La Grotta managing partner Christian Favalli, and his wife, fellow restaurant veteran Kristy Jones-Favalli, will open Saltyard, an American restaurant serving small plates, in the Brookwood building on Peachtree this spring. Named after the ancient tradition of sharing salt as a sign of friendship, ‘Saltyard’ represents the hospitality the Favallis hope to offer.
“We met in the restaurant industry—working at TWO Urban Licks—and have always shared of love of the social aspect of food,” Jones-Favalli said. “It’s our way of life.”
“We consider ourselves a purveyor of good times,” Favalli added. “So, we want [to make] Saltyard a place where people want to a be, where they can leave their day at the door.”
The Favallis lived in the East Atlanta Village for thirteen years and are trying to bring a bit of that vibe to Buckhead with Saltyard. Designed by Square Feet Studio, the restaurant will feature warm, ambient lighting, reclaimed woods, industrial metals, soft banquettes, an open kitchen, and a 45-seat patio. Favalli says it will be “unpretentious and comfortable—a place where people can come in shorts and a T-shirt and get a few small plates and a glass of wine or two for like $25.”
According to Jones-Favalli, the duo opted to focus on small plates because that’s the way they prefer to dine. “We love to go out to dinner and have five or six appetizers and then go to another place and have more appetizers, kind of tapas-style,” she said.
Thus far, the Favallis have four menu drafts written. They cover the gamut, featuring comfort food, raw options, and fresh seafood. Though they haven’t settled on which items will make the final cut, they know the menu will be divided into Bites; Charcuterie, Cheeses, and Larders; Veggies; Starches; Meat; Seafood; and Entrées. These sections may include bacon beignets, oven-roasted cauliflower with preserved lemon, roasted pumpkin ravioli, butter poached lobster burrata, and pork schnitzel.
Bar snacks will range from $3 to $5, small plates will cost $5 to $9, and entrées (of which there may only be four or five) will be priced at $15 to $24.
The Lawrence’s Eric Simpkins is consulting on the bar. Plans include five to 10 craft beers on tap and 18 by the bottle, plus domestic wines and cocktails. “Nothing over the top—we don’t want drinks to take 15 minutes to make,” Favalli said.
If all goes according to plan, Saltyard will open in mid to late May.