seat in the spacious yet cozy auditorium for Red Clay’s Songwriters Open Mic Night and listen to some of the best local talent available. Songwriter after songwriter took the stage to perform original works with the accompaniment of a guitar or piano, and I must say, the talent was incredible. Forgetting I was in downtown Duluth for just a moment, I could’ve mistaken my surroundings for a professional competition singing show. Heart and soul were felt in every song, and passion poured from the stage into the audience. Performers have 10 minutes each to make the stage their own. When finished, they snuck into the back rows of the theater to support the performers who were up next as they sung the night away. From seasoned musicians to up-and-comers, Eddie

Owen Presents: Red Clay Music Foundry is a songwriter’s paradise. The theater is located right on Main Street in Duluth, nestled within a quaint downtown and mere steps from free public parking. The Red Clay Theatre puts on a variety of shows, all hosted by the man who truly presents it all: Eddie Owen. He has an eye (and ear) for musical talent, as he is best known for giving a stage to once up-and-comers John Mayer and Sugarland. You can wander outside the theater to grab refreshments without worry of missing a song as speakers are located throughout the Foundry and outside, too. The Songwriters Open Mic Nights take place the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 5 p.m., or you can grab tickets for an upcoming show; they’re affordable and the possibility of witnessing the next big music star is, well, priceless. eddieowenpresents.com


No

20

NO ONE WOULD DENY THAT STICKING TO A HEALTHFUL New Year’s Resolution is impressive, and there’s no need to give up when places like the Juice Bar in Suwanee are here to inspire a clean-eating, health juice craze — with a personalized twist. From the moment I walked in, the quaint juice shop boasted an organic, health-centric vibe. Natural wood and shades of green entertain your eyes while the roar of the blender entices your ears. Glancing to the wall that holds their expansive menu options from juices to smoothies to shots, I realized Juice Bar wasn’t a “one and done” kind of shop. I would be coming back to sample and nibble to my heart’s content. One of the options you won’t find on the menu, but can ask for by name, is the chance to mix your own drink. The formula is simple: start with a base, pick two additional ingredients and then ta-da! You can choose between a juice or a smoothie consistency, then your creativity takes it from there. Let your carrot, peach and garlic (yes, that’s an option) imagination run wild. That kind of freedom can start to get overwhelming when you have so many options, but fear not. If culinary skills aren’t your strong suit, Juice Bar offers an even wider variety of pre-matched ingredients promising delicious and inventive drinks. Pick a classic childhood favorite like PB&J or get a jolt of caffeine from their “Coffee Janet.” If you want something even faster, then shots are in order. Healthy ones, albeit. Juice Bar’s menu has its own, rather substantial, section for their shots classified under three categories: Essential Oils, Monster Shots and Power Shots. Does cold weather have your nose running? Order up a shot of “Sniffle Stopper.” It’s loaded with lemon, ginger, cayenne and a protective essential oil blend to get you through the winter. It might also buy you more time once you’ve outlasted that 200 minutes you’d planned to spend in town and boost your immune system for the next trip.

ilovejuicebar.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAUREN VASTINE; RETHA BLACKBURN

January 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 65


Off the PAGE

POST

TALK BACK

@katy_gillis

POINTS NORTH ATLANTA • NOVEMBER 2016, ISSUE 198

SEASONAL TRADITIONS OUR PERSONAL FAVORITES

We love to hear feedback from readers. Get in touch by email at editorial@pointsnorthatlanta.com. A GUIDE TO GERMANY SIGHTSEEING BY BIKE NOVEMBER 2016

“A BIG THANK YOU FOR THE ARTICLE regarding Joe Gransden. We went to see him last evening at Cafe 290. He is great! We really need more entertainment groups such as his and more, larger venues for these groups to perform. Keep providing more information regarding local talented entertainers.” — JoAnn and David Lagi

NO TABLE NORTHSI DERS: LO CALS I N THE SPO TLIGHT POINTSNORTHATLANTA.COM

PN 1116 Cover_Frame.indd 1

10/19/16 4:39 PM

What a treat to see @danaspinola with @fabrikstyle in @pointsnorthatl magazine! Congratulations on some well-deserved recognition! Cheers! @amybweiland: I was literally just reading that article. The section on Ron Wallace was good too.

GO IS 2017 THE YEAR YOU FINALLY MAKE YOUR MOVIE? Get sage insight during the Atlanta Film Society’s “Brand Camp” at the Abernathy Arts Center in Sandy Springs on Jan. 14. An All Class Pass gets you into a session with Christine Walker on the importance of branding as a business strategy followed by Kathy Berardi’s seminar on how to elevate your personal pitch. atlantafilmsociety.org JANUARY

14

Find more local happenings at pointsnorthatlanta.com/calendar-of-events

CLICK NEED TO GET AWAY? Journey to Land’s End in Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas. A one-of-a-kind stay starts at Cabo Villas Beach Resort & Spa, home to the area’s only microbrewery and its gorgeous rooftop views. Colin Ritsick shared his perspective in this online exclusive at pointsnorthatlanta.com/cabo-villas-resort

OOPS!

IN THE DEC. 2016 ISSUE, we incorrectly identified Montage Palmetto Bluff’s 20,000 acres as 20. Also, their correct website is montagehotels.com/ palmettobluff

Send submissions a full two months in advance to calendar@pointsnorthatlanta.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF CABO VILLAS BEACH RESORT & SPA

66 | POINTS NORTH | January 2017


Points North January 2017  

Our 200th Issue of Points North Atlanta magazine!

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