There have been a lot of rumors about what to expect from 8ARM, Angus Brown and the Nhan Le’s new restaurant at 710 Ponce de Leon Ave. First, it was thought to be a coffee shop; then a breakfast-and-lunch spot. But Brown himself now says it’s a full-service restaurant with a straightforward menu focused on Japanese-style simplicity.
Brown will be in the kitchen from 6 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, serving a rotating eight-item menu of which about half the items are vegetarian. The menu is designed so that three people could order the entire menu and eat comfortably (check out the menu at the end of this article). Initially, some of these offerings will include a gem lettuce salad with orange and avocado; burrata; roasted squash with garlic, parsley, and pecorino-romano cheese, and chicken with blue cheese arugula.
Eventually, there will be a full bar featuring three or four “classic, simple cocktails,” a “highly curated” wine list boasting small production vineyards, as well as beer. While the Octopus Bar founders haven’t hired a bar manager yet, Brown says they plan on working with Tim Willard “as much as possible.”
Lusca alum Matt Mullins will spearhead the coffee program, rotating the offerings from Oddly Correct, Octane, and more. Sarah Dodge (Preserving Place, Little Tart Bakeshop, Octopus Bar) will be baking bread and pastries in house. Breakfast (available via counter service) will include $4 brioche toast with butter and peach preserves, $5 quiche with basil, tomme, and cherry tomatoes, and a savory grain bowl with okra and poached eggs. Lunch includes corn soup and an open-faced avocado and crab tartine, reminiscent of the popular avocado-crab toast at Lusca. There’s also a special sandwich called the Lamborghini Helicopter.
“Most of the menu is pretty clean and healthy,” Brown says. “The idea is that there’s one sandwich that’s over the top in the other direction.”
The space itself is divided into a 45-seat dining room and a coffee area. It has a post-Art Deco mid-century industrial vibe that’s “earthy with something funky,” Brown says.
Next up, Brown and Le will open AMA, a wood-grilled seafood spot on the Atlanta BeltLine in about five months.