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The 50 Finest

Atlanta’s restaurant renaissance is hallmarked by thrilling new openings, impressive chefs, dishes to die for, experiences to savor and the top trends that take dining out into a whole new and exciting realm.

Caviar brioche, market price, at Himitsu



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

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

See the magical moments behind the scenes by booking the Chef’s Table experience at JP Atlanta.

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

This secret is meant to be told. The reservation-only cocktail haven from the Umi team has garnered national attention for its exclusivity and creative interior design by renowned designer Tom Dixon. Custom lighting and dark banquettes and a James Bond-esque level of security create an air of mystery. Small plates such as caviar brioche (market price) and late-night sweets from chef Fuyuhiko and Pastry Chef Lisa Ito of Umi pair with 110 wines, 30 sakes and craft libations like the not-so-classic margarita ($17) from cocktail maestro Shingo Gokan. POWER MOVE True insiders have their eye scans on file for quick entry via the outside retinal scanner. 3050 Peachtree Road NW

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) and duck meatballs for sharing ($14). POWER MOVE Book a reservation in the contemporary and elegant private dining rooms to indulge delicious fare surrounded by John Portman's art. Enjoy the deledtable menu with an aesthetically pleasing backdrop on the side. 230 Peachtree St. NE, 404.523.4004

It’s no surprise that restaurant magnate Ford Fry’s first steakhouse is such a knockout. The French-inspired champ is wrought with opulent touches of Old World charm that make devouring the likes of delicate escargots in parsley butter ($16) and a 42-ounce porterhouse for three ($155) a dining destination for bon vivants. The pièce de résistance comes in the form of the flaming display of baked Alaska ($16), prepared tableside. POWER MOVE The late-night menu opens the door to a world of delectable possibilities like the soft crab omelet or steak frites after 11pm. 1170 Howell Mill Road, 404.665.4555

The Mercury
The 1960s-inspired midcentury-modern decor of the Ponce City Market cocktail house unites classic American cuisine with Mad Men era sips. Certified Prime steaks are aplenty ($30 to $150) flanked by ample sea offerings. Beverage Director Julian Goglia shows that classic cocktails persevere with throwback sips like The Commodore (rye, vermouth, amaro, cherry; $13). POWER MOVE Pop next door to Green's Beverages for a bottle of Proof Cocktail Syrup ($22) bottled by Goglia and company to craft your own nightcap at home. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.500.5253

Die-hard fans of his shuttered Here To Serve concepts are thrilled with Master Chef Tom Catherall’s return to the Atlanta restaurant scene. Triumphantly offering up brilliantly crafted plates of innovative dishes like wood-grilled octopus ($12) places TomTom at the epicenter of Virginia-Highland’s growing chef-driven dining resurgence. POWER MOVE The epicurean elite knows to come early for the Catch It If You Can catfish. This off-menu treat is a whole sizzling fried fish infused with fresh ginger. 1000 Virginia Ave. NE, 404.815.9155

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 Order off the seasonally changing la carte menu for deliscious small dishes that are meant to be shared. 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, 404.524.5005

Yebo Beach Haus
Restaurateur Justin Anthony relocated his Yebo concept and added coastal flair to deliver another killer South African experience. The beach-inspired retreat designed by Anthony’s wife, Kelly, is an oasis for all seasons offering peri-peri prawn tacos ($15), ostrich sliders ($16) and a chimichurri-doused kebab platter ($38). POWER MOVE If you’re looking to impress friends, reserve the downstairs private dining room. This Hamptons-meets-Capetown space seats 16 and is surrounded by Anthony’s bespoke collection of South African wines. 111 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.869.1992


Greg Best, Ticonderoga Club
Master mixologist Best is oft touted as the top of the Atlanta sips scene. Now his brilliant moxie for crafted cocktails, combined with the equally formidable drink stylings of Atlanta libation veteran Paul Calvert, has given us something truly special in the form of Krog Street Market gathering spot Ticonderoga Club. Delicious to the very last drop, try the Ticonderoga Cup ($9), where rum, cognac and sherry are joined at the hip with the bright flavors of pineapple, lemon and mint over crushed ice. 99 Krog St. NE, 404.458.4534

