Paces 88 American Bistro — the luxuriously appointed dining room in the St. Regis Hotel — bucked the trend away from fine dining when it opened in April 2009 with a high-ticket gourmet menu. Dishes such as the $35 roasted Carolina Squab with hedgehog mushrooms and caramelized pear caught the attention of Esquire Magazine’s roving restaurant-goer John Mariani, who proclaimed it one of the 20 best new restaurants in America. He praised the melding of “French-American and southern culinary traditions into seamless cuisine that befits both the hotel’s deluxe trappings and Atlanta’s eminence as a southern city.”
Hold that pigeon.
On Monday the hotel’s general manager, Simon Rusconi, announced that the restaurant will take a turn for the casual beginning March 1. “We’re taking it in a lighter direction, with sandwiches and salads at lunch and dinner,” he said. “We’ll also have a big sharing section on the menu. People love to share these days.”
Executive chef Mark Alba, who will