Celebrity chef and restaurateur Scott Conant is opening an Italian steakhouse in Buckhead next month. The Americano takes over the space once home to Southern Art, the restaurant owned by chef Art Smith at the InterContinental Hotel on Peachtree. Smith closed Southern Art and its lobby cocktail lounge Bourbon Bar at the hotel last year.
The Americano marks the Southern debut for the Chopped judge, best known for his former Italian restaurants Scarpetta, L’Impero, and Alto in New York, Las Vegas, and Beverly Hills. A location of the Americano first 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 says in a press release. The chef adds that business and tourism in Buckhead were also deciding factors to open in the neighborhood.
Expect everything from prime steaks and wagyu beef to pasta dishes, antipasti, and Mediterranean seafood on the menu, paired with cocktails and a deep wine list leaning into producers from Italy and the U.S.
In addition to serving steaks, pasta, and seafood in the evenings, look for a cafe offering coffee and pastries in the morning, which could be taking over the former Bourbon Bar space across the hallway in the lobby.
Described as “chic” with a “moody atmosphere” meant to complement the wealthy neighborhood and its luxury retail shops and pricey restaurants, design plans for the Americano call for a mixture of table and booth seating with an island bar and lounge area and a large street-facing patio out front. The cafe also includes a small front patio.
Eater reached out to Conant for further details on the Americano.
Atlanta diners are often skeptical of celebrity chefs and hotel restaurants opening here, raising eyebrows among locals who are notoriously loyal to the city’s homegrown restaurant groups, their neighborhood spot, and ATL’s scrappy independent restaurant scene.
Tiny Lou’s at the Hotel Clermont was one of the first hotel restaurants to attract a more local clientele to the dining room when it opened in 2019 on Ponce de Leon Avenue, just east of Ponce City Market.
More recent hotel restaurant openings have fared far better than many of their predecessors, catering toward local crowds rather than simply pandering to tourists and business travelers. This has been especially beneficial over the last two years when conventions and tourism in the city took a major hit due to the pandemic, leaving hotels and surrounding restaurants struggling to fill rooms and tables.