5 Questions for John Adamson

American Cut’s executive chef discusses the restaurant’s lively, multilevel layout and Southern-influenced menu.

American Cut is billed as a “modern American steakhouse.” talk to us about the modern part.
We took ideas from original steakhouses—à la carte and the varied selection of cuts of meat—but we put our modern twist on it. We’re doing more modern sides, and the atmosphere is a little more fresh. We have a whole different selection of seafood, which you don’t normally see in typical steakhouses.

The restaurant’s design changes from floor to floor.
When we were giving tours of the restaurant initially, I liked watching people’s reactions as we worked our way up to the top floor. The first floor is a little more casual and laid-back; you want everyone to feel welcome when they walk in the door. The second floor is very luxurious. We wanted an Art Deco feel—it’s a throwback to the original steakhouses with a more present-day feel added in.

What experience does the multilevel layout create for guests?
We want our guests to spend their entire night with us. Come in, have a drink and some snacks downstairs (although you can also eat a full meal down there if you’d like), then go to the second floor for dinner service and head to Regent Cocktail Club on the third floor to relax with an after-dinner cocktail.

The menu has a bit of Atlanta flair.
Our aim is to be a local restaurant. I moved here about four years ago, and when we were designing the menu for American Cut, I thought back to what I ate when I first got here that I’d never had before. I kind of pulled from that and fancied it up. Our version of chicken-fried steak we do with veal, and using pimento cheese in our mac and cheese was a no-brainer.

How is American Cut unique to the market?
There are so many restaurants that do one thing really well. This restaurant has the opportunity to do many things really well. That’s what excites me; that guests can know they can come here and get great food, cocktails and service while spending time in a beautiful space. We want to be the whole package. My goal is to blow away every single person who walks in the door.