Two Much Anticipated Wood-fired Restaurants this Summer in Atlanta

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

The Deer and the Dove 

One year ago this month Cakes and Ale shuttered its doors to the sorrow of adoring fans. Who could possibly fill such a celebrated space? Wrecking Bar partner and Executive Chef Terry Koval saw those great bones in the heart of Decatur and dug in with heart and soul. Next week he opens The Deer and the Dove and adjoining B-Side with partner George Frangos, co-owner of Farm Burger. The restaurant will serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday and eventually weekend brunch. B-Side will serve breakfast and lunch items from 8 am to 3 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. In late summer it transforms to a bar in the evenings with a curated menu of small plates, natural wines, beer, and cocktails.  

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

The cornerstone of Koval’s kitchen is a wood burning oven and grill. His menu is rustic, ever changing, and deeply rooted in the seasons. He sources proteins and produce from local purveyors including Wrecking Bar’s farm, Wrecking Barn Farm in Loganville, GA. There will be full sized entrees, but the menu is focused on smaller plates and shareable platters of fresh vegetables, cheese, and chef cured charcuterie. Small plates examples include strawberry lacquered quail with red peas and beef tartare. For larger entrees, consider whole roasted Bramblett Farm trout with kale florets and green coriander cream; sweetbreads with nasturtium powder; and bone-in dry aged ribeye with house made anchovy and green onion relish and beef fat potatoes. His D and D grilled burger includes thyme aioli, chanterelles, Gouda and truffle cheese, crispy shallots, and salted egg yolks on a brioche bun.  

The oven also churns out wood fired bagels for the café. It will become known for the Everything Veggie Bagel, which is topped with a special Beautiful Briny Sea salt blend. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are made from bread baked in house as well. Miranda Vick (Empire State South) heads the pastry program. Evan Crdes (Cast iron) serves as Chef de Cuisine.  

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

Photo Courtesy of The Deer and the Dove

Like the menu, the space is similarly modern but rustic. The exterior has a fresh coat of grey paint with bright pops of goldenrod. The rectangular bar is topped in marble. The dining room has been opened. Hunting trophies from Koval’s father adorn walls as does a mural painted by menu artist Dozfy. B-Side has hunter green walls and exposed brick. A passageway connecting the two will have memorabilia from Koval’s days as a skateboarder. “It’s rad,” he fittingly told us. 

The Deer and The Dove, 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-254-4792, deerdove.com.

 

Aziza 

Tal Baum, owner of Ponce City Market’s Bellina Alimentari, opens a second restaurant later this month. Aziza is an ode to the architect/designer’s Israeli roots. She was born and raised in Haifa. She wants to bring the culture of the Middle East and its influences upon food to Atlanta diners—foods with roots in Persia, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Iran. The menu features a modern take of Israeli traditional cuisine inspired by local ingredients. 

The name means “happiness” in Arabic. This is exactly what the space joined with the menu invokes. There are indoor and outdoor spaces for the communal experience of sharing food underneath Marcel in Westside Provisions District. The open kitchen anchors the 3938 square foot space with a large wood-burning oven. Soft, natural colors and rounded edges and doorways make the space cozy. We can only imagine hot loaves of challah coming from the wood oven or perhaps Springer Mountain Farms chicken shawarma. Executive Chef Brandon Hughes (Bellina Alimentari, Aria) traveled to Israel to bring recipes, cooking techniques, and the flavors and spices to share with Atlanta diners. We can expect freshly made pita and even Kubaneh bread that has a crisp crust and soft, chewy interior. 

Next door, a neon sign beckons Instagram using to post photos perhaps holding fresh falafel. Falafel Nation is to-go only with pitas, falafel, vegetarian street food, and three types of hummus. Later this Fall Baum will open Rina, an Israeli diner, in Ford Factory Lots across from Ponce City Market. 

Aziza. 1198 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta. aziza-restaurant.com.

Heather Sinyard