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Friday, June 22, 2012

SOHO Atlanta Takes "Flight"

Voted "Best Wine Bar" by Atlanta Magazine in 2000, we had the pleasure of joining SOHOAtlanta for their wine flights and tapas pairings.  Each month, the Vining's restaurant explores wines from celebrated appellations and regions across the globe, and this June, the wines of California were featured. Each wine is paired with off-the-menu small plates created by Executive Chef Joe Ahn. The selections change weekly. If you cannot make it on Wednesday, the flight is available through the following Tuesday!  For more information about the wine flight nights: 770-801-0069. 

Our server Ian, took us on a journey of three California wines: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc '10, The Path Pinot Noir '11 & Floral Springs Merlot '09.
Wine Flight Trio @ SOHO Atlanta
Salmon Tapa

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc '10 (California):  Aged in stainless steel.  Easy drinking, refreshing. Notes of pink grapefruit, mango & sweet melon.

The Path Pinot Noir '11 (Sonoma): Aged 12 months in French Oak. Dark fruit aromas, mixed berry jams, cherry cola.
Floral Springs Merlot '09 (Napa): Aged 15 months in Oak. Easy drinking Merlot. Hints of strawberry  & cherry, spice.

Also, SOHO, referred to by locals as the “Cheers of Vinings,” is celebrating their 15th anniversary this September. In 1997, Frank Smith along with two former college roommates created SOHO, which they envisioned would be a timeless neighborhood gathering spot in the burgeoning landscape of Vinings Jubilee. Yet after serving as SOHO’s managing partner for 10 years, he longed to be at the forefront of a “mom and pop” restaurant. In 2008, Frank and his wife Susan obtained full control of SOHO and ever since, live every moment grateful for the opportunity to grasp their dream. Currently, SOHO has a total of 60 wines by the glass available! SOHO Atlanta is located at 4300 Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta 30339.

We want to thank President/Founder of Crafted by Jill, Jill Caramella, along with Frank Smith, Executive Chef Joe Ahn and our server Ian for a wonderful and memorable evening.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The 3 P's of M&T's

It starts with People: People matter most. Then Passion: Passion pleases. Finally Priority. Local is our Priority.

"Seasonal makes sense. Authenticity Rules.  Quality Governs. Delicious Trumps. Pretense Sucks. Comfort Feels Good. Appreciation Tastes Better. Prudence Sustains It All."

Mussman, Turner and Hall
A huge gamble paid off in 2005 with the collaborative efforts of Todd Mussman, Ryan Turner and Chris Hall. The "3" at Muss & Turner's and Local Three compare themselves to a "3-Legged Stool." Think about it... 1:) High quality food,  2:) great hospitality, and 3:) a clean atmosphere.  One cannot balance without the other. Just like a "three-legged stool," if you take one leg away... you fall!! On February 8, 2005 Mussman and Turner opened as a deli, retail gourmet, and wine and beer shop. By January 2006, M&T's had expanded to a full service bistro with wine and beer service. In 2010, Chris Hall joined the team and they eventually opened "Local Three Kitchen and Bar" in West Buckhead.

Chris Tally
Courtesy: Marnie Williams
The three owners are locals, residents in the surrounding area of Smyrna/Vinings. I was told that the reason for the location of M&T's and Local Three was to be a part of the local community. The partners are "better as three than as one." As you can see from the photo above, the restaurant is a true measure of their combined personalities and it shows in the food served.  "There is a great balance between all three of us.  This is a family business," says Mussman. "We want to throw a dinner party every night!  We support the 'insiders' - we care and we are accessible. We wanted to establish a casual-come as you are atmosphere."

Photo Credit: Gregory Williams
"We put people together and the vehicle is the food," says Hall.

"Eleanor's" Speakeasy" 
Eleanor Seale
Courtesy: Muss & Turners
Inside Eleanor's Speak Easy
It all started for her on February 9, 2005 when she was hired as a server for M&T's. Eleanor Seale, from New York City, moved to Georgia in 1972.  Over the years with M&T's, she moved from the culinary world to the business side of the industry. "I have been with Muss & Turners since day one!" Seale says. And then one day in 2012, "I was called into a meeting under a 'canned spotlight' and I said to myself... what the hell did I do now?"  Eleanor went on to tell me that Todd, Ryan and Chris were trying to explain to her the name of Muss & Tuners' new expansion; which they wanted to name Eleanor's in her honor. "It did not click at first and then it dawned on me what they were all telling me and it was a very moving moment."

"Eleanor is the fabric that holds it all together for us," says the three partners.
Behind The Freezer Door

  • look for the freezer door
  • not exclusive, just different and cool
  • lose track of time, relax, & hang out at the bar
  • the casual new ride at the amusement park
  • G&H recommends the Aged Daiquiri
While I was interviewing Eleanor, she was surrounded by a group of ladies who invited me to sit down and join them. They poured me a glass of wine and told me that they come to Muss & Turner's every Friday night.  "None of us knew each other before this establishment.  We all met each other here years ago and this has been our tradition every Friday," the women told me.
"(Ryan's) heart is why we came together and without him and this place, we would have never met and formed bonds like this!"

As I sat there and listened to all the women speak so highly of this local establishment, I began to realize that this is so much more than just a place to eat... Muss & Turner's is a place that forges friendships among their customers and staff.  
Tim and I want to thank Ryan Turner, Todd Mussman, Chris Hall and a special thank you to Eleanor Seale for speaking with us and taking that gamble in 2005 that has changed so many lives with People, Passion and Priorities.


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