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November/December 2017 ISSUE 51 • FREE


SHAUN DOTY Bantam + Biddy


s ’ n o Seas




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YOUR COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY. Havana Club ATL is located in the heart of Buckhead, on the lower end of Piedmont Road, steps away from five-star hotels and Lenox Road’s high-end shopping plazas. We would love to host your private or corporate holiday event. We can accommodate groups of 100 to 1500 guests with dimensions of 15,000 square feet consisting of three varied rooms. This space provides the ultimate venue for any type of event or party.

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Photos: Sara Hanna Photography

[ C OV E R S T ORY ]




Contents [ F E AT U RE S ]

22 32

[ DE PA RT M E N T S ]

TRAVEL FAR: BREAKOUT TO BRECKENRIDGE A winter getaway to Colorado is a fit for the whole family







HOME: MOUNTAIN ESCAPE Stephen and Gale Barnett took great care to build a second home that blended with its environment





28 AT THE WHEEL As the general manager of Lyft’s Atlanta operations, Sam Bond is riding high

What to wear for every occasion over the holidays

Taking chances inspires fine art photographer Parish Kohanim


A TRANSATLANTIC TASTE SENSATION Savoring small plates and big flavors at Eclipse di Luna

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | ISSUE 51 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 For advertising rates call: 404.538.9895


Publisher and Founder


Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes Editor-in-Chief

Jill Becker

For information, email us at

Creative Director

Alan Platten

or call 404-538-9895

Cheryl Isaacs

Vice President, Sales & Marketing Executive Sales Manager

Bobby Montgomery Account Executive

Shanteia Davenport Website Development Management

BHG Digital

Lia Picard

EROTIC GIFT EMPORIUM 2745 Bankers Industrial Dr., Atlanta 30360 | 30% OFF IN-STORE & ONLINE with code SB30 *SOME TOY EXCLUSIONS APPLY

Lia Picard is a freelance writer covering food and travel. Her work appears in Tasting Table, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing, The Atlantan and other publications. When she’s not writing, she’s out and about discovering the city’s hidden gems and meeting the people behind them. Occasionally, she hops on a plane to explore other parts of the world near and far. She calls Atlanta home with her husband, Jon, and their recently rescued pup, Poppy. You can keep up with Lia’s food adventures on Instagram at @liapicard or, if you know where the best doughnuts in town are, drop her a line at

Contributing Writers

Karina Antenucci H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper Jessica Dauler Jim Farmer Mickey Goodman Blake Guthrie Angela Hansberger Locke Hughes Abbie Koopote Amelia Pavlik Lia Picard Sue Rodman Karon Warren Chief Photographer

Sara Hanna Photographers

Nihn Chau Lynn Crow Dara Dyer Pamela Lennard Abbie Koopote

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 2017 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Tyler Hayes




Director of Audience Development

Graphic Designer

Layal Akkad Copy Editor

H.M. Cauley Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

FIND US ONLINE Read Simply Buckhead online at


Facebook “Like” us at LivingWellATL

Twitter Follow us @SimplyBuckhead

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[ BEHIND THE COVER ] The awesome thing about doing a photo shoot at a chef’s house? The food, obviously. For this issue’s cover story on what four local restaurant chefs will be whipping up at home for the holidays this year, we sent our trusty photographer, Sara Hanna, to each of their houses to capture them as they prepped some sample dishes. Chef Shaun Doty, for example, made roulades from a White Oak Pastures turkey and cooked them over an open flame on the Amish grill in his backyard. For more deliciousness, see page 53.

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]

After sharing a meal I’ve made, I’ve had people politely say things such as “Nice try” and “That was interesting.” It doesn’t hurt my feelings necessarily (we each have our own unique skills), but it does make me envious of people like the four chefs we’re featuring in this issue’s cover story, who just seem to have an innate ability to throw together a mishmash of ingredients into a mouthwatering meal. If you have kitchen mishaps similar to mine, check out the accompanying piece titled “How to Cook Like a Chef This Season” for some insider tips on how perfect your own holiday meal. Seasonal get-togethers also often call for Champagne (who doesn’t enjoy popping open a bottle at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve?), and so you’ll appear super in-the-know, we’ve shared a primer on everything from how to properly open a bottle of bubbly to how to serve it. We also put together a fashion spread on the season’s hottest party looks, so you’ll be the picture of perfection at every occasion, whether it’s your company’s yearly Christmas bash or your Aunt Edna’s Secret Santa swap. A lot more great content awaits elsewhere in the issue, from how to maintain a healthy winter glow to touring a local town overrun by zombies. We just hope you can stay awake long enough after all that turkey, dressing, eggnog and pumpkin pie to enjoy it.

Photo: The Headshot Truck


only know how to cook two things: lasagna and cheesecake. When I do go to the trouble to make them, they’re darn good, but the rest of my efforts in the kitchen could best be described as haphazard.

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




From Nov 1, 2017 − Jan 31, 2018

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Pacified in Playa del Carmen P20

Mahekal Beach Resort provides that perfect balance of recreation and relaxation.

Surf, swim, sip and SUP—Mexico's Mahekal Beach Resort offers it all and more. Photo: Chris Wimpey

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


Locke Hughes


Three new Relay bike share stations offer Buckhead residents another way to navigate the neighborhood.



ith its more than 500 bikes and 50 stations throughout Midtown and downtown Atlanta, chances are you’ve noticed the aquacolored Relay bikes wheeling around town. The program has now launched in Buckhead, and local residents can pick up a set of wheels to run errands or just go for a spin. Currently, three Relay stations are available in

Buckhead: Tower Place Park near the Buckhead MARTA station, next to the Lenox MARTA station and at the Piedmont Center office complex. “These bikes offer a new way to get around town without getting into traffic, whether you’re a tourist visiting the area or a local resident taking MARTA to work. They’re the perfect option to go that final mile to your

destination,” says Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead. Plus, riders don’t have to bring the bikes back to the docking station when they’re done riding. “Since they’re all GPS-enabled, you can leave the bikes anywhere—Starbucks, for example— for a small extra fee,” explains Starling. Bike rentals start at $3.50 per half hour, or you can purchase an annual

or monthly pass starting at $10 per month, which includes 90 minutes of riding time per day. To learn more, visit the Relay website or download the Relay app on your phone. n

But don’t worry, even if you’re an exercise newbie, you’ll still get in a great workout. “Fit9 is a no-judgment workout where everyone will feel comfortable,” says Toney.

stylists are specially trained to work with children, and the salon even features kid-sized chairs and tykefriendly products. Plus, little ones will stay occupied with games and movies while the stylists work their magic. No appointments are necessary, so when you’re ready, just walk in.

The Whitley, a Luxury Collection Hotel. The Luxury Collection brand, part of the Marriott International portfolio, encompasses more than 100 other luxury hotels around the world. Guests should expect the same excellent service and a smooth transition, the Ritz-Carlton team reports, and all existing reservations and previously arranged events will be honored by The Whitley. The other Ritz-Carlton properties in the area, in downtown Atlanta and Lake Oconee, will remain under the Ritz-Carlton brand.


NEWS CLIPS A NEW WAY TO GET YOUR WORKOUT ON Fit9, a fitness studio from the owners of Stellar Bodies, has opened its doors in Buckhead. The one-hour group workouts combine high-intensity interval training and metabolic conditioning, as well as elements from boxing and athletic training, to maximize clients’ results while minimizing injury. Using top-of-theline exercise equipment and technology, you’ll strengthen every muscle in your body, boost your heart health and torch major calories. “From the time you walk into the studio with its utilitarian chic design, you are immediately energized and motivated,” explains co-founder Jeff Toney.

Fit9 56 East Andrews Drive N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.310.2965

SANDY SPRINGS SALON OPENS FOR KIDS-ONLY CUTS Dread taking your child to get a haircut? No worries. A new salon in Sandy Springs minimizes the stress and makes the entire experience much easier—and even fun—for children, as well as their parents. At Snip-its, the

Snip-its 4920 Roswell Road Sandy Springs 30342 404.205.5778

BUCKHEAD RITZ-CARLTON TO UNDERGO REBRANDING As of Dec. 1, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, a mainstay hotel in the area, will be rebranded as

The Whitley 3434 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.237.2700

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead



In lieu of attending a holiday party, Condominium Concepts employees devote a day of service to helping others.

Mailboxes decorated by volunteers help fund programs at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Signs of the Season Mailboxes raise money and set the holiday scene

Service Over Celebration Forgoing the office party for more charitable endeavors After years of hosting holiday parties for her staff at Condominium Concepts Management (CCM) in Sandy Springs, CEO Darlys Walker had a light bulb moment. How would her employees feel about doing a day of service instead of a party? The staff enthusiastically embraced the idea. The initiative, known as Condominium Concepts Cares, became a reality in 2014, and since its inception, the company has given both presents and its presence to organizations that often fall through the cracks, such as women’s shelters and nursing homes. In 2016, the firm honored first responders. This year’s focus

Mickey Goodman

is on the homeless. Working with various agencies, the company has targeted areas where the homeless gather and delivered them bagged lunches, socks and items that will help them through the cold winter months. Each of CCM’s seven regions develops individual plans and selects a date between Dec. 1 and 15 for the Day of Giving. Employees receive a day off so all can participate. CCM also serves its communities throughout the year at animal shelters, Ronald McDonald Houses and more. l For more information, visit:

In 1991, Brookhaven resident Toni Rhett created The Mailbox Brigade in her neighborhood to raise money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) in appreciation for the recovery of her daughter, Alix. People paid to have the group decorate their mailboxes with fresh greenery, berries, magnolia leaves and bows, and it was such a hit that the project has since become one of the hospital’s biggest citywide fundraisers. The program is 100 percent volunteer-driven, and all of the proceeds fund programs at Children’s Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite campuses. Patients also receive a Holiday Hug tag on their hospital doors. Wynne Harpenau of North

Buckhead has been a member of the Children’s Friends Group, a volunteer organization, for the last six years and is the 2017 vice president of holiday fundraising. “An army of more than 3,000 volunteers mobilizes into groups to make bows, gather the materials and decorate more than 5,000 mailboxes between the end of November and the middle of December,” says Harpenau. “Every group of volunteers is different. Some decorate a single street. Mine is long-standing, and we divide up into teams of two to decorate more than 500 boxes.” All orders for the mailbox decorations are made online, and special laminated tags let visitors know that the homeowners support the patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. l For more information, visit:

Queen for a Day Buckhead businesses donate a day of pampering In 2016, the Maria Heckscher Salon, along with Labels Resale Boutique and Portofino restaurant, hosted a contest called The Season of Giving. The businesses, all on Paces Ferry Place in Buckhead, wanted to treat a deserving person toa day of pampering at the salon and provide gift cards for clothes at Labels and dinner for two at Portofino. “We created a form asking for nominees on and on our Facebook page,” says Robyn Ware, the salon’s publi-

cist, who spearheaded the project. “We received more than 45 nominees whose stories were so heart-wrenching, we had a difficult time choosing a winner.” The three shop owners eventually selected Deborah Sims of McDonough. Along with tending to her dying partner who was in hospice, she had used her own money to feed the homeless and distribute toys to underprivileged kids for years through her nonprofit Sweet Serenity Inc. “My mate of 25 years died the weekend before

I got the call that I had received a day of pampering,” says Sims. “I was very honored, but had mixed emotions because I couldn’t share it with him.” Instead, she chose Monique Hart, the friend who had nominated her, to share the day. Nominations for this year’s The Season of Giving contest close Nov. 26, and the winner will be picked by Dec. 1. l For more information, or to nominate someone, visit:

Last year's Season of Giving winner Deborah Sims (center) is flanked by pal Monique Hart (left) and Maria Heckscher Salon stylist Nabat Kheteb.

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Sandy Springs or Brookhaven a better place to live? Please contact:

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



Photo: Chris Wimpey


Pacified in

Playa del Carmen Pack up all your cares and woes and escape to the idyllic Mahekal Beach Resort STORY:


Jill Becker

he scene at the Cancun airport once you go through Customs is chaotic. You have to dodge a barrage of uniformed, seemingly legitimate greeters asking where you’re going, the majority of whom are just trying to get you to buy this or that. In need of some serious downtime, my hope was that this frenzied start wasn’t an omen for the rest of my Mexican getaway. Luckily, it wasn’t. After meeting up with my friend who flew in from Texas to join me, we located our driver and hopped in the air-conditioned van—with free Wi-Fi, the driver was quick to point out—and off we went, about 45 minutes south to Playa del Carmen and the beautiful Mahekal Beach Resort. A sense of calm enveloped us as soon as we stepped into the open-air lobby, where we were greeted with


Most of Fuego's menu items are cooked up in its Tulum-style wood-burning oven.

a tray of refreshing beverages. Our gorgeous accommodations were in a stand-alone, thatched-roof, palapastyle bungalow, just steps from the crashing waves of the Caribbean. A personalized, hand-painted plaque outside the room pronounced our abode “Casa de Becker.” (The plaque now hangs on my front porch.) The bungalow had its own patio, private plunge pool and two cozy hammocks. I usually like to unpack first thing, but I immediately plopped in that hammock, closed my eyes and savored the peace and quiet. After a few hours of just lazing around, we made our way over to the Artisan Palapa, where Juliana, who made the plaque hanging on our wall, helped us paint a piece of pottery of our choosing. It’s best to do this particular activity early on in your stay, as once you’ve painted it, she needs a day to glaze the piece so you can pick it up and take it back home with you. I can’t say mine was a

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Sunsets in Playa del Carmen call for a stroll along the beach.

masterpiece, but that might have to do with that second drink they brought me while I was making it. We capped off the night with dinner at Fuego, the alfresco restaurant and cantina on the other side of the property from our bungalow. A resident cat wandered among the tables as we dined on surf and turf prepared in the Tulum-style wood-burning oven. Mahekal has a wonderful half-board meal plan that includes breakfast and either lunch or dinner each day. Our daily routine was to pig out at

the breakfast buffet at Las Olas (be sure to try a glass of the jugo verde!), snack at lunch and then have an early dinner at either Fuego or one of the eateries along 5th Avenue, the main tourist strip (here too, be aware of overly friendly sales barkers, even at the restaurants). If you’re visiting for an anniversary or other romantic occasion, I highly recommend having the folks at Mahekal arrange for a private, multi-course dinner on the beach, which comes complete with a personal waiter and all the Champagne

Photo: Chris Wimpey

Above: The Las Olas infinity-edge pool is just one of four swimming pools on property.

you can drink. And make a point to stop in at Boli’s Bar, named after the hotel’s beloved concierge, for a tasty cocktail and game of dominoes, pool or ping pong. Our second day, we went snorkeling with Roman Graff, who heads up Mahekal’s Vida Aquática Dive Center. After picking out wetsuits and packing up our gear and boxed lunches, he drove us to Chikin Ha, one of the handful of sites in the Yucatan where you can snorkel or scuba in underground cenotes. Snorkeling in these calm, clear sinkholes, you won’t see some of the more exotic fish found in a coral reef, but there’s still something utterly magical about swimming among stalagmites and stalactites as sunbeams rain down from the sky and cut through the water. The Mayans believe that cenotes have spiritual and healing properties, and in fact, after our trip to Chikin Ha, the cold I’d had for the previous two days was instantly gone. I’d like to say that during the rest of my stay at Mahekal I worked out in the fitness room, but I never quite got up the energy. I didn’t take advantage of the spa either, but I did seriously contemplate getting one of the luxurious-sounding, Mayan-inspired treatments. And I

Below: Some of the accommodations sit right on the sand facing the sea.

One of the personalized touches that makes a stay at Mahekal so special.

looked out with glee every day at my fellow guests cruising around on the stand-up paddleboards available for rent, but I opted to just lay out by the pool instead. In the end, Mahekal provided that perfect balance of recreation and relaxation that I was searching for. n

IF YOU GO... Mahekal Beach Resort Rates start at $299 in low season, depending on room type, and go up to $1,200 in high season; note that there are no resort fees To get there, you fly into Cancun International Airport, a two-and-ahalf-hour direct flight from Atlanta

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: Grab a hot chocolate and watch the skiers come in from the luxe environs of the One Ski Hill Place resort. Left: Breckenridge's stunning vistas and laid-back vibe will not disappoint.

Breakout to


Right: With the help of ski instructor (aka baby whisperer) Mike Chick, the writer's daughter steps into skis for the first time.

A winter getaway to Colorado is a fit for the whole family


he clicks into her 30-inch skis, and my entire body tenses. I see the concentration on her face as the instructor talks her through the ride up the “magic carpet” and how to shuffle her feet to get in place. Without skipping a beat, she heads down the bunny hill, reaches the bottom, looks up at me and smiles. Looks like we’ve got a skier. I was too young to remember the first time I got up on snow skis, but I’ll never forget watching my 2-year-old glide over fresh powder for the first time. The setting for this milestone: Breckenridge, Colorado, a Gold Rush town known for its 300 annual inches of pure white snow, where experts and novices—whether age 2 or 62— are welcomed with open arms. With five peaks, 2,908 acres and the highest chairlift in North America, it’s a destination that fulfills a multitude of winter adventuring desires. Historically, my ski vacations have been about leisurely days on the


slopes, après-ski with adult cocktails and evenings at trendy restaurants and bars—not exactly an ideal itinerary for a toddler. But this visit to Breckenridge opened my eyes to a new way to enjoy a visit to the snow, little one in tow. If you want to bring the brood but still get some adult time, Breckenridge Ski Resort offers a ski school as well as childcare for kids as young as 2 months old. Or you can do what my husband and I did and bring the grandparents along to help. Either way, I can’t say enough about how impressed I was with the family-friendly amenities, particularly our ski instructor’s ability to make our headstrong toddler comfortable with the entire experience (equipment and all), as well as the fun my husband and I had with him during the half-day adult-only skiing we did while our daughter built snowmen with Grandma and Grandpa. A key piece of the puzzle in our successful toddler-toting ski vacation was our home base at One Ski Hill

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Place, A RockResort. Situated at the base of Peak 8, the ski-in, ski-out accommodations are just steps from five different ski lifts, which made it easy to take breaks for naps and meals throughout the day. Plus, our two-bedroom suite, done in natural wood and stone materials with a cozy fireplace and full kitchen, made us feel right at home. When we weren’t hitting the slopes, we still felt part of the action by people-watching from the terrace, sitting next to the hotel’s outdoor fire pit or in the hot tub. Another way to watch the activity is through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the two indoor pools, which feature sprayers and a zero-entry kids pool that my daughter loved. Some of the hotel’s other perks include a two-lane bowling alley coined “The Mine Shaft,” two movie lounges, a game room, Rejuvenation Center Spa, ski valet and a gondola that takes you to downtown Breckenridge. The quaint town center offers a variety


Giannina Smith Bedford

of shops, bars and restaurants. We enjoyed two delicious meals (including kids’ menus) at Twist and Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria, followed by strolls down Main Street. Traveling with young children isn’t always easy, especially when it involves time and altitude changes, but Breckenridge is one of those places that makes it just a little easier, and totally worthwhile. My daughter may not remember her first visit to the snow, but it’s a memory I’ll cherish forever. n

IF YOU GO... Breckenridge Ski Resort Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort Twist

bean bags • game chairs • kids modular furniture • daybeds

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




Photo: Georgia Department of Economic Development

Left: The Waking Dead Cafe is an extension of the Woodbury Shoppe that sells Walking Dead-related merchandise on Main Street.

Above and below: On his Walking Dead guided tour, Williams Riggs poses with fans at the famous "Away With You" wall and shares insights outside the neighborhood that serves as Alexandria on the show.

Even those who don't care about zombies will enjoy this little town


very Sunday night this time of year, millions of people across America are glued to their TV sets, eagerly watching the latest episode of the hit apocalyptic thriller The Walking Dead. Like the swarms of zombies roaming the countryside on the show, herds of The Walking Dead’s die-hard fans are flocking to humble Senoia, Georgia, located about an hour south of Atlanta. The town serves as Woodbury on the series. It also represents a rare thing in the Deep South: smalltown America fully revitalized. The three-block-long downtown area looks and feels like a nostalgic throwback to another era with its red-brick facades, storefronts with awnings hanging over the sidewalks and a water tower next to Main Street hovering above everything like the mother ship. Those sidewalks are also emblazoned with bronze plaques, a sort of Walk of Fame letting passersby know what productions have been filmed in town. Driving Miss Daisy and Fried Green Toma-


toes were here, but The Walking Dead changed everything. Don't be surprised to show up and find entire city blocks and neighborhoods walled off for shooting. But just because the historic city of only 4,000 people sometimes doubles as a film set doesn't mean you aren't welcome. There are shops and cafes themed to the show, and three businesses now provide Dead-related tours: Atlanta Movie Tours, Georgia Tour Company and Riggs Tours. The latter is a part-time, one-man operation run by William Riggs, the father of Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, the son of the main character in the series. The elder Riggs has been a constant on-set presence since the first read-through of the script for season one, which aired in 2010. "All of the tours are good," says Riggs, referring to the two other tour companies that operate on a more regular basis than his. "I did a couple and decided I could offer

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


Photos: William Riggs

Walking in Senoia Blake Guthrie

something different with a little extra background info that people might not know about." While you won't get to meet Chandler or receive any spoilers for upcoming episodes on the tour, you will see several famous Dead locales and get behind-the-scenes stories from someone who’s been around the series from the start. "I enjoy meeting the fans. That's why I keep my tour groups small, so I can interact with them more," says Riggs. He offers a walking tour in Senoia and a driving tour to prominent nearby Dead locations such as Herschel's bar and the "Away With You” wall. Another popular spot with Dead fans is Nic & Norman's, a laid-back bar and restaurant coowned by Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show. But there’s more to Senoia than just film shoots and zombie sightings. A stroll along Main Street offers dining, boutique shopping and coffeehouses. There's even a bit of nightlife. Maguire's Family & Friends is a subterranean Cheers-like establishment fea-

turing live music in a traditional Irish pub atmosphere. There aren't any hotels in Senoia, but you will find two B&Bs: The Veranda and the Culpepper House, each a historic home just a block from Main Street. So even if you aren’t a Walking Dead fan, there's plenty to enjoy on a visit to this vibrant hamlet. n

IF YOU GO... Walking Dead Tours Atlanta Movie Tours Georgia Tour Company Riggs Tours

Eat and Drink Maguire's Family & Friends Nic & Norman's

Stay Culpepper House The Veranda

Explore, Connect, Create Change for a better world

New Primary Mandarin Program Fall 2018! A welcoming community with local roots and global reach, composed of families from over 90 countries. •

Full-immersion preschool and partial immersion primary programs in French, Spanish, German and Mandarin

International Baccalaureate curriculum, 3K Grade 12

Innovative design technology core classes

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



HOLIDAY TEA TIME In a season full of rich drinks like eggnog, cocoa and hot buttered rum, it can be nice to sip and save a few calories. You don’t even have to forgo the holiday spirit. Instead, spread cheer with these festive seasonal teas that are low in calories and added sugar.


Jessica Dauler





4 5


1. Spiced Apple Cider

2. Pukka Peppermint

3. White Christmas

4. The Republic of Tea,

5. Paromi Hibiscus

(2 oz., $10)

& Licorice (20 bags, $6)

(2 oz., $7)

Harvest Stackable Trio

Berry (15 bags, $9.99)

Boasting a collection of more than 160 teas from around the globe, the warm and welcoming ZenTea tea shop hosts daily high tea service and weekly tastings and classes. Holiday flavors such as White Christmas, a combo of white tea with orange peel, almonds, rose petals, cinnamon and apple, is an excellent low-caffeine holiday blend that can be purchased year-round. Adding a little milk and sugar will turn this into a slightly richer drink, but it will still be a nice break from eggnog.

(36 bags, $14)

This fruity cornucopia of flavor is reminiscent of mulled wine on a cooktop. Tropical hibiscus infuses tang to hints of raspberry and blackberry, while the ruby color adds an elegant, beautiful flair to a holiday table or party. And it’s naturally organic and caffeine free.

Spice up your holidays with this calorie-free take on a traditional fall treat. The merrily colored blend of high-quality, long-cut red rooibos leaves with cinnamon spice, apple slices, chicory, plum and hibiscus offers a natural, caramel-like sweetness in every sip. The resulting brew is balanced and smooth, yet tart and refreshing enough to embody the season. Teavana Phipps Plaza 3500 Peachtree Road Atlanta 30326 404.261.3004


Take a walk down candy cane lane with this caffeine-free treat that is best savored by a roaring fire after a holiday meal. The guilt-free indulgence is a sweet and savory blend of organic licorice and cool peppermint that tingles your mouth and gives off a refreshing aroma. The Vitamin Shoppe 3261 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.262.0400

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

ZenTea 5356 Peachtree Road Chamblee 30341 678.547.0877

This tasty trio is the perfect way to experience seasonal favorites. Hibiscus Cranberry is a tangy blend of New England-harvested red cranberry with added cinnamon, ginger, cloves and star anise. Hot Apple Cider combines apple pieces, cinnamon, orange peel, rose hips and cloves for a delightful scent that lingers in your cup. Pumpkin Spice is a blend of black tea, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; add some milk and drink your pumpkin pie in a cup. Whole Foods 77 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.324.4100

The Fresh Market 4405 Roswell Road Atlanta 30342 404.250.0852

Holiday Events

Black Friday – November 24 Gift with purchase

Get LIT! – Thursdays in December Extended shopping hours, festive entertainment, bites & beverages

12 Days of Joy – December 11-22 Follow us on social for daily flash sales & giveaways


Blo Blow Dry Bar | CorePower Yoga Crate & Barrel | Fab’rik | Gill’s | Kendra Scott Lululemon | Luna | Ministry of Supply | Ona Atlanta Paper Source | Sprint | South Moon Under | Suitsupply The Impeccable Pig | Tootsies


Bhojanic | Dantanna’s | Roots Juices Seven Lamps

WELCOME DRAPER JAMES Opening November 2017 3400 Around Lenox Drive | Atlanta, GA 30326

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




Left: As area GM, Bond presides over all of Lyft's Atlanta operations. Below: Lyft's new Hub includes a driver service area Bond equates to Apple's Genius Bar.





am Bond is a rarity in Atlanta. He decided a while back to give up his car and just take Lyft wherever he goes. When you learn that Bond is the head of the car service’s operations here in Atlanta, the idea doesn’t sound so far-fetched, of course, but still, for many people, it’s hard to fathom not being able to just hop in your vehicle and go. “You get your time and your sanity back,” says Bond of the experience. “I haven’t looked for a parking space in almost a year. I get lots of work done in the backseat. It’s been liberating. Plus, it’s fun to meet people and talk to the drivers.” A part of Bond’s duties as general manager, in fact, is to find ways to get more people to ditch their own wheels and use Lyft’s services.


Jill Becker   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

Another part of his job is evaluating both the driver and rider experience. He even recently spent several days behind the wheel himself, tooling clients around town on both earlymorning and late-night shifts. He also makes frequent visits to Lyft’s local Express Drive locations, where drivers who don’t want to use their own cars can rent vehicles through their partnership with Hertz. But the majority of Bond’s time is spent in the company’s new “Hub,” located just off Howell Mill Road. His workday starts around 8 a.m., but he’s usually up before 5. A former Marine who was deployed to Iraq as a scout sniper platoon commander and assistant regimental intelligence officer, Bond says getting up at the crack of dawn is “learned behavior.” As is beginning his day with a workout. “My wife got me started on Orangetheory,” he admits, noting that the monitored interval training aspect appeals to his competitive nature. “We often com-

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

pare notes and achievements if we do the same workout the same day.” His healthful attitude is also evidenced by the stand-up desk in his office, which is painted Lyft’s signature shade of pink. Even more colorful is the large open space downstairs that serves as sort of a way station for the company’s drivers. It’s where they go if they have a problem with the app, a question about incentives or other issues. Bond likens it to the Apple Genius Bar. Since starting with Lyft in 2016, Bond says his biggest challenge has been dealing with the company’s rapid growth. But the appeal of “doing something entrepreneurial” was what sold him on the job in the first place. Prior to joining Lyft, Bond was group director of supply chain strategy for Coca-Cola, and he’s kept in touch with the beverage giant in regards to Lyft’s efforts to get local companies to provide employee incentives to leave their cars behind. “Coca-Cola did it as

a pilot,” he says, adding that Coke has “bold plans” to take single-car vehicles off the campus. Bond works to create partnerships with area businesses in other ways, as well, such as teaming up with bars and restaurants to both alleviate parking issues and offer safe rides to patrons who might have had one too many. After a day packed with business lunches, meetings and phone calls (he has frequent Google Hangouts with the folks at headquarters in California), Bond takes a Lyft to his home in south Buckhead. After enjoying a Paleo meal from Sun Basket, he may read to his 3-year-old son or help his 6-year-old daughter with her piano lessons. In case you’re wondering, there is a Volvo wagon parked in the garage that the family uses when the need arises. But Bond insists that beyond a little extra planning, relying on a car service to get you around is quite doable. “The one-car family—it’s a very real option.” n




Above: The Atlanta History Center contains one of the largest collections of Civil War memorabilia in the country. Left: In "Gatheround," children and parents alike can learn about events surrounding the civil rights movement in Atlanta. Below: Atlanta History Center events like Candlelight Nights let kids get crafty.



hether you’ve lived in Atlanta your entire life or are a recent transplant, teaching children the history of our community is important to a prosperous future. Most kids, however, will tell you they don’t like history, primarily because they hate memorizing names, dates and other dry, boring facts. But history doesn’t have to be a snooze. The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead has numerous programs geared toward kids, as well as exhibits that can spark a love of yesteryear. Here are six ways to bring the past to life for your little ones—and you!

dates on the plaques around town, Buckhead resident Beverly DuBose’s notable collection of memorabilia on view at the center will likely pique the interest of older kids. One of the largest Civil War exhibits in the country, “Turning Point: The American Civil War” follows the battle from start to finish and describes in movies, narratives and artifacts what it was like to be a soldier, as well as to live on the home front. Even if children don’t read any of the accompanying text, they’ll still come away with an understanding of the toll the conflict took on the community.

1. Get hands on. Each month, the center hosts Magic Monday, a program geared toward toddlers and preschoolers. The event follows a specific theme and includes guided exploration, arts and crafts, and story time. Be sure to save time for a post-program visit to the on-site Smith Family Farm, where kids can pet sheep and see a blacksmith shop up close.


Sue Rodman

3. Taste the past. Food is a huge part of life and history. In “Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta,” kids can sit in a diner booth and pick from a menu of stories about Atlanta as told through a tabletop jukebox. Afterwards, visit a real diner for a juicy cheeseburger and malted milkshake. There are two in the neighborhood: Buckhead Diner and Landmark Diner.

4. Play a game. Kids may be surprised to learn that the iPad wasn’t always the go-to way to pass the time. The game of graces was a popular activity for young girls in the early 1800s. Civil War soldiers played cards or dominoes to fend off boredom while in camp. You’ll find these and other historical games in the gift shop, and the property boasts plenty of greenspace and gardens to play them in.

Peachtree Creek in Buckhead. After her backyard floods, Frances finds an old box that connects her to the children who lived along the same stretch of land before her. It’s a novel way of making area history relatable for children. Little ones can also hear stories firsthand from the costumed interpreters who bring local residents back to life on the weekends.

6. Enjoy some screen time. Not all history has to be in the distant past. Buckhead’s recent history includes being a favorite shooting location for numerous TV shows and movies. Kids will recognize the Swan House, a stately 1920s-era mansion on the center’s grounds, as the home of President Snow in The Hunger Games. n

5. Read a story.

2. Study themes, not dates. The Civil War was fought right here in Buckhead, and although youngsters may not be interested in the


Youngsters admire barnyard animals at the center's Smith Family Farm.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

The gift shop is also a great place to find kid-friendly books, such as Secret Stories from Peachtree Creek, by Marcia Mayo, a former local elementary school teacher. In it, Mayo writes about Frances, a girl who lives along

ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.814.4000

HOM E | FA S H ION | B E AU T Y | W E L L N E S S | TA S T E M A K E R



Mountain Escape  P32

“You want to make the house look like a part of the landscape.” – Stephen Barnett

Panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are the focal point at a Buckhead couple’s second home. Photo: Dara Dyer

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 





The Barnetts incorporated native materials into the home’s construction to match its surroundings.

Stephen and Gale Barnett took great care to build a second home that blended with its environment STORY:

The Barnetts’ search for a retreat from their full-time Buckhead home landed them in Sylva, North Carolina.


hen longtime Buckhead residents Stephen and Gale Barnett started searching for a second home, they knew exactly what they didn’t want in the community where they would live. They wanted to avoid a traditional golf, tennis and pool development. “I didn’t want to replicate a country club setting,” says Gale, who wears many hats, including attorney, certified planner and developer.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Karon Warren   PHOTOS: Dara Dyer

The Barnetts began looking at Balsam Mountain Preserve near Sylva, North Carolina, less than 40 minutes from Asheville, because they had a cousin who owned a home in the development. The couple visited their family at Balsam and started looking at communities in the region for their own second home. They wanted a location that would be an easy commute for a weekend getaway. “[Balsam] served as a good escape,” says Stephen, a general and vascular surgeon. “When in active [medical] practice, it’s hard to get away. You need something accessible.” Stephen and Gale particularly loved the development’s commitment to nature. “Preserve” is not just part of the community’s name; it’s a description of the commu-

nity itself. There are fewer than 400 homes throughout the 4,400-acre property, and 75 percent of the property has been placed into a conservation easement protected by the Balsam Mountain Trust. On-site naturalists work closely with homeowners, architects and builders to create homes that have a limited environmental footprint. “It’s a preserve,” says Stephen. “You can’t take out a tree or kill an animal. You work with naturalists in determining what trees come out when building.” After purchasing their lot in 2012, that is exactly what the Barnetts and their design team did. The couple enlisted the aid of architect Allen Halcomb of MossCreek Designs in Knoxville, Tennessee, and builders George

Above: The Barnetts purposely left the TV out of the family room, instead placing the focus on the scenic views beyond the windows. Left: The downstairs family room includes an extensive bar for entertaining. Right: Gale incorporated pops of red, her favorite color, throughout the home, including the kitchen.

“The house has a natural sense, but it’s filled with art. It’s a blend of natural and human creation.” – Stephen Barnett as a guest room when needed. “We designed rooms by function, not name,” says Stephen. Outside, a two-story deck holds court on the back of the house, with a covered outdoor living room off the main floor. All of the rooms along with the exterior spaces were designed to take advantage of the mountain vistas in the distance. A garage with a second-floor living space stands across from the front of the house. It took a little more than two years for the house to be completed. Along the way,

the Barnetts worked with Halcomb to tweak the architectural plans they had chosen. For instance, they converted dead space over the kitchen into a loft. Also, just off the family room, they pushed out a wall to put in a book nook. One fun adjustment was installing an elevator in what originally was to be the laundry room. Behind the elevator, the remainder of the space was converted to Gale’s office. “There is no wasted space,” says Stephen. “We used every nook and cranny.”


Baldwin and Larry Phillips of Baldwin & Phillips Construction in Sylva. Baldwin and Phillips built the Barnetts’ cousin’s house and had extensive experience constructing other Balsam Mountain Preserve residences. Together, they crafted a 3,500-square-foot house that contains a family room, kitchen, loft, den, master suite, Gale’s office and a powder room on the main floor. On the second floor, there’s another, smaller family room with a bar, a guest bedroom and bathroom, and a multifunctional room that serves

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




The Barnetts relied on Phillips’ knowledge of local vendors to find the right suppliers of natural materials for both the interior and exterior of the home. “You want to make the house look like a part of the landscape,” says Stephen. “It sits like it’s in a nest looking out at the surroundings as if it’s always been here.” Examples of those materials include the live-edge countertop in the powder room, a poplar bark wall in the downstairs den, mountain laurel on the deck railings, stacked stones from local quarries for the fireplaces and Appalachian hardwood for the fireplace mantels. “We loved using these materials,” says Gale. “They are very natural and fit into the environment.” Because Stephen and Gale love art, there are many pieces on display throughout the house. But don’t mistake them for home accessories. “It’s art; it’s not there for decor,” says Gale. Stephen is quick to add, “It’s carefully curated.” Much of the art comes from local artists, another important consideration for the Barnetts in choosing Balsam for their second home. The house is in the midst of the arts and crafts community in western North Carolina. “We are avid art collectors,” says Gale. “It was very important to me to include that in my consideration [of the home’s location].” Examples from their collection include several ceramic pieces by Alex Matisse, the basket artwork in the downstairs den by Matt Tommey, a Linda Beach quilt and other ceramics


Above: The Barnetts raised the ceiling in the master bedroom to include a second row of windows over the bed.

by Japanese artist Akira Satake. Stephen and Gale even contributed their own artwork to the home. Framed photographs by Stephen can be found in several spots, and Gale designed the stained-glass transom over the master bedroom door. Now that the house is complete, and the Barnetts have had time to settle in, they couldn’t be happier with the results. “The house has a natural sense, but it’s filled with art,” says Stephen. “It’s a blend of natural and human creation.” n

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Above: Views of the expansive mountains can be seen even from the master bathroom. Left: The outdoor living room is a natural extension of the indoor space, providing a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.


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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 








Abbie Koopote


HAIR AND MAKEUP: Nyssa Green and Indy Butler

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FORMAL AND FESTIVE Have fun playing dress-up this year and pick a look that is red carpet ready. HIS: Spice up your classic black suit with a pop of color by donning a red satin tie. Theory Wellar PE Tux Jacket ($695), Theory Marlo P Tux Trousers ($285), Michael Kors Stretch Cotton Slim Fit ButtonDown Shirt ($178) and The Men’s Store at Bloomingdale’s Solid Satin Skinny Tie ($59), available at Bloomingdale’s. HERS: This off-the-shoulder LBG (little black gown) will bring the perfect amount of glamour to any formal occasion, and it’s sure to hug you in all the right places. The sexy and sophisticated look is the perfect canvas to experiment with statement jewelry and stunning makeup. Aqua Off-the-Shoulder Scuba Crepe Gown ($248) and Sondra Roberts Metal Mesh Clutch ($180), available at Bloomingdale’s; Ranjana Khan earrings ($375), available at Tootsies.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead



is the season when you feel like your calendar is filled with holiday festivities—office parties, gift exchanges, the list goes on and on. With your busy schedule, shopping for the perfect outfit might be the last thing you have time for, but we are here to help. We’ve put together some fun and festive looks to cover every occasion this holiday season.

COCKTAIL CHIC Whether it’s for a fancy holiday office party or a more informal gathering at a friend’s house, with the right outfit you can celebrate in style and still be comfortable. HIS: Ditch the boring sports coat and opt instead for a burgundy turtleneck, paired with a sleek pair of cozy black denim jeans.   Hugo Boss Nazzaro Turtleneck ($255), 7 For All Mankind Annex Straight Fit Jeans ($189) and To Boot New York Ives Suede Chelsea Boots ($375), available at Bloomingdale’s. HERS: The fabric of this long-sleeve cocktail dress is super soft and stretchy, but the bib detailing makes it extremely stylish. Sandro Long-Sleeve Dounia Bib Dress ($470) and Stuart Weitzman Frayed Velvet Ankle Strap High Heel Sandals ($425), available at Bloomingdale’s; JCM London Earrings ($215), available at Tootsies.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE There’s no need to sacrifice style just because the temps are low and you have to don an overcoat. HIS: A must in these winter months is something you can throw over anything to keep you snug and warm, and this versatile gray car coat is the perfect piece to complement any outfit, from a suit to a wool turtleneck sweater. Theory Belvin Car Coat ($745), Michael Kors Merino Wool Turtleneck Sweater ($128), 7 For All Mankind Slimmy Luxe Sport Super Slim Fit Jeans ($189) and To Boot New York Ives Suede Chelsea Boots ($375), available at Bloomingdale’s. HERS: Velvet is undeniably the fabric of the season, and this matching embellished bomber and skirt set also provides that extra holiday sparkle. BCBGMaxazria Steffe Sweater Heather Grey ($248), Sandro Briny Embellished Velvet Bomber Jacket ($745), Sandro Sandra Embellished Velvet Skirt ($395), Raffaello Bettini Fox Fur & Cashmere Ribbed Pom-Pom Beanie ($98) and Vince Camuto Drista Studded BlockHeel Booties ($229), available at Bloomingdale’s.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


CHRISTMAS MORNING PAJAMA PARTY When it’s time to gather the family in the kitchen to sip hot cocoa, decorate cookies and make unforgettable holiday memories together, nothing beats congregating in your comfiest PJs. HIS: Enjoy lounging in a fluffy Charter Club checked robe and soft undershirt by Jockey. Being comfortable never looked so good. Charter Club Printed Robe ($66) and Jockey Supersoft Undershirt ($22), available at Macy’s. BIG HERS: This cotton holiday ensemble is not only “cozy chic,” it’s perfect for cuddling up to your loved ones on the frostiest of nights. Lauren Ralph Lauren Printed Cotton Twill Pajama Set ($69), available at Macy’s. LITTLE HERS: This three-piece PJ set comes complete with a tutu and might just be the only thing your little one wants to wear this holiday season. Three-Piece Reindeer PJ Set ($26), available at Carter’s.

GET THE LOOK FROM THE SHOOT GIVE BOLD, FESTIVE BEAUTY A TRY A SULTRY, SMOKY EYE A smoky eye doesn’t have to be done just with dark shadows. Try to incorporate red, the color of the season, into your eye makeup. Mix up different shades of shimmery reds to create the perfect blend of colors for your look. Be sure to continue the shadows on your bottom lash line to frame your entire eye.

RED OMBRÉ LIP This season, give the classic red lip a modern twist by creating a beautiful red ombré effect. Use a black lip liner to line the outside of your lips. Then, from the center of your lips, use your favorite shade of red to blend out toward the black liner. Be sure to blend the two colors to

create that seamless ombré look. For the best results, try using a lip brush. To add some extra shine, finish it off by applying a coat of clear gloss on top.

LONG, LUXURIOUS LASHES Lashes are particularly popular this season. Put on your favorite falsies to add some volume to both your top and bottom lash line to give your eyes that extra pop.

SLEEK AND STRAIGHT MIDDLE PART Create some drama by trying a sleek middle part in your hair. This style will leave your face completely exposed— the perfect way to show off some bold holiday makeup, glowing skin or even a statement earring.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




STUNNING SELF-TANNERS You can use self-tanners alone or in between spray tans to prolong a professional treatment. “Just make sure you are lightly exfoliating prior to more applications, and never apply tanner more than once in a 24-hour period to avoid overdeveloping,” advises Wente. Here are two product recommendations:

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Self Tanner ($36) Available at Aillea

“This is an amazing moisturizer that also happens to be a self-tanner that’s good for you,” says Kathryn Dickinson, owner/ founder of Aillea. “Because your skin is so hydrated, this tan fades naturally, smells amazing (no chemical stink) and uses eco-certified natural sugar beets to create the tan.”


St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse ($44) and Applicator Mitt ($7) Available at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics

Karina Antenucci


“We love it because it gives you an amazing instant color,” says Brittini Pearson, assistant manager at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics. “And the mitt allows for a flawless application.”



ike to maintain a healthy glow this time of year, but you’ve been burned by sunless tanning in the past? With the threat of orange undertones, an obviously too-tan hue or streaky, uneven parts, you may be inclined to stay away from both spray tans and self-tanners. But times have changed, and there are more and better options available. Consider giving the following spray tan tricks and topnotch at-home self-tanners a try.

& Sugaring Studio. Adds Alicia Wente, owner at Spray Studio, “We mix a color based on the person’s skin tone and desired color. We also blend and detail the hands, feet and any other parts of the body that need it.”

Prep properly

Ditch the booth

To avoid streaks, Carr suggests taking a shower and exfoliating before your spray tan, and avoiding using any lotions or creams. Wente also recommends bathing at least three hours beforehand.

Instead of going to a sunless tanning booth where the spray may not apply evenly over your body, choose a spray tan studio where professionals apply the formula with an airbrush tool. “A spray tan technician is able to customize the tan to each individual, providing a more natural-looking tan, especially around the hands and feet,” says Zoey Carr, esthetician at Sweet Peach Wax

Wente advises that for the most natural look, you should only go a few shades darker in the winter. “I always tell people to look at spray tanning as an enhancement of what you are and not to try to be what you’re not,” she says. “If you have pale Irish skin, you will never be Brazilian dark, and


Pick the right shade

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

it would look ridiculous anyway.”

Choose a better formula Research what the studio staff will be spraying on your skin. If they use higher-quality formulas like Spray Studio and Sweet Peach do, it’s likely the result will look more natural. “We’ve worked hard to create a botanically based, vegan formula that’s free of chemicals,” explains Wente. “Our formulas all have Ecocert-DHA, which is the ingredient that works with the amino acids in your skin to turn you a tan color. It’s the same chemical reaction an apple goes through when you bite into it and it turns brown. Other ingredients in our formula are argan oil, coconut oil, vitamins for skin health and tea extracts.” Sweet Peach uses a spray tan solution that’s 100 percent natural and contains white tea extracts along with aloe and chamomile to nourish and moisturize the skin. n

Aillea 3796 Roswell Road N.E. Atlanta 30342 Spray Studio 5590 Roswell Road N.E., Suite 250 Sandy Springs 30342 404.256.0777 Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio 3077 East Shadowlawn Ave. Atlanta 30305   404.842.1788 206 Johnson Ferry Road Sandy Springs 30328  404.481.5488         Woo Skincare + Cosmetics  2339-A Peachtree Road  Atlanta 30305 404.477.5000 3509 Northside Parkway N.W. Atlanta 30327 404.869.0300

Fine Estate Sale

Continued until November 20th

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



Photo: Jon Cornick



Jesse Itzler (in white T-shirt) leads a group walk during a fitness retreat earlier this year. STORY:

Amelia Pavlik



wo thousand and seventeen reps of burpees, sit-ups, pushups, dips and squats to ring in 2017—that’s how it all started. “I really wanted to do something to celebrate the new year in January, so I settled on doing 2,017 reps of the five most challenging exercises that don’t require a gym,” says Jesse Itzler, a Buckhead-based motivational speaker, entrepreneur and part owner of the Atlanta Hawks. “I wondered if anyone would do it with me, so I offered to make a $100 donation to a charity to anyone who did.”  That’s when the concept behind #WeDoHardStuff was born. Since then, the group of people doing the challenges with Itzler has grown to 10,000 and includes kids and adults living everywhere from Alaska to Australia. Each month, Itzler posts a challenge to the #WeDoHardStuff Facebook group and website. Several challenges make up the overall


monthly contest. Itzler creates them so that they don’t require a gym and so they appeal to all levels of fitness, and he weaves in several business and personal challenges as well. For example, one month had a total of 15 challenges that included tasks such as taking 12,000 steps in one day and picking up trash in your neighborhood.  “To stay connected to the group, I do every challenge,” he says. “Plus, my 8-year-old son and wife often join me, which is a great way to bring our family together.”  Everything is done on the honor code, and participants can post their progress to the Facebook page. When they’re finished with each component, people are asked to head to a designated website to register what Itzler refers to as their “victories.” “The whole point is that we’re like-minded people who want to challenge ourselves and support each other,” says Itzler. “We share

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

the common goal of wanting to get more out of life and be the best version of ourselves—the group is your accountability partner.” Itzler believes it’s this accountability that has been so key to the success of the group.  “So many people have posted that they’ve been in a rut for a long time and have been stuck on the couch,” he says. “This program has been a catalyst for change because it’s not intimidating, and you can do it at your own pace. For example, one group member wrote that he had lost more than 35 pounds since starting and just signed up to do a marathon.”  Each month, the challenge supports a different charity, with the goal of selecting organizations that resonate with as many of the members as possible. This year, the list includes Special Olympics Georgia and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.   In addition to the monthly challenges, Itzler often brings in guest speakers such as Harvey Diamond,

who wrote the best-seller Fit for Life, to discuss wellness and motivational topics, including how to eat properly for maximum energy. And he’s adding special events to the mix such as the #WeDoHardStuff LIVE Summit that was held over a weekend in Atlanta in September. The gathering featured workouts and motivational guest speakers, including his wife, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, and Tim S. Grover, who has trained NBA players such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.   “My wife always says you find your purpose when you marry what you like to do with what you’re good at and something that’s good for the world,” says Itzler. “And that’s what happened here.” n 

READY FOR THE CHALLENGE? Get started by registering at or joining the Facebook group #WeDoHardStuff.

For reservations please call 404.844.4810



ove over, Dr. Oz; there’s a new famous physician on the scene. In case you haven’t already caught her appearances on national TV shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America, meet Atlanta’s own Dr. Tasneem “Taz” Bhatia. She’s a holistic health expert, acupuncturist, nutrition specialist and founder of the CentreSpring MD integrative medicine center, as well as a wife and mother of two young children. Today, Bhatia looks like the picture of health, but it hasn’t always been that way. In her 20s, she was gaining weight, battling acne and losing her hair. Frustrated by doctors who weren’t able to help, Bhatia, then a medical resident, began searching for answers. She went beyond the conventional health care system and studied traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and ayurveda. Combining tenets from each helped Bhatia solve her own health issues, inspiring her to become certified in integrative and holistic medicine. In 2009, she opened her own integrative medicine practice, CentreSpring MD, in Brookhaven. Now, with her new book, Superwoman Rx, she’s helping other women get healthy and energized, and rediscover their “superpowers.”

The Local MD Saving


What made you decide to go into medicine? I loved science and people, so it was a natural way to merge the two together. I came into the field truly wanting to impact children’s health. Images of children suffering were unfortunately stuck in my mind from one of my first trips to India at age 10, and at some level, those images became a driving force. How does integrative medicine differ from conventional medicine? Integrative medicine takes a whole-body approach, meaning that everything from nutrition to your mental health all factor into your overall health. We don’t just tackle one problem at one time. We work hard to connect all the dots and put the pieces together. For example, if you come into my practice, you may leave with a diet plan, exercise plan, supplement recommendations, orders for physical therapy, X-rays or an MRI, and maybe a medication. It is intense, but the results are amazing.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Why do you think today’s “superwomen” in particular experience so many health problems? I think women today are at a unique point in history. Our predecessors paved the way for us to do anything we want, at least in this country. However, when we take on multiple roles and become the breadwinners while still being nurturing and mothering, it creates an unprecedented level of stress. Our bodies tell our story, and we are setting the stage for disease, mental health disturbances, gut issues and hormone imbalances. Compound that with a food industry that’s not helping us but instead adding to the burden of disease, and we have the perfect equation for superwomen meltdowns. How does what you call “power typing” help women treat their particular health issues? Power typing connects women back to themselves—their essence, their personality, their physical and emotional needs. The power

In her new book, Dr. Taz Bhatia helps women find an individualized approach to better health STORY:

Locke Hughes

types [in Superwoman Rx] amass the loads of information from old and new, and from East and West systems of medicine to provide women with a comprehensive plan to approach their health and their lives, bringing them the power they need to be able to “power through.” What’s one small step you’d suggest every woman take to feel better and more in control of her health? Get in sync with your body. Many of us get caught up in caring for others. It’s important to take even a few minutes every day to dial into your own body through breathing exercises or meditation. n




Artfully Daring  P48

“I enter a world of love and beauty.” – Parish Kohanim

One of artist Parish Kohanim’s passions is exquisitely photographed florals.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E



Reel Buckhead’s Kenny Blank heads up the world’s largest Jewish film festival STORY:

Jim Farmer




enny Blank was always interested in entertainment, even staging puppet shows for his family as a child. These days, he has a job that puts him squarely in that arena—serving as the executive director of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the city’s most-attended film festival and the world’s largest Jewish film festival. Born in Queens, New York, Blank and his family moved around a bit, with homes in Savannah and Griffin, Georgia, and one outside of Los Angeles, before settling into Atlanta in the late ’70s. Blank’s love of movies took him back up north for film school at NYU in 1988. He received degrees in both journalism and mass communications and in film and television. Post-college, he dabbled in journalism for a while, working as an executive producer for Atlanta station WXIA-TV, and winning an Emmy for his news coverage. For several years, he also acted as a communications specialist for two local mayors: Maynard Jackson and Bill Campbell. A call one day from the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival changed his life. Organizers of the festival, at the time run by the American Jewish Committee, reached out and asked him to consider volunteering as the chair of the film selection committee. Instantly smitten, his enthusiasm and ambition launched him into leading the organization in 2003. “I was looking for a change, and I fell in love with this film festival,” he recalls. “It was growing and needed year-round oversight. I saw what was a diamond in the rough, in its infancy, produced by an advocacy organization, and I wanted to see how this could grow for the larger


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

community and to produce it as a bona fide film festival.” The gig is also personally relevant. “As a member of the Jewish community, this festival impacts me as it does our audience,” says Blank. “It fills a real gap in terms of connecting us with our cultural connections in being Jewish. For me, it’s been a great sort of pride.” Blank says there isn’t a favorite moment in his festival tenure, but he cherishes those times when the audience really connects to a film, or when a director or artist from that particular production is present. Blank also takes pride in seeing encore screenings at the festival, including some Saturday showings, to give patrons greater access to programming, and the festival’s foray this season into scheduling special screenings throughout the calendar year. “What motivates me is playing to an audience,” he says, “and seeing people moved in some way by some kind of immersive

or multimedia performance.” Blank works in Buckhead at an office just minutes from his house. His wife, Nancy, acts as the director of community relations at the Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA in Buckhead. The couple has two children: Emily, 17, and Oliver, 16. Kenny’s father is Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United soccer team. A champion for Atlanta arts organizations, Blank has also served on the boards of the Woodruff Arts Center, the Alliance Theatre and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, as well as a trustee for the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Between family, foundation and festival duties, ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Blank is the first to admit his free time is limited. “I am Jan. 24-Feb. 15, 2018 probably overcommitted, but what can I say? I enjoy it all.” n

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E


Original works of art by six SCAD students and alumni tie into The Shops Buckhead Atlanta’s design and landscaping.

Artfully Daring Taking chances inspires fine art photographer Parish Kohanim


eachtree Hills resident Parish Kohanim never shied away from the road less taken. He started his life’s adventure at 17 when he left Persia (now Iran) and moved to the U.S. with $300 in his pocket and no knowledge of the English language. “When you’re young, you’re fearless,” he says. “And even now, in my career, I take chances. I don’t think of the outcome. I just enjoy the journey and the ride.” The ride started in San Francisco, where Kohanim studied art and film. He then made his way to New York to concentrate on fashion photography. He built a successful career there until a chance assignment brought him to Atlanta more than 30 years ago. Since then, he’s built a solid reputation in photography for both portraits and artistic imagery. “I love flowers, probably because my parents always had flowers in their garden,” Kohanim recalls. “I real-


ized my parents taught me to look at simple beauty, but it took some time for that full appreciation to come to fruition. Now, when I’m photographing flowers, I’m one with the flower; I’m not thinking other thoughts. I enter a world of love and beauty, and I’m privileged to do that.” But Kohanim doesn’t limit himself to just one way of capturing beauty. “I go through so many phases because there are so many things to explore and so many possibilities,” he says. “But I’d say my one passion has always been fine art.” Indulging that passion led Kohanim to move out of Midtown where he’d worked for years and into The Galleries of Peachtree Hills. There, he has turned a former cabinet and tile shop into a gleaming gallery of white marble and white walls. The threelevel space is a sleek, contemporary backdrop for his art and also houses his studio and a digital imaging area.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


Detailed floral images, the human form and mixed-media works are among the creations of Parish Kohanim.

H.M. Cauley

“Whenever someone comes here, they’re surprised to see 4- and 5-footwide art on the walls,” he says. “We’re so used to experiencing things on our little devices that we don’t really appreciate the full impact of art.” Kohanim made another bold choice in the new space: Instead of representing a stable of artists, he’s only showcasing himself and sculptor Richard MacDonald. But there’s plenty of diversity in store. “Many galleries only represent one kind of work or artists who only do one thing,” he says. “When you look at the body of my work, you see there are so many different styles. Right now, I’m embracing and exploring fine art as another chapter in my life.” He’s also playing with projection to create works of art. “I’m using models with patterns reflected on them and in mirrors,” he says. “It speaks to the fact that we have less

time to self-reflect, which I think is very important today, especially as an artist. You see a lot of people following others, and I fear technology is often teaching us to follow, not lead. For me, doing the same thing gets boring. I want to reinvent myself. That’s what keeps me gratified and happy.” n

PARISH KOHANIM FINE ART 425 Peachtree Hills Avenue N.E., Building 1, Suite 2, Atlanta 30305 404.892.0099


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All-School Open House December 2, 2017 | 10 a.m.

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School |

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E


Journey to Another World A new author’s book for kids explores metaphysical concepts


ake one cool character named Katherine, send her out on adventures into other dimensions, and you’ve got part entertainment, part life lesson, part Dr. Who for young readers. That’s the concept behind Cosmic Kitty: A Mindful, Metaphysical Journey, the first book by Sandy Springs author Shan Gill. Though the public is just getting to know Katherine and her alter ego, “Kitty,” Gill has been living with the otherworldly being for going on three decades. “Cosmic Kitty came out of me when I was 7,” recalls Gill, now 46. “A whole world [eventually developed] around this character who goes through a portal to a third dimension. She learns about her aura and the energy around us. She can feel and talk to nature.” Gill wanted to use Kitty as a role model, someone who doesn’t bend to peer pressure or put up with bullies. “The theme is around being compassionate,” says Gill. “It’s also a way to


teach kids they can make anything out of their imaginations.” Kitty is also a way to encourage youngsters to keep in touch with the natural instincts that will help them cope. “Kids start to lose their abilities to connect with [metaphysical concepts like creativity, questioning and analyzing reality] around 10 or 11, when adults tell them intuition doesn’t matter,” says Gill. Gill has made a career of following her intuition. After college, the Columbus, Georgia, native took a leap into the world of international business and landed a job with a Chinese firm in Hong Kong that led to a three-year gig with Disney in the same region. “It was like working on cloud nine,” she recalls. But the sense that she wasn’t done with her education led her to Georgetown for an MBA. She then spent a few years working for an online education program in Baltimore, but by 2003 she was drawn back to Georgia to care for an ailing parent. “I moved here three years ago, and

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


H.M. Cauley

I was glad to find that people here were more open to spirituality and personal development,” she says. “I took several classes to work on my own intuitive abilities.” In June of this year, Gill’s intuition was telling her that Kitty was ready to make her debut. She started her own consulting firm and devoted most of her time to writing. “The book has a lot of what I’ve learned in my own journey, particularly in the corporate world—like how to work with toxic people and handle stress,” she says. “I didn’t start out to teach these things, but they somehow found their way into the book.” Along the way, Gill tweaked the message of the book on the expert advice of outside readers. “I hired some kids to read it for me before it went to press, and wow, that was very helpful,” she says with a laugh. “Even though I thought it would appeal to older kids, the younger kids liked it even more. But adults will get as much out of it as the kids do.” n

Meet the Author On Nov. 11 at 1 p.m., Shan Gill will host “The Cosmic Kitty Experience,” which includes a reading, discussion and book signing, at the Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Sandy Springs. The book is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and

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Holidays aren’t happy when you’re hungry. One in four Georgia children lives in a household where there isn’t enough food to go around.

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead


s ’ n o s a e S

EATINGS You may think that some of Atlanta’s most highly acclaimed chefs get fancy when it comes to hosting and preparing a holiday meal at their homes.


Karina Antenucci    PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

On the contrary. What we found is that top area chefs such as Shaun Doty, Jenny Levison, Jamie Adams and Chris Edwards keep it casual and fun. No matter if they’re throwing a backyard Feast of the Seven Fishes party for 75, making a green bean casserole from— gasp!—the recipe on the back of the can, or embracing flavors beyond the traditional American, these kitchen pros know what the season is truly all about: relaxing and spending time with family and friends.

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s chef and owner of Il Giallo in Sandy Springs, Jamie Adams cooks a lot of Italian food, including the restaurant’s Feast of the Seven Fishes, a seven-course Christmas Eve tradition with origins in southern Italy. But when it comes to a holiday meal at home, it’s all about American tradition. The Buckhead native, who spent five years in Italy working at Michelin-star restaurants, now resides in Brookhaven. He doesn’t travel much for the holidays since it tends to be one of the busiest times at the restaurant (the third or fourth top revenue-grossing evening each year). Along with his wife, Kim, and two adult stepchildren, he enjoys hosting gatherings for their extended family.

Do you cook for the holidays or is it a family effort? It’s funny how, a lot of times, it ends up just being me. I love the classic tradition, and my wife and I make everything from scratch, including the stock and gravy. We use good bread for the stuffing and do it all from the ground up. We have a similar menu at home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes we’ll also have a ham for Christmas. What’s on your menu? The holidays at my home are all about turkey, sauce and vegetables. Turkey and gravy are my favorite things to do. I get an organic turkey from one of the restaurant’s purveyors, like Bell & Evans, then brine it; rub herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic all over it; and slow roast it. Everyone in the household loves their veggies: cauliflower, cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts. And then there’s some kind of potatoes, either mashed or roasted, or a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and a little bit of cheese. Are any of the menu items something passed down from a family member? My mother made two primary things that have to be there on Thanksgiving: cauliflower and squash casseroles. For the cauliflower, she oven roasted it first, then reduced a little cream, poured it over it and added a good sharp cheddar, and popped it in the oven. The squash is sautéed with onions and baked with breadcrumbs and grated Parmigiana cheese.

JAMIE ADAMS Il Giallo schnauzer-shih tzu mix. What’s the must-have beverage at your holiday gathering? Prosecco before the meal. When we sit down at the table, that’s when all the good wine that we’ve saved for Thanksgiving or Christmas gets opened and consumed. I have a lot of Italian wine—no crazy cellar stash,

Do your dogs benefit from the holiday meal, too? Oh, absolutely. They help keep the floors clean. We have an Australian shepherd and a


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

but in the 100- to 150-bottle range. Pinot noir from Washington, Oregon or Napa goes great with turkey. What’s on the music playlist? There’s definitely some Christmas music. As time progresses, and when I get control of the player, I slide into a little rock ’n’ roll and Southern rock—Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers.

We keep music playing until everyone drifts off to sleep. What’s your favorite thing to make with holiday meal leftovers? We always make a broth out of turkey bones. My wife makes a soup that lasts us for a couple of days. And nothing beats a turkey sandwich with what my dad called “jelly gravy,” the congealed stuff from the bones that sticks like jelly when refrigerated. Have you ever done something nontraditional over the holidays? Last Thanksgiving, a group of 16 of us, including my brother and sister who live in New York, traveled to South Africa. We stayed on a game reserve for a safari and made arrangements to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal for everyone, and invited the nine staff members to join us. We had Brazilian turkeys, native cauliflower, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, biscuits and gravy and green bean casserole. It was a blast!. n


rowing up with divorced parents, Chris Edwards’ home-cooked meals were kept simple. “There was a lot of spaghetti and pizza,” he reminisces of his Atlanta-based childhood. These days, the executive chef of upscale Restaurant Eugene in Buckhead executes Chef Linton Hopkins’ creative vision for locally sourced ingredients, but he still appreciates keeping things low-key when he’s not in a professional kitchen, including over the holidays. Edwards lives in Marietta with his wife, Nicole, the chef de cuisine at Revival in Decatur, and cooking at home is not part of daily life for the busy couple, who more regularly pickle and preserve items they receive from their Fresh Harvest CSA (farm share program).

What’s your typical holiday meal tradition? Many years, the holidays are our only day off together during a busy season. A lot of the time, my wife and I will go to Cracker Barrel. It’s our way of celebrating without having the stress of cooking like in our daily routine. My favorite dish is Grandpa’s Country Fried Breakfast: hash-brown casserole with two eggs over easy, country-fried chicken with sawmill gravy and biscuits on the side with the best jam they could find. Every two or three years, we get the family together, and every Thanksgiving and Christmas, we like to see a movie. When you do gather your family for a holiday meal, what do you like to cook? We love traditional turkey, typically from White Oak Pastures. Last time, we actually had to sous vide it because it was too big to fit into our small oven. Sous vide cooking under pressure, where you cryo-bag [vacuum seal] the protein, sucks all the air out of the bag, then cooks it in a water bath at a controlled temp for a long time, like 14 hours. Then I take the turkey out and sear the breast and thighs to replicate the look and taste of a whole-roasted turkey. What does a holiday day look like at your place? Usually there are alcoholic beverages involved—beer and wine, no specialty cocktails. We start cooking around 8 a.m. and have dinner by 4 or 5 p.m. Usually, there are about six or seven of us huddled around the kitchen and playing giant Jenga and cornhole in the backyard. When you travel to see family for the holidays, do they cook, or do you still cook? Family is always intimidated to cook

for us, but Nicole and I are the most easygoing eaters there are. What’s typically on the menu? Deviled eggs. Green bean casserole— the best recipe is on the back of the can. My mom made that every year. Rocky Road fudge, which is fudge with pecans and marshmallows, is something my grandma always made. I put a version of it on Restaurant Eugene’s menu to honor her. Ambrosia is a dessert my mother always made in a punch-like style. Not a lot of people like it, but I love it now. It’s made with oranges, orange juice, coconut, pecans, cherries and mini marshmallows. Does anything pickled or preserved make its way into your holiday fete? Nicole spearheads the preservation part of home life. We pickle the stuff we receive from our CSA and have

given them out as gifts before. Blackberry jam, carrots in red wine, cabbage and turnip sauerkraut—there are five or six things going on any given time, since if you don’t use it, you lose it. What’s your favorite part of the holidays? We’re simple folk and just enjoy spending time with each other.

CHRIS EDWARDS Restaurant Eugene

That’s the most important tradition, to kick back and relax. When I was growing up with divorced parents, the holidays always meant traveling around and seeing four sides of the family with three hours at one place before going to the next. It wasn’t bad, just a lot. I really look forward to creating new traditions, too, as we expand our family in the future. n

COV E R S TO RY What do you typically serve? We go all out. I’ve done grilled lobster tails, shrimp scampi, bacalao (a Portuguese salted cod dish), smoked salmon, baby crab cakes, fresh oysters and grilled octopus. There’s usually a lot more than seven items. But there are no side dishes. It’s not typical holiday food at all. Since you’re doing it all by yourself, when does the prep work begin? I start prepping three days ahead. It takes a bit of time, and then the day of I do my flowers and whatever decorations I want to have. I prefer the party to be at my house, but I’ve also held it at our Souper Jenny Westside location, which has a neat atmosphere with the farm out back. I have a tiny house, so I set a big table for 12 out front and several tables in the backyard. All of the dishes are mismatched with different colors, kind of like at the restaurant. What’s on the beverage menu? It’s a Champagne kind of event. What are you listening to while you’re cooking? I’m a Rat Pack fanatic—Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra. I go back and forth between that and old hippie music like Carole King. Who cleans up? My family pitches in. Usually, I want everyone to leave it all a mess and I’ll get to it in the morning, but my family always insists on cleaning up the night of. Do you have leftovers? We often have leftovers. Another thing I do is a full caviar station. So I love making an omelet with leftover smoked salmon and caviar, and pouring some leftover Champagne and orange juice.



hef Jenny Levison is known by many as “Souper Jenny” for her popular eateries in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Decatur and the Westside that serve healthy soups, salads and sandwiches. She brings the same homemade spirit to her epic annual holiday gatherings. For the last five or so years, the Atlanta native, who lives in the Buckhead area, has thrown a holiday party for around 50 to 75 people (25 of whom are family members) and handles the cooking and prep work


solo. “I like to have big parties and do it all myself. There isn’t any staff or help from my 13-year-old son. It’s very relaxing with just me in the kitchen,” says the brave chef. What kind of fare do you make for your holiday party? On Christmas Eve, or sometimes New Year’s Eve, depending on when most people can get together, I host a Feast of the Seven Fishes. Typically, it’s an Italian and a Catholic tradition, but I’m not Italian,

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

and it’s less about religion and more about food for me. What was the inspiration behind creating this feast? I was in a longtime relationship with an Italian and stole the tradition from him. I like the idea of seafood and bringing people together with this giant seafood dinner. For me, the holiday tradition is about the people you are with every year, and I’ve hosted the same group for a long time.

Does your family have any other special traditions? My brother’s family is in charge of the Jewish holidays, so on Hanukkah we do a traditional feast at their house with potato latkes, brisket, all the Jewish comfort food. We all chip in and make the meal together. Are any of these more traditional dishes passed down from family members? I sort of attribute my cooking sense to my father, a loved cook in our family. But as far as traditional foods in the sense of being Jewish, my grandmother taught us how to make certain desserts, and my sister-inlaw taught me how to make challah, a bread that goes with all of the dishes for the Jewish holidays. n


haun Doty didn’t grow up in a family with strong food traditions. But you wouldn’t know it from the eclectic, homemade spread that’s rolled out at the chef and restaurateur’s house every Thanksgiving. The Oklahoma native co-owns Bantam + Biddy, a Southern diner and chicken rotisserie with locations in Buckhead, Alpharetta and Midtown, as well as The Federal and Chick-a-Biddy in Midtown, and he’s been planting his own holidaymeal roots for several years now. He previously hosted the holiday gathering for a group of around 20 at his former Blue Ridge country house, but this Thanksgiving, it will be at his new abode, a 100-year-old granite home surrounded by equally as storied magnolia trees in Lithonia. Who’s on your invite list? It’s a mixture of friends and family: my 14-year-old son, Dante, and my extended Dominican family; my sister, nieces and nephews; and employees who don’t have family in town. And this year, my mom’s flying in. What do you look forward to the most on your holiday menu? My favorite thing is buying a White Oak Pastures turkey. I’ve visited and seen the turkeys roaming around; that place is pretty awesome. I’ll cook the turkey on my outdoor Amish grill over open flames. I’ll debone it, roll it into a roulade, tie it with twine and put it on the grill for about three hours. This way, there’s white and dark meat in every bite. It’s not a traditional turkey experience. What else is being served? We have a multicultural gathering. My son’s mom is Dominican, so she always brings plantains, tamales and beans and rice. My girlfriend, Natalie, makes a must-have—corn pudding that is done in a traditional mid-’50s style with canned everything that comes out as a soufflé. She also makes shaved Brussels sprouts. We’ll have a Dominican flan, which is very rich and made with condensed milk, and a once-a-year treat. And we’ll make a French-style apple tart, too. I have a sweet tooth. You have beehives. Do you incorporate honey from them into any dishes? Yes, normally as a garnish. I set out hors d’oeuvres—cheeses, nuts and the honey. And normally Natalie will whip up a bourbon and honey cocktail. I don’t drink, though. What does Thanksgiving Day look like at your place? I can’t allow it to be too hectic, or that

SHAUN DOTY Bantam + Biddy would be reminiscent of a workday. I’ll start cooking around 10 a.m., the turkey goes on by 11 or 12, dinner is at 3, and we’ll wrap it up by 6 p.m. Our day doesn’t revolve around football. It’s more like an outdoor thing—toss-

ing a football instead of watching one. Playing with dogs. Chasing chickens. I am going to get chickens this year. The cool part is, normally, weather permitting, we’re sitting around a campfire—that’s what I’m cooking on. There’s also a big patio at the new house that can seat 20 people. How do you like to set the holiday table? I’m a paper plate guy and like to keep it simple. But we do sit down all at once and eat together and appreciate being together. That’s what it’s all about. I usually have to load up 20 patio chairs from one of my restaurants, and we sit at a big, long

table with a tablecloth that’s decorated with pinecones. What’s on the background music playlist? Country music, always. A little old and a little new. Everything from Glen Campbell to Blake Shelton. And the teenagers are not OK with this. I like everything, but on Thanksgiving, it is Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson. Who cleans up? Everyone leaves me to clean up. What’s your favorite thing to make with leftovers? In past years, I’ve taken leftovers to the restaurant for a staff meal. There’s a certain abundance baked into Thanksgiving, and it’s good not to overdo it. Too much is just as bad as too little. n

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



How to Cook Like a Chef This Season

Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

Break out the oven mitts; it’s the holiday season, and for many of us that means slaving away in the kitchen preparing food for all the get-togethers with friends and family. Here, three Buckhead chefs offer some insights into perfecting your holiday feasts.

STORY: Angela



CRAIG RICHARDS St. Cecilia Roasting a turkey may seem like a daunting task, but fear not, St. Cecilia Executive Chef Craig Richards has a full-proof technique for tender meat, crispy bronzed skin and, most important, a memorable meal. “My favorite cooking holiday is Thanksgiving,” says Richards. “My mom and I always cook the turkey together. We’ve tried a few different stuffings and temperatures, and found this works the best. We buy a fresh, kosher bird because it retains its moisture so well. We season it generously with salt, then stuff it with halved oranges, fresh bay leaves, sliced red onions and rosemary. I roast it at a pretty high temp, 450 degrees, for about an hour, then rotate it and cook it until the thigh reads 150 [degrees], then give it another one and a half hours or so. I read that Thomas Keller [of Napa’s The French Laundry] roasts his at this high temperature, and when we did it last year, it turned out great, with a crispy skin and super moist meat.”  Richards bastes the bird about three times during the cooking process. If he’s feeling fancy, he slips some black truffle butter underneath the breast skin before roasting. He buys black truffle juice and mixes it with a couple cloves of garlic and a pound of softened butter in a food processor, then chills it.   “I usually try different things every year—maybe different herbs, basting/not basting,” says Richards. “That’s the fun of this holiday.” 


Watershed Executive Chef Zeb Stevenson demonstrates that you don’t have to go big to make a holiday meal memorable. He usually prepares a small dinner for two to four people and tries to make it fun, relaxed and lighthearted. “Last Thanksgiving I got inspired by a recent trip to Mexico, so we smoked a small turkey and pulled the meat off to make tacos,” says Stevenson. “It was super fun. We made fresh salsas and grilled tortillas from homemade masa.” His idea would also be a great way to use those leftovers from a big bird. Atlanta has plenty of good options for fresh tortillas, though, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to make homemade ones.

NICK LEAHY SALTYARD Chuck those storebought jars of gravy. Saltyard chef Nick Leahy has tips for ladling the good stuff at your holiday table. First, make your roux with the fat drippings from the turkey (or whatever bird you’re cooking). Then add flour, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes; you want the mixture to turn light brown but not burn. Add broth using homemade stock if you can, then add salt and pepper, and continue to stir for three minutes. The sauce should be getting thicker at this point. Add something fresh to it, such as slivers of garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, sage or jalapeño. Finally, get it drunk. Gravy loves white wine, brandy, bourbon, etc.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead




Ceviche de ahi atun—raw tuna with spicy ponzu sauce—is a fusion favorite at Eclipse di Luna.

A Transatlantic Taste Sensation  P60

The moment you cross the Eclipse threshold, it feels as though you’ve been transported to a street party in Madrid.

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: The delicate tempura batter on the ejotes crujientes makes these green beans a must-have. Below: Habanero and cilantro pack a punch in the ceviche de pescado blanco.


Eclipse di Luna’s paella del día is brimming with shrimp, chicken, chorizo and authentic Calasparra rice.

TASTE SENSATION Savoring small plates and big flavors at Eclipse di Luna STORY:

Rebecca Cha   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna


t’s been several years since I’ve reflected on the days I worked the line in a restaurant, but it came to mind the other night while eating at Eclipse di Luna. The trigger was the bits of mise en place (French for “everything in its place”)—so fresh and ubiquitous it was on each and every plate and I couldn’t help but consider the enormous amount of work involved. It’s just one of the many things that inspires at this festive Buckhead joint at the end of posh Miami Circle. On this particular evening, the house was packed and loud. But the noise soon became inconsequential; everyone was too jubilant to mind. In fact, the moment you cross the Eclipse threshold, it feels as though you’ve been transported to a street party in Madrid. (There’s live music and dancing nightly.) Half the fun is perusing the list of ridiculously affordable tapas. The other half is the fact that the food on those little plates is so surprisingly good.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

But first, the libations. Mine was a Spanish mule, made with Don Q Añejo rum, ginger beer and fresh lime juice. Talk about a blissful marriage, especially as a companion to the tapas. We began our repast with ceviche de ahi atun—more of a fusion dish than authentic tapa that came lightly dressed with a ponzu, soy and sesame sauce; pinches of habanero and cilantro for kick; and crunchy corn nuts. A raw tuna appetizer is nothing new, but what impressed were the cold, paper-thin slices of jalapeño and crunchy radish. Add the salty malanga chips, and you can see what I mean by impressive mise en place. The youngest at our table insisted that pasta be present at this grown-up party. And guess what? The macarones con tomate seco y queso was muy bueno! Yes, it was “mac and cheese,” but the al dente orecchiette came in the ultimate cheesy sauce (manchego, fontina and goat) with bits of smoky sun-dried tomatoes and green peas. We adults abandoned any sense of prejudice after the first bite. Next up was something I’ve often made myself: gambas al ajillo. Unfortunately, their version lacked deep garlic flavor, and the protein was lukewarm and a smidge

overcooked. It probably wasn’t a great idea to order two dishes I’ve made dozens of times, but eyeing the pimientos rellenos con queso de cabra on my neighbor’s table was too tempting. The dish was a bit tepid, but the coating stayed miraculously crisp throughout the meal. The petite piquillo peppers were sweet and perfectly roasted, and the honeyed goat cheese was a cool, creamy complement. The table favorite was the not-too-distant BBQ cousin costillas españolas—piquant, balsamic-sauced spare ribs priced at just $6.95. Solid and delicious the first night, the ribs mellowed in both acid and sweetness by next day’s leftovers. (In other words, don’t be afraid to take home a tapas doggie bag.) My second visit was at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday—the perfect time, I reasoned, to find out if the kitchen was up to snuff. What I wanted was a salad. The ensalada de manzana offered plenty of components to judge if the kitchen was paying attention during this siesta hour. It was a good choice, with crisp Granny Smith slices, ruby radicchio, peppery arugula and all the other little doodads that make a salad lunch-worthy. I took a gamble on the follow-up: vieras

Above: Don’t pass up the sweet piquillo peppers stuffed with honeyed goat cheese.

Below: A plate of fried calamari with super-fresh pico de gallo pairs perfectly with Eclipse’s nightly live music.

Above: Filled with bits of crunch, the ensalada de manzana makes an ideal light lunch. Below: The generous portion of sweet and sour spare ribs makes it one of the best deals on the menu.

Right: Eclipse di Luna is known for its top-notch caipirinhas, Spanish mules and mojitos.

Half the fun is perusing the list of ridiculously affordable tapas. asadas cocidas. Consisting of pan-roasted scallops with chorizo, Peppadew peppers and charred corn, it was another great example of first-rate mise en place, but the scallops weren’t as fresh as they should have been. The last meal commenced with a Bacardi mojito. Muddling, shaking and tumbling more than 200 of these drinks on any given night, it’s no wonder the bartenders are such pros. My foodie friends bristled at the idea of ordering fried calamari, but I pleaded with them, “Hey, we’re on Miami Circle, at the most downto-earth place on the block. And what’s more down-to-earth than calamares fritos?” The paprika-dusted calamari weren’t overly chewy and had just enough heat to make things interesting. A tip: Put the pico de gallo in a side dish to avoid waterlogging the calamari.

The plates of ejotes crujientes (tempurastyle green beans) and pan Catalán (toasted ciabatta bread) were probably superfluous since we ordered paella del día, but as the latter took 30 minutes to prepare, we figured a few extra nibbles wouldn’t hurt. The green beans were a hit—crisply fried and dusted with snowflake-like sea salt crystals. We could’ve skipped the ciabatta with tomato purée, although it wasn’t entirely without some old school cafeteria-esque charm. The paella del día arrived steaming hot with saffroninfused Calasparra rice and brimming with mussels, shrimp, chicken and chorizo cooked in homemade seafood stock. It was fresh, authentic and inspiring. The illusion of transatlantic transport was complete. n

ECLIPSE DI LUNA 764 Miami Circle N.E., Atlanta 30324 404.846.0449 Prices: Tapas: $2.95-$14.95 (most in the $5-$8 range). Large plates (for two or more): $20-$24. Recommended dishes: Ceviche de ahi atun, pimientos rellenos con queso de cabra, costillas españolas, manzána, calamares fritas, ejotes crujientes and paella del dia. Cocktails: Bacardi mojito, caipirinha and Spanish mule. Bottom line: Stick with the basics—a great cocktail and a few favorite tapas—and you won’t be disappointed.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 






Angela Hansberger


very time you open a bottle of Champagne, it’s a celebration. The very mention of the word conjures up images of ship sendoffs, toasts, promotions and romance. Yet perhaps because they drink it so infrequently, many know virtually nothing about this wine, its fizzes and its inherent elegance. If you’re going to invest in some bubbly, you might as well be properly prepared. We took the mystery out of the bottle so you can be a bona fide expert this holiday season, when Champagne consumption is at its highest. WHAT CONSTITUTES CHAMPAGNE All Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. To be called Champagne, it has to come from the region of Champagne in northeast France, about 125 miles from Paris. WHAT IT’S MADE FROM Champagne can only be made from a specific variety of seven grapes, though most are made from just three: pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. The four less-frequently used grapes are pinot blanc, petit meslier, petit arbanne and fromenteau.


BUBBLES The bubbles come from a simple formula of fermentation (sugar + yeast = alcohol + CO2) and not allowing the resulting gas to escape the bottle. The yeast eats the sugar, which causes Champagne’s effervescence. Small bubbles are a sign of a high-quality wine. OPENING A BOTTLE Unless you’re a Formula 1 driver who’s just won the Grand Prix, it’s customary to open Champagne without spraying your guests. Remove the foil and wire cage. Hold the cork while twisting the bottle slowly to ease it out with a sigh. This shows your worldly sophistication and prevents eye injuries. SERVING CHAMPAGNE For the best flavor and aroma, chill Champagne to around 45 degrees, which translates to approximately three hours in the fridge or 30 minutes in a sink or bucket of half ice and half water. Never try to quick cool it in a freezer. The shape of the glass and the cold temperature preserve the bubbles and enhance the experience. While flutes are popular because they showcase the tiny, rising bubbles perfectly, most Champagne houses and somme-

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

liers prefer tulip-shaped white wine glasses. But flutes look pretty posh for clinking glasses. Pour your Champagne at a 45-degree angle so the liquid doesn’t foam out. Fill glasses two-thirds full. One bottle should fill six to seven flutes. STYLES OF CHAMPAGNE Blanc de Blanc: White Champagne made exclusively from white grapes, usually chardonnay. Blanc de Noir: White Champagne made exclusively from dark-skinned grapes. A gentle press removes juice from skins before any color leaks out. Rosé: A pink version of Champagne, most often made by the blending of a little red wine with white wine. Champagne is the only appellation in France allowed to blend red and white wines together. Rosé Champagne can also be made with the saignée method, which involves macerating juice on the grape skins in order to impart color. CLASSIFICATIONS OF CHAMPAGNE The amount of sugar in a Champagne’s “dosage” defines its technical level of sweetness. (G/L = grams/liter dosage added.) Brut Nature: bone dry with zero or up to 2 G/L

Extra Dry: very dry with up to 6 G/L Brut: very dry with up to 15 G/L Extra Sec: dry with 12-20 G/L Sec: medium dry with 17-35 G/L Demi Sec: sweet with 35-50 G/L Doux: very sweet with 50+ G/L GLOSSARY Grower Champagne: Champagne grown and bottled by a single estate from its own vines. Jeroboam: A three-liter bottle equal to four standard bottles of Champagne. Muselet: The wire cage on Champagne bottles. Terroir: The identity and character of a wine imparted by the influence of place, including soil, climate, topography and anything else that could have an effect on the grapes. n

WHERE TO BUY Peachtree Road Liquor Store 1895 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30309 404.355.4990 Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits 2161 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.881.0902

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




Culinary News & Notes 


Lia Picard

Photo: Jonathan Wade





ust in time for the cooler weather, Buckhead residents can cozy up to locally roasted brews at the newly opened East Pole Coffee. The creation of Jared Karr and Jules Tompkins, East Pole is the latest resident of the ever-expanding Armour Yards development. The aesthetic is crisp and modern, encouraging you to sit for a spell with your cup of joe and a good book. Beyond the glass wall behind the counter you can see the shimmering roasting machine. East Pole is a reflection of Karr and Tompkins’ love of specialty coffee, and they hope people will come for a learning experience in addition to sipping for enjoyment.

