By the Sea

Channeling the breezy ambience of the Mediterranean, Atlanta restaurateur Tal Baum introduces her latest eatery CARMEL 

Already familiar with the ins and outs of Atlanta’s bustling food scene, Tal Baum, founder of Oliva Restaurant Group, unveiled her seaside-inspired restaurant, Carmel, to Buckhead Village earlier this year. “Every one of my restaurants draws inspiration from different parts of my life and travels,” says Baum. “Carmel is a reflection of my upbringing near the Mediterranean. When designing the menu and space, I was influenced by the flavors of the coast and the lively yet easy atmosphere where the land meets the sea in California and the Yucatan.”

The vision holds true in all aspects of the establishment—from the muted sandy hues to all of the dishes’ textures and garnishes. Described as bright, seasonal and ingredient-focused, Carmel’s menu, curated by Baum and executive chef Luis Guevara Salgado, boasts an array of seafood items. Some favorites include their ceviche roasted octopus, whole snapper and lobster cannelloni. The menu also features other proteins, such as an Australian Wagyu steak and roasted chicken, plus plenty of fresh vegetables and salads for sides. “Rather than focusing on one coast or source of inspiration, Carmel’s menu is a convergence of flavors, drawing from different shores of the world while prioritizing local and seasonal ingredients,” says Baum.

Designed in collaboration with Smith Hanes Studio, Baum, who studied architecture before entering the restaurant industry, strived to create a breezy backdrop for guests to enjoy their fare. Think plaster walls, woven rattan accents and large windows that open on cool fall evenings. “Like our other restaurants, the design is a celebration of local Atlanta artisans, with custom fiber installations by Sonya Yong James, hand-applied plaster by Super Delicious Plaster + Murals and exquisite upholstery and millwork items by local fabricators Hancock Surface Studio, Onemost Studio and Bjork Studio,” says Baum.

And with tasteful menu items and a stylish interior to match, the entire experience mimics a coastal getaway—precisely what Baum envisioned. Her final note: “From the food and drinks to the atmosphere, we hope guests can escape daily life and feel as if they’re dining by the sea.”