Buckhead pulls a fast one on me with @SevenLampsAtl


When I caught wind of Seven Lamps I got REALLY excited. Not only because it boasts some of my favorite restaurant qualities (craft food/drink, regionally inspired cuisine, seasonal ingredients, rustic/farmhouse style decor) but because it in BUCKHEAD. Not because I think it needs Buckhead, but because I think Buckhead needs it. And more restaurants like it.

The 114-seat space has a light color palette and features reclaimed wood from a North Georgia mill to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Another unique design element is the tranquil patio area which offers outdoor courtyard dining. Equipped with a fire pit, herb garden and Adirondack chairs for lounging, the space is an oasis in the heart of Buckhead.

Seven Lamps is located at 3400 Around Lenox Road in Buckhead’s Shops Around Lenox. The restaurant serves lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m and serves dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. A late night menu is offered from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit www.sevenlampsatl.com

Now onto the grubness. 

My friend Kenny went for the Red Derby, consisting of Bellemeade Bourbon, blood orange, Savannah Bee Co, honey, tarragon | 12.

I went for the Lucy's Candle: Krogstad Aquavit, orchard cherry liqueur, meyer lemon, sparkling wine | 12. Let me tell you something about the drinks at this place - they are not for the faint of heart. If you are expecting a frilly mixed drink where the alcohol is a background singer, you'll want to hold off on the drinks. Now is you prefer your alcohol as the leading singer, completely dominating the stage, then you will enjoy the drinks at Seven Lamps. Very good flavors and very strong flavors. 

Next we took turns ordering small plates - everything sounded so good - we decided to truly go for it.

Oh, holy heaven (or whatever you believe in), the savory crepes are divine ($9) - wood grilled tuscan kale, vidalia onion, gruyere gratin, smoked vinaigrette encapsulated in a bowl of melted cheese.

Up next, the mucho heated oysters with b & b pickles, white bread, Duke’s mayonnaise ($8).  

Hello, hand cut cottage fries with duke's mayonnaise, espelette (best $4 I've ever spent). These are also the equivalent of crack.

The buttered lobster bun with celery aioli, steamed brioche ($9) was incredibly delicious. The bun was so buttery and pillowy, it literally melted in our mouth.

After splitting our sides, we somehow convinced ourselves that there was room for the main event. I can assure you that after four sides split between two people, ordering a main dish won't be necessary. Nevertheless, the dishes we did order where sensational. Please behold the three cheese sammy with egg and avocado. Creamy, filling and smooth. A really winner!

I ordered the tortellini stuffed with chestnut and marscapone mascarpone with vanilla macaroon, and apple leather. It is a very sweet pasta, almost like a breakfast pasta. Since I am completely addicted to all things sweets, this dish was a great match for me. The elements mascarpone apple, and a vanilla/cinnamon flavor blend nicely together. 

All in all the experience was fantastic. Great service, strong drinks, absolutely fantastic food with unique flavor blends and technique. For a restaurant in Buckhead, this was one of the more inviting/authentic experiences I've had in a long time. A refuge, really. Check it out when you get the chance!

.@Cirque du Soleil's #Totem leaves #Atlanta on December 30! Check out my review

I finally got to see my first Cirque du Soleil performance! My fiance and I went last Sunday - and let me tell you, I think we are both hooked. I know I don't have other Cirque experiences to compare this one to, but I'll do my best to review the show for you nonetheless!

Before I go into the review, below is some information if you want to catch the show during the holidays. Cirque du Soleil TOTEM is only going to be in Atlanta until December 30! Click here for ticket information! Here is also a link to 20% off tickets.

Below is the video teaser for the show:

I've always wondered about the whimsy that existed under that massive blue and yellow tent at Atlantic Station as I've passed it year in and year out, driving up and down the interstate.

TOTEM, written and directed by Robert Lepage, traces the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

The show opens up with the giant turtle at center stage, representing the origins of life on Earth. The shell is whisked away to reveal a community of amphibians and fish that live beneath it. They burst into a playful parallel bars number, with artists launching themselves into the air.

In between acts, Cirque's version of "clowns" entertain the crowd, drawing authentic laughs. The next big act that I loved was the Bollywood-inspired music accompanied with two men as they compete against each other on the rings, until a woman arrives and shows them how it’s done. Their graceful movements, sheer physical strength and superb physiques is astounding!

