Italian-American restaurant Dirty Rascal is set to open in December on the ground floor of the new Hyatt-backed Thompson hotel at Buckhead Village. Led by chef Todd Ginsberg and the team behind Rye Restaurants group, expect to dine on everything from souped-up spaghetti and meatballs to king crab scampi paired with cocktails and wine.
Rye Restaurants, owned by Ginsberg, Jennifer and Ben Johnson, and Shelley Sweet, runs the General Muir, Fred’s Meat and Bread, Yalla, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, and TGM Bread. The group’s micro food hall the Canteen closed last May after three years in Midtown due to an unrecoverable loss of revenue and lack of rent relief stemming from the pandemic. West Egg Cafe, owned by the Johnsons and Sweet, is not part of Rye Restaurants.
Taking cues from old-school red sauce restaurants in New York and classic Italian joints found just off the strip in Las Vegas, Dirty Rascal promises to imbue swanky, mid-century vibes in the dining room and in the food served here. Design plans call for a large, marble-top bar with red leather wrapped around the front to be prominently featured in the dining room, along with round leather booths and other intimate seating nooks throughout the space.
Atlanta chef Joshua Hopkins has been named executive chef for the hotel and will lead daily operations in the kitchen at Dirty Rascal. Hopkins comes to the Thompson Hotel after serving as culinary director for Rye Restaurants and previously working at notable Atlanta restaurants like Empire State South, Bacchanalia, and Abattoir. In 2018, Hopkins partnered with Dennis Lange to open Italian restaurant Adalina at the Post Riverside apartment complex on Northside Parkway in northwest Atlanta. The restaurant has since closed.
Look for fresh-made pastas and other classic Italian-American comfort foods here, including rigatoni alla vodka, fettuccini alfredo, veal parmigiana, and osso bucco, along with some dishes prepared or finished table side. During breakfast, Dirty Rascal will feature an espresso bar, while lunch sees salads, soups, and sandwiches and some heartier mid-day entrees served.
“Many of us have grown up with this food, whether spaghetti and meatballs at home, or a night out with family at a neighborhood red-sauce restaurant,” Ginsberg says in a prepared statement. “We started doing a Sunday Night Spaghetti dinner every week at the General Muir years ago. People come every week just for that – spaghetti and meatballs in a Jewish deli.”
Ginsberg plans to pay tribute to his mother on the menu, who nicknamed the chef “dirty rascal” as a child, with a few homestyle Italian dishes, too.
In addition to Dirty Rascal, the 200-plus room Thompson hotel will also include a lobby cafe and bar and a rooftop pool with cabanas and a private club called Tesserae.
415 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta.