If all goes according to plan, il Giallo Osteria & Bar, a new coastal Italian concept, is set to open later this week on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.
The much-anticipated first restaurant from Jamie Adams and Leonardo Moura has its roots in Veni Vidi Vici, the Midtown Italian fixture from Atlanta restaurateur Pano Karatassos and the Buckhead Life Group, which closed at the end of May, after a 20-year run.
Adams was the longtime executive chef at Vici and Moura was the general manager — roles they will repeat at il Giallo (il-JAH-lo) with Karatassos’ advice and blessing. Last week the partners were at the restaurant, surrounded by workmen hanging light fixtures and putting the finishing touches on the walls and trim.
Designer Vivien Leigh Patrie was on the scene, too, describing how she turned the former office space into an evocation of “authentic Italian” dining, also meant to serve as an inviting neighborhood destination. Huge pieces of granite excavated from the site are embedded in the walls, a mural-size map celebrates the culinary culture of Italy, and a lively rendering of Bacchus hangs behind the bar.
At the heart of the open kitchen is a chef’s table, where Adams, who spent five years studying and cooking in Italy, will make fresh pasta to order. “Living there gave me such a deeper understanding of why the food is the way it is and how to make it taste right,” Adams said.
Adams’ agnolotti with brown butter, sage and pecans was featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” At il Giallo, it’s filled with roasted duck and fontina. More recent creations include tortelloni with heirloom tomatoes, butter and marjoram, and farfalle “al la Rubbiara,” fresh bowtie pasta with veal and pork Bolognese.
In addition to pasta, the menu will range from antipasti and cured meats and cheeses to whole roasted fish, and chicken, veal, pork and beef dishes. Puglia-style braised rockfish with saffron, cherry tomatoes, sweet onions and garlic is a classic combo, Adams said, because “you get that sweet tomato flavor and that floral scent from the saffron.”
Former Vici pastry chef Libby Muldawer will be in charge of desserts such as bomboloni, a sweet ricotta doughnut hole drizzled with honey and topped with fresh whipped cream.
At the bar, look for lots of approachable Italian wines with old and new world selections in the mix, classic cocktails, and local and Italian beers, including Sweetwater and Peroni on draft.
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