Another day, another Ponce City Market opening. This time it's Brezza Cucina, the Italian concept from celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman and executive chef Adam Evans. Brezza's opening service is tonight from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant will be closed Saturday and Sunday, but regular dinner hours — Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 pm., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. — will kick in next week.
Evans ran the kitchen at The Optimist, Ford Fry's Westside seafood house, and his previous experience includes Fry's JCT. Kitchen & Bar, Tom Colicchio's Craft in New York, and the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group in New Orleans. Considering his background it's no surprise Brezza's menu will feature a healthy amount of fish.
"Italian food and seafood, they go hand in hand," Evans said in a recent conversation with Eater Atlanta. "There's a lot of great Italian dishes that are seafood-based, so I'm having fun thinking about them in a different light. I've been really happy with what we've put out so far, as far as seafood goes."
The menu reaches beyond the sea. Entrees include chicken and salsa verde, roasted duckling, pork piccata al limone, and skirt steak. Pizzas and pasta are available, as well. To wash it all down, the bar offers an extensive wine list, beer, and cocktails. Evans said the cuisine will stick to traditional Italian simplicity.
"There's a real emphasis on the way you source it and what you're bringing in, you put a lot of time and energy into that," Evans said. "And then you execute it by simply technique. It's very simple, the flavor combinations. Most of the time, it's three different flavors. It's really impressive when you can cook a dinner that simple, and have it be incredible."
Brezza Cucina's design is spacious and airy — it's the largest restaurant at the development, located adjacent to Williams-Sonoma — with a dining room that seats 150 and room for 45 more in the bar area. First-come, first-served seating is available at a long bar overlooking the open kitchen, and reservations are available for regular tables. While only dinner is served initially, Evans will begin lunch and breakfast service in the near future.