“What’s a holiday pop-up?”, a friend said to me recently. I answered, “Basically, several bars/restaurants have rebranded themselves to look like Santa Claus threw up all over the place.” As I sit here writing this, I’m debating whether or not I should go out and get more photos from these places, but going on a bar crawl (if even just to gather content), just a day before I go to basically do the same thing in Savannah, GA doesn’t seem like a good idea. So, I’ll sit here by my Christmas tree, retinol burned face and put together this comprehensive guide to all things holiday fun this season in Atlanta.

Ponce City Market

There’s no shortage of holiday cheer at PCM this season. Beginning with a Santa & The Grinch. They take up residence on the second floor of the market, in a wonderfully styled lair, complete with a life-size replica of the Grinch’s sleigh. Check out their website for visiting hours, or kids can just drop by to put their letters in their respective mailboxes. Avoid the crowds if you don’t have kids (you can still check out the lair and take a selfie on the sleigh) and visit during the away hours. You can check out Citizen Supply‘s holiday tiki bar and take care of your holiday shopping. They offer an array of goods sold from small brands locally and from around the world. Vendors range from leather makers to plant curators. Oh, and the tiki bar is smack dab in the middle of the store.

Biltong Bar, located on the first floor has transformed to The Blitzen Room this season, offering holiday themed craft cocktails (including Chartreuse Hot Chocolate and Frozen Egg Nog) in a festive bar, with a side of biltong (beef jerky). Out front, there’s a Christmas tree farm, and the rooftop now has a 3,500-square foot ice skating rink, lined with igloos. Yes, igloos. Igloo Reservations require a $150 rental fee and can seat up to six guests. Reservations include admission to The Roof, 2 hours reserved in a private igloo, dedicated server, skate rentals with 50 min of skate time, and unlimited games and rides at Skyline Park (when available). Food and beverage are available to purchase inside the igloo.

Host your own Holiday Bar Crawl

Looking for somewhere to wear your tacky Christmas sweater outside of your lame office party? Our favorite Atlanta bars are capitalizing on our holiday cheer this year (can you blame them?), with December pop-ups featuring themed food and drink. Bright twinkling lights, wrapping paper from floor to ceiling, Christmas music blaring.

Miracle is hosting 3 this season: In the Parish, Apres Diem, and BonTon spaces. What is Miracle, you ask? I took this from their website:

The concept was born in 2014 when upon the advice of his mother, owner Greg Boehm decided to halt construction of what was to be his new East Village cocktail bar called Mace and transformed the unfinished space into a pop-up bar serving holiday-themed drinks among over-the-top Christmas decorations. As crowds swarmed the NYC location, Boehm’s friends throughout the bar industry asked how they could recreate the holiday magic on their own turf and expansion became inevitable. The following year, Miracle expanded to 4 locations and in 2016, it went worldwide with pop-ups in Greece, Montreal and Paris. Currently, Boehm and manager Joann Spiegel are pleased to expand the concept to all corners of the US, plus pop-ups in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central America.

Many have chosen to forego the cost involved with becoming an official “Miracle partner” by taking matters into their own hands, and are doing it quite well. Oh, hey, Little Spirit! Little Spirit is located on N. Highland Ave NE, in Inman Park. It’s steps away from Parish (aka Miracle on Highland), so check out both for a double dose of cheer without having to call another Lyft. You’ll find more throughout the city, but these are a few that I know first hand are worth the stop.

Botanical Gardens – Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

This time of year, Atlanta Botanical Garden filled with synchronized holiday lights and music. Breathtaking displays, and you guessed it… satellite bars with festive drinks like spiked apple cider (we obviously have a theme going on here). There are also s’more roasting pits throughout the garden, many photo ops, a larger than life display of model trains, perfect for kids and adults alike (Mike loves it), and even a lounge with a DJ. Tickets are $34.95 each for non-member adults, if you purchase tickets in advance (you must choose your date). The experience happens between 5-11pm through January 11th, and peak nights sell out quickly. If you choose one thing to do from this list, let this be it.

TFTI – The Ultimate Photo Experience

Only around for a limited time, this pop-up photo experience is for Instagram lovers, photographers, bloggers, and even kids. Located in Lenox Square Mall, the space features a number of rooms designed with specific themes, including a rope swing in a room full of clouds, a kissing booth, a wall of roses, and an upside down living room, decorated for Christmas. Let your creative juices flow. Purchase tickets online by choosing a specific date and time. Priced at $25 for adults and $20 for kids. Open 7 days a week, during the mall holiday hours. Here are highlights from my recent media night visit.

