Your Holiday Solution: Alice + Olivia Trunk Show

20 Nov
Alice Olivia trunk show

Image via Tootsies

We’ve all experienced that what-to-wear panic…there’s an event coming, we’ve known about it for weeks, and yet we’re still frantically crawling the mall at the last minute looking for something to wear. Because nothing in the closet looks “right.” But neither does anything on the racks. This time, it’s because the holidays are here, and we’re not the only ones who need something for a holiday party.

Fret no more.

Tootsies is hosting an Alice + Olivia trunk show. If you’re not already familiar, you may need the full disclosure that we’re kind of fans here. But truly, Stacey Bendet’s dresses are the ultimate effortless chic. Statement dresses that don’t scream “look at me, I’m a statement dress!” Mostly because of flattering cuts and subtly glamorous materials.

Stop by Tootsies at the Shops Around Lenox Nov 21-23 during regular business hours to shop the hottest holiday dresses, and find something that suits you. (And avoid the overcrowded mall entirely.) Because you already have enough stress in your life.

Now, what to do for New Year’s…

-Alice + Olivia Trunk Show at Tootsies. 3400 Around Lenox Dr. November 21-23.

Pop-Up Shopping: Indie Craft Experience

13 Nov
Image via ice-atlanta.com

Image via ice-atlanta.com

Don’t you wish someone would make a brick-and-mortar Etsy-style store that has great holiday gifts for everyone? On Friday, your wish comes true: the Indie Craft Experience is popping up in Candler Park from Nov. 15-Dec. 30, giving you items from more than 50 vendors to fill your holiday wish list. Think: jewelry, home goods, art, paper goods, bath and beauty, food and even goodies for pets (.

Stop by for the launch party between 7-9pm on Friday and get a bag ‘o swag if you’re one of the first 100 people in the door.

Too Damn Cute: Starbucks x Alice + Olivia

6 Nov
image

Image via Starbucks

There is a soft spot in our hearts for Alice + Olivia–Stacey Bendet’s designs are fun and sexy in an effortless way every season.

This holiday season, she’s teamed up with Starbucks to offer cute gifts for the season, a teddy bear and a matching tumbler. Retailing from $20-$40, this just may make us reconsider our love for Dunkin.

Now Open: Zeal Restaurant

30 Oct

Last week, Zeal Restaurant opened in Marietta, in an inconspicuous shopping center on Johnson Ferry that also houses Red Sky Tapas, Aurelio’s Pizza, Bagelicious, Ali’s Cookies, and other fantastic, I-can’t-believe-this-is-in-Marietta restaurants. Zeal takes the place of Empress of China II, which shuttered this past May.

Oooh, look at the fancy glasses.

Oooh, look at the fancy glasses.

The menu features farm-to-table fare from executive chef Eric Mulville–items like ribeye, jumbo shrimp, scallops, catfish and more. The bar boasts a wide selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles, including selections from local breweries like Wild Heaven, Sweetwater and Terrapin. The ambiance is a kind of “squeaky-clean rustic” look, but when it comes to eateries, squeaky-clean is always a bonus. Overall, the restaurant has a feel that is sort of reminiscent of nearby-neighbor Seed, but based on the popularity of Seed it seems like there can be more than one. The menu is supposedly “designed for sharing,” although we’ll see how that goes over time. (Sharing is caring, but touch my steak and I will cut you.) Also impressive: the comfy couches in the lounge area and large patios (which may be less impressive when the temperature isn’t 70 degrees).

Fried grits. Yes.

Fried grits. Yes.

Consumed and enjoyed: goat cheese grit fritters, ribeye with blue cheese grits, grilled catfish and strawberry cheesecake. The steak wasn’t the best ever, but it was still good. The cheesecake was surprisingly creamy.

Mine.

Mine.

Verdict: worth the trip OTP, if only for something slightly different because you’ve already tried all the other farm-to-table joints ITP.

This cheesecake is legit.

This cheesecake is legit.

Representin’ : Kellie Thorn of Empire State South Is Off (Again) to Show the World the South Knows How to Drink

3 Sep
Kellie Thorn and her winning cocktail. Image courtesy Bombay Sapphire.

Kellie Thorn and her winning cocktail. Image courtesy Bombay Sapphire.

Although a true local won’t be shocked at the news, Empire State South‘s own Kellie Thorn won Most Imaginative Bartender at Bombay Sapphire gin’s regional competition, and will advance to the next round in Las Vegas on September 8.  Will the world finally recognize the superiority of the Southern cocktail? Probably not. But here’s her winning recipe to sip on while smugly knowing the truth:

Pickfair’s Garden
1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire
1 oz citrus juice (mix of lemon and grapefruit juice)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz spiced sugar syrup (juniper, coriander, bayleaf)
4 drops Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Carrot Foam

For the Cocktail Base:
Combine all ingredients, except for the bitters and foam, with ice and shake. Fine strain into a coupe. Add Cardamom bitters”,” and carefully top with carrot foam.  Garnish with candied carrot “twist” and sprig of carrot top

Bonus knowledge: This isn’t even the first competition she’s won.

Thanks to Bombay Sapphire for sharing the recipe.

It’s About Time: A Look At the New Sun Dial

23 Aug
sun dial

Inside the Sun Dial

If you’ve been writing off the Sun Dial as an overpriced tourist trap, it’s time you took another look at the rotating dinner-with-a-view. After a $3-million makeover, the shiny new spot is dressed to impress. We visited on a cloudy, rainy Friday night–turns out, when you’re a local who’s not desperate to see all the sites, literally eating in the middle of the clouds is kind of cool and eerie.

sun dial
The cocktail menu got a shake-up. There’s a lot of fun, fruity flavors; a white chocolate mudslide that seemed popular; and bartenders who also know how to make a decent standard Manhattan.

sun dial drinks

Pre-dinner: caramel apple martini. Post-dinner: mint chocolate almost-a-milkshake

Tested and approved menu items: bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, duck a l’orange, low country boil, magnolia buttermilk tart, and a candied-bacon-chocolate-pistachio-shortbread-caramel concoction of joy.

bacon wrapped shrimip

Bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, pickled peaches, and peach bbq sauce

duck

Duck l’orange

magnolia tart

Magnolia buttermilk tart

bacon

Seriously, bacon.

If you’ve never had chocolate and bacon together, you’re failing at life.

Honestly, the Sun Dial isn’t going to change the way you think about food, but where previously patrons seemed to pay for a great view and decent food, it now seems more balanced. Don’t cancel your reservations on a cloudy day, and don’t forget–this is an awesomely festive view around the holidays for those who want to see all the lights in Atlanta without having to drive.

Con: not sure if they’re trying to dump the tourist vibe, but the bar area previously had signs on the walls telling directions and a general idea of what’s currently in view (ie, “Stone Mountain” or “Buckhead”), those signs were sadly missing. Kind of sad for people who don’t know the local geography.

Get Out: Erica Domesek of ‘PS I Made This’ at Saks

12 Mar

If you’ve ever wished to be as creative as the guru behind hit blog PS – I Made This, you can at least have the opportunity to pick her brain at Saks Fifth Avenue this Wednesday. She’ll even help you make a piece of your own jewelry using Swarovski crystals, just in time for prom/wedding season. Where was this kind of budget-friendly stuff when we needed it?!

Stop by the dresses section upstairs between 4 and 7pm on March 14.

Ch-ch-changes: Perimeter Mall Edition

29 Feb

Via tonetoatl.com

Much kudos to Eli Zandman at Tomorrow’s News Today – Atlanta for specifically tipping us off via Twitter about the new stores slated for Perimeter Mall: Madewell and Sperry Top Sider. When Bloomingdale’s announced it was pulling out of the iconic mall and would be replaced by a Von Maur, we got a little worried about the fate of the shopping mecca. But the expansion of J. Crew’s sister brand is exciting (although perhaps it would do better at North Point?) and Sperry Top Sider’s new store promises to offer more than those famous boat shoes that are currently making a huge comeback, including a variety of accessories like scarves, bags, hosiery, belts, eyewear and more.

But remember: it’s a sin to wear socks with Top Siders.

Coming Soon: DVF for Gap Kids

28 Feb

Time to get jealous: Diane von Furstenberg is creating a lower-priced line for the Gap…Kids. A bummer to anyone over 14 and childless, the collection is slated to launch on March 15 at Gap Kids stores and online, featuring DVF’s famous bright prints, colors and wrap dresses for babies, toddlers and kids. Much like the Stella McCartney collection two years ago, we expect this will 1) fly off the shelves, and 2) you will see a lot of petite and slender women trying to squeeze into them in the dressing rooms.

Images via dailymail.co.uk

Ch-ch-changes: North Point Mall Edition

27 Feb

Image via North Point Mall's Facebook page

Despite the economic climate, North Point Mall continues to expand and grow. First, Von Maur opened in the almost-abandoned Dillard’s wing. Now, there is talk of converting the old Parisian space into a movie theater. Rainbow, a low-priced clothing spot aimed at teenagers, has announced a new spot. And finally, Lego and Michael Kors have announced new stores in the works for this suburban mall.

It seems that the new changes are a bit at odds with each other–while a movie theater is likely to draw loitering teenagers (who already spend time at the mall with mom and dad’s money), a Lego store will appeal to the younger crowd (and tie in with the Discovery Center opening at Phipps later this year) and Michael Kors definitely appeals to the adult women (and tie in with the “Collection” store slated to open at Phipps later this year).

Kors is striving for the “affordable luxury” success of Coach, and even Gucci, who have lowered some of their price points in the past decade to attract new consumers who are willing to splurge on a piece or two that are within their financial reach. However, as North Point seems to strive towards a more family-oriented and budget-friendly scene, will Michael Kors fit the landscape? With an American Girl store, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and now a Lego store to lure in the elementary-aged kids–plus a Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, Torrid, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle, Delia’s, Rainbow and a movie theater to appeal to the teenagers–will the more luxury spots like Kors and Coach be able to draw in the crowds like before? Read: will parents and young professionals still want to shop at this mall (and will parents still have money left to actually spend)?

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