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Bellina Alimentari to Open October 19 at Ponce City Market
Authentic Italian Gastronomic Experience Awaits at Market's Newest and Largest Tenant
ATLANTA (October 5, 2015) – Tal Postelnik Baum believes a busy day doesn’t mean having to compromise on the quality of the food you eat. That’s why the architect with a passion for making a difference in everyday life through food has created Bellina Alimentari, a unique Kitchen, Bar, Market and Culinary Club opening Oct. 19 in the Central Food Hall of Ponce City Market.
Dining options abound in the 4,000 square-foot space designed by Smith Hanes Studio. Inspired by the cafes and small shops of Northern Italy, the overall feel of Bellina Alimentari is warm and inviting, with an eclectic design and neutral tones to highlight the food. In fact, everything about Bellina Alimentari is designed around the Italian phrase "la vita è bontà," which means "food as a way of life." Baum and her team, including executive chef David Berry, general manager Jim Monast and creative director Alice Noel Fabi are focused on staying true to authentic Italian cuisine by offering delicious and affordable food.
“Chef Berry likes to say he was influenced by his Southern comfort food roots, but there’s clearly Italian in his soul,” Baum says. “The heady aromas of his sauces slow-simmering on the stove never fail to take me back to my years in Florence, Italy."
Some of Baum’s favorite menu items include maltagliati della sorellina (house-made maltagliati pasta with mushroom ragù and crispy chicken bites); seasonal vegetable dishes featured in the antipasti bar; and Francesina, a traditional Tuscan pulled beef and sweet onion stew, served over creamy polenta.
Diners can choose a freshly prepared meal in the Kitchen to take on-the-go or eat casually in the collective dining hall of Ponce City Market, or treat themselves to a more intimate meal in the Bar, a 14-seat full-service dining area where they’ll also be privy to a wide selection of Italian wine, beer and craft cocktails. The wine bar features custom barstools fashioned after a vintage stool from Milan.
Eager to please the cook-it-yourself crowd, Baum has builtin ample room for the Market, a gourmet destination filled with a diverse assortment of fresh pastas, the finest Italian imported products and locally sourced, made-for-Bellina Alimentari meats and cheeses.
“I’ve had a wonderful time reaching out to my contacts in Italy to order the best olive oils, tomato sauce, spreads and other items,” notes Italian-born Fabi. “This doesn’t feel like work; it’s more a labor of love.”
Fabi is also working with local companies like the Spotted Trotter to offer in-house meats and cheeses. “Beyond everyday and special occasion cooking, the Market is an ideal place to come find unique gifts for friends and family who love great food,” she says.
One example of the Market's unique gifts is an American ambrosia maple serving board, hand-crafted for Bellina Alimentari by Atlanta carpenter Koby Downs. Another local business Baum and her team supports is Mudfire, which developed signature ceramic plateware used in the Kitchen and Bar and sold in the Market.
In the Culinary Club, set off by an arched steel and glass enclosure, Bellina Alimentari offers a variety of workshops and cooking classes, in addition to hosting special events and private parties.“We want to create a community of like-minded people who share our passion for cooking,” Baum says. “Admittedly, I also hope to inspire people to learn just how easy it is to prepare fresh, healthy meals with simple ingredients.”
The classic palette created by Smith Hanes Studio features walnut wood tambour, marble counters, aged brass, hand-hammered metal and amber glass. The designers worked with some of Atlanta's best artisans to create the space, including a hand-patinated barfront by Tommy Taylor, forged chandeliers featuring metalwork by Andrew Crawford, hand blown glass lights by Janke Studios and a towering wine bar constructed by Wood Mill Lab.
Bellina Alimentari, which loosely translates to "lovely specialty food store," is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, in the Central Food Hall of Ponce City Market. For restaurant updates, follow Bellina Alimentari on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For additional information, visit bellina-alimentari.com or call 404-330-9933.