A Conversation with Anne Quatrano
The Star Provisions and Bacchanalia chef/owner shares how the acclaimed restaurants are evolving with their move to a new, custom-built space on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard
What was the impetus for the decision to move?
It was time for Bacchanalia and Star Provisions to come to life in a new way, and we knew that next step needed to be defined by two things: maintaining our commitment to Atlanta’s Westside and also creating a space that was just for us. We were thrilled to have this opportunity with Stream Realty Partners as they continue the development of the Upper Westside.
This is the first new build for you. What was it like having a say in every detail from the ground up?
It was an adventure. We knew a purpose-built space was necessary for the next chapter of both concepts, so we fully immersed ourselves in the project to realize our true vision for Bacchanalia and Star Provisions. I’m passionate about exact curation of details, so the finishing touches for the spaces were particularly exciting for me.
What personal touches were included?
Every detail in the space is evocative of my and [my husband and business partner Clifford Harrison’s] culinary journey, as well as the evolution of Star Provisions and Bacchanalia. The most personal element is the memory wall that connects the two concepts and includes an assortment of special photos—from the first location of Bacchanalia to best friends and our Summerland Farm family home. It’s our hope that this wall honors the past and also encourages guests to celebrate the future.
Star Provisions feels much larger, not to mention modern and fresh.
The space is the realization of the evolution of my personal design aesthetic coupled with the unique creative lens of the incredible architecture and design team at Perkins+Will. Everyone wanted to create a space abundant with natural light and raw materials, and this was the foundation for the design. There was no idea too big or too small, and I think the guest feels this in the space; every detail has purpose, and the space is especially efficient for our staff to serve our guests.
How has the new space influenced the Star Provisions dining experience?
The menu has experienced a complete overhaul with a focus on bright, wholesome and hearty dishes—now served on china and suitable for all times of the day. We want guests to slow down for a convivial meal instead of rushing through breakfast, lunch or an early dinner. The menu goes a long way in achieving that, as does the addition of wine and beer on tap. Those who love the tried-and-true Star Provisions sandwiches can still head to Westside Provisions, where we have opened Little Star Provisions to Go, which offers midday staples for the lunch crowd.
Could you share the inspiration behind the Edison bulbs in Bacchanalia?
They seemed the natural fit for the starry-night environment we were trying to create. I would like to say goodbye to directed track lighting in dining rooms.
Has Bacchanalia’s new space influenced the evolution of the menu?
Our culinary team—Joe Schafer as executive chef, Jonathan Kallini as chef de cuisine and pastry chef Carla Tomasko—is definitely drawing inspiration from the new space, and this is translating into a refreshed approach to our daily and seasonally evolving four-course, prix fixe menus. The simplicity of the dining room makes our plates pop with energy. We especially love that we are featuring our food on handmade pottery, much of which is locally produced.