Tal Baum

Oliva Restaurant Group opened its newest restaurant at the end of January. Located on the first floor of Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall, Atrium features a modern American menu with European influence and bright, whimsical decor.

The team behind Atrium includes Tal Baum, Founder & Proprietor of Oliva Restaurant Group, Executive Culinary Director Brandon Hughes and Director of Operations Josh Riddle.

Baum is building on Oliva Group’s stream of success with other Atlanta restaurants – Aziza, Falafel Nation, Bellina Alimentari and Rina. Oliva’s forthcoming restaurant, Carmel, is slated to open late 2022 in Buckhead Village and will offer diners a taste of coastal life.

The focus at Atrium, Baum said, is “cooking what we love. We also wanted to create dishes that would enchant our guests, just as the ambiance does.”

That ambiance is boosted by Smith Hanes Studio’s designs; interior elements include bold florals and works by local artisans and craftsmen. The spacious cocktail lounge, The Parlor, contains a hand-painted tile bar and mural, and the 4,000 square foot main dining room, The Bistro, features massive factory windows and large pink banquettes.

Enchantment is the idea behind all the Oliva restaurants, Baum explained. “We’re trying to transport our guests into a different world and reality, and for a couple of hours, take them on a journey to another place. With Atrium, we want to give guests a respite from the hustle and bustle of Ponce City Market,” she said.

Atrium at Ponce City Market

Baum explained that all of Oliva’s restaurants represents chapters of her life.

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, she moved to Florence, Italy, at the age of 21. During her seven years in Italy, she studied architecture and developed an intimate knowledge of Italian cuisine.

“Rina, Aziza and Falafel Nation symbolize my early life and growing up in Israel,” Baum said. “Bellina Alimentari is an ode to my years living in Italy, and Atrium is a manifestation of a current chapter experiencing the evolution of dining in America.”

She suggested that Atrium visitors start with drinks in The Parlor, then move to The Bistro for a meal. She said that while it’s hard to recommend just one dish, diners should try Chef Cole Pate’s chicken entree.

Atrium at Ponce City Market

“Chicken is one of those dishes that is so hard to be creative and innovative with, but Cole was really trying to elevate the chicken experience and turn it into something different,” Baum said. 

“We make chicken sausage in-house, then we wrap the sausage in the chicken, sous vide it and crisp it up before serving so the skin is super crispy and browned. It comes out in the perfect texture, and there are so many different layers — from the crispy skin to the sausage to the sauce.” All those elements take the chicken into a completely different level, one that’s restaurant worthy, she added.

While the pandemic and recent lockdowns affected all the restaurants in the city, Baum said they stayed busy with to-go orders, catered meals to-go, virtual cooking classes and more. “I’m excited to look to the future,” she said. “That’s where our focus is now – making sure people have a fabulous experience, where they have a good time and forget about their day-to-day for a few hours.”

For more on Atrium and the Oliva Restaurant Group, visit atriumatl.com and olivarestaurants.com.

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.