Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

April 2012 archive

Atlanta Jazz Festival

Southern hospitality and world class jazz…what could be sweeter! I think of the Atlanta Jazz Festival as the prelude to summer. The music is awesome and because it runs through Memorial Day Weekend, I associate it with longer days, more fun and vacation. It’s really a great excuse to get out of the house, meet some friends and explore some of the city’s hotspots.

Every day throughout the month of May there will be jazz performances in parks, clubs and venues around Atlanta as part of the festival. These “31 Days of Jazz” activities will include live jazz in Underground Atlanta, Martinis & IMAX at Fernbank Museum, Friday Jazz at the High, a concert series at Loews Atlanta Hotel, and Fiesta Atlanta in Centennial Olympic Park. Then the festival opens on Saturday, May 26 and runs through Monday, May 28. Memorial Day Weekend will be three full days of music in beautiful Piedmont Park. And it’s free!

Roy Ayers, renowned jazz composer and vibraphone player will be performing in Piedmont Park.

Y’all can bring your own picnic, or you can make it a culinary adventure and try the BBQ, Caribbean foods and more. They have a whole area of booths with art, clothing and jewelry so you can get a little shopping in, too.

Atlanta Jazz Festival was named one of the Top 10 Festivals for 2012. The festival attracts some of the best jazz musicians in the world. This year’s performance schedule includes jazz greats Roy Ayers, Cyrus Chestnut, Tito Puente Jr. & Orchestra, Robert Glasper Experiment, Russell Gunn, Edy Martinez, Johnny O’Neal, Ojeda Penn and Kathleen Bertrand. Newcomers include the Grace Kelly Quintet and Yolanda Rabun.

The 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. For more information, check out the ATL Jazz Festival’s website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Pretty Southern contributing culture and lifestyle reporter Karen Hatchett is a life-long southerner and resident of Smyrna, Georgia. She’s a Marketing & PR professional, arts & music lover, jewelry designer and casual gardener.[/author_info] [/author]

High’s Warhol Wraps Up

The High Museum of Art is now in the final weeks of its Picasso to Warhol exhibit. This is the first time the collection has been available in the Southeast featuring the work of fourteen impressionist artists. New York’s Museum of Modern Art was kind enough to send the pieces to Atlanta for a few months. Sadly, the work of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack & co. will be going home to MOMA on April 29. It’s not too late! Y’all can purchase tickets online plus there’s a fabulous (and free!) lecture on Warhol’s fascination with Cowboys and Indians coming up on April 28. For more information, check out The High’s website, like them on Facebook and follow them Twitter.

Editor’s Note: The High does have Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup can prints as part of the tour. Have any of y’all checked out the Picasso to Warhol exhibit? If so, please tell us about it in a comment below.

Spring Wedding Attire

Wedding season is here! Everyone loves a good party to celebrate two people in love. Although, it can get quite expensive. Between the gifts, gas to get there, and price of a hotel room if the wedding is out of town, the event can get costly for a guest. Which means there’s little money left in the budget for a pretty new dress to wear for the occasion.

Rent The Runway is here to help. Ladies, you have to join the club but it’s quick and free. After y’all fill in the basic info, you gain access to their fabulous closet of hundreds of dresses, jewelry, shoes and even handbags. They’ve got plenty of style options for any wedding for you to be the “best dressed guest.” Rent The Runway is so wallet friendly. The site offers a selection of 50 items under $50 and you order a can second dress for just an extra $25. RTR will even ship to your hotel so you won’t have to worry about packing your garments.

This Elie Tahari sheath retails for $298 and is yours for the whole weekend at $65

When selecting your dress, you have the option to choose a second size of the same dress for no extra cost. This is a great option for those of us girls teetering between sizes 4-6-8 depending on the kind of month we’ve had. There’s no need to be a model size 0 in order to use Rent The Runway.

Shipping is included and you’ll have the dress for four days. However, it’s only two days as those of us in the South as we have to account for one day of shipping the dress from Manhattan and another day to send it back. It’s still perfect for a weekend wedding. The dress arrives on Friday, the wedding is on Saturday, and you send it home on Sunday. Simple, stylish and cost-effective.

Keep up with Rent The Runway on their blog, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. Have any of y’all out there enjoyed a dress from Rent The Runway? If so, how’d it go?

