Photograph by Sydney Cummiskey
Castellucci Hospitality Group, the team behind the Iberian Pig, Double Zero, and Cooks & Soldiers, is opening a food stall called Recess at Krog Street Market in late fall. While it will be located near Bar Mercado—the restaurant group’s soon-to-open Spanish tapas spot—Recess is a completely separate concept and is being billed as a neighborhood café with “food that makes you feel good.”
Led by chef Victoria Shore, from Cooks & Soldiers and Double Zero, Recess will serve lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend breakfast. “Here, vegetables and seasonality are more of the focus than a large protein, but we’ll probably offer a fish, a chicken, an egg, and one vegan protein option,” she says.
She reveals details about the plans for Recess below.
What’s on the menu?
Fresh, lighter, plant-based food, like salads, grain bowls, toasts, and sandwiches. Basically it’s stuff that you can enjoy every day and you don’t leave thinking you have to go on a juice cleanse afterward.
[Some of the menu items might include] a lentil grain bowl with spiced carrot puree, crunchy buckwheat, seared okra, Swiss chard, feta cheese, and puffed rice; and a mushroom patty melt made with shiitake mushrooms, Swiss, mustard aioli, and braised red cabbage. It’s a cross between a Reuben and a patty melt. We’re considering a couple of prepared plate options for dinner.
What will you offer for breakfast?
Baked items like house granola with alternative milks, savory and sweet toasts, and a daily juice using what’s in season. We’ll definitely have avocado toast on TGM bread, and a sunflower seed butter toast with raspberries, bananas, and chocolate. I spent time in England during college so I love scones. I’d like to offer a daily scone that, maybe, could be used for breakfast sandwiches too. I also want to have a gluten-free pastry option.
With a background in pastry, how did you come to be the chef at Recess?
I learned to cook from my dad and from watching the Food Network. My dad didn’t touch baking and I filled in [that role] at home, so pastry was the place I felt most comfortable. Soon after I moved to Atlanta for a pastry job at Cooks & Soldiers, [the Castelluccis] decided it wasn’t a going to be a full-time job. I needed the hours, so they told me to try out the salad station on the line. It was very entry level. Then at Double Zero, I split my time between running the pastry menu, doing savory sous chef things, and day-to-day manager duties. At Recess, we won’t have much of a pastry focus, being right across from the Little Tart Bakeshop. [The menu will have] a savory focus with maybe a few smaller baked items. I love cooking. The menu at Recess is very much how I love to cook for myself. And I can go back to enjoying baking at home and making cookies for my friends.
What can diners expect to drink at Recess?
The beverages will be about half in house and half sourced. We’ll have cold brew on tap, iced tea, and flavored lemonade. There will be a small wine program. We’ve talked a lot about having frose but that might change since we’ll be opening in the fall [as opposed to summer], but we will have a rotating frozen cocktail.
Where did name “Recess” come from?
It’s something Fred [Castellucci] and Lauren [Castellucci] came up with. They liked the playfulness of it and the aspect of taking a break from your day.