One of the many restaurants coming to Buckhead Atlanta, American Food and Beverage is set to open on November 14th—or at least by December 1st, executive chef Jeremy Miller says. Owned by Consilient Hospitality, the restaurant will be based on a sister location in Fort Worth, Texas, but Miller will be creating his own modern American menus and adapting the dishes to reflect local taste and ingredients. Options may include duck pot pie, and a riff on chicken and dumplings using braised chicken leg and gnocchi dumplings.
Miller, a Georgia native, began his career in fine dining, working at Seeger’s, Jean-Georges, and later, under Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. In Atlanta, he served as executive chef at Bluepointe, as well as STK. Now that he has a family, his lifestyle has changed and he’s looking forward to cooking “more approachable” food, he says.
Your background is in fine dining. Why’d you decide to work at a more casual restaurant?
When I first started cooking, I wanted to be in the most challenging kitchens I could find. Mentality was if I start there, everything else will be easy. While I respect and appreciate the cooking at the French laundry, I wanted to look at myself as a whole. I have more of a connection to the diner. I love to eat at Leon’s. I can bring my whole family there, and they use local farms. I connect better with this style of cooking.
Tell me about the concept.
American Food and Beverage is a place I could envision myself visiting with my family. It’s really honest cooking. The kitchen will be run as a fine-dining restaurant; we’re keeping that respect for the food. The kitchen will be centered on a wood-burning rotisserie from Texas. We’ll have nightly specials. I could see porchetta, lamb shoulder, and roasted chicken salad.
Wood-burning ovens seem to be the trend these days.
I was part of the opening of AF&B Fort Worth opening, and in recipe testing, we’d cook a steak in a pan, but when we tasted it in a wood-fired grill, it was just tastier. It added another dimension.
What menus items have you decided on?
It’s still in the works. We’ll have house-made Chorizo and Scotch Egg—a classic dish that we take to the next level with different flavors and a Mexican influence. We’ll probably use Grassroots Farm eggs. We coat it in masa mixed with seltzer for tempura. Then it’s dipped in panko and fried. It’s topped with chilies, lime juice, and cilantro. It almost tastes like a taco. We might do a Brunswick strew, maybe a vegetable broth-based soup since we’ll open in the winter. We have a turkey pastrami sandwich on Holeman & Finch bread for lunch. Everything is done in house—the chips, fries, condiments, and pickles. Dinner items will stay very seasonal.
What’s for brunch?
I want to work on a different style French toast, an omelet, and a frittata. We’ll have the American Breakfast—house-cured bacon, local eggs, hash browns, and toast, served with butter and jam. Everything on that plate is house-made or super locally sourced. We’ll have some health-conscious items like yogurt and granola with berries, and light refreshing salads, too.
What’s the plan for the bar program?
The majority of spirits, beer, and wines are all American. We source a lot of Texas wines in Fort Worth and have local beers on tap and by the bottle. I know they will take the same approach here with Georgia wines and such. I love to collaborate with the bar. In Fort Worth, we made a kombucha, and they did a drink with it for summer. I love to do barrel-aged cocktails and syrups. I used to own a soda company, and we’d make fermented ginger beer.
Who’s the lead mixologist?
We’re still looking for a bar manager right now. Chad Solomon and Christy [Pope], who opened Milk & Honey in New York, will create a craft cocktail menu and then hand it off.
What will the space look and feel like?
The dining room is open. It’s one long hall. The left side has a bar running down it. The vibe is very approachable, warm, high energy, but very minimalist. The floors are made of unfinished, reclaimed wood, and the chairs are handmade. It’s not going to be a fine-dining atmosphere. No one will be plating in the kitchen with tweezers. We want people to come in and have a good time. No gimmicks, but we want to wow them.