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Rich shades of red and channelled booths telegraph a cool midcentury vibe. 

Mangia! Mangia!

by Kate Abney | Jezebel magazine | January 30, 2018

OK, so when Brooks Cloud, Julian Goglia and Mike Blydenstein (collectively Ten Apart) get together to create a new dining concept, you know it’s going to be cool. After all, these are the same guys who brought us The Pinewood, The Mercury, Deep End and PROOF Cocktail Syrups (yummy). So when the former digs of Prohibition went up for grabs in 2016, these mixology maestros were convinced they could create a venue tailor-made for West Buckhead Village habitués.
Their open-daily concept is two-fold: Italian-American fusion restaurant Bar Americano and sophisticated caffé Italiano Bar Créma next door. Shrouded from the elements in a mini district also home to {SAMA} Food for Balance, Henri’s Bakery and Lucy’s Market, the location feels a bit subterranean, with an elaborately tiled Moroccan fountain and indoor courtyard Goglia says is ideal for accommodating overflow of patrons come the spring.

The dining room—masterminded by Square Feet Studio—is handsome in its own right: an array of large round tables and Thonet Bentwood chairs; a lengthy farm table perfetto for birthday parties (call ahead to reserve!); and banks of channeled faux-leather booths, fabricated by local workroom Bjork Studio in a mottled oxblood hue.

Custom X-shaped wine racks in a rich brick shade bracket each end of the dining room, which captures a retro vibe via an alternating row of black-and-white photography and vintage-style sconces, while the Mad Men-sexy bar is dotted with midcentury-inspired globe lamps.

True Italians live for aperitivo, so try a refresher like the Venetian Spritz. There’s also the Cosa Nostra—this spot’s answer to the Manhattan—and the Millionairess, a vibrant ode to a certain Milanese archetype. Managing Beverage Director Goglia’s bevvies could be followed only by Bocado alum Adam Waller’s cuisine, so begin with antipasti—options include warm focaccia with whipped ricotta, rosemary and olive oil; and tuna crudo with pickled shallots, crispy capers, arugula and chili. Sal’s Meatballs are superpopular, but, full disclosure: The Parmesan polenta is the best part of the dish. Craving vino rosso? Opt for a Barolo (yolo!) or try one of several Italian craft beers you won’t find elsewhere in ATL.

Housemade pastas are this eatery’s calling card, so we tried the cacio e pepe and rigatoni—both with a spicy kick—but we hear the squid-ink tonnarelli is also stellar. Pizzas are made with famously delectable 00 dough, crisped to perfection in a brick oven. While not the prettiest of pies, The Sweats is a meat lover’s dream (calling all guys’ guys) dotted with discs of spicy pepperoni, prosciutto cotto and meatballs. And if you’re hungry enough for a main, may we suggest our fave? The flounder piccata—with white wine, lemon, capers and charred broccolini—is incredible.

Wrap up with the luscious buttermilk panna cotta, or pop over to Bar Créma for a frozen treat custom crafted by Honeysuckle Gelato. Sample the intense espresso; experience the zing of grapefruit sorbetto; or stay simple with créma. The best way? In an affogato topped with warm espresso and a shot of your fave Italian spirit—just to make it corretto.