February 23, 2012
This Just In: Del Frisco’s Grille To Inhabit Former Craft Atlanta Space
The Mansion on Peachtree Scores a Comfort Food Favorite
By Nancy Staab
The Dallas-based restaurant company known for its swanky steak houses, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, will bring its more casual eatery Del Frisco’s Grille to the ATL with The Johnson Studio as designers. Think fun bar food, playful cocktails, 700- bottle wine bar, premium steaks, flatbreads and “two-fisted” sandwiches, when it lands in the former Craft space, Buckhead, next winter.
What can we expect from this Texas-based newcomer? The company describes Del Frisco’s Grille as “taking the classic bar and grille to new heights” with “bold flavors, market-fresh ingredients, and a tempting mix of prime steaks, fresh seafood and twists on American comfort cuisine.” No menu yet for Atlanta, but on the Dallas menu under cutely named “Food to Fight Over” category (i.e. appetizers), you can find such things as Ahi tuna tartare tacos with avocado and spicy citrus mayo; Pimento cheese fritters; and deviled eggs with truffle-chive vinaigrette ($7-$14). Many patrons will probably pair these at the bar with $10 craft cocktails like The M-Line (Bulleit bourbon, peach schnapps, triple sec, lemon, orange, mint) or cheeky Kilt-Lifter ( Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain elderflower liquer, splash of tobacco, lemon). An expansive selection of wines rounds out the drink menu.
Wood-oven flatbreads ($10-$13) could serve as an appetizer or make a lunch in themselves, whether white clam and garlic or wild mushroom with fontina. Traditional salads fall under “Ruffage” or bite into “Big Greens” like steakhouse salad or chicken paillard Ceasar ($16 apiece). “Two-Fisted Sandwiches” include the signature green chili cheeseburger double patties with Hatch chiles and jalapeno jack cheese, wrapped in paper or a farmhouse grilled cheese with roasted tomato bisque. “Suit & Tie” and “Knife & Fork” entrees ($16-$26) like prime filet mignon, veal meatloaf with bordelaise sauce, chicken schnitzel or sole francese with lump crab, arugula-cherry tomato salad and chive-lemon butter will appease larger appetites.
Dinner should add even more steak options like strip and ribeye and hearty entrees such as short rib stroganoff and chicken-fried shrimp with grits and crisp okra. And the joint is even open for brunch with specials like red velvet Belgian waffles with whipped vanilla bean-spiked cream cheese and hickory smoked bacon or carbonara flatbreads with egg, prosciutto and parmesan. Granted this menu is likely to be tweaked to Atlanta produce and tastes but it’s a good hint of what’s to come.
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group comprises 8 Del Frisco’s (including NYC, Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas), 2 Del Frisco Grilles (NYC and Dallas) and 19 Sullivan’s locations and is owned by Dallas-based private equity firm Lone Star Funds, according to Forbes magazine.
And what can we expect of the décor? Del Frisco’s Grille Atlanta will offer a variety of exciting dining options, according to The Johnson Studio's website, including a buzzy bar, a “cozy wood and leather dining room,” and lively second-level terrace facing the people-watching on Peachtree. If it’s anything like the Del Frisco’s Grille that The Johnson Studio designed for its NYC location, the joint might not be that different in feel from Craft Atlanta: as in, warm, approachable, full of burnished woods, and, no doubt, some of Bill Johnson’s trademark theatrical touches—perhaps over-scale lighting shades or a floor-to-ceiling 700-bottle wine wall, per the NYC location. It is worth noting that Johnson Studio also kitted out Del Frisco’s more formal sibling, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, harborside in Boston. The décor is sumptuously modern with curved white leather booths and expansive water views. Perhaps one of these sleek, white tablecloth steak and seafood palaces will be considered for Atlanta’s future as well?
In the meantime, Atlantans will have to content ourselves with new life in the former Craft space and an approchable new dining option for The Mansion on Peachtree patrons and neighbors.
Del Frisco’s Grille is slated to open winter 2012, http://www.delfriscosgrille.com ">www.delfriscosgrille.com
PHOTOS OF SELECT DISHES BELOW.
PDF’s OF NEW YORK AND DALLAS MENUS HERE: