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January/February 2014 ISSUE 20 • FREE



PEACHTREE Seven innovators taking Buckhead to new heights Come to Co’m:




“A Bank That Supports My Passion” “At both Souper Jenny and Café Jonah, my vision is to create a friendly and inviting environment for my customers and staff. I want every customer to feel like they are a personal guest in my home. All of our soups, salads and sandwiches are made fresh every day. I’m glad I get that same level of warm and personal service from my bank. Georgia Commerce Bank has supported me every step of the way helping me to build my business. It’s wonderful to walk into a bank and feel right at home. Georgia Commerce Bank may just be the right ingredient for your business success.” — Jenny Levison, Owner Souper Jenny and Café Jonah

Georgia Commerce Bank now has nine locations in Metro Atlanta, including two new locations in Brookhaven. aCworth



Century Center


3590 Cobb Pkwy. NW Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 975-4400

2221 Johnson Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30319 (404) 633-2150

2970 Peachtree Rd. NW Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 240-5000

2987 Clairmont Rd. NE Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 633-2113

3625 Cumberland Blvd. Building Two Atlanta, GA 30339 (678) 631-1240

Johns Creek


PeaChtree Corners


2555 Peachtree Pkwy. Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 887-9220

709 Canton Rd. NE Suite 100 Marietta, GA 30060 (678) 631-3600

200 Scientific Dr. Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 (678) 589-4200

P.O. Box 429 100 Springfield Dr. Woodstock, GA 30188 (678) 388-5400

The passion of dance. The soundtrack of life!

YOUR DANCE JOU R N E Y begins with us! There is no better way to start the New Year than by experiencing the


joy of your body, mind and spirit in motion. Dance is one of the most enjoyable and holistic forms of exercise: what better time to begin your dance adventure? Come visit Daza Dance’s new studio and let their amazing instructors take you for a spin on the dance floor. Daza Dance will help you realize your dreams come true as you navigate through all the different feelings and emotions that each dance style can bring to you. Experience the transformation into the sexy, passionate, romantic, playful, enigmatic, elegant and sophisticated self you have always envisioned.




ENJOY OUR INTRODUCTORY PACKAGE 1 (30 Minutes) Private Lesson 1 Group Class 1 Social Party Pass

For more information: or visit us online at:

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Indulge in a modern, upscale Caribbean vacation that will leave you completely relaxed and renewed. With a variety of 4 to 14 night sailings, you’re sure to find the perfect vacation. Surrender your senses to the tropical rhythms of the islands. Enjoy intuitive service on board. And relax knowing you can do as much (or as little) as you choose. Because we believe every moment of your vacation should be measured by just how far it takes you from the ordinary. That’s modern luxury.SM Take advantage of our 123go! offer now through February 28, 2014.*

Experience it at To book, call us at 1-888-283-7275 or contact your travel agent. Alaska • Asia • Australia/New Zealand • Bermuda • Caribbean • Europe • Galapagos • South America *See for offer details. Modern Luxury is a trademark of Celebrity Cruises Inc. ©2013 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador.

©2014 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of all traffic laws at all times.

Thanks again. Jim Ellis Porsche places the highest value on our relationship with Atlanta Porsche enthusiasts and in doing so, we would like to thank you, our friends and customers, for making yet another year successful. It is our pleasure to continue to support your business, making our tenure 30 plus years strong.

Jim Ellis Porsche. Expect the Best.

Jim Ellis Porsche 770.234.2100 4006 Carver Drive, Atlanta, GA 30360 Just inside 285 off Peachtree Ind. Blvd.

We know how neighborhoods have grown and changed over the years, we know the schools, the restaurants, the galleries, where to find the waterfalls, the best hiking trails, …“we know all the best places”. We are educated and prepared to answer all of your questions. We work in an environment where quality service is our uncompromising commitment. The principals we live and breathe each day are Teamwork, Integrity, Loyalty, Service, and Success. In short, we do everything we can to serve our clients well. We are your real estate EXPERTS in mountain living.


New Perspectives

For a lot of men, surviving prostate cancer changes the way they view everything. The world becomes a brighter place. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute has helped thousands of men experience a survivor’s point of view. Northside diagnoses and treats more prostate cancers than anyone else in Georgia. Northside is the only hospital in metro Atlanta chosen by the National Cancer Institute as a Community Cancer Center. So you have access to the latest cancer research and treatments that lead to a new way of seeing the world.

Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day


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Let us plan something traditional or decidedly not. Let us imagine a menu that adds a new twist to an old family recipe. Let us position the sunset over the lake for your walk down the aisle. Let us write the next chapter of your enduring love story.

We invite you to plan your wedding with us, at one of Georgia’s most elegant locations for inspired celebrations.To learn more, please call The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta at 404-527-4483, Buckhead at 404-495-2684 or Reynold’s Plantation at 706-467-7115, or visit


©2014 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.



[ C OV E R S T ORY ]


THE SIGNIFICANT SEVEN Innovation is second nature to this forward-thinking crew Photos: Sara Hanna Photography and Tyler Welbron

Contents [ F E AT U RE S ]


[ DE PA RT M E N T S ]



A Brookhaven home is tailored to fit a family’s lifestyle





San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City brim with art, culture and history [ N E W F E AT U R E ]

26 50



The peace of Château Élan is just minutes from Buckhead’s bustling streets

EAT, PAINT, LOVE Former corporate exec makes Italy and painting a passion


Four unique jewelry pieces guaranteed to turn heads

TO VIETNAM— WITH LOVE Co’m owners serve authentic food of their homeland

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Sandy Springs JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | ISSUE 20 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 For advertising rates call: 404-538-9895 Publisher and Founder

[ B E H I N D T H E C OV E R ]

Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes Editor-In-Chief

Giannina Smith Bedford Creative Director

Alan Platten Creative Production Assistant 

Sandra Platten Senior Account Executive 

Cheryl Isaacs

Account Executives 

Dee Flores

Kyle Wilcox Garges

Frederick McCall

Director of Audience Development

While Chief Photographer Sara Hanna set up lights for our cover shoot, cover model Jeff Hilimire took a leisurely ride on a two-wheeled scooter near his office. The CEO and co-founder of mobile gaming company Dragon Army works with his colleagues out of Buckhead’s 103,000-square-foot Atlanta Tech Village, a place known for its innovative and collaborative environment. In fact, the start-up hub actually provides scooters for its tenants to ride between offices. “It’s the greatest place I’ve ever worked, no question,” Hilimire says. With perks like free weekly cardio yoga for its residents, I think we’d have to agree. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

Betsy Harvey

Contributing Writers

Kate Abney Andrew Alexander Wendell Brock H.M. Cauley Carly Cooper Jennifer Bradley Franklin Catherine O’Connor Hough Amanda Matte Olivia Putnal Kate Parham Kelly Skinner Chief Photographer

Sara Hanna Photographers

Dee Flores Tyler Welbron Graphic Designer

Gvantsa Giorgobiani Copy Editor

Ellen Glass Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

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 © 2014 by Simply Buckhead®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech, Network Communications, Inc., and Distribution Services Group. Simply Buckhead® is a member of the Buckhead Business Association.


January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

FIND US ONLINE Read Simply Buckhead online at with click-through capability Facebook “Like” or “Friend” us at Simply Buckhead Magazine

Twitter Follow us @SimplyBuckhead


Kate Parham Kate Parham is a food, wine and travel writer for more than 65 publications, including USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, The Washington Post, Esquire, DETAILS, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Vegetarian Times; and a recipe developer for publications like Cooking Light and FITNESS. After stints in Los Angeles, Italy, Dallas and Washington, D.C., Kate returned to her hometown of Atlanta, where she covers Buckhead’s thriving dining scene in the Foodie Journal column for Simply Buckhead.

690 Miami Circle NE, #150 Atlanta, GA 30324 404-467-1200

Robert Battle Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya Associate Artistic Director

FEB 13-16

This Valentine’s Day, share Ailey with someone you love




Antonio Douthit-Boyd. Photo by Andrew Eccles.


Groups 10+ 404-881-2000

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 






t’s SIMPLY ASTONISHING to think that we are in the fifth calendar year of publication, and we find ourselves right in the middle of Buckhead’s growth spurt. What a privilege to continue to be the must-read magazine in Buckhead, uncovering hidden gems and being the first to showcase the best and brightest to you and your neighbors. We appreciate the continued respect from the Buckhead community, and the passion and creativity of our entire team. Thanks to the support of our readers and advertisers, distribution is solidly at 24,000 copies in more than 250 locations in Buckhead and Brookhaven, along with the addition of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in September 2013. Our online viewership is in 75 countries, all 50 states, more than 150 cities and towns in Georgia, and growing daily. There are several big news flashes of our own: First, our new editor-in-chief is Giannina Smith Bedford, who assumed the role in November 2013. Giannina has been associate editor since January 2012, home feature and contributing writer since our inception in 2010. She will continue to present intriguing homes, while taking on the responsibilities of our editorial direction. We’ve been impressed with Giannina’s leadership qualities all along, so please join me in welcoming her to her new role. Second, we’re proud to welcome Betsy Harvey to our team as director of audience development. Betsy’s five years as marketing director for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, and overall extensive experience in marketing, communications and branding, assures fresh ideas for our web site and interaction on social media. Last but not least, you asked for MORE Simply Buckhead, and we listened. Our editorial calendar includes eight issues in 2014, and the addition of several new features beginning this issue—Simply Accessorize and Staycation Travel. There’s much more in store for 2014, but we won’t spill all the secrets just yet. You’ll have pick up each and every issue to stay in the know. Here’s to a great year!

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography. Shot on location at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

Joanne Hayes


January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead



As always, the magazine was great. I really was impressed with your [Alaskan cruise] article … The whole trip sounded fabulous! I am so glad you had such a wonderful vacation. – Diana K. Cohen Simply Buckhead continues to shine. – Diana Tipton Simply Buckhead is definitely in another league. I love reading your publication! – Emily C. Bridges, Choate Construction Company Thank you so much for featuring Hublot in the Sept/Oct issue of Simply Buckhead! We greatly appreciate your interest and hope to see you very soon! – Natalie Najjar Macking, Premier Agency Inc. The full-page photo of one of our artists is amazing and took our breath away!!! You have been so good to us and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support. – Anne Irwin, Anne Irwin Fine Art I must say it is soooooooo refreshing to witness such a positive approach and attitude that radiates from [Publisher Joanne Hayes]! It was motivation for me!! – Paul Hynson, Walton Press


[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


nnovation is a key to every new endeavor.

FROM OUR TWEET HEARTS AND FACEBOOK FANS! Follow us @SimplyBuckhead and on Facebook

Thank you to @SimplyBuckhead for a beautiful salute to our founder and CEO Pano Karatassos! – @BuckheadLife @olivia_putnal #Loves Van Michael in the December @SimplyBuckhead! Do you? – @VanMichaelSalon Thank you @SimplyBuckhead for the amazing write-up for Davio’s Chef/Owner @SteveDiFillippo’s new book “It’s All About the Guest” – @DaviosAtlanta @SimplyBuckhead @OTheoryFitness @ SVELTEfit @thriveretreat. That was a fun shoot! So good to be part of it! – @PinnacleGym Love Simply Buckhead! – @Toni Moceri

[ L E T T E R B OX ] Tell us what you think! Send your comments, compliments and criticisms to All letters will be considered for publication and may be edited for length and clarity.

While I’ve never considered myself particularly innovative, I’m always open to fresh ideas and usually the first in line to try something new (aside from skydiving). But creating something novel from scratch? That seems incredibly overwhelming. As I Photo: Sara Hanna Photography step into this new post as Simply Buckhead’s editor-in chief, I’m lucky to follow an incredible role model. While there are big shoes to fill—particularly as the magazine grows—the foundation for future success has already been laid. Many new ventures don’t come with the same secure footing. Many are more akin to a shot in the dark and it takes courageous individuals to get them off the ground. So, I’ve always marveled at entrepreneurs (many much younger than I am) launching startups out of their basements and the scientists and doctors (with many more degrees than I have) working on the front lines of new drug therapies and disease treatments. Their work has the potential to change the course of history. It’s not just their intelligence, hard work and creativity that I admire; it’s their courage to delve into new realms of discovery without knowing where it will take them or if it will even result in triumph. To me, this is something very worthy of respect. In this issue of Simply Buckhead, we introduce you to some of Buckhead’s game-changing innovators. Gina Wingood and Ralph DiClemente work tirelessly to stop the spread of HIV across the globe—from Atlanta to Armenia. Jeff Hilimire, our cover model, builds on his tech achievements (which started in college) with the launch of mobile gaming company Dragon Army. Neurologist Gregory Berns uses MRIs to study the emotions of our beloved four-legged best friends. These trailblazing minds may work in varied industries and distinct fields of study, but they all have something in common. They each saw a way to use their skills and curiosities to make an impact. As I read their stories, I realize their outlook is one we can all apply to our own lives, regardless of our academic degrees or lifestyles. It may not be discovering a cure for disease, building the next Facebook or exploring the mind of a dog, but we are all innovators in our own way. The hard part is having the guts to let our ideas and passions shine. I say we all—myself included—take a page from the playbook of these pioneers and see what happens if we do.

Giannina Smith Bedford

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


E V E N T S | L O C A L S A L U T E | T R AV E L | A P P R O V E D



Head for the Hills  P26

“It was like we were in the French countryside, just 45 minutes away from Buckhead.”

At Château Élan’s Le Clos, the subtle lighting, rust-hued walls and waterfalls streaming from mosaic sculptures evoke images of a Tuscan-inspired courtyard café.

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




The Bonaventure Quartet and Joe Gransden are a few of the musicians performing at Heritage Hall during the Heritage Winter Classics Series.

[ F E AT U R E D E V E N T ]



ost-holiday, as you look for indoor outings to fill your social calendar, consider an audible excursion to Sandy Springs’ Heritage Winter Classics Series. This annual concert event is held on select Sundays throughout the winter, and in January and February the cultured crowd has two opportunities for relishing the sultry sounds of jazz. First up, Atlanta’s own The Bonaventure Quartet will bring their

signature swagger to the stage on Jan. 19. Vocalist Amy Pike will take the lead over a variety of jazz standards, gypsy jazz, swing and original tunes. Return Feb. 16 with your sweetie for a romantic rendezvous led by trumpeter and bandleader Joe Gransden for his Valentine’s show featuring special guest Francine Reed. The duo will play classic love songs from film, Broadway, jazz and pop culture. Sponsored by

the Fulton County Arts Council and the Sandy Springs Society, the concerts take place at Heritage Hall (on the lower level of Heritage Sandy Springs) and are $5 to attend. For a romantic après-concert rendezvous, head less than half a mile away to Three Sheets and cozy up with your honey in one of the plush booths to share a sampling of decadent apps and craft cocktails. – Kelly Skinner

HERITAGE WINTER CLASSICS SERIES AT HERITAGE HALL Jan. 19, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Bonaventure Quartet Feb. 16, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Joe Gransden & Francine Reed Heritage Hall 6110 Bluestone Road N.E. Sandy Springs 30328 404.851.9111 ext. 4

[ F RE E E V E N T ]


Two adorable pups get comfy on their Westin Heavenly Dog Beds, one of the raffle items up for grabs at the “Puppy Love” party. Photo: Courtesy of Westin Buckhead

18 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

As any dog lover knows, the bond between a dog and his master can easily rival the love between two humans. This Valentine’s Day weekend, the Atlanta Humane Society’s junior board, known as the 1873 Society Club, wants to celebrate this special relationship with the “Puppy Love” benefit party at the Westin Buckhead. Mingle with guests (and their furry friends) while enjoying light appetizers and cocktails. Attendees can also take a shot at winning one of the many pet-centered raffle items like a gift certificate from Atlanta Dog Spa. Puppy libations (water) and nibbles (dog treats) will be provided, along with activities “PUPPY LOVE” BENEFIT PARTY to keep four-legged partygoers entertained, including an ice sculpture of a fire hydrant for dogs to lick. With Valentine’s Feb. 15, 2 to 4 p.m. Day around the corner, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few The Westin Buckhead Atlanta romantically inclined canines tried working out a love match 3391 Peachtree Road N.E. for their owners. The event is free and open to the public, but Atlanta 30326 guests must RSVP to Proceeds from 404.365.0065 the cash bar and raffle will benefit the 1873 Society Club. – Catherine O’Connor Hough

Daily dog walks and pet care services for happy clients all over Buckhead, Brookhaven, and North Atlanta since 2007 Kids of all ages can learn new, fun and useful skills at The Home Depot’s monthly kids workshops. Photo: Courtesy of The Home Depot



START YOUR ENGINES BUILDING RACE CARS AT HOME DEPOT’S FEBRUARY KIDS WORKSHOP As a parent, there are few things more rewarding than watching your child master a new skill. Throw in expert instruction and a new (free!) toy and you’ve got the perfect Saturday morning activity for the whole family. Sharing its do-it-yourself mantra with even the youngest of doers, The Home Depot offers kids workshops the first Saturday of every month at all of their stores, including the Piedmont Road location in Buckhead and Peachtree Dunwoody Road store in Sandy Springs. In addition to creating their very own handmade toy, children are taught tool safety and receive a certificate of achievement, workshop apron and commemorative pin. Perhaps the most important reward, however, is leaving with a new sense of accomplishment. In February, the workshop focuses on crafting wooden race cars, which is likely to

be a big hit among children of all ages (even the grown-up kind). The free workshops are recommended for ages 5 to 12. Activities are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and online registration is recommended. – Catherine O’Connor Hough

KIDS WORKSHOPS Saturday, Feb. 1 (first Saturday of every month) 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register at: com/workshops/kids-workshops The Home Depot – Buckhead 2525 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.841.5608 The Home Depot – Sandy Springs 6400 Peachtree Dunwoody Road N.E. Atlanta 30328 770.804.8065

YKBEADS Exquisite Organic Healing Energy Jewelry. 100% All Natural. Made with rechargeable solar powered crystals and semi-precious gemstones. Increase Wellness and attract your highest good with YKBEADS organic jewelry. Jewels for the Soul.



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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


The journey is under way to save children’s lives.

Yo u r C h A N C e oF A l i F e T i m e

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20 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead



Carly Cooper

In addition to an executive board with members like Emily Choate (left), Andee’s Army has a junior advisory board comprised of high school students, including Andee Poulus (right).

Familial Support Organization helps relatives of those with non-traumatic acquired brain injuries Nonprofit Andee’s Army was created in 2011 when then 14-year-old Andee Poulus, a Sandy Springs resident, suffered a previously undetected acquired brain injury called Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). Poulos couldn’t walk, talk or eat and needed round-the-clock care. Her family and friends banded together to help, and what was then a grassroots group soon became a 501c3 organization. Brookhaven resident Emily Choate, marketing director of Choate Construction, knew Andee’s Father, John Poulos, through the real estate industry, and decided to get involved. Since the organization’s inception, Choate has helped spearhead its communication. “Andee’s Army is here to help those families stay afloat,” Choate says. “When every single facet of

their lives has been permanently altered, Andee’s Army provides a safety net so they can continue to focus on the well-being of the child, not the piling medical, lodging and treatment bills.” Choate works on external communication—such as the organization’s web site and newsletter. She also assists with fundraising events, such as the upcoming 5K Run/Walk at Sandy Springs’ Riverwood High School on March 22. She says the organization is always looking for volunteers to help run events and solicit donations. “Though Andee’s Army is only two years old, last year we were able to award over $50,000 to deserving families,” she says. “We are aiming to reach that number again this year.” l

Elinor Breman honors her late husband William by continuing to advocate for the Jewish Heritage Museum that bears his name.

An Angel Among Us The woman behind The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Elinor Breman, 91, has been a Buckhead resident and power player since the end of World War II. Her first husband, Herbert Rosenberg, was founder and president of clothing store the Buckhead Men’s Shop. She sold residential real estate for Harry Norman in Buckhead for 21 years. She even wrote a children’s book called Best Friends in 2010. But it was her marriage to the late William Breman, a philanthropist and founder of Breman Steel, in 1993 that led to her current role as “guardian angel” of The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. Elinor helped William open the museum in 1996 to commemorate the Jewish experience and the “universal themes of diversity and human dignity” by preserving and teaching Jewish values, culture and history. Since he passed away

in 2001, she’s done her best to preserve his legacy and that of the museum. “I support it spiritually, financially and any way I can,” says the grandmother of six and greatgrandmother of five. “My years of wisdom with it and my experience in the community help me stay very involved.” Today, The Breman Museum includes three sections: a traveling exhibit, a Holocaust section and a gallery dedicated to creating communities, currently being used for a “Return to Rich’s” exhibit that draws on the parallels between Rich’s department store and the city of Atlanta. “I’ve watched [the Museum] grow from the beginning; it was very small,” Elinor says. “Now, we’re trying to enlarge our membership and the Museum’s visibility—make people more aware than they are. We’re trying to preserve the history of the past but go forward with themes of today.” l

Campaigning for the Creative Class Choose ATL works to attract talent to the city Led by a grassroots group bonded together by their passion for Atlanta, Choose ATL launched its campaign in October 2013 with a goal of showcasing the city as a digital hub and attracting the “creative class”—those in technology, design and other right brain-focused fields. Committee member and entrepreneur David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead—a work space for startups—got involved, hosting the launch party at ATV and serving as a

Choose ATL spokesperson. “Atlanta has so many awesome resources and so much talent that it’s time to get the word out to the rest of the world,” Cummings says. Fellow committee member and creative lead for the Choose ATL campaign Adam Harrell describes the campaign as “a love letter to the city,” noting that creatives often flock to New York and San Francisco for work, or Portland and Austin for quality of life, but Atlanta offers both opportunities.

The Choose ATL group created a website complete with video to highlight all Atlanta has to offer, from recreation to business. Cummings stars in the video and is working on public relations, social media and “anything else we can do to increase awareness of Atlanta’s awesome resources and people.” l The group is seeking volunteers to help spread the word about the cause. For more information or to get involved, visit

David Cummings gave Choose ATL a home, using the Atlanta Tech Village as a place to film the campaign video and host the launch party. Photo: Friendly Human

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: Visitors to the city’s rose garden will find the Princess of Monaco and St. Patrick among the specimens growing on 500 bushes. Left and right: Thomasville’s annual Rose Show and Festival draws crowds from around the Southeast. Photos: Courtesy of Thomasville Visitors Center

HISTORY IN BLOOM Thomasville festival celebrates 93 years of roses


anuary and February may be bone-chilling and blustery, but fortunately, in Georgia, spring comes quickly behind. That kinder season is the perfect time to counteract life’s frantic pace by doing precisely what the adage advises: slow down and smell the roses. In April, there are few places in Georgia where the sweet scent of roses is as powerful as it is in Thomasville. The Thomas County seat, about 235 miles and a 4-hour drive south of Atlanta, is dubbed “the city of roses” and is home to an annual Rose Show and Festival, a three-day celebration that draws about 30,000 gardeners and flower experts, as well as those who have a particular passion for rose petals. This year marks the 93rd consecutive time the event has been held. But its ties to the town’s history go back even further. “In the 1800s, Thomasville was at the end of the rail line,” explains Sherri Nix, the town’s tourism coordinator, who has lived there all of her 40-plus years. “We were the southern winter resort for wealthy Northerners who couldn’t go any farther. The ladies decided they needed something to do, and since roses interested them, they put displays of them in all the stores along the main streets.” In the early 1920s, the tradition became official. Today, the Rose Festival is marked by

22 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

two parades, a nighttime street dance and an art-in-the-park party with arts and crafts dealers and children’s activities. But the highlight is the rose show that draws people from around the Southeast who exhibit their perfect petals. The city’s main rose attraction that stays in place year round is an enormous rose garden, a plot of 500 bushes off Covington Avenue adjacent to Cherokee Lake Park. Walking paths around the water lead to the garden, where the city recently replaced all of the aging bushes with vibrant, new varieties with engaging names such as Falling in Love, Princess of Monaco, Summer Love and St. Patrick. But there are more than flowers on display here. The town of about 19,000 residents is home to several historic churches and cemeteries, museums and Victorian homes. The Power of the Past Museum at the Thomasville Regional Airport houses an array of memorabilia and aircraft, including the 1931 biplane “City of Roses.” The Jack Hadley Black History Museum displays 3,000 artifacts and exhibits on the Buffalo Soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen and plantation life. The Thomas County Museum of History is an assemblage of five historic buildings that hold photos and artifacts tracing the area’s past as a southern resort as well as its years as a plan-


H.M. Cauley

tation center. The 1896 Pebble Hill Plantation spreads across 3,000 acres with gardens, barns and several outbuildings, including a pump house, wood shop and a nurse’s station. The property also houses a collection of antique autos, carriages and furnishings. After hours of sightseeing, foodies will find a number of local eateries to explore in the restored downtown district, including the Blue Coop, a new addition run by the owners of nearby Sweet Grass Dairy. The dairy itself, a short drive from downtown on Highway 19, is worth a visit to sample the line of celebrated cheeses with a glass of wine in between checking out the rose displays, which should be in full bloom by the start of the festival on April 24. “We had to do some prayin’ on that this past year,” says Nix with a laugh at last year’s slow-to-open flowers. “But April is usually when they are in full bloom.” n

ROSE SHOW AND FESTIVAL Thomasville, Ga. April 24-26

G l e n r i d G e n o r t h s i d e G y n e co lo G y Michael E. Crowe, M.D. Board-Certified

Dr. Michael Crowe is proud to provide personalized, compassionate, and comprehensive care in women’s services. As a board-certified physician in gynecology and obstetrics for over thirty years, Dr. Crowe offers care to women of all ages, from child-bearing to postmenopausal years. Glenridge Northside Gynecology’s experienced staff provides specialties in gynecologic care, family planning, and surgical services in a personal and caring environment.

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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: A market in Mexico City. Right: A view of the town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with the cathedral in the distance.

HEART OF MEXICO San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City brim with art, culture and history

T At the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, a tilting tower is a tribute to the region’s notorious earthquakes.

Even the most sacred places in Mexico are a riot of color; consider this shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at the basilica that bears her name.

he revelation came over a breakfast of huevos divorciados at El Correro, a tiny homespun restaurant in the heart of the glorious colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. I was talking to a local guide about the color and contrast of Mexico, a place that dances with tastes, textures and terrains—from the well-trod coastal resorts to the isolated, time-swept landscape of Central Mexico. “Cancún, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta have the beaches,” my friend says. “But we’ve got the history.” For a traveler who had visited Mexico many times but never set foot in San Miguel de Allende—a city as central to Mexico’s independence as Boston is to the United States’—the point was suddenly as vivid as the green and red salsa in my plate of “divorced” eggs. Over eight days in August, I took a fast-paced journey through the heart of Mexico, spending two days in the state of Guanajuato (home of San Miguel and the state capital, Guanajuato) and five more in the teeming metropolis of Mexico City. Though San Miguel is three hours by car from the capital, it is an adventure well worth

24 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

taking. Since its discovery in 1937 by a young Chicago traveler named Stirling Dickinson, the gemlike town has become a mecca for artists and expatriates—most of them American. Situated around a soaring, pictureperfect Gothic cathedral, San Miguel reminds me a lot of Antigua, Guatemala: It is intimately scaled, pristinely restored and blessed with a temperate climate. It is also a repository of hotels at every price point (from the dazzling Casa de Sierra Nevada, where some of my friends stayed, to the small B&B-like Casa Schuck, where I rested comfortably); most are just steps away from the town square. For a peek into Mexico’s history, consider getting a guide to walk you through the Museo Casa de Allende (where the War of Independence is said to have been plotted) and the nearby Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez, a former convent with some amazing murals and lovely chapels. From here, you can walk through an artisan market crowded with handicrafts of all kinds or buy dainty cups of ice cream in aromatic flavors like rose and mint from a street vendor.


Wendell Brock

Outside town one morning, we explored the Santuario de Atotonilco (called the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” thanks to its ornate Baroque murals) and Fabrica La Aurora (an endless warren of art galleries in an old textile mill that feels rather like Atlanta’s King Plow Arts Center on steroids). But my favorite San Miguel moment was the long, luxurious, wine-steeped lunch we took at Restaurante Lolita, where I enjoyed a sumptuous plate of chiles en nogada: poblanos stuffed with sweet picadillo, bathed in creamy walnut sauce and studded with pomegranate seeds. A dish that famously uses the colors of the Mexican flag—green, white and red—it seemed appropriate for this patriotic city. By comparison to San Miguel, Mexico City can be complicated and exhausting. Though I remember my previous stay in the capital as a battle against altitude sickness and smog, this time I found the air to be remarkably clear—with mornings in the crisp 50s and afternoons in the perfect 70s. Such salubrious weather pumped me up to explore some of the important but far-afield destinations of this


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Casa de Sierra Nevada. A beautiful property of old-world opulence, this hotel is the crown jewel of San Miguel de Allende. If you can’t book a room, have breakfast in the courtyard.

Diego R ivera Blue Ho and Frida Kah lo use in M exico Cit ’s y

megalopolis. I’ll never forget climbing the steps to the top of Teotihuacan, the pre-Columbian pyramids north of town, the tallest of which is the equivalent of a 20-story building; or meandering through the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a maze of rose gardens, chapels and tacky souvenir shops that feels like a Mexican mini-Vatican. Yet as a lover of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the famous 20th-century Mexican artists who weathered a tumultuous marriage, it was beyond moving for me to follow their trail from Rivera’s birthplace in Guanajuato (the “town of frogs”) to Kahlo’s Blue House in Mexico City, where her ashes are kept in the frogshaped urn by her bed. (“Frog” was Kahlo’s pet name for her husband.) A stop at the Museo Dolores Olmedo, home of Rivera’s great courtesan and her dogs and peacocks, finished the circle. Indeed, as my San Miguel guide so sagely put it, the shimmering beaches of Mexico are but bookends to an endless continuum of surprise, flavor and history. n

Casa Schuck. Formerly a private home, this small San Miguel de Allende hotel has a B&B feel and wonderful views of the town square from the bedroom balconies.

Downtown. A posh boutique hotel with clean contemporary lines and a nice rooftop garden in the heart of Mexico City. Belongs to the same hotel group that also owns the Condesa df, also highly recommended.;

Fiesta Americana Grande Chapultepec. A Mexico City high-rise, in the fashionable Polanca neighborhood, with great city views and a good complimentary breakfast bar.


Purchase at any of our restaurants or: | 404.237.2060

Restaurante Lolita. The service is warm and friendly at this magically decorated, family-run San Miguel de Allende restaurant. Good mole and excellent chiles en nogada.

El Fogoncito. Delicious tacos; try the combo with all the different meats. Numerous locations in Mexico City.

Offer valid through February 28, 2014. Applies to purchases in $25 increments. Additional restrictions apply.

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




The Spa at Château Élan overlooks a pond and gazebo near the 9th-hole tee box of the resort’s Par 3 course.

Head for the Hills The peace of Château Élan is just minutes from Buckhead’s bustling streets


riving through the gates of Château Élan, a beautiful orange-pink sunset as our backdrop, my husband and I prepared for two teenager-free nights filled with warm Southern hospitality, gourmet food and wine in seven restaurants, and world-class amenities. With sweeping views of the North Georgia foothills and 3,500 acres of gorgeous property— including a full-production winery—it was like we were in the French countryside, just 45 minutes away from Buckhead. But that’s the point, right? After settling into our room, we headed to Café Élan for wine tasting and dinner. A distinguished gentleman who introduced himself as Hank Evers, CEO and president of Château Élan, cheerfully greeted us. He escorted us to the Wine Market to sample the winery’s new Muscadry and Pink Muscadry, along with two reds, Pinot Noir 2011 Reserve and Barbera D’Asti D.O.C.G. 2011, explaining the origins of each. Afterward, we dined in the bustling Café Élan. Our server, Crystal, attended to every need without being obtrusive—her wine suggestion (Justin Cabernet) with our Cher­ moula Spiced Ahi Tuna and Swordfish Catch of the Day was superb. One of our favorite dishes was the appetizer, a selection of local

26 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


charcuterie and fromage, featuring Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses, housemade pickled vegetables and assorted jams. The first night, we slept blissfully in our comfy bed outfitted in a Richloom Home Fashions duvet cover and Harbor Linen “Opulence” sheets, dreaming of next-day spa treatments. We were so anxious to get the pampering started, we didn’t make it to breakfast. Instead, we opted for an early lunch at Fleur-de-Lis, the lovely, sunlit dining room overlooking the lake and gazebo at Château Élan’s Spa. Our treatments included a Men’s Hot Towel Facial and Château Essential Massage (for him) and Château Essential Facial and Deep Tissue Massage (for me) as well as his-and-hers pedicures. The Spa uses d’vine products featuring all natural ingredients from wine, grapes and potent botanicals. The mild, fruity scent of grape seed oil lingered on our skin throughout the weekend, serving as a calming reminder to relax. Although the spa was dreamy, our weekend highlight was dinner at Le Clos, which seats just 28 people in its intimate setting within the Winery. The five-course, prix-fixe menu features sea­sonal fla­vours and local har­vest—all fruits and veg­eta­bles on the menu are Georgia-grown. I opted for the chef’s seasonal salad,

Joanne Hayes

monkfish, lemon sorbet, bison tenderloin, and house-made coconut pistachio sorbet. My husband chose smoked tuna, “Bacon & Eggs,” lemon sorbet, venison osso buco, and the charcuterie tray for dessert. Perfectly portioned and served leisurely over two-and-a-half hours, dinner was satisfying and the chef’s presentation very impressive. He visited our table personally after dinner to get our thoughts about the new seasonal menu, which debuted that evening. We complimented the artistic and colorful presentation of each dish, which showcased the freshness of the local ingredients. The next afternoon, we reminisced about every moment of our French Château “staycation.” We drove home with the top down, sun shining on our faces. Short, meaningful trips go a long way in staying connected as a couple, and we’ve vowed that Château Élan will be a more regular one for us. n

CHÂTEAU ÉLAN The Château Élan Inn 100 Rue Charle­magne Brasel­ton, Ga. 30517 678.425.0900

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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 








All aglow STORY:


Candles add warmth and style

Jennifer Bradley Franklin   PHOTO: Sara Hanna

Candles are charming any time

2. Speakeasy, Votivo

4. Ocean Tide & Sea Salt,

of year, but particularly in the

($26, 6.8 ounces, fab’rik)

wintertime, they add an extra-

Indulge your inner flapper with this Votivo candle that smells of aged oak barrels and fermented fruit, with overtones of rum and caramelized sugar. Because the faintly sweet scent is blissfully saturated, it lends fragrance to even a large space, and it burns for more than 50 hours.

Paddywax ($17.99, 9.5 ounces, Whole Foods Buckhead)

special glimmer to any occasion, table or room. Here are some pretty—and fragrant—ones on our minds this season, sold by Buckhead retailers right in our backyard.

3400 Around Lenox Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.816.6221

If you’re dreaming of a beach holiday, this is the perfect candle for you. The sea-reminiscent aqua jar houses scents of salt and surf, which should transport you to somewhere warmer than the Atlanta winter. Plus, you can feel good about the fact that it’s 100 percent made in the USA. 77 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.324.4100

1. Sierra, DayNa Decker

3. Peony & Blush Suede, Jo Malone

($74, 10 ounces, Ona Atlanta)

($65, 7.1 ounces, Bloomingdale’s)

5. Pinot Noir, Rewined

Part of the California-based designer’s “Botanical” collection, this nature-inspired scent features notes of neroli, vanilla, musk and jasmine. The candle is presented in a hand-blown glass jar, with a sustainably harvested wood wick that crackles faintly as it burns, so it will appeal to outdoorsy men as much as refined women.

Ready for spring to make its debut? This British-made candle might be the right scent to get you in the spirit, with rich, floral peonies up front and red apple and rose in the background. Plus, you’ll enjoy the warmer weather scents, without the requisite Atlanta pollen.

($28, 11 ounces, Bee)

3400 Around Lenox Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404. 812.0002

28 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.495.2800

If “up-cycling” appeals, you’ll love that a Rewined candle is made in a recycled wine bottle. Any wine lover will fall in love with this Charleston-poured candle, recognizing some of the aromas present in complex pinot noirs: leather, violet and fig with an earthy finish. 26 East Andrews Drive Atlanta 30305 404.365.9858

It takes courage to


step up At The Galloway School, students age 3 through grade 12 are encouraged to explore their interests and discover their individual strengths. Schedule a tour today. Apply today at Deadline is February 3, 2014 215 W. Wieuca Rd NW | Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404.252.8389

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Bespoke in Brookhaven  P32

The backgammon table in the Shultses’ study is topped with a golf-themed lamp hinting at some of the family’s favorite leisure pursuits. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

“Our home is sophisticated, but not too sophisticated. The mix of new and old creates a pleasant, warm and easy environment.” - Liz Shults

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: The Shultses’ Brookhaven home welcomes visitors with an over-scaled front door that makes a statement. Right: The kitchen has undergone two renovations; one included the addition of the custom zinc-topped island lit from above by a chandelier from South of Market. The kitchen’s other seating area is the oval breakfast table purchased at Peachtree Hills’ Parc Monceau. Below: Interior designer and mother of two, Liz Shults, with Stewie, the family pooch.

BESPOKE IN BROOKHAVEN A Brookhaven home is tailored to fit a family’s lifestyle STORY:


Giannina Smith Bedford   PHOTO: Sara Hanna

iz Shults looked at 96 houses before finding the right one, but that doesn’t mean everything about the Brookhaven home she settled on was perfect. In fact, Shults and her husband, Rob, owner of golf course and club management company Honours Golf, spent six months in 1999 redoing the interior of their shake shingle and reclaimed brick home before moving in. Fourteen years later, Shults continues tweaking the décor to match her family’s dynamic lifestyle. “The minute I pulled up to the curb I said, ‘That is it, that’s the house,’” says Shults, an

32 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

interior designer and owner of Le Chateau Interiors. “I didn’t even need to see the inside because I already knew, no matter what it was, I was going to want to do something to it.” Keith Summerour of Summerour Architects designed the five-bedroom, five-bath house. Built in 1996 across from Capital City Country Club, the home’s “oversized bungalow style” appealed to the Shultses, who were looking for more space for their growing family. And they found the home just in time—the day they closed, Liz gave birth to their daughter, Grace. Their son,

Robert, joined the family three years later. Despite having a newborn in tow upon purchase, Shults dove headfirst into redecorating the 5,000-square-foot interior to her taste, which leans toward clean lines and traditional touches, with a modern flair. “The home has a casual but sophisticated allure to it that spoke to our traditional but livable lifestyle. The home needed the details added to it that would bring it to the modern Southern style we liked without being fussy,” she says. “We added moldings and decorative lights. The original kitchen was not grand enough for the space, so we redid it entirely.”

Above: A custom Tibetan rug from Stark ties together the varied décor of the Shultses’ living room, which includes an antique apothecary shelf from Dearing Antiques strewn with family photos.

adorned in a cat theme, the room is now a girly getaway with a shaggy white beanbag chair, peace signs and a four-poster custommade iron bed complete with Grace’s initials at the head. The eighth-grader’s initials are also prominently displayed in the mirrored vanity in the bathroom, where the heated tile floor creates a comfortable hangout for the 14-year-old and her friends. “My mom was so fun to work with on my bathroom and she let me choose some details myself,” Grace says. “The St. Regis knobs are my favorite!” Although Shults is constantly bombarded

Above: The dining room showcases a walnut dining table from William Word and two chandeliers purchased at Miami Circle’s Dearing Antiques.

with the newest home design trends at work, much of her home is filled with sentimental items. Photos of the kids deck the halls and Rob’s study is filled with paraphernalia from golfing events and his time at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The study is also home to a backgammon table, one of the Shultses’ favorite games, which they played aboard trains while traveling through Europe, before kids.


Initially, Shults replaced the kitchen’s small 4-by-4-foot island with a two-tiered island that was convenient for serving her young children. In 2011, when her kids were older, she decided to rip the two-tiered counter out and replace it with a spacious zinc-topped island where the family gathers every day. “We enjoy having family meetings and catching up daily,” she says. “We needed a space that made our mornings and evenings together as fun and efficient as possible.” Along with tweaking the island, the second kitchen redo also added a crushed limestone stovetop hood and hand-cut leaf and vinepatterned tile backsplash from Renaissance Tile & Bath above the green granite countertop—one of the few surviving elements of the first kitchen refresh. “It’s no longer milled. It’s gone,” Shults says of the dark green stone. “I had a lot of green countertop and I didn’t want to pull it out. Plus, I have two boys, one who likes red sauce on everything and the other who likes red wine, so white marble was not going to work for us.” With a constant itch to continue updating, Liz is currently tackling two bathroom redecorations and the transformation of the kids’ playroom into a gray-and-orange theatre room for family movie nights. Eighteen months ago she redid Grace’s room to fit the teenager’s maturing style. Previously

“We are a very casual, laid-back family.”

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Father and son’s penchant for hunting, golfing and fishing has also inspired much of the home décor—the living room features pheasant-patterned blue chairs, a bird figurine on the apothecary shelf from Miami Circle’s Dearing Antiques and a signed Linda Hartough print of the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club. “Our home is sophisticated, but not too sophisticated. The mix of new and old creates a pleasant, warm and easy environment. It is collected over time and not a decorated place,” Shults says. “We are a very casual, laid-back family. Our home is frequently filled with kids, so one thing I need is a home where things are easy and friends can feel at ease putting their feet up.” With numerous redecorations under her belt, and more on the horizon, the question is whether Liz will ever put her feet up and quit “tinkering” her home. We think most likely not. “It is part of my creative flow,” she says. “I use it to try new things before I bring them to my clients and it is fun to see how things can evolve as your needs change.” n

Liz Shults’ top stops for…

Above: Rob Shults’ man cave, the study features a Gregory Johnson painting of a rainy street scene above the dark limestone fireplace—the first piece of art the Shultses purchased after moving in.

ACCESSORIES: Nicholson Gallery on Miami Circle. “I love mixing old and new; you are sure to find that old interesting something with a funky twist here. Martha, the owner, has a great style that speaks to me.”

ART: Huff Harrington. “Nothing too heavy and nothing too light; the art here is fun.”

CABINETRY: Design Galleria. “If you want the perfect place for everything you have, with great quality. Design Galleria will think through all the details, not missing anything to provide perfection in your custom cabinetry.”

FURNITURE: South of Market. “Great upholstery with flair. I especially love Verellen upholstered pieces; they have amazing scale and understated elegance.”

LIGHTING: South of Market. “Something with a little fun and a little history, just what every house needs!”

RUGS: Moattar. “Expert eyes that really have panache for design—they have the best selection and price ranges.”

Grace Shults’ redone bedroom is a teenage girl’s haven of pinks and whites.

34 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

The refresh of Grace’s bathroom included a motherdaughter trip to Renaissance Tile & Bath where Grace picked out the stained glass in the shower.

Fabulous Mountain Property Just a couple of hours hours away! Summertime temperatures 15+/- degrees below Atlanta.

Phenomenal long-range vistas from this meticulously maintained home in High lands Country Club. From the Tennessee ranges to Whiteside and Chimney Top, the panorama is spectacular. Four full bedrooms (and bunkrooms too) and five baths. Two levels with great family space. Two-car garage. MLS 78048. $1,895,000.

The signature view of Whiteside Mountain and beyond. 1.41 acres just minutes from Main Street in one of Highlands’ best areas neighboring a premier 50-acre estate. Reduced drastically to $295,000. comparable lots are often double this price. MLS 67112.

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Weekender Herringbone Easy Tote: $178, C. Wonder Stores.

1 Monogrammed Envelope Purse: $35, Just the Thing Stores.

4 2

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Shoulder Tote: $145, Bloomingdale’s Stores.


Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Pochette: $299, Bella Bag.

Golden Yellow “Blake” Satchel with Café CrocEmbossed Accents: $795,

Handbag heaven Find a functional accessory that fits your budget—and your style


ou might be thinking that the hunt for the perfect handbag may just last all your life. Not so fast! As women, we are in need of clutches, purses, totes (the list goes on …) in all sizes, styles, colors and price points. But finding that perfect one—or two—or 10—can prove difficult. From the classic night-out clutch to an everyday statement bag, we’ve rounded up five handbags from Buckhead stores to fit nearly every occasion—and have already scoured the price tags. Navigate your next work trip with a classic Le Pliage tote, or stun your girlfriends at happy hour with the “Blake” satchel. Either way, there’s a price point—and a bit of flair—for every shopper.


Olivia Putnal


3. Under $250 Round out the cool-weather season in style with this herringbone wool blend tote bag. Large enough for your computer and other work essentials, it’s ideal for everyday use and traveling. With an adjustable faux pebbled leather strap, you can change the way you wear it depending on the occasion.

4. Under $500 1. Under $50 Invest in this envelope clutch for multiple occasions—choose the solid black option for a sleek, nighttime look, or a bright color with a monogram for sporting events or a springtime outing. Ideal for gift-giving too; a personalization adds a thoughtful touch. What’s more, trips are a breeze with this bag as its thin dimensions tuck away nicely in suitcases or carry-ons.

2. Under $150 It’s safe to say this is the epitome of a classic tote. With 13 colors to choose from (and more on, you may just want one for every day of the week. Whether for work or play, the durable nylon material allows for daily wear and tear—not to mention easy cleaning—while the leather trim and straps add a pop of sophistication to any outfit.

36 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

A closet staple, this particular Louis Vuitton’s price point is much less than the average, thanks to Bella Bag, the Miami Circle boutique selling gently used designer handbags. This popular style—with sleek features and versatile nature—is nearly always in stock. With an exterior of monogram coated canvas, gold hardware and Patina leather straps, there’s no excuse for this pick not being in your closet.

5. Under $1,000 With an unexpected yet chic pop of color, this mustard tote’s croc-embossed leather accents turn things up a notch. The bag, by Buckhead designer Melanie Mueller, screams functionality, but the color and leather tassels with gold tips make for a stylish statement as well. Not only is the exterior jaw-dropping, the inside is lined with Mel’s signature turquoise leather— you’ll want to show that off too. n

Bella Bag 650 Miami Circle N.E. Suite 1 Atlanta 30324 404.856.0626 Bloomingdale’s 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.495.2800 C. Wonder 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.816.3847 Just the Thing 529 Pharr Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.869.4100 Mel Boteri 3340 Peachtree Road N.E. Suite 1800 Atlanta 30326 404.259.9196

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckheadâ&#x20AC;&#x192;




BUCKHEAD’S BEAUTY PROS Makeup artists that know how to make you shine


Olivia Putnal

To kick off the new year, we thought it fitting to highlight some of Buckhead’s top-notch makeup gurus. Gaining dedicated customers for their expertise and talent, these ladies also stand out for their individualism and passion for what they do. Along with finding them at their respective salons, you can catch them all over the neighborhood, working events and weddings, conducting everyday touch-ups and much more.

Angela Castonzo-Scully  White Salon and Spa She attended her first runway show at just 5 years old, but from that point forward, Angela Castonzo-Scully knew she would love makeup forever. Raised in Chicago by parents who owned beauty salons, she was destined to dabble in blush, mascara and all things glossy. Beginning her career in corporate America, it wasn’t long before she moved into something closer to her heart. Now a freelance professional makeup artist and full-timer at Buckhead’s White Salon and Spa, Castonzo-Scully couldn’t imagine a more perfect job. “The people I get to meet and learn from, my clients, colleagues and mentors all make this career amazing.” Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without: “A brow pencil. The eyebrows frame your face. If the brows are wrong, the entire picture is wrong.” White Salon and Spa 2973 Grandview Avenue N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.816.7500

Cherie Cook GlowDry Stone Mountain native Cherie Cook’s beauty calling didn’t come right away—she struggled trying to find a career she loved. “I wanted a career doing something that was fun and creative, a career that allowed me to give back, build relationships and be in an environment where there were others who possessed my same passion and drive,” Cook explains. “So I took a leap of faith! I took the bull by the horns, and sought out a career first in doing hair.” By participating in local photo shoots and fashion shows, Cook developed a love for makeup artistry. Since shortly after the opening of GlowDry in August 2013, Cook has been offering her passion and talent to customers as part of the makeup team. Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without: “Mascara! It’s the one product that alone, with no added primers and bases, does wonders for your eyes. Basic mascara can give any woman an extraordinary look.” GlowDry 3722 Roswell Road N.E. Atlanta 30342 404.549.8007

Claudia Mejerle  Claudia Mejerle Makeup and Hair Styling Growing up a dancer, Claudia Mejerle learned about beauty at a young age. “I loved the way makeup made me feel and I loved the creativity that it encouraged. Makeup was a hobby that stuck with me,” Mejerle recalls. While working in account management with marketing firm Henderson Shapiro Inc., Mejerle learned a lot about running a business. But it was her friends asking for makeup and hair advice that bolstered her love of the beauty industry. Before she knew it, her weekends were filled with weddings, and she began working hard to build her business with commercial, editorial, promotional, corporate, fashion, beauty and portrait shoots. In 2013 alone, Mejerle worked 15 or more Buckhead weddings, at locales like The Ritz Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta History Center, Cherokee Club and many more. “Owning my own business requires more work than I could have ever imagined, but I work because I love what I do,” Mejerle says. “I value the relationship with my clients just as much as the art I create. I love getting to know the people I work with and love learning what makes my clients happy and what makes them feel their best.” Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without: “Lipstick! I use it on both lips and cheeks to bring my face to life.” Claudia Mejerle Makeup and Hair Styling 770.265.3268

Jessica Goldstein  Salon South Jessica Goldstein’s makeup career started during prom and homecoming season in high school—she was the tried and true makeup artist at Dunwoody High School for both her friends and school staff members. Now co-owner of Buckhead’s Salon South, the Brookhaven resident calls her job an easy one because she does what she loves, which also includes hair styling. “It doesn’t feel like work. I have amazing clients and friends that refer others to me and I love that,” Goldstein explains. She says some of the most special moments are doing makeup for her friends and family for big events in their lives—particularly spending time with the bride on her wedding weekend. Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without: “Cream foundation. I use it under the eyes to brighten. It covers everything and stays all day long.” Salon South 4920 Roswell Road Suites 131 and 132 Atlanta 30342 678.517.3147

Nikole Morrow-Pettus  Van Michael Salon Often referred to as “The Oprah of Van Michael” for her ability to help her clients and co-workers look at life challenges in a positive way, Nikole Morrow-Pettus is the cosmetic director for all five of the Atlanta-based Van Michael salons. With a client resumé that includes Liam Hemsworth, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis, Kristen Wiig and many more, it’s no wonder she’s already booked every Saturday in June (a busy wedding month). In 1994 she was determined to get her foot in the door at Van Michael, and began her beauty career as a receptionist before being hired as a full-time makeup artist in 1995. “I have grown up and built a life with Van Michael,” MorrowPettus says. “They are truly my extended family.” Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without: “My beauty blender sponge—complexion can make you look youthful for the rest of your life. Having this tool allows me to blend anything well, and eliminate any skin imperfections.” Van Michael Buckhead 39 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.237.4664

39 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead







What a gem Four unique jewelry pieces guaranteed to turn heads


Olivia Putnal   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna


or some of us, diamonds and pearls are our tried and true jewelry picks—and always will be. But when it comes to statement pieces, we think there’s room for something more. Dare we say, out of the box, yet functional, too? Buckhead’s jewelry shops and designers do not disappoint with these matchless accessories for your arms, ears and fingers. From labradorite stones to blue chalcedony, our only caution is to shop fast—many are one-of-a-kind.

1. This perfect party ring by Diane Ruus is sure to stand out in a crowd. An oversized, cool, blue chalcedony dominant center is set in sterling silver surrounded by Swarovski crystals and hematite minerals. This pick can brighten up your little black dress or dazzle an everyday ensemble. Blue Chalcedony Ring: $115, Diane Ruus Jewelry Design Studio.

2. These dangly earrings, designed by Robindira Unsworth of California, combine elegance and simplicity for an everyday look that can easily transform to night. The oxidized sterling silver and 22k gold anchors are dainty and simple, while the labradorite gemstone set in the middle steals the show. The labradorite stone is so versatile in color that it can accompany nearly any outfit. Juicy Drop Earrings: $100, Hunter Collective.

40 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

3. Inspired by friend Sabrina Davis’ Buckhead jewelry concept Brina Beads, Caroline Willet became a jewelry designer herself and launched Louise Loirette. From Willett’s collection, these Dudley Studs are a unique oval shape with 14k gold-plated hardware and Dalmatian jasper stones. The stones’ neutral colors and black spots make them ideal candidates for constant wear. The Dudley Stud: $32, or High Country Outfitter Stores.

4. This Echo of the Dreamer bracelet by Margaret Thurman is filled with druzy quartz, rutilated quartz, citrine crystals and Asian replica coins. The black and brown hues from the stones convey an earthy and natural vibe, while the sterling silver setting keeps the piece classic and professional. Echo of the Dreamer Bracelet: $720, Topaz Gallery.

SHOP: Diane Ruus Jewelry Design Studio 3181 Roswell Road Atlanta 30305 404.272.8466 High Country Outfitters 3906-B Roswell Road Atlanta 30342 404.814.0999 Hunter Collective 22 East Andrews Drive N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.764.0719 Louise Loirette Topaz Gallery  3145 Peachtree Road Suite 177 Atlanta 30305 404.995.0155

THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM of ATLANTA You’re Invited to a Global Evening of Play

Saturday, February 22, 2014 at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Honoring Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Event Chairs, Barbarella Diaz, Jeri Moran and Abby Perez The evening includes food and games from around the world, live and silent auction, and music performed by Orquesta MaCuba

Amuse’um 2014 is presented by:

Tickets available at All proceeds support the Museum’s early childhood educational programming and community outreach.

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wellness See BIG differences with little to-do STORY:

By Jennifer Bradley Franklin


ost-holiday resolutions are upon us, but I’m still fighting exhaustion from a holiday season packed with parties, shopping, entertaining, and yes, working out. So I set out to find ways to make a health and appearance impact, with relatively little effort. Here are some of the no-sweat offerings I investigated in and around Buckhead.

BANISH FAT I’ve never had strong feelings one way or another about cosmetic procedures, since I never intended to partake personally. However, I’ve always loathed my inner thighs (a crotchety relative once told me I had “chunky thighs” when I was a child, and I’ve never quite gotten over it), and no matter how many hours I log at the gym, my feelings about my legs never seem to change. A friend of mine loved her results from a cosmetic procedure years ago, so, with some fear, I made an appointment at the Women’s Institute For Health (WIFH) in Sandy Springs. I instantly felt at ease when I met Dr. Jay Kulkin, who has done nearly 4,500 SmartLipo procedures, a laser-assisted form of the otherwise major fat removal process (which involves the WELLNESS TO GO: somewhat violent process Good Measure Meals of removing fat manually). 404.815.7695 From start to finish, my cedure was just 27 minutes. I was awake, chatting with Icebox Cryotherapy the doctor, and felt almost 3872 Roswell Road nothing, thanks to the local Atlanta 30342 anesthetic (truthfully, my 404.890.7066 last trip to the dentist was worse). Dr. Kulkin made a WIFH tiny incision in each leg, 1140 Hammond Drive inserted an ultra-thin laser Atlanta 30328 filament and then removed 404.832.0300 melted fat. I drove myself home, worked the rest of

42 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

the afternoon and resumed most normal activities the next day. Make no mistake: this is surgery, so it’s not something to be taken lightly (especially with prices starting at $2,800 for one area). And, Dr. Kulkin is scrupulous, only taking on patients who are candidates—those who are close to their ideal body weight and who have fat deposits that can be removed. (I know: I originally went in to WIFH for a consult on Cellulaze, a surgical laser procedure to reduce cellulite, something the doc assured me I don’t actually have.) My post-surgical weeks were manageable—my legs were swollen and sore, similar to how I’d feel after a really intense workout. As the swelling went down, I became more and more pleased to notice my new, slimmer look, and I look forward to seeing full results by the spring, about five months post-surgery. Perhaps the best part of having had SmartLipo—other than the great confidence boost—is how inspired I feel to keep making healthy choices.

EAT WELL Sometimes it’s tough to eat well when I’m running from one thing to the next. Enter Good Measure Meals, which shares a Buckhead headquarters with (and helps fund) the non-profit Project Open Hand. The company uses local and organic ingredients when possible to create fresh, packaged meals, which are available for pick-up in more than 90 locations around Atlanta, including Pinnacle Fitness and The Forum at Lenox. The service is ultra-flexible: choose from 1,200; 1,400; 1,700 or 2,100 calories per day, based on your health goals, with assistance in person or over the phone from one of the 11 on-staff dietitians. They offer vegetarian, diabetic and non-seafood options, in addition to the “healthy selection” menu, which you pick up in microwave-safe dishes twice a week.

Depending on the caloric level and quantity, the meals start at $7 each; there’s no minimum to order and you’re allowed to pause membership at any time. I looked forward to each dish. Some of my favorites were shrimp and grits with blackberry cobbler, and lemongrass chicken with edamame risotto. I also loved that all of the “diet” pitfalls—getting hungry, portion control and being on the go (read: giving in to unhealthy convenience foods)—became non-issues.

FREEZE IT Standing in a freezing (-300°F) tube doesn’t sound particularly appealing. But when I heard it helps reduce inflammation postworkout and burn extra calories (to the tune of 500 to 800 in 24 hours following a session) as your body uses energy to heat up, I knew I had to try Buckhead’s Icebox Cryotherapy. It was simple and painless: I put on furry boots, a robe and gloves and stepped into the space age-looking cryo machine. Once inside, I handed my robe out to one of the staffers (each is a trainer at a local gym) and my three chilly minutes began. It was definitely cold, but time flew by as I chatted with studio owner Alia Alston, who stood just outside the machine making sure I was all right. Then, after I dressed, I did a short warm-up on a stationary bike and got ready to experience the benefits. I “cryo-ed” three times in researching this piece (starting at $50 per session). The first time I noticed a marked reduction in soreness from a particularly tough workout. The second time, friends commented how “glowy” my skin looked for days afterward (a byproduct of increased circulation). The final time I found that it helped ease a headache. I felt invigorated after each session, and I can see why it’s popular with anyone looking to push training and weight loss to the next level. n







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“Women love the Buckhead shopping experience and I feel lucky that I’m a part of it.”

A sole purpose A fashionista and entrepreneur, FLATZShoes owner Kelci Stringer also contributes to a cause very close to her heart STORY:

Olivia Putnal   PHOTO: Sara Hanna


er Buckhead store FLATZShoes opened on Pharr Road in September 2013, but overseeing her flat-soled shoe concept isn’t the only thing keeping Kelci Stringer busy. The East Point native is also the founder, CEO and spokesperson for the Korey Stringer Institute. She began the institute in 2010 to honor her late husband, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer, who passed away from complications during a heat stroke while playing football in 2001. The institute provides awareness and resources for dealing with FLATZSHOES dehydration and sudden death in sports. Here we 314-A Pharr Road chat with Stringer about Atlanta 30305 her fashion sense and how 404.963.1668 she remains grounded by working hard to give back.

44 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

What’s a typical day like for you? Well, with a 15-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, I’m a full-time carpool mom! I take my son to school in College Park and my daughter to school in Buckhead before heading into FLATZShoes. When I’m not playing taxi or at the boutique, I love catching classes at West Coast Workout and grabbing daily Dtox Juice juices. Tell us about your philanthropic contributions to Buckhead and Atlanta. A majority of my work is done over the phone on a day-to-day basis, but getting out there and educating the school systems on the severity of dehydration is a big priority. I’ve spoken to directors of the Little League Association and at conferences too, but the most important thing that I do is visit schools. Having conversations with students and educators about the issue helps bring awareness.

How have your past experiences contributed to your personal strength and success? One of the hardest times in my life came when I was 14 years old. I was in an automobile accident that sent me into a three-month coma and resulted in brain and spinal injuries. When I looked in the mirror, beauty suddenly wasn’t so important to me. The accident helped me really solidify who I wanted to be. And then, the passing of my husband and the father to our son was devastating. My accident earlier in life taught me to be strong. I’ve been able to find inner peace through all of this. I’ve become fearless. Why did you decide on Buckhead for FLATZShoes? At first, I assumed that I would open my store in Virginia-Highland. I live in Morningside, and I thought that was going to be the place. But, after long talks with friends, I realized that I wanted to be a part of the Buckhead tradition. Women love the Buckhead shopping experience and I feel lucky that I’m a part of it. I love my neighborhood, but I was once told that the Virginia-Highland woman comes to Buckhead to shop, but the Buckhead woman doesn’t travel to Virginia-Highland to shop. Tell us about the FLATZShoes concept. When we wake up in the morning and think about what we are going to wear, high heels aren’t at the top of the list. However, we often think that heels are the only way we can be sexy and confident. I wanted to offer an affordable store that combined comfort with fashion, and recognized brands with one-of-a-kind designers. What do you love most about Buckhead’s fashion scene? The Buckhead woman loves to shop— and knows what she likes and doesn’t like. I love that Buckhead is traditional, yet always evolving. n


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(404) 365.0693 56 East Andrews Drive, NW • Buckhead Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 





Eat, paint, love  P50

“I wanted to develop myself as a painter and create my own business. It became a calling to create more beauty and share it with the world.” - Pat Fiorello

The works of selftaught artist Pat Fiorello are inspired by the French and Italian countrysides. Photo: John Murray

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E


Dieting Southern Style Local author advocates slimming without skipping the fried chicken STORY:

H.M. Cauley Photo: Spark St.Jude/MagicOnFilm


ow’s this for a New Year’s diet resolution? “I’m only going to eat the Southern food I love.” It may sound like an impossibility, but in fact, pairing the words “healthy” and “Southern” in the same sentence with “food” isn’t as much of a stretch as it seems, says dietician, author, TV personality and foodie Carolyn O’Neil. Her latest book, The Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon, debuted just before the holidays. In it, she contends that Southern food— even traditional dishes such as fried chicken and grits—have much in common with other healthy, warm-weather cuisines such as Mediterranean. “Everybody around the country thinks Southerners are overweight because of the food we eat,” says the Sandy Springs resident. “That’s like saying the Italians are heavy because they only eat lasagna and pasta. I say, kiss my skinny grits. Southern food can be healthy, too.” O’Neil, who grew up on Florida’s Gulf Coast eating seafood, citrus and her Scottish mom’s meat-andpotatoes meals, has spent the last 30 years building a career as a registered dietitian and a journalist. For almost two decades, she reported on food and travel for CNN, and she currently pens a

48 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

weekly column for The Atlanta JournalConstitution and appears on the Food Network’s Good Eats program with Alton Brown. Her first book, The Dish: On Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous, was published by Atria Books in 2004. Her latest work, packed with more than 130 tested and calorie-counted recipes, gets down to business with a photo of fried chicken on the cover and a luscious slice of Key lime pie on the back. “We wanted to put the oxymoron right up front,” O’Neil says. But the juxtaposition makes an important point: It’s not just about subbing Greek yogurt for mayo, using fat-free chicken broth and non-fat buttermilk or employing more seasonings. “That’s important … but it’s also important to remember that portion control is key,” she says. In between recipes for bourbon balls and “tipsy” watermelon salad, O’Neil weaves stories from local foodies such as chef Hugh Acheson of Empire State South and A Legendary Event caterer Tony Conway about their favorite foods and how they fight the battle of the bulge. (Acheson concentrates on eating fresh and local; Conway balances his favorite fried chicken with vegetables and greens and avoids cooking so much that leftovers holler out to be nibbled on.) In between are also stories and healthy tips from local Atlantans.

“I wanted some savvy Southerners to give their points of view on how Southern meals can be healthy,” O’Neil says. “I interviewed people from 20 to 60 about their stay-slim secrets, so while you’re making those buttermilk biscuits, you’ll find a fun story to read.” O’Neil also offers tips on how to make effective behavioral changes around food, including a 14-day slim eating guide. She says the concepts are based on the key word of the book’s title: slim. “It stands for ‘South’ where we are; ‘linger’ longer and take time over your food; ‘indulge’ a little; and ‘make’ it happen by lacing up your walking shoes and getting out there. And it proves that there really is such a thing as a healthy southern plate.” n THE SLIM DOWN SOUTH COOKBOOK by Carolyn O’Neil, Oxmoor House 2013. Available at and major bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30305.

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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E


“We go sightseeing, paint the sites, eat and see the countries through an artist’s eye.” North Buckhead’s Pat Fiorello leads art trips to Europe that combine her passion for painting with the beauty and food of Italy and France. Photo: John Murray

Eat, paint, love Former corporate exec makes Italy and painting a passion


at Fiorello was 35 and living in New Jersey when she picked up her first paintbrush, and it was an act that proved life-changing. The corporate executive for The Coca-Cola Company soon found in art a passion and direction that wasn’t present between nine and five. “I started taking classes after work and on weekends, and in a daydreaming moment, thought it would be great to go to France or Italy to paint,” recalls Fiorello, who now lives in North Buckhead. “It didn’t seem practical, until I saw an ad in an artists’ magazine about a two-week trip to Provence. I signed up not knowing what I was doing; I just wanted to immerse myself in painting.” Her first sojourn in 1995, sponsored by an arts organization out of Alexandria, Va., teamed Fiorello with 20 students and an instructor who stayed in an old farmhouse near St. Rémy, the town where Van Gogh lived and painted. That initial foray overseas led to regular vacations in beautiful locales such as Ireland, Bermuda and Tuscany where Fiorello painted. She studied the basic principles of oil painting and sought out artists whose work she found masterful and studied with them. Before long, painting on weekends and vacations wasn’t enough. It took

50 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


H.M. Cauley

five years, but she developed a plan to make art her full-time job, and in 2002, the now 53-year-old made the leap from marketing VP to painter. Today, her watercolors and oils sell from $100 up to $3,000. “I had been marketing other people’s products for 20 years, and I wanted to develop myself as a painter and create my own business,” Fiorello says. “It became a calling to create more beauty and share it with the world.” Fiorello’s calling has gone beyond creating her own works of art. She offers workshops at the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody and leads painting getaways to local spots such as Callaway Gardens. For the last few years, she’s organized trips to Italy and France, where a dozen painters of all skill levels take classes, paint and enjoy the natural wonders of Tuscany and Provence. “I’ve had people with me who never painted before and college professors of art,” Fiorello says. “We go sightseeing, paint the sites, eat and see the countries through an artist’s eye—the colors, the shapes, the textures that are so captivating.” Fiorello, whose ancestors hailed from Italy, has a particular fondness for that country where she has created some of her most memorable landscapes. She recently collect-

In Bella Italia: Italy through the Eyes of an Artist, Fiorello features her favorite works that convey the allure of the rustic Italian landscape.

ed 80 of those works into a book, Bella Italia: Italy Through the Eyes of an Artist, (October 2013, Morton Arts Media) that captures some of the magnetism that draws her back to her ancestral homeland. “I wanted people to see what is so inherently beautiful about Italy—what it is that keeps people coming back to paint,” she says. “The colors there naturally harmonize; there’s an elegant beauty and lushness to it. Of course, the food is great, and the people are warm. The book shows some of that world of beauty, love and inspiration and is another way to inspire people to see the beauty around them.” n

Meet the Artist Pat Fiorello will give a presentation on travel and art and sign copies of her book, Bella Italia, as part of a free program on Jan. 20 at the Atlanta Artists Center, 2979 Grandview Ave. Information:; 404.531.4160.

