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The 50 Finest
The Editors | Photo: Angie Mosier and Andrew Thomas Lee | June 27, 2014
When it comes to good taste, Atlanta has it in spades. The city’s Southern charm is evident in its wave of new tantalizing trattorias, beguiling brasseries and posh points of interest where menu magic, mixology moxie and dessert decadence deliver the goods. We’re serving it all up right here. Hopefully, you’ve come hungry.
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Uni (sea urchin) is the new bacon. Sweet, with a hint of brine, it has been seen topping dishes all over town as of late. You’ll find this increasingly fashionable delicacy at The Spence, where you can snack on beef tartare with uni bottarga. Or, The One Sushi + has uni spoons: balsamic sushi rice topped with uni, lemon zest and a quail egg. Even The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, with its classic leanings, offers housemade tagliatelle with uni, rose petals and yuzu in The Café.
Nevermind your standard Blue Points—the more obscure the oyster’s origins these days, the better. Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar in Brookhaven regularly changes it up with sweet North Atlantic Katama Bays one day, and British Columbia’s Kusshis the next. Find Washington’s Naked Roy’s Beach rich oysters at Ink & Elm or Vancouver’s bountiful Stellar Bays at Kimball House, while One Eared Stag is shucking Belons from an estuary in Brittany, France.
Park 75’s braised pork belly taco takes a sweet turn with peach kimchee, while South City Kitchen in Midtown serves its own Southernized rendition: smoked pork belly with collard-green kimchee, benne seeds and orange Tupelo honey. King + Duke offers it every which way, from pickle-jar snacks to a porchetta sandwich to an octopus app featuring kimchee foam. The master? Sobban, who inserts kimchee into at least a dozen dishes—think rice, kale, slaw and pancakes.
Gunshow is bringing in outside chefs, for two days each, from award-winning restaurants to show off their skills in the resto’s open kitchen. Chef John Currence (2009 James Beard winner) of Mississippi’s City Grocery cooks July 15-16; chef Tandy Wilson from Nashville’s City House from Aug. 12-13; and more into the fall. The idea is catching on as Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q just brought in Texas-based chef Tim Byres (2014 James Beard winner) to helm the kitchen for one night.
Olive Oil Sweets
Take a chance on two colossal spheres of olive oil ice cream at Ecco. They taste just as rich and decadent as traditional flavors—if not more so. The trend is felt all over Atlanta, as olive oil and blueberry pound cake is on the menu at 4th & Swift (along with the occasional olive oil gelato with olive oil powder). And at La Tavola Trattoria, a Meyer lemon-olive oil cake with stewed huckleberries and fresh cream is a dessert mainstay for adoring regulars.