The latest restaurant from Top Chef judge and Empire State South and Five and Ten owner Hugh Acheson is now open at the Hyatt Centric hotel on the edge of Lenox Square in Buckhead. This time Acheson leans into his Canadian roots with Montreal-style steakhouse Mount Royal, named for the mountain in the city of Montreal.
Joining Acheson at Mount Royal and at the hotel’s rooftop bar Spaceman on the 15th floor, is baker Chris Wilkins, co-owner of Root Baking Co. and Pizza Jeans at Ponce City Market.
Located on the ground floor of the hotel, Mount Royal offers seating for 72 people between the dining room and bar. A patio seats around 30 people and includes a fire pit surrounded by a glass mosaic mural.
For those wondering what makes Mount Royal a Montreal-style steakhouse, think French-Canadian dishes served alongside prime rib and New York Strip, like a tourtière (meat pie with minced pork, veal or beef and potatoes), grilled Canadian lobster, and sides of sour pickles and Robuchon potatoes (the signature mashed potato creation of French chef Joël Robuchon.) There’s also a Montreal-style bagel service, a Lyonnaise salad, and latkes topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche served during breakfast.
Expect wines chosen by longtime Acheson counterpart sommelier Steven Grubbs as well as a selection of local beers and cocktails, such as the brandy and gin-based Vieux Montreal and the Big Easy Thrift made with Canadian whiskey, oloroso sherry, and smoked maple syrup.
“Mount Royal is an ode to where I’m from – Montreal and Ottawa – and that region of the world,” Acheson says of the menu. “It’s a steakhouse extensively, but offering really high-quality beef, and beautiful renditions of some of my favorite dishes, like a Portuguese chicken plate, split pea soup, and more.”
But Acheson doesn’t stray too far from the South or Southern food producers on the menu for Mount Royal. The chef says approximately 75 percent of the vegetables are sourced from local farms and many other ingredients come from Southern or local food purveyors, including the sorghum and flour.
“I’m known for cooking Southern food, but I’m quietly Canadian,” says Acheson. “Mount Royal is not Southern, more focused on some Canadian influence, and it’s very technically driven.”
Located on the 15th floor of the hotel, the much more casual indoor-outdoor lounge Spaceman will offer cocktails and beer on tap paired with chicken wings, a hot dog topped with black truffle chow chow, and steamed snow crab legs when it opens in early January. The bar is currently open for private and special events only.
This isn’t Acheson’s first foray into hotel restaurants. In 2017, Acheson opened Achie’s at the Omni Hotel at Battery Atlanta near Truist Park, a Southern restaurant named for his grandfather also serving ballpark snacks. It closed less than a year later.
Then, in 2019, Acheson opened By George in downtown Atlanta, a decidedly French restaurant on the first floor of the former Central Bank and Trust building now home to the Candler Hotel.
Take a look at the menus for Mount Royal and Spaceman:
3301 Lenox Square Parkway, Atlanta. mtroyalatl.com.
Mount Royal open 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for coffee, drinks, snacks; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. Spaceman opening to the public in early January.
Public transit information: Within walking distance of Lenox MARTA train station and accessible via MARTA bus 27.
Disclaimer: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here. It is highly advised people wear masks indoors or when in crowded situations, regardless of vaccination status, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.