You would never guess it now, but coffee wasn’t Karr’s first love. Upon graduating from UGA, he moved to Indonesia, the “East Pole” of the world, to learn how to speak Indonesian and fully immerse himself in the culture. While living in Jakarta, he worked with farmers and became smitten with the behind-the-scenes process of coffee making, and a passion sparked. He learned about coffee’s nuances and witnessed the process of bean to cup firsthand. “Coffee is like a passport to the world and an opportunity to meet really great people and impact them in a good way,” says Karr.

Determined to roast coffee and launch his own brand after returning home, he linked up with Tompkins, a friend since high school, and the two coffee buffs plotted. Eventually they bought their first roaster and roasted beans in a friend’s garage for a bit. They honed their technique and introduced their product to the Atlanta coffee-drinking community in 2015 at festivals and restaurants around town. When they were contacted by Armour Yards developers Third & Urban in 2016, their brick and mortar dream became a reality. Now Karr hopes to pique people’s interest in coffee

NIBBLES FOR NIGHT OWLS New to Andrews Square, adjoining restaurants Bar Americano and Bar Crema give Buckhead residents the chance to indulge their late-night hunger pangs. Explains Executive Chef Adam Waller, “In a neighborhood known for its late-night bar scene, we noticed that the late-night food offerings were limited.” To remedy this, Bar Americano offers a selection of pizzas, two or three salads, bar snacks and a charcuterie plate until 2 a.m. Bar Crema is also open till 2 for cocktails, gelato and coffee. “The concepts were developed to really connect with the community,” says Waller. “We hope that Bar Americano and Bar Crema will become the latenight dining destinations of choice.”

Grab a slice or two, until 2, at Bar Americano.


Bar Americano and Bar Crema 56 East Andrews Drive Atlanta 30305 678.515.0697

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

the way his was in Indonesia. One way he does this is through weekly “cuppings” hosted in their roastery. Participants are given a bowl of ground coffee and hot water and told to slurp the coffee like soup and taste the flavors in their truest form. He describes the experience as being in a VIP lounge and says, “You can see everyone drinking our coffees from the roastery, but you’re cupping it in the heartbeat of our facilities.” All of East Pole’s coffees are single origin (sourced from a single farm), and they always have seven different selections on rotation. The one coffee always available?

Traffic. “We took the idea of something that’s incredibly frustrating to Atlantans and put a fun spin on it,” explains Karr. Traffic also serves as their “gateway” coffee: It’s a little bit “roasty” and finishes sweet. They hope it will make people delve into their other coffees. East Pole is a welcome addition to Buckhead, where specialty coffee shops are a rarity. Swing by, pick out a pastry (they offer options from Ashley Sue’s Baked Goods) and enjoy it with an espresso, brewed coffee or pour over. Or ask if they have Traffic … you East Pole Coffee already 255 Ottley Drive know the Atlanta 30324 answer. n

HOLIDAY CHEER Take a winter staycation, even if it’s just for a few hours, and visit the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta for its Southern Winter Wonderland celebration Dec. 19-23. Held in the hotel’s garden, the winter village will delight guests with movie screenings of holiday classics such as Home Alone and Love Actually, as well as live music. A makeshift chalet will sell Veuve Clicquot Champagne, mulled wine and hot chocolate, and guests can cozy up by the fire pits and roast s’mores. Admission to the village is free; food and beverages are priced individually.

Savor the season at the Southern Winter Wonderland. Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta 3376 Peachtree Road Atlanta 30326 404.995.7524

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November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 





Baker’s Dozens Hundreds of desserts later, Ami Dand celebrates five years as Legendary Events’ executive pastry chef


f you’ve lived in Atlanta for a while, you’ve probably sampled at least one of Ami Dand’s desserts. As executive pastry chef at Buckhead-based caterer Legendary Events for the past five years, Dand creates elaborate treats for galas, weddings and corporate affairs at its venues The Estate and Flourish, as well as private homes around the city. In fact, she’s amassed a menu bank of more than 300 desserts. Though she’s been featured on two Food Network shows—Sweet Genius and Cake Wars—and won chocolatier Callebaut’s Great Chocolate Stories competition, she tends to keep a low profile, spending her downtime at the dog park with her terrier, Barley, and treating herself to dessert at Atlas at the St. Regis on special occasions. But after half a decade of creating memorable finishes, Dand isn’t slowing down. If anything, she’s more motivated than ever.


How do you stay engaged after five years at the same job? I’m given a lot of creative freedom. I’m given a color or flavor profile and work from there. There are no set menus; it’s all based on client needs. It allows me to do a lot of research and development. Where do you seek inspiration for your work? Pinterest. I look at what the French, Belgians and Japanese are doing. I’ve been working on Korean buttercream techniques. I tend to look at Southeast Asian countries for cake inspiration. What is your favorite dessert in the menu bank? I love pistachio cheesecake, but my favorite item is a fried goat cheese cheesecake with roasted grapes, balsamic, honey and rosemary. I use herbs and savory

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

ingredients in my sweets because I’m not a huge sweet person. How do you stay healthy while working with desserts all day? If you come work with me for two weeks, you’ll eat your heart out and then be done. I love cookie dough and ice cream, but I’m very good about [eating just] one bite. We taste everything we make, but no more than a teaspoon. You previously worked at the Lodge at Sea Island and the St. Regis. How does your current position differ from your work at high-end hotels? At the St. Regis, we had a bakeshop, and nothing ever left the building. At Legendary Events, 100 percent of our desserts go outside the building. It changes your mindset on how to deliver things and package them. I learned to send them in components


Photo: Caroline Joe Photography for Callebaut

Says Dand: “I’m very artistically inclined. I took a calligraphy class a couple of years ago. I make greeting cards with stamps and paint.”

Carly Cooper

rather than fully built. I love coming to work every day and getting to do something different, using the creative side of my mind as well as the logistical side. What are your plans for the future? I’m looking to get my name out into the city. I opened the St. Regis in 2009 and have been in Atlanta as an executive pastry chef ever since. I would like to have my own shop. [Legendary Events founder Tony] Conway and I have discussed it in the past. If I have a name, people will come see me. We need good bread and bakeries in the city, and I would love to be a part of that. n



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

Brock, Rebecca Cha and Angela Hansberger

Sara Hanna

ANIS CAFÉ & BISTRO Anis is everything you’d hope to find in a French bistro, without having to buy a plane ticket to France: traditional Provençal dishes, relaxed patio dining and often a small congregation of French-speaking diners to help set the mood. Grilled North African-style Merguez sausage, coquilles St. Jacques or a bright, crisp salade d’Arnaud (named after the owner) are all winning starters. Entrées of truite meunière, poulet rôti and boeuf au poivre are sure to bring you back to that quaint Provençal village square. Best-in-class items are the croque monsieur, salade Niçoise, moules marinières and not-to-be-missed chocolate mousse. The time to visit is now, before Pharr Road real estate development triples the wait time for a table. Lunch entrées: $8-$19 Dinner entrées: $8-$35

BABYLON CAFÉ When Iraqi native Saad Marwad and his wife, Kelly Rafia, opened Babylon Café in 2014, the city’s foodie community started to buzz about the couple’s fresh, flavorful repertoire of Middle Eastern classics, from falafel and hummus to kebabs and baklava. While the starters are quite good—try the fattoush salad, the lentil soup and the eggplant badenjan—the earthy, long-simmered stews are unlike anything else in town. We like the herb-based qurma sabzi with

super-tender lamb shank and the bamia (okra and tomatoes) with oxtail. Don’t leave without a sip of the anise-flavored aperitif called arak and a bite of kanafeh, a sweet made of shredded phyllo, housemade sweet cheese, rose- and orange-water syrup and pistachios. Appetizers and sides: $2-$7 Entrées: $12-$20

BANGKOK STATION Of all the restaurant staffs in Buckhead, these folks may be our favorite. Polite and accommodating to a fault, they make it nearly impossible not to enjoy its exotic comfort food. Whether you eat in the cavernous dining room or out on the sexy, music-infused patio, starters such as peek gai tod, thoongthong and Crying Tiger will crush any doubt you may have about whether there’s good Thai food down South. For more substantial but no less authentic fare, dig in to the massaman and panang curries, Drunken Man noodles or our favorite Thai chicken dish, gai yang som tum. Save room for homemade coconut cake; it’s as sweet and genuine as the staff’s warm invitation to return again soon. Starters, soups and salads: $7-$23 Curries, sautés and noodle and rice dishes: $14-$23 Main entrées: $19-$32 Desserts: $5-$9

Peek gai tod—Thai-style chicken— and the bonus accompaniments are a must-try at Bangkok Station.

CAFÉ LAPIN Like a Parisian patisserie with a bit more legroom, Café Lapin is a lovely place to savor handmade baked goods or spoon to the bottom of a definitive, cheese-encrusted crock of French onion soup. A small business surviving largely on word of mouth, Café Lapin is a casual, moderately priced restaurant where lunch is never an afterthought. You may get a serious cheeseburger and fries or an elegant slice of asparagus tart. Quiches are standard-setting—the crust is arguably the best in town—and selections vary daily, from Lorraine to mushroom and onion to ham and asparagus. Café Lapin is such a delightful addition to the city … only problem is, it might be habit-forming. Lunch entrées: $7-$12 Dinner entrées: $10-$22


Anis’ exquisitely prepared salads are always top quality. Here, a deconstructed salade Niçoise.


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

With its handmade pasta, terrific steaks and foundation of classic Italian dishes, the Atlanta outpost of Massachusetts-based chef-preneur Steve DiFillippo sets a higher-thanusual standard for a mall restaurant. Fine-food lovers flock to Phipps Plaza for Davio’s delicious fried calamari, tagliatelle Bolognese, and warm spinach

salad like ravenous shoppers on the hunt for Louis Vuitton bags, Tiffany silver and Dior gowns. And they can do no better than the buttery medallion of impeccably grilled top sirloin, slathered with Gorgonzola and paired with wilted spinach and sea-salt-andtruffle-oil fries. No wonder the Davio’s menu is as tantalizing as the shoe department at Nordstrom. Appetizers and salads: $9-$16 Pastas, entrées and steaks: $18-$48

GRINDHOUSE KILLER BURGERS The Piedmont Avenue location of burger-preneur Alex Brounstein’s success story is where you go for a superbly flavorful, juice-dripping, napkin-soaking beef patty with all the trimmings. Though you can customize your sandwich, consider the signature “Cowboy” treatment: cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce and a beer-battered onion ring—for a slim $7.99. To gild the lily, add an order of Frings (that’s fries and rings), and ask for a side of the chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Here you can quaff a draft brew, slurp down a boozy shake, like the banana-flavored Puddin’ Out, or sip a “Snooty” cocktail such as the mezcal-based El Guapo. Starters and sides: $2.50-$5.50 Burgers: $4.50-$7.99


So savory and flavorful, the Georgia pecan waffles at Treehouse don’t need syrup.

The name means “wave,” and that’s exactly what executive chef Pano I. Karatassos has been doing at his family’s stellar Greek seafood restaurant since 2002. From marides (tiny, “French fry”-size white fish) to Greek specimens grilled whole (try the barbounia or bronzino), Kyma excels at delivering the kind of simple, unadorned flavors you’ll encounter on a patio by the Aegean. Order a glass of Greek wine (there are many options) and a few classic meze for sharing (we like the dolmades, spanakopita, cuttlefish stuffed with lamb stew and the fetazucchini fritters), and your meal will go just swimmingly. Meze: $8-$14 Mains: $26-$46 (whole fish $30 or $36 per pound)

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

Appetizers: $4-$8 Burgers and sandwiches: $4-$13 Mains: $12-$16

STARFISH Starfish—which can look just a little lost on the block that houses Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch—is exactly the kind of sushi joint we have been trolling for. In a city where Japanese cuisine can be hit-or-miss and sometimes not the freshest, chef-owner Seung K. “Sam” Park’s reticent little pearl is a superior catch—cute and compact as a bento

Grindhouse Killer Burgers wins extra points for value. At $7.99, the Cowboy Style patty—with cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce and a beerbattered onion ring—is a whole lotta good eatin’.

box but with just a hint of luxury. At dinner, we were delighted to see how the kitchen plays around with untraditional ingredients like truffle oil and balsamic vinegar, slicing fish as thin as carpaccio and arranging it in dazzling presentations. When our flounder sashimi arrived, the server told us to place a dab of the ponzu jelly spiked with cilantro, jalapeño and lime on a strip of the fish and roll it up. Exquisite. Starfish isn’t the kind of place that announces itself with screaming klieg lights or red carpets. But in this culture of excess, sometimes being a little bit under-the-radar can be very seductive. Lunch entrées: $7-$16 Dinner entrées: $12-$30

THE SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN Both Southern food newbies and aficionados will take to this sexy gastropub, as smooth and easy as the finish of one of its primo bourbons. (If you’re old school, go for the gloriously icy Resurgens mint julep; if not, there’s no shortage of cocktail possibilities.) When your whistle’s wet, dig in to favorite starters of spicy charred okra and PEI mussels in a whiskey cream sauce. Both will leave you smitten. Classics such as the shrimp boil, Springer Mountain half fried chicken and shrimp and grits with New Orleans barbecue sauce are all mouthwatering. And it wouldn’t be Southern if there weren’t sweets to make your toes curl in delight. Leave room

for a nibble or two of brown butter cake or the favorite at our table— almond nougat semifreddo. Small plates: $6-$12 Salads and sandwiches: $6-$13 Large plates (including brunch entrées): $13-$28

TREEHOUSE Occasionally, sitting at Treehouse feels more like a cookout. Neighbors and regulars have been coming here for the familiar comfort food and laid-back atmosphere for more than 20 years. Brunch is a big deal, with a large menu and generous portions of favorites such as the Georgia pecan waffle and Southernstyle eggs Benedict covered with sausage gravy. It’s all about the patio here, and dogs are welcome guests. The chef works to enliven old favorites with as much attention to the allAmerican fried chicken sandwich as the New York strip au poivre. He also curates a mighty fine list of craft beers. Brunch: $8-$10 Appetizers: $3-$13 Burgers and sandwiches: $7-$10 Large plates: $17-$22

Hungry for more? Visit the Simply Buckhead website to read all of our Restaurant Reviews!

