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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.
5 MOST ANTICIPATED OPENINGS
Situated on the speck of Atlanta skyline where it garners the most attention, the blue-domed Polaris has long been one of the most visible landmarks in the city. Now it’s one of the tastiest. After closing in the mid-aughts, The Johnson Studio recently gutted the space and reimagined it as Don Draper’s after-hours hangout. Executive Chef Martin Pfefferkorn’s menu promises to oscillate every couple of weeks, but for now, opening service calls for small plates such as white asparagus soup with truffle powder and steak Oscar with bernaise and Dungeness crab. The seared rockhind with black rice dish sounds newfangled (yet tasty), but one thing that hasn’t changed? The classic peach daiquiri—a nod to its storied past. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta foodies have been awaiting the announcement of The St. Regis Atlanta’s prime resto real estate for years. So it was—sigh!—wonderful to hear that Tavistock Group’s investment gurus are hiring locals to give it a Southern sensibility. They have tapped chef Gerry Klaskala, co-owner of Canoe and co-owner/chef at Aria to head up menuplanning, staff and even hire a chef de cuisine personally. Overstuffed upholstered furniture, lacquered walls and cozy banquettes are on the docket for the $5 million buildout. 88 W. Paces Ferry Road
Rick Wahlstedt is bringing his hip New York brasserie concept southward and is set to open doors on the latest Le Bilboquet in Buckhead in early September. Wahlstedt shares that the interiors will include a pewter bar anchoring the dining room and large operable windows that open to alfresco dining. The chef’s prowess will be evident in such classic dishes as Black Angus steak with pepper sauce served with tomato salsa and a buttery gravy you’ll want to soak up with the salty frites. Ooh la la, y’all! Peachtree Road and Buckhead Avenue
The Southern Gentleman
Local restaurateurs Chris Hadermann and John Piemonte continue their winning streak with this latest entry in the Southern Proper Hospitality empire. The métier here is playful Southern staples, such as a version of chicken and waffles made with chicken liver mousse and sorghum syrup. The bar program will focus on—what else?—classic Southern cocktails: mint juleps, bourbon and the like. Peachtree Road and Buckhead Avenue
Superstar chef Ford Fry is doing our dining scene another favor when he opens upscale Mex-Tex (not reversed) spot in Inman Park late this summer. He’s already chosen right-hand man Kevin Maxey to head up the edgy and unexpected Latin concept. Inspired by some of his favorite dining spots in Austin, Texas, Fry has a New Yorkbased firm designing the space in its “cool Brooklyn-style.” 99 Krog St.