1 LITTLE ALLEY STEAK BUCKHEAD
The wait for Little Alley Steak Buckhead has been torturously long, but, this summer, it finally sets up shop on Lenox Road as the second outpost of the concept from F&H Food Trading Group. And it’s a large shop—triple the size of the Roswell outpost, to satisfy the hoards of Buckhead beef lovers. Four-hundred and twenty-six bourbons, whiskeys and scotches are perfectly paired with not only wet- and dry-aged steaks, but a bevy of seafood options as well. Go wild on your sauce choices—there are eight to choose from, including yuzu bearnaise and foie gras butter—in one of three distinct spaces within the restaurant. Nearby office workers will delight in their new lunch menu as well, with lighter fare including large salads, a burger and smaller portioned entrees. 3500 Lenox Road, 404.254.1899
Paella at Bulla Gastrobar is perfect for sharing.
2 BULLA GASTROBAR
Midtown lunch—and dinner—got a Catalonian-inspired upgrade thanks to Bulla Gastrobar, now open on Crescent Avenue. The growing brand comes to Atlanta by way of south Florida, where it’s been a smashing Spanish success. A bevy of cheeses and meats kick off the menu, followed by traditional tapas y raciones such as ceviche de jalapeno, patatas bravas and the all-important pintxos. For groups (or the overly ambitious), there’s paella, arroz caldoso (that’s seafood, chicken, Valencia-style rice, red sofrito and saffron) and more under the larger plates. If you can't decide, a brunch prix fixe is the way to go, offering specials such as huevos bulla with serrano chiles and truffle oil. Top it all off with the sangria de cerveza, combining Ommegang Witte, St-Germain, lemon juice and pear puree. 60 11th St. NE, 404.900.6926
3 TINY LOU’S
It was well worth the wait to see the rebooted (and still infamous) Clermont Hotel. Inside the instant hot spot—rebranded Hotel Clermont—is Tiny Lou’s from The Indigo Road Hospitality Group. Dubbed a "swinging American-French brasserie," the resto's menu is elevated, elegant and decidedly not any indication of the past life of the hotel. Consommé, Hudson Valley snails and loup de mer all appear on the menu. So do Blue Ridge trout almondine, a steak frites with Snake River Farms' wagyu flank with sauce de L'Clermont, and a short rib with red-wine salsify, with a French wine list to boot. Desserts are by Claudia Martinez, formerly of Atlas, Umi and Restaurant Eugene. In case you were wondering: Tiny Lou was a dancer at Clermont Motor Hotel's Gypsy Room in the 1950s. 789 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 470.485.0085
4 THE ALDEN
It’s a full-circle moment for chef Jared A. Hucks—he’s a Brookhaven native and now finds himself helming the kitchen of The Alden, located not far from the house he grew up in, after cooking all over the world. (Alden—which means "old friend" in Old English—is Hucks' middle name.) Hucks’ goal is simple: casual setting, elegant food. And he delivers it flawlessly. You’ll want to grab a seat at the counter to see the chef in action, serving up everything from a Pan-Asian coddled farm egg with bok choy, kimchee and housemade popped rice crackers to a hickory cold smoked Brasstown beef strip loin with black onion jam and red wine jelly. Keep your eye on Hucks—The Alden is worth the drive for in-towners and a great neighborhood experience for those in northeast Atlanta. 5070 Peachtree Blvd., Chamblee, 678.395.6982
The White Bull brings a casual atmosphere and serious food to Decatur.
5 THE WHITE BULL
Once inside The White Bull, it’s nearly impossible to leave. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, who so lovingly referred to the blank page as “the white bull,” the newly opened Decatur restaurant has a menu rife with local ingredients—nearly all sourced from Georgia farms, to be exact. “For me, the restaurant can be whatever our team decides to make it," says executive chef Pat Pascarella. Chef puts his creativity to use with a menu that updates daily. The resulting dishes are inventive, lively and supremely fresh. Not on the daily menu, however, is the five-course pasta flight ($45), as well as the chef’s tasting menu (upon request, $75 per person, $40 for wine pairings) that features menu items in addition to dishes on which Pascarella is currently experimenting. 123 E. Court Square, 404.600.5649
6 MISSION + MARKET
Chef Ian Winslade’s most recent stint was at much beloved Va-Hi staple Murphy’s, but he’s put in time across the world, working with chefs from Jean-Georges Vongerichten to Eric Ripert. With business partner Jonathan Akly, Winslade embarks on his first solo venture in Mission + Market. Expect sleek, midcentury-inspired decor and stunningly fresh and beautiful food, such as marinated raw American red snapper with yuzu and fresno chilies, and butter-basted clams with smoked bacon and celery salad. Additional menu categories—pizzas, pastas, entrees, salads and sandwiches at lunch—aim to please the ever-evolving tastes of Buckhead's lunch and dinner crowds. Winslade’s goal was to impart West Coast-style freshness to Atlanta, and he’s succeeded. 3550 Lenox Road NE, 404.948.2927
7 TRADE ROOT
Recently opened at The Whitley, Trade Root showcases executive chef Marc Suennemann’s deft hand with colorful Mediterranean fare. The menu melds locally sourced ingredients with exotic flavors common along the spice trade route, yet manages to weave in classic Southern elements throughout. Chef’s current favorites include the zucchini cakes, steamed mussels, pork cheeks and collard green tortelloni, and whole-roasted branzino, but be on the lookout for new menu items set to debut this summer, including fried green tomatoes, chorizo mac and cheese, and a short rib sandwich. For now, you’ll catch us sipping on The Dogwood, a refreshing mix of gin, smoked salt, dill, cucumber, lemon juice and elderflower. 3434 Peachtree Road NW, 404.237.2700
8 CHAI YO MODERN THAI
Chef DeeDee Niyomkul has the pedigree to open an authentic Thai restaurant—she’s already done it once before with south Buckhead's Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, and she comes from the family behind Atlanta classic Nan Thai Fine Dining. But Chai Yo Modern Thai is her own stamp left on her family’s Thai empire, thanks to the winning combination of a highly trafficked location (next to The St. Regis Atlanta), authentic interiors (all pieces, including the wood, were shipped from Thailand) and, of course, flavorful, inspired food and delicately executed drinks. Feast on the 12-hour sous-vide beef cheeks in Panang curry; lobster tom kha soup; and the now social media famous Nam Dok cocktail, which changes colors and tastes as delicious as it looks. 3050 Peachtree Road NW, Ste. R-8, 404.464.7980
A new chef, Elliot Cusher, is welcomed into The Indigo Road Hospitality Group fold from its stronghold of Charleston, S.C., where he worked at several of the group’s hot spots in his hometown before heading up West Midtown's buzziest spot, Donetto. New menu items, including beef carpaccio and brown butter-basted scallops, keep things fresh and exciting, while standards like burrata with seasonal, ever-changing ingredients and seven pasta choices are there for the ordering. Don’t forget dessert or the excellent cocktails—a crowd pleaser is still the Orange Is the New Crack, with vodka, ginger, orange cream and pepper—and add the Costa Nostra to your Sunday dining list. Fan favorites include the shaved porchetta sandwich, lemon ricotta pancakes and a cacio e pepe soft scramble. 976 Brady Ave., 404.445.6867
10 C. ELLET’S
C. Ellet’s might be the prettiest steakhouse in all the land. Designed by Atlanta-based Square Feet Studio and named after owner Linton Hopkins' great-grandfather Charles Ellet Jr., it’s Hopkins’ pièce de résistance here in the city. Snug inside The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park, expect dishes like a French center-cut fillet, a baseball steak and a Delmonico chuck, plus seafood options like salon belly crudo and New Orleans BBQ shrimp. The more casual Club Room offers many of these options and more, including a dry-aged cheeseburger, a nod to Hopkins’ local burger empire. Don’t skip the vegetables—for some, they’re the star of the show. On rotation, find everything from Hungarian-style coleslaw with plenty of paprika to roasted baby carrots with sorghum glaze and creme fraiche. Ste. 400, 678.996.5344
Oysters and seafood are just as important as the steaks to the menu at C. Ellet's.
Photography Courtesy Of: BULLA GASTROBAR; THE WHITE BULL PHOTO BY ANDREW THOMAS LEE