Fans of Formula One racing, focaccia pizzas and pastas tossed in meaty sauces, and Italian seafood dishes will soon find it all under one lively roof, when Yeppa and Co. opens at Buckhead Village, Monday, February 27.
Named for an Italian verbal exclamation expressing joy and excitement, Yeppa and Co. takes over the former Biltong Bar space at the luxury retail complex, transforming 7,000-square-feet into a thumping, multi-faceted Italian restaurant dedicated to high-energy vibes, dishes from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and international sports. The area around Modena, Italy, in the region is known as “motor valley” — the birthplace of luxury car and motorcycle brands Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, and Ducati.
The main dining room revolves around a central U-shaped bar, the heart of the sprawling restaurant, where sports fans are meant to gather and sip cocktails and Italian beer and wine paired with antipasti and charcuterie and cheese plates. TVs are hidden within the furniture at the bar and the table seating surrounding it, only popping out during a big sporting event or by request. There’s a takeout area near the large patio offering focaccia pizzas, paninis, coffee, and juice to go. Dryver Bar, a separate Formula One-themed cocktail bar opening at the end of March, is accessed via the dining room through garage doors. The bar features its own drinks menu, an interactive racing experience, and a full-size replica Formula One car mounted to the ceiling.
To co-owners Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson (Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante, Storico Vino, Forza Storico), Yeppa and Co. is a “celebration of life” and of a friend and fellow restaurateur in Rimini, Italy, who often exclaimed “yeppa” when he was excited. It’s also a place for Gianni to spotlight his passion for professional car racing and Formula One through Dryver Bar.
But don’t call Yeppa and Co a sports bar, Gianni says. Those aforementioned TVs only appear when a major sporting event occurs or when requested specifically by diners. Yeppa and Co. is really just a place to “come and have fun” and to bring the food and “boisterous” nightlife of the northeastern coast of Italy to Atlanta, he says. Gianni and Peterson even purchased a villa at the Enio Ottaviani vineyard in Rimini to host culinary and motor racing tours and other social events through their company Yeppa Viaggi.
Expect dishes influenced by the city of Rimini along the Adriatic Sea at Yeppa and Co., including grilled skewers, fish imported from the region by Italian seafood company Ecopesce, paninis and piadina romagnola (Italian flatbread sandwich), and meaty pasta dishes, like lasagne alla bolognese and tortelli stuffed with meat, vegetables, and cheese. Peterson and Gianni worked with chefs from their restaurants in Atlanta and chefs throughout Emilia-Romagna to create a collaborative menu. They refer to Yeppa and Co. as a “chefless” restaurant, as there is no one chef overseeing the menu at any given time. Much of the kitchen training and fine tuning of dishes was done by Rimini chef Omar Casali.
Like the duo’s other Italian restaurants in Atlanta, look for cocktails and Italian wines and beers from the bar. The restaurant and central bar at Yeppa and Co. will open for lunch, all-day snacks, and dinner daily, with Dryver Bar opening in the evenings Tuesday through Saturday.
Yeppa and Co. opens daily for lunch, all-day food, and dinner. Dryver Bar opens in March: Tuesday - Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.. The bar opens on Sundays during Formula One season.
306 Buckhead Avenue, Atlanta. yeppaco.com.