Simply Buckhead January/February 2023

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SIMPLY BUCKHEAD •  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023  9 12 Editor's Letter UP FRONT 15 NEWS Da Bomb! Gear up for action at new gaming venue in Upper Westside 16 LOCAL SALUTE Concierge for Consumers Reducing frustration and giving back 18 LIVING THE LIFE Dr. Brian Howard Buckhead resident puts a new spin on life with a passion for cycling 22 APPROVED Good Scents Embrace the season of renewal with luxuriously scented candles 23 TRAVEL NEAR Romance Peaks at Pursell Farms This pastoral resort in Sylacauga, Alabama, is the idyllic winter getaway 24 TRAVEL FAR Where Art Meets Fashion The Maybourne Beverly Hills is one of a kind 26 STAYCATION Intown Catch-Up The new Kimpton Shane Hotel offers an energizing city vibe LIVING 28 HOME Blank Canvas A down-sized Peachtree Hills home showcases its owners’ artistic passions 34 BULLETIN BOARD At Your Service Doorstep amenities for the new year 36 TRENDING Ancient-Inspired Wonders Hellinic and Roman pieces can create a modern look 38 TASTEMAKER Keeping Up with the Classics Architect Norman Askins brings the past into the future Contents SIMPLY BUCKHEAD ®  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 18 28 66 24 44 76 ➥ Photos: 18: Erik Meadows, 28: Patrick Heagney, 44: Joann Vitelli, 66, 76: Sara Hanna

We couldn’t think of a better place to shoot our travelthemed cover than the new Nobu Hotel Atlanta. Our married cover models were actor-turned-travel guru Zachary Abel and actress Elizabeth Henstridge (fans may recognize her from memorable roles in Marvel's “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” or “Suspicion”), who travel constantly, were excited for a first look. The hotel was receiving its finishing touches the day of the shoot, so our team got creative to capture the fun and joy of travel for our pages. Styled with clothes from Nordstrom in the hotel-adjacent Phipps Plaza and carrying new luggage (largely made from recycled materials) from Solo, we all felt inspired for our next trip.

Photographer: Sara Hanna Producer: Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Photography assistant: Judd Redmond

Models: Elizabeth Henstridge and Zachary Abel

Makeup: Nikia Yancey Hair: Vincent Bell Styling: LaNetra Butler

WARDROBE: Elizabeth: BA&SH Fill Jumper ($345), BLANKNYC Baxter Pant ($98), Open Edit Rafael Bootie ($90), Panacea Earrings ($30)

Zachary: Vince Sweater ($395), Rag & Bone Bayview Jeans ($250), Robert Barakett Belleview Bomber Jacket ($245), Salvatore Ferragamo Lester Loafer ($895)

Available at Nordstrom.

Luggage: Solo Re:serve Expandable Carry-on Spinner ($169.99), Solo Re:move Duffel ($76.99), available at

Special thanks to Nobu Hotel Atlanta.

40 FASHION Starting at
the neighborhood
lady 42 BEAUTY Underarm Detox How to
44 WELLNESS Meditation Motivation What
30 days of practice 46 TASTEMAKER Overnight Success Fashion designer
off FAMILY 48 KIDS Mini Menus Restaurants offering variety for pint-sized diners 53 PETS Keeping Cats Safe Good Mews and its local volunteers make an impact 54 STRATEGIES Put a Ring on It How to select and purchase the perfect engagement ring CULTURE 58 ART It's Possible Buckhead gallery combines art with design possibilities 60 LITERARY Changing Lives It’s all in the smile 62 TASTEMAKER Piano Guy Don Jones brings Broadway teachings to Brookhaven 63 EVENTS Places to go and things to do COVER STORY 66 Ready, Set, Go! DELICIOUS 76 REVIEW High-Flying Flavors Free-spirited cuisine soars at Redbird 80 DRINKS Simply Soothing Hot toddies to warm you from the inside out 82 FOODIE
A New Icon Inside the new-and-improved Chops 84 TASTEMAKER Oats-standing Survivor
a business
86 Featured Restaurants A sampling of
eats in and
89 Charitable A
Goldstein is on a mission to bring back
transition from
to natural deodorant
I learned over
Femi Ola takes
Elizabeth Bein turned a health
around Buckhead
spotlight on philanthropic and social gatherings
BEHIND THE COVER @simplybuckhead @simplybuckhead @livingwellatl 58 Jake Tekippe
80 66

Editor's Letter

The last few months of the year seem to go by in a blink. Between the year-end to-dos and celebrating the holidays, it can feel like a whirlwind. When January arrives, I catch my breath—and I make plans, lots of plans. Most of them involve travel. Where do I want to go? Where can I afford to go? And which trips will be adults-only versus with my kids, who, at 5 and 8, I’m slowly training to be road warriors. In this issue, we cover all you need to know to be an ace traveler yourself.

Jennifer Bradley Franklin gets the inside scoop from points guru (and cover model) Zachary Abel to help you travel for less, and Michael Jacobs outlines specialized travel options to fulfill your desires.

Lauren Finney Harden offers some drivable destinations for those weekends when you just need to get away. I write about easy-to-reach tiny houses and offer tips for vacationing in small quarters.

This issue also includes profiles of entrepreneurial women, from Jenette Goldstein of Jenette Bras and self-made designer Femi Ola to artists Kristen Giorgi and Sheyda Mehrara who have teamed up to open art and design studio Impossible Currency.

As I step into 2023, I’m also stepping back into an editor role at Simply Buckhead, a magazine I’ve been a part of for more than a decade. Looking ahead, I plan to enjoy each moment of the new year and travel (on points, hopefully) before it flies by.

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 © 2023 by Simply Buckhead ® All rights reserved.

Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.

Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Upper Westside

P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355

For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895

Joanne Hayes

Publisher and Founder

Sonny Hayes

Chief Financial Officer


Giannina S. Bedford

Managing Editor

Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Senior Contributing Editor

Alan Platten

Creative Director H.M. Cauley

Copy Editor


Karina Antenucci Chelsie Butler H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper

Laurel-Ann Dooley Lauren Finney Harden Elizabeth Harper Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger

Michael Jacobs Denise K. James Nicole Letts

Amy Meadows Hope Philbrick Claire Ruhlin Ginger Strejcek


Sara Hanna

Patrick Heagney Erik Meadows Joann Vitelli


Cheryl Isaacs

Senior Account Executive

Michelle Johnson Account Executive

Layla Ghadamyari

Account Executive

Layal Akkad

Graphic Designer


BHG Digital

Website Development Management

Mike Jose

Director of Audience Development


Scott I. Zucker

Legal Counsel

Laurel-Ann Dooley is a freelance writer and author whose work has appeared in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, The National Law Journal and the Palm Beach Post

She satisfies her restless mind by covering a range of subjects, from law and business to lifestyle, travel, arts and culture. In this issue, she profiles designer Femi Ola, whose brand celebrates the bold and fearless woman.

Sara Hanna Giannina S. Bedford Managing Editor
The Buckhead resident enjoys the challenge of both pavement and gravel roads.
Living The Life: Dr.
Page 18 “
PHOTO: Erik Meadows
Brian Howard
I love to get outside on the
— Dr. Brian Howard
14 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023  • SIMPLY BUCKHEAD 800 Miami Circle NE Suite 220, Atlanta, GA 30324 1380 Atlantic Dr NW Suite 14125 Atlanta, GA 30363 THEIVYSHOWROOM.COM | HOURS M-Sat 11-7 Sun 12-5 GENUINE LEATHER & FUR GARMENTS, COATS & ACCESSORIES NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE AND IN-STORE. Wardrobe Leasing for Production Special Events, Film & Photo Shoots



Time is ticking at Beat The Bomb Atlanta, where your mission is disarming the world’s largest paint bomb. A dire fate awaits those who fail: 10 gallons of neon-reactive paint blasting out at 25 miles per hour.

It’s all part of the adrenaline rush at the immersive social video game company now open at 1483 Chattahoochee Ave. Guests can team up in “Mission” game rooms or kick back in one of four private “Game Bays.”

A full-service bar serves colorful cocktails and local brews, with a menu of snacks, including specialty hot dogs and pizzas.

For the signature, one-hour “Mission,” groups of four to six players don hazmat suits and helmets to tackle five hi-tech rooms with touch screens, motion cameras, radio-frequency Identification (RFID) readers, projectors and lasers. Teams earn time on the bomb clock as they level up. In the final room, it’s do or die.

Brace yourself: Fewer than 10% of teams succeed the first time around.

“We make it hard to win on purpose,” says Beat the Bomb Marketing Director Michon van As, likening the aftermath of the blast to a Jackson Pollock painting. “It’s completely safe but totally thrilling and energizing.”

Teams can try again or opt for another mission with a foam bomb in the reprogrammable system. The explosive action is captured via photos and slow-motion videos,

and sent to players’ cell phones to share on social media.

The Atlanta launch follows the success of the company’s flagship location in Brooklyn. “We’ve made a special spot in Atlanta where you’ll want to kick back and hang out at for hours, be it a Tuesday afternoon with your kids or Saturday night with friends.” n



Pocket those devices for a hands-on experience in the wonderfully wacky world of goo at Sloomoo Institute Atlanta, just opened in the Buckhead Triangle shopping center. In a shrine to slime, guests of all ages can dip their fingers into dozens of oozefilled vats, slush through a 350-gallon lake and brave a sludgy waterfall. There’s a glowing slime cave, slime wall that channels artist Yayoi Kusama and slime mirror that mucks up reflections. The elevated slime at Sloomoo is handcrafted in artisanal batches, and visitors are invited to create their own combinations at the DIY slime bar featuring 40 colors,

150 charms and 60 scents.

“Sloomoo offers a much-needed reprieve from the overwhelmingly digital nature of the modern world and instead puts us in touch with the physical world and with ourselves,” says Karen Robinovitz, who co-founded the Manhattan-born company with Sara Schiller. “This is not just a moment for Instagram but a colorful world of escape.”



For seniors with memory issues, Town Square Sandy Springs is turning back the clock. The new adult daycare and

resource center—the first in Georgia and second in the Southeast—uses reminiscence therapy to spark long-term memories in an engaging setting of mid-century “storefronts,” including Rosie’s diner, Starlite Theater, Spinners music room, a health club and hair salon. The nostalgic props in the 12,000-square-foot facility include a 1960s Ford Thunderbird.

This unique behavioral method has been shown to boost moods, sleep and communication, as well as reduce anxiety, depression and agitation, says Mary Caldwell, center director. “Our person-centered, strengths-based approach to healthy aging supports interventions that

reduce risk for disease, may delay dementia progression and postpone the need for long-term care.”

Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with flexible attendance options, Town Square also offers free dementia support groups.


Kick off the new year with #fitnessgoals at The Daily Pilates at Buckhead Village. Offering customized workouts that uniquely blend Pilates, cardio and strength training, the new studio features reformer machines for group classes and Cadillac machines

for private sessions in a soothing space, complete with a lounge area and tea bar serving herbal blends and fresh juices.

“Clients rave about the mental and physical strength they gain from our workouts; the calm, clean and beautiful aesthetic; and the highly trained, supportive and welcoming team we have created,” says creator Lily Collins, who launched a second Atlanta location following the success of the first at Inman Park.

The 2,189-square-foot studio is helmed by co-founders Nikki Hightower and Jessica Davis. @thedailypilates

NEWS BY Ginger Strejcek
Marcus Ingram Marcus Ingram Anthony Cunanan action-packed fun at Beat the Bomb Atlanta, featuring team gaming challenges, plus a full-service bar and savory snacks.

Stirring Spirituality Food for the soul

Helping Kids Thrive

Brookhaven resident Tim Ayres fell in love with Eagle Ranch in 1997 when he volunteered with his Sunday School class at Northside Methodist Church. “I’ve gotten more out of my involvement than I ever could have imagined,” says Ayres, who is serving his fourth six-year term on the board of directors at the residential facility that provides education and counseling for nearly 70 boys and girls and their families.

Located in Flowery Branch, Eagle Ranch was founded by Eddie Staub in the early ’80s to establish a home for struggling boys. Because of its fast growth, CNN dubbed it “The Miracle on Chestnut Mountain.”

Today, the campus comprises 315 acres with 10 homes, a counseling center and a chapel. “It’s considered a ‘best in class’ children’s home, and our board members mentor others who are interested in opening similar facilities,” says Ayres.

“The child is not usually the problem,” he says. “Generally, the entire family is dysfunctional. We want to help parents work through crisis situations and create a loving environment while letting kids know that they are

A volunteer at Eagle Ranch since 1997, Tim Ayres says he gets back more than he gives.

valued, not just ‘sent off.’”

Ayres, who retired as a legacy partner after 36 years with Eagle Ranch supporters Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors, continues to volunteer on the firm’s service days. Following Hurricane Ian, he traveled to Florida with Northside Methodist’s early response team to help with cleanup.

EAGLE RANCH • 770.967.8500 • @eagleranchga

Ignatius House chefs Calisha Smith and Don Williams created a ministry to train women for jobs in the restaurant industry.

Calisha Smith, executive chef at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Sandy Springs, began her culinary career at the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and cooked her way to Georgia where she became sous chef at Nicolai’s Roof, then executive chef at The Embassy Suites by Hilton at Perimeter Center. There she met Don Williams, former executive sous chef at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill in New York. The kindred spirits longed for a way to fill not only hungry stomachs but empty souls.

Five years ago when Smith came onboard at the center that welcomes all faiths to its silent retreats, she immediately called Williams. He jumped at the opportunity to become executive sous chef. “This is the place I belong,” he says.

Their dream became reality when they created a ministry within the center to teach culinary skills to women transitioning from homelessness or addiction recovery to self-sufficiency. The six-month paid internship named Kitchen Cura from the Latin word cura personalis (“care for the person”) also provides housing and stipends, along with spiritual support.

Interns study every aspect of food service from hygiene to inventory management and receive ServSafe Certification, an industry accreditation. “Our goal is to teach women new skills so they can find meaningful jobs and show them ways they can give back to the community,” Smith says.

IGNATIUS HOUSE JESUIT RETREAT CENTER • 404.255.0503 • @ignatiushouse

Donating a portion of the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald Charities is part of NAViGO's DNA.

Stuart Poole had an “aha” moment after he spent frustrating hours trying to set up services for TV, internet, cell, utilities and a security plan for the family’s new home in Chastain Park. Unable to find online resources that assist in making informed decisions, he developed a free concierge service named NAViGO to help people and businesses get the best deals. Donating a portion of the proceeds to a nonprofit was part of his business plan.

“Consumers seeking help can go to our website and submit information about their needs. We do the research and set up a grid spelling out the options,” says Poole. “There is no obligation to continue working with us, but if they choose one of the companies, we can sign them up and even schedule installation. Payment

comes from partner companies.”

Selecting a nonprofit was simple. Poole’s business partner, Kurt Schuettinger, was on the advisory board at Ronald McDonald House Charities that provides housing and support for families with sick children. It seemed a natural fit for the fledgling company.

During its first nine months, NAViGO donated more than $5,000 and co-sponsored Share the Love Week and Giving Days in March.

The duo also volunteered at Santa’s Workshop, a free shopping experience for guest families staying at the facility during the holidays.

Gifts are donated by individuals and retail establishments.

NAVIGO • @navigoforward

Mickey Goodman
and giving back
Concierge for Consumers
Best in class


Buckhead resident puts a new spin on life with a passion for cycling

In 2017, my wife, Teresa, and I were invited to join a group of friends on a cycling tour through France. We began in central France and worked our way south, spending the days biking some of the country’s most iconic cycling climbs and the evenings enjoying great meals and wine tastings. It was that trip that encouraged me to get really serious about cycling. It also was the trip that made me realize I was at the very beginning of that journey, as I cramped up so badly on the first day I could feel it in every muscle, from my face down to my small toe. There I was, in a beautiful little village in France on the side of the road, in a ball of cramps.

At that point, my cycling consisted of regularly attending a spin class at Athletic Training Services in Buckhead—one that many local cyclists go to as part of their indoor winter training. I initially went because I was looking for a fitness opportunity that would not be as hard on my body as running, which I had done for years. I had recently sold my solo plastic surgery practice, which I loved and had operated for nearly 20 years, to focus on private equity, which would give me more time to spend with my wife and three children. I also wanted to create balance in my life and find time for fitness. The cycling class offered the perfect low-impact activity that still allowed me to burn off a lot of energy. And it didn’t take long for all of the aches and pains I had from running to start getting better.

