Hidden Hometown Gems: Dunwoody & Sandy Springs

Written by Giannina Smith Bedford

Hammock’s Trading Company
A newcomer on the Northside scene, Hammock’s Trading Company Hammocks Trading Company
fills a hole for family-friendly dining in this part of Dunwoody. Opened in August 2012, the aqua building with green, coral and purple planters gives a lively first impression that is reinforced with the restaurant’s slogan: “Eat. Drink. Hang Out.” The festive mood continues inside the Mexican-tiled interior with ceilings strewn with hammocks, beckoning you to simply relax. But don’t be fooled by the unfussy atmosphere, because this place takes its food seriously. The menu of Southern coastal seafood meets Baja California cuisine highlights everything from beer-battered fish tacos to roasted quail with wilted greens and sweet potato dumplings. Some of the most popular dishes include the fish soup and seared sea scallops with wild mushroom risotto and melted leeks. The eatery also sells a ton of oysters prepared four different ways. Join in the lively happy hour by grabbing a table on the front deck below a multicolored umbrella and ordering a margarita or sangria pitcher. 7285 Roswell Road, Dunwoody, 770-395- 9592, hammockstradingcompany.com.

CalyRoad Creamery
When spring has you pining for greener pastures, CalyRoad Creamery offers a taste CalyRoad Creamery
of the countryside right here in metro Atlanta. Owner and Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese grad Robin Schick uses fresh, all-natural cow’s milk from an East Georgia dairy and regionally sourced goat curd to hand-craft incredible cheeses in the Sandy Springs facility. Relish a creamy, Camembert-style Way Point, Mediterranean feta, aged goat cheeses and more at the tasting table, and purchase some for later along with an array of regional gourmet food products. CalyRoad’s customizable gift baskets are great for a spring picnic. Look for the cheeses at farmers markets across the Northside this season, as well as on the menus at some of our favorite restaurants, like Muss & Turners in Smyrna and Roswell’s Little Alley Steak. 227 Hildebrand Drive NE, Sandy Springs, 678-773- 1629, calyroadcreamery.com.

Wine Xplorer

After five years of organizing wine tasting social events via Atlanta Wine Xplorer
Wine Meetup, Katt Martin was having trouble finding venues that allowed her clients to navigate the world of wine, so Martin set out to open her own space and bring an educational aspect to the events. In spring 2012, she opened Wine Xplorer. “Our concept is one of exploring and educating the consumer so that they can understand what’s going on in the confusing world of wine when they want to purchase a bottle,” Martin said. Martin hosts events in her nicely appointed digs in Dunwoody Plaza Shopping Center several times each month, where guests appreciate the opportunity to taste six to seven wines, yet do not get overburdened with too much detail. “Our goal is to engage, not overwhelm,” she said. “Our wine presenters provide a baseline education for the consumer, and guide them into choosing wines they will enjoy. We don’t inundate with technical data.” Like a neighborhood gathering, guests are asked to share a dish with others who attend certain Wine Xplorer events. Martin is finalizing plans for a wine club, which include the opportunity to sample and purchase wines from small-production wineries from all parts of the world. Wine Xplorer also offers private wine tastings for groups whose members want to expand their knowledge and their palates. 1402B Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody, 404-840-4657, wine-xplorer.com.

Spruill Gallery Gift Shop
Supporting local artists is easy when you visit the Spruill Gallery Gift Spruill Gallery
Shop. Tucked into an 1840s historic home-turned-gallery with funky wheelbarrow planter yard décor, the gift shop on Ashford Dunwoody Road showcases a variety of unique wares, the majority of which are crafted by the artistic minds of our hometown. Stroll the rooms of this renovated Southern folk-style structure, where giggle-inducing signs like “Stressed is desserts spelled backwards” only add to the fun of browsing the ceramics, pottery and generous assortment of handcrafted jewelry from local crafters like Amy Gresens of element47. This uncharacteristic shopping stop is sure to result in some memorable gifts. 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 770-394-4019, spruillarts.org.

