When I first met Doria Roberts (one half of the duo responsible for Atlanta eateries Urban Cannibals and Tipple & Rose Tea Apothecary I was most impressed by her calm, easy-going demeanor and sound understanding of the atmosphere she strives to create with her and her partner’s (Calavino Donati) establishments.
Urban Cannibals is an Atlanta sandwich staple, having started out with a location on Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta some 6 years ago. It’s since been moved to 5th street in Midtown where it will have access to a larger, more diverse demographic and will no doubt grow its current cult following. Tipple & Rose Tea Apothecary on the other hand, is a quaint, sweet, vintage-looking space located on North Highland in historic Virginia Highlands. In its own right, this unique teahouse is a special place, filled with tasty bites, endless loose leaf options and a range of soaps, creams and bath time accompaniments. But alas, this article isn’t about Urban Cannibals or Tipple & Rose; it’s about the couple’s newest culinary conquest – Madre & Mason.
Located off of Monroe on Dutch Valley Rd., this restaurant neighbors Atlanta craft brewery Orpheus (which they sell in house!), ONE Midtown Kitchen, Piedmont Park and conveniently backs up to the beltline for easy pedestrian access. These days, the Atlanta restaurant scene is buzzing with up-and-coming spots that boast interesting names. From King & Duke to Cooks & Soliders, 10th & Piedmont to 4th & Swift, it’s evident the ampersand is having its day.
That said, while many of those titles are questionably relevant to the restaurants themselves, I’m always curious about the reasoning behind the name. To my pleasant surprise, Madre & Mason comes, understandably, from the cultures that have molded the restaurant’s fare. “Madre” (“mother” in spanish) and “Mason” (as in “mason jars”) represent the eatery’s two predominant influences – Latin and southern cuisines.
With dishes that range from ancho espresso deviled eggs and chipotle pimento cheese to turkey poblano meatloaf and cumin lime buttermilk fried chicken, it’s clear to see how these two seemingly separate cuisines can exist very much in tandem. In fact, they thrive together. Some patrons are already calling it “A neighborhood gem.” and declaring, “Right off the Beltline, I am confident Madre + Mason is going to be an Atlanta institution soon.”
We were invited to check out the restaurant’s soft opening in September and while I missed out on the food (it apparently was all gobbled up in the first hour and a half!) I did indulge in a delicious margarita. Threaten me with a good time is what I say! Having the opportunity to meet Doria’s partner in life and crime (because it’s criminal how good they are at what they do) was a real treat. The way I see it, Calavino is the mastermind in the kitchen as head chef, while Doria masters the front of house experience. Together, they are a dynamic pair.
For the time being Madre & Mason is closed on Mondays but open at 5:30pm all other days of the week. Drop by for some latin-inspired dishes sure to satisfy any southerner at heart.
**Vegetarian and vegan options
**Available for catering