Atlanta Restaurants: Todd Ginsberg’s Italian-American Dirty Rascal Restaurant Opens at the Thompson Buckhead Hotel
Italian-American restaurant Dirty Rascal is slated to open in December on the ground floor of the new Hyatt-backed Thompson Hotel in Buckhead Village. Led by Chef Todd Ginsberg and the team behind the Rye Restaurants Group, expect to eat everything from puffy spaghetti and meatballs to king crab scampi accompanied by cocktails and wine.
Rye Restaurants, owned by Ginsberg, Jennifer and Ben Johnson and Shelley Sweet, manages General Muir, Fred’s Meat and Bread, Yalla, Wood’s Chapel BBQ and TGM Bread. The group’s micro-dining hall, The Canteen, closed last May after three years in Midtown due to an unrecoverable loss of income and lack of rent relief resulting from the pandemic. The West Egg Cafe, owned by Johnsons and Sweet, is not one of the Rye restaurants.
Taking inspiration from old-fashioned red sauce restaurants in New York City and classic Italian joints found just off the Strip in Las Vegas, Dirty Rascal promises to imbue a mid-century chic vibe in the dining room and throughout. the food served here. Design plans call for a large marble bar with red leather wrapped around the facade to be highlighted in the dining area, as well as round leather booths and other intimate seating areas throughout the space.
Atlanta chef Joshua Hopkins has been named the hotel’s executive chef and will lead day-to-day kitchen operations at Dirty Rascal. Hopkins comes to the Thompson Hotel after serving as Culinary Director for Rye Restaurants and previously working at renowned Atlanta restaurants such as Empire State South, Bacchanalia, and Abattoir. In 2018, Hopkins partnered with Dennis Lange to open Italian restaurant Adalina in the Post Riverside apartment complex on Northside Parkway in northwest Atlanta. The restaurant has since closed.
Look for fresh pasta and other classic Italian-American comfort food here, including vodka rigatoni alla, fettuccini alfredo, veal parmigiana, and osso bucco, as well as some prepared or finished dishes at the table. During breakfast, Dirty Rascal will offer an espresso bar, while lunch will include salads, soups and sandwiches, and more hearty lunch options.
“A lot of us grew up on this food, whether it was spaghetti and meatballs at home, or a family night out at a neighborhood red sauce restaurant,” Ginsberg said in a prepared statement. “We started hosting a Sunday night spaghetti dinner every week at General Muir years ago. People come every week just for that – spaghetti and meatballs at a Jewish grocery store.
Ginsberg plans to pay homage to his mother on the menu, who nicknamed the chef “dirty rascal” as a child, with some homemade Italian dishes as well.
In addition to Dirty Rascal, the more than 200-room Thompson Hotel will also include a cafe and lobby bar and a rooftop pool with cabanas and a private club called Tesserae.
415 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta.