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For the first time ever, Atlanta has not one but two local establishments on the shortlist of five finalists for the James Beard Outstanding Beverage Program award: Ticonderoga Club and Kimball House. Paul Calvert and Miles Macquarrie take us on a tour of their backbars.
The nearly identical House Bill 501 and Senate Bill 182 recently passed their respective chambers—which bodes well for passage of legislation to make harvesting oysters legal in Georgia. But the regulations in the bills—which are intended to usher in a new oyster era—may stifle rather than kickstart the resurgence.
Kimball House is a tough act to follow, but its owners have created something similarly remarkable with Watchman’s Seafood and Spirits. Daniel Chance's seafood is quality, Miles Macquarrie’s cocktails are badass, and the restaurant has abundant style.
Ask Kimball House co-owner Bryan Rackley about any gaps in his Decatur restaurant’s oyster menu, and his answer comes clear and quick: On a list that includes selections from the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana, he can offer no Georgia oysters.
He Ro arrived in Clarkston as a shy 15-year-old who had spent much of his life in a Karen refugee camp in Thailand after fleeing Burma as a child. Now a 24-year-old oyster shucker at Kimball House, the people at the restaurant have all become his friends. “They all love me."
Sunday’s Landlocked Oyster Fest is the first of its kind put on by nonprofit Oyster South and will benefit the University of Georgia's Shellfish Research Lab. Chefs such as Staplehouse's Ryan Smith and Southern Soufflé blogger Erika Council will partner with farmers to present oysters on the half shell dressed up with various accoutrements at Color Wheel Studios in Decatur.
This restaurant and bar, which will take over the former Luminary space, is the second for Matt Christison, Miles Macquarrie, Bryan Rackley, and Jesse Smith. They hope to open in 2018.
At Kimball House, co-owner Bryan Rackley gives an English major’s attention to the descriptions he writes for the oyster menu. Rackley is also just as obsessive about how these briny beauties are presented. Novices need not be afraid to shuck oysters at home if they follow some simple guidelines.