Southwestern institution continues to shine. The adobe-chic dining room is dazzling, and the Chile-infused New American menu resounds with imagination. Indulge in sophisticated fusion creations like crusty Sonoma Jack cheese fritters, spicy tuna tartare totopos, venison loin with blackberry demi-glace, and chipotle BBQ grilled flank steak.
The rectangular design of Bob Amick's Atlantic Station baby is very New York in a self-contained way, and a welcome deviation from the frenetic pubescence of One Midtown Kitchen and Two Urban Licks. Nick Oltarsh is the executive chef in charge of forward-thinking combinations. Servers can be out to lunch, but dreamy desserts and a sure hand in the kitchen make for a blessedly grown-up experience.
Very cozy American bistro tucked into a neighborhood nook.
A casual American bistro.
Originally opened in 1995, Canoe has long been a favorite among Atlanta's upper crust. Holding the chef title since 2005, Carvel Grant Gould has access to unparalleled ingredients, and she utilizes those ingredients to create upscale classics. This food is not modern, but it's hardly old-fashioned. Service is more of an issue. The theater of verbose formality can be an irritating throwback. But there’s no better or more special-feeling restaurant in town for events that may seem kind of throwback in and of themselves. Canoe still makes a grand first impression, and a pretty darn good fourth or fifth one as well.
At once modernist and classicist, the California-influenced cuisine of owner-chefs Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano is based on solid technique, simple presentation and fresh, first-quality ingredients. The spare industrial setting fits the food like beurre blanc on fish, while the service, wines and physical comforts leave little to be desired.
Aria is the third incarnation of the old Hedgerose Heights Inn, brought back to glorious life by chef Gerry Klaskala's contemporary cuisine and Kathryn King's delectably composed desserts. Expect respectfully prepared, seasonal accompaniments for classic luxury ingredients like lobster, foie gras and jumbo soft-shelled crabs. Be sure to glance upward to check out the ceiling light fixture that looks like an LSD-inspired sex fantasy from a Jules Verne tale.
Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison have created another remarkable restaurant. The pair has been at the forefront of farm-to-table dining in our city and Abattoir--featuring "local proteins"--is a natural extension of that. Besides joining the whole-animal trend of eating everything from the ears to the tail, the restaurant is also a response to the recession. Prices, like a $10 burger, are significantly lower than Bacchanalia's and Floataway's. And the menu, prepared by executive chef Joshua Hopkins, is not all weirdness, even though any adventurous foodie will be drawn to the offal dishes.
The cinematic chaos and glamour of Two Urban Licks draws a decibel-shattering crowd eager for rambunctious dining and willing to sit out the long wait just for the youthful exuberance that fills the restaurant. For the best dining experience, stick to the appetizers and small plates. The consistent pleasures include the salmon chips and meaty baby back ribs. The daring can venture into the inconsistent entrees, like the beef brisket or the roasted duck. You might get lucky and have a fabulously prepared meal.
The food at Restaurant Eugene over the past year has become brighter, bolder and more accessible. Chef Linton Hopkins is now on par with the absolute best chefs in the Southeast. Rather than choose the traditional appetizer and entree, guests are presented with a list of around 30 small plates organized under the headings of fish, vegetables, and meat & game. Hopkins' love for ingredients is front and center. The crisp kale is fried just long enough to turn the leaves into shattering chips of musky, smoky flavor with a refreshingly bitter aftertaste. Other dishes are all about showcasing the freshness of the season. The peach and Vidalia salad has becomes a summer staple at the restaurant -- a voluptuous celebration of two kinds of sweetness, the juicy peach and the more cunning onion, perfectly flattering each other. As if to add good fortune to godsend, the restaurant is now far more affordable than before.
Wildly popular breakfast spot (that serves lunch, too), offering perfectly potent coffee, fluffy biscuits, and both creative dishes and traditional staples. Lots of vegetarian options, too.
Bold flavors, well-crafted cocktails, and an insider vibe flow through this place run by a crew who used to work in other people's restaurants before becoming their own bosses.