Braves Sushi

Talk about doing the Tomahawk Chop! Our Atlanta Braves are back in action. RA Sushi is right there rooting for the home team by offering a signature sushi roll. The Midtown restaurant is bringing back the seasonal Tomahawk Chop Roll– an eight-piece spicy lobster roll with cucumber and avocado rolled in rice and seaweed, topped with fresh tuna tataki and red beet tempura bits, drizzled with wasabi aioli and served with a creamy tataki dipping sauce. Sounds tasty and wallet-friendly at only $12 for this novelty entree.

“The Tomahawk Chop Roll was made to represent the Braves logo,” says Andy Palermo, general manager of RA Sushi in Atlanta. “We wanted to incorporate the colors of the team as well by using the seared tuna on top of the roll for red and the sauce in a soy dish on the plate in blue. The roll has a little bit of spice to it, but the flavors are meant to be very clean and straightforward. It isn’t heavy and it tastes very fresh. This roll should be able to appeal to anyone who is looking for something different and loves the city of Atlanta!”

Now do the Tomahawk Chop with us, y’all! “Ohhhhh, Oh, Ohhhhh! Ohhh, Oh, Ohhhhh! Go Braves!”

RA Sushi is located in the 1010 Midtown building at 1080 Peachtree Street, Suite 8. For more information check out RA’s website, like RA on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or call 404-267-0114.

Mandy Betts contributed to this post.

Alpine Bakery and Trattoria

I have to agree with these sentiments from Sophia Bush: “Life is too short…I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.” The One Tree Hill was right on, especially after my visit to Alpine Bakery and Trattoria. Located in the historic Crabapple district of Alpharetta, this restaurant and bakery will make even the most disciplined dieter forget about Weight Watchers points plus counting carbs and calories to simply enjoy a delicious meal in great company.

I recently dined in the Trattoria, Alpine’s newest addition to their Bakery. My gastronomic journey began with a wonderful, fresh Caprese Salad. If you are a lover of cheese you must try their Burrata Mozzarella which is made specifically for Alpine.

Buratta is a type of fresh mozzarella that when translated means “buttered” in Italian. It is much creamier, richer, and decadent than traditional Buffalo Mozzarellas. Paired with a 12-year-aged balsamic vinegar and heirloom tomatoes, Alpine’s dish is perfection!

For dinner I ordered one of my favorite dishes: Veal Marsala. This is a dish I’ve had many times in different places but at Alpine the care and attention they put into selecting the perfect cuts of meat made the entrée anything but ordinary. All of the meats at Alpine are butchered and cut specifically for their dishes and after five months of testing and perfecting the proper cut for each dish I was able to taste the rewards of a fork tender, juicy, Veal Marsala.

While Alpine is known for their cakes, pastries, and authentic, Italian cookies their cuisine menu is equally as memorable. Other menu selections include Crab Cakes (made entirely of lump crab); Pappardelle Bolognese which highlights homemade egg noodles, fresh goat cheese and a hearty Bolognese sauce; plus a variety of traditional Italian dishes. If you have never been to Alpine you have more than likely tried their baked goods if you have visited any of the “diners” in the Atlanta Area. Their offering of 28 gourmet flavors ranging from White Chocolate Raspberry Mouse to “Million Dollar Cake” are sure to please. Marietta Diner, Landmark Diner, and various establishments from Downtown to far outside the Perimeter carry Alpine’s glorious cakes.

Don’t live in Atlanta? Well, Alpine also supplies baked goods to restaurant across the South. Alpine will also cater for any size gathering. Imagine trays of lasagna followed by a platter of treats and truffles. In addition to their impressive classic layer cakes with a traditional fresh cream icing, Alpine offers hard to find authentic Italian Cookies such as Pignoli. These pine nut covered clusters are the “Perfectly” Southern Italian version of a macaroon.

For more information on Alpine Bakery and Trattoria, check out Alpine’s website, like them on Facebook, and read follow them on Twitter.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Jennifer Eubanks is an Auburn Graduate raised on the golf courses of Augusta. Born to a Chinese mother and New Yorker father, Jennifer is Pretty “uniquely” Southern. She has an eye for style possessing all the grace and charms which only the Southland can offer.[/author_info] [/author]