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5 Most Exciting New Restaurants

Atlanta’s restaurant renaissance is hallmarked by thrilling new openings, impressive chefs and dishes to die for.  

5 Most Exciting New Restaurants in Atlanta 2016

Cape Dutch’s Justin Anthony and chef Philippe Haddad 

1. Cape Dutch
South African cuisine shines bright thanks to restaurateur Justin Anthony—who introduces Atlantans to the gourmet treasures of his native country. Executive Chef Philippe Haddad ignites the wood-fired feast celebrating the cookout braai culture with braised rabbit leg with spinach whipped potatoes ($25), and a succulent elk chop with a berry-filled lady apple ($43). POWER MOVE If you really want to heat things up, ask for the chef’s table for an illuminating view of the blazing braai located next to the wine table, perfect for exclusive sips from this hot spot’s impressive wine list. 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, 404.343.0313 

2. Bar Margot
The Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta upped the ante on thoughtfully curated cuisine when it teamed up with restaurateur Ford Fry and powerhouse cocktail duo Greg Best and Paul Calvert. The seductive Midtown retreat pairs perfectly portioned plates from Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker highlighting brilliant bites of crab toast ($15) and bavette steak ($29) with smart sips. POWER MOVE Snag table 30 for privacy and a bird’s eye view of all the restaurant happenings, and go off-menu with the secret Leblon Cachaça and blueberry concocted cocktail—the Missing Digit ($12). 75 14th St. NE, 404.881.5913 

3. Staplehouse
The highly anticipated Old Fourth Ward neighborhood restaurant birthed from late chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jennifer’s supper club funnels post-tax profits to The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit organization serving the restaurant community. James Beard-nominated chef Ryan Smith's menu is a moving target of inspired bites like Meyer lemon foie gras tart ($16) and substantial offerings of Bear Creek beef sausage ($28). POWER MOVE Explore your adventurous side with the five-course Chef’s Tasting menu ($85), a feast for the senses highlighting local fare and Smith’s brazen creativity. 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, 404.524.5005 

4. Dolce Italian
Simple, bold and authentic flavors pay homage to seasonal Italian cuisine that straddles the line between rustic and refined. The superchic The Shops Buckhead Atlanta ristorante from LDV Hospitality delivers a modern take on handcrafted pastas like linguine al frutti di mare ($26) and specialty Neapolitan-style pizzas ($14 to $17). POWER MOVE Close the deal and show you mean business when ordering a bottle of 2011 Sassicaia Central Italian from Tenuta San Guido Toscana ($450). 3035 Peachtree Road NE, 678.686.2267

5. JP Atlanta 
Celebrated architect and visionary John C. Portman Jr. has elevated the standard of downtown dining. This modern interpretation of Portman’s 50-year-old classic (Midnight Sun) delivers thoughtful American cuisine and contemporary elegance to the bustling business district. Executive Chef Julio Delgado brings the menu to life with flavorful dishes like chicken liver mousse with bourbon cherries ($12), duck meatballs for sharing ($14) and spring farm trout with navel orange and caper butter ($24). POWER MOVE Groups of eight will be more than comfortable at JP Atlanta’s special table 9. The semienclosed booth is the perfect location to enjoy your own space without the isolation of private dining. 230 Peachtree St. NW, 404.523.4004