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By Phebe Wahl | Photo: Photography by Heidi Geldhauser & Melissa Hom | November 21, 2016
From tableside theatrics to applause-worthy cuisine and design, The Shops Buckhead Atlanta headliner American Cut promises to be the hottest ticket in town.
As the star spot and most dominant space at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, American Cut’s highly anticipated opening garnered serious buzz. As the elegant set was constructed behind blacked-out windows and boarded-up walls, Atlantans’ anticipation grew with each passing month. I arrived on opening night to try the newly unveiled hot spot, and the curtain lifted to reveal a perfectly staged epicurean experience.
The massive three-story space has the fully immersive residential feel of the Soho House. As the Atlanta location of celebrity chef Marc Forgione’s steakhouse helmed locally by Atlanta chef John Adamson (formerly of True Food Kitchen), the posh playground for the chic clique offers spots to gather over cocktails on the rooftop’s 5,000-square-foot The Regent Cocktail Club, or an indulgent dinner in the swanky steak spot’s 102-seat main dining room. LDV Hospitality founder John Meadow had a hand in every detail of the design, and the evident passion infused in this labor of love yields a big return.
After sharpening his skills at the esteemed Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Meadow began his career as the manager at The Plaza hotel’s The Oak Room. Meadow’s knack for curating an elegant experience is apparent in every detail of the sparkling new space. From buttery-soft chair leather in the iconic shade or Hermès orange to the table’s brass metal grommets that echo Cartier’s love bracelets, Meadow has crafted a set design that evokes iconic luxury.
After soaking in the sweeping skyline view on the roof at Regent, we settle in with an impressive plank-smoked Old Fashioned ($17). Pre-batched Prohibition-style and prepared tableside, the smoke from a fired maple plank is captured in the glass, adding a richness to Bulleit bourbon, AC bitters and caster sugar.
“I should probably call it the chili lobster house instead of a steakhouse,” muses Meadow of one of his most popular dishes. Served with Texas toast perfect for dipping in the Sriracha-spiced broth, the chili lobster (market price) is the true standout star of the show. Other major players of note include the OG 1924 Hotel Caesar ($11). Also prepared tableside with the requisite Parmigiano-Reggiano and soft egg, these are perhaps the best-dressed leaves in the business and are best complemented by an order of the thick-cut Beeler’s Farm bacon ($14).
While the steaks get top billing, it is the full range of sauces that add sparkle to the presentation. Our perfectly prepared 14-ounce NY strip ($44) sings thanks to samplings of a rich bearnaise and fresh chimichurri sauces ($8 for a selection of five sauces). The supporting cast is worthy of their own accolades with standouts like the regional riff on hash browns served with a housemade ginger ketchup and a pimento mac and cheese that is so rich we dare you to take more than a few bites (both $9).
As the final act unfolds, the cast does not loose steam. Pastry Chef Kristen Moorer offers up an inventive array of options, including a Crackerjack sundae with caramel popcorn and peanut brittle ($12), as well as a monkey bread with grilled peaches and cardamom cream-cheese icing ($14 for two). The grand finale has to be the s’mores flame ($14 for two). Set ablaze tableside is a marvelous melted mix of chocolate pot de creme, graham cracker, sweet cream ice cream and toasted marshmallow.
As we waddle our way to the valet, we spot none other than Meadow himself carefully keeping watch on his latest debut. As the posh patrons roll into the restaurant, my money is on this stunner to become the hottest ticket in town.
3035 Peachtree Road NE, 770.415.9766, americancutsteakhouse.com
Hours: Dinner, Sun.-Thu., 5:30-11pm; Fri.-Sat., 5:30pm-midnight
Validation is given for deck parking at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, or pull up to the curbside valet.
Behind the Scenes
Order up the off-menu In House AC burger at the bar. Made from short rib, brisket and dry-aged rib-eye, a limited number is announced each day on Twitter and served while supplies last.
An Ensemble Cast
Impressive wine offerings that stand up to chops like the 40-ounce Tomahawk ($115 for two) include Shafer Vineyards’ Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($425) and limited releases of Opus One ($650).