The name of Executive Chef Joey Riley’s eatery, Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub, celebrates both the restaurant’s colorful decor and its eclectic menu of global comfort food. Having given up a full scholarship to pursue his passion for cooking, Riley worked in some of Florida and Georgia’s top kitchens before traveling to Thailand, a trip whose influences can be seen in his menu—Thai-style beef jerky, chicken panang curry, and green-chili grits all make an appearance. The restaurant also features European classics, such as the dinner menu's chicken parmigiana and pork schnitzel. The brunch menu finds Mexican inspiration in the mahi tostado, complemented by bottomless mimosas that garnered praise from Jezebel magazine. No matter the meal, Chef Riley ensures that his clients eat responsibly; Riley has made a commitment to cooking with antibiotic- and hormone-free proteins, and produce from local farms. Wood-beamed ceilings and a huge brick archway set a rustic scene in the dining area, while studio lighting and hanging lamps lend a touch of modern. Bright yellow walls support colorful abstract paintings that call to mind the restaurant’s name, and long wooden tables support bottles of wine from a host of countries including Argentina, Italy, and Spain.
ATL Singles Club has taken the ancient art of courtship to the next level by offering a wide range of dating and matchmaking services. Singles can meet possible partners in a variety of ways that range from low-key singles mixers to scheduled dates organized through one of the on-staff dating experts. The company also hosts speed-dating events at popular restaurants, where daters can meet a handful of other singles while enjoying appetizers and drinks. All events are based on the premise that, in this fast-paced world, it's hard to meet someone, so ATL Singles Club strives to help people jump over the hurdles of traditional dating and get right to the part when sparks start to fly.
Pubcrawls.com arranges safe, lively walking treks to popular, bustling watering holes in dozens of cities across the United States and Canada. The jovial jaunts have earned ample press for shepherding revelers to multiple bars and clubs throughout the course of a day or evening. At each venue, bartenders regale participants with exclusive drink specials and conversations with sentient beer mugs. Many events are tailored around holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween, or costume-friendly themes such as Michael Jackson and superheroes.
There is always a lively spirit of creativity at The Sound Table, but it changes throughout the night. The upstairs dining room boasts a menu that "zigzags through global influences: Belgian-style frites, Oaxacan hanger steak with salsa verde, Chinese grilled ribs redolent of soy and chile," says Atlanta magazine, which placed restaurant on its list of the area's 50 Best Restaurants. However, the menu's capricious nature doesn't stop at the recipes, it also affects the availability. The selection changes frequently as the chefs incorporate new, seasonal ingredients. On the downstairs level, the bar is a bit more consistent, although still inventive. In addition to the international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix drinks that Creative Loafing Atlanta hailed as "some of the best cocktails in the city." These shaken and stirred concoctions are separated into categories that range from bright & dry to strong, rich & strange, and they occasionally feature nontraditional ingredients such as pine liqueur or garam masala. Although the food and drinks help keep spirits high, it's the live music that transforms the two stories of exposed brickwork, booths made of wooden slats, and soft industrial lighting into a lively neighborhood dwelling. Typically starting around 11 p.m., an ever-rotating lineup of DJs and bands performs throughout the week, energizing the crowds with anything from the raw, percussive fusion of African and Latin jazz-funk to globally-influenced psychedelic.
In spite of its name, Cellar 56 features more than 56 wines from grape-growing regions throughout the world. The emphasis is on accessibility, though; the bar helpfully sells a number of wines by the half glass, allowing guests to sample a variety of wines for a fraction of the price of a bottle. To make the selection even more accessible, reds and whites are divided into small groups by style. That means that tracking down anything from a crisp, grapefruit-tinged New Zealand sauvignon blanc to a spicy Italian primitivo is as simple as scanning the list. The seasonal food menu of tapas-style small plates demonstrates a similarly eclectic approach. Old-World flavors meet New World comfort in dishes such as the truffle-scented wild-mushroom finger sandwiches on toasted french baguettes. Guinness-braised short rib with whipped potatoes evokes memories of a home-cooked stew and the pan-seared salmon demonstrates a bit more refinement with its coriander-caper glaze. Cellar 56's main seating area seems more like a den than a dining room. Bottles fill the three racks that adorn one wall, presenting diners with a neatly arranged display of wines that stretches from the top of the booths to the ceiling. Dark wooden accents, earthen tiles, and warm lighting contribute to the inviting atmosphere at what CBS Atlanta called one of the Best Wine Bars in Atlanta in 2011.
When Wine Shoe owners Nora and Shannon Wiley started planning the shop's design, they wanted something that would blend their worldly travels with the historic culture of the surrounding Castleberry Hill neighborhood. The result was promptly recognized by Atlanta magazine, which compared Wine Shoe to a "private wine cellar in France stocked with wines from all over the world."
Today, the facility's floor-to-ceiling wine wall stands as a new challenge to rock climbers and as a stunning backdrop to an assortment of wine-related activities, including classes that drew more than 3,000 total students during 2011. Many of those students gathered around Wine Shoe's 12-foot rustic table, where, sitting beneath a glistening bronze and crystal chandelier, they paired sips with scrumptious hunks of education.
The shop carries more than 150 different wines, the majority of which come from small producers. It also keeps its door open to pooches, as Nora and Shannon's security dog, Beeren, is always looking for new buddies with whom to discuss the nuanced flavors of rawhide bones.