Fire & Ice at Park Tavern

Park Tavern, located just on the edge of Piedmont Park with a view of the Midtown skyline, transforms into an icy wonderland this season. Their patio space is filled with holiday decor, cozy fire pits for s’mores roasting, private cabanas, and an 85 foot long ice skating rink, all covered to keep you nice and toasty. The cost is $20 on weekends ($15 weekdays) for the skate rental and access to the rink. Of course, you can dine on Park Tavern favorites, sushi, seasonal cocktails, and house-made brews, per usual. Weekend nights are fleeting, so head out for a cup full of cheer on a Wednesday and receive 1/2 off bottles of wine and 1/2 off fresh sushi, dips, and sangria from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Disclaimer & CALL TO ACTION

I didn’t want to include anything that I haven’t personally experienced, so know that this this just a taste of what Atlanta has to offer this season. Now get dressed up, spike your ‘nog, and head out for some holiday cheer. Because no one likes a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins.

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Last Friday night, we had the pleasure of dining at Fudo, a new Asian concept in Chamblee, just minutes from Perimeter Mall. Fudo is the newest edition to the portfolio of restaurants by owners John and Grace Lee, who also own Alpharetta and Cumming steak and sushi concept, Ichiban.

Here’s the kicker: I don’t eat (much) fish. Like almost none. Which is why I chose to spotlight this particular sushi restaurant. Fudo offers not only a HUGE array of rolls (over 50) and sashimi, but a mix of Japanese and Korean style cuisine with a generous selection of small plates, soups and salads, tempura, and donburi rice bowl dishes. There is literally something for everyone. Including a very nice list of sakes.

Do what did we eat? We started with the Chef’s Special, Hawaiian Ahi Poke with avocado, green onion, masago, micro greens, and ponzu. Also an order of the Dynamite Shrimp. The Poke was as fresh and delicious as it was beautiful and the Shrimp dish was crunchy, spicy, and sweet. Then we moved onto a Chicken Fried Rice. This was definitely not my choice. I couldn’t care less about fried rice but that is literally Mikey’s favorite food on the planet. And according to him, Fudo measured up. I tried the B.T.S. Roll, made with Bulgogi, spring mix, and cucumber and topped with seared bulgogi, black pepper, spicy kabayaki sauce, fried kimchi, scallions. They had me at kimchi really… It was delicious, just like the sticky bulgogi you’ll find in L.A.’s Koreatown. Over all, I give it two thumbs up.

So, venture OTP and check them out. Since their opening this past January, they’re quickly being recognized by the foodie community in Atlanta as a new go-to when you’re looking for something beyond your average sushi spot.

Kanpai, y’all!

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Located in Glenwood Park neighborhood on the east side of Atlanta, The Shed at Glenwood aims to be the go-to neighborhood spot for upscale dining with a “Cheers” feel. Locally sourced ingredients (seasonal menus of course), and an extensive wine selection, along with spirits make The Shed a favorite for brunch and dinner of many East- Atliens. And they have wine on tap… I’m sold.

So what’s going on now at The Shed? During the month of March, Executive Chef Quintles Swain is featuring a different international cuisine with a wine or beer pairing each Saturday – this past Saturday I enjoyed a dinner inspired by the foods of Italy – An Osso Buco with cal rose rice, tomato coulis, and beef jus.

This coming Saturday, March 16th, he will feature tastes of Spain with Trout and Salmorejo, paired with Rivarey Rioja Blanco, and then, France for Coq au vin paired with Two Birds Carignan wine on March 23rd. And finally, an American spring and summer staple, Black Cod and Romesco, paired with Zaca Mesa Viognier wine out of sunny Santa Barbara, California on Saturday, March 30th.   

Mikey had the burger (no surprise there). He’s on a mission to rate every one in the city. I shake my head at his selection when up against items like Osso Buco or filet mignon, but this one was well worth the visit. Their burger is topped with bacon jam, smoked gouda, lettuce, onion on a brioche bun. You can view the rest of the menu here, which is scheduled to change in 2 weeks. Don’t worry, the burger is a staple.

Desserts: In addition to classic dishes like apple turnovers and pound cake, their signature dessert is the Ding Dong. You read that right, it’s their take on every kid’s gas station favorite, a thick, rich chocolate cake with vanilla cream center. Damn.

I would be remiss not to mention that they offer bottomless mimosas on Sundays and an amazing selection of $20 bottles of wine. As if you needed another reason to head there now…

What Atlanta neighborhood are you interested in next? Comment below and I’ll share another favorite.

This post was sponsored by Caren West PR and The Shed at Glenwood… as always, all opinions are my own.

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When you hear the name “City Winery”, what comes to mind?  Wine, of course.  But it is SO much more than that.  I had the pleasure of touring Atlanta’s own City Winery with their Director of Marketing and Executive Chef last week and I was blown away.  City Winery is located at Ponce City Market in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and serves as not only a wine bar, but a full blown winery (processing their own wine in house), an intimate music venue, event space, speakeasy and restaurant serving culinary delights by a chef who you may know from some Atlanta favorites including Rathbuns and Canoe.  Need I say more?

Let’s talk about the wine.  The wines are made in-house by Atlanta’s only winemaker, Travis Green, and then served on tap.  You can order a flight, a glass, or fill a growler with your favorite varietal to take home with you.  My favorite: the “Ponce Pinot”.  And of course they sell wine by the bottle.  In fact, their in-house designer will work with you to customize a label should you be planning a corporate event, wedding, rehearsal dinner, or want to give them as gifts!  I was taken on a tour of the facility and how the wine is processed, mixed, and aged.  The aging process happens in oak barrels and then transferred to kegs for selling by the glass or growler, which preserves freshness and is much more eco-friendly.  The process is quite intriguing and I have to say, I learned more in a visit here than I did on multiple wine tours in Napa.  They also have more than 10 sommeliers on staff, so you can guarantee that these folks know their wine.  City Winery Atlanta is booking tours now.  Click here for more info.

Experience a menu inspired by the wines they serve and feature fresh local ingredients.  The goat cheese in the image above came from Decimal Place Farm only two days prior to being in my belly.  Executive Chef Nick Anderson is all about some farm to table fare.  His resume proves that he knows his stuff and has brought some serious skill to PCM…  Prior culinary titles and residencies include sous chef at Canoe, Chef de Cuisine at Rathbun’s, and Executive Chef at Ormsbys.  If those names don’t ring a bell, you have some eating to do.

Nick keeps the menu seasonal, diverse, and focused on ingredients that grow right here in Georgia.  Of course, the idea is that these dishes pair excellent with wine, right?  Not only do they pair well with wine, but he brings in many elements from the wine making process to his recipes.  For example, the dough for the pizza was made from the leftover yeast from winemaking, and the grapes used to make the wines are also used to make the vinegar in many of the salads.  Nick feels so strongly about using ingredients at their peak that during strawberry season he stocked up, made a preserves, canned them and now they are used as a topping on his homemade cheesecakes.  It. was. delicious.

Hey dog moms!  Did you know that City Winery has the MOST dog friendly patio in all of Atlanta?  So, not only do they allow patrons to bring their puppies to the patio, but they encourage it by offering a “Canine Cuisine” brunch menu.  You can even order your classy pup a glass of wine (it’s actually made of beet juice and some other natural, dog friendly ingredients).  If Kobi were still around, she’d be dressed in her finest tutu and joining me for brunch at City Winery every Sunday.  No human kids allowed (okay officially, I have to say that is a lie).

Head downstairs, next to the wine processing area and you will find a quaint listening room.  City Winery hosts numerous talented musicians in an area that is intimate and perfect for a date night or a night out with friends.  Your ticket guarantees you a table where you can order dinner, drinks, or bottles of wine throughout the performance.  They do not require a minimum on food and drink, so if you just want to watch the show, go for it!  But seriously, who would skip out on this fabulous food and wine?  A big thank you to Chef Nick for gifting us with a VIP table to see Rumours (a Fleetwood Mac tribute band) and some delicious wine.  The entire evening was truly amazing.  Upcoming events and ticket prices are listed here.

City Winery hosts many events outside of their tours, tastings, and concerts.  Every Friday and Saturday through the end of the month they will be hosting “Wine Down Weekends”, a free music series on the patio (bring your pup!) from  6:30-8:30pm.  “Books and Booze” is an event they host in collaboration with Posman Books (also located at PCM), where they serve a “literary libation” based on the plot of the book.  Another popular event is “City Wine Explorer”,  which focuses on a specific wine region (Oregon for example), serving flights of wines from that area along with an array of bites, also influenced by that region.  They also host intimate stand up comedy shows (30-40 ppl max) with wine tastings. They host about four beverage events per month, so whether you’re a dog parent, book club goer, music lover, or wisecracker, there’s something for everyone, as long as you drink wine!  For more information on alllll of the above, go to www.citywinery.com/atlanta.  If you have any questions for me (or Chef Nick) about City Winery, their events, menu items or otherwise, comment below.  For videos from our experience, visit the “City Winery Atl” tab on my IG story highlights here.

Bon Appétit!

 

This post was sponsored by City Winery Atlanta and Caren West PR.  As always, all opinions are my own.

 

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Hello, lovahs!  It’s been too long since I’ve posted and now we’re only two days away from September!  You know what that means; it’s fashion season.  I’ve spoke of this lovely time of year before in my post – Hello, September. Wow, I’ve come a long way since my days of watching the shows online and looking up NY street style on Instagram.  Can I get a hallelujah?!  Today I would like to share with you my experience at Jeffrey Fashion Cares, which took place only a few days ago.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares is the premier fashion event of the season here in Atlanta.  This was their 26th anniversary of the runway show to benefit the Atlanta AIDS Fund, which funds HIV/AIDS projects in the metropolitan area, and Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta which provides grants to grassroots organizations fighting breast cancer. The total amount raised is still being calculated, but this year is predicted to be the most successful yet.  Congratulations to Jeffrey Kalinsky and the event co-chairs Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy, and Louise Sams for putting on such a memorable (and noble) event.  And a shout-out to Caren West PR for their services in this event as well as their collaboration to provide you this story.

So, let’s talk about the fashion.  If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know that the current trends are a beautiful mix of many decades.  Styles have been revived from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.  Plaid tailored suits reminiscent of Cher Horowitz are back (I may have one on deck for NYFW next weekend- stay tuned!).  ’90s “mom jeans”, shoulder pads, and neon psychedelic prints from the ’70s are everywhere.

So what did I wear? A 1920s inspired hand-beaded dress from my favorite store in San Francisco, Decades of Fashion.  I wrote more about this store in this post.

 

The looks displayed on the runway at Jeffrey Fashion Cares were curated by Jeffrey Kalinsky.  He pulled selections from top designers including Celine, Dior, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, and Manolo Blahnik.  It was a wonderful display of all the best trends this year has to offer, by of course some of the most popular design houses in the world.

Caren West PR was kind enough to send me Jeffrey’s Fall Trend Report, which I am happy to share with you:

Jeffrey Kalinsky’s Fall Trend Forecast: 

If there is one bold font message from the Fall 2018 shows, it’s that fashion is forever changing. In a world where bothmenswear and womenswear are being presented together, brands are evolving from the notion of seasonal collections.

If we had to choose one word to describe the season, it is #EMPOWERMENT. The expression of femininity came in many differentshapes and sizes. From sharp shoulder outerwear, to an array of shine and iridescent colors, Fall 18 was anything but safe.  

Other notable trends we noticed on the runways:

Sparkle: Traditional sequins just don’t cut it! Your favorite knits, dresses, and coats have been transformed into exploded novelty items. The whirl of paillettes storming down the runway was hard to miss and the most shimmering jumpsuits were sent down the cat walk.

Oversize:
  Enormous fashion, anyone? Don’t be afraid to layer up with 2-in-1 pieces or oversized strong shoulder outerwear reminiscent of the 80’s. Designers are delivering exciting collaborations with this trend. 

Sports: Go team go! Many designers took to the sports culture, each creating their own athletic inspired merchandise.

Neon:  Not afraid of color! Fall 2018 brings you iridescent dresses that can be seen from a mile away.  On the runway, there were eye-popping neons (pink, green, and orange) in every type of fabric imaginable, including florescent infused knits.

Plaid: Plaid looked richer than ever this season. We saw perfect tailoring to strong outerwear, all featuring plaid or plaid prints.

 

Next year, look here to purchase tickets to this event.  In the mean time, you can shop the newest Fall trends at Jeffrey at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta.  And as always, I will continue to post my favorite looks here, inspired by these designers, in a range of affordable prices.  Follow me on Instagram for more on NYFW street style.  I will be arriving next Friday and cannot wait to show you what I’ve picked… as well as what street styles await.  Cheers!

 

Images by Ben Rose Photography

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