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 


BUCKHEAD: 3174 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 | 404-841-2456 MIDTOWN: 950 W. Peachtree St NW, 260 - Atlanta 30309 | 404-554-8060 DRUID HILLS: 2566 Briarcliff Rd NE, Brookhaven, GA 30329 | 678-515-8880

E V E N T S | C H A RI TA B L E | S C E N E


Locke Hughes

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



inally, you have a good reason to sport that cheesy Christmas sweater your great-aunt gave you 10 years ago. On Dec. 16, grab your tackiest holiday garb and join hundreds of other revelers for the third annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl. This guided Buckhead-area bar tour kicks off at Buckhead Saloon with a registration party featuring raffles and giveaways. Then the crowd will be divided into groups to rotate between five local bars over the course of five hours. At each destination, eventgoers will enjoy live holiday music and drink specials (think $3 wells and $2 domestic beers). The event culminates in one big after party when everyone gets back together again. “If you’re new to Atlanta, or just looking

for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season, this is the event for you,” says Andy Zirger, founder of Atlanta Bar Crawls. If you manage to make it to the after party, you’ll be rewarded with a signature “Atlanta Bar Crawl Champions” T-shirt. But this event isn’t just about eating, drinking and being merry; it’s also about collecting unopened gifts to donate to Toys for Tots.

Grab your flashiest holiday gear and join hundreds of revelers for drink specials and live music on a Buckhead-area bar crawl.

UGLY SWEATER BAR CRAWL Dec. 16; registration begins at 5 p.m. $12-$15 Buckhead Saloon 3227 Roswell Road N.E. Atlanta 30305

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




[ N E A RBY ]

BUZZ THE METROPOLITAN OPERA’S THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL Nov. 18 On one of the big screens at the CinéBistro Town Brookhaven movieplex, opera lovers can watch live, in HD, and for the cost of a regular movie ticket, the American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel.

TEQUILA NIGHTS Tasty treats, reindeer games and more make Enchanted Woodland Wonders a can’t-miss holiday event.

One Enchanted Evening


MEET RUDOLPH AND PALS AT THE CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER Make magical holiday memories with the whole family at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Enchanted Woodland Wonders event Dec. 10. Children of all ages will have a blast getting to meet live reindeer and experiencing the center’s new winter exhibit, featuring fairy houses and gnome homes. Other highlights include crafts, face painting, marshmallow roasting, story time and more. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike around the property, and warm up after with hot cocoa and snacks from the food trucks that will be on hand.

Dec. 1 Bring your little ones for a memorable afternoon with Princess Elsa from Frozen at La Dee Da studio in Sandy Springs. Children can dress up in their favorite princess attire to enjoy delicious treats, tea, face painting, sing-alongs, story time and photos with Elsa. Make a reservation ($22) to snag your spot. 

ENCHANTED WOODLAND WONDERS Dec. 10; 3-7 p.m. Free-$10 Chattahoochee Nature Center 9135 Willeo Road Roswell 30075 770.992.2055

CAPTAIN PLANET FOUNDATION GALA Dec. 8 The Captain Planet Foundation’s annual gala brings together local Atlantans and celebrity do-gooders for a fun-filled evening that benefits Mother Earth. Guests will enjoy specialty cocktails and a locally sourced dinner, then Avengers actor and environmentalist Mark Ruffalo will receive this year’s Superhero for Earth award.


Get on Board! HITCH A RIDE ON MACY’S FAMOUS PINK PIG MONORAIL Kick off the most wonderful time of the year by taking a spin on Priscilla, the 1950s-themed monorail that’s been a cherished Atlanta tradition for more than 60 years. Originally located downtown at Rich’s department store, the Pink Pig moved in 2003 to a 170-foot tent near Macy’s at Lenox Square. Children and


Nov. 18 As part of the national tour celebrating his new album, jazz saxophonist Chris Mitchell, along with a few friends, will blow a selection of romantic bossa nova tunes at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead. Tickets start at $45.


parents alike can hop aboard for a magical ride through a life-size storybook and other holiday-themed attractions. Tickets cost $3 for an individual ride, and proceeds from the event will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead

Through Dec. 31; times vary $3 per ride Lenox Square 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.231.2800

Dec. 16 Give back when you get down at this year’s Jingle Mingle, a festive adults-only celebration at the Westin Buckhead featuring live entertainment, a DJ and a dance floor. Tickets are $40, or $20 when you bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.



phipps plaza


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead



Dawn Stys, Mark Myers, Bailey Moody

Standing: Rhonda Wolf, Carla Greenblatt, Mary Gallagher, Maria Gill. Seated: Donna Kennedy, Susan Burns, Donna Boyer, Kathi van Acker Photos: Lynn Crow



Kristin Connor, Jill Becker, Chris Glavine

Adeyinka Adeyemo, Manisha Major, Kim Turner

Nancy Ahlers, Lauren Jackson, Kim Folsom Jackson, Jennifer Shine Altmeyer, Ronda Smith, Marlen French, Stephanie Shearer

mong the 500-plus people gathered at Flourish Atlanta recently for CURE Childhood Cancer’s 13th annual A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes luncheon were more than 250 brave mothers of children with cancer. Hosted by Chris Glavine, the wife of former major leaguer Tom Glavine, and emceed by former 11Alive anchor Jill Becker, the event honored these special women and raised $400,000 to fund critical pediatric cancer research and support young cancer patients and their families. In addition to a silent auction and raffle, the afternoon included the performance of an original song by Steve Fee and moving speeches by Dawn Stys, an oncology nurse at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Mark Myers, CURE’s director of communications, who lost his daughter Kylie to Ewing’s sarcoma in 2015; and Bailey Moody, a high school sophomore, cancer survivor and champion wheelchair basketball player who hopes to one day compete in the Paralympic Games.

Tom Glavine, Harrison Shepherd

Robert and Lisa Dimson

Kenny Hamilton, Jaye Watson

Chelsie Hennick, Amy Lahey, Malinda Day, Kasie Hart, Shannon Greene

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




SERVICES Specializing in Colour | Extensions Balayage | Texture Cutting | Men’s Grooming

Wrap up your holiday décor Wrap up your now and save. holiday décor

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YOUR IMAGE IS OUR IMAGE Fall in love with your colour this season


MODA Floors & Interiors MODA1417 Floors & Interiors Chattahoochee Ave NW 1417 Chattahoochee Ave NW 404-477-3744 404-477-3744 705 Town Blvd, Suite 360 404-844-2004 705 Town Blvd, Suite 360 404-844-2004 *Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/16/17—12/11/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable

901 Abernathy Rd, Suite 500, Sandy Springs, GA 30329 law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. participating dealer forpurchases details and rebate ©2017 Hunter Douglas. rights reserved.dealers All trademarks the (corner of Abernathy/Barfield/400-Serrano Condo Bldg).*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offerAskvalid for qualifying madeform. 9/16/17—12/11/17 fromAllparticipating in theused U.S.herein only.areRebate

of Hunter Douglascard or their owners. 617Q4NPVIGC1 will be issued in the formproperty of a prepaid reward andrespective mailed within weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 17Q4NPVIGC1


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead



Julie Malone, April Byrd, Claire Thevenot

Caroline Fierman, Kimberly Lusink Photos: Ninh Chau and Pamela Lennard


T Keri Roth, Amanda Easterlin

Sarah Qureshi, Suhela Chowdhury

he group congregating at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead on a recent fall night were literally putting their best foot forward as they competed in the Best in Shoe contest that was part of the Northside Hospital Foundation’s annual Wine Women & Shoes fundraiser. More than 200 contestants vied for the coveted Crystal Slipper Award, which was won by Eve Gu, who sported a pair of one-of-a-kind, jeweled, gladiator-style heels handmade in Italy. The afternoon’s festivities also included tunes from DJ Chris Seeber, wine tastings, designer shopping and a fashion show by Tootsies. A handful of hunky “Sole Men” worked the crowd, selling Keys to the Closet raffle tickets and displaying various silent auction items on silver platters as they walked around the room, and several later performed in the yearly Sole Men Dance. The annual event may seem like all fun and games, but it raises serious funds—more than $259,000 this year alone—in support of Northside’s women’s cancer and leukemia programs.

Eve Gu

Melissa Parker, Dianne Keen, Jackie Walters

Megan Douthat, Rankin Langley

Kevin Clancy, Paul Nguyen, Kanishka Rawal

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 



EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE Pinnacle Fitness is the Premier Personal Training Fitness Center in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia with revolutionary equipment including the only Kinesis Wall in the area. At Pinnacle Fitness, you will be carefully guided by professional, certified trainers and a staff dedicated to your personal fitness and wellness program, which also includes nutritional guidance. It’s no wonder that members often define Pinnacle Fitness as a New York or LA facility with Southern charm - and with a commitment to have each of its members reach their own Pinnacle of Fitness.

OFFERING: Personal Training | Golf Fitness Classes | Tennis Fitness Classes | Wellness Programs

404.228.3705 Located in Buckhead at 3215 Cains Hill Place NW



Jennifer Leslie

Joanne Hayes sets the catwalk on fire.


Photos: Ninh Chau

H Arlease Brady

Nancy Taylor, Alex Delotch Davis, Bill Daly, Nina Alekseenko

urricane Irma wasn’t enough to stop the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s efforts to fight hunger; it just postponed them. When the storm came to town, it pushed the organization’s Fall for Fashion fundraiser back a few weeks, but the delay didn’t damper the spirits of eventgoers, who were treated to hand massages courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta hotel and touch-ups by Cherry Blow Dry Bar. Guests also enjoyed signature cocktails from Tito’s Vodka and hors d’oeuvres by Proof of the Pudding, and bid on luxury items such as a beautiful Tiffany bracelet at the live auction. Capping off the festivities, which were held at Bloomingdale’s in Lenox Square, was a fashion show previewing the hottest looks from Halston, Ted Baker and more. Simply Buckhead’s own Joanne Hayes was one of the runway models. The event not only raised awareness of the 42 million Americans who experience hunger every day, but collected more than $18,000 to be used toward meals and other precious resources for Food Bank recipients.

Kristen Oliver, Jackie Vintimilla

Claudia De Viana Joanne Bryant, Jaime Griffon, Jennifer Dunaway, Kyle Waide, Kayte Watts, Holly Delgado, Ginny Nickles, Liana Moran

Sara Naomi modeling the latest looks from Hobbs and St.Emile.

November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead 




THE PAJAMA GAME Our fashionable trio models the latest seasonally-inspired sleepwear. The littlest one’s even has a tutu! PHOTO: Sara


November/December 2017 | Simply Buckhead





Lunch and dinner, full bar with outdoor patio seating. Tacos and Tequilas is your friendly neightborhood Mexican Grill Restaurant to celebrate all your events, from a business meeting to a family reunion.

Call now for reservations!


4279 Roswell Rd NE #103 Atlanta, GA

404-705-8225 2155 Market Pl Blvd Cumming, GA

678-456-8237 650 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Atlanta, GA

678-705-5955 3480 Financial Center Suite M1070 Buford, GA


Don’t forget to book your


Sit back and enjoy and let Tacos and Tequilas handle the food.

YES, WE CATER ! TO BOOK YOUR T&T CATERING 678.612.3259 | 404.734.8258

Where new holiday experiences become family traditions.

Get lost in ice dreams, holiday teas and wintertime stories in a classic, Southern fashion. To learn more, please contact us at our locations in Atlanta at 404.659.0400 or Reynolds, Lake Oconee at 706.467.0600. Visit us at ATLANTA__REYNOLDS, LAKE OCONEE__________ __________

Brunello Cucinelli

Big city chic and European charm blend seamlessly at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Bistro tables on canopied sidewalks beckon. Window-shopping is a coveted pastime. Over 50 designer stores and unique restaurants with new openings happening all the time. A walkable city sanctuary where art, style and ambiance converge.

3 0 3 5 P e a c h t re e R o a d N E Atlanta, GA 30305 B o rd e r i n g P e a c h t re e , E. Paces Ferry and Pharr Roads




Developed and Graciously Managed by



The Charles Sales Gallery 315 East Paces Ferry Road Atlanta, Georgia 30305 | 404.975.3770 ©MMXVII Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.




Country Hills Estates…20 Homesites Remaining Long Island Drive…Only 1 Move-in Ready Home Long Island Parc…Featured Community Below Parc at Chastain…Coming Soon Reserve at City Center…Amazing Location

Briarwood Road…Under Contract Elysian Point…Sold Out Park Chase…New Model Home West Roxboro Road…Only 1 Home Remaining

Views at Virginia Highlands…Now Selling Winfair…Sold Out


28th and Brookwood…Coming Soon The Brownstones at Cosmopolitan…Selling Fast 3036 Margaret Mitchell Road…Sold Out 1775 Warren Court…Sold Out

Enclave at Mt Paran…Master on Main Plans


EAST ATLANTA/GRANT PARK Eastland Gates…Beautiful Townhomes Coming Soon! Heights at Grant Park…Coming Soon!

Also building in:

JOHNS CREEK Citadella…Only 1 Home Remaining Olde Taylor Farms…3 Homes Ready for Move-In

LONG ISLAND PARC SANDY SPRINGS 30328 15 Home Neighborhood with the space, value and schools of a suburban address and the fun and excitement of an urban setting.

Available for December Closings From the Mid $900s SCHEDULE YOUR PRIVATE TOUR TODAY


Jamie Mock | 770-616-1531 | jamie.mock Information is believed to be accurate, but not warranted and is subject to changes, omissions, errors, and withdrawal without notice.

Simply Buckhead November/December 2017  

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

Simply Buckhead November/December 2017  

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