First Look: The Iberian Pig’s new Buckhead location offers creative takes on Spanish-style tapas

Iberian Pig. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Iberian Pig. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

On May 13, Castellucci Hospitality Group (CHG) debuted its second location of the Iberian Pig in the new Hanover Buckhead Village luxury apartment development on Roswell Road, near Buckhead Theatre.

The restaurant group's portfolio includes Sugo in Johns Creek, Double Zero in Emory Village, Cooks & Soldiers on the Westside, Bar Mercado and Recess at Krog Street Market, and the original Iberian Pig on the Square in Decatur, which opened in 2009.

Showcasing charcuterie, cheese and creative takes on Spanish-style tapas, the Iberian Pig has become a perennial favorite among Atlanta diners. And bites such as bacon-wrapped medjool dates with manchego cheese, walnut and Romesco sauce, and cocktails such as the Iberian Old Fashioned with bacon-infused rye whiskey and maple syrup are among the signature menu items.

Since late last year, though, CHG owner Fred Castellucci and his brother, chef John Castellucci, the culinary principal of the Castellucci family, have been spending time in Decatur, updating and refining many classic Iberian Pig dishes in anticipation of the Buckhead opening.

The Iberian Pig Buckhead interior. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
The Iberian Pig Buckhead interior. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Look for the likes of whole grilled fish with grapefruit mojo rojo and fried garlic, cast iron-seared octopus with sobrasada, chickpeas and olives, and crispy pork belly with Pedro Ximenez sherry, scarlet runner beans, creme fraiche, apples, watercress and scallions.

On the beverage menu, find a wide-ranging wine list with a concentration on Spanish and Portuguese selections, a substantial section of sherry, port and Madeira, and a number of house cocktails, including some new bottled varieties, such as the refreshing Amigo, the Devil with vodka, passionfruit, habanero and lime.

The two-story, 4,500-square-foot space, designed by Elizabeth Ingram Studio, takes inspiration from Spanish architecture and features solid concrete walls, soaring chandeliers, and a dramatic mix of glass, metalwork and antique elements. The main floor is anchored by a large bar and an open kitchen, with a mezzanine above for large parties and private dining. A window-lined corner patio with cafe tables looks out on Roswell Road and Irby Avenue.

Last week, Fred and John Castellucci sat down on the patio to talk about opening the new iteration of the Iberian Pig in Buckhead.

“The Iberian Pig really was the restaurant that launched the growth of our company 10 years ago,” Fred Castellucci said. “So it was time to think about doing something that we had already done before, and see if it could work in a second location. We decided to duplicate Iberian Pig here because we feel as though it’s a neighborhood restaurant that appeals to a lot of different people who like what we are putting out.

“Buckhead used to be the epicenter of all of Atlanta dining. That changed over the last 10-15 years, when all that energy moved toward Midtown, Inman Park, West Midtown, Decatur and beyond. But very recently, there’s been an explosion in Buckhead, with a lot of the restaurant groups doing projects here. I think people realize that Buckhead is still an extremely strong market. And we’re already seeing an extremely diverse clientele here in our dining room.”

John and Fred Castellucci (left to right) at Iberian Pig Buckhead. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
John and Fred Castellucci (left to right) at Iberian Pig Buckhead. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Besides a new location and the major build-out, Fred Castellucci pointed out that the changes on the culinary side have been equally important.

“John took over the Iberian Pig brand last year in September,” he said. “The menu has evolved pretty significantly since then. Even though a good number of the dishes are at both locations, many of the dishes went through some transformations when he came on board. He put some systems and recipes in place in Decatur, and then we pointed our attention toward Buckhead and tweaked the menu specifically for Buckhead.”

“It’s challenging when you redo a menu for a restaurant that’s been around for 10 years, because you have people who are so obsessed with certain dishes,” John Castellucci said. “So we kind of had our untouchables, if you will, like the pork cheek taco, and the medjool dates, and the Iberico Mac n’ Cheese.

“But it’s been fun, with the volume we do in Decatur, trying to really push the creativity, but also execute at a high level. I think that’s always the balance you’re looking for. A lot of the menu development for Buckhead was happening when I took over Decatur. The Fideos broken pasta dish would be an example, with the shiitake cream, poached egg, Iberico crumble and black truffle.”

“When I think about the concept as a whole, going back to 2009, when it all started, it was about paying respect to these amazing Spanish ingredients,” Fred Castellucci said. “Specifically the cured meats from the Iberian Pig, the great cheeses, the delicious Spanish wines, and then the small plates. That was new then. But 10 years later, the cool thing is we’re still trying to do something new.”

3150 Roswell Road NW, Suite A3, Atlanta. 404-994-4990, theiberianpigatl.com/buckhead.

Scroll down for more images from a First Look at Iberian Pig Buckhead

Pulpo a la Plancha tapas, cast iron seared octopus, sobrasada sausage, chickpea and olive. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Pulpo a la Plancha tapas, cast iron seared octopus, sobrasada sausage, chickpea and olive. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Tocino tapas, crispy pork belly, Pedro Ximenez, scarlet runner beans, creme fraiche, apple, watercress, and scallion. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Tocino tapas, crispy pork belly, Pedro Ximenez, scarlet runner beans, creme fraiche, apple, watercress, and scallion. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Fideos tapas, broken pasta with shiitake creme, wild mushrooms, poached egg, Iberico crumble, black truffle, and sorrel. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Fideos tapas, broken pasta with shiitake creme, wild mushrooms, poached egg, Iberico crumble, black truffle, and sorrel. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Pescado a la Parilla raciones, whole grilled market fish, grapefruit mojo rojo, and fried garlic. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Pescado a la Parilla raciones, whole grilled market fish, grapefruit mojo rojo, and fried garlic. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Young Lady You're Scaring Me cocktail with gin, green chartreuse, snap pea, and lime. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Young Lady You're Scaring Me cocktail with gin, green chartreuse, snap pea, and lime. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Amigo, the Devil cocktail with vodka, passionfruit, habanero, and lime. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Amigo, the Devil cocktail with vodka, passionfruit, habanero, and lime. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

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