The interior of AIX, designed by ai3
THE TABLE Any of the intimate banquettes, designed by ai3 in partnership with chef and owner Nick Leahy.
THE BONUS Wine bar is through a door, serving L’apero, fromage et charcuterie and more.
WHAT TO WEAR Casual elegance; a French brand—naturellement—would fit right in.
WHAT TO DRINK Choose from an excellent French wine list, a rotating cocktail menu, or just put your trust in the bartenders.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS The menu includes Leahy’s interpretation of fois gras torchon with raisin jam and an elegant bouillabaisse with wild Georgia shrimp and Sapelo Island clams.
WHY WE LIKE IT Nouveau French is having a moment, and it’s artfully done in a beautiful setting at AIX. If you can’t make it to Paris, this is the next best place. 956 Brady Ave., 770.838.3501
From top: Beausoleil oyster, apple mignonette and yuzu at Lazy Betty; sweet treats at The Brasserie at Bazati; seared cobia with dashi broth, enoki mushroom, tangerine, radish and Thai basil at Banshee.
2 Lazy Betty
THE CHEFS Aaron Phillips, formerly of Le Bernardin and Atlas; Atlantan Ron Hsu, formerly of Le Bernardin, Le Colonial and Netflix’s The Final Table.
THE LAST-MINUTE OPTION The lounge is reserved for walk-ins only and will be a la carte.
WHAT TO WEAR Whatever you want. The team wants you to feel at home.
WHERE TO SIT The 10-course tasting menu is available at the chef's counter.
HOW TO GILD THE LILY Opt in for the caviar service and wine pairings for a truly special evening.
WHY WE LIKE IT Supremely elegant yet playful food in a casual and relaxed environment—what’s not to like? 1530 DeKalb Ave. NE, Ste. F, 404.975.3692
3 The Brasserie at Bazati
THE CONCEPT This might be one of the few spots in Atlanta where you’re encouraged to linger. It is adjacent to a vibrant collection of boutiques (selling brands such as Monocle and Taschen); a cigar shop; a flower shop; and even a wine store, Amphora, opening soon.
HOW TO GET THERE Off the BeltLine Eastside Trail is preferable; you can arrive by car off Ralph McGill Boulevard.
WHAT’S UPSTAIRS A Miami-meets-Mexico joint called Estrella.
WHERE TO SIT On the patio, bien sur, or at one of the banquettes reminiscent of a true French brasserie
MENU HIGHLIGHTS Classics with a twist, such as trout meunière or moules frites.
WHY WE LIKE IT BeltLine fare often gets a bad rap for being gimmicky, but this one is French you can feel good about. 550 Somerset Terrace, Ste. 102, 404.795.8342
THE TEAM Chef Nolan Wynn and General Manager Peter Chvala—both formerly of Ford Fry (Wynn was a sous-chef at no.246 and King + Duke)—are branching out.
THE DESIGN Award-winning firm Elizabeth Ingram Studio interpreted the