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Bar Ti Amo owner Marco Betti embraces everything he does with passion.

FUN FACT A self-described fashionista, Betti wears custom-made shirts and shoes from Italy. photo: Reynolds Rogers

Marco Betti has had more careers in his five decades than many have in their lifetimes. Growing up in the hills of Tuscany, he and his brother Alessandro helped their parents run a butcher shop before Betti turned to accounting in college. Yet his passion was fashion, and his first job outside the family business was managing Benetton stores in London. Several years later, a move to Rome led him to open a cosmetics shop. Once he was back in Italy, however, family came calling. He and Alessandro opened their first restaurant in the Florence countryside. After a couple of years, lease negotiations ran aground, and Betti turned to the seas to learn about fine dining on cruise ships. When he returned, he launched Antica Posta Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast in San Casciano, Italy.

If the name Antica Posta sounds familiar, that’s because the second location is in Buckhead. Betti opened it on East Paces Ferry in 1999 with Alessandro soon joining him as executive chef. Last year, the duo expanded their reach, introducing Bar Ti Amo to the Buckhead community. Located on Paces Ferry Place, the restaurant serves pasta, meat, fish and poultry using seasonal ingredients.

“I love this business,” says Betti, who runs it with his daughter, Sophie.

But Betti likes to diversify. In addition to running his restaurants, he imports specialty Italian foods such as truffles and olive oil to sell wholesale. He also leads Italian culinary tours. We spoke with him to learn more.

Why did you decide to open Bar Ti Amo?

I wanted to do a more casual concept than Antico Posta but still focused on quality food—a place anybody can go and have a bite to eat. It’s like an Italian trattoria, open all day, seven days a week, for food and drink, coffee and pastries.

What is it like to work with your brother?

He’s 10 years younger than me. We have worked together since 1989 and have a very efficient working relationship. There’s a lot of respect as well as brotherly love. We’re both very passionate about food. Everything starts with quality. Disagreements are rare, especially when it comes to food. I come up with more of the recipes [than he does], but he puts the final touch on all of them. Then we taste them together. He doesn’t trust anyone as much as he trusts me as a food taster.

How did you get started leading Italian culinary tours?

Everyone was always asking me what to do and where to go in Italy, so I decided to use my longtime friends and contacts to put together a tour of Tuscany. We go once or twice a year for seven nights, eight days. It can be anywhere from six to 18 people. We stay in a villa and cook five of the nights with my parents and aunt. We use private transportation to explore four major wine regions: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri and Valdarno Superiore.

What’s your favorite part of owning a restaurant?

I like to wear nice clothes every evening and see different people. It’s like having a party every night. Every day is different. I enjoy the variety of challenges. I love to see everyone walking out happy. That’s how I fell in love with this business in the first place.

What are your plans for the future? Any new restaurants in the works?

At the end of 2024, we’ll evaluate whether it’s possible to open another Bar Ti Amo. I think it’s a concept that can be replicated. I like Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.

What do you do for fun?

When I wake up every morning, I cycle, run or go to the gym—most of the time all three. I really like to go out for dinner. There’s nothing like eating a great dinner with my wife and friends, talking and enjoying great food and a bottle of wine.


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