Tal Baum, Founder of Atlanta’s Oliva Restaurant Group, announces she will open her sixth restaurant concept, Carmel, on Tuesday, May 16 at Buckhead Village. Inspired by the shores of California and the Yucatan Peninsula as well as Tal’s upbringing on the Mediterranean coast, the full-service restaurant and bar’s easy, coastal atmosphere will welcome guests to gather over lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, drinks, and pastries and coffee. The group is also behind the city’s restaurants Bellina Alimentari and Atrium at Ponce City Market, Aziza and Falafel Nation at Westside Provisions District and Rina on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.
The restaurant, named in honor of Tal’s daughter Carmel and her family home in Mount Carmel, Israel, will serve dishes that are bold, seasonal and ingredient-focused from Executive Chef Luis Guevara Salgado, who previously helmed the kitchen at Aziza and also grew up on the coast, in Acapulco, Mexico. Reflecting both Baum’s and Salgado’s takes on coastal cuisine, the lunch, dinner and brunch menus will celebrate the water with fresh fish and seafood as well as the land with unique cuts of meat and produce.
At lunch, guests can expect bowls, salads, coffee, dessert and more. Come dinner, the menu will feature small bites that shareable, produce-focused seconds, main dishes from the kitchen’s wood-burning hearth and a variety of sides. For Sunday brunch, guests can enjoy ceviche and tartare, and the likes of salads, toast, crab fritters, tostadas and a pastry basket made daily in house. Mains will include vegetable dishes with egg, a Grouper Torta, Shrimp with chorizo, pickled tomatillos & creamy polenta and more. Pastries and coffee will also be available throughout each day.
On the beverage side, the bar will reflect drinks and unique ingredients from coasts around the world. With a backbone of Latin American spirits, including sipping rums, organic mezcals and pisco, the cocktail menu is from Oliva Restaurant Group’s Beverage Director Demario Wallace and Carmel’s Bar Manager Baylee Hopings. The cocktail selection will also offer guests a zero-proof option for each drink utilizing non-alcoholic spirits.
The wine list, curated by Carmel’s Assistant General Manager & Wine Manager, David Chapman, will spotlight the Pacific Coast, with selects from Walla Walla, Washington down through the Bio Bio region in Chile. Guests will find many wines from producers prioritizing organic and sustainable farming, and be able to sip Old World wine from France and Italy.
At 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, a DJ will play in the bar until midnight. Guests will be able to nibble on bar snacks.
Leaning on her degree in architecture, Tal designed the dining room and bar in collaboration with Atlanta’s Smith Hanes Studio. With every restaurant, Tal seeks to create a space that transports guests to another place, where every element is intentionally planned to contribute to the overall culinary experience. Carmel evokes a feeling of easy, coastal living, featuring earthy, hand-textured plaster walls, woven rattan accents and warm-toned natural woods.
Located on Buckhead Village’s cobblestone street Bolling Way NE, the restaurant will welcome guests into an intimate bar room. The rattan-wrapped bar, amber-tiled barback, glowing drink rail and sculptural lighting evoke a world of cabanas and parts of the Mediterranean where handwoven basketry is commonplace. A massive wood-framed window opens the bar to patio tables on the sidewalk.
Beyond the bar, guests will walk through deep rounded thresholds to enter an expansive, 1,600-square-foot dining room. Three sculptural niches inspired by Mediterranean architecture provide romantic nooks for imbibing. Mossy green velvet banquettes, soft booths and leather armchairs complete the vibe.
The design is a celebration of local Atlanta artisans, with custom fiber installations by Sonya Yong James, hand-applied plaster by Super Delicious Walls and upholstery and millwork items crafted by local fabricators Hancock Surface Studio, Onemost Studio and Bjork Studio.
Carmel is located at 3009 Bolling Way NE., Atlanta, GA 30305. Hours of operation are: Lunch – Monday through Saturday 11am-4pm, Dinner – Nightly From 5pm, Sunday Brunch – 11am-3pm, Bar Snacks – Mid-afternoon daily and Late Night Friday & Saturday.