Her work can also be seen at the Frameworks Gallery in East Cobb and the Burton Gallery in Clarksville, Ga. Fiorello’s book is available through her website and at Binders Art Supplies and Frames in Buckhead.

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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


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To Vietnam—with love  P54

We head to Co’m when we want something more than your basic pho or banh mi sandwich.

Co’m Vietnamese Grill may be simple and unadorned. But it’s home to some of the best Vietnamese food in the city. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Left: Basil rolls with peanut sauce are a beautiful way to begin a meal at Co’m. Above: Flat rice vermicelli cakes are meant to be stuffed into lettuce wraps, along with your choice of meat and seafood, such as chicken and shrimp. Right: Owner Duc Tran.


n 1981, Duc Tran joined the ranks of the Vietnamese boat people, fleeing his warravaged country via the open sea. He was 9 years old. He ended up in New Orleans, eventually moved to Atlanta and in 2005 followed his dream of opening a restaurant that would “share Vietnamese culture with the public.” Co’m Vietnamese Grill—the place he runs with his brother Henry in a Buford Highway strip mall on the edge of Brookhaven—has for some time now been my favorite place for the vibrant, aromatic flavors of this southeast Asian nation. The essence of Vietnamese cuisine, famously influenced by French colonizers, is its simplicity. Rice—or co’m—is the essential building block. Like flour, rice can be made into many things, including noodles. And in Vietnam, noodles are everywhere. They star in bowls of steaming pho. They appear as both wrapper and filling for crispy spring rolls and cool “summer rolls” alike. And they turn up as plates of cool, spaghetti-like bun, which is meant to be moistened with the fish-sauce-based condiment known as

54 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Co’m owners serve authentic food of their homeland

Wendell Brock   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

nuoc cham and tossed with slivers of pickled carrot, daikon and cucumber. Call them noodle salads, if you will. While pho shops are plentiful in Atlanta, the classic beef soup is a recent addition to the Co’m menu. It’s not my destination dish, though. Rather, Co’m is where I go when I want something more than your basic pho or banh mi sandwich. Unlike a typical pho parlor, Co’m is not brightly lit: Here the casual décor is simple but efficient (burgundy walls, vinyl booths, wood paneling). And while many pho shops don’t serve alcohol, Co’m has a wine and beer list—including my favorite (and somewhat hard to find) Vietnamese brew, 33. But my No. 1 reason for bringing folks to Co’m is to introduce them to the grilled grape-leaf rolls—which as best as I can tell are unique among Atlanta’s Vietnamese restaurants. In Vietnam, Duc Tran tells me, these rolls are made with fresh la lop leaves, but because la lop (aka betel) can be hard to find, he uses the same grape leaves used in Greek and Turkish dolmas. Tran says the

French got the dish from the Greeks in the first place. So he brings it full circle here: He stuffs the chewy veined greens with bits of beef, lamb, salmon, duck or tofu; douses them in a pool of sweet-fishy vinaigrette and sprinkles them with crushed peanuts and crispy fried scallions. Heaven! Since I personally find the salmon and duck a bit dry, I go for the lamb. You may order this dish as an appetizer or on a plate of bun or banh hoi (flat vermicelli cakes), which we’ll cover in just a sec. With any meal at Co’m, I like to start with spring rolls and one of the green-papayastyle salads. The latter—known as the “fresh signature salad”—is a lovely, healthful mélange of green mango, papaya and apple, tossed with the omnipresent fishy sauce, and sprinkled with peanuts and slivered fried onions. As with most of the items at Co’m, you may add grilled meat or seafood. (I like it with chicken, but it tastes good plain, too.) Among the spring rolls, I’m partial to the little fried cigars tucked with shrimp. Or the cool “basil” rolls, stuffed with the namesake herb plus lemongrass-scented ground pork,

Left: Grilled grape leaf rolls can be ordered as an appetizer or as part of a rice or noodle entree, and stuffed with meat, duck, salmon or tofu. Shown here: a starter set filled with lamb. Right: The fragrant rice plate combo comes with a little bit of everything: a fried egg, bits of shredded pork, shrimp cake, veggies and protein of choice. (We like the porkchop version, shown here.) Below: The signature fresh salad is a pile of green mango, papaya and apple, topped here with chicken.

“One nice touch: Desserts are complimentary at dinner.” and served with a side of thick, creamy peanut sauce. When it comes time for entrées, I generally stick with the basics—a style of cooking that takes me back to the lunch counters and food stalls I encountered during a visit to Saigon about a decade ago. If I’m feeling the need for something rib-sticking and hearty, I go for a fragrant rice plate loaded with everything—fried egg, a wedge of paté-like shrimp cake and bits of shredded pork—plus choice of meat or seafood. I tend to get the pork or pork chop, but you may also try beef, short rib, chicken, lamb, flounder or salmon. And unless you specify the combo plate (co’m tam dac biet), you will not get the egg, shrimp cake, etc. When in the mood for something lighter, I choose the bun, perhaps the version topped with meat and a sliced egg roll. Toss the vermicelli with the salad greens underneath, the veggie accompaniments on the side and a splash or two of nuoc cham, and you have a wonderfully healthy meal. A hallmark of Vietnamese food is the way it balances the hot and the cool, the sweet and the salty, the plain and the piquant, and there’s nothing like banh hoi (flat vermicelli cakes) to get all these sensations going in the mouth. Basically, you take a lettuce leaf. Load it with the rice cakes and your protein of choice (even grape-leaf rolls if you like). Top it with sprigs of fresh mint, basil and

cilantro. Roll it up. Dip in sauce. Take a bite. Swoon. (And have your napkin handy—it’s a messy mouthful.) Once you master these three basic entrée categories, you may be ready to explore other aspects of the menu. I really dig the delicious “shaking beef” (with spinach and grape tomatoes) and find the delicate, yellow-sauced chicken curry to be a bowl of pure comfort. Desserts aren’t anything special at Co’m, though you can get a scoop of green-tea ice-cream or perhaps a cup of Vietnamese iced espresso, made with sweet condensed milk. (One nice touch: Desserts are complimentary at dinner.) For the record, the Tran brothers opened a second Co’m in Dunwoody in 2007. But they eventually sold it to focus exclusively on their original location, which is open every day of the year. Just recently, they started a weekend brunch featuring Vietnamese sizzling cakes (crepes). Those crepes may end up being a destination dish—just like the grape-leaf rolls. Duc Tran told me that “co’m” also means “come to dinner” in his native tongue—like something a mother or grandmother would say. No matter the language, it’s just universal shorthand for “made with love.” The Trans may have left Vietnam under duress, but at Co’m, their memories of home live on in their authentic cooking. n

Chicken curry with rice is a comforting and dependable bowl.

CO’M VIETNAMESE GRILL 4005 Buford Highway Atlanta 30345 404.320.0405 Appetizers: $3.25-$9.95 Entrees: $7.25-$16.95 Bottom line: Possibly the best Vietnamese in town.

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Baked Alaska (pound cake with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, toasted meringue and fresh raspberries), available at Ocean Prime. Pair with brachetto.


Photo: Courtesy of Ocean Prime

5 2 Chocolate espresso cake with toffee ice cream available at Aria. Pair with the tawny port. Photo: George Sanchez


Apple fried pie with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, available at Flip Burger Boutique. Pair with Moscato d’Asti.

4 Key lime pie, available at The Big Ketch. Pair with ice wine.

Photo: Erika Botfeld -Letter B Creative

Finishing notes Cozy up to your beloved this winter and share something sweet


Popcorn ice cream sundae with Canoe’s cracker jack, available at Canoe. Pair with sauternes. Photo: Courtesy of Green Olive Media

Kelly Skinner


s we move into February, a month dedicated to wining and dining your Valentine, it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with lesser-known sips: the mysterious after-dinner digestifs. “Lots of people are afraid of dessert wines and their sweetness, but don’t cheat yourself!” says Chrysta Poulos, executive pastry chef at Buckhead’s King + Duke and St. Cecilia. “A perfectly paired wine can really bring out all the complexities in the dessert—balancing, harmonizing flavors—taking the dish, and your experience, to another level.” Here, a quick cheat sheet on picking sweet pours—and their idyllic edible counterparts—to finish your meal with a flourish.

1. Tawny Ports

2. Moscato d’Asti

Tasting notes: Out of the Port family, tawnies tend to be the most popular. They offer a nutty, almost praline flavor that ranges from moderately dry to sweet. Produced in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal, these goldenbrown fortified wines are made from red grapes and briefly aged in wooden barrels. “It’s the most versatile of all dessert wines,” says Matt Bradford, sommelier at Canoe and Cellar Door, Canoe’s fine wine shop. “This pairs well with everything from cheese to chocolate, but preferably blue cheese.”

Tasting notes: Originally from Asti in the northwest region of Italy, Moscato d’Asti is now grown and produced in regions all over the world. A slightly bubbly, sweet white wine with a golden-greenish hue and low alcohol content—expect a fruity nose laced with peaches and apricots. Most Moscato d’Asti wines come in a nonvintage scenario (meaning they aren’t aged and you can drink them immediately).

Dessert drink: Quinta do Noval’s 20-year-old Port; $54.99; Oporto, Portugal Perfect pair: Take small sips in between puffs of a cigar, or drink it alongside a robust blue cheese, a slice of tiramisù or a piece of dark chocolate. Pour like a pro: Anthony Alvarez, senior vice president and general manager at Savi Provisions, advises letting it cool to 65 degrees and serving it in a Port glass.

Dessert drink: Paolo Saracco non-vintage; $16.99; Asti, Italy Perfect pair: Orchard fruits like apples, pears and peaches. Pour like a pro: “It’s like drinking a fluffy cloud. It almost has a meringue quality to it,” Alvarez says. Pour it in a larger, bowled glass and let it warm up 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

3. Brachetto Tasting notes: “It’s sweet and slightly effervescent,” Bradford says. Showcasing a deep garnet hue, the Piedmont-pro-

56 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

ALL WINES AVAILABLE AT: Savi Provisions 3655 Roswell Road N.E., Suite 130 Atlanta 30342 404.523.2300

duced wine might make for an enticing selection come Valentine’s Day.

Perfect pair: Crème brûlée, brie or French vanilla ice cream.

Dessert drink: Rosa Regale non-vintage; $16.99; Acqui, Italy

Pour like a pro: Drink it in a dessert-style glass with a curved bowl and serve it in the mid-to-upper 50s to experience the full range of floral, honeyed, complex aromatics.

Perfect pair: “Fresh berry desserts like strawberries with zabaglione, raspberry sorbet, parfaits and trifles,” Bradford says. Pour like a pro: Serve it in a regular, bowled glass and drink it in the upper 50s, around 58 degrees.

4. Sauternes Tasting notes: Hailing from the Bordeaux region of France, this lateharvest wine typically combines sémillon, sauvignon blanc and muscadelle grapes, and is likely the best-known dessert wine (it’s been around for centuries). As part of the winemaking process, the grapes are allowed to rot, or raisin, which concentrates the sugars and makes for a distinct wine that’s very, very sweet. Expect a thicker viscosity that’s closer to honey. Dessert drink: Chateau d’Yquem 2005; $389.99; Bordeaux, France

5. Ice Wines Tasting notes: The best ice wines primarily come from Germany, Eastern Europe and Canada. Grapes are harvested when they are frozen on the vine, which results in a smaller amount of juice when the grapes are pressed, and an expensive wine after fermentation. Intense peach and apricot, and exquisite sweetness prevail in this highly concentrated drink. Dessert drink: Inniskillin 2008; $64.99; Ontario, Canada Perfect pair: “To offset the incredible sweetness of ice wine, I would go with a citrus-y dessert, such as a lemon tart or Key lime pie,” Bradford says. Pour like a pro: Serve it in the low-to-mid 50s in a regular bowled wine glass or a dessert glass. n



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January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Culinary News & Notes 


Kate Parham



mpire builder Ford Fry strikes again, this time with a seafood-centric Mediterranean-meets-Northern Italy resto called St. Cecilia, named for the patron saint of music (read: expect a stellar playlist or live music every day). His fifth venture takes up residence in the former Bluepointe space, where a colossal bar goes head to head with a mini version of the wood-fired hearth St. Cecilia made famous by Fry’s King + Duke. Executive chef Brian 3455 Peachtree Road N.E. Horn’s menu features fantastically fresh crudos alongAtlanta 30326 side classic pasta dishes, wood-roasted fish and a made404.554.9995 in-house charcuterie box. Cue the hallelujah chorus. Photo: Suong Nguye

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

Happy Art-iversary Buckhead is abuzz with news from celebrity chef Art Smith. Not only did the former Oprah personal chef release a cookbook last year—Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort: How America’s Favorite Celebrity Chef Got It Together, Lost Weight, and Reclaimed His Health is the Florida native’s tribute to easy-to-prepare recipes that are as delicious as they are healthy—but he’s also celebrating two years of Southern comfort at Southern Art and Bourbon Bar with seasonal menu changes, like bourbon-cured smoked salmon with vegetable crudité and duck confit cassoulet with lima beans and roasted root veggies, and a revamped beverage program. In fact, Bourbon Bar is now home to three new and exclusive private labels from Jefferson’s, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace. Don’t miss the new Ginger Swizzle cocktail, made with Four Roses, lime juice, ginger, Angostura Bitters, and ginger beer. “Southern Art is a reflection not only of the region that I love but also of its rich culinary Southern Art landscape,” Smith says. 3315 Peachtree Road N.E. “It has been an honor to Atlanta 30326 share the comforts of home 404.946.9070 with guests these past two years.” Cheers, Art!

Interior of Bourbon Bar, home to more than 70 types of bourbon. Photo: David Phelps

58 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Commemorating Chocolate

The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead 3434 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.237.2700

Chocoholics rejoice! The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead will once again host its annual 14 Days of Chocolate. Beginning Feb. 1, guests will find creative cocoa-themed perks throughout the hotel each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. We’re most looking forward to the Chocolate Cherry Facial complete with complimentary Cocoa Truffle Tea at the Spa (a must for those staying on the hotel’s new Spa Level), watching the pastry chefs create a chocolate sculpture in the lobby alongside the chocolate fountain on Feb. 13 (strawberries and marshmallows included) and the Club Lounge Port and Chocolate Pairing led by Sommelier Linda Torres Alarcon. Kids will love the gratis chocolate bark they’ll receive after completing a self-guided scavenger hunt at check-in. Miniature chocolate mousse cakes with tiny strawberry macarons at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead’s Sunday Brunch.

REGIONAL ITALY AT PRICCI Travel your way through the varied and vibrant regions of Italy with Pricci’s new monthly rotating menus, each influenced by a prominent Italian province or city. Expect a three-course meal (appetizer, entrée and dessert) from Executive Chef Piero Premoli, where classic Italian techniques meet locally sourced ingredients. Up first in January: The historic city of Ravenna, located in Northern Italy’s EmiliaRomagna region, brings traditional dishes to the table, like heirloom-tomato-braised spicy tuna meatballs and lamb tenderloin with wild Muscovy mushroom sauce. In February, Chef Piero is moving to Emilia-Romagna’s provincial capital city Piacenza, where risotto, polenta, preserved fruits in mustard and salted pork reign supreme. Each meal runs between $29 and $32, or $44 with wine pairings. Cin Cin!


Pricci 500 Pharr Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.237.2941

Matthew Stephens takes over the kitchen at seafoodcentric Kyma.

