Dorian Gray to bring continental European cuisine to Buckhead this summer

Two longtime friends and hospitality industry veterans are pairing to open their first restaurant this summer, with plenty of nods to the European coast.

Nem Filipovic and Bo Kvrgic, who both come from Serbia, will debut Dorian Gray in mid-July at 111 West Paces Ferry Road NW in Buckhead.

Filipovic, who has served as a manager at several restaurants, and Kvrgic, who has worked as a club DJ for more than 20 years, including six years in Atlanta, said they wanted their first venture to be “a showcase of all of Europe” Filipovic said, highlighting French, Italian and Spanish cultures and cuisines with a focus on seaside resorts like Capri and Monaco.

The pair, who share a love of reading, picked the Oscar Wilde 1891 novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” as the namesake for their restaurant.

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Credit: Courtesy of Dorian Gray

Credit: Courtesy of Dorian Gray

“We love that time period, and we wanted to combine the modern period with that period, and create something very sophisticated,” Kvrgic said. “We think (Wilde) would come into our place and be proud of what we did.”

The continental European vibe of the restaurant extends to the menu, developed by chef Christian Evans, who previously worked in kitchens at the Ritz-Carlton, Intercontinental Buckhead and St. Regis Bal Harbor.

Dishes include Maine lobster salad with watermelon and frisee, shaved carrots and truffle balsamic vinaigrette; duck breast with crusted cashew and fennel, ginger parsnip puree with shaved truffle and wild mushrooms; and whole Mediterranean branzino with Calabrian chili cilantro sauce.

Filipovic said ingredients will be sourced locally as much as possible, and about 40% of the menu will change seasonally. Lunch and weekend brunch will be added in the fall.

The cocktail list, designed to complement specific menu items, will feature drinks including the Dorian, a gin martini with cucumber, lemon, mint simple syrup and elderflower; the Oscar, made with rum passion fruit liquor, pineapple juice and lime; and the Nostalgie with quince apple brandy, elderflower liquor and lemon juice. The beverage program will also include about 100 bottles of wine, as well as beer.

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Credit: Courtesy of Dorian Gray

Credit: Courtesy of Dorian Gray

In developing the restaurant, Filipovic and Kvrgic worked with veteran restaurant consultants chef Phillipe Haddad, formerly of Yebo Beach Haus and Cape Dutch, who owns PGH Hospitality Group; and Ilona Knopfler, the former general manager and partner of Buckhead restaurant Le Bilboquet.

Kvrgic’s love of deep house music will be “an integral part” of the restaurant, where a DJ will play “music for grown people” on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays after dinner on Dorian Gray’s patio.

In addition to interior seating, the restaurant offers two patio spaces, one with a lounge feel and the other with a French bistro setup. The restaurant seats 180 guests total, including a private dining room available for rental.

Dorian Gray, which Filipovic said he hopes will be “as much a neighborhood spot as a place for a business lunch or a dinner date,” will also have an “elegant casual” dress code.

Opening hours will be 5-11 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 5 p.m. until midnight Thursdays-Saturdays and 5-10 p.m. Sundays.

Dorian Gray will open in mid-July, with a grand opening party planned for Aug. 12.

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