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Sound Table grooves with win at Taste of Atlanta's bartending competition

Apparently, the judges at Taste of Atlanta's 2nd annual Barcraft bartending competition Sunday concur with Atlanta magazine dining critic Bill Addison.
 
In his review of the Old Fourth Ward's Sound Table in our October issue, Addison detailed the cool vibe between the dining and cocktails, noting "the close interplay between food and drink makes for a sexy tango."
 
It was no surprise then that Sound Table chief mixologist Paul Calvert won the contest Sunday afternoon with a modern interpretation of the classic rum-and-triple-sec-fueled Periodista.
 
Calvert also took the time to praise the Old Fourth Ward's renaissance with the funky cool Sound Table as one of the neighborhood's dining hot spots.
 
"The fact of it is, people need to get out of their cars, leave the valet stand and come down to the neighborhood and support it," Calvert told Dish. "That's the bottom line with any neighborhood seeking to improve itself. We're walking distance to where Dr. King's body is resting. It's a national and international tourist attraction. We could become one of Atlanta's crown jewels. But you've got to come down and discover it."
 
Presiding over the bartending competition was Eric Simpkins, formerly the head mixologist at Trois and most recently at Drink Shop at the downtown W hotel. He told us his next gig will be overseeing the cocktail creations at the upcoming Vanquish nightclub on Peachtree Street between 10 and 11th streets brought to you by the creators of Compound.
 
Simpkins says the new Midtown nightspot should debut in mid-November.
 
After the competition, Dish was off with sturdy plastic fork in hand to taste Taste of Atlanta's culinary offerings. Among the crowd faves: Dogwood restaurant's polenta de Georgia with braised short ribs and parmesan brussels sprouts and the line was long for a sample of Gladys and Ron's Chicken & Waffles' signature dish.
 
Among the more interesting signage we spotted? The Ray's Pizza booth cautioned attendees "Please Do NOT Touch The Pizza!" And by the time we got to the curious QuikTrip booth, the only treat the gas station convenience store chain had left to offer was a solitary bottle of hand sanitizer.