Philippe Haddad returns to Buckhead at F&B. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

Full service b ar live music Festive patio

BuckheaD 404.841.8472 3 4 0 0 Around L enox D r, Buckh ead, GA 3 0 3 2 6

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Italian expert Mitch Brumels joins the Buckhead community at Ocean Prime. Photo: Heidi Geldhauser

George Schnepp now runs the catering department at Westin Buckhead.

Chef Shuffles Buckhead’s restaurant scene is nothing if not constantly evolving, and four hotspots around town have the new chefs to prove it. Seafood mecca Kyma recently welcomed Matthew Stephens (a Culinary Institute of America grad, former Greenbrier Hotel apprentice, and most recently the chef at Temple Orange in Palm Beach, Fla.) as the chef de cuisine. A few miles up the road, F&B Atlanta hired Philippe Haddad, who brings more than 38 years of experience (including opening Buckhead’s Philippe’s Bistro in 1999), to be their executive chef and restaurant partner. Another CIA vet, Mitch Brumels, is now helming the kitchen at Ocean Prime after spending the last nine years at Vitale’s in Ada, Mich., which was named “Italian Restaurant of the Year” four times by Dining Out magazine. And The Westin Buckhead appointed George Schnepp, of the Sheraton Suites Galleria, the Macon Marriott City Center and most recently, the Sheraton Gateway Atlanta Airport, as executive chef. F&B Atlanta 3630 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.254.1797

Kyma 3085 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.262.0702

Ocean Prime 3102 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.846.0505

The Westin Buckhead 3391 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.365.0065

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 





Apple-Butternut Soup  (serves 6–8) INGREDIENTS: 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed 3 tablespoons coconut oil 1 large Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion), medium diced 1 large apple (Brigmond likes Gala or Pink Lady), peeled and diced sea salt and cracked pepper 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 1 quart organic low-sodium vegetable stock GARNISH 2 tablespoons, per serving, of goat cheese crumbles 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds flat-leaf parsley, chopped Start by slicing one butternut squash clean in half crosswise, then cut off each end. Stand the squash on the flat end and slice in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds, then peel and cube the squash. Melt coconut oil in a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat, add the squash, onion and apple, and cook over low heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until apples and onions are tender but not browned. Add in the garlic and cook, while stirring, an additional minute. Next, add just enough stock to cover the vegetables in the pot and bring to a simmer. Be sure to run your spoon along the bottom of the pot to scrape up any bits that may stick. Simmer gently, until squash is tender.  Use an immersion blender and purée the soup right in the pot. Or transfer mixture to a Vitamix and purée in small batches to allow the mixture to move through smoothly. Return the soup to the pot and place over medium heat until heated through. Add remaining stock until the soup reaches desired consistency, being careful to not add too much, diluting the flavor of the squash. If you run out of stock and need more liquid to reach desired consistency, use water. Season to taste.  Serve hot soup in large bowls garnished with goat cheese, sunflower seeds and fresh parsley.

At your service Private chef Natalie Brigmond offers healthful ways to ring in the new year STORY:

Kate Abney   PHOTO: Sara Hanna


tlanta native chef Natalie Brigmond, an alumna of Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta and The Art Institute of Atlanta, founded her company, The Food Optimist, in 2008, bent on bringing healthier eating habits to Buckhead and beyond. A resident of our community since 2011, Brigmond, 34, has cooked for professional athletes, families, naturopathic healers, even patients battling critical illnesses. Also a rep for French-based Cristel cookware, she hosts cooking demonstrations at The Cook’s Warehouse, Miami Circle’s Fusion Design Group, the Buckhead Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA, multiple farmers markets, plus plenty of private parties (at least half her clientele is in Buckhead). With Brigmond’s star rising, we caught up with this staunch advocate of the slow-food movement at her regular stomping grounds, the Whole Foods Market on West Paces Ferry Road. Read on as we gauge the impact “Chef Natalie” is having on local gourmands—and how she can help you get healthy in the new year.

60 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

How would you define The Food Optimist? I’m not a private chef, someone there every single day. I’m a personal chef, which is a service attainable by so many people. I go to the store when you’re at work. I buy all the food, plan everything and cook in your kitchen, then meals ‘magically’ appear in your refrigerator. I call it the convenience of Lean Cuisine … without all the crap. One of the biggest comments I get is, “I’m losing weight,” and that’s not even the intention. That is a nice bonus. Do most of your clients use your services on a recurring basis? Yes. We offer three service options: once a week, every other week or once a month. What does that cost? A 5x4 service—five separate meals of four servings each—costs $350 plus groceries. A family of five might want four different dinners and a cake, but for one person, the meals can last weeks. Most importantly, the food is there when you need it. It’s packaged

to keep for three months. If you know you’re going to be home, just thaw it in the fridge 24 to 48 hours before. So the cost is around $500 for 20 meals? Approximately. Most people say they save money. People often buy food that they have great intentions of cooking, but end up not having the time, so they throw it away. Then they dine out on expensive food that’s not as healthy, so they’re double buying. The Food Optimist may sound pricey up front, but it is affordable. And spending money on healthy food is a great way to save money on health care. So your role is part chef, part nutritionist. Being a personal chef is a big responsibility. We’re in the trenches, battling the industrialized food system daily. Since we’re cooking a majority of what our clients are eating, we can have a major impact on their health. If a client asks me to fry something, I have no problem telling them no. That’s the standard I’m trying to set. n



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is exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum, Oregon, with the special collaboration of the musée du Louvre. is exhibition is made possible by Lead Patron Anne Cox Chambers, the Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Friends of the Tuileries Garden. Images: Gaston de la Touche (French, 1854–1913), A Water Fountain in the Tuileries (Jet d’eau aux Tuileries) (detail), 1890–1913, oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, dépot au Sénat, RF 2256. Charles Antoine Coysevox (French, 1640–1720), Hamadryad (Hamadryade), marble, Musée du Louvre, Paris, département des Sculptures MR 1819. Photos: © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY.

Louvre’s Tuileries Garden


e Tuileries Garden, the world-famous Parisian park enjoyed by millions, is re-created on the Museum’s piazza only at the High this holiday season. Your “Paris on Peachtree” experience begins on the Museum’s piazza, as a tree-lined path leads you into the exhibition, which features more than 100 works of art as well as an immersive video that virtually places you in the French garden.

375 Pharr Rd., Ste. 217 Atlanta, GA 30305


Discover Buffalo Bill and the Art of the West is exhibition is co-organized by the High Museum of Art and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. e exhibition is made possible by e Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the James M. Cox Foundation, e Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, a Patron of the High Museum of Art, e Fraser-Parker Foundation and the Isobel Anne Fraser– Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment, e Imlay Foundation, Inc., the Terra Foundation for American Art, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Generous support for this exhibition is also provided by Sarah and Jim Kennedy, V. Kay and M. Douglas Ivester, Margaret and Terry Stent, and the Friends of Go West!

This unparalleled collection from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, celebrates legendary western icons such as Annie Oakley, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and Chief Sitting Bull; objects from Native American cultures; and artworks by Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, and N. C. Wyeth, among many others. Images: omas Moran (American, 1837–1926), Golden Gate, Yellowstone National Park (detail), 1893, oil on canvas, Museum purchase, 4.75. Albert Naegeli (American, born Germany, 1844–1901), William F. Cody, ca. 1894, cabinet card, Museum purchase, Mary Jester Allen Collection, P.6.124


Book Online

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



FEATURED RESTAURANTS  A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead WRITTEN: Wendell PHOTOS:



Amanda Matte

Sara Hanna

n 10 Degrees South After 15 years on the scene, this Roswell Road establishment is a highly original destination where food and wine from the tip of the Southern Hemisphere are celebrated with flair. Before we could pose the server with a query on the peri-peri, we got the hard sell on South African reds—particularly the Rupert & Rothschild 2009 “Classique.” The big, full-bodied R&R was the perfect match for the luscious, spicy food that followed. I may not be an expert on South African cuisine, but I’ll wager that nobody makes bobotie (the national dish) like 10 Degrees South. The dish consists of tantalizingly sweet curried ground beef topped with a custardy crust. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and indulge in the kind of stuff our parents enjoyed when “Continental” cuisine was in vogue. Appetizers: $10-$16 Entrées: $21-$38

n Café Sunflower In a town that’s burger-crazed and churrascaria-packed, chef-owners Lin and Edward Sun’s casual, mid-priced kitchen is an anomaly: a veggie haunt that samples freely from world cuisine with mainstream diners in mind. Here,

patrons take delight in consistently delicious salads and soups; soy-based replicas of everyday grub like burgers and ravioli; and a stellar lineup of original dishes. The food is freshly prepared, beautifully presented and accessible to both hardcore vegans and omnivores. Lunch entrées: $9-$12 Dinner entrées: $12-$18

n Hal’s “The Steakhouse” Looking on the outside like a highend strip joint topped with a Bourbon Street balcony, Hal’s has built its cachet around its loyal clientele, old-school style, impeccable service and terrific food. Owner Hal Nowak is a New Orleans native, and in his eponymous enterprise—with its shrimp rémoulade, oysters bordelaise and booze-soaked bread pudding—he has created Atlanta’s answer to Galatoire’s. This may be your grandparents’ favorite restaurant, but in an age where everything old is new again, it also boasts a youthful clientele that appreciates its straightforward food, strong drinks and speakeasy atmosphere. Appetizers and salads: $8.95-$23.95 Entrées and steaks: $23.95-$49.95

Above: Joy Café serves two kinds of chicken salad; this one is made with apples and walnuts and served over salad greens. Below Left: 10 Degrees South’s Sosaties—skewers of delicious beef filet with an apricot curry sauce and yellow and white rice.

n Jalisco After nearly three decades, Jalisco remains a giddy, guilty pleasure trip through a tunnel of cheese. This Tex-Mex institution at Peachtree Battle is better than an El Paso taco kit but not exactly a showcase of the sophisticated techniques and ingredients of the Mexican larder. Without apology, Jalisco is what it is, a place with consistently good, standard-issue burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and even a “Hamburguesa Mexicana.” (It’s topped with nacho cheese.) This is not a place where the kitchen thrives on change and creativity. For the most part, the menu is the same as it has been since Jalisco opened in 1978. Lunch specials: $5.45-$8.50 Entrées: $8.95-$13.25 404.233.9244

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n Joy Café Every Sunday at sunrise, Joy Austin Beber goes to her Buckhead café and makes a whopping pile of her great-grandmother’s biscuits. After church, she serves a hallelujah chorus of a brunch: fluffy buttermilk pancakes; eggs Benedict; and those famous biscuits topped with gravy, sausage and scrambled eggs. I arrived at the 3 p.m. cutoff for the breakfast-y brunch items, and enjoyed a terrific cobb salad with loads of blue cheese, bacon, avocado, boiled egg and grilled chicken. The Joy’s pièce de résistance, though, is the Crack Pie, with its oatmeal-cookie crust and gooey interior … Joy got a kick out of hearing that I am wack for her crack. This self-taught chef keeps it simple and fresh. Brunch: $6.50-$14 Lunch: $8-$12

Above: Jalisco’s low-calorie chicken fajita salad. Right: Starfish’s spicy tuna tartare.

n OK Café Just as I send diners to Bone’s for the definitive steakhouse experience, I suggest OK Café as a classic diner with a strong Southern twang. The offerings here are anchored in time and tradition: Root beer floats and cherry lemonade are called Black Cows and Pink Ladies. Meat-and-twos and veggie plates laden with silken collards and exquisite mac and cheese are meant to be washed down with sweet iced tea and sopped up with a perfect corn muffin. Fat slices of meatloaf encrusted with tomato sauce; roast turkey with cornbread dressing and gravy; chicken pot pie with an adorable little “OK” stamped onto its puff-pastry blanket—this stuff draws a crowd. If you don’t want to play the waiting game, you’d better arrive before 11 a.m. or between the lunch and dinner rush. After a quarter-century, OK Café never goes out of style. Appetizers: $3.75-$7.99 Burgers and sandwiches: $3.99-$12.99 Mains: $11.50-$15.99

n Pasta Vino You can surely find trendier pizza parlors or posher places to eat Italian in Atlanta. But if you are looking for old-fashioned linguini with clam sauce or chicken Florentine in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere with a loyal following, this Buckhead favorite has got you covered. The restaurant is

beloved by many for its home-style cooking, casual ambiance, reasonable prices and a staff of servers who have acquired faithful customers of their own. Owner Nancy Powell treasures her crew, most of whom have been on the job for more than 10 years. Given the refined state of Italian dining in America today, Pasta Vino is not likely to win any awards for innovation or inspiration. But it remains a perfectly fine, frequently delicious, middle-ofthe-road trattoria. Starters and salads: $2-$10 Entrées: $10-$22

n Starfish Starfish—which can look just a little lost on the block that houses Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch—is exactly the kind of sushi joint I have been trolling for. In a city where Japanese cuisine can be hit-or-miss and sometimes not the freshest, chefowner Seung K. “Sam” Park’s reticent little pearl is a superior catch—cute and compact as a bento box but with just a hint of luxury. At dinner, we were delighted to see how the kitchen plays around with untraditional ingredients like truffle oil and balsamic vinegar, slicing fish as thin as carpaccio and arranging it in dazzling presentations. When our flounder sashimi arrived, the server told us to place a dab of the ponzu jelly spiked with cilantro, jalapeño and lime on a strip of the fish and

Pasta Vino’s classic veal piccata packs the zing of lemon and capers.

roll it up. Exquisite. Starfish isn’t the kind of place that announces itself with screaming klieg lights or red carpets. But in this culture of excess, sometimes being a little bit under-the-radar can be very seductive. Lunch Entrées: $7-$16; Dinner Entrées: $12-$30

n Woodfire Grill After a three-hour, four-course dinner with cocktails and wine, we can report without hesitation: The Woodfire team remains at the top of its game. We decided to investigate by checking in on

a crucial Tuesday. Woodfire is closed on Mondays, so Tuesday night is the swing shift, when the week’s new dishes are being tweaked, wine pairings selected and the staff is on high alert to absorb it all and not go blank when customers ask what the orange mayonnaise-y stuff in the bouillabaisse is. (It’s the classic aiolilike French sauce called rouille.) While it could use a bit of a makeover on the design end, the food and service show no signs of wavering. First and second courses: $8-$18 Main courses: $20-$42 Five-course tasting menu: $70 Seven-course grand tasting menu: $90

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



Dining Guide B = Breakfast Br = Brunch L = Lunch D = Dinner $ = Under 10 $$ = 10-20  $$$ = 20+ BYOB =  BYOB O = Outdoor Seating Late = Late-night Dining  P = Parking Lot V = Valet Parking Fam = Family Friendly Pet = Pet Friendly

n Atlanta Fish Market

265 Pharr Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-262-3165 atlanta-fish-market

n Corner Café & Buckhead Bread Company

3070 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-240-1978

From the gracious service to the Southeast’s widest selection of fresh seafood, Atlanta Fish Market’s comfortable, neighborhood atmosphere is a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of Buckhead. With more than 100 fresh varieties from the deep flown in fresh daily, Atlanta Fish Market has something for everyone. L, D, $$, $$$, P, V, Fam

Guests at Corner Café and Buckhead Bread Company enjoy baked-on-site pastries, bread, cookies, and special desserts from the European-style bakery. Enjoy locally roasted Pano’s Reserve blend coffee with your freshly baked goods. The café serves a variety of breakfast, brunch, and lunch selections, including salads, soups, and sandwiches. B, Br, L, $$, O, P, Fam

n Bistro Niko

n Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

n Lips Restaurant Atlanta

n Red Pepper Taqueria

Bistro Niko is a nod to Paris, right in the heart of Buckhead. The modern French fare is authentic and simple, while the affordably priced wine list, exciting cocktails, and extensive craft beer list ensure that everyone finds something to suit their tastes. Br, L, D, $$, $$$, O, V, Fam

Handmade pasta, perfectly cooked steaks, fresh seafood and salads all prepared using the finest ingredients. At Davio’s Atlanta, It’s All About the Guest. Join us for lunch, happy hour or dinner in our beautiful dining room, Chef’s Table facing our open kitchen or comfortable outdoor patio area L, D, $$$, O, Late, V, Fam, Pet

Lips Atlanta is a combination of Glitter, Glitz and Glamour providing an unforgettable interactive Drag Dining experience with a Vegas style show. It is a 7,000 square foot show palace with grandiose style and design, infused with bold drama and decadent glamour setting the Lips experience apart from any other restaurant or entertainment venue in the city. Br, D, $$$, P, V

A modern taqueria with locations in Buckhead and Decatur. Our Sat-Sun Brunch menu features local favorites Emily G’s jams and Sweetgrass Dairy cheeses. Daily specials, over 100 tequilas, sotols and mezcals, covered & heated patios, and over 20 LED TV’s to enjoy sports, make this a great neighborhood destination. Br, L, D, $$, O, L, P, V, Fam, Pet.

n Buckhead Diner

n Divan Restaurant and Hookah Lounge

n Ocean Prime

n Seasons 52

3344 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30326 404-261-6456

3073 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-262-3336 buckhead-diner

3500 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30326 404.844.481

3125 Piedmont Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 (404)467-4297

Bistro Niko’s signature classic French dish, Coquilles St. Jacques, chosen by Atlanta CVB as one of Atlanta’s 100 Signature Dishes. Sautéed Georges Bank Sea Scallops, asparagus, white Wine sorrel nage, pomme puree.

