One of Atlanta’s premiere restaurants is reopening for on-premise dining. Bacchanalia, the flagship restaurant from Anne and Clifford Quatrano, will invite guests back into its dining room beginning Thursday. The couple’s hidden Morningside retreat, Floataway Café, will also open Thursday for dine-in service.
These are the latest steps that the owners of the Star Provisions restaurant group have taken during the coronavirus pandemic. Besides Bacchanalia and Floataway Café, the group’s concepts include W.H. Stiles Fish Camp and Pancake Social at Ponce City Market, Star Provisions market and café, and Little Star Provisions. In mid-March, the couple temporarily shut down all except Star Provisions, but the takeout-only model there lasted a mere two weeks.
Star Provisions and Bacchanalia, which share a building and kitchen on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, both reopened for takeout in early May. W.H. Stiles Fish Camp and Pancake Social have since also reopened for carryout.
“We went strictly by the guidelines,” said Anne Quatrano regarding preparations to reopen Bacchanalia for high-end wining and dining. “We made sure everyone is at least six feet apart,” she said. Many tables have been removed as well as half of the restaurant’s dozen bar stools. “The dining room was spacious anyhow,” she added.
Spatial configurations to facilitate social distancing are just one of many new elements that regulars will notice.
“I feel like the food delivery system has to change for us to meet the requirements,” she said. “Food can’t travel on a plate open to a table.”
Quatrano’s solution is to use serving carts that will carry silver trays with domed lids. “All the food will be pushed out to the table,” said Quatrano, explaining that guests remove the food themselves or permit the server to serve them, depending on their preference. “There’s a fine line, which is all about hospitality, of figuring out what guests need from you and how they like to be approached,” said the decorated culinarian.
The carts were built by Quatrano’s cousin. The silver trays are from a collection she has amassed over the years; many of the pieces belonged to her grandmother. Quatrano feels like the “elaborate” food delivery method aligns with the Bacchanalia experience her guests have come to expect.
The full Bacchanalia experience is its tasting menu. Yet setting and resetting the table for each course flies against coronavirus safety precautions. “There are so many touches at Bacchanalia,” Quatrano said. To eliminate some of those touches, the restaurant will pre-roll all the utensils needed for the entire meal into specially made linens with slots for each silverware item.
Beverage service will likewise see changes. Batched cocktails, for example, will be presented in bottles with lids.
In addition, Quatrano has made her own hand sanitizer. Every table will have its own bottle.
“We want to think of all the things that make people feel more comfortable in our dining room,” she said. “Establishing – or reestablishing – trust” is “a huge part of things.”
“It’s a new evolution at Bacchanalia,” she summed.
Bacchanalia will also continue to offer curbside takeout of its Bacchanalia At Home meals that include an amuse, four courses (for each course, patrons select from three options), sides, and bread and butter.
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