My next favorite act was when 10 businessmen executed a number requires extreme strength. The performers held long metal polls while one of the guys climbs almost to the peak of the big top.

Another one of my favorite acts involved five unicyclists juggling metal bowls in a display of agility, balance, synchronized control and physical grace, tossing the bowls with their feet and catching them on their heads without using their hands. All while maintaining their balance on the unicycles! The ooo's and ahhh's coming from the crowd came on point and in unison.

The next two acts that I'll describe were my absolute favorites. Two lovebirds, a young man and woman perform very impressive lifts in a light-hearted vertical dance on the trapeze.

Next, in a scene that evokes a wedding ceremony, a pair of roller skaters spins and whirls at heart-stopping speeds atop a tiny platform—in a diameter—shaped like a drum.

There is honestly not a bad seat in the house - Cirque keeps the seating limited, creating a much more intimate feel. Just like any entertainment event, concessions are expensive - but I did appreciate them bringing pop-up concessions into the main area of the tent for those who didn't want to battle the crowds in the main lines during intermission. 

My only complaint is that without knowing the theme of the show, the storyline did not seem to flow as seamlessly as it could have. But beyond that small thing, everything was dazzling and spectacular. The ambient lighting really added another layer of depth to the performances which were astonishing at the very least. The mere amount of strength, precision, creativity and performance caliber was unmatched to anything I've ever seen.

It made for a great date night and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. Everyone was so nice, the process was smooth and seamless. We chatted afterwards about how we want to see what else they can come up with - now official Cirque fans!

One recommendation - make sure you get there at least 30 minutes before the show. If you are late, you will have to wait to be seated until there is an appropriate break in the performances. There will also be signs pointing you to specific Cirque parking - which will get you closer to the tent, but have you waiting in line much longer. To avoid parking lines, just head on over to regular Atlantic Station parking and make the walk to the tent.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Don't miss chicken emporium @bantamandbiddy for mouth-watering good food!


Hallelujah! Finally, some culinary excitement in the Ansley Mall area of Midtown! Words couldn’t explain my disappointment when one of my favorite Atlanta restaurants, Shaun’s closed its doors. Best pork schnitzel I’ve ever had. So when I heard that Chef Shaun Doty (Shaun’s, Yeah! Burger) was going to join forces with Lance Gummere on a fast-casual chicken emporium concept, I was stoked. Not only does Bantam & Biddy deliver chicken done right, it also delivers on it’s promise of regional, organic and largely gluten-free options.

My friend Jessica and I briefly talked to Shaun and he told us that he was aching to pair the fast-casual concept with the ability to still bring the chef-driven inspirations to the table. Shaun is also very excited about the location of his new effort, mentioning that the clientele in the area have been clamoring for something like B&B in the neighborhood. Feast your eyes on the goodness below and apologies in advance for making you insatiably hungry.

Open-kitchen format with counter seating also available.

Did I mention their scrum-diddly-umptious cocktail menu that largely falls under a $7 price point?

You order your food at the front, and they bring the food to your table.

We started off things right with the Wings from the Snacks + Soup section. These Asian-infused wings were gobbled up in seconds and easily some of the best wings I've ever had. The spicy recipe is mixed with peanuts and a pickled cucumber salad. You need to try these. Trust me.

I know this is primarily a chicken emporium. There are, however, a few non-chicken dishes on the menu (including some great salads and vegetarian options). The Pork Schnitzel at Shaun's was my jam, so imagine my excitement when I saw it on the menu. Perfectly cooked in a buttery, lemon-y crust, it is served with an onion salad, peanuts and parsley on top. Drooling just thinking about it.

My friend went with the Carolina Chicken, served with pickled beets and goat cheese, and a side of sauteed broccolini and garlic. She loved every bite, thought suffice to say, her absolute favorite was also the wing appetizer. She also ordered one of the homemade sauces, the Blue Ridge BBQ, to dip the tender, juicy chicken into.

Bantam and Biddy also has a dessert bar, full of a plethora of mini pies and cakes. We went with the lemon meringue and chocolate. I am embarrassed to admit, that after all of that food, we still managed to scarf these down with ease.

B&B has everything you could possibly want in a fast-casual restaurant. Affordable, delectable cocktails, mini desserts that don't totally make you feel guilty, a plethora of gluten-free, organic menu options that cater to both the chicken lover and the vegetation lover. You usually don't think "gourmet" when you hear the word fast, but at B&B, you get it all. I'm just happy I have a good excuse now for visiting my Midtown friends a little bit more often!

Did I also mention? B&B will be available for delivery through Zifty very soon?

. @ccfreestyle, soda machines of the future, have arrived in #Atlanta


My Dad worked for Coca-Cola for almost 30 years. So naturally, it was virtually a sin to utter the word Pepsi in our house, let alone drink it. Growing up in Atlanta, the city of Coca-Cola, was pretty awesome as a kid. Getting to sample all of the different flavor types the company was trying out before it hit the shelves was about as cool as it got. One year I combined a bunch of different Coca-Cola products into one drink and was convinced it was going to be the next biggest soda. My dad even humored me and said that he shared the idea with all of his co-workers who also “loved” it and thought it was a “great idea.” So each time something major happens with the company or they use their home turf as their test market for something, I get super amped.

You may have seen some futuristic-looking soda fountains in and around Atlanta lately (or perhaps for a few years in the case of Firehouse Subs) emblazoned with that telltale logo. These machines are called the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines and Atlanta is the first city to have them. Each freestyle machine has a full-color touch screen that allows you to choose over 100+ different brands, including flavors and sodas not available anywhere else. Believe me when I say, there is literally something for everyone. Soda, energy drinks, flavored waters, juices, you name it. You can also combine flavors! The machines are starting to pop up increasingly at restaurant chains around the city and even in some movie theaters. The AMC on Cobb Parkway has an army of them. Click here to see all of the locations that have them.

Firehouse Subs is one of the restaurant chains in the area that has Coca-Cola Freestyle.

The way it works is pretty easy. Order the size you want when you are placing your order at the counter. There is no need to specify what drink you want since you will be concocting your creation yourself!

Freestyle cups give you an idea of the different flavors available for your favorite bubbles and non-bubbles. Peach Sprite anyone? I haven't tried it yet, but I love the idea of it.

Next, all you do is press the cup against the ice dispenser to get your ice. (Or not, if ice is not your thing). Position your cup right below the soda dispenser before shifting gears to the incredibly awesome touchscreen.

Did you ever think we'd get to the Jetsons point of touchscreen for our soda vending machines? Select the circle flavor you'd like. Me, I'm a Pepper. So I selected me some DP.

Hello awkward photo (side note). So once you select your "master" drink if you will, you select your sub-flavor to go along with it next if you wish. For example, if you selected Dr. Pepper on the first screen, you can just select it again on the next to get plain old Dr. Pepper. If you feel like living a little, this is the screen where you can have some fun. In my case, I love me some Dr. Pepper Cherry, so I selected the black circle for my drink.

And voila! There you have it! It is like that cool part of the Coca-Cola museum where you can sample every amazing flavor of Coca-Cola products ever made, minus the part where it flies into your cup from across the room (maybe that is phase two?).  Have you seen these machines around town? If so, share your experience below!

Full Disclosure: Although I was given a small compensation to recap my experience with Coca-Cola Freestyle, opinions are solely my own. I'll never post content on the blog that doesn't align with my reason for being here: sharing local, unique, and favorite experiences/things about the city of Atlanta!

. @AmmazzaHQ is Ammazzing! (yes, I said it...)


Located in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, Ammazza offers a locally driven dinner menu of authentic Italian cuisine. Italian slang for expressing astonishment or admiration, “Ammazza” is exactly what the Connerty brothers plan to achieve through their classic Italian cooking methods and by using essential ingredients found only in Italy as well as local, fresh finds. In addition to incredible Neapolitan-style pizzas, Ammazza’s menu also includes an array of Italian street food-inspired dishes.

I genuinely love everything about this place. From the design on the website, to the type face of the restaurant facade, to the all-natural soda choices, and the industrial-style metal plates that I must somehow obtain, this place delivers a cool and delicious experience soup to nuts. It reminds me of a hipster, O4W version of Antico pizza.

The layout of the restaurant is stationed. Entrez-vous to the counter where you can place your order. Grab a number and then round the corner to find the family style communal dining table in the center surrounded by an array of tables and booths. Seat yourself and then head to the tableware station to grab your plate, cutlery and water.

The tables at Ammazza are made out of repurposed wood from an old cotton mill down in Cartersville.

I also love that you can peer into the wood-fire oven pizza's being hand-tossed!

I'd never had alcoholic ginger beer before. Squeeze a lemon or lime into it and you have a very fall-appropriate, refreshing, cider-like libation that is perfect pairing with a carb-a-thon.

We started with the Classico, which is what is sounds like, a classic offering of Italian meats and cheeses. A word to the wise - the entrees here are massive and meant for sharing.

Said industrial metal plate as mentioned above. In love.

Massive entree numero uno (side note: notice how I've written both Spanish and French in this blog post and not Italian.) This is the pizza Contadino, which should feed between 2-4 people depending on how hungry everyone is. This white pizza consists of roma tomatoes, roasted artichokes, wild mushrooms, olives and onions topped with house mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil.  It was deliciously hearty and evident how authentic/fresh the ingredients are. 

Massive entre numero dos is a Naples street food favorite, the Semplice. House-made dough stuffed full of house mozzarella, flor di latte, ricotta and basil, fried to golden perfection.

As if we weren't dangerously full after appetizers and our main dishes, we pushed the boundaries with the Torta Caprese, flourless chocolate almond cake from the isle of Capri topped with homemade chocolate ganache and of course, a few cannolis (crisp pastry shells stuffed to order with sweetened ricotta cheese). A gamble that paid off in immense satisfaction!

As if all of this wasn't enough to put Ammazza in the resto rotation, it is open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and open until 2 am Friday and Saturday night. And yes, that means they serve food until they close. Win, win, win!

The @pinewoodtr delivers southern charm with flair


Decatur-based The Pinewood draws inspiration from locally sourced and inspired ingredients with a twist. Every ounce of the food and drink churned out of the kitchen is handmade. The restaurant prides itself on its neighborhood-friendly-hangout ambiance with a sophisticated twist.

Once my friend Tony and I arrived to the restaurant, upon the encouragement of our extremely kind and warm server, the drink menu pulled us in. Tony ordered the "Day That I Die" (pictured above - excuse my lighting issues) - Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Fresh Lemon, Ginger Syrup, Buckwheat Honey Syrup & Roasted Georgia Pecan Tincture. This libation soared and soaked you to the bone at the same time. The strong, prominent taste of the whiskey blended nicely with the sweetness and bitterness of its supporting characters.

The cocktails at The Pinewood are impressive. In fact, they just launched a new cocktail menu. All of the classic cocktails are priced at $7.50 each, including favorites such as the Moscow Mule and Whiskey Sour. The seasonal drinks range in price from $6-$11. Some of the recent fall additions include:
  • Autumn Rivulets: Redstone Hopped honey wine, Rothman & Winter orchard pear, Yellow Chartreuse and basil granita ($9.50) 
  •  Padre Thyme: Laird’s bonded apple brandy, apple cider, El Jimador Reposado, honey, thyme, cardamom tincture and fresh lemon ($9.50) 
  •  Brom Bones Fizz: Bacardi Solera rum, Cardamaro, pumpkin, white balsamic, house-made ginger soda and sage ($9.50)

Onward to the appetizer! Fried green tomatoes with the most delectable remoulade I've ever come into contact with. We all know the remoulade can make or break a fried green tomato. Two thumbs up.

And it keeps.getting.better. I could not resist the Crunchy Buttermilk Chicken calling my name from the menu. Ritz cracker and Panko crusted chicken served over potato hash. The chicken could not have been cooked more perfectly. Imagine your Grandma's secret recipe for fried chicken and then take that up a few notches. But less us forget the heavenly bed of hash below it. Heaven. Pure heaven.

The grand finale culminated in the chocolate jar, consisting of chocolate custard with whipped cream and five spice. The presentation of this dish was front-porch charming, served out of a mason jar.

All in all I can say with confidence that I recommend The Pinewood for those seeking a creative twist on locally inspired southern classics. If you are interested in checking out The Pinewood, the restaurant is offering five new food and drink promotions, Sunday through Thursday night:
  • Sunday: Half price wine
  • Monday: Laundry Night, featuring a NOLA Trio of gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice ($8). Guests can also select one of the items from the NOLA Trio as their entree for the same price. NOLA Cocktails: Sazerac or Hurricane ($5 each)
  • Tuesday: Buy one, get one entree (free entree must be of equal or lesser value)
  • Wednesday: Half price whiskey drinks
  • Thursday: Buy one, get one small plates (free small plate must be of equal or lesser value)