Famous chef and restaurateur Scott Conant is opening an Italian steakhouse in Buckhead next month. The American takes over the space that once housed Southern Art, the restaurant owned by chef Art Smith at the InterContinental Hotel on Peachtree. Smith closed Southern Art and its Bourbon Bar cocktail lounge at the hotel last year.
The Americano marks the Southern debut of the Chopped judge, best known for his former Italian restaurants Scarpetta, L’Impero and Alto in New York, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. An Americano location opened two years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona. Conant currently owns Mora Italian in Phoenix and Cellaio Steak in the Catskills.
“Atlanta is known for its unique culture and character, vibrant energy and booming culinary scene, so choosing it as the next home for The Americano was a no-brainer,” Conant said in a press release. The chief adds that business and tourism in Buckhead have also been key factors in opening in the area.
Expect everything from prime steaks and wagyu beef, to pasta dishes, antipasti and Mediterranean seafood on the menu, accompanied by cocktails and a wine list rich with producers from Italy and the United States.
In addition to serving steak, pasta, and seafood in the evening, look for a cafe offering coffee and pastries in the morning that could take over the former Bourbon Bar space in the lobby hallway.
Described as “chic” with a “sleazy atmosphere” meant to complement the affluent neighborhood and its upscale shops and pricey restaurants, the Americano’s design plans call for a mix of tables and booths with a bar and lounge island and a large patio overlooking the street in the front. The café also includes a small front patio.
Eater contacted Conant for more details on the Americano.
Atlanta diners are often skeptical of celebrity chefs and hotel restaurants opening here, raising eyebrows among locals notoriously loyal to the city’s local restaurant groups, their neighborhood spot and ATL’s rambling independent restaurant scene.
The Clermont Hotel’s Tiny Lou’s was one of the hotel’s first restaurants to attract a more local clientele to the dining room when it opened in 2019 on Ponce de Leon Avenue just to the east from Ponce City Market.
More recent hotel restaurant openings have fared much better than many of their predecessors, catering to local crowds rather than just pandering to tourists and business travelers. This has been particularly beneficial over the past two years, when conventions and tourism in the city have been hit hard due to the pandemic, leaving surrounding hotels and restaurants struggling to fill rooms and tables.