3011 Buford Hwy NE Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 315-7711

3102 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta GA 30305 404.846.0505

3135 Piedmont Road, Atlanta GA 30305 404.869.2773

3050 Peachtree Road, Atlanta GA 30305 404-846-1552

Buckhead Diner is an American dining experience unlike any other. Inventive and long-time favorite menu items, snappy service, upscale atmosphere and retro style give this Atlanta icon a funky flair all its own. The fun menu and energy-packed atmosphere give guests a taste of nostalgia that’s always in style. Br, L, D, $$, Late, V, Fam

Located in the heart of Buckhead, Divan is known for its combination of amazing food, tempting specialty cocktails and an unrivaled hookah experience. The menu features authentic Mediterranean dishes with a Persian flare. Divan’s unique and cozy atmosphere make it perfect for a fun night with friends. D, $$, $$$, O, Late, V

Ocean Prime is a modern American supper club serving the highest quality seafood, steak, handcrafted cocktails and awardwinning wines. Genuine hospitality, the freshest catches and prime cuts of beef create an exquisite dining experience. The Blu Lounge features live music and talented bar chefs who create unique cocktails with the freshest ingredients. D, $$$, O, V

Seasons 52, a grill and wine bar, offers a seasonally-inspired menu with the fresh appeal of the farmer’s market, featuring ingredients at the peak of ripeness and flavor. Along with the casually sophisticated atmosphere and award-winning international wine list, our culinary art and creativity enable our guests to celebrate living well. L, D, $$, $$$, O, P, V

n Chops Lobster Bar

n Kyma

n Pricci

n Tantra Restaurant and Bar

An Atlanta icon known for its exceptional food and service, Chops consistently ranks as one of the top ten steakhouses in the country. Exquisite seafood flown in fresh daily and the very best USDA prime-aged beef are served with style in the warm ambiance of the dark wood dining room. L, D, $$$, V, Fam

Kyma is a contemporary seafood tavern with an inventive and approachable menu that is true to its Mediterranean origins. Kyma’s dazzling constellation display on the deep blue ceiling and white marble columns welcome guests while the inviting patio offers an ideal setting for savoring a glass of Greek wine. D, $$$, O, V

A contemporary Italian restaurant with a creative menu, dramatic interior and friendly service, Pricci is fun, stylish dining at its best. Casual and classy, Pricci has an innovative menu which combines classic cuisine with modern flair. The result is a wide array of salads, pasta, pizza, meats, and desserts that dazzle with every bite. L, D, $$, $$$, P, V, Fam

70 West Paces Ferry Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-262-2675 chops-lobster-bar

3085 Piedmont Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-262-0702

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500 Pharr Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-237-2941

2285 Peachtree Rd. NE Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30309 (404)228-7963 Tantra features a Contemporary American menu highlighted with exotic flavors of Persian and Indian cuisine. Beyond the typical filet or scallop dish; our chef’s dishes inspire with unexpected spices. The sleek, sophisticated interior with dramatic chandeliers, beaded curtains and well placed candles make it an intimate venue for celebrations or weeknight dinners. D, $$, O, V

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Sure, we have a lazy river. Of complimentary drinks at sunset. Follow this with a chef’s breakfast the next morning, then complimentary bikes and boxed picnic lunch along a mile of unspoiled beach. Sometimes grown-ups have all the fun.


florida 866.398.4432

Wears Valley, Tennessee LoT for SaLe! You’ll be looking directly at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from this gorgeous homesite, as well as into Wears Valley! It is the last remaining “big view” property on the east Side in the Homestead Development, so don’t miss out on a great opportunity. When you stand on this homesite, the view of the Smokies will take your breath away!

for More Information Call 678-234-6551 View From The Homesite

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Innovation is second nature to this forward-thinking crew

Innovation. It’s seeing something in an entirely new light. It’s introducing a newer, better, simpler technique. It’s thinking differently. It’s a thoughtful change. It’s a leap into the unknown. The people leading the charge, the innovators, come from all walks of life and various industries. Many hail from Buckhead.



Here are just a few of the revolutionary locals in our community that are leading the charge in the fields of medicine, film, science, fitness and technology. Kelly Skinner   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna & Tyler Welbron

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



Photo: Sara Hanna Photography


THE GAME CHANGER Jeff Hilimire CEO and co-founder of Dragon Army at Atlanta Tech Village


eff Hilimire developed his passion for video games and computers early on, and by 16, was teaching himself programming on his family’s Commodore 64. Though obsessed with tennis for most of his years at Stone Mountain High School (where he met his wife!) and college (which he attended on a tennis scholarship), Hilimire majored in computer science at UNC-Charlotte and founded his first company during his senior year. Originally called Nothing But Net, the web design business launched from his parents’ basement with his friend Raj Choudhury, later became Spunlogic and was eventually acquired by Engauge in 2008 for $20 million. “I get laser focused and obsessed with what I’m passionate about at the time,” the 37-year-old admits. “From age 21 to three months ago it was web sites and digital marketing. Now, it’s back to gaming.” Hilimire launched mobile gaming company Dragon Army out of Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village last fall and is set on releasing its first game, Robots Love Ice Cream (where you essentially save the world from a robot invasion by shooting ice cream out of an ice cream truck), in early 2014. As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate already, Hilimire is also the father of four children under the age of 10, including an adopted daughter from China, and finds the close proximity of Atlanta Tech Village

to his Oak Grove home ideal. “For 15 years, I worked in B2B, but I’ve always wanted to do things for B2C. I’ve wanted to build things that people could enjoy. My friend David Cummings [founder of Atlanta Tech Village] and I were brainstorming a business we could start together. We thought maybe we should co-found a mobile company for consumers … 80 percent of all revenue through mobile devices right now is through games, so this was a natural progression.” Hilimire and his co-founders— Cummings, Richard Guy and Ryan Tuttle—have a goal to develop three to four games a year. Then, if they get a few winners, they’ll look at moving the games to an Xbox or PlayStation environment. “I definitely look at games as portable, but also as franchisable,” he says, noting that Angry Birds now makes far more on its offshoot products than it does from the actual game itself. Despite Atlanta’s 80-plus gaming studios, few create their own titles. In addition to creating the next Angry Birds, Hilimire, who is actively involved in the community on boards for Junior Achievement of Georgia, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Venture Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (of which he is the secondyoungest board member in 150 years), hopes Dragon Army will pave the way for other businesses like his, too. n

“I get laser focused and obsessed with what I’m passionate about at the time.”

Atlanta Tech Village This sprawling modern complex located in the heart of Buckhead on Piedmont Road is the brainchild of entrepreneurial whiz David Cummings. Opened in 2013, Atlanta Tech Village was already home to 106 start-ups at press time. By the time renovations are complete on the 103,000-square-foot building this June, a projected 150 to 175 start-ups (and about 600 people) will claim the building as their headquarters. Already, it’s one of the 10 largest entrepreneurial centers in America. “The goal is to make Atlanta one of the top 10 most successful start-up centers in the country,” Cummings says. “In the next 10 years, we’d like to create 10,000 net jobs by way of the start-ups that come through our doors.” Serving as an incubator for new ideas, Atlanta Tech Village’s openfloor office plan encourages daily conversation between start-up leaders and creates an environment of camaraderie among companies. “You’re surrounded by entrepreneurs and technology people,” says Jeff Hilimire, CEO and co-founder of Dragon Army. “It’s such a great atmosphere and David’s vision for the place is all about serendipity—and it’s working.”

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VILLAGE PEOPLE A FEW OF THE LITTLE COMPANIES DOING BIG THINGS AT ATLANTA TECH VILLAGE: bitpay: A B2B payment service provider that specializes in e-commerce. It’s the biggest merchant services provider for Bitcoin. Insight Pool: Helps businesses discover their audiences, hone their brand and connect with customers one-on-one

through savvy social engagement optimization. Mergestone: Writes cutting-edge hospital software, including custom development for hospitals’ HIT/EMR systems and mobile apps. PatientPad: This gadget allows patients to leave

reviews, check in for their appointments, review individual pricing and read health information during an office visit. Rigo: Helps businesses assess and improve the reliability, speed and effectiveness of their web sites.


Ralph DiClemente

Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; Agnes Moore Faculty Endowment in HIV/AIDS Research

Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health, Emory University; Associate Director, Emory Center for AIDS Research; Professor, Emory University Department of Pediatrics

Photo: Tyler Welbron

“We like to think global and act local, but we also like to think local and act global.” - Ralph DiClemente


or husband-and-wife duo Gina Wingood and Ralph DiClemente, love has been a happy perk to their successful decadeslong relationship as research partners. Though circumstances have changed since they first met in San Francisco more than 20 years ago (they’re Buckhead residents now, and the proud parents of two young girls), the Emory University professors still start each day with the same goal: stopping the spread of HIV. “I get up every morning and am excited about going to work,” DiClemente says. “I consider myself very, very fortunate to be married to the person I’m married to, to have wonderful kids and have a job that’s my calling, my passion.”

Working closely at Emory and from their home office, the two are constantly penning papers and delving into research projects targeting HIV prevention, particularly as it pertains to African-American women and youth populations. Back in 1985 when HIV research was in its infancy, DiClemente published the very first paper on HIV in adolescents. Twenty books later (including one he co-authored with Wingood), and he and his wife have had a global impact through various projects, papers and initiatives. For instance, their program Girl Power, an HIV prevention program they started in St. Maarten 10 years ago, was adopted by the governor and is still mandatory for all students on the island. And their HIV preven-

tion program SISTA (Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS) is the most widely distributed HIV prevention program in the United States. Currently, they are studying the effects of alcohol use among women with HIV in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In Armenia, they’re working to reduce the risk of HIV in Armenian sex workers as well as its spread to male sexual partners. And that’s just scratching the surface. “The part most interesting to us is the idea that what we do globally has local significance as well,” DiClemente says. “We like to think global and act local, but we also like to think local and act global. It’s a worldwide epidemic.” In Atlanta (which Wingood estimates has the highest rates of HIV/ AIDS in the Southeast) Wingood is

currently spearheading two major projects. One, which has been in the works for eight years, is the integration of HIV prevention programs into faith-based institutions (i.e., churches) in the Greater Atlanta area. The other is a huge study funded by the National Institutes of Health (Emory received a grant from NIH for $11.9 million last summer) that’s searching to provide state-of-the-art research capacity and care for women living with or at risk for HIV. “HIV is a public health tragedy, because HIV is preventable,” Wingood says. To keep from getting discouraged, she and DiClemente are constantly motivated by their study participants. “They are such strong, optimistic, loving women,” Wingood says. “They’re amazing.” n

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

THE VISIONARY John Raulet Vice President, Raulet Property Partners Co-owner, Mailing Avenue Stageworks


In 2014, Raulet predicts 90 film and television projects will come through his doors.

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he location for recent mega-hits like The Hunger Games, Atlanta has become known for hosting big-time stars and production companies. But in 2008, back when the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act first passed, giving qualifying productions a 20 percent tax credit for projects $500,000 and up, the real estate market was in a downward spiral. The film industry was in a tight spot when it came time to finding brokers willing to lease them office space and real estate to meet their filming and production needs. That is when Buckhead resident John Raulet swooped in. In 2009, he brokered filming locations for Road Trip: Beer Pong for Paramount, followed by a string of projects for other studios, including Trouble with the Curve, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Neighborhood Watch and Mean Girls 2. “All of the producers are a tight little group. That’s kind of how [my involvement in film] really grew,” he says. So when an 85,000-square-foot property in Grant Park was readying to sell, Raulet saw stars. He and his co-partners—who seek out “cool, funky buildings that can be repurposed into more creative spaces”—“took a gamble” and bought the building, former home to Tony Brewer & Co., in July of 2012 with the intention of turning it into a motion picture and television production facility. Two weeks later, the newly rebranded Mailing Avenue Stageworks signed a contract with the film Last Vegas (starring Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro) followed by the filming of the final season of Necessary Roughness. From there, the building has seen a continual rotation of films, commercials and television shows. “There’s a definite fun factor to what projects you can work with,” Raulet says. In 2014, Raulet predicts 90 film and television projects will come through his doors, and anticipates that number will only continue to grow. Though there are several facilities larger than Mailing Avenue Stageworks, there are only a handful of production facilities like it located inside the perimeter, and nothing else like it in historic Grant Park. n

THINKING SMALL Dr. Ceana Nezhat Gynecologic surgeon and program director for advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Northside Hospital

Nezhat is able to make smaller and more precise incisions resulting in less pain, faster recovery and less trauma.


ometimes a tiny change can make a huge difference. Just ask Dr. Ceana Nezhat, who specializes in treating patients with endometriosis (a painful disorder affecting 1 of 10 women where cells from the uterine lining grow in other parts of the body). Nezhat has served as the driving force for the advancement and development of a brand-new “mini” laparoscopic surgery to treat endometriosis— and other disorders of the abdomen—which utilizes a state-of-the-art line of instruments and the smallest needles yet (approximately 1/8 of an inch in diameter) as well as a new, more precise line of surgical tools. With “mini” laparoscopy, Nezhat is able to make smaller and more precise incisions when treating his patients, resulting in less pain, faster recovery and less trauma. “These instruments allow us to do more,” Nezhat says. “But,” he notes, “more surgical skill is needed in terms of dexterity and fine movement.” Nezhat extended his surgical expertise and offered suggestions for the designs of the tools in the “MiniLaparoscopy Instrument Set” developed by Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc. before they became available in the United States. He is also one of the earlier surgeons, if not the first, to use the instruments in surgery when they arrived on the market in 2013. Sandy Springs’ Northside Hospital treats more cases of endometriosis by operative laparoscopy than any other hospital in the state, and, according to the hospital, was the first Georgia hospital to perform “mini” laparoscopy. Last October, surgeons from around the globe tuned in to watch Nezhat perform a mini-laparoscopy surgery as it was broadcast live at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting. Since the introduction of these instruments at Northside, Nezhat has shown visiting surgeons from around the world how to use the instruments in surgery. He is also putting the word out about the benefit of the technology to fellow surgeons at organizations like the Society of Reproductive Surgeons (of which he is on the board) and American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (of which he is the new president). In March, at the 2nd World Symposium on Endometriosis at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta, Nezhat is discussing the surgery and his research findings, which includes searching for a link between endometriosis and cancer. But the ambitious doctor hasn’t stopped there. Currently, he’s also working on developing tests for the early detection of endometriosis (through procedures like blood tests). “About half the time, endometriosis is diagnosed too late. In several of the cases, by the time the patient comes to me it has already invaded their intestines or bladder or caused infertility issues,” he says. “We’re hoping to do tests that will allow us to detect risk factors for endometriosis early, including in young girls, so we can monitor them more closely and potentially avoid the need for surgery down the road.” n Photo: Tyler Welbron

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



DOGS’ BEST FRIEND Gregory Berns Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy and Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience; Professor in Economics Department, Emory University


“A lot of people do neuroimaging ... to study brain function in humans, but no one, apart from us, has done it in unrestrained, awake dogs.”

Think Like an Iconoclast In addition to his dog research, Berns is also the author of Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently. Here, he identifies three characteristics commonly seen among iconoclasts, individuals that refuse to conform.

1. Perception. “You have to be able to see things differently than other people. If you can’t see the possibility there, you won’t be able to do things differently.” 2. No fear of the unknown. “If you’re doing things differently, you can fail spectacularly. You can’t be afraid of that.”

3. Social intelligence. “You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t convince other people of its worth, it’s useless.”

