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Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: Stop futzing around with my Manhattan

I worry the classic Manhattan is going the way of the martini: another opportunity for barkeeps to futz around with annoying techniques and show-offish ingredients. Plus: In previous decades, chefs had to be Japanese if they wanted customers to take their sushi seriously. They had to be born in Spain to attempt paella. This attitude seems quaint in an era when scholarly approach trumps birthright.

Fresh on the Scene: Rreal Tacos, The Mercury, BeetleCat, and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Get an early look at four newcomers to Atlanta's restaurant scene.

Proof cocktail syrups from Pinewood are poised to go big-time

Proof began with three syrups: a traditional Old Fashioned recipe that tastes of bitters and a hint of candied orange; a dry pecan variation; and—hipster alert!—maple bacon.

Two-day Decatur cocktail festival to host seminars, tasting-event

Decatur’s best mixologists will join forces at the end of the month for a two-day drink fest at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel and Decatur Conference Center. The inaugural craft cocktail seminar, Decatur Stirs, will include five workshops, as well as a tasting event on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1.

11. Pinewood Tippling Room

Decatur turned out to be a disappointing zone for burgers—save for this cozy cocktail bar.

Food Chatter: Catching up with T. Fable Jeon

T. Fable Jeon is a man on a mission. The former Sound Table/Lawrence barkeep, who was one of the Beverage Network’s 2011 Ten Mixologists to Watch, wanted to establish a Southern restaurant and craft bar experience for Atlanta’s expanding craft-cocktail/bar scene, and with that idea in mind, he, along with his business partner and consulting chef, Julia LeRoy, opened the Pinewood Tippling Room last week in downtown Decatur.The multi-talented mixologist labored for months on the highly anticipated project—designing and then handcrafting everything from the menu, the bar, the tables, and the lone ceiling fan—in order to create a sophisticated  environment that reflects his passion for Southern hospitality. Jeon and his team have transformed the former Cakes & Ale spot into a Southern-style gastro pub that “appreciates equally the high class and the homespun.”Pinewood’s bar menu features cocktails like the Day That I Die, made with rye whiskey, house-made ginger syrup, Meyer lemon juice, roasted Georgia pecan tincture, and buckwheat honey syrup, along with the Goodwood Julep, comprised of bourbon, brandy, Averna, Cynar, mint, tarragon, and castor sugar, which will be served in a cheater tin (a stainless steel cocktail shaker) over crushed ice.Leroy’s menu focuses on small plates with strong Southern roots, like a fried bologna sandwich with a slice of fried green tomato and spicy egg salad, made-to-order skillet cornbread with fresh jalapeno and bacon, and house-cut fries with cheese curd and sawmill gravy.Jeon took some time during the final days before the grand opening to briefly chat about his passion for authentic Southern hospitality, why he chose Decatur for the Pinewood’s location, and where the name Pinewood Tippling Room originated.What were you looking forward to the most about opening Pinewood? Frankly, we're thrilled to not be covered in sawdust anymore! In all seriousness, we are most excited about sharing our passion for food and drink with our neighbors here in Decatur and Atlanta, respectively.Where did the name Pinewood Tippling Room originate from? The Pinewood is a restaurant and craft cocktail bar informed first and foremost by Southern inspiration. Pine wood is the backbone of the South ... whether a pillar in an Antebellum mansion in Savannah, a piece of hand-crafted furniture, or dunnage for a shipping palette on a dock in New Orleans, the South could not have been built without the pine tree. It holds all of us up, and it shelters us. And almost everything in the space is wood, from the bookshelf-y bar and wicker stools to the unfinished tables and lone ceiling fan.As for "Tippling Room," in the textbook sense, it is a house in which liquors are sold in drams or small quantities, to be drunk on the premises. As it relates to the Pinewood, we simply aim to create a comfortable, yet refined social space for the neighborhood to enjoy.How will your focus as a Southern-themed neighborhood bar distinguish Pinewood in the Atlanta market? The Pinewood is not a facsimile or a caricature of the prototypical Southern-theme construct. We, as the two partners, areraised and deeply rooted in the South, aim to achieve an authenticity our grandparents would be proud of. Ours is an establishment that strives to deliver the most genuine and sincere expressions of true Southern hospitality. We will use ice blocks that were cut by a chain saw out back and some of the cocktails [are] laced with bonded corn whiskey and gomme syrup (a sugar syrup that has gum Arabic added that adds a smoother texture to a cocktail).Why did you select downtown Decatur as a

Julia LeRoy, T. Fable Jeon part of Decatur’s forthcoming Pinewood

Ten days ago Decatur Metro first reported the brown paper covering the windows of the former Cakes & Ale space that revealed the name (and Twitter handle) of its new tenant: Pinewood. And last night Brad Kaplan tweeted that Julia LeRoy will be consulting chef.Here’s some more info: Its full name is Pinewood Tippling Room, so expect as much emphasis on drink as on food. T. Fable Jeon, who has worked as several bars around town and was most recently associated with the Lawrence, will head the gastropub's bar program. And LeRoy will be devising a list of updated Southern classics, including a riff on fried bologna sandwiches. Still no exact timing on the opening (is there ever, really?), but expect a launch late spring. Take a gander at the full press release below. H/T to Ms. Besha Rodell for the info…

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