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When I met Alisa Barry 18 years ago, she was launching her Italian-inspired pantry products business, Bella Cucina, and my family had just started making annual summer treks to the Ligurian coast—where we now own a second home. Needless to say, we Italophiles bonded immediately.
An Italian market, eatery, wine bar, and culinary club called Bellina Alimentari will open in Ponce City Market’s Food Hall this spring or summer. At 4,000 square feet, it will inhabit the largest space in the food hall. The mind behind the project, Tal Postelnik Baum, is an Israeli architect and designer who spent the last seven years in Florence, Italy working in restaurants. After moving to Atlanta to be with family, she decided to “bring some of that Italian charm back to the [South],” she says.
ATL Food Chatter: November 22, 2011 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter) The “new” Watershed restaurant, set to open in Spring of 2012 in South Buckhead’s Brookwood Condominiums at 1820 Peachtree Road, is being designed by Smith Hanes. A master at creating a casual dining environment that mixes urban and rustic elements, Hanes has won praise for his previous work at No. 246, JCT Kitchen and Bar, and Bella Cucina. He will also design the spaces for Ford Fry’s next project, The Optimist and its adjoining oyster bar.
ATL Food Chatter: March 15, 2011 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter) In yet another year when restaurant openings that hold promise for engaging, individualistic cooking are too few and far between, no. 246—opening in Decatur in May—is among a handful of projects generating lots of anticipation. The Cal-Ital-themed restaurant (think Meyer lemon and sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti, pizzas, and wood-roasted whole fish) is a partnership between JCT Kitchen chef-owner Ford Fry and Drew Belline, the former longtime chef de cuisine of Floataway Cafe who will serve as 246’s executive chef. But the restaurant’s designer, Smith Hanes, brings some star power to the project as well. Hanes has built his reputation locally by bringing an earthy, textural aesthetic, with prominent use of reclaimed materials, in his commercial designs, which include projects for Serenbe, JCT Kitchen and Bar, and Bella Cucina (his wife is owner Alisa Barry). Hanes shares some details about 246’s forthcoming interior and his inspiration for the design.