Italian-American tastes at Bar Americano in Buckhead


Bar Americano and Bar Crema opened in late November in the space once occupied by East Andrews Cafe & Bar as part of the upscale makeover of the former Andrews Entertainment District in Buckhead.

Other new tenants of the shopping and dining complex, dubbed Andrews Square, include Henri’s Bakery & Cafe, Poppy’s of Atlanta, Boxwoods Garden & Gifts, and Lucy’s Market.

But the twin Italian-American concepts from the team behind behind the Mercury in Ponce City Market and the Pinewood in Decatur are positioned as the anchors of the covered courtyard area, which features a bubbling fountain and cozy outdoor seating.

Inside, Bar Americano features an imposing white marble bar, which plays against a dramatic red color scheme and a tableaux of bistro tables and chairs and leather booths in the dining room.

Next door, Bar Crema offers a wide-ranging drinks menu with espresso, tea, cocktails, Italian beer, wine and sodas, plus pastries, desserts and gelato in a counter service Euro-style cafe setting.

Executive chef Adam Waller is an Atlanta native with a deep background in Italian cuisine, working in the kitchens at Sotto Sotto and STG Trattoria, before his most recent stint at Bocado.

Waller’s menu at Bar Americano ranges through “reinvented” Italian favorites, from beef, pork and veal meatballs in marinara sauce served over Parmesan polenta to Steak Florentine with roasted potatoes and salsa verde.

At the heart of the menu, his fresh and extruded house-made pastas include the likes of beef cheek agnolotti and cacio e pepe. New York-style 12-inch pizzas have fanciful names and hold hefty ingredients, such as The Sweats, topped with spicy pepperoni, sliced meatballs and prosciutto cotto.

“We’re going for a neighborhood feel, with classic Italian-American food,” Waller says. “Good pasta, good pizza, and a place where people can just walk in and get a good bite to eat. So you’ll see meatballs, and pretty straightforward ravioli, rigatoni and cannelloni. And everything is meant to be shared, so you can taste a lot of different things.

“We’re definitely not doing Neapolitan pizza. I consider it New York brick oven. The texture is that crispy bottom crust, and all the flavors of the sauce and the cheese are working out real nice. The tomatoes and the cheese are coming from California, and the flour for the dough is coming from King Arthur.”

John Fogleman, the beverage director for Bar Americano and general manager of Bar Crema, worked as a barista, manager and director of education for Octane Coffee, before delving deeper into the world of cocktails.

The drinks at Bar Americano include aperitivi such as the Venetian Spritz with blanc de blancs and soda, and full-on cocktails such as the Millionairess with vodka, white peach, lemon, rosemary and blanc de blancs.

“Right now, the cocktail programs at Bar Americano and Bar Crema are the same,” Fogleman says. “But as time goes on, the restaurant side will stay more traditional with classic styles, and the drinks at Crema will be a little more adventurous and irreverent, but within the Italian tradition.”

Though they’d never worked together, directly, Waller and Fogleman knew each other well from their days at Bocado and Octane, which are located across the street from each other on Atlanta’s Westside.

“Just seeing what the bar crowd mixed with the coffee shop was like being at Octane, and then seeing what the bar crowd and restaurant was like at Bocado, it’s this weird serendipity that Adam and I are here together now, basically doing what we were doing before,” Fogleman says. “I think having these two bars and the restaurant together, we’re primed to be something really fun and really successful.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

Is this the best chocolate chip cookie you can buy in Georgia?
Is this the best chocolate chip cookie you can buy in Georgia?

A quarter-pound of cookie so delectable they named it evil has been named the best chocolate chip cookie in Georgia. Tripping.com, one of the largest vacation rental sites in the world, listed Muss & Turner’s wickedly good chocolate chip cookie, the evil cookie, as the best chocolate chip cookie in Georgia on its “Best Chocolate...
Two Atlanta restaurants make Top 100 list for best classic restaurants
Two Atlanta restaurants make Top 100 list for best classic restaurants

There is nothing like a classic. That sentiment especially applies to some of America’s oldest, most esteemed restaurants. Atlanta happens to hold claim to two of the most tried-and-true places to eat in the U.S., according to FSR Magazine. Atkins Park and Mary Mac’s Tea Room both made the magazine’s annual list of Top 100...
Thrillist named this reliable Atlanta gas station spot as the best fried chicken chain in America
Thrillist named this reliable Atlanta gas station spot as the best fried chicken chain in America

There are plenty of reputable options if you want to pull up to a drive-thru and devour some crispy, golden chicken, i.e. KFC and Popeyes. However, an unsuspecting alternative you might have ignored at your last gas tank fill-up has been crowned the true bastion of fried chicken. Krispy Krunchy Chicken, established in 1989 in LaFayette, Louisiana,...
Get details about The Whitley’s new chef and restaurant plus other top metro Atlanta dining news from the week
Get details about The Whitley’s new chef and restaurant plus other top metro Atlanta dining news from the week

The Whitley Executive Chef Marc Suennemann / Photo courtesy of The Whitley The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, which rebranded as The Whitley in December, has named a new executive chef and provided details about its new restaurant. Marc Suennemann is managing culinary operations for the 507-room hotel, overseeing the culinary team and overseeing...
7 Instagram-worthy brunch spots in Atlanta
7 Instagram-worthy brunch spots in Atlanta

Undoubtedly, many Atlantans' (and those visiting) include brunch in their scheduling for the weekend. Whether with friends, after church or as a hair of the dog treatment - brunch can accommodate all needs. But brunch isn't only about the food these days, it's about the full experience: how you dress, the atmosphere, the cutesy beverages and most of...
More Stories