Doug Hines loves modern art, midcentury modern furniture and James Bond. All that and a whole lot more are packed into the Consulate, the eccentric, sub rosa sort of restaurant that Hines and partner, Mei Lin, opened in Midtown in June.
Leading a tour through the gallery-like space near the corner of West Peachtree and 10th streets, Hines points out furniture from Milo Baughman, Charles and Ray Eames and Karl Springer. The walls are covered with artwork by the likes of Radcliffe Bailey, Ilya Bolotowsky, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. And there’s a large canvas painted by Hines himself in the abstract expressionist style of Franz Kline.
Beyond all the art, design and pop culture, Hines and Lin, who also own the hip Honey Bubble tea shop in Poncey-Highland, had a very detailed concept in mind for the menu.
Dubbed “global tapas,” the food and drink creations from chef Tara Mayfield and beverage director Mike Jones feature small plates and signature cocktails, with a rotating focus on the cuisine of a particular country. Right now, it’s Brazil. Soon, it will shift to Denmark.
“We’re both native New Yorkers, and in Manhattan, you can have Polish, Russian, Caribbean, Chinese, Japanese, all in a one or two block radius,” Hines said. “We thought it would be really exciting to put that kind of diversity under one roof.
“The ‘resident’ side of the menu are things that we are going to offer our guests all the time. The ‘visa’ side will expire every three months and rotate to a new country of inspiration.”
Right now, that means Italian-style grilled octopus, Korean barbecue-spiced duck confit and Brazilian seafood stew are on the dinner menu with shepherd’s pie and a double stack burger. And at lunchtime, two “global dim sum” carts are pushed around the dining room.
The current cocktail list includes the Casino Royale, inspired by the classic James Bond favorite, the Vesper martini, and the Dr. No, which reimagines the tiki staple, the Mai Tai.
“The design of the space is very much influenced by the whole concept,” Hines said. “I wanted it to be a global kind of take on midcentury modern with touches of James Bond. We wanted to evoke that kind of international intrigue and global travel in the menu.
“And we wanted it to be fun and have some things that are tongue in cheek. The men’s restroom has a James Bond theme. And the old security cameras, which are actually functional, are very similar to the ones in ‘Goldfinger.’ ”
Though the bar and restaurant areas are plush with vintage seating and artistic tableaus, Hines insists he wants the Consulate to be a casual dining and drinking destination.
“We didn’t want a fine dining establishment,” he said. “We go out to eat a lot and we lean toward casual, comfortable places. Atlanta is a pretty casual city. People don’t wear suits and ties every day. So we wanted guests to feel comfortable and we wanted to be accessible every day to all the people in the condos and apartments in the neighborhood.”
10 10th St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-254-5760.
More images from a First Look at the Consulate.