When we returned from the cycling tour in France, I wanted to expand my efforts and begin thinking about racing. I now have my own bike trainer at home in the basement, which I call the Pain Cave, and I train on it three to four days a week, particularly in the



winter. I also do strength and resistance training with Brandon Butler at Pinnacle Fitness in Buckhead two to three days each week. Of course, it’s not very romantic to spin your wheels on a stationary bike, so I love to get outside on the road. When the weather warms up, I head to Northeast Georgia or East Tennessee to cycle in the mountains and on pavement and gravel roads. Being at least an hour outside of Atlanta and away from the traffic is safer, and I have a group of friends I cycle with in those areas. We also sometimes race together, which has become a social event for us.

Over the last few years, I’ve participated in some fun and challenging races: the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, a marathon mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado, as well as the Tour of Flanders in Belgium. One of the longest I’ve done is the 142-mile SBT GRVL, a gravel bike race in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In October, I participated in my first race since the pandemic: the Georgia Gravel Grinduro in Helen.

Cycling is a huge time commitment, especially when I have a race coming up, and my wife jokes that it’s my third full-time job. First and


I have several pieces of equipment that have taken my cycling to the next level.

n I use a Wahoo Kickr trainer in my “pain cave” (in my basement).

n I add a Quarq power meter to my bikes to measure my efforts.

n I love gravel cycling, and I ride a single ring, Open UPPER bike for those races.

n I also use a Trek Émonda bike for road cycling.

foremost, though, I am a family man. Recently, I’ve dialed back some of my racing ambitions so I can be available for my family while my two youngest children are still in high school and living at home. I do plan to participate in a couple of races a year and may even travel to Finland next year for a new gravel race there. While my current goals are more family-oriented, it’s nice to see where I am today. I never would have guessed that I would be able to do the things I’ve done.

Nobody can ever take away some of those big races that I’ve been able to finish. It’s been neat. n

Left: Training is key for Howard, who blends stationary bike work with getting out on the road as often as possible. Dr. Brian Howard is a dedicated family man who discovered an enduring passion for cycling.

Catskills Candle Jar ($38)

Light the wick of this eco-friendly, 100% soy candle, and you’re instantly transported to the Catskills. Breathe in notes of cedar, cypress and juniper and imagine afternoons spent hiking in the mountains with pine trees overhead and nature all around.

Adelina Social Goods 404.565.1930 @adelinasocial

Good Scents

Infuse your home with fresh garden aromas courtesy of Apothecary Guild’s sleek and chic glass-encased Gardenia candle. Top notes of bergamot and cherry blossom mingle with gardenia petals, white jasmine, magnolia wood and white musk for a candle that’s as luxurious as it is elegant.

Lucy’s Market • 404.869.9222 • @lucys_market

Archipelago Botanico de Havana Diffuser & Candles ($25-$54)

A love letter to Havana, these candles and diffuser combine the romance of the Cuban capital with the flora and fauna of the region. Reminiscent of the small apothecaries that lined the city’s streets in the 1940s, Botanico de Havana combines coffee beans and tobacco flower with the essences of orange, sugar cane and sweet pineapple.

Kudzu & Company • 404.255.2548 • @kudzuandcompany

etúHOME Bordeaux Candle ($78)

Celebrating an affinity for travel and exploration, the Bordeaux candle speaks to the eponymous French wine region. The full-bodied votive—much like its wine counterpart—takes influence from the cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot and malbec grapes of the area with a fragrant nose of black currant and green pepper, and a lingering finish of cedar.

etúHOME • 470.592.3126 • @etu.home

Hudson Grace Savannah Candle ($68)

Inspired by its namesake city, Hudson Grace’s exclusive Savannah candle was expertly crafted by the decor and entertaining brand’s master perfumer. The candle entices with scents of Southern florals and fruit, including a blend of magnolia and citrus.

Hudson Grace • 404.351.7501 • @hudsongracesf

New year, new you. Embrace the season of renewal with luxuriously scented candles to match your own travel goals.
Apothecary Guild Opal Gift Box Candle ($56)

Romance Peaks at Pursell Farms

My table at Old Tom’s Pub overlooks the rolling pastures of Pursell Farms, a family-owned resort in central Alabama. Below me, a few couples are playing bocce just steps from the 18th hole of FarmLinks, the Hurdzan-Fry Environmental Golf Design, Inc. course that almost seems carved out of the countryside. I watch the playful competition with a pang: I wish my husband was here. It’s not the first time I’ve longed for him to be with me this weekend.

Upon arrival, I quickly learned my room at The Inn is dubbed The Honeymoon Suite, and I can see why. The spacious bathroom has a double vanity and an inviting soaking tub. Sumptuous Matouk linens provide next-level luxury throughout. My antique, king-size canopy rice bed is the room’s main focal point. It’s tall, stately and intricately painted. I’ll have to hoist myself into it.

As I walk through the inn, I notice walls of historic photos and artifacts of the surrounding area, ample antiques and a few family photos.

Pursell family member and artist in residence Vaughan Spanjer says, “When we designed the inn, we want-

ed it to feel like you were walking into someone’s home—our home.”

The lobby features a chess table for a quick game. A fire pit outside looks like it was made for sipping wine under the stars. A gas fireplace ready for winter sits just outside the pub, a gathering spot with a pool table once owned by Sylacauga’s most famous resident, Jim Nabors, who starred as Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

I rush into the lobby, noticeably late for my sunset tour. Three couples are chatting amongst themselves, and my thorough tour guide double-checks that I’m alone. There’s

that pang again. I silently curse my husband’s job, grab my picnic basket and climb into the sprinter van. It wobbles along the gravel roads as the guide points out a few facts about the property. When we crest the vista, I am captivated by my surroundings, almost forgetting that I’m solo on this romantic excursion. This is what Pursell Farms calls the “secret place.” It overlooks the Coosa River to the west and the Appalachian foothills to the east.

Several Adirondack chairs are set up. I settle in with my personal charcuterie and a split bottle of pinot grigio. It’s too cloudy for a true

sunset, but there are still picturesque views as far as the eye can see. One couple calls their kids who are back home in Tuscaloosa. Another ventures down the hill to take a few photos. The final couple toasts. It’s her birthday, and they take a trip annually to celebrate. I text a quick “wish you were here” to my husband.

On the way back down the mountain, we all start chatting. Each partner has spent the day enjoying the other’s company. My Tuscaloosa friends say they tooled around in one of the complimentary golf carts to explore the grounds for nearly three hours. The birthday girl and her beau did Pursell’s twohour UTV tour. The last couple received massages at Spring House Spa. Each holds hands as we enter the inn. Like me, a few head to dine at Arrington, the Southern-inspired onsite restaurant. The four-course prix fixe menu changes often and, when I was there, included seasonal selections such as bacon-wrapped quail and herb-roasted lamb.

As I settle at my table for one, I resolve that I’ll be back soon, and next time, with my husband by my side. n

This pastoral resort in Sylacauga, Alabama, is the idyllic winter getaway STORY: Nicole Letts
PURSELL FARMS • 256.208.7600 • @pursellfarms
Old Tom's Pub offers a casual bar menu and a place to play a game of pool. Above: The entrance to Pursell Farms introduces a bucolic settting. Below: Visit Arrington, the property's fine-dining Southern-inspired restaurant.


Where Art Meets Fashion

The Maybourne Beverly Hills is one of a kind

It’s my birthday week, and I’m sneaking off for 48 hours in Beverly Hills. How delightfully self-indulgent. The 4.75-hour flight and 35-minute car ride deliver me to The Maybourne Beverly Hills, the first North American property from London-based Maybourne Hotel Group. The company artfully renovated the former Montage hotel space, now swathed in a soft Californian pastel palette sprinkled with distinctive artwork in virtually every nook. It’s beyond stylish, just like the haute fashion retailers the area is known for.

Inside my spacious, one-bedroom, 1.5-bath suite outfitted with curvaceous, bespoke furnishings by designer Bryan O’Sullivan, special touches abound. I note the fresh flowers; curated collections of books; adorable triangle jade table lamps; a colorful, custom glass mirror by Bryan O’Sullivan Studio; and an abstract landscape monoprint by artist Matt Jukes. Even the A/C vents boast creatively patterned covers.

On top of the hotel’s nine floors is a pool haven, where I retreat to soak in the California sunshine and

views of the Hollywood Hills. I order a delicious tuna poke bowl from the pool menu to my lounge chair.

Each of the three restaurants on property offers all-day dining. On the lobby level, I enjoyed the casual Maybourne Café for iced oat milk lattes and an egg-white frittata breakfast, and the charming Terrace restaurant for a romantic dinner with me, myself and I. Though the latter’s horseshoe banquets and mural by Silverlake-based artist Jessalyn Brooks inside look inviting, it’s no wonder why the al fresco dining wins the popularity contest: Twinkle lights, live acoustic music and the adjacent Beverly Cañon Gardens provide all the feels. Plus the housemade pastas, from spaghetti al pomodoro to corn agnolotti with black truffle, do not disappoint.

Pre- or post-dinner, The Maybourne Bar welcomes a spirited or spirit-free concoction with a heady list of creations based on the five elements. Try the Bali H’ai for a bright take on a lychee martini with Haku vodka, Ginjo sake and Sakura blossom.

The hotel is well-positioned to

travel the neighborhood by foot. Beverly Gardens Park a few blocks away houses the Beverly Hills sign above a darling lily pond—a mustsnap. From there, I watch LA’s notorious traffic build during morning rush hour on Santa Monica Boulevard, which slices the neighborhood in half with residential above and business district below. I first venture north for a self-tour of this prime real estate with homes that vary greatly in their architecture and modernity and trees featuring the tallest palms to the stateliest figs.

After I’ve had my fill of houses, I point back toward Beverly Hills’ shopping mecca to discover what looks the designer brands are serving up for fall/winter. Though my only purchase ends up being a $10 cat zipper cover for my kid, I have great fun poking through Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada and the like.

For a break from fashion, a few art galleries are in the area, such as Gagosian, which had abstract paint-

Relax fireside in the lounge or take a dip in a mineral pool before your Maybourne Spa treatment.

ings by Cy Twombly on display, and Winn Slavin Fine Art that showcases Sir Daniel K. Winn’s surreal works.

What better way to end (or spend) a day than at The Maybourne Spa? The expansive, 17-treatment-room facility provides a unisex mineral pool to soothe muscles, as well as relaxation lounges with saunas, steam rooms and a hot tub in the women’s area. My superb 60-minute “I am balanced” restorative facial incorporates ila products to boost collagen and brighten skin tone and soothing face, head and hand massages.

A visit to this spot in Beverly Hills is a super-fabulous way to ring in a new year of living well, that’s for sure. n

THE MAYBOURNE BEVERLY HILLS 310.860.7800 • @themaybournebh

Above: The quintessential Beverly Hills selfie at Beverly Gardens Park. The Maybourne Beverly Hills is perfectly positioned for a luxurious LA getaway.
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bing modern art works from textiles to paintings, curated by Atlanta-based consultant Soho Myriad.

catch up on emails. Instead, I parked it on the lobby’s modish blue sectional, sipped my glass of red wine and nibbled on a cucumber and smoked salmon appetizer, taking in the eclectic Midtown crowd.

Istepped into the sixth floor guest room of the Kimpton Shane Hotel, dropped my bag and collapsed on the king bed’s plush Frette linens. Work, mothering, Atlanta traffic all led me to this moment of surrender. After lying motionless for several minutes, I sat up to assess the guest room and was pleased to discover modern furnishings, a smoky-blue and neutral palette and views of West Peachtree through floor-to-ceiling windows. This would be my home for a short overnight getaway, and I would

enjoy every minute.

After taking a rejuvenating shower in the stone-tiled bathroom, I took a self-led tour of the newest Kimpton to open in Atlanta (there are now three). Twelve floors and 230 rooms, the glass-enveloped hotel was imagined by Studio 11 Design in partnership with Kimpton’s design team in bold, earthy colors and sculptural furnishings and lighting. It's clear that decor inspiration was taken from its close proximity to the High Museum of Art and MODA. Dotted throughout the property are attention-grab-

In addition to its artsy decor, the Kimpton Shane offers a gym with multiple Pelotons, yoga mats in every room, loaner designer bikes to travel the city streets and perks for fourlegged guests, some of which I met in the lobby at the evening social hour. From 5 to 6 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy complimentary beer and wine with bites in the living roomlike lobby that blends neutral tones with aged metals and natural stone. Behind glass paneled sliding doors is a quieter den with a large U-shaped

Before I realized it, it was dinner time. The hotel has two onsite restaurants, Hartley Kitchen & Cocktails and mezzanine-level cocktail bar Aveline, both under the direction of Executive Chef Mark Alba, formerly of 5Church, and General Manager Stephanie Bloink-Adams. My date (aka husband) arrived, and we opted for dinner at Hartley, and so did an Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight who sat nearby reading through what looked like his latest script. After overcoming the presence of our high-profile neighbor, we focused on the food: deviled eggs with black truffle and smoked bacon; barbecue pork bao buns; cornmeal-crusted fried catfish; sweet tea-brined roasted chicken; charred broccolini with garlic and red chili flakes. Each delicious bite was taken in between the conversations we can never finish at our noisy dinner table at home. We washed it down with cocktails and wine, and topped it off with a chocolate choux pastry (dark chocolate cream, cocoa nib hazelnut praline, milk chocolate whipped mousse and salted white chocolate ice cream). Strolling back through the lobby and up to our room, we felt worlds away from our daily grind. We were catching our breath and, in the morning, would be eager to return home. n

The new Kimpton Shane Hotel offers an energizing city vibe
STORY: Giannina S. Bedford The living room-like lobby features a monolithic carved front desk. Enjoy city views from the modern guest rooms of the Kimpton Shane Hotel. Cocktail lounge Aveline overlooks the lobby from its elevated perch.
your reservation
Discover the seductive spirit and vivid flavors of Le Colonial’s French-Vietnamese cuisine in the heart of Buckhead Village. Open Everyday for Lunch and Dinner 3035 PEACHTREE ROAD, NE LECOLONIAL.COM • 404-341-0500 Let yourself be transported to the timeless elegance of France in the heart of the Buckhead Village. Make

Canvas Blank

Not a single detail was overlooked in the design of Andrea Strickland and Jerry Cohen’s Peachtree Hills home. From how the sunlight falls on their art collection to the way the gutter downspouts frame the sleek lines of the stucco exterior to the bull-nosed wall corners, each element is intentional and aesthetically pleasing. Much of the credit is due to architect Tom Ventulett, a longtime friend of the couple and founder of tvsdesign, and interior designer Mark Williams.

“I had so much fun with our architect designing the house,” Strickland says. “It’s contemporary,

but still works within our neighborhood.” Nestled on a quaint street between more traditional abodes, the residence is a part of Peachtree Hills Place, a 55-plus, luxury community. The pair downsized from a 7,500-square-foot Buckhead home in 2020. Although their new two-bedroom, fourand-a-half-bathroom abode offers a reduced 4,500 square feet, the art-loving couple still wanted to display their vast collection. Ventulett responded by fashioning a gallerylike open living space with five walk-throughs, each creating a wall to spotlight a work of art. ➥


The stunning scissor truss ceiling runs the length of the home, from the living room to the back bedrooms.


A conversation space furnished in red Cantoni chairs is separated from the dining area by a heat-less water vapor fire element that Andrea uses year-round.

Andrea Strickland and Jerry Cohen worked with close friend, architect Tom Ventulett, to create their art-showcasing abode.

“The spaces were designed to be background to the art, and that was a lot of fun,” Ventulett says.

Williams placed artworks with thought to sightlines, colors and more.

“Mark even designated the heights of the pedestals for the sculptures. That makes a big difference,” Strickland says. “At our old home, as we bought new art, we simply hung it on whatever blank wall we had. Here, Mark placed each piece to create a room where the colors worked and showed off the piece of art. He did a great job.”

Williams arranged the furniture to create conversation spaces. A formal living room and an adjacent sitting area with red chairs from Cantoni reside aside a water vapor fire element where Strickland enjoys drinking wine and tea with guests.

The adjacent dining space features a circular glass table and accent wall in Sherwin Williams’ Grizzle Gray, complementing hues in the cocktail party painting above the sideboard.

“Jerry loves this painting because when you have a party it looks like they are joining in,” Strickland says. “Everyone talks about that.”

From items picked up during

“I had so much fun with our architect designing the house.”
— Andrea Strickland

far-flung travels to Cuba, Africa and Asia to pieces by local artists such as figurative painter Gail Wegodsky, the couple's collection runs the gamut in style and medium.

“I try to encourage young people when they are traveling to buy something they like. You don’t have to spend a fortune,” Strickland says. “We are definitely eclectic. If we see something we like, we buy it. We have never thought about where it was going to go in our home.”

One work that pre-dates Strickland is the painting of a female figure by Philip Pearlstein, an

American painter best known for modernist realism nudes, in Cohen’s office. “Jerry bought this young, right out of law school,” Strickland says. The piece used to hang in the couple’s living room but now resides in the office along with a collage of smaller works and a Michael Gilmartin rocker made of pressed plywood from South America. Just outside the office, the powder room features one of Strickland’s favorite design touches: a glass sink designed by Ventulett that openly cascades water from the faucet down into the floor.

Left: Andrea doesn't cook much anymore, but loves to entertain in the kitchen on the show-stopping marble island.

Left: The art-clad living room has a hidden television that ascends from the white cabinet designed by Mark Williams.

Below: The entry foyer recalls a gallery with each artwork expertly placed for visual enjoyment.

Below: Andrea's crafting room overlooks the outdoors through a large window and features some of her beloved teapot collection.


“Tom has this sink in his home, so it is a unique design,” Strickland says. “I always loved how people reacted to it, so asked his permission to copy it in our powder room.”

The drama starts in the entry foyer with a front door flanked with custom stained glass designed by Ventulett and created by glass design artist Mark Fallis and a large, blue-hued abstract painting that Strickland purchased off artist-friend Phyllis Franco’s wall. Next door, the living room showcases Murano glass blown by Italian artist Afro Celotto, a sparkling giclée purchased on a cruise and a collection of small climbing figures Strickland picked up at the American Craft Council. The figures accentuate the

height of the 34-foot walls that lead up to the unpainted wood ceiling finished with Ventulett-designed scissor trusses that accommodate art lighting through them.

“The ceiling was going to be white, and when the contractor put the wood up, he did such a great job of picking wood that didn’t have knots in it,” Strickland says. “And Tom said, ‘Why do we want to paint the ceiling?’”

What did remain white is the kitchen, where the frosted, semicircle window and square leaded glass above the sink provide light and privacy from the neighbors. The room also boasts a two-tiered waterfall marble island with a bold black vein that snakes its way from

one side to the other. Pops of color come from Strickland’s teapot collection, displayed on lighted shelves above the cabinets.

“With an all-white kitchen, my thinking was you needed a place to put art so that you could have some color,” Strickland says.

Around the corner is the homeowners’ bedroom, furnished with a Cantoni bed and paintings by Ventulett. The multi-talented architect’s works can also be viewed printed on glass on the back patio, where Drew Pepiot of Surrounding Landscapes designed wooden slates around the floral art works to block the view of the neighbors.

“The sun comes through at different times of the day, and it

changes the whole feeling of this deck,” Strickland says. “The spaces [between the wood slats] get wider at the top where you can get sun and a view of the leaves. [Drew] did a brilliant job.”

Upstairs, reached via a glass-enclosed stairwell or small, hidden elevator, is a landing adorned with a painting of a ballet dancer and her partner purchased on Miami Circle, and a collage wall of photographs the couple collected over the years. The second level is also home to Strickland’s office that doubles as a guest room via a pullout sofa bed. The loft-like space features a glass balcony overlooking the living room and a game table where Strickland hosts her bridge group. The ensuite

Above: The Strickland-Cohen residence stands out with its modern, sleek exterior. Right: Outdoor spaces, including this picturesque patio off the main living space, are a highlight the home. The back porch gets its privacy from the custom designed wood slats surrounding Ventulett's art printed on glass. The landing at the top of the stairs mixes art, photography and a side table of stacked books topped with an acrylic stand.

bathroom features a floral Kohler sink that Strickland fell in love with.

“I’m a big gardener and flower person, and we designed around the sink,” Strickland says. “It’s the perfect sink for someone like me that loves gardening and flowers.”

Strickland’s love of gardening is apparent through the home’s outdoor spaces, lushly designed and cared for with the help of Surroundings Landscape. Off the living room, the greenery surrounds an umbrella table and chairs atop a circular concrete pad in light and dark gray. The space is further accented with outdoor art works, from a metal dragon sculpture to a large rectangular piece finished in 14 coats of Mercedes-Benz red paint.

“At night, you can walk by and look through the garden, and the red piece is spotlighted,” Strickland says.

Off the bottom level is another outdoor space with a meandering path that leads to Strickland’s garden. When she isn’t tending her patch of green, she is often filling vases with freshly cut flowers in her craft room where a large picture window

Above: The homeowner's cat is at home on the Cantoni bed that is set below more of Ventulett's art.

Right: The Ventulett-designed waterfall sink is one of Strickland's favorite features.

overlooks the outdoors, just one of the many must-have elements that Ventulett successfully delivered.

“I can say the house is beautiful because I had a great architect and a great interior decorator, and I am good at writing checks,” Strickland says. “Tom gave us the ability to show our art but still have a house with a warm, welcoming feel. It could have easily become like an art gallery.” n

Andrea Strickland’s Favorite Design Details

1. “My conversation area by the fireplace with my red swivel chairs: I designed this for when girlfriends come over, and we want to chat over a glass of wine. At our previous home, there was not an informal place to sit.”

2. “The powder room sink: I love to watch people’s reactions when I turn on the water.”

3. “Because I love to have parties, I enjoy the overall traffic flow of the house.”


At Your Service

Doorstep amenities for the new year

Cut yourself some slack this year with one of these doorstep services. From meals and laundry to compost, these easy-touse programs available in Buckhead and beyond will help take to-do’s off your 2023 list.


The monthly subscription-based compost pick-up service provides one clean 4-gallon bin to fill with food scraps, including meat and dairy, and picks it up weekly ($39 per month) or bi-weekly ($29 per month). The full bin is swapped with a clean container each time. Bonus:

subscribers automatically earn 25% of the weight of their food scraps in finished compost for their garden or to share with local partners. • @compostnow


Meal kit services are all the rage, but when you don’t feel like lifting a finger, a hand-crafted meal from an award-winning chef that just needs reheating is ideal. Through CookUnity’s website, choose from four, six, eight, 12 or 16 meals per week ranging in price from $10.39 to $12.69 per meal, depending on the frequency. Next, select specific


CompostNow makes composting easy.


Produced by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, this Nelson Diamond Markers Clock is a piece of visual art. The sleek graphic design skips the numerals, offering two simple markers that appear to float while rotating around the dial. Available to order for $1,050 at Design Within Reach at the Westside Provisions District. • @designwithinreach

SudShare picks up your dirty laundry

front step (make sure to separate machine-dry and hang-dry in two bags) and returns it clean and folded the following day. For $1 per pound (pick-up and delivery is free), you can say goodbye to heaps of dirty clothes. Now, if only we could find someone to put it away. • @sudshare n

n Travel to the Buckhead-adjacent Museum of Design Atlanta to view “Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture.” Curated by architect, urban designer and researcher Sekou Cooke, the exhibition shows the work of 34 pioneers—students, academics and practitioners—who are at the center of “the emerging architectural revolution.” The show is on view through Jan. 29.

n The New York-based Suburban Jungle Group recently launched in the Atlanta market. The real estate advisory firm offers pre-search consultation services to help homebuyers from larger U.S. cities identify the best suburbs or neighborhoods for their needs. Originally launched in New York in 2004, Suburban Jungle was acquired in 2021 by @properties, one of the nation’s largest residential brokerage firms. In Atlanta, the company will be spearheaded by Kelly Lehman, Atlanta

market-lead strategist, who relocated here more than 25 years ago.

n Take in the vignettes of award-winning designers at ADAC’s Behind the Windows, on view through March 3. The year’s featured designers—including Lia Shin of C+H Interiors, Jennifer Astrop and Tim Hobby of Minotti by HA Modern and Bryan Kirkland and Lesia King of SHOWROOM 58—showcase how they use ADAC products in their installations, which are located onsite at Peachtree Hills’ ADAC and downtown at AmericasMart.

n Two well-known paint brands have released their 2023 colors of the year. Sherwin Williams’ pick is Redend Point, an earthy, neutral blush-beige tone. Benjamin Moore’s hue is the bolder Raspberry Blush, a lively shade of red orange. Happy painting!

Bailey Garrot Erik Bardin
BULLETIN BOARD BY Giannina S. Bedford
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10-by-12 inch Framed Plaster Intaglio ($450)

Drawing on the European tradition of intaglios, this three-dimensional paper art adds texture and dimension, plus visual interest with the contrast against a light wood frame. While the craft is not ancient, it has the same organic qualities that make Hellenic design so appealing. Grab a series of them to hang on a wall as a statement or display one on a side table with an easel for a hint of the Old World.

Dixon Rye • 404.883.3939 • @dixon_rye

Ancient-Inspired Wonders

What’s old is new again in design informed by the Greeks, Romans and other ancient cultures. The key to incorporating Hellenic- and Roman-inspired pieces into a design scheme to keep it from looking too literal is to do so judiciously, so you might have a hard time narrowing down your choices. Here are a few to consider.

Lauren Finney Harden

Stoneware gets an ombre upgrade in this ball carafe, available through Atlanta-based TALD, which stands for things done a little differently.

Italian artist Enrico Donadello creates each piece by hand using coiling and slabbing techniques. The organic shape is a conversation starter worthy of a prominent place on any bookshelf or case good.

TALD • 404.919.1929 • • @discovertald

Cole & Son Procuratie Wallpaper (price upon request)

A part of the Fornasetti Senza Tempo collection, the Procuratie wallpaper by Cole & Son is handcrafted in the United Kingdom and has a global look and feel. A perfect paper for intimate, jewel box spaces, it can transport you from a powder room or hallway to another time. If you like whimsy, it’s available in several iterations that have playful touches, such as monkeys perched on balconies. Cole & Son is a division of Kravet, so you can see it in person at the showroom at ADAC. Kravet • 404. 812.6995 • • @kravetinc

Bernardaud Constance Malachite Salad Plate ($148)

Storied brand Bernardaud goes GrecoRoman with its Constance Malachite series, available in sizes ranging from chargers and soup bowls to salad plates, available locally at fête. A deep malachite green, the plate features a motif with laurel leaves, oak and acorns, all symbols in ancient cultures. Refined and sophisticated, this fine china piece is of heirloom quality. fête • 404.254.0144 • @tresbellefete

Harkness Rug (price upon request)

Plush, subtle and statement-making, this hand-tufted rug adds texture without adding weight. Available in sizes 5-by-8 feet through 10-by-14 feet and with custom sizing as an option, it’s fit for a Greek god or goddess.

From Jaipur Living’s Capital collection, it fits seamlessly into traditional, transitional and modern designs. Available in three neutrals—oatmeal, whisper white and gunmetal—it’s a luxurious grounding element.

Jaipur Living • 888.676.7330 • • @jaipurliving

Enrico Donadello Ball Carafe ($420)



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Set sail with Regent Seven Seas Cruises® and make the most of those unforgettable moments.

celebrate with Regent 5605 Glenridge Drive, Suite 385 Atlanta, GA 30342 470-355-4279 •


Architect Norman Askins brings the past into the future

At age 80, Buckhead-based architect Norman Askins has no intention of slowing down. Winner of the 2022 Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Shutze Lifetime Achievement Award and author of Inspired by Tradition: The Architecture of Norman Davenport, he decided to be an architect when he was 10. Since then, his interest has never wavered.

A residential architect with a focus on preservation and restoration, Askins studied at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Virginia and Parsons School of Design in New

York before working at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he helped redesign the interior of the executive office wing of the White House, among other projects.

“Classicism always attracted me, as everything is inspired by history, by the past,” he says. “I’ve always saved materials—windows, bricks, mantelpieces—to reuse. I’ve been green since day one.”

After serving as director of restoration at John Milner Architects in Pennsylvania for several years, Askins returned to Atlanta and opened his own practice in 1977, specializing in

everything from period residences and vacation cottages to plantations.

“I love to use family history and old pieces. They give a house character,” he says.

We spoke to him to learn more about his technique and unstoppable urge to create.

How do you use a client’s family history to inform your design decisions?

I love to have a whole storyline that goes with it, whether it’s made up or real. You have to know people’s backgrounds to know what they like. (They also bring in pictures.)

We created a storyline of a Southern belle marrying a rich Hollywood producer for a house in California. It was both glamorous and classical.

Clients agree to the storyline, and it makes it easier to make decisions. It gives you boundaries.

Why do you think restoration and preservation are so important?

Most things done today are so hideous. It’s nice to have reference to the past to give a house some soul and character. Things today just look temporary. As Southerners, we like tradition more than most people. There’s just so much to look at. I love the romance of old houses. They have a bit of mystery with unexpected areas.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

One of my all-time favorites was a project in the south of France. Old clients of mine bought this farm— three townhouses put together, which is so unusual in the country. It’s a beautiful piece of land. I worked from photographs alone and never saw the house. Every room was a different height, and there wasn’t a single square corner.

A French architect had started [the project and designed] a laundry room the size of a postage stamp, 15-foot-long bathrooms and no closets in the bedrooms. They don’t know how Americans live! I was able to add an extra bedroom and bath, a walk-in laundry room and a walk-in linen room, and to improve the plan completely. Four years ago, we actually [got to see it] when we were in Europe.

You’ve had a long career. How have you seen the restoration trends change over the years?

People want different things than they wanted 50 years ago. Up to the Bicentennial, there was a huge rebirth from the past. There were a lot of tax write-offs to preserve buildings. When I started my practice in 1977, there was a huge interest in [Colonial] Williamsburg.

Now, [restoration] is not as popular because it’s so expensive. People want a more modern twist, even for old houses. They want lighter colors, simpler trim and more of an open [floor] plan. n

DAVENPORT ASKINS • 404.233.65657 • @normanaskins

Our writer tried meditating for 30 days in a row to see what would happen.
“The everyday stresses haven’t been getting me riled up.” — Karina Antenucci Meditation Motivation Page 44
PHOTO: Joann Vitelli

Starting at ‘D’

STORY: Elizabeth Harper

Lingerie company Jenette Bras wants women to honor their bodies. “You should take pride in your figure and your female power, and then by all means decorate it,” says brand co-creator Jenette Goldstein. Decorate it with Jenette Bras, of course.

Founded in Los Angeles by Goldstein, an actress whose credits include Aliens, Lethal Weapon 2, Terminator 2 and Titanic, and husband Aaron Noble, the custom-fit undergarment destination was modeled after the luxury fitting experiences common in Europe— and tailored to more well-endowed females. “Our alphabet starts at ‘D,’” says Goldstein, “which means women who’ve never been properly supported in their lives are discovering the world of accurate sizing.”

While Jenette Bras also carries smaller sizes, larger cups paired

with petite-to-average bust sizes are the brand’s expertise.

Now open in Decatur and Buckhead, the brand reached beyond its West Coast origins and arrived down South in 2020. “There was nothing arbitrary about the choice of Georgia,” says Noble. “Jenette’s family on her mother’s side has deep roots in Atlanta.” With links to Summerhill, Virginia-Highland, Clark Atlanta University and west Atlanta, where the couple spends their time when not in California, expanding the brand here was a natural next step. “The women of Atlanta are a gloriously dressy and sociable population, which makes them a perfect fit for Jenette Bras and vice versa,” says Goldstein.

The newest location, which opened in Buckhead last summer, is on Roswell Road near East Andrews in one of the last remaining vin-

tage storefronts in the community: Neighbors include Peoples, Pieces and The London Trading Company. “[This location] has a sense of history and privacy—almost like a lingerie speakeasy,” says Noble. Inside, the decor speaks to Atlanta’s charm, including a reception desk from local furniture maker Ryan Hancock and vintage family photos. The staff also participates in community outreach. “The best part of our day is when two or three generations of women come in together: A mom bringing her daughter in for her first fitting or a young woman introducing her grandmother to the technological advances in sports bras since she was last fit,” says Goldstein.

While the brand is still settling into its new digs, Goldstein and Noble already have eyes on future stores around the Southeast,

Clockwise from far left: Louise Bra and Underwear in Provence and Avero Bra and Underwear in Tiny Iris; Serie Bra in Colbalt; Aurora Nightdress; the Ellis Bra is exclusive to Jenette Bra's Buckhead store.

although mum’s the word on the exact when and where. “We’ve doubled in size from three stores to six since 2019 through COVID and recession,” says Goldstein. “And we’re taking a moment now to consolidate and strengthen our operations. I predict that we will, at minimum, open several more stores in the Southeast over the next five years.” In the meantime, Jenette Bras recently published a pinup-style weekly planner created and modeled by employees. n

JENETTE BRAS • 404.963.2393 @jenettebras_atl

Jenette Goldstein is on a mission to bring back the neighborhood bra lady
Jenette Bras cocreator Jenette Goldstein.

Underarm Detox

How to transition from traditional to natural deodorant

People are creatures of habit. From toothpaste to paper towels, when you find a brand you like, you often stick to it. The same goes with deodorant. Why make a change if the one you’ve been using since you can remember works well? The difference is there’s real evidence that traditional deodorants and antiperspirants may contain ingredients that are bad for your health. Here’s why you might consider making a switch to a natural product, and how to do so smoothly.

Product Ingredient No-Nos

Deodorants are created to make sweat smell better, while antiperspirants stop perspiration. Some of the more harmful ingredients in these products include aluminum, triclosan, phthalates and propylene glycol.

“These ingredients can be endocrine disruptors, impacting

overall hormone balance in men and women, along with links to health issues of the liver, kidney and brain,” says Dr. Taz Bhatia, integrative health expert and founder of CentreSpringMD and Dr. Taz MD in Brookhaven.

Natural Deodorants At Work

Underarm body odor is caused by bacteria on the surface of the armpit. Instead of stopping sweat or masking body odor with chemicals, natural deodorants work to lower the bacterial load that is causing the smell in the first place.

Bhatia suggests looking for natural deodorants with disinfectant properties, including coconut oil, tea tree oil, baking soda or cornstarch to absorb moisture, and essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary and sandalwood, for scent.

“Natural deodorants allow the body to sweat and therefore detox

Integrative health expert Dr. Taz Bhatia, founder of CentreSpring MD and Dr. Taz MD.

more naturally, lowering overall chemical load and improving general detoxification,” she says.

The Transition Plan

Once a regular deodorant is stopped, the bacteria will overflow, and you will get stinky—stinkier than you normally would without any deodorizing product. So an armpit detox is a good way to speed


Kosasport Chemistry in Serene Clean ($16)

This clean deodorant uses an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) blend to foster its balanced pH under your arms and doesn’t contain potentially irritating baking soda. Apply it with its roller ball and enjoy the light scents of orange, lavender, vetiver and ylang essential oils.

Taos AER Deodorant in Ginger Grapefruit ($19)

AILLEA 470.427.3992 @ailleabeauty

A gel-to-powder waterless formula, this natural deodorant glides on smoothly and dries fast. It is made up of 100% naturally derived ingredients including corn starch, grapefruit peel oil and ginger root oil.

up the process. “This is helpful to rebalance the armpit microbiome, which is usually suppressed with a typical deodorant,” Bhatia says.

To do an underarm detox, use 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay (a natural, detoxifying clay) mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, which has cleansing properties, and 1 teaspoon of water. Apply the paste to your underarms for around 10 minutes daily for a week or more until your underarm odor subsides.

If it is irritating at all, wash it off immediately.

Good Habits for B.O

There is a link between body odor and gut health, so following best practices to support a healthy gut can also be helpful to reduce B.O. Bhatia suggests taking a probiotic and removing high-sugar and refined foods from your diet. n

DR. TAZ MD • • @drtazmd

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Meditation Motivation

Ihave meditated on and off for the good part of 20 years but failed to ever develop a regular practice. Aware of the profound benefits for the mind and body, such as mental clarity, reduced stress levels and improved mood that come with consistent practice, I wanted to try again to make it stick. This time, I spoke with a couple of meditation experts for their advice. Here’s what they said and what I discovered over 30 days.

There are tons of different meditation types. From a guided voice or sound-bowl music on an app to quiet breathing and repeating a mantra (a statement or sound), there are many kinds of meditation. Jessica Calderon, yoga and meditation teacher at Springs Yoga in Sandy Springs and energy alignment coach at The J Way, suggests going with whatever you’re gravitating towards. I chose to alternate between quiet, deep breathing and silently repeating a mantra to

focus when my mind was particularly all over the place. I always start with a body scan and breathe into any areas of tension.

Research has shown that even five minutes of meditation per day is beneficial. Sandy Springs-based transcendental meditation expert John Pappas recommended two sets of 20-minutes meditations daily (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Honestly, this felt impossible between my work, mom and social schedule, so with Calderon’s more flexible feedback, I modified his advice to make my goal one 20-minute session each day.

Meditation is called a practice for a reason. Just like any other wellness routine, be it going to the gym or preparing a healthy meal, discipline and devotion to yourself are required to see it through. In the beginning, I felt like my mind was just ping-ponging from topic to topic, and the meditation


1. Quiet place: Go in your closet if you have to. Put your phone on silent.

2. Seated position: This can be in a chair, up against a wall or sitting crisscross. Just make sure your back is straight to help with breathing and energy flow.

3. Timer: This is a good tool at first so you don’t keep wondering how many minutes you’ve been meditating.

wasn’t “working.” On some days, it caused anxiety to simply sit down for a full 20 minutes with a milelong to-do list awaiting me for the day. But every now and then, something clicked, and the time flew by. I was observing thoughts in cloudlike fashion as they drifted in and out without my engaging in them.

“You are training your mind just like a movement practice is training your body. Until you’re feeling results, it can feel task-y. You’re also training yourself to say, ‘I don’t get up at the first thought of discomfort,’” says Calderon.

Finding the right time is a challenge but key.

At first, I bounced around between meditating first thing before getting out of bed (which felt too sleepy) and at various times in the afternoon, which felt forced in between work tasks. The inconsistency in times also led me to skip days here and there.

I found the most success after dropping my daughter at school prior to starting the workday or settling into a quiet space after a shower and cup of coffee on the weekends.

“The more you do it at the same time and in the same place every day, the more you’ll get into the state faster,” Calderon says.

The results of meditating for 30 days are in.

I’m noticeably calmer and feel more connected to my body. The everyday stresses haven’t been getting me riled up. I have come to a place where I really enjoy meditating and will continue to see what other shifts happen over time. n

THE J WAY • • @jessicathejway


404.909.5007 • @transcendentalmeditation

What I learned over 30 days of practice


There’s usually no fast track in the competitive world of fashion design. Years of trial and error are the norm, with a number of false starts and harsh rejection thrown in.

But don’t tell that to Buckhead designer Femi Ola, whose journey has been more like a rocket launch than any slow and bumpy road to success. Debuting in late 2021, her Ade by Femi line was featured in New York Fashion Week and worn by celebrities—all before it turned 1.

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and educated in the U.K., Ola always had an interest in fashion, but since childhood, only one professional

Fashion designer Femi Ola takes off

goal: to become a fourth-generation lawyer. And she accomplished it, first practicing at a firm and then going in-house in the oil and gas industry, all the while earning praise for her style.

Here, she talks about what led her to start a fashion line and what her brand represents.

When did you first start designing clothes?

I actually started when I was in law school. As a U.K.-trained student, I had to take [additional courses] to qualify for the Nigerian bar, and you couldn’t wear trousers to class. So, I started making skirts for my-

self, and then my classmates started buying them from me.

You continued to make items for yourself but were in the midst of a flourishing legal career when you started Ade by Femi. What prompted you to create a fashion line? It was late 2021, and my husband and I were going to dinner at Hal’s in Buckhead. Like most women, my weight goes up and down, and I was between sizes and not feeling at my best or most attractive. But I wanted to go, and I wanted to look sensational.

I just threw on this jacket I had made. It was very heavily embel-

lished with embroidery, sequins, beads and stones. I put it on over a tank top with a pair of jeans and heels, and I went out. And I tell you, people kept coming up to my table to talk about my jacket. By the time I left, I was floating. That day, I went from feeling so self-conscious about the extra pounds to feeling very beautiful. And I thought to myself, “You know what? More women should feel this way about themselves, regardless of whether they’ve gone up or down a couple of sizes.”

So that day, I decided I was going to create a line of jackets that were stunning, heavily embellished and very flattering and forgiving sizewise. I participated in a pop-up at Phipps Plaza and unveiled the collection to my friends and family in December 2021—and I haven’t looked back since!

The company has expanded beyond jackets since then. How would you define your brand?

Women juggle so many roles on a daily basis, and I think we need to revel in the fullness of it all. We are all icons, and we don’t need to fit into anybody’s box. I want my garments to reflect that.

Months after your launch, you found yourself participating in New York Fashion Week. How did that come about?

I’d been following the blog Fashion Bomb Daily for years, and I contacted them to introduce my brand and inquire about being in the show. When they invited me, I was nervous and almost chickened out. I was encouraged by the curator of the show and, amazingly, she turned up in one of my designs [the Phoenix dress]. That was the biggest compliment. It was a wonderful experience. Preparing for it was chaotic, but it was thrilling!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself doing this on a much larger scale, with Ade by Femi being stocked in the largest luxury stores around the world. Possibly with my own fashion store. Still based in Buckhead, but splitting my time between all the places that my company will have a presence by then, God willing. n

SIMPLY BUCKHEAD •  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023  47  KIDS  PETS   STRATEGIES FAMILY Classic engagement ring styles, such as the solitaire, are always in style. Put a Ring on It Page 54 “[An engagement ring is] a legacy item…that needs to be practical for her lifestyle.” — Ronnie Agami
Heidi Harris

The kid's tray at bartaco comes with a little bit of everything.


Restaurants offering variety for pint-sized diners

Parents can rely on children's menus to serve up favorites such as mac and cheese and chicken fingers. These dishes are always good in a fussy-eating pinch, but sometimes it’s nice to have options that stretch kids’ culinary wings. Some local restaurants agree, adding more adventurous menu options for fledgling foodies.

Amalfi Buckhead

Skip the plain buttered pasta and have your little one dig into chicken alfredo, cheese ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs, all on the kid’s menu at Amalfi Buckhead. Highlighting classic Italian street food, this eatery also offers several pizzas to choose from. Top off the Italian feast with the kid-sized cannoli, one pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese and sweetened with confectioners’ sugar, chocolate chips and an orange candy. • @amalfipizzaatl

bartaco Chastain

From not-spicy guacamole with chips to a chicken, steak or fish taco, bartaco offers many small-tolarge kid meal options. Tyke-sized sides of corn, cucumbers, steamed broccoli, avocado or the Oaxaca cheese snack are perfect for picky eaters. Other options include roasted chicken and the can’t-fail quesadilla. Not sure what your kiddos might eat? Order the kid’s tray that comes with a quesadilla, corn wheels, a fruit skewer and choice of taco. For takeout or delivery, get the kid’s tray served in a keepsake retro metal lunch box with a giveaway item included. • @bartacolife

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Westside Introduce the little ones to some finger lickin’ barbecue at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Westside. The kid menu options include a pulled pork or chopped brisket sandwich

and corn dog, along with the reliable grilled cheese sandwich and chicken fingers. The best part is each comes with a choice of a side, ranging from baked beans and mac and cheese to cornbread. Dig into the famous Frito pie (chili ladled over Fritos in a bag), but just make sure to hold the jalapeno and onion toppers. • @foxbrosbarbq

Flower Child

The name says it all at this eatery with locations in Sandy Springs, Buckhead and the Westside. For kids 12 and under, pick a protein (steak, chicken or tofu) and two sides—healthy options such as broccoli with parmesan, a smashed potato or sweet corn and quinoa. A gluten-free mac and cheese or clementine and watermelon for fruit lovers are also available. • @eatflowerchild n


At Taco Mac, including locations in Sandy Springs and the Perimeter, the “Little Mac’s” menu offers kid-sized servings of boneless wings with choice of sauce, as well as beef tacos, minicorn dogs, a burger or chicken tenders. Each meal comes with a side (think cilantro rice or fried pickle chips with ranch, among many options), a drink and Rice Krispies Treat. The best part is that for each meal purchased, Taco Mac donates 25 cents to Camp Twin Lakes, a camp for children suffering from serious illness, disabilities or other life challenges. @tacomacofficial

Flower Child's kid options keep health in mind. Kids can dig into barbecue favorites at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Manny Vargas
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Keeping Cats Safe

According to Best Friends, which operates the nation’s largest homeless animal sanctuary and partners with multiple shelters, almost 14,118 dogs and cats were killed in 2021 in Georgia’s animal shelters. Although about half the state’s animal shelters are considered no-kill, there is still a long road to reducing unnecessary euthanasia. Good Mews Animal Foundation, which partners with Best Friends, is a no-kill cat shelter making strides through its targeted programming.

Taking a Deeper Dive

Since 1988, Good Mews has placed more than 11,000 cats into permanent homes. The organization takes the overpopulation issue to heart with its Community Cat Program. According to Good Mews, free-roaming cats risk losing their lives because they make a home out-

side. Many felines are taken to local shelters where they are not always suitable for adoption because they have not been socialized to people.

“Our main goal with the Community Cat Program is to reduce the number of ownerless stray and feral cats who live outdoors, on our streets and in our neighborhoods, in a humane and successful way,” says longtime Buckhead resident Valee Penn, a member of the Good Mews board and a volunteer with its Trap-Neuter-Return team. “It is a lifesaving program that allows community cats’ lives to be spared while addressing the overpopulation problem.”

Through TNR, cats are trapped humanely, provided a veterinary exam and given a spay or neuter surgery along with a applied ear tipping. The cats also receive the necessary vaccines to survive outdoors and are returned safely to their communities. As part

of the program, volunteers are trained to do TNR.

“In 2021, we completed 3,148 surgeries, which includes our TNR cats,” says Penn, who added that they were on track to exceed that number in 2022.

Bringing Public Awareness

According to Penn, trapping, neutering and returning cats to their communities bring about several benefits, including preventing unwanted litters, saving taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of municipal shelters, decreasing the number of cats killed in shelters and improving the cats’ health.

Interested in lending a hand? Penn suggests reaching out to local TNR groups to get involved. To advocate for getting pets spayed or neutered, Good Mews also offers low-cost, high-quality surgeries to the general public.

Finding the Perfect Match

Good Mews is also making a difference by ensuring cats adopted from shelters aren’t returned because the owner wasn’t aware of the responsibility required to care for the pet. Good Mews adoption counselors discuss the cost of annual vet visits and vaccinations, food and treats, toys, beds, litter and medications with potential adopters.

“People who want to adopt a pet need to realize the time and financial requirements necessary,” says Penn. “You have to be able to spend quality time every day interacting with your new ‘fur friend’ and realize this is a 15- to 20-year commitment if you get a puppy or a kitten. Make the decision that is in the best interest of the animal.” n

GOOD MEWS • 770.499.CATS (2287) • @goodmewsanimalfoundation

Good Mews and its local volunteers make an impact STORY: Chelsie Butler Good Mews Animal Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society are Atlanta-area shelters helping cats and dogs find good homes.

Put a Ring on It

You’ve planned the perfect proposal. You know when and where it’s going to be and what you’re going to say. The only missing piece of the puzzle is the ring that you’ll be holding when you get down on one knee and ask the love of your life to marry you. It’s certainly a daunting choice— and one that can come with a rather large price tag. You not only want to choose the ring that your beloved will cherish for a lifetime, but also make a smart financial investment.

Ronnie Agami, owner of Buckhead’s Universal Diamond Corporation, has the insights to help you select and purchase the engagement ring of your soon-to-be fiancée’s dreams.

When should I start ring shopping?

I suggest starting the process about two to three months before you propose. That gives you a good

starting point to begin looking for the right ring.

What are some of the trends in engagement rings today?

The classics are always in style, and they are very popular right now. We’re seeing elongated shapes like ovals, as well as emerald cuts, radiant cuts, cushion cuts and solitaires. We’re also seeing a lot of yellow gold—much more than we did 20 years ago. And many people are choosing to go custom; they are differentiating their rings by choosing a classic engagement style and customizing it with an interesting band.

How do I know what kind of ring she wants?

The beauty of the internet is that some women have a Pinterest page, and they may have pinned some ideas there. You also could talk to

a very close friend who could give you some ideas while being trusted to keep such a big secret. Of course, some women want to be involved in selecting their engagement ring, and you can go and look at rings together in a shop or online. If you want to keep the element of surprise for the engagement, you always have the surprise of timing.

I’m still worried that I won’t choose a ring she loves. What can I do? A great option is to go with a temporary setting or something very simple and plain that doesn’t have too much cost involved. After you give her the ring, you can bring it back in together and change it to whatever setting she wants.

How much should I plan to pay for a ring?

I’ve never subscribed to the old adage that that you should set aside two or three months of salary for a ring. You have to have a level of comfort with what you are going

to spend. So it’s important to see options at several price points. You may be shown two rings at very different price points and not see a difference, so pay for what you see and not what you don’t see.

What’s the most important thing to remember about shopping for an engagement ring?

It is a big purchase. It’s a legacy item, but it’s also an item that needs to be practical for her lifestyle. And as you’re moving through the experience, it should be fun. It should be a really enjoyable process. n


404.237.1050 • @universaldiamonds

How to select and purchase the perfect engagement ring
Ronnie Agami of Universal Diamonds assists clients with the ring purchase process.
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It's Possible Page 58
“Art has value and is an asset, but at the same time, it’s hard to understand why it costs what it does. ” — Kristen Giorgi


Achance meeting at an art event in 2016 turned artists Kristen Giorgi and Sheyda Mehrara into best friends and business partners. The two quicky discovered they shared a similar goal: to open a different type of working studio/gallery where visitors could see not just works on white walls but how those pieces might appear in their own homes.

“We had a moment when we had the same idea without even talking to each other,” says Giorgi, who lives in Brookwood Hills and works in oversized abstracts.

It took months of scouring available sites before Impossible Currency opened in late September in Buckhead Village. The pair emptied Mehrara’s Ormewood Park basement of its cache of antique

furniture, set up a work space big enough for oversized canvases and created vignettes to show off their art. It’s all under 30-foot ceilings and lit by natural light streaming in from the oversized storefront windows.

“It’s always been important to give our collectors context, and since we work with quite a few interior designers, we wanted our work to align with that,” says Giorgi. “And we enjoy putting things together, so we might have a piece of art next to two vintage chairs.”

The vignette concept breaks the mold of a typical gallery, says Mehrara. “It goes beyond white walls and hardly any furniture. Because this is our studio and gallery, we can make it feel like home. The pieces have a place with the objects we bring

Buckhead gallery combines art with design possibilities

in. And it works since I have a real addiction to buying antiques: They had to go somewhere!”

The artists’ pieces are surrounded by benches, coffee tables, vintage vases, chairs, lamps and more, all assembled in a mix of textures–marble, travertine, honey-colored woods, caning and plaster.

“We hope to sell those pieces as well as the art, so we can acquire more,” says Giorgi. “That way when we bring something out, it will look fresh every time.”

At the rear of the space, the two perfect their craft. Mehrara’s comfort zone is the 2.5- to 3-foot range for abstracts on primed, raw linen. Giorgi specializes in abstract landscapes on unprimed linen that she calls “big, impactful and impressive” pieces as big as

6-by-12 feet. “So if you stand up close, there’s something happening, but when you stand far away, there’s another experience.”

Whether the focus is art, vintage accent pieces or unusual furnishings, the gallery’s collection fits the title Impossible Currency that explores the peculiarity of art: It has a form of currency that’s almost impossible to peg.

“Art has value and is an asset, but at the same time, it’s hard to understand why it costs what it does,” said Giorgi. “So it is a currency in a sense. The name even relates to the nature of our relationship. We’re now best friends and partners. How do you put currency on that?” n

IMPOSSIBLE CURRENCY • 330.618.2891 • @impossiblecurrency

Artists Kristen Giorgi (left) and Sheyda Mehrara work and showcase art in their Buckhead gallery.

Prolific textbook author Dr. Ronald E. Goldstein is known in dental communities around the world. His updated two-volume Esthetics in Dentistry was originally published in 1976, and his best-selling Change Your Smile, written in 1984, has been printed in 14 countries.

His most recent tome, a coffeetable book entitled About Life: A Photographer’s Story, is a far departure from his previous medical works. It’s a collection of 200 photos Goldstein took over the last 30 years during his global travels to teach and make presentations. One hundred percent of its proceeds go to Tomorrow’s Smiles, a special initiative of America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, which was established in 2010 with a founding gift by Goldstein to provide teens with critical dental services that cost more than their families could afford. Goldstein is gifting his book to donors who make a $350 contribution to America’s ToothFairy. Donors who give $500 receive an autographed copy. Goldstein also donated 250 books to the organization.

The impetus to create Tomorrow’s Smiles came when he got a call from a psychiatrist friend 15 years ago. “He was treating a teenager who was so severely bullied because of her unsightly teeth that she barely talked, dropped out of school and refused to return,” he says. “Since the family didn’t have the funds for cosmetic dentistry, he wondered if I would provide the surgery pro bono. I immediately agreed. The results were so dramatic that she returned to high school, graduated and has become a successful adult.”

To help teens across the country, he recruited colleagues willing to volunteer their time and expertise to one or two teens each year, provided the costs for lab fees and dental materials were covered by the nonprofit. Tomorrow’s Smiles placed solicitations in newsletters from America’s ToothFairy and other industry publications, and the response was overwhelming. “Many

Changing Lives

It’s all in the smile STORY: Mickey Goodman

times, reshaping teeth is painless, but the changes are striking,” he says. “To date, Tomorrow’s Smiles has provided free cosmetic surgery for more than 300 teens.”

To raise additional funds, Goldstein, an avid photographer, and his wife, Judy, enlisted the help of Jiffy Page, owner of photobook and memoir company Pixorium. The trio sifted through 3,000 photos Goldstein had taken over the past decades. They pared them down to 1,000 and then painstakingly selected 200. “None were randomly

placed,” he says. “Each photo has a page to itself that relates to the one on the opposite page, like the one of two swans beak-to-beak on the right and two loving zebras on the left.”

Though officially retired, the Sandy Springs resident still sees patients at Goldstein, Garber & Salama several times a week. An art lover and dentist to the stars, Goldstein donated the bulk of his art and Coca-Cola collections to the Ronald Goldstein Center for Esthetic & Implant Dentistry at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta

University 25 years ago. It includes a self-portrait painted by comedienne Phyllis Diller; an Andy Warhol print of Apollonia, the goddess of dentistry; memorabilia from humor author Erma Bombeck and more. n • @americastoothfairy

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Piano Guy

Don Jones brings Broadway teachings to Brookhaven

Over the course of his 15year career as a pianist in pit orchestras and later conducting for Broadway and off-Broadway productions, Don Jones played the piano for “20,000” Broadway auditions.

“I have seen every single type of performer. I can now relay this experience to those who want to become better at their musical theater craft,” says Jones, who founded performing arts studio The Studios Brookhaven in early 2022.

Jones started playing the ivories as a child and quickly realized he was a gifted musician. During college on Long Island in the early 2000s, he sought work and connections in Manhattan, where he forged a friendship with composer Stephen Schwartz, who later wrote

Wicked. This relationship and his obvious talent led Jones to play for Wicked and then other productions such as Flower Drum Song, The Little Mermaid and Wonderland

Today, Jones enjoys bringing his expertise and that of other professionals to the kids and adults who attend The Studios’ music lessons, musical theater classes and children’s group classes.

Here, he talks about the unique aspects of his business and plans for more artistic endeavors in Atlanta next year and beyond.

What prompted you to open The Studios Brookhaven?

I have a 3.5-year-old daughter, Allie, who is a COVID baby, and when the world started opening up, my wife and I were looking around to see

what was out there for her to do. There’s very little [programming] for ages 3 to 5 before they go to elementary school unless they are in a preschool. We found a cool niche in our children’s programming, which is for all ages, but the bulk of our business is 3- to 5-year-olds.

What does teaching mean to you? I love being able to simplify things and show kids that a lot of this stuff that seems difficult is just common sense. You have to get to a point as a truly professional performer to see that and break it down for kids. That’s our secret sauce.

What’s your hiring philosophy? It ultimately comes down to being able to give kids a true education based on experience at the highest level. Every teacher is a performer and has a college degree. All of these people aren’t just teaching something they learned in a classroom themselves: They all perform every week. This is really important.

What’s next for you and The Studios? Eighty percent of my energy is

focused on our education programs because Atlanta is lacking compared to other large cities. I want to make a mark. We’re also looking into creating a [nonprofit] production company to put on full-stage musicals. It’s a bit premature, but the goal would be to promote new works, not the same productions we often see, and show people “here is the future of musical theater.”

The Studios may also be producing concerts under the stars with big-name performers at Pullman Yards starting in January.

Where do you like to spend time in Brookhaven?

My life revolves around my daughter, so we love Dresden and hanging out at any of the shops. We have two dogs that we take to the park over there. We are huge fans of Brookhaven. Kate grew up in historic Brookhaven. Allie also loves the DeKalb Peachtree airport, playing on the playground and watching the planes. n

THE STUDIOS BROOKHAVEN 678.224.1810 • @thestudiosbrookhaven




In 2005, Darrell Mays was on a flight home from vacation and watched a documentary on youth aging out of foster care. He had what he calls his epiphany: He would support education for those aging out of the system. With that, the nsoro Foundation was born. According to Executive Director Monica Pantoja, the name is derived from the Ghanaian term nsoromma, or children of the heavens. “We believe the children we serve, with so few blood ties, need to be supported and shepherded,” she says. “Our work is not about us but the youth we serve.”

The 2023 Starfish Ball on Jan. 21, named for the starfish poem with the line “it made a difference to that one,” fundraises for nsoro’s scholarship pro gram that benefits young adults ages 16 to 26. The program is about more than just signing a check; recipients are guided to “becoming the best version of themselves” with the assistance of a life coach and lessons in workforce readiness.

Attendees not only enjoy an evening of what Pantoja calls “unparalleled excitement;” they also leave inspired and humbled at how far donations go to uplift young adults. College graduates attend the event and offer powerful testimonies, and donors are treated to a presentation on their successes. Two philanthropists are also honored, typically one from Georgia and one from another market with scholar saturation. “Our honorees are darlings of the community,” Pantoja says. “We call them the King and Queen

because our founder’s family is from New Orleans, and each year there’s a Mardi Gras theme.”

This year’s Starfish Ball is at St. Regis Atlanta from 6 p.m. until midnight. Attendees can look forward to a “well-curated and well-paired dinner, live music, live and silent auctions and a pivot to the party with sounds from confetti cannons,” says Pantoja. Tickets are $2,500 per couple. n • @nsorofoundation

Starfish Ball attendees not only enjoy an evening of unparalleled excitement, they leave inspired and humbled.

College grads attend the Starfish Ball to offer powerful testimonies and philanthropists are also honored.

Denise K. James

Fans of Atlanta-based Brandon Sadler should make plans to visit the SCAD alumni’s first solo exhibit in six years at FreeMarket Gallery through February. Titled “Beyond Time,” this exhibit will showcase an impressive 60 new works arranged within an immersive and interactive space.

Sadler is known for his blend of American graffiti with Japanese, Korean and Chinese calligraphy. His unique graphic and typographic artworks and installations explore the depths of the human condition.

Sadler will host Japanese tea ceremonies throughout the exhibit (check the FreeMarket site for dates). Exhibit admission is free, but RSVPs are encouraged. FreeMarket Gallery is located at 1193 Howell Mill Road. n

A frequent traveler to Great Britain, beer aficionado Owen Ogletree says he “fell in love with England’s cask ale” and decided residents and visitors back home needed to try it. Cask ale

is served without filtration or artificial Co2 and pasteurization, according to Ogletree, and the result is yeast eating the sugar and Co2, leaving a more natural carbonation. “You can

taste the malt, hops, yeast and special ingredients,” he explains. “It’s a cool way to enjoy craft beer.”

At the 17th annual Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting on Jan. 21, patrons 21 and older will enjoy 60 casks from various breweries offering unique beers with special ingredients. Though several locations have hosted the event, Ogletree says Bold Monk Brewing is his favorite. “We have casks on their outdoor patio and upstairs. People can check out the facility, try the beers and enjoy good food.”

Tickets are $48 each to indulge in beers you can’t find at supermarkets.

“The only way to taste these beers is to come to the event,” Ogletree says. “Bring your friends and have a good time.” n


Jan. 15 martin-luther-king-jr-day Honor one of history’s most inspiring civil rights activists through a variety of virtual and in-person educational activities at the Atlanta History Center. Visit the site for details.


Jan. 19 Fans of blues and Americana will love Heather Luttrell and the Possumden, live at City Springs for the Studio Series. The show begins at 8 p.m., and tickets start at $20 per person.


Feb. 12 atlanta-georgia-sunday-february-12-2023/

Calling all lovebirds! The Great Bridal Expo is an opportunity to comb through ideas for your dream wedding. Tickets are $10 each, or bring the whole family for $40.

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS AT BUCKHEAD THEATRE Feb. 13 Known for hits like “Money Grabber” and “More Than Just a Dream,” this lively pop band is sure to shake off winter blues with energetic tunes. The show kicks off at 8 p.m., and tickets start at $34.50.

BUZZ Cure What “Ales” You 17th Annual Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting
Make Time for Art
Atlanta-based Brandon Sadler hosts immersive solo show • @freemarketart EVENTS BY Denise K. James
FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS May you and your loved ones have a happy, blessed new year.


Ready, Go!


Traveling, whether it’s close to home or someplace farther flung, can offer relaxation, exhilaration, adventure and opportunities to see the world through fresh eyes. You might choose a drivable, family-friendly destination to get away from it all in a tiny house or to finally plan that bucket list trip you’ve always dreamed about. Regardless, this feature has you covered. No matter where or how you choose to explore, we wish you happy travels!



Elizabeth: BB Dakota Bottle Green Dress ($99), Marc Fisher Kulika Booties ($189), All Saints Kira Crossbody ($299), Bauble Bar Delilah Hoops ($42)

Zachary: BOSS Lacrimo Sweater ($208), AJ Tellis Slim-Fit Jeans ($215), Robert Barakett Renoir Jacket ($295), Cole Haan Osborn Shoe ($180) Available at Nordstrom.


Road trips from Atlanta made easy—getting there is half the fun

The options for road trips from Atlanta abound. Within hours, you can be in the mountains, at a lake or on Georgia’s glorious coastline. If you’re itching to plan an itinerary, here are three must-visit destinations and enticing stops along the way to break up the drive.


Lake Rabun, about two hours from Buckhead, has long been a home away from home for Atlantans thanks to its proximity and all it has to offer, especially for nature enthusiasts. Peace and quiet can be found along the winding lake, as can traditional outdoor activities such as boating and waterskiing. Most food options can be found in nearby Clayton ( and Tallulah Falls (, such as Tallulah 1882 (, a tea house and coffee shop. If you’re looking to have a bite on the lake, Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant ( will satisfy. Private rentals are the preferred accommodation as most are on the lake, but there are a few bed-and-breakfasts and inns such as Glen-Ella Springs Inn & Restaurant (, a short drive away from lake access.

On the Way

Practically a destination unto itself,

Jaemor Farms ( is about halfway between Atlanta and Lake Rabun. Enjoy its robust farmstand and market, plus activities such as corn mazes, pumpkin patches or peach picking, depending on the season. Stop in Clarkesville (, which has a quaint downtown and Main Street with shops and restaurants. Before getting out of the car, stop at Tallulah Gorge State Park (, 8 miles from Lake Rabun, to take a scenic hike at one of Georgia’s most visited state parks. n


A five-hour drive to the coast of Georgia might seem interminable, but it’s worth it if St. Simons Island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles, is your destination. A popular vacation spot for a reason, it boasts many features, including its quaint downtown The Pier and several resorts such as The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort (, The Cloister at Sea Island and The Lodge at Sea Island ( Barbecue fans will want to pencil in a stop at Southern Soul Barbeque ( If you’re into seafood, options such as Barbara Jean’s ( and Crabdaddy’s ( have been serving locals and visitors alike for decades. Day trips to nearby Cumberland Island (, Jekyll Island ( and Sapelo Island can also be easily arranged.

Above: Charming downtown Clayton offers food options for Lake Rabun goers. Below: Jaemor Farms is a must-stop on the way to Lake Rabun. Tallulah Gorge State Park’s suspension bridge offers sweeping vistas. Glen-Ella Springs Inn & Restaurant is near Lake Rabun. Christian Giannelli Explore Georgia Jake Tekippe

On the Way

The small town of Juliette is the home of The Whistlestop Cafe (, a central figure in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Indulge in traditional Southern fare such as fried chicken and country fried steak while you take in the picturesque restaurant. Savannah ( is a

natural stop as I-16, the middle interstate that connects I-85 to 1-95, ends there. It warrants its own trip, of course, but if you only have a little while to explore, I-16 ends about 6 blocks from the Mercer-Williams House Museum ( and nearby famous Forsyth Park Further along I-95 is Old School Diner ( an out-ofthe-way seafood joint that is an experience to remember. After you turn at the Smallest Church in America on Highway 17 and Harris Neck Road, you’ll know you’re close to Old School Diner when you smell fried shrimp. n


If it’s wide-open expanses and sunsets that you crave, head to Northwest Georgia and visit Blue Ridge. Unwind Luxury Vacations ( is a good place to start if you’re looking for vetted, luxurious cabins. The area has 15 to choose from, and there’s not a bad view in the bunch. Stroll through downtown and be sure to stop at Das Kaffee Haus ( on Main Street for your morning brew. Restaurants and local shops mix with attractions such as the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway ( and Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association ( Take a midday break at Harvest on Main (, a farm-to-table restaurant where housemade

pimento cheese and blackened local trout are favorites.

On the Way

Any northwest-bound road trip needs to start with a trip to Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum ( There, browse the world’s largest Bigfoot museum, complete with interactive displays. If you have time once on I-75, head west to Booth Western Art Museum ( in Cartersville. It’s easy to get back on track by connecting with State Route 411. Ellijay ( is another nearby charming mountain town popular with explorers. n

Above: Savannah’s MercerWilliams House displays the city’s stately history. Below: The lobby of The Cloister at Sea Island is grand. Below: Soad in nature at Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach. Below: American history comes to life at Booth Western Art Museum. Above: The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a popular attraction. Left: See moss-draped trees on Cumberland Island. Explore Georgia
Courtest of Sea Island Explore Georgia
COVER STORY WELL A-POINTED Maximize your reward points to score free and upgraded travel
STORY: Jennifer Bradley Franklin PHOTO: Sara Hanna
to score rewards
Points guru Zachary Abel teaches followers how travel through his brand, Monkey Miles.

Zachary Abel has traveled the world, much of it for free (or close to it), thanks to strategic accumulation and application of rewards points. His most dramatic example so far was the 2017 trip he planned for himself and his parents to celebrate his mother’s 75th birthday.

The 24-night excursion from Boston to Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Bali, Dubai, France and more; staying in four and five star hotels; and flying in business and first class would have retailed for more than $125,000. Instead, strategically redeemed reward points covered the bulk of expenses so the out-of-pocket outlay was less than $1,600 per person.

The Atlanta-based former actor-turnedpoints guru, who also has a degree in finance and international business, teaches others how to duplicate his results through his travel hacking brand and newsletter, Monkey Miles. Here, Abel shares how to hone your skills.

Stay Flexible

If you’re loyal to a particular airline or hotel brand, it seems intuitive to apply for one of their branded rewards credit cards and rack up points there. Not necessarily. The problem is that “you’re bound not only to their program, but also their pricing,” Abel says. “They can devalue [those points] overnight, which they do all the time.”

Instead, it’s smart to have a well-rounded collection of credit cards and reward programs, which Abel likens to a movie cast. Think of your most flexible cards as the stars, with supporting cast members in the form of brand-specific cards that offer the perks you value. For example, you might keep a Delta SkyMiles American Express card for the reduced-price lounge access, free checked bags and priority boarding.

The advantages of flexible programs are immense. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards card allows users to accumulate points and then transfer them to use with more than 15 travel partners. If you find a great deal on a flight with Qantas, Air France or Emirates, you can redeem points without being locked into a single carrier.

Have your eye on a big trip? Start planning around 18 months ahead to build up enough points to fund it.


Sign-up bonuses are one of the best ways to accrue points quickly, an impact that can be “huge,” according to Abel. Credit card companies offer bonus point offers to lure new cardholders, often predicated on a certain threshold of spend during the early months of having the card.

“American Express Platinum has a

150,000-point [sign-up bonus]. You could redeem it in the membership rewards AMEX travel portal, and you’d get $1,500 worth of travel,” he says, adding that the most significant impact of those points is often transferring to a partner travel brand, some of which offer further bonus percentages. In the AMEX example, a savvy traveler could transfer that 150,000 point bonus to All Nippon Airways, a Japanese carrier, and piece together an around-the-world trip, all in business class.

It’s also smart to check—and use— additional perks offered by your cards. Case in point: The American Express Gold card gives users a $120 annual credit on Uber, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $100 statement credit for those applying for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Depending on the card, other benefits include free hotel nights, insurance on rental cars, statement credits for particular purchases and more. Double check to see if enrollment is required.

“I sign up for a few cards every year, and I rotate through depending on who has the best bonus and how I’m strategizing for a future trip,” Abel says, noting that some card purveyors have a limit on the number of sign-up bonuses you can receive over a certain time period.

Point Stack

Many credit cards offer point bonuses at certain kinds of businesses such as 2x to 5x points at restaurants, airlines, hotels and more, so it pays to use the cards that offer the best rewards where you’re spending. Beyond the obvious of using the highest rewarding card to pay for the things you’re buying, there are other smart strategies to further boost points.

Shopping portals are another great way to double dip. Websites such as Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) offer additional bonuses if you shop through them. Say you’re planning to buy a new purse at Saks Fifth Avenue. Purchase through Rakuten and link your credit card, and you could earn 2% cash back (which you could turn into travel perks with a flexible program) in addition to what your card offers.

It’s smart to strategize for big purchases. A few years ago, Abel was renovating a home and needed to buy windows. He signed up for a new credit card with a compelling signup bonus and logged onto a shopping portal that was offering a sizable bonus on purchases at Office Depot to purchase Lowe’s gift cards. That home improvement project netted Abel and his wife two one-way business class airline tickets to Europe.

Credit Cognizant

Abel has more than 20 credit cards in this wallet, and he stays organized by putting

all of them on autopay each month so he won’t get hit with late payment fees or dings to his credit score. He recommends paying them in full each month and only spending what you can afford to beef up points.

Take Flight

Atlanta’s hometown carrier, Delta Air Lines, is making it easier than ever to get away. Here are some of the new routes and increased flights to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.

n Increased frequency with daily nonstop flights from Atlanta to both Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, as of October 2022.

Concerned about fees? Abel keeps a spreadsheet of all of his cards, their benefits, terms and annual fees (he offers a free version for download on his website). “I try to downgrade to a no annual fee [version of a card] because you want to keep the credit line from those accounts open,” he says. “That helps with your credit and the length of your credit history, but it also helps with credit utilization,” the ratio of your outstanding credit balances compared to your overall combined credit limit.

n In December 2022, a neverbefore-operated, nonstop route from Atlanta to Cape Town launched.

n Starting March 26, four-timesweekly service to Stuttgart, Germany.

n Starting May 9, three-times-weekly service to Dusseldorf, Germany.

n Starting May 25, five-times-weekly seasonal service to Edinburgh, Scotland.

n Beginning in May, nonstop service to Tel Aviv, Israel.

DELTA AIR LINES • 800.221.1212 • @delta

Enlist Expert Help

Once you’ve built up your points, search for the best deal to maximize their impact. Airlines sometimes offer redemption bonuses, and you can search for partner airlines within the same network to get the best deal. For example, you might see if KLM, a Delta partner, has a more favorable redemption offer on your chosen flights. Abel admits that these strategies can be overwhelming to someone who doesn’t hack points professionally. He recommends engaging a concierge service such as Point.Me that, for a fee, helps would-be travelers find the best deals using the points they have. n • @zacharyburrabel

Abel will add author to his list of accomplishments later this year with a yet-to-be-titled book about how to travel first class on a budget, hack your points and conquer your credit.


Left: This cozy cottage in Canton offers cathedral ceilings that make the 600-squarefoot space feel bigger.

Right: This 270-squarefoot Atlanta tiny home is well-appointed with a pop-up television and even a Keurig.


Tiny house living—or vacationing—isn’t for everyone.

Beds are often in a loft at the top of a ladder. Shoes are best left outdoors due to lack of storage. Elbows get bumped in the bathroom. When I set my sights on a tiny home for my family’s postage-stamp property in Highlands, North Carolina, my husband wasn’t convinced for many of the reasons above. But since spending weekends in our 336-square-foot getaway—without any Wi-Fi—we always leave completely refreshed. Once you learn to operate in the minimal square footage, relief comes from the simplicity. The petite quarters give you the shelter you need and beckon you to spend more time outdoors. Here are three tiny houses a drive away that can give you that same small sense of calm.

Coosa River Retreat, Childersburg, Alabama Burgeoning tiny house company

Getaway recently debuted its newest cabins just a 2.5-hour drive from Atlanta on the Coosa River. Each of its 45 bungalows, spread across a 192-acre property of rolling hills and wetlands, features riverfront or ridgetop views. These new destinations take Getaway’s simple and small mantra up a notch with amenities such as hammocks, smokeless fire pits, chef stations, outdoor string lights and waterproof shade sails. Cozy up inside with a good book or observe local wildlife such as whitetail deer, fox and bobwhite quail through the oversized window. You can also take a hike on the onsite 2-mile trail or drive 15 minutes to Majestic Caverns. @getawayhouse

Moonshine Cottage, Canton, Georgia

Nestled at the end of a gravel driveway on The Ranchito, a former 100-year-old homestead and horse farm, this tiny cottage aims to take

STORY: Giannina S. Bedford

guests back to a slower time. Enjoy farm fresh eggs from the free-range chickens, snip herbs or pick blackberries from the 11-acre property that includes a 6-acre horse pasture with six friendly horses. A fire pit is equipped for open-flame cooking and marshmallow roasting. Beneath the home’s tin roof, an open floor plan showcases cathedral ceilings made of Georgia pine, cedar and wood from the barn previously located on the property. The 600-square-foot cabin has a queen bed, a twin bed loft area and a futon. Unlike days of old, this quaint cottage has Wi-Fi and a smart TV for streaming, blending the peace of a rural farm with modern amenities of the city. @stillhausfarm

City Modern, Atlanta

No need to travel far for the tiny house experience. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom, 270-squarefoot studio is located in a picturesque fenced-in backyard in Edgewood. Less than 2 miles from the BeltLine in Inman Park, it’s a convenient jumping off point for an ITP staycation. When you’re not out exploring, relax in a white tongueand-groove paneled interior mixing modern details with vintage touches, including Atlanta-centric memorabilia. Chose to sleep in one of two

Getaway’s newest tiny cabins are upgraded with hammocks and smokeless fire pits.

Tiny tips and tricks for a successful stay

1. Pack small. Only bring what you need and leave the rolling suitcase at home. Duffel bags or luggage that can be folded up and stored is ideal.

2. Strap on a backpack. These are great to hang on hooks and keep important items such as cell phones, iPads and books in one place (Don’t assume there will be nightstands for those.)

3. Consider indoor shoes. Tiny home hosts often ask guests to leave their footwear outdoors. If you can’t bear to be shoeless, toss some house slippers in your luggage.

4. A flashlight can also come in handy for nighttime reading or visits to the bathroom.

5. Most tiny homes have creative storage solutions, so look around for extra drawers and cubbies to store things you need access to. Most of all, enjoy!

queen beds, one lofted and reached via a ladder and the other hidden more privately behind pocket doors. Extra touches include CertiPUR-US Certified queen beds (foam made without ozone depleters and other harmful ingredients), a hidden pop-up television, Wi-Fi and fully equipped kitchen (Keurig included). Plus an outdoor space has a solo stove fire pit and dining area. What more could you need? • @fieldtripatl n

a vacation of a little less at one of these nearby tiny homes



Prices are rising, and airlines, airports, hotels, cruise lines and the rest of the industry are struggling to maintain staffing and services. Still, according to two Sandy Springs-based travel agents, each with more than a decade of experience, vacation travel is soaring.

“When people are going to start tightening their purse strings, the first thing that goes out of their budget is leisure travel,” says Peter Rubin, co-owner of About Going Places, part of the Virtuoso network of travel agencies. But despite inflation, “we’re not seeing a slowdown at all.”

Instead, his clients are spending more by staying longer in higher-level accommodations.

Michelle Crews, co-owner of Elevations Travel, part of the Signature Travel Network, says 2022 surpassed the last pre-pandemic year, 2019, which was stellar. Clients booked trips for all of 2023 as they arranged 2022 travel, just to be sure they could get what they wanted.

“People are saying, ‘Hey, I’m going, and I don’t care what it takes,’” Crews says. It’s a phenomenon known as revenge travel as people release years of frustration at being cooped up.

January is a good time to book summer travel, she says, although for some limited-availability vacations such as river cruises, she ad-

vises booking at least eight months in advance.

Reserve flights as early as possible despite high fares, Crews says, and if the airline has a sale later, exchange the ticket and take a credit for the difference.

Crews and Rubin say their expertise is worth paying for. They charge varying upfront fees, then receive commissions from the providers.

“Do you want to take the time to figure out which resort in the Riviera, of the thousand properties that are there, is the right one for you, for you and your family, for you as a couple?” Rubin says. “That is the tip of the iceberg.”

Crews says the only time she wouldn’t recommend a travel agent is when you’re cashing in reward points and must use

accounts and passwords.

Travel agents aren’t licensed, so if friends can’t recommend someone, be sure to test a prospective adviser’s knowledge in your initial conversation, Rubin says. Try asking for a sample 10-day itinerary for your destination, then see what the agency would add for 12 and 14.

Good agents keep up with staffing and service issues for airlines, hotels and other travel vendors. Some problems, such as long lines at airport security and overcrowded flights, are common, and Rubin advises his clients to pack plenty of patience and arrive at the airport at least three hours early.

“Our clients aren’t going into places with blinders on, thinking that things are the way they were,” Rubin says. “They know that there

are service issues.”

But some problems go too far. One of his clients was offered a discount at check-in for forgoing daily room cleaning at a resort charging $3,000 a night. Rubin isn’t sending anyone else there.

Because things happen, “travel insurance is super-important,” Crews says. Forbes Advisor says the average fee for insurance is 5% to 6% of trip costs.

“The people who don’t buy travel insurance have not gotten burned yet. It’s really plain and simple,” Rubin says.

Companies’ rules and coverages vary. Crews says the allowed time to submit information about pre-existing conditions might be two weeks for one policy but a month for another, and the clock starts when you first spend money on a trip, such as buying airline tickets, and not when you book the canceled element, such as a cruise or tour.

“It stinks to not be able to travel,” Rubin says. “It stinks worse to lose your money.” n

ABOUT GOING PLACES • 404.256.1131 • @about_going_places

ELEVATIONS TRAVEL • 470.355.4279 • @elevationstvl

Cappadocia, Turkey, is renowned as a destination for hot-air balloon tours. Peter and Lauren Rubin of About Going Places and Michelle Crews of Elevations Travel help clients see the world—and see much of the world themselves—from their Sandy Springs offices.
are eager to get away, but they need to pack patience
STORY: Michael Jacobs

Above: The northern lights are vivid above the glass igloos of Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.



Travel can be so much more than flying to an unfamiliar city and using Fodor’s to follow in the footsteps of thousands of other tourists. Resources online, specialized tours and thorough travel agents can help you do exactly what you want, where you want.

Sandy Springs residents Harold and Janis Kirtz, for example, turned a two-week group trip to France last summer into an adventure in art and food.

On the art side, the 21 adults went beyond museums to visit the asylum where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted near Arles and explored Paul Cézanne’s home studio in Aixen-Provence. On the culinary side, they didn’t just feast on unforgettable pastries; they also helped a Nice chef prepare a meal of ratatouille, lemon chicken and apple tart.

Peter Rubin, co-owner of Sandy Springs’ About Going Places and a former chef, says he receives many requests for culinary tourism like the Kirtzes enjoyed.

It’s one of many specialized trips travel agents and tour operators offer, including art excursions,

language immersion and femaleonly diversions.

“Every single person has a different idea of what they want,” says Michelle Crews, co-owner of Elevations Travel in Sandy Springs. Here are some of the options.


“Our clients are wanting to get away and disconnect,” Crews says of people who value time without a cell signal, internet connection or social media feed after working from home and being connected 24/7. No-screen-time escapes can help families reconnect. And you don’t need distractions amid an experience such as watching the aurora borealis from a glass igloo at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland.

Work and play

On the other hand, Wi-Fi at a resort is as good as Wi-Fi at home, so people who don’t need to be in an office are extending stays by mixing in remote work. Longer vacations make even more sense for those flying as far as Southeast Asia, which Rubin says is increasingly popular.

Go solo

STORY: Michael Jacobs

Above: Harold Kirtz at the entrance to the Ephrussi-Rothschild mansion and gardens in the south of France.

Below: Food for sale at the outdoor market in Cassis on France’s Mediterranean coast.

If you’re trying to get away from people, options for traveling alone range from hiking mountains and touring Mideast ruins to studying gorillas. Flash Pack specializes in solo adventures for travelers in their 30s and 40s.

Cruise without crowds

River cruises such as those from Viking and Riviera provide more personal service and closer views of scenery from ships a fraction the size of 3,000-passenger liners. For intimate ocean luxury, options include Seabourn and Explora Journeys, which is launching its first ship, the 461-suite Explora I, this summer.

Give back

Faith-based organizations have long run missions to developing countries and areas struck by disasters, but secular groups also organize vacations for good. International Volunteer HQ sends 15,000 people a year on missions ranging from conservation to teaching in places as close as New Orleans and Puerto Rico and as far away as Cambodia and Zanzibar.

Stay close

You don’t have to leave Georgia for a special nature vacation. State parks offer glamping in barrel cabins made from wine vats at Unicoi State Park in Helen and yurts at Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Fort Yargo in Winder, High Falls in Jackson, Red Top Mountain in Acworth, Sweetwater Creek in Lithia Springs and Tugaloo in Lavonia. n

CULINARY TOURISM ALLIANCE @culinarytourismalliance

EXPLORA JOURNEYS • @explorajourneys

FLASH PACK • • @flashpack

GEORGIA STATE PARKS • 800.864.7275 • @gastateparks

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER HQ 877.342.6588 • • @ivhq

KAKSLAUTTANEN ARCTIC RESORT +358.16.667101 • @kakslauttanen_arctic_resort



• 800.442.4448 • @seabourncruise

VIKING RIVER CRUISES • 800.304.9616 • @vikingcruises

eating to volunteering, travel can fit your desires
Courtesy of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland)
SIMPLY BUCKHEAD •  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023  75 Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University. A Place Where You Belong ANCHORS • Costco • LA Fitness • LOOK Dine-In Cinema Marshalls • Publix APPAREL & ACCESSORIES • Dress Up • Vestique SHOES & BICYCLES • Big Peach Ride + Run HEALTH, WELLNESS & BEAUTY • 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon • Atlanta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center • Benchmark Physical Therapy • Brookhaven Orthodontics • Emory Clinic • European Wax Center • GNC (General Nutrition Center) • Intown Pediatrics • The Joint - The Chiropractic Place • Massage Heights • Nail Talk & Tan • Saks Salon • Salon Red • Town Dentistry • Vein Clinics of America • Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station DINING • 26 Thai Sushi & Bar • Crumbl Cookies • The Flying Biscuit Café • HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern • Kilwins • Lucky’s Burger & Brew • Moe’s Southwest Grill Newk’s Express Café • Red Pepper Taqueria There Restaurant and Bar • Tropical Smoothie Café Urban Wok • The Wing Guru (Opening Soon) HOME FURNISHINGS & DÉCOR • Redefined Home Boutique SERVICES • Brookhaven Alterations • Brookhaven Animal Hospital • Corporate America Family Credit Union • FBC Mortgage • Keller Williams • Reflections Eyecare • Town Cleaners ELECTRONICS, MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT • AT&T TRAVEL & TOURISM • Explore Brookhaven Spend the day or evening on the Town! Discover over 50 shops, services and restaurants. Town Brookhaven is truly your one stop shopping, dining and entertainment destination with a blend of interesting boutiques, delicious restaurants and useful services. DINE-IN CINEMA Now Open!





Cardinals sing a variety of different tunes, enjoy an omnivorous diet, are fairly social and famously stylish—all traits that make the iconic songbird the perfect mascot for Redbird, the restaurant helmed by red-headed Chef Zeb Stevenson.

Located in Westside Provisions District, Redbird occupies Bacchanalia’s former space that now has a more natural light-filled, open and casual ambiance. Like multiple feeders lure

a variety of birds, various seating options suit different diners. Visiting solo? You might favor one of the 15 stools at the bar. Loving the weather? Head to the outdoor terrace where big windows frame the kitchen. Like to watch what’s cooking? The kitchen is visible from all 80 seats in the dining room, but you can really get close to the action at the intimate eight-seat counter.

Stevenson, who led the kitchens at Watershed, Livingston and Proof

& Provision before launching Redbird with co-owner Ross Jones in 2019, says, “It’s important to me that people understand that Redbird is a place where we really want people to come as they are. We don’t want to be known as a ‘fancy restaurant.’ You can come in any night and see people wearing suits as well as people in cut-off shorts, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is exactly what I had in mind for this restaurant, so it feels like a victory to me.”


The daily menu is influenced by the season, market conditions, availability of quality ingredients, creative inspirations and instinctual experimentations.

Chef Zeb Stevenson describes his menu as “free-spirited cuisine.”

Right: Crispy fried mushrooms in spiced chickpea batter with garlic-herb dipping sauce rank as the No. 1 biggest seller.

Below: The mixed green salad with white balsamic vinaigrette, garlic crumbs and chives is a menu constant.

Below: The top-selling entree is chili rubbed half chicken with satsuma vinaigrette and sliced chiles.

“Free-spirited cuisine” is how Stevenson, champion of The Food Network’s “Chopped,” describes his menu. “Redbird is a great place to share dishes with people you like to eat with,” he says. “It’s mostly vegetables, always seasonal, and we think it’s a lot of fun.” Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options abound, while seafood, chicken and red meat dishes are also offered. The daily menu is influenced by the season as well as market conditions, availability of quality ingredients, creative inspirations and instinctual experimentations. Even the bar menu, he says, “is in a constant state of development” with its cocktails and zero-proof drinks. Craft beers and wines from family-owned and small artisan wineries round out the offerings.

The dinner menu changes daily with three constants. Crispy fried mushrooms in spiced chickpea batter with garlic-herb dipping sauce rank as the No. 1 biggest seller.

“Almost every table gets an order of those,” says Stevenson. The portion is generous for two, but plan on polishing off the plate because the savory-spicy-herby flavor combination is addictive.

The top-selling entree is chilirubbed half chicken with satsuma vinaigrette and sliced chiles. “It’s a very unique dish, and you can only get it here,” says Stevenson. “People don’t think about ordering chicken; it feels like a throwaway dish, but we actively sell ours. It’s dynamite.”

Citrus balances spicy heat, drenching the juicy meat with splendid flavor that won’t sear your taste buds.

A mixed green salad with white balsamic vinaigrette, garlic crumbs and chives is always available. “I eat it and love it too much to take it off the menu,” says Stevenson. Whether drizzled on salads or used as a dip, vinaigrettes and sauces at Redbird soar above the ordinary.

Dip a fried potato into turnip green ranch, and ketchup seems passé.

Seasonal sides such as lady peas in peach barbecue sauce and grilled okra are prepared to perfection, lingering in memory as invitations to return for more before the menu changes. Too late? Go with the flow: Features such as Georgia shrimp may swap from one pasta shape and

Above: Plain biscuits plus a variety of biscuit sandwiches are available on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

sauce to another or get treated to a completely new recipe, but odds are the results will be delicious.

Dessert includes “Hoosier sugar cream pie (for mom).” Is it her recipe? “No, she is not much of a cook,” says Stevenson. Though not well-known outside of Indiana, the pie is “a cultural staple, a real Hoosier thing on the table at every family gathering,” says Stevenson of the pie with vanilla custard filling.

“For at least 10 years, my mom asked me to put in on the menu, but I was able to dodge since it wasn’t appropriate for any restaurant I was working at. When I opened my own restaurant, however, I had to put it on to honor my mom’s request.”

Sweet story. The pie is less sugary and firmer than anticipated.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the main dining room is closed, but the patio is open for Birdy

Biscuits. Order at one window that connects the patio and kitchen then pick up at the other. The menu is limited to biscuit sandwiches, plain biscuits with butter and jelly, twisted cinnabiscuits and biscuits with gravy. Little Birdy with fried chicken, cheddar cheese and chili maple sauce is the best-seller for good reason: It packs a lip-licking, yummy combo of savory, spicy and sweet flavors. Old Man Thunder stuffs bacon, egg and American cheese into a biscuit with softer fla vors if your palate isn’t quite ready for a kick. Pure Guava, Stevenson’s favorite biscuit, is easy to love with sweet notes of cream cheese, guava paste and cashew butter.

Taste several dishes and the Redbird approach to cooking becomes clear: Showcase high-quality, seasonal ingredients in simple yet creative ways that let them shine. n


404.900.5172 • • @redbird_atl

Prices: Small plates, $6-11; large plates, $25-34; sides, $8-10; sauces, $2; sweets, $8. Birdy Biscuits, $7-8.50; biscuit boxes, $15-27.

Above: The menu changes daily, but however the Georgia shrimp is prepared, odds are the results will be delicious.

Left: Twisted cinnabiscuits transform biscuit dough into a decadent sweet treat to pair with weekend morning coffee.

Recommended: Crispy fried mushrooms, chili-rubbed half chicken, lady peas in peach barbecue sauce, Little Birdy Biscuit, Pure Guava Biscuit.

Bottom line: A come-as-you-are eatery that serves seasonal fare and artisan beverages in an open, welcoming environment.


1. A toddy at The Chastain is best sipped near the stone fire pit.

2. Matching flavor profiles on the menu, a Palo Santo toddy combines tequila, spices and seasonal fruit.

3. Fado always has Irish Coffee on the menu and it gets topped off with lightly whipped cream and a dusting of spice.

4. Distillery of Modern Art uses their bourbon, cinnamon and honey syrup for a simple and cozy toddy.


Hot toddies to warm you from the inside out

The hot toddy has long been heralded as a cure-all for colds and congestion, but it’s also the perfect winter weather sipper. As winter drags on, a toddy can stave off a chill and warm you to the toes. Barkeeps are serving up delightful variations, but it’s just as easy to make a toddy at home if you want to stay in and keep things cozy.

One of the simplest cocktail recipes, the classic toddy comes together with hot water, whiskey, honey and lemon. The recipe is often written about as a folklore remedy,

but there is actual science to its benefit for soothing what ails. Alcohol can act as a decongestant by dilating blood vessels, while steam clears congestion. Whiskey may even help with sleep: Just stick to one drink.

Chamblee’s Distillery of Modern Art serves up a timeless version with a mix of bourbon, honey syrup, lemon and a dash of cinnamon. Drink it while strolling through art installations and past the impressive copper stills where their spirits are created.

A hot toddy is an easy classic to modify to suit one’s taste. The

possibilities are endless. Start with a spirit, add a sweetener, give a hit of acid like the classic’s lemon and add hot water, tea or cider. Adding hot coffee adds an extra kick.

Combining coffee with Irish whiskey and a little sugar, the Irish Coffee is a hot, creamy classic you can order in the morning or into the evening. It’s a staple at Fado, where it is topped off with a floating cloud of lightly whipped cream that both tempers the alcohol and sweetness, and adds a dramatic (and tasty) effect with a dusting of spice.

With The Chastain’s stone fire pit being a focal feature of the restaurant, the barkeeps like to keep a warm sipping drink on the menu during colder months. Beverage Manager Juan Cortes describes his winter cider with North Georgia’s Mercier Orchard Cider, house chai spice and Laird’s Apple Brandy as bold, complex, comforting and familiar at the same time. “Our guests have the option to swap out

You Bread My Mind

Try rum in a toddy for a dessert-like flavor. Rum melds into hot water, which opens it up and accentuates the spirit’s tropical notes. This recipe from Whiskeysmith is like liquid banana bread. Find ingredients at


1 ½ ounces Whiskeysmith Co. Banana

Flavored Whiskey

½ ounce of your favorite rum (dark or Jamaican rum will add a nice spice)

¼ ounce lemon juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

hot water INSTRUCTIONS Add the first four ingredients to a mug. Add hot water and stir.

the apple brandy for their favorite bourbon or rye whiskey as well.”

Cocktails are as inspired and vibrant as the atmosphere at the westside’s modern Mexican restaurant Palo Santo. Beverage Manager Antonio Morales matches flavor profiles of the dishes with his beverages.

The Ponche de Frutas spins a toddy as a warm punch of seasonal fruits and spices. Served in a handcrafted Mexican ceramic mug, it combines yellow apple, tamarind, tejocote (Mexican hawthorn), guava, spices, orange liqueur and reposado tequila.

The warmer is garnished with sugar cane and a sliver of fresh apple. n

THE CHASTAIN • 404.257.6416 • @thechastainatl

DISTILLERY OF MODERN ART 404.482.2663 • @distilleryofmodernart

FADO BUCKHEAD • 404.841.0066 • @fadoatlanta

PALO SANTO • 678.492.9211 • @palosanto_atl

Banana Bread Hot Toddy
4 oz.
1 2 3 4
SIMPLY BUCKHEAD •  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023  81 Entertain fabulously. Have lots of fun. Do things that matter. Have purpose. Seek adventure. Learn new things. Feel secure. Live in style. Discover the di erence at | 404-531-2011

Buckhead staple Chops is now reopened and renovated after closing in early 2022 following a kitchen fire. After expansions and improvements, the steakhouse and Lobster Bar downstairs are back and better than ever. Guests will notice a few new menu items, a new private dining space and a patio (expected to be ready for the spring). Here, Chef Ryan Delesandro shares what to expect at the new Chops.

What most excites you about Chops’ reopening?

To be honest, the most exciting thing about reopening is getting the team and guests back together! The culture of our team here is very strong, and we have a family-like bond with our guests. It’s nice to have everyone back home.

Tell us about the restaurant’s renovations.

There is a ton to see when you walk in, from the newly updated bar and the expanded lounge area to the first pri vate dining room for Chops, called “The Plaza Room.” The renovations are modern and sharp-looking while also blend ing in well with the decor of the original dining room, which has been there since the inception of Chops in 1989. It has a new look yet still remains true to the original concepts created by [company founder, the senior] Pano Karatassos.

Tell us more about The Plaza Room. The Plaza Room is the hottest room in Buckhead, period. It's gorgeous and offers a much larger area for us to host private events and special occasions. It comes with its own full-service kitchen and offers new hors d'oeuvres and private party menus for our guests. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and

the Maine lobster rolls have been a huge success.

Are all the classics still there? All the classics. We didn't remove a single dish. n

CHOPS LOBSTER BAR 404.262.2675 @chopslobsterbar

Helmed by Chef and Founding Partner Randy Lewis (formerly of Buckhead’s Gypsy Kitchen), The Ashford is now open in Brookhaven and serving a seasonal menu of traditional entrees and shareable dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Mediterranean MUSE

Now open inside the Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, Three Arches puts a modern spin on Mediterranean cuisine with shareable dishes. Executive Chef Josh Hopkins shares his recipe for fig crostini, perfect for a party snack.

Fig Crostini Serves 4


8 slices of your favorite baguette

1 cup of ricotta cheese whipped with 1 tablespoon of whole milk (add a squeeze of lemon)

1 ½ cups of fig preserves

¼ cup of honey (simmered with the zest of one orange)

3-4 basil leaves

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil and sea salt. Toast for 8-10 minutes at 375°F. For a more charred flavor, grill and season with salt after. Spread a liberal amount of ricotta on each slice of warm baguette. (Not too hot or the cheese will slide off.) Add fig preserves, or for a less sweet version, blistered tomatoes, to each crostini. Try to get a preserve with large pieces of fig. Drizzle with honey. Add sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Finish each with small torn pieces of basil.


n Brown Bag Seafood Company is now open at Perimeter Center’s mixed-use Ashford Lane development. The sustainable seafood restaurant originated in Chicago and has two additional Atlanta locations in Midtown and the Westside Provisions District.

n Savi Provisions opened another outpost at Star Metals in September, bringing its organic food, wine and spirits to the Westside. Delivery service and pick-up items are also available, including Nick’s Fresh Picks, grab-and-go items created by Chef Nick Leahy of The Usual.

FOODIE JOURNAL Culinary News & Notes
Claire Ruhlin
470.763.4399 @hyattcentricbuckheadatl
New Icon
the new-and-improved Chops

Salty Broad Studios.

Oats-standing Survivor Startup

Sandy Springs resident Elizabeth Bein is the first to admit hers has not been an obvious path to the granola business. With a psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in art therapy from Pratt Institute and years of teaching as an art therapist, Bein’s recent career pivot was a crisis-meets-opportunity moment after her recovery from cancer— for the third time. “I decided it was time to shift my focus to food,” Bein says. “It was personal at first. I had to learn what and how to

eat to gain strength. Once I was strong, baking—especially our granola—became a joy that I wanted to share with others.”

Strong is an understatement. Up before dawn and at the ovens by 6 a.m. most mornings, expert baker Bein is the epitome of energy and nose-to-the-grindstone determination. Lucky for us. Her vegan and gluten-free granolas are made with the highest quality ingredients, and the long lines of farmers market customers waiting to pay $12.75 for an 11-ounce bag

before the supply runs out is testament to both a product and a life choice made with passion, purpose and integrity.

