Fifth Group Restaurants, the esteemed Atlanta hospitality company behind South City Kitchen, Ecco, La Tavola Trattoria, The Original El Taco, Lure and Alma Cocina, as well as full-service events company Bold Catering & Design, today announces the highly-anticipated Alma Cocina Buckhead will open its doors in December 2019. Located at the corner of Peachtree and Piedmont in Buckhead’s Terminus community, the concept, called one of 10 great Mexican restaurants in the USA by USA Today, will serve as the second outpost of the modern Mexican concept, joining its sister restaurant in downtown Atlanta.
With nearly 20 years of culinary experience and a proven track record for developing innovative menus, executive chef Chad Clevenger will lead the kitchen at Alma Cocina Buckhead, continuing the restaurant’s approach to seasonal Mexican fare. A beloved member of the Fifth Group family, Clevenger has served as the executive chef at Alma Cocina Downtown since its opening in 2012, where he is known for merging seasonality and modern cooking methods with the roots of Latin cuisine – not to mention a win on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” earlier this year. As Clevenger takes the helm at Alma Cocina Buckhead, executive chef Robert Rambo – a former sous chef who has trained under Clevenger for nearly four years – will fulfill his role at Alma Cocina Downtown.
“Chef Chad has always had a talent for incorporating traditional Latin American techniques and ingredients on the Alma Cocina menu while keeping things fresh, modern and approachable,” said Fifth Group founding partner Robby Kukler. “He has a deep understanding of the evolution of Latin cuisine and we could not be more excited for him to carry the torch as we introduce Alma to the Buckhead neighborhood.”
At the front of house, general manager David Bridges brings an extensive background in hospitality and passion for serving others to ensure each guest has a positive experience. Another seasoned member of the Fifth Group family, Bridges served as general manager of La Tavola and manager South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Buckhead prior to joining the Alma Cocina Buckhead team.
Spanish for “soul kitchen,” Alma Cocina Buckhead’s menu will combine local ingredients, traditional techniques and Latin American flavors to create memorable dishes that simultaneously feel intriguing and familiar. Following Fifth Group’s model of showcasing individual executive chefs’ creativity via seasonal menu updates, the Buckhead menu will be similar in style to the Downtown location – which features first bites, small plates, large plates, signature and street tacos and for-the-table options – though individual items will vary as a result of Clevenger’s influence. A few signature favorites include:
- Fried Chichuahua Cheese, salsa verde, corn tortillas
- Roasted Chicken Mole, mashed plantains, grilled chambray onions, mole negro
- Huitlacoche Empanadas, ranchero sauce, epazole
- Fried Avacado Tacos, crispy queso cotija, macha verde
Alma Cocina Buckhead’s thoughtful beverage program will showcase distinct ties to Spanish spirits and underscore Fifth Group’s network of relationships with small and large batch distillers throughout Latin America. After extensive traveling through various Latin American countries, the Buckhead team has identified several local artisans and distillers from the region to source premium spirits, including pisco, mezcal and rum. The restaurant’s featured cocktails will be sophisticated, yet approachable, and include customizable and interactive elements. Beverage menu highlights include: