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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.
Looking beyond such fanfare as the opening of Tiny Lou’s and the rise of fast-casual everything, what else happened in the food world this year—and what does it say about Atlanta? We received a few snubs on the national stage, which might suggest that our dining scene is faltering. It could also be that we’re currently stewing on our most promising culinary ideas and talent.
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.
Ten years ago, barkeep Greg Best couldn’t even get his hands on a reliable supply of decent vermouth. In 2008, the craft cocktail renaissance that started in New York City started to make its way to Atlanta. Now, cocktail culture has proliferated with such fervor that you can find almost any creation in Atlanta.
Ticonderoga Club's Paul Calvert and Little Tart Bakeshop's Sarah O'Brien are working to rally Atlanta restaurateurs to support the efforts of those trying to help children who have been detained and separated from their families at the U.S. border.
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.
“With the cocktail renaissance came a bent towards stirred, boozy drinks,” says Greg Best. “But Manhattans and martinis aren’t what we want to drink on a regular basis.” Enter the Suppressor.
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."