We spoke with her about business, family and farmers markets.

Tell us about We Three Girls. This is a women-operated company made up of a small group of chefs, vendors and social media managers spanning ages 20-87. We work together with a common mission: to produce fun-to-eat, wholesome granola that brings joy.

What inspired you to start a granola business?

My interest in healthy eating is lifelong, but the passion to turn it into a business arose from several places. As a cancer survivor, I focus on doing what I enjoy and surrounding myself with like-minded people who love what they do. Love, support and good-tasting food were all components of recovery for me, but they are just as important in my life today.

Who are the “girls” of We Three Girls? The company was started by me; my daughter, Eva; and my mom, Audrey. Eva has a master’s in public health and has been interested in the slow food movement and environmental health since college. I have a background in art and the healing arts. My mom is an entrepreneur with small business experience. The three of us began baking granola in my kitchen in 2018 and testing our recipes with friends, work associates and family. From there, we began selling at farmers markets around Atlanta, our first being in Sandy Springs in 2018.

What’s it like to be a farmers market vendor?

We have so much fun at our Atlanta farmers markets. We currently sell at the Peachtree Road, Suwanee, Sandy Springs and Grant Park markets. We love being out in the community, meeting our customers and other vendors, and getting to be a part of the markets’ vibrant energy. Our customers are no longer strangers! We also sell through local delivery services such as Garnish and Gather and the zero-waste delivery service, The Rounds.

What’s on offer currently, and will you expand into other products?

We believe our current line of granolas offers something for everyone. We’ve got classics like Maple Walnut and Coconut Almond as well as more adventurous flavors like Cocoa and Lavender, Coffee Crunch and Ginger and Turmeric. And we just added Cherry Matcha! On the horizon are seasonal granola flavors, granolas that highlight super foods and granola bars. n

WE THREE GIRLS GRANOLA • @wethreegirlsgranola

How Elizabeth Bein turned a health trauma into a business triumph STORY: Rebecca Cha


A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead

The D.O.P. from Antico, for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, is a certification that all ingredients are sourced from Italy.

The Woodall's tender Bailey's butter cake is packed with rich flavors you won't want to miss. One Sushi Plus’ Korean influences often pop-up on the menu, such as this bulgogi-like roll called Gangnam style.


The best pizzas linger in memory and spark cravings. Antico Pizza Napoletana’s original Westside location presents several contenders with its straightforward menu of 11 pizzas plus three calzones. San Gennaro makes taste buds swoon with its combination of sausage, peppers, bufala mozzarella and cippolini onion atop the restaurant’s signature charred-yetchewy crust. The specialty Sophia pizza is topped with mozzarella, onion, mushrooms and a hint of white truffle oil. The crowd-pleasing Margherita D.O.P. presents a tantalizing combination of imported tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Lasagna pizza tops red sauce with meatballs, ricotta and Romano cheeses for flavors that are mild yet satisfying. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy (no corkage fee). Pizza: $19-27 • Calzoni: $18-19 •


Beyond the colorful Día de Muertos dining room decor, the well-curated mezcal and tequila selections and the uber-friendly service, Bone Garden Cantina offers some of the most authentic Mexican cooking in Atlanta. Tastier guacamole and hot dipping queso you will not find, and we’ve tried! The tender-to-the-bone Mexican pork ribs are meaty, miraculous bites of earthy richness, and the tomatillo-rich pozole verde soup is pure south-of-the-border goodness. Garlicsautéed shrimp enchiladas and adobo steak quesadilla seasoned with guajillo chile are among many fine familiar classics. Smaller plates include exemplary tamales and tacos. Appetizers: $2.50-$9.50 • Soups and salads: $4.50-$9 • Tamales, tacos and empanadas: $3.50-$5 • Mains: $7.50$12.75 •


Dining at Canoe feels like a vacation. Nestled on the shores of the Chattahoochee River, it serves upscale food and pampering service surrounded by manicured gardens, flowing water and birds. Celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2022, Canoe offers more than 300 bottles of wine, 40 by the glass. Beers range from well-known international brands to local craft brews. Creative cocktails are updated often and include riffs on classics. The food menu is driven by ingredients at the peak of flavor, so changes are frequent. While salmon, steak, chicken, rabbit and kangaroo are menu constants, presentations vary. Meats are cooked to perfection and paired with impressive sides such as tender brie ravioli, crusty vegetable tart, savory bread pudding or other creations. The signature dessert is popcorn-flavored ice cream layered with peanut Cracker Jack, Chantilly cream and salted caramel sauce for a satisfying combination of textures and flavors.

Cocktails: $9-15 • Appetizers: $9-22 Burgers & Sandwiches: $14-19 • Entrees: $16-48 • Desserts: $11 •


At the tail end of Miami Circle is one of the most convivial joints in town. Head over for happy hour Monday through Thursday when most drinks and tapas are half price, and there’s live music. Yummy small plates of habanero-spiced ahi tuna ceviche, smoky sun-dried-tomato mac and cheese (made with three different cheeses) and refreshing Granny Smith apple salad are some of our favorites. Still hungry? It’s hard to pass up the succulent balsamic-y spare ribs and flavorful, crunchy calamari. If you’re with family (or a family of friends), consider the exquisite saffron-infused paella, made with authentic Calasparra rice.

Tapas: $2.95-$14.95 (most in the $5-$8 range) • Large plates (for two or more): $20-$24 •


Despite the hyper-elegant surrounding showrooms, The Hungry Peach, located inside the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, serves up anyone’s idea of a perfectly down-home lunch. Colossal salads and delectable renditions of classic sandwiches, such as the melt-in-your-mouth corned beef Reuben, egg salad and smoked bacon-pepper jack wrap, are sure to please welcome visitors and hungry professionals alike. Sides including the Cajun mac ‘n’ cheese and loaded potato salad will knock your designer socks off. Not to be missed are the freshly made sweets, such as the five-layer coconut cake and Callebaut chocolate brownie. Wash it all down with a bottomless mason jar of iced sweet tea.

Starters: $4-$9 • Salads: $10-$12.50 Sandwiches: $8.50-$12.50 Desserts: $2.50-$6 •


Kaleidoscope is one of Brookhaven’s most popular watering holes. Fabulous small plates include pimento mac and cheese, roasted cauliflower seasoned with garlic and a touch of lime, and the smoked pork and pimento spring rolls. The steak frites with garlic-heavy chimichurri is exceptional, as is the poutine, a Canadian treat consisting of crisp, hand-cut fries smothered in gravy and mozzarella. Looking for somewhat lighter fare? Go for the fried chicken club salad tossed with sundried tomatoes, fresh avocado and golden chunks of bird. A table on the pet-friendly patio guarantees top-notch people-watching. Appetizers: $5-$12 • Salads, pizzas and burgers: $7-$14 • Mains: $13-$19 •


This Mississippi-based chain has popped up in the Atlanta market, and though it looks like a fast-food joint, it tastes like homemade. Salads—from shrimp remoulade salad to a delicious steak-and-blue-cheese version to old-fashioned chicken salad—are a standout. At this casual, family-friendly, crowd-pleasing spot you can also get sandwiches, pizzas and mac and cheese but, refreshingly, no burgers. We are pretty crazy about the sausage-and-pepperoni pie, with its thin crust and warm and gooey toppings. And who can resist a crispy rice treat with chocolate and peanut butter? Not us. Salads, sandwiches and pizzas: $7-$11


This glam space wedged in the back corner of Brookhaven’s Town Village is a neighborhood hot spot for Japanese small plates. The freshest fish flown in from Japan’s Tsukiji Market will impress the discerning sushi eater, while colorful rolls with clever names please the occasional dabbler. Sharable offerings and inspired snacks of zesty, yellowtail jalapeño shots and crispy fried bang bang rock shrimp are as fun as they are tasty. The drinking experience is worth celebrating as well, with a large selection of sake, shochu and whisky. We recommend the smoked toro, tender slices of tuna served under a dome of hickory smoke and the bulgogi-like Gangnam-style roll. Dinner: $6-$37 •


Opened in 1991, Pricci is the Italian jewel in Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown. This Buckhead institution still aspires to (and delivers) exceptional service, superlative Italian cooking and a vibe that’s both elegant and inclusive. Nothing says buon appetito like silky burrata Pugliese (cream filled mozzarella), tangy parmesan and anchovy-rich Caesar salad and aromatic steamed cozze (mussels in tomato-garlic sauce). Barbera-braised short rib ravioli, pecorino-sauced cacio e pepe and pizzas of all varieties are favorites, but if you’re extra peckish, order the Dutch-imported 16-ounce veal chop. Mangia bene, but don’t forget to try Pricci’s world-class tiramisu. Appetizers and salads: $8-$26 • Pizza and pastas: $17-$27 • Entrees: $24-$46 Desserts: $6-$15 •


Open 24/7 and bedecked with ’70s-style disco lighting, beaded curtains and groovy plastic walls, this Buckhead favorite feels like a throwback to the days when the health food craze was in its genesis. Whether you go for the sizzling bone-in hot wings or Dr.

Joe’s Mango Salad with a side of raw cashew “cheese,” R. Thomas lives up to its promise to “treat carnivores and vegetarians with equal respect.” More menu favorites include the quinoa-rich Thai Express bowl, the classic Thomas Burger with sprouts and guacamole, the curry coconut seafood linguine, Southwestern-style R.’s Quesadilla and an unforgettable peanut butter chocolate pie. Breakfast: $9.75-$14.75 • Appetizers: $4.50$17.50 • Sandwiches, salads and veggie mains: $5.99-$17.50 • Entrees: $13.25-$20.75 Desserts: $6.50-$8.75 •


A “welcome to the neighborhood” vibe lingers throughout Southbound in Chamblee, whether you sit at the bar stocked with artisan spirits, on a comfortable chair in the main dining room or under an umbrellaed picnic table on the patio. Weathered wood, exposed bricks and dangling light bulbs give the space casual elegance. The menu presents Southern comfort food with some creative international flavors and influences. Variety means there’s something for just about any preference, diet, budget and hunger level. The menu changes about three times a year, but popular favorites remain, including the double-stack burger, Southern ramen, smoked short rib, Chamblee hot chicken and wild Georgia Shrimp.

Small plates: $4-$18 • Mains: $14-$33 Sides: $4-$6 • Desserts: $6-$9


With its friendly, relaxed vibe, it’s easy to feel among friends at The Woodall in Westside Village, whether you prefer the comfortable dining room or outdoor patio. Whitewashed brick, shiny metal, warm woods, brown leather and modern light fixtures cozy up the converted warehouse while a mural of eagle talons clasping a silver spoon adds personality. The dinner and brunch menus present globally inspired dishes and drinks featuring local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, with options such as lump crab beignets, openfaced tenderloin sandwich, Sicilian calamari and rock shrimp and fried chicken tucked into a feather-light biscuit. The restaurant’s website confidently asserts, “You’ll be back!” There are plenty of reasons to do just that.

Small plates: $9-$15 • Salads: $9-12 Sandwiches: $11.5-17 • Mains: $13-$43 Sides: $5-$6 • Desserts: $9-$10

Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Visit to read all of our restaurant reviews!

Wendell Brock, Rebecca Cha, Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Angela Hansberger, Hope S. Philbrick PHOTOS: Sara Hanna, Erik Meadows


STORY: H.M. Cauley

PHOTOS: Lynn Crow Photography

F or the ninth year, CURE Childhood Cancer supporters turned out in style for the Believe Ball, an evening of dinner, auctions, raffles and a rousing musical and dance performance by the band Papa Sol. Emceed by media veteran Jaye Watson, the event at the St. Regis Atlanta brought together 525 guests to raise $1.5 million to support CURE’s efforts to fund childhood cancer research and support patients and families dealing with the disease. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Ragab Spirit of Hope award, named for CURE’s founder, Dr. Abdel Ragab. This year’s recipients, Sylvia and Pat Tylka, exemplify Ragab’s compassion, dedication and perseverance through their work on the CURE board and in creating the Believe Ball. Simply Buckhead was a proud media sponsor.

The festive ballroom at the St. Regis Atlanta. Ajay Kannan, Megan Kannan, Sierra Nash, Desmond Nash Sonny Hayes, Joanne Hayes Brittany Lunsford Kurz, Glenn Sturm Grant Rivera, Jenn Hobby, Jaye Watson, Kenny Watson Tara Stanford, Mike Stanford, Courtney Bozeman, Aaron Bozeman, Michael Bozeman, Sheila Bozeman CURE Childhood Cancer staff Gerald FitzGerald, Sara FitzGerald, Derryck Clay, Karen Blouin-Clay Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, Carolina Ramon, Santiago Salazar, Regina Salazar, Steve Fisher, Cathy Fisher, Karrie Cerone, Chris Cerone Pat Tylka, Sylvia Tylka


More than 148,000 meals will be provided for those in need, thanks to the $37,000 raised during the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Fall for Fashion event in November. Held at the law offices of Greenberg Traurig with Simply Buckhead as a media sponsor, the event drew 140 patrons who were treated to stunning views of the city skyline and a fashion show of designs by Jane Siskin of Cinq a Sept. Emcee Karyn Greer of WSB-TV and co-chairs Jennifer Dunaway of Brookhaven and Joanne Bryant of Morningside-Lenox Park kept the energy going by encouraging bids on silent auction items of glam staycations, elegant dinners, spa visits and a chance to create their own fragrances. Guests also participated in a wine pull, checked out the INDIEHOUSE perfume pop-up and discovered several photo spaces created by SCAD students.

Megan Jentz, Katye Watts, Jennifer Dunaway Sarah Fonder Kristy, Kyle Waide, Karyn Greer Joanne Bryant, Stephanie Dixon Christina Patrick, Chef Palak Patel Models strut on the runway, wearing designs by Jane Siskin. Guests look on as models walk the runway. Kyle Lamont, Ben Burgess, Ben Masters Joanne Hayes Photos: SCAD student Rowin Hernandez Murillo, Isaiah Joseph of iLevel Visual Storytelling, Katie Healey of Katie Healy Photography


Actress Elizabeth Henstridge and points guru Zachary Abel love traveling the world together, largely on reward points. The pair got playful at our cover shoot at Nobu Hotel Atlanta.

PHOTO: Sara Hanna

Wine Down Wednesday

We’re popping the corks, and you’re invited! Join residents and team members for an afternoon of friendship and wine. While you’re here, we’d love to show you around and answer any questions you have about senior living. We look forward to getting to know you.

RSVP to 404-334-5700.

For the safety and well-being of all residents and guests, all recommended safety precautions will be taken. Please call to inquire about our safety measures for this event.

JANUARY & FEBRUARY 4 – 5 P.M. 3755 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30319
Independent Living |
Assisted Living |
Your Mountain Getaway Awaits Limited Lot & Cottage Packages Remaining Gated Community High-Speed Internet Maintenance Included 2.5 Hour Scenic Drive From Atlanta Stunning Views WWW.PRESERVEATWHITESIDECLIFFS.COM 470.602.9693 704.202.4161
PLAN YOUR COMPLETE WEDDING EXPERIENCE AT VILLA CHRISTINA. Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony, Reception and Guest Lodging. Wedding and Event Venues include 2 Outdoor Gardens, Rooftop Pool Deck and 3 Unique Indoor Ballrooms. Call 678.515.2702 or visit to book your dream wedding for up to 450 guests. Immerse yourself in our urban oasis surrounded by floral gardens, waterfalls and nature as your backdrop.
Lud modeling a dress by Alix (Madame Grès) for Vogue. Courtesy of the Horst P. Horst Estate and @TheArtDesignProjectGallery. 1600 PEACHTREE ST. NW | ATLANTA | SCADFASH.ORG ON VIEW THROUGH JUNE 30, 2023
Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care. Unexpected Happiness Reserve your home today. Call (404)891-9190 to learn more.




A mere two hour drive from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Atlanta, GA is the idyllic mountain town of Highlands, North Carolina. At a pristine elevation of more than 4,000 feet, this quiet community is tucked away at the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by national forest. Yet its remote location belies the fact that there are world-class restaurants, exciting shopping, and entertainment venues for all ages within a couple minutes’ walk! Sanctuary on 1ST and Bear Mór are two of the most desirable developments in downtown Highlands. Talk to us about these luxury home opportunities today!


JUDY MICHAUD: (828) 371-0730 | MITZI RAUERS: (404) 218-9123

TOM GOLDACKER: (828) 200-9045 | JOHN MUIR: (404) 245-7027 488 Main Street, Highlands, NC 28741

© 2022 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.