We travel the region looking for, among other things, the best new bars in the South. This one in Macon hits all the right notes for its sleek decor, tasty bar bites, and creative drinks.
Behind the Bar: Georgia native Virginia “Laney” Lane runs the bar program at Dovetail, a new restaurant that was the first to introduce creative cocktails to the reemerging town when it opened last fall. “I’ve always had an appreciation for a good cocktail,” she says. “The first drink I ever had with my dad was a Cask Strength Laphroaig. He said if I was going to drink, I was going to do it right.”
The Vibe: An upscale hideaway with a rustic edge, located right above the Macon institution (and Dovetail’s sister restaurant) The Rookery.
Bar Chatter: Patrons can’t help but comment on the kudu hanging above the bar. Co-owner Wes Griffith brought it back from a hunting trip to Africa. (Eat your heart out, Hemingway.)
First Round: Start with the Quarter Horse ($12), a twist on the 19th-century drink Horse’s Neck with a Kick. Laney adds lime juice and bitters to the
Second Round: Go for The Ugly ($12), a spicy margarita of sorts, with cilantro-and-chipotle-infused vodka, tequila, lime juice, and a sea salt-and-chipotle rim. Warning: It’s been known to make grown men tear up.
Best Bar Snack: The smoky-salty (read: thirst-inducing!) quail risotto ($14) features natural-rind Cheddar from Georgia’s Flat Creek Farm & Dairy, Benton’s country ham from Tennessee, and crispy quail from Greensboro’s Plantation Quail.
Tip Jar: After dinner on Saturdays, the crew screens classic movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the wine room while Laney mixes drinks themed to the films. The Baby Ruth ($12)—rum, milk, frozen Hershey’s as ice cubes, and a caramel-and-peanut rim—made during a showing of The Goonies, has become a staple.
Joke From a Bartender:“A neutron walks into a bar and says, ‘I’d like a beer; how much is it?’ The bartender says, ‘For you, no charge.” — Laney
Try It at Home
The Quarter Horse: Combine 1/4 cup bourbon, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, and, if desired, 1 1/2 tsp. simple syrup in a 12-oz. glass filled with ice. Top with 1/2 cup nonalcoholic ginger beer, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, and 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. Gently stir; serve immediately
543 Cherry Street; 478/238-4693