Julian Goglia, The Mercury
Goglia is a young gun with an old cocktail soul. Fast-forward some years later from when he intensely sharpened his skills as partner and beverage director of The Pinewood in Decatur and has now crafted a truly revered cocktail experience in Atlanta at Ponce City Market’s The Mercury. Honoring classics like the daiquiri, Old-Fashioned and Moscow Mule, we’re especially enamored by the delightfully complex scotch, ginger, lime and falernum sipper, Ode to Viceroy ($13). 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.500.5253

Kaleb Cribb, Holeman and Finch Public House
With a 12-year-long stint in the industry, Cribb leverages his expertise as a Certified Spirits Specialist (CSS) into subtle whiskey sippers like the Pretty Brown Eyes ($13) with bourbon, Benedictine, lemon and Malbec; and the rye-filled Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire ($13) with mescal, creme sherry, honey and barrel-aged whiskey bitters that continue to keep patrons clamoring for more than just the storied burger at Holeman and Finch Public House. 2277 Peachtree Road NE, 404.948.1175

Keyatta Mincey, Serpas True Food
A drink star that continues to rise to the occasion in the Atlanta cocktail scene, Mincey has cultivated her skills behind the stick at Serpas as lead mixologist with occasional guest bartending stints at The Sound Table. The former model/actress now crafts bright and vibrant cocktails as bubbly as her personality, like the Lavender Sunshine ($10)—a sultry mix of Tanqueray No. Ten, dolin blanc, lavender simple syrup, lime and 18.21 bitters. 659 Auburn Ave., Ste. 501, 404.688.0040

Madison Burch, GRAIN
Burch has been shaking up the city’s cocktail scene by creating storied cocktail programs at not one, but three Atlanta restaurants. As beverage director for Seven Lamps, Tavernpointe and GRAIN, Burch’s strengths lie in her reverence for classic cocktails and wildly innovative spirits. She mixes Manhattans and Sazeracs using eye-opening ingredients like Sichuan, curry and liquid nitrogen. The 6th & West ($11) with rye, chicory liqueur, amaro ciociaro and orange/chocolate bitters transcends time. 856 W. Peachtree St. NE, 404.881.5377

Mercedes O'Brien, Gunshow 
O’Brien curates a truly unique cocktail experience at equally unique dim-sum concept Gunshow. Tapped by former Top Chef Kevin Gillespie to create a cocktail program was quite the notch on her belt. Developing a program of 10 weekly cocktails from the constraints of a mobile-bar cart, her mastery at mixology shines in the Toasted Old-Fashioned ($10) with bourbon, bitters, burnt sugar, bruleed cinnamon and flamed orange that never leaves the menu. 924 Garrett St., 404.380.1886

Sean Gleason, Cape Dutch & Biltong Bar
Beverage Director Gleason is the brains behind the buzzy beverages at South African concepts Cape Dutch and Biltong Bar. Gleason has created unique bar programs that marry thoughtful sips with the spices of South African cuisine. We’re particularly grateful for the Old-Fashioned-inspired Luchador ($12) with anejo and reposado tequilas, agave, and angostura bitters at Biltong Bar that pairs brilliantly with the spiced, dry-aged meats. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 678.515.0620


Dolce Italian
Snag a dish from this Buckhead hot spot’s new brunch menu of mouthwatering fare that will have your taste buds saying grazie with each savory bite. Pack in the protein with the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs ($14) or keep it classic with a spinach, tomato and fontina cheese omelette ($13). Make sure to order one of Dolce's signature specialty cocktails—like the Georgia Peach Bellini ($13)—for a refreshing end to your meal. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, 678.686.2267

Watershed on Peachtree
Soak up the Sunday sun and enjoy some soulful tunes on the terrace of this trendy resto for its weekly Jazz Brunch. Grab a table under Watershed on Peachtree's yellow umbrellas and order Southern-inspired dishes like the powdered-sugar beignets ($7), shrimp and grits ($16) and hot chicken thighs served in a split biscuit ($9). 1820 Peachtree St. NW, 404.809.3561

Bread & Butterfly
The whimsical Inman Park cafe, Bread & Butterfly, features a Parisian-like space for every passerby on Elizabeth Street to come in, order a cappuccino ($4) or Champagne cocktail ($14), and enjoy the signature weekend brunch. Whether you’re hungry for a little (try the brioche toast, $4, with your cappuccino) or a lot (order a dish of soft scrambled eggs and cold trout, $10) this local gem will serve up the perfect dish to satisfy your craving. 290 Elizabeth St. NE, 678.515.4536

Make brunch better when you pair a plate full of cornmeal pancakes ($11) with bottomless mimosas at Venkman's, Old Fourth Ward's hip new restaurant that doubles as a venue for eclectic live music. Test the waters with a Champagne Breakfast (two eggs, Rusty’s bacon or sausage, house potatoes and an ice-cold Miller High Life, $15) or indulge in the Indiana State Fair Breakfast (crispy pork loin, little cheddar omelet and green chile jam on a sweet potato bun, $13). And don’t miss free live shows from some of the best local bands! 740 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE, 470.225.6162

Brezza Cucina
Housed in the rustic old Sears distribution center-turned-Ponce City Market, Brezza’s 90-year-old wood floors and oversize structural columns will have you walking in, but the delectable menu of Italian cuisine-meets-Californian chef delicacies will make you stay. Start with a smoked salmon salad ($12) before picking up a one-of-a-kind pizza with farm eggs, bacon, vidalia onions and bechamel ($15). Delizioso! 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.724.9700


For those looking for a feast for the eyes, Atlanta offers an array of options with truly delicious interiors. Aria’s owner and chef, Gerry Klaskala, enlisted Seiber Design to completely redo his buzzy Buckhead space into a playful and sophisticated dining room lathered in charcoal gray, canary yellow and pale green. At The St. Regis Atlanta’s Atlas, the restaurant’s art curator, Carolyn Carter, has hand-picked the 30 pieces for Atlas’ newest art installation: a selection from The Lewis Collection, which tells the story of Japanese artist Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita through his own works and those of his closest colleagues, including Modigliani, Picasso and Chagall. Restaurateur Justin Anthony has relocated his beloved Buckhead hot spot Yebo Beach Haus, but with a splashy new coastal-chic interior thanks to interior designer and wife Kelly. Leave it to Ford Fry to infuse the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta with a cool, cinematic vibe thanks to newly debuted Bar Margot. Sexy new speak-easy Himitsu sparkles with dazzling decor courtesy of London-based Tom Dixon and interiors as fabulous as the fare. Aria, 490 E. Paces Ferry Road NE, 404.233.7673; Atlas, 88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.600.6471; Yebo Beach Haus, 111 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.869.1992; Bar Margot, 74 14th St. NE, 404.881.5913; Himitsu, 3050 Peachtree Road NW


Krog Street Market
Located right off the Atlanta beltline, Krog Street Market offers an array of shops and eateries, ranging from charcuterie at The Cockentrice to Guy Wong's cult classic Gu's Dumplings to swanky sushi spot Craft Izakaya. With fine dining options like Top Chef alum Eli Kirshtein's brasserie, The Luminary; and Ford Fry's Tex-Mex temple, Superica, rounding out the selection, there is something sure to please any palate or price point. 99 Krog St. NE, 770.434.2400

Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market is quickly becoming one of Atlanta’s premier destinations for good shopping and even better eats. With almost 30 shops and more on the way, you’re sure to work up an appetite after a day of retail therapy. Luckily, an array of options await, including Biltong Bar, Brezza Cucina, City Winery, El Super Pan, Hop's Chicken, H&F Burger, Minero, The Mercury and W.H. Stiles Fish Camp. It's no wonder locals have dubbed this food hall the culinary capital of the South. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.900.7900

Westside Ironworks
This open-air dining and retail hub may be the new kid on the block, but it’s sure to be your next go-to spot for food and drinks, boasting newly debuted hot spots like Barcelona Wine Bar and Tom + Chee. To soak in the season, we suggest stopping by O-Ku Atlanta’s new second-floor patio for a Dapper Snapper roll ($14) and a 2010 Bacardi Mojito Challenge Winner Jasmanian Devil cocktail ($10) to accompany the view of the midtown skyline. 1085 Howell Mill Road


1. Steven Satterfield - Miller Union
Restaurateur and Executive Chef Steven Satterfield is a constant fixture on the prestigious James Beard Awards watch list with multiple nominations for best chef: Southeast, and he’s done it by maintaining the true seasonal, Southern essence of his Westside restaurant, Miller Union. His focus in elevating vegetables like the spinach, chard, strawberry and fennel salad ($11) and goat cheese and green onion tortellini ($25) to unknown flavor territories set him on the path to celebrated cookbook Root to Leaf ($29, Amazon). 999 Brady Ave. NW, 678.733.8550

