Calavino Donati and Doria Roberts opened East Atlanta Village’s Urban Cannibals in 2009 with one hot plate and a George Foreman Grill. They’re stepping up their game this summer with three new eateries in Midtown and Virginia-Highland.
“The plan has always been to get back to a real kitchen,” Donati says.
Urban Cannibals Bodega + Bites
The duo will open an expanded version of Urban Cannibals at 368 5th Street in the old Las Palmeras space in late spring or early summer. Unlike the original, the new Urban Cannibals bodega will be in a separate area than the sit-down deli and patio. The breakfast and lunch menus will be similar to those at the original location (heavy on sandwiches and salads), but Donati will be creating a new dinner menu with small and large plates. It will include items like seasonal lasagna, spinach pie with Mediterranean spiced rice, burgers, and sweet potato fries. A full bar will focus on local beer, wine, and spirits, including select specialty cocktails.
“It’ll be super casual and family friendly,” Roberts says. “It’s in the middle of a neighborhood, so we want to be accommodating for families with kids but also be a place people can stop by after work and hang out.”
Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor + Apothecary
Once the new Urban Cannibals is running smoothly, Donati and Roberts plan to open Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor + Apothecary next to Surin, at 806 N. Highland Avenue, in Virgina-Highland. It’ll be a full-service tea shop with more than 100 teas, a “sniffing bar” for learning about the aromatics of tea, a private tearoom for workshops and tea ceremonies, and an apothecary with soaps, bitters, syrups, and drinking vinegars.
“There are a lot of coffee shops around the area, but I’m a tea drinker. I realized a tea parlor would be really great in that space,” Roberts says. “It’s about getting people to transform routine into ritual and be more mindful of what they are drinking. Tea is medicinal, it’s healing, and you can drink it morning and night.”
“It’s going to be a chill space but not a traditional tea shop either,” she says. “Think of a home library—a little more serious but still very comfortable and whimsical.”
Tipple will serve breakfast, light lunch, high tea, and dessert. There will be biscuits, croissants, quiche, cucumber finger sandwiches, and tea-brined duck salad, as well as a variety of scones, such as strawberry basil with white balsamic glaze. High tea must be reserved in advance and can be vegan, Southern, Asian, or traditional.
Madre + Mason
Finally, Donati and Roberts will open Madre + Mason, a Latin-inspired Southern restaurant in the old Couscous space at 560 Dutch Valley Road.
“It’s a fusion of the two cuisines focusing on the comfort food aspects of both,” Donati says. “We are on the BeltLine so we don’t want it to come across being really heavy. There will be that comfort food element but we’ll also focus on smaller plates.”
Menu items may include mojo brisket-stuffed poblano peppers, Sofrito Gulf shrimp and chorizo over Dirty South rice, chipotle collard greens, buttermilk-lime-cumin fried chicken, and sweet potato flan with candied pepitas. There will be Brazilian grilled meat skewers, quinoa and local mustard greens with agave lime vinaigrette, smoked gouda bacon queso with house-made chips, and a Brussels sprouts taco with cotija cheese. For brunch, expect cheddar-chipotle biscuits, duck and waffles, Benedicts, and Bloody Marys and margaritas.
“I’m a vegetarian and Calavino is an omnivore. Our menus reflect the way we like to eat,” Roberts says. “We want to span every appetite and financial means.”
On the bar side, Madre + Mason will serve Latin wines and a vast array of tequilas. Drinks will be served in mason jars. “We were serving drinks in mason jars out of necessity since before it was popular. We’re not trying to be trendy. We found mason jar shot glasses, and they are adorable.”
The space is divided into four areas—a patio, bar, dining room, and lounge—decorated in neutrals with pops of color. Art will cover the walls. Roberts and Donati hope the lounge will double as a meeting place for private supper clubs, film screenings, and social meet-ups for local organizations.
All three restaurants should be open by the end of the summer.