New hotel brings culinary creativity to Midtown

The main dining room at Reverence offers a look at the open kitchen. Other seating options include a lounge and a two-level patio overlooking West Peachtree Street. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
The main dining room at Reverence offers a look at the open kitchen. Other seating options include a lounge and a two-level patio overlooking West Peachtree Street. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Epicurean Atlanta features three dining spots and a state-of-the-art theater

The local hospitality industry is growing, even during the pandemic. The Kimpton Sylvan in Buckhead, Wylie in Midtown and Hamilton in Alpharetta are just a few of metro Atlanta’s new lodging options. However, one boutique hotel beckons not only with posh sleeping quarters, but also with gastronomic delights.

Located in the heart of Midtown, at 1117 W. Peachtree St., and slated to open Sept. 16, Epicurean Atlanta is a culinary-driven hotel.

ExploreMetro Atlanta restaurant openings
Combined ShapeCaption
Located in the heart of Midtown, Epicurean Atlanta is a culinary-driven hotel featuring three dining establishments. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Located in the heart of Midtown, Epicurean Atlanta is a culinary-driven hotel featuring three dining establishments.  Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
Located in the heart of Midtown, Epicurean Atlanta is a culinary-driven hotel featuring three dining establishments. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The Atlanta hotel is the second location for the Epicurean Hotel brand, which opened in Tampa, Florida, in 2014 as a collaboration between Mainsail Lodging & Development and husband-and-wife restaurateurs Bern and Gert Laxer of Bern’s Steak House, now in the hands of their son, David Laxer. The new sister property in Atlanta includes 178 guest rooms, a nearly 2,000-square-foot theater, with a state-of-the-art kitchen as center stage, and three dining spots.

The project is part of a 3.5-acre mixed-use property built by Selig Development. Besides the hotel, it includes a 31-story office tower and 64 luxury residences. The three buildings are united by the 1-acre Sky Terrace, which features a bar-restaurant and lush green space.

ExploreIntown Atlanta dining news

Combined ShapeCaption
Rather than a traditional lobby, guests step inside Epicurean’s flagship restaurant, Reverence, featuring a new American menu developed by the hotel’s executive chef, Ewart Wardhaugh. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Rather than a traditional lobby, guests step inside Epicurean’s flagship restaurant, Reverence, featuring a new American menu  developed by the hotel’s executive chef, Ewart Wardhaugh. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
Rather than a traditional lobby, guests step inside Epicurean’s flagship restaurant, Reverence, featuring a new American menu developed by the hotel’s executive chef, Ewart Wardhaugh. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The immersive culinary experience begins at the hotel entrance. Rather than a traditional lobby, guests step inside Epicurean’s flagship restaurant, Reverence. A new American menu developed by the hotel’s executive chef, Ewart Wardhaugh, emphasizes locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Reverence is “about respecting the product,” said Wardhaugh, a native of Scotland whose 20-plus-year globetrotting culinary career has taken him to Singapore, the Caribbean, Australia and Dubai, among other places.

Plenty of dishes — from a vegetable of the day to veal rib-eye — will be prepared in a wood-fired oven, a focal point of the open kitchen.

Window walls on three sides lend an airy brightness to the clean, modernist design, with seating options that include a bar in the main dining room, a lounge and a two-level patio overlooking West Peachtree Street.

Bern’s Steak House has garnered attention for having a wine cellar that features more than half a million bottles. Wine will play a similarly important role at Reverence. Advanced Sommelier Arthur Huynh worked with sommeliers from Bern’s to develop the wine list for Reverence. He has amassed a 1,200-bottle collection, many of which will be on display in the floor-to-ceiling, temperature-conditioned wine library, complete with rolling ladder.

“I want guests to explore,” said Huynh, who will offer more than two dozen wines by the glass.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Office Bar is located on the ground level of the office tower opposite Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The Office Bar is located on the ground level of the office tower opposite Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
The Office Bar is located on the ground level of the office tower opposite Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Wardhaugh and his team also are responsible for the food and beverages at the Office Bar on the ground level of the office tower, opposite the hotel. Here, the focus is on spirits, with 100 whiskies on the drink list. The Epicurean team hopes to make the place a destination for a sports crowd that is looking for an urban chic place to watch a game.

“We’re going to rewrite the rules for a sports bar,” said Wardhaugh, who plans to offer themed menus for major sporting events. The Office Bar will open daily at 11 a.m.

Combined ShapeCaption
The cantina-style restaurant Aerial is perched on the terrace at Epicurean that connects the three towers of the mixed-use development. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The cantina-style restaurant Aerial is perched on the terrace at Epicurean that connects the three towers of the mixed-use development. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
The cantina-style restaurant Aerial is perched on the terrace at Epicurean that connects the three towers of the mixed-use development. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Aerial, the third restaurant on the property, is perched a few stories above ground on the terrace. A cantina-style menu includes a variety of Latin-inflected snacks, tapas and salads; a trio of ceviches; and a raw bar for al fresco noshing.

The 2,000-square-foot Epicurean Theatre also is open to the general public. The venue will be the site for hands-on cooking classes, dinners and other culinary-focused programming. Epicurean Atlanta will hold the inaugural Gather Round festival Oct. 14-17, featuring chefs from around the Southeast. Chef Kevin Ouzts of the Spotted Trotter, a local charcuterie business, will take the culinary stage in late October.

Combined ShapeCaption
Epicurean Theatre will be used for hands-on cooking classes, dinners and other culinary-focused programming at Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Epicurean Theatre will be used for hands-on cooking classes, dinners and other culinary-focused programming at Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
Epicurean Theatre will be used for hands-on cooking classes, dinners and other culinary-focused programming at Epicurean Atlanta. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Every design feature at Epicurean Atlanta has a gastronomic reference. Look around, and you’ll discover the human-sized Shun knife at the Epicurean Theatre entrance, champagne bottle-shaped door handles leading to the Gran Cru ballroom, and shot glasses fashioned into lighting fixtures.

If hunger strikes when the lights are turned off at Epicurean’s restaurants, overnight guests will find mini bars stocked with better than average food and drink labels. And, those willing to splurge can book one of 22 suites with a kitchen. For a price, Wardhaugh even will whip up a meal in the room.

For hotel reservations, or to register for Epicurean Theatre events, visit epicureanhotelatlanta.com.

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.