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f you’re a dog owner, it’s likely you’ve asked yourself the question central to neuroscientist Gregory Berns’ research: “Does my dog love me?” The doting owner of three rescue pups had always pondered the possibility, but it wasn’t until the death of his beloved 15-year-old pug, Newton, three years ago that he seriously began to think about it. After seeing pictures of military working dogs during the Osama bin Laden mission and being impressed with the tasks they’d been trained to do, the Sandy Springs resident thought, “If dogs can be trained to jump out of helicopters, then certainly we can train them to go into an MRI.” As a neuroscientist, Berns frequently conducts brain-imaging tests on people to study the link between specific parts of the brain and various actions, emotions and decisions. While scientists have studied the brains of dogs, they’ve been restricted to testing sleeping dogs to avoid the noise from the machine scaring them, but this has limited the full potential for exploration. Berns, however, has figured out a way to study dogs’ brains inside MRIs while awake. In his new book, How Dogs Love Us (New Harvest, October 2013), Berns chronicles how his initial research studying dogs’ brains inside MRIs led to a stronger understanding of one of his rescue dogs, Callie, who is still one of the primary dogs he uses in the four experiments he’s currently conducting at Emory University. For the study, Callie and a handful of other dogs have been trained by Mark Spivak and his team at Comprehensive Pet Therapy to wear headphones that block out noise and to lie down inside an MRI machine as Berns performs various tests. The dog is presented with varying stimuli, like food and pictures of its owner, all while Berns studies a screen to see if the emotional part of the dog’s brain

(the part most closely linked to love) becomes activated. It’s still early, and his work is controversial (i.e. how do you really measure love?), but Berns has seen positive results so far (hence, the possibility that Callie does love him). In the smell experiments, for example, the response in dogs’ brains has been far stronger with people the dog knows, as opposed to strangers. And, he says that even though dogs’ brains are much smaller than those of humans and lack large parts of the frontal cortex, he’s surprised at how similar the emotional parts of canine brains are to that of humans. “To me, it points to the continuity of evolution. Many of the things we take to be strictly human traits, like emotion, are also found in animals.” Though Berns has racked up numerous recognitions and penned multiple books over the course of his career, he’s most proud of this recent dog-related research. “A lot of people do neuroimaging using the MRI to study brain function in humans,” he says, “but no one, apart from us, has done it in unrestrained, awake dogs. That, and the way we’ve done it, has really raised the bar for the ethics and standards for how we treat animals in research.” Aside from genuine curiosity, and his own lifelong love of dogs, Berns hopes his research will help dogs with separation anxiety and assist people that breed and train service dogs to develop more effective training methods (currently service dogs have a huge fail rate). “By looking at dogs, in many ways, we’re learning about ourselves. Dogs have been domesticated for more than 18,000 years … that predates agriculture. Dogs lived with humans before we settled with other humans in communities. By studying dogs, in a sense, we’re studying ourselves too.” n

THE HEALER Lauren Polivka Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT, DPT) at Icebox Cryotherapy and The Training Room; Certified Holistic Health Coach; Founder of Live With Passion LLC and NicaFit Retreats.


hen it comes to chronic muscle pain or sports-related injuries, Buckhead has a newfound hero in Icebox Cryotherapy’s Lauren Polivka. A lifelong student of sports medicine, her call to heal came early—as a kid she used to fake injuries and tell her mom she’d sprained her ankle just so she could bandage it up. Today, Polivka’s approach to physical therapy draws heavily from her personal experiences as a patient. At 14, she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and since then has undergone numerous surgeries, hospitalizations and physical therapy sessions of her own. A devotee of holistic medicine, Polivka is a big believer in a hands-on approach to pain management, and treats her patients with the unique triumvirate of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) fascial release, trigger point dry needling and health counseling. “It’s like hitting a reset button on the body,” she says. IASTM—a manual manipulation technique based on Chinese medicine that utilizes a plastic tool run along the body—serves as a tracking device for finding adhesions or scar tissue. After scanning an area and finding the source of the pain or tension, she inserts her needles (which can run up to 75 mm long) intramuscularly into trigger points along the highlighted area to release tightness and pain. “It’s not comfortable,” she admits, noting that soreness is to be expected afterward. “Unlike the acupuncture most Westerners have had, dry needling goes deep into the muscle belly and gets rid of inflammatory mediators in the muscles.” After the treatment, Polivka counsels her patients and develops a lifestyle plan to help them maintain their health and prevent further injury. “Everything we do at Icebox is to try to maintain people’s bodies at a constant healing state,” she says. Complementary to the innovative work she does at Cryotherapy is Polivka’s side business, Live With Passion. Her lifestyle company’s latest venture is the recent creation of service-oriented wellness getaways called NicaFit Retreats, which she hosts in Nicaragua. n

“Dry needling goes deep into the muscle belly and gets rid of inflammatory mediators in the muscles.” Photo: Tyler Welbron

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


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10 Locations in Metro Atlanta

3174 Peachtree Road Buckhead - 404.841.2456 6601 Roswell Road Sandy Springs - 404.303.3000 (Abernathy Square) 950 West Peachtree Street NW, Suite 260 Midtown - 404.554.8060 (at The Plaza Midtown) Newnan - Athens - Kennesaw Marietta (2) - Lawrenceville - Alpharetta

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74 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Make reservations and appointments at



SPOTLIGHT Spotlight on Art


Nov. 25-Jan. 28 Saks Fifth Avenue Gallery Phipps Plaza 3440 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.261.7910

2. Next shopping spree, browse the display at Saks Fifth Avenue Gallery, on display through the end of January.

The Artists Market Feb. 3-8 Trinity School 4301 Northside Parkway N.W. Atlanta 30327 404.231.8100

Spotlight on Art Gala Auction Feb. 15 InterContinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta 3315 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.946.9000


1. Benefit the Trinity School when you bring home an original piece of art from The Artists Market.

3. Atlanta abstract painter, Melissa Payne Baker’s “Forever II.”

Whether you’re a veteran collector or a newbie to the Atlanta arts scene, Spotlight on Art offers ample opportunities for viewing and purchasing artworks from renowned and lesser-known local artists. Through Jan. 28, join throngs of shoppers at Phipps Plaza’s Saks Fifth Avenue Gallery to see a range of works on display prior to being showcased at the Trinity School’s The Artists Market Feb. 3-8. Spotlight on Art’s main event,

The Artists Market brings together 350 artists from across the Southeast in a variety of media. Discover new favorites and walk away with a piece from a rising star (we’re coveting works from Atlanta artists Melissa Payne Baker, Winston Wiant and Steve Penley). Capping the celebration is the Spotlight on Art Gala and Auction on Feb. 15 at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta featuring a seated dinner

for 650-plus attendees, dancing, and live and silent auctions. Proceeds from Spotlight on Art benefit the Trinity School, its teachers and its educational programs as well as a charity chosen by the Sixth Grade Leadership Class. Entry to the Saks Fifth Avenue Gallery and The Artists Market are free. Tickets to the Spotlight on Art Gala are $175 and can be purchased through

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Events, exhibits, galas and more 

Art lovers peruse works from more than 250 global artists at the ART PAPERS Art Auction.

Guests hit the dance floor after an evening of philanthropy at the Taste of Love Gala.

Photo: Raftermen Photography


Kelly Skinner

Atlanta Ballet dancer Kelsey Ebersold Broadway superstar Audra McDonald with Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director will be accompanied by the Atlanta Emeritus Robert Barnett Symphony Orchestra at the and wife Virginia. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Gala. Photo: Charlie McCullers

n 15th Annual ART PAPERS Art Auction Collectors’ Preview – Jan. 31 Silent Auction + Party – Feb. 1 Mason Murer Fine Art 199 Armour Drive Atlanta 30324 404.879.1500; Punctuate your weekend with arty excursions to Mason Murer Fine Art for this annual artists’ showcase benefiting ART PAPERS (a local nonprofit covering contemporary art through its bimonthly magazine and lectures). Bringing together more than 250 global artists and nearly 1,000 attendees, the event features a stellar art auction, live music, passed appetizers and craft cocktails. Seasoned collectors may want to get a head start on the bidding and attend the Collectors’ Preview on Jan. 31 from 7 to 9 p.m., where they’ll get a first look at artwork as well as enjoy small bites, live music, an open bar and a ticket to Saturday night’s auction. Everyone else, catch the Silent Auction + Party on Feb. 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. Collectors’ Preview tickets are $190. Silent Auction + Party tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door.

n The Bunnen Collection of Photography Sept. 7-Feb.2 The High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree Street N.E. Atlanta 30309 404.733.4444

A noted photographer and art collector, Lucinda Bunnen’s contribution to the Atlanta arts scene—and to that of the South—runs deep. With her passionate collector’s eye, she’s helped The High Museum of Art procure more than 650 works (including some of her own) over the past 30 years. On display until Feb. 2, The Bunnen Collection highlights 125 photographs from Bunnen’s curated collection. Bunnen’s personal works are represented in museums and galleries around the globe and she is also one of the founders of Atlanta’s Nexus Contemporary Art Center (now the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center). Over the years, she’s racked up slews of awards, including the 2013 Nexus Award, which honors people who have made profound contributions to the Atlanta contemporary art scene. Entrance to the High Museum exhibit is included in regular admission, which is free for members, $19.50 for adults, $16.50 for seniors and students, $12 for children ages 6-17 and free for children 5 and under.

Taste of Love Feb. 8 The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead 3434 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.527.7155 Join Atlanta’s well-heeled for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia’s signature fundraising event at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Stylishly chic, the celebration brings together 600 of the city’s top

76 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

philanthropists for an evening of charity-minded mingling. The evening commences with a posh cocktail hour (during which patrons can cast an eye on the covetable silent and live auction items) followed by a three-course, winepaired dinner of modern American fare prepared by the chefs of The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Silent and live auction prizes run the gamut from original artwork and yoga classes to international travel, a chef’s dinner and an Atlanta Falcons experience. Held in the stunning ballroom, attendees can chat amidst an elegant ambiance, further enhanced by live entertainment (a surprise guest!) and a festive after-party featuring more food, music, dancing and a photo booth. Make a night of it and crash at the Ritz with a special discount rate of $169 for a standard room or $269 for a deluxe room (which includes overnight valet parking and Sunday breakfast for two). Last year’s event brought in more than $500,000 for the organization, and this year the goal is set at $600,000. All proceeds benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia and its efforts to fund research and prevention methods for seizure disorders. Tickets are $300 and can be purchased by calling 404.527.7155 or by visiting

n 5th Annual Odyssey Brunch Feb. 18 The St. Regis Atlanta 88 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.367.5150 The Deadfields

Benefit Odyssey and disadvantaged students across Atlanta by attending this bustling social event at The St. Regis Atlanta. Odyssey, a partnership between Atlanta Public Schools and Westminster Schools, targets students from second to 12th grade and sends 300 promising students to a summer academic enrichment program held on the campus of Westminster Schools. This brunch, co-chaired by Ashley Miller and Swati Patel, is the program’s premier fundraiser. Nosh on a decadent St. Regis brunch; honor Odyssey co-founders Dr. William Clarkson IV, the outgoing President of Westminster, and John F. Sandy Smith, a partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice; and hear from a recent Odyssey grad while vying for auction and raffle prizes (which include a trip to London). Brunch begins at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased through Tara Sweeney at 404.367.5149 or tarasweeney@

n 34th Annual Ballet Ball Feb. 22 The St. Regis Atlanta 88 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.873.5811 ext. 208 Pay tribute to Atlanta Ballet’s Artistic Director Emeritus Robert “Bobby” Barnett, and watch our city’s graceful ballet troupe soar at this annual fete—attracting Atlanta’s cultured class in swarms. Held at the swanky St. Regis Atlanta, the ball boasts live

Photo: Autumn de Wilde

music, a seated dinner, live and silent auctions, and exclusive performances from ballet company members and students from the Centre for Dance Education. Atlanta Ballet’s largest fundraiser of the year, the shindig typically raises $400,000 and draws more than 400 guests annually. Tickets begin at $500 and are available at

n Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Gala March 8 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 1280 Peachtree Street N.E. Atlanta 30309 404.733.4900 Deck yourself in your finest to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s talent development program at this black-tie gala and concert. Mingle with fellow symphony supporters during the pre-show cocktail hour at the High Museum of Art’s modish Stent Atrium. Introduce yourself to the anticipated performer of the evening, Broadway superstar Audra McDonald, then succumb to the songbird’s spell as she’s accompanied by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Atlanta Symphony Hall. After the concert, fall in step with the glam gala crowd at a seated dinner, elegant after-party and live and silent auction. Concert tickets begin at $37.50 and can be purchased online at www.atlantasymphony. org. Contact Ashley Krausen at 404.733.5374 regarding gala patron tickets, beginning at $1,000.

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckheadâ&#x20AC;&#x192;


From a newsroom in the clouds, five energetic meteorologists rock out with en“lightning” tunes about rain, snow, hurricanes, sunshine, and more!


Photo ©Center for Puppetry Arts

Written by Jon Ludwig Directed by Spencer G. Stephens

3015 ANDREWS DRIVE | $6,500,000 Atlanta’s Top Home Sale of 2013* Listed by Dawn Mullins and Sold by Debbie Shay

Feb 6 - Mar 23





1404 Spring Street NW Atlanta, GA 30309 Limited FREE Parking • MARTA Accessible

AT L A N TA N O RT H 770-622-3081

AT L A N TA P E R I M E T E R 770-394-2131

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Advance purchase is highly recommended as many shows sell out quickly.

W W W. H A R R Y N O R M A N . C O M Season supported in part by: Fulton County Arts Council and City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

78 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead

*Hudson, Phil. “Atlanta’s top home sales of 2013”. Atlanta Business Chronicle, 31 Dec. 2013. Web. 2 Jan. 2014



Sherie L. Nevett and Kaity Moreira

Vivian Curtis and Bobby G. Nevett

Models, Karen Arboleda and Leslie Cheek

Natasha Irby and Kristin Jackson Samantha and Mike Coley

Photos: Dee Flores

THY Style at Bevello


ore than 60 guests attended this fashionable fundraiser and shopping experience, coined “THY Style,” at Buckhead boutique Bevello. Benefiting the American Thyroid Association, the event was a partnership between personal styling and image consulting firm Style Up Co. and Sherie L. Nevett Apparel. A fashion show presentation highlighted ensembles from the Sherie L. Nevett Holiday 2013 Collection and trends from Bevello, each styled by Style Up Co. founder Kaity Moreira. The event also included a thyroid health presentation from Dr. Rachna Relwani of the Laureate Medical Group, hors d’oeuvres from Chef Walter Eccles, handmade teainfused chocolates from Diamond Chocolates and loose leaf blended teas from SoRen Tea.

Mae Nunez and Elle Sees

Michael Yale and Justin Yale

Donald Gessell, Sherie L. Nevett and Tavius Elder

Kendall and Lindsay Tony

January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




HOW FETCHING! Ghostie, a rescue from the Atlanta Humane Society, speaks volumes with his eyes, encouraging our agreement with neuroscientist Gregory Berns’ theory that dogs are capable of human-like emotions. Read about Berns’ research on page 72. PHOTO: Sara

80 January/February 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Great Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Organic Gift Boxes

Seasonal, Recipe, Specialty & Holiday Gift Boxes

Hand stamped wooden crates filled with a variety of

Organic Specialty Products & Produce!

❧ USDA Certified ❧ Corporate Gift Program ❧ Add Personalized Gift Cards ❧ Perfect for Bdays, Thank You, Get Well, ❧ Organic Fruit of the Month Club House Warming, Anniversaries, etc. Email or Call Kimberly for Gift Boxes! 404-281-9301 •


Meet the Bank Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction “Highest Customer Satisfaction in Retail Banking in the Southeast Region" At First Citizens, putting our customers first is at the center of everything we do. That’s why we’re honored that they rated us “Highest in Customer Satisfaction in Retail Banking in the Southeast Region,” according to the most recent J.D. Power & Associates Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.SM First Citizens offers all the convenience and services of a large bank, combined with the personal attention and responsiveness of a community bank. We’ve been focused on helping individuals and businesses succeed for over 100 years. Are you satisfied with your bank? Get to know First Citizens. Call or visit our Buckhead location today.

Kathy Sullivan

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Retail Sales Manager 678-589-9023

Senior Mortgage Loan Originator 404-365-4674

Private Banking Relationship Manager 404-365-4672

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Equal Housing Lender/Member FDIC. First Citizens Bancorp received the highest numerical score among retail banks in the Southeast region in the proprietary J.D. Power & Associates 2013 Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on 51,563 total responses measuring 13 providers in the Southeast region (GA, NC & SC) and measures opinions of consumers with their primary banking provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-February 2013. Your experience may vary. Visit

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*Maserati Ghibli base MSRP $65,600; Ghibli S Q4 base MSRP $75,700. Not including dealer prep and transportation. Actual selling price may vary. Taxes, title, license and registration fees not included. ©2013 Maserati North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Maserati and the Trident logo are registered trademarks of Maserati SpA. Maserati urges you to obey all posted speed limits.


Schedule a test drive: 888.434.4698 | | 5855 Peachtree Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30341

Simply Buckhead January/February 2014  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...

Simply Buckhead January/February 2014  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...