East 48th St. Market
Upon entering E. 48th Street Market, you are greeted with the Italian deli and market
wafting smells of freshly baked Italian breads, aged cheeses, meats and spices. The family- run Italian market in the Williamsburg of Dunwoody Shopping Center has been creating mouthwatering aromas since 1986, offering specialty Italian foods and prepared meals to take home.  Inside the simple white storefront, first generation Italians and owners Charlie and Anita Augello (along with their four children and larger extended family) retail products that run the gamut from antipasti and fresh pastas to traditional Italian cookies as well as a large collection of more than 140 Italian wines. Drawing from their upbringing in restaurants and deli/ bakery operations, the proprietors cook up traditional Tuscan, Piedmontese and Sicilian recipes that transport your taste buds across the ocean to the land of pasta and gelato. Settle in for an espresso and homemade cannoli at one of the cozy indoor tables, imagining you are in the kitchen of an Italian Nona (family pictures and all), or sit al fresco on the covered patio with a glass of wine and Charlie’s “Mozzarella in Acqua.” Just don’t come by on Sunday, as the shop is closed for the Augello family dinner, naturally.  Regardless of what brings you through the doors of E. 48th Street Market, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach or bags filled to the brim. Mouthwatering gift baskets, wine tastings and catering for special events are also available. 2462 Jett Ferry Road, Dunwoody, 770-392-1499, e48thstreetmarket.com.

Kudzu & Company
Hearing the name Kudzu Antique Market recalls the family-owned, Kudzu
25,000-square-foot warehouse in Decatur showcasing the goods of more than 100 Atlanta dealers. But did you know this established home décor stop with a more than 32-year history now has an outpost in Sandy Springs? Opened in November 2012 in the former Red Baron Antiques location on Roswell Road, Kudzu & Company is similar to its sister shop in size and scale. Mixing antiques, industrial and midcentury home décor with global trade, the eclectic store also boasts special-order sofas and custom furniture as well as a “Design Bar,” where homeowners and decorators can hold interior design court. Although currently the shop occupies 24,000 square feet, owners George and Kate Lawes are planning to expand to 45,000 square feet complete with a café, large group vintage market, living room upholstery area, art gallery and custom design
and decorator services. 6450 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs,
404-255-2548, kudzuantiques.com.

What better place for a shopping rendezvous than a little boutique Tryst
tucked into an inconspicuous shopping center corner? As business continues to pick up since its December 2012 opening, we bet the treasures hiding at Tryst won’t be kept secret for long. The shop is simply brimming with fun fashions, first-rate home décor and festive gift items you won’t find anywhere else. In fact, owner Jill Clow stocks her store with one-of-a-kind items collected from her worldly travels, like handmade boots from Turkey alongside merchandise from destinations like Australia and Colombia. There’s also jewelry by local designer Mona Lisa designs and colorful canvas paintings by local artist Debbie Corbo of Flashbox Studio. Check the website for details regarding Tryst’s Spring Fling, featuring new merchandise, wine and food this month. 2090 Dunwoody Club Drive, Dunwoody,
404-561-5884, houseaboutit.com.

Wright’s Gourmet
Photo courtesy of Joe Wong
Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a good ‘ole sandwich. When Wrights Gourmet
those cravings hit, Wright’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe awaits with a plethora of bread-hugged creations for your choosing. Located at The Shops of Dunwoody, the quaint family- owned eatery features a spacious covered patio that can be enjoyed in all seasons. To place your order, step up to the counter and select from the long list of fresh, made-to-order items. A few favorites include the Classic (turkey-pecan salad, avocado and bacon) and the Golden Gate (roast pork, bacon, Swiss cheese and peach chutney), each on your choice of bread, which is baked fresh daily along with Wright’s tasty cakes. The classic Cuban sandwich is another great choice, served hot or cold on a Cuban roll. And before heading out, pick up some chicken tetrazzini or chicken pot pie to take home for dinner. 770-396-7060, 5482 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, wrightgourmetshoppe.com.