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.
Haven boasts quite the wine list and library. The dark wood walls create an intimate atmosphere, and make sure to check out the desserts, which include a sticky toffee pudding with poached pears.
James Ehrlich's sister eatery to Eclipse di Luna, Cafe di Sol is a neighborhood restaurant with spark. Expect an affordable, rangy menu of small plates, sandwiches, salads and a few deftly conceived entrees. Thirsty? The grapefruit-rosewater martini is our favorite way to get blotto.
Executive Chef Matt Basford helms this longtime riverside retreat of Atlanta's upper crust.
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.
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.
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.