We're already learning where Atlanta chefs like to eat in our Go-To Guide. Let's also find out where our favorite bartenders love to drink (and eat) when they're off the clock, shall we? Welcome to the Boozin' Go-To Guide. Cheers!
Arianne Fielder at Article 14. [Photo: John Maley]
Blonde. Tattooed. Smart-as-hell. That's mixologist Arianne Fielder. With a degree from Georgia Tech and years of developing playful takes on classic cocktails at Southern Art, Seven Lamps, and most recently, Article 14, Fielder is one of the city's best. What began as a way to earn some extra cash in college led to a career she loves, and her Tech roots shine through in her clever use of tools like carbonated cocktail shakers and sous vide machines.
Her penchant for bourbon and American whiskey makes her a natural fit for the "manly" brown elixirs all stocked up at Article 14 (for now). Her favorite? A barrel-aged cocktail called Smoke and Mirrors (Four Roses Bourbon, Dolin Rouge, Cherry Heering, and Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters). She says, "It's sort of like sipping a Manhattan while smoking a cigar." Speaking of Manhattans, Fielder just won the Manhattan Experience bartender regional exhibition sponsored by Woodford Reserve and Esquire (she'll compete nationally in January). Bye-bye bartending "boys club." Here are the spots she recs for the ladies and the gents.
Han Il Kwan, off Buford Highway, open so late that I've never seen it closed. It's my favorite place for Korean BBQ and a cold glass of soju after doing my grocery shopping at Buford Highway Farmers Market.
Mr C's. I've been coming to this bar since I was in college at Georgia Tech. It's my favorite place to unwind after work, throw back a shot of Jameson and wash it down with a cold Monday Night Fu Man Brew. The bartenders are friendly and the crowd is always welcoming.
Happy hour bar/lounge:
Five Paces Inn. At the beginning of my bartending career, I worked at this Buckhead dive bar for over six years, and happy hour has still not changed a bit. The regulars sit in their same spots and order their same drinks, every day of the week. I love the people at this bar. It's like a home away from home for me.
Brunch (hungover vs. not):
Chicken and the Egg is my answer for both, because chances are if I'm out for brunch on a Sunday after a hard work weekend, I'm probably hungover! Being in the bar business does not offer me many opportunities to attend brunch, but since Chicken and the Egg is right around the corner from my house in Marietta and brunch runs until 3pm, this is my spot to have corned beef hash and bottomless mimosas on a Sunday. They also happen to have a great craft cocktail and beer list, which is rare for the suburbs.
Place for drinking and dining:
King + Duke. By far the best drinking and dining experiences I have had this year have been at King + Duke. I have cravings for chef Joe Schafer's bone marrow dish, and bartender Paige Lane always makes me the perfect cocktail to go along with it.
Bar where you're a regular:
Steamhouse Lounge. Any time I'm craving oysters (which is constant for me), I go to Steamhouse. I've been a regular there since they were in Buckhead. My regular order: couple dozen raw, cup of lobster bisque, a lobster roll and tater tots, and a bottle of Rolling Rock. The patio bar is the best in the city when the weather is nice.
Top three bars not mentioned above:
One Flew South. Deservingly named "best airport bar in the world," I will never fly anywhere without stopping through the international concourse for a drink with my favorite cocktail goddesses Tiffanie Barriere and Tokiwa Sears. Chef Duane Nutter's food is the perfect welcome home after a trip away, also. My favorite cocktail is Pretty Brown Eyes, made with Eagle Rare bourbon and a float of Malbec.
Prohibition. Located in the heart of the Buckhead bar district, but tucked away behind a red phone booth. My former head bartender [at Seven Lamps] Leo de Rivera is behind the stick here now, making delicious classic cocktails and carving ice in his hands! And they have an incredible selection of cigars, which they will happily pair with a scotch or bourbon.
Ormsby's. My favorite place to go for a good beer and good times with friends, usually after working an event in town. Bocce ball, pool, darts, shuffle board, there is so much to do here. I recommend it as the perfect, fun date spot.
Out-of-town fave (regional):
Bar No. 308 in Nashville. Bartenders Alexis Soler and Ben Clemons opened my idea of the perfect bar. It's got incredible original cocktails, carbonated cocktails, creative shooters, and craft food, but in a hip dive bar atmosphere.
Out-of-town fave (national):
The Erin Rose in New Orleans. It's a fun little Irish bar right off Bourbon Street, and my regular spot during Tales of the Cocktail. My first time at this bar, a few years ago, I had a piping hot Irish coffee with homemade whipped cream on top at 5 a.m. I was hooked ever since.
Out-of-the-whole-country fave (if you've got one):
The pool bar at the Hilton Caribe in Puerto Rico, the birth place of the piña colada, with really fun bartenders who mix me incredible rum cocktails after a long day of fishing.
Last but certainly not least, go-to cocktail order:
My favorite cocktail to drink in Atlanta is Greg Best's "Pink Shadow Cat," made with mezcal and fernet, but if I'm ordering a standard cocktail anywhere it's probably a boulevardier (the bourbon cousin of the Negroni).
Update: Arianne Fielder can now be found behind the bar at Parish.
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