Gigi’s Italian Kitchen is now re-opened in Candler Park, officially transforming from weekly pop-up to permanent restaurant in the former Gato space on McClendon Avenue.
Nicolas Stinson closed Gato in July — a restaurant responsible for fostering numerous pop-ups in its tiny kitchen for more than a decade — handing the keys over to Gigi’s chefs Eric Brooks and Jacob Armando. Stinson and his family are moving to New Mexico, where he hopes to open a new restaurant in the Sante Fe area.
Brooks and Armando, who have professional ties to Atlanta restaurants like Little Bear, Redbird, Bacchanalia, and Kimball House, began popping up for dinner at Gato last summer. The pair quickly found success with their Italian-American food pop-up, serving traditional red sauce dishes made with in-season produce and fresh-made pastas.
With tables draped in red checkered linens, punctuated by candlelight and flowers, the cozy, unfussy ambiance at Gigi’s also played a vital role in its success and remains firmly intact as the pop-up transitions to restaurant this week.
Expect everything from Murder Point oysters topped with cherry tomato granita and local greens tossed in Bordeaux vinaigrette to rigatoni fazool with cowpeas in place of cannellini beans and chicken marsala served with fresh focaccia on the menu. Dessert still features Gigi’s popular tiramisu, and a tight list of cocktails, wine, beer, and amaro round out the beverage list.
Brooks and Armando continue to carry on Gato’s legacy of hosting chefs in the kitchen, too, carving out at least one night a week in which a pop-up takes over the restaurant. This will likely include the return of Taiwanese-American food pop Mighty Hans for dinner on Wednesday or Thursday evenings when Gigi’s is closed.
Eater reached out to Brooks and Armando for more details on Gigi’s Italian Kitchen and Restaurant.
1660 McLendon Avenue, Atlanta. gigisitaliankitchenatl.com.
Sunday - Tuesday and Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Follow on Instagram for hours, menu, and weekly pop-up updates.