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Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder at Kimball House

posted on July 14, 2014 at 8:50 am

Miles Macquarrie works his liquid magic. Photo by James Camp.

Every few months, a certain type of food porn starts trending on local social media. A couple of years ago during the Neapolitan pizza craze, it was upskirt crust shots flashing char marks. Currently, the hot photos feature platters of oysters at Kimball House — the more levels, the better.

Before the Decatur restaurant opened in September 2013, Atlanta had standard oyster options. Kimball House, however, is determined to make Atlanta a bona fide oyster town. On most evenings, the oyster menu runs 20 deep with varieties from Georgia, British Colombia, and elsewhere. Each oyster is presented on the menu like a wine: “citrus, ripened tomato, charred scallion” describes the Howland’s Landing of Duxbury, Mass. The oysters are served on glistening, ice-packed pewter trays decorated with pieces of dark green seaweed. A wedge of lemon and a tiny brown medicine bottle filled with mignonette are all that’s needed to bring out each briny bivalve’s distinct qualities.

Over the last decade, the Decatur train depot has been home to a series of unsuccessful restaurants. The late-1800s building seemed destined for haunted real estate status. That was until Matt Christison, Miles Macquarrie, Bryan Rackley, and Jesse Smith — who worked together at the Brick Store Pub — came up with a plan to open a bar. With guidance and financial backing from Mike Gallagher, Tom Moore, and Dave Blanchard, who own the Brick Store Pub and Leon’s Full Service, the group transformed the old depot into a love letter to cocktails, oysters, and the hotel restaurants of yesteryear.

The space borrows much of its romantic and masculine aesthetic from those old American hotels. In fact, the restaurant was named after Atlanta’s Kimball House Hotel, which spanned an entire city block near Five Points, 1870-1883, until it was destroyed by a fire. A second and larger Kimball House was built in 1885, but was razed in 1959 to build a parking deck.

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Dirty and Rowdy is at Ansley.

Yes, you read that correctly. The much anticipated Georgia debut of Dirty & Rowdy wine is here and being sold at Ansley Wine Merchants. So, if you are a fan, the hot wine is finally available in Atlanta. While you are at Ansley, be sure check out their amazing selection of cocktail supplies.

Vitals: 1544 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, 404-876-6790. www.ansleywine.com.

Food find: 1000 Faces Coffee’s iced coffee growler

posted on July 8, 2014 at 7:26 am

My favorite farmers' market purchase last weekend: a concentrated ice coffee growler from @1000facescoffee.

I picked one of these growlers up at from Athen’s-based 1000 Faces Coffee at The Freedom Market Farmers Market this past weekend. I was wary to spend $25 on the growler, but it was worth it. We have already made 3 tall iced coffees and barely dented it. The girl running the stand said it should last two people about a week, but I think longer if you alternate with a hot cup. I have been using a ratio of 2/3 concentrate to 1/3 milk and using almond milk to cut down on calories. The coffee is very strong and rich for a cold brew. One tall glass is enough to get me super powered for my day. I’ll be buying this again and they’ll even give you a credit towards your next purchase when you return the growler.

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