2. Ryan Smith - Staplehouse
Celebrated chef Ryan Smith’s untamed talent lights the path as his star continues to rise in Atlanta and beyond at James Beard Award-nominated restaurant Staplehouse. Smith’s creativity in the kitchen honed during his time at Empire State South with JBF Award winner Hugh Acheson truly showcases the versatility of Staplehouse in delivering a thoughtful, ever-changing menu of seasonal offerings like roasted mushrooms ($16) and duck confit with vadouvan yogurt ($18) that could be here today and gone tomorrow. So get them now! 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, 404.524.5005

3. Jackie Chang - O-Ku
Sushi-lovers swoon for Executive Chef Jackie Chang’s clever culinary creations and otherworldly omakase. After sharpening his mastery at Umi Sushi in Buckhead, Chang made his move to Westside Ironworks’ sushi hot spot, O-Ku, where fans can now find innovative offerings like a sashimi pomegranate taco with tuna, salmon and yellowtail topped with pomegranate salsa ($12) or the lobster temaki, buttered lobster hand rolls with asparagus, red beets and black volcano salt ($19). Taste a little of everything by trying the O-Ku Omakase, a full spread of zensai, sashimi, yakimoto, nigiri and misoshiru from the delicious tasting menu ($75). 1085 Howell Mill Road, 404.500.2383 

4. Asha Gomez - Spice to Table
Chef Asha Gomez has been an agent of change preaching the culinary gospel of her home of Kerala in southern India by marrying the unique spices of the region with the fearless cooking tenants of the South. After a celebrated supper club, restaurant (Cardamom Hill), development venue (The Third Space) and Indian patisserie (Spice To Table), Gomez is now sharing her stories and recipes with the masses in her forthcoming cookbook, My Two Souths ($35, Running Press). 659 Auburn Ave. NE, 404.220.8945


You won’t find a more comprehensive list of fine French vino in Atlanta than at Westside’s Marcel. Executive Chef Brian Horn’s meticulously complex steak and seafood stylings pair seamlessly with the expansive selection of rouges, blancs and rosés. The true heavyweight capable of sealing any deal is the bottle of 2012 Domaine Jouard Pinot Noir ($100), with 2013 Ramey Chardonnay ($80) coming in close second. 1170 Howell Mill Road, 404.665.4555

JP Atlanta
Executive Chef Julio Delgado’s locally sourced fine dining forays deserve an equally capable glass of vino to complement the Southern focused yet globally inspired experience. JP Atlanta’s domestic and international vintages draw heavy influence from California wine country to France and Italy. Score a bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio Montefresco ($36) to the high-end Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Ladera ($80). 230 Peachtree St. NE, 404.523.4004

Cape Dutch
The wine list led by sommelier Stacey Blalock and owner Justin Anthony (with notes from France, Spain and California's Napa Valley) coupled with Executive Chef Philippe Haddad’s globally inspired menu at Cape Dutch is a match made in culinary heaven. Spring for rare, reserve and magnum collections of vintages like South African 2007 Anthonij Rupert Bordeaux Blend ($275) and Napa Valley 2012 Opus One Cabernet Blend ($455) to the granddaddy of them all—2013 Magnum Schrader Old Sparky ($1,500). 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, 404.343.0313


JP Atlanta
Executive Chef Julio Delgado’s grand spectacle of flavors at JP Atlanta includes a dazzling display behind the scenes. The curated Chef’s Table experience ($75 per person) accommodates four guests, with wine included, and takes place at the epicenter of where seasonal selections become masterful dishes—the kitchen. Yes, the table for four is located in JP Atlanta’s expansive, state-of-the-art kitchen for a truly eye-opening adventure of locally sourced ingredients with a play-by-play from Delgado himself! 230 Peachtree St. NE, 404.523.4004

A long-awaited labor of love and triumph has become one of the hottest tables to secure in Atlanta. James Beard Award-nominated Staplehouse’s tasting menu ($85) with supplemental wine pairings is a harrowing experience that can only be described as “magical.” Chef Ryan Smith’s creative plays on delivering thoughtful, awe-inspiring dishes using ingredients liberated at season’s peak is a true testament to his culinary fortitude. The five-course tasting menu is a moving target of deliciousness and could include the likes of blue crab, duck sausage and black-pepper strawberries, all drawing heavily on availability and seasonality of ingredients. 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, 404.524.5005

