Claude Guillaume, the class-act maitre d’ who oversaw Atlanta’s two top restaurants during the city’s dining heyday – Seeger’s and the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead — has announced that he will leave the Ritz. Guillaume, who has an uncanny ability to put guests at ease in formal situations, has stayed on at the Buckhead hotel since last year’s closing of the Dining Room. He will become the general manager at Davio’s — the Boston-based Italian steak house under construction in Phipps Plaza. He’ll remain at the Ritz through the end of May.
My favorite moment with Guillaume came once when I was reviewing Seeger’s a decade ago. I always used a credit card with an alias that Guillaume knew — a name he called me by whenever I visited the restaurant. Alas, the card was declined and I had to put the bill on my debit card with my own name. “Thank you, Mr. Chapman,” he said when I gave him the card, and “Thank you, Mr. Kessler” when he returned it.
In other news: