Billing itself as "Atlanta's only full-time progressive comedy lounge", The Laughing Skull takes its standup seriously. Their philosophy can best be summed up by a musical analogy: "Most comedy clubs focus on playing Top 40, while we focus on playing Jazz," says the team. It seems this dedicated yet freewheeling approach appeals to the headliners themselves. Greg Proops diagnoses Laughing Skull audiences as "hip, smart and not jaded." Paul F. Tompkins shot his Comedy Central special here, and cult comedic heavyweights such as Garfunkle & Oates, Margaret Cho, and Marc Maron have all sent punchlines hurtling toward the 74 seats that fill this intimate venue. Though there's no food served during the shows, the 22x32-foot lounge sits at the back of The Vortex Bar & Grill, whose burgers have won multiple "Best of Atlanta Awards" since 1992 and been featured on TV's Man v. Food. Upon arriving at the restaurant's doorstep, comedy fans will know they've come to the right place: the entrance is the cackling mouth of a 20-foot high skull, which all patrons must pass through.
The sound of fire. The igniting exhalation before the steady breath of the flame sustains. The heat pulsing steadily outward from the steel grill—you feel it on your glowing face. But the chef looks cool. He’s a master, after all; a flat, metal spatula in one hand and an enormous, sharp knife in the other. Kani House’s teppanyaki tables are no strangers to the action of hibachi, where these chefs entertain their guests before plating seared steak and scallops alongside fresh, sautéed vegetables. The steady sushi masters may not share their compatriots’ outward exuberance, but their work is just as delicious. From behind their long bar, they assemble maki cylinders with tender cuts of fatty tuna and bright salmon, artfully arranging cuts of more than 50 specialty rolls in the shape of gentle caterpillars or fearsome members of the Japanese Diet. Bright bamboo panels and natural stone add to the vibrant ambiance, surrounding diners with dark-wood and nuanced accents that keep the focus on the beauty of excellent cuisine.
Windsong Sailing Academy blends the educational and the recreational aspects of sailing. It is a formula that has inspired lifelong passions in several former students. One student abandoned his corporate life to sail the Caribbean with his son, and another couple spent their retirement as the co-captains of an Island Packet 38 sailboat, boating past Miami, the Bahamas, and several countries recently acquired by Tom Hanks.
Over the course of Windsong?s 27 years of nautical adventures, Captain Dave Crumbley and his team have still sought to instill both knowledge and passion for the sport they love. With their educational courses, you?ll learn both theory and technique, and you can choose to take a program that can lead to certification with the American Sailing Association. For pure buoyant bliss, board one of Windsong?s themed outings on Lake Lanier, which have included a murder mystery, a Jamaican-music night, and a storytelling voyage.
Ron Haynes and his daughter, Jessie, have built a business from smiling faces. They don't snap yearbook photos or transform dentist gloves into balloon animals. Instead, they helm teeth-whitening shops that brighten smiles in 20 minutes, and since 2005, they have brightened over 50,000 smiles in 6 locations across 5 states.
Armed with Beaming White, an FDA-approved teeth-whitening system that pairs a peroxide-based gel with a UV-free LED light, their team of technicians helps clients brighten their choppers with an applicator pen. Cheek retractors expose the teeth so the gel and light reach every inch of enamel. Once the light unites with the gel, coffee, tea, and grass stains begin to vanish. Teeth continue to lighten after the treatment, achieving a color that's 3-5 shades whiter over the course of 24 hours. With proper care, results can last up to 12 months, or roughly the time it takes to adapt the phonebook into a comedic opera.
Hailing from opposite ends of the country, Chef McDowell from Los Angeles and local culinary guru Chef Raffi team up to craft their Mediterranean menu amid warm, golden hues and live weekend entertainment. Using regional ingredients in many of their dishes, the duo layers flavors to bring their guests a taste of the Mediterranean's signatures, including lamb, polenta, kebabs, and a variety of seafood. As belly dancers shimmy and sparkle between tables each Saturday evening, diners sip wines such as Chateau Ste. Michelle's cabernet sauvignon from the eatery's carefully compiled wine list while savoring a tapas plate of crispy, caramelized pork or an entree of baked, boneless roasted lamb. For special occasions or a simple get-together with friends, the restaurant's patio invites groups to partake in the indulgence of a hookah while relishing the open-air ambiance and cheshire grins of mischievous squirrels.
At Havana South Restaurant and Bar, a conga line of authentic Cuban entrees parades out of the kitchen, transporting diners to the Caribbean with dishes such as picadillo a la Cubana and ropa vieja in criolle sauce. The chef draws on his culinary experience to populate the menu with true Cuban cuisine.
Meanwhile, drink enthusiasts can marvel at servers using guava, mango, and passion fruit to brew up refreshing batches of house-made mojitos. The tropical flavor carries over to the eatery's decor as well. A life-size painting of palm trees and domino players on the beach may fool diners into thinking that they're dining on the coast, whereas crimson-hued walls compliment heated salsa nights that are speckled throughout the eatery?s event schedule. Spanish music constantly pours from the speakers, inspiring guests to get up and dance, a practice encouraged by the staff.