If you haven’t experienced Gunshow, the wildly over-the-top open-kitchen concept from Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie, you’re missing out on the most unique dining experience in Atlanta—and probably the entire nation. The dim sum-style dining experience curated by Executive Chef Joey Ward includes a menu of seasonally driven dishes that can include everything from country fried rib-eye ($20) to raw oysters with smoked trout caviar ($12). With the menu changing weekly, and the same chef-driven mentality mirrored in the mobile cart cocktail program, every dining experience is different—and that’s a good thing. 924 Garrett St., 404.380.1886


FEEDING THE SOUL Perhaps one of the most palatable trends to sweep through the local foodie scene is restaurant concepts with a philanthropic philosophy. Owner Thaddeus Keefe is the benevolent brains behind 1KEPT’s Charity Counter, which donates 100 percent of profits from the six-course tasting menu (Tuesday through Thursday) to selected charities. The Giving Kitchen’s prized patron Staplehouse donates all after-tax profits to provide emergency assistance grants to restaurant workers facing unexpected crisis in the A. Davio’s Cooks for Charity invites celebrity guest chefs to cook alongside the restaurant’s chef and owner, Steve DiFillippo, to also benefit The Giving Kitchen. Farm Burger’s Daria Synnestvedt and Peachtree Road farmers market’s Lauren Carey founded The Farmer Fund to serve as a nonprofit to help Metro Atlanta farmers when faced with natural disasters. Food for thought, indeed! 1KEPT, 2293 Peachtree Road NE, 404.254.1973; Staplehouse, 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, 404.524.5005; Davio’s, 3500 Peachtree Road NE, 404.844.4810


JP Atlanta
JP Atlanta’s pastry chef, Megan Brent, famous for creating insanely delicious desserts with presentations to match, has a sweet treat sure to satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings. A rich brownie topped with lavender-Earl Grey ice cream is elevated to the next level with a drizzle of dark-chocolate caramel and a cocoa meringue ($8). 230 Peachtree St. NE, 404.523.4004

This isn’t your grandma’s pecan pie. Featuring pecans harvested from South Georgia baked in a caramel filling with hints of maple, 1KEPT’s Valdosta pecan pie puts a contemporary spin on this Southern classic. The pie is topped with caramel and fleur de sel High Road Craft ice cream, making for a perfect balance of salty and sweet ($8). 2293 Peachtree Road, 404.254.1973

Cape Dutch
Chocolate lovers will dive into the Callebaut Belgian Chocolate Soup from Cape Dutch. Decadent Belgian chocolate is married with cream, butter and hazelnut to create a velvety soup perfect for dipping the fresh hazelnut bread ($8). 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, 404.343.0313


Drink in the moody atmosphere at one of the hautest hangouts in town at this theatrical speak-easy via the Tom Dixon-designed copper bar, Baccarat crystal and equally chic crowd while sipping on artfully designed cocktails like the Yuzu (blanco tequila, shiso, agave nectar and yuzu, $17). With an email reservation-only guest list, this sister spot to sushi haven Umi is always abuzz with stars seeking an intimate spot to imbibe with local luminaries. POWER MOVE Order one of the seven signature Ginza-style cocktails for the ultimate sips show. 3050 Peachtree Road NW

A restaurant with a story to tell, former Here to Serve helmsman Tom Catherall’s comeback boasts a flavorful menu paired with smart sips (like the Basil Smash, $12). The generous patio of Catherall’s old Noche space proves once again to be the hottest spot in the hood. POWER MOVE Look for locals-only specials like Sushi Sundays, Fried Chicken Mondays and Paella Tuesdays. 1000 Virginia Ave. NE, 404.815.9155

Le Bilboquet
Already a beacon of Parisian chic, this Buckhead version of the New York original offers one of the best patios in town for people-watching. It's Left Bank style, smack-dab in the middle of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. POWER MOVE After working up a thirst at Hermès and Christian Louboutin, cool your heels with a glass of rosé and a crab-and-avocado salad ($20) on the outdoor patio. Le Bilboquet has one of the best lists of rosés in town. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, 404.869.9944