Bulla Gastrobar opened its first Atlanta location in late September in the 12th & Midtown mixed-use development in Midtown, serving dinner nightly and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Touting a “fun communal atmosphere, imaginative cocktail program and contemporary takes on traditional Spanish tapas,” the menu features signature small plates and larger entrees meant for sharing.
Bulla (pronounced “boo-ya”) is owned by Centurion Restaurant Group, which operates four Florida locations, in Coral Gables, Doral, Winter Park and Tampa.
Managing partner Tony Ramirez, a Miami native who moved to Atlanta to oversee the operation here, recently talked about the concept.
“The original is in Coral Gables in Miami,” Ramirez said. “It was a restaurant called Por Fin, and the owner, Carlos Centurion, switched it over to the Bulla concept, and we have been steadily increasing restaurants around Florida.
“We’re a Spanish and Catalan-style gastrobar specializing in authentic tapas and handcrafted cocktails. It’s a unique restaurant in our approach, and I think that will work in Midtown. For the short period of time that we have been open, we’ve already had a tremendous following from the neighborhood. That’s always a good sign.”
Located on the corner of 11th Street, across from the Federal, the two-story layout is focused around an open kitchen and a large bar area, designed to create lively interactions, as the name Bulla, which translates to chatter, suggests.
“We have the full main bar downstairs, which is next to our open kitchen,” Ramirez said. “We have another bar upstairs, which is our private dining area. We’ll also open that up for regular dining once we’re up and running a little longer.
“The unique thing about the upstairs is that we have hydraulic windows that open up, so when you’re up there, you feel like you’re outside. Downstairs, the patio and the bar open up to give you that same feeling. We call it the ‘Bulla buzz.’”
The largest section of the menu includes a dozen Spanish cured meats and cheeses, along with more than 20 small plates. But there at least six large plates, including braised short ribs, and salmon with baby spinach, chickpeas and lemon cream.
“We really feature our Saturday and Sunday brunch,” Ramirez said. “It’s a prix fixe menu for $27 per person. You can get things like brioche French toast, hazelnut waffles, and ricotta pancakes, which are all tremendous.
“On the dinner menu, we have numerous tapas, of course. One of our specialties is Huevos Bulla, which is our house-made potato chips, topped with two organic sunny-side-up fried eggs, aged serrano ham, potato foam and a little truffle oil.
“And then we also have the classic dish from Spain, which is our paella with Valencia-style rice, seafood, red sofrito, saffron. The idea is to share everything. Come in and have a couple of tapas and a paella. That’s what we suggest for our guests to do.”
Certainly, drinks fit into that equation, too, with house cocktails like the Bulla Lemongrass Collins with Lila gin, and the Bulla Moscow Mule with Russian Standard vodka, and a selection of Spanish wines, sherries and after-dinner drinks.
“We have what we call two hearts in our restaurants,” Ramirez said, summing up the Bulla creed. “We have the kitchen and the bar. And that’s our philosophy.”
60 11th St. NE, Atlanta. 404-900-6926, bullagastrobar.com.
More images from a First Look at Bulla in Midtown