Acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Art Smith will open the doors to Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, his first restaurant and bar concept in the Southeast, on Monday, September 26, 2011. Smith’s anticipated debut in the heart of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood will combine a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm.

“I am very excited to bring Southern Art to the Atlanta dining scene, which has become one of the most progressive culinary cities in the country,” Smith says. “Southern Art will embrace my heritage and utilize the freshest ingredients from local farms to celebrate the South.”

The Chef

Receiving the culinary profession’s highest awards and cooking for some of the world’s most famous celebrities, Art Smith brings his culinary passion and prowess to Atlanta with Southern Art. In addition to his role as executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two in Chicago, Art and Soul in Washington, D.C., and LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto, California, Smith served as the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey for 10 years and now coordinates and cooks for the headline-grabbing special events that she hosts worldwide. Smith’s several television appearances include “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Iron Chef America,” “The Today Show,” “Nightline,” “Fox News,” “Extra,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Dr. Oz,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” A contributing editor to Oprah’s magazine O, Smith is also the author of three award-winning cookbooks: “Back to the Table,” “Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families” and “Back to the Family.” In 2003, he founded Common Threads, a non-profit organization that teaches children about diversity and tolerance through the world's great cultures. Smith was honored by Chicago magazine as a “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2007, and later that year received the prestigious “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the James Beard Foundation.

The Cuisine

The menu at Southern Art is a blend of Smith’s Southern cooking heritage, true love for Southern comfort food and strong commitment to serving traditional classics prepared with his light, modern approach. Embracing farm-to-table and regional cooking, Smith encourages diners to celebrate comfort and health. The menu will also be reflective of Smith’s own family traditions with roots deep in the South, featuring a few select custom-aged steaks from the Smith family’s 100-year-old cattle ranch located in Hamilton County on the border of south Georgia and north Florida.

Sample appetizers include baked oysters with crispy pork belly; Smith’s mother Addie Mae’s chicken-and-dumpling soup; Tybee Island pickled shrimp with tomato, watermelon, and lime-basil dressing; and a Low country seafood platter. Entrée selections range from roasted whole yellowtail snapper with smashed roasted potatoes, spit-roasted half chicken with braised greens, braised Berkshire hog pork shoulder with green tomato chow-chow, fried chicken, and sour cream waffles to Smith Family Ranch grilled and aged ribeye steak with red eye gravy. For a complete Southern dining experience, guests can savor classic side dishes such as corn and okra pudding and sweet potato soufflé.

Artisan Ham Bar

Further embracing Southern culinary traditions, Southern Art will feature an artisan ham-and-charcuterie bar to showcase the strong craft and long-standing traditions of regional country hams. Carved to order and served with piping hot biscuits or crackling skillet corn bread and house-made butter and pickles, the artisan ham bar will be a unique focal point for the dining room and a distinctive beginning to any meal.

Pies and Cakes

In addition, guests can peruse delectable house-made desserts from a vintage pie table with classics such as blueberry cobbler, buttermilk chocolate cake, 12-layer red velvet cake, mockingbird cake with crushed peaches and Georgia pecans, and summer peach pie. Guests can order a house-made pie, baked to order, to enjoy in-house or to take home for friends and family to share.

Bourbon Bar

With seating for 74 guests, Bourbon Barwill serve as both a meeting place for after-work and post-dinner gatherings in a convivial, friendly atmosphere. The Southern-inspired bar will feature a well-cultivated selection of American bourbon distillers, focusing on small-batch producers and featuring select bourbons only available at Bourbon Bar through exclusive agreements. In addition to more than 70 bourbon offerings, guests can sip on an array of cocktails which showcase distinctive twists on American classics from the pre-Prohibition era that are available only in the bar.

The Space

In keeping with the hallmark of Smith’s acclaimed restaurants, Southern Art will strike the balance between comfortable and sophisticated, combining a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm. A vintage pie table resplendent with antique cake stands and white daisies will greet guests. Opposite the main dining room, Bourbon Bar features large communal tables, a rich tobacco-colored wall covering and a bronze and linen pendant fixture. The artisan ham-and-charcuterie bar lures visitors to the 92-seat main dining room which is complete with a large private dining room that seats up to 40 people. Guests are also invited to dine al fresco on the 48-seat outdoor terrace along bustling Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead’s business district. 

Southern Art is located at 3315 Peachtree Rd. in Atlanta. For more information about Southern Art, please visit us at or call the restaurant at 404.946.9070. Reservations can be made beginning Monday, September 12.

Chef Profiles, Industry News, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar