The Waldorf Astoria in Buckhead has a new attraction: a French and Southern fusion restaurant designed to play to the senses, evoke emotion, and throwback to history. Led by director of food and beverage Christopher Guidice, executive chef Christophe Le Metayer, beverage program design William Benedetto, and lead bartender Cara McInerny, Brassica seats 140 and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Weekend a la carte brunch and intimate afternoon tea will come mid-March.
“We take traditional French dishes people know and present them in a way that’s new and fresh,” Guidice says. “They’re elegant, focused dishes presented in simple yet beautiful ways.”
To reflect the locally and regionally sourced ingredients, the dinner menu is divided into Growers & Producers (small plates), Butchers & Fisherman (entrees), and For Two (shared dishes that reflect the idea of a Southern dinner party). Options may include farmer’s risotto squash, pecan rainbow trout with sweet peppers and creamed corn, cast iron steak frites with duck fat fried potatoes and bordelaise, and braised pork belly with roasted chestnuts and Fuji apple gremolata.
“The beverage program provides a walkthrough of the history of the American cocktail,” Guidice says. “The Waldorf has always been on the forefront of cocktail programs and pushing the envelope with mixology. We want to show guests how American cocktail programs have evolved.”
The nine-cocktail list begins with “Seasonal” takes, including a caramel corn-infused Old Fashioned and a “City in the Forest” Japanese highball with floral elements. Next comes “Familiar Favorites” made popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, like the spicy margarita and pomegranate spritz. It concludes with “Classics Remembered”—pre-Prohibition-inspired drinks, such as Roman punch, and then post-Prohibition beverages, such as the Waldorf Cocktail, paying homage to Peacock Alley.
“We try to add personalized touches to everything we do, like cutting an orchid bouquet in front of you for your drink,” Guidice says. “We [also] spray rosewater on some of our cocktails so you have the scent of it on your fingertips.”
In addition to cocktails, Brassica’s beverage menu focuses on wine with 140 options by the bottle and 19 by the glass. Guidice describes it as “the best of California, France, and Italy.”
To further play to the senses, the Brassica space divided into four sections each intended to evoke a different emotional response.
Guests enter through Peacock Alley, a lounge named for the historically rich, New York City meeting place of celebrities and politicians alike. (According to Guidice, people would get dressed up intending to show off their feathers, hence the nickname.)
Atlanta’s Peacock Alley will be bright and white with a hand-drawn leaf painting on walls, so intricate it “feels like you’re walking into a piece of art,” Guidice says.
From there, guests head to the bar, which features warm leather and candlelight for a romantic vibe. The main dining room evokes energy with a bright, custom-made chandelier in the shape of a dogwood tree, lighting up the center of the 75-seat space. Nearby, the Solarium is rooted in stone and natural textures, providing a calm and soothing private dining area. That, along with outdoor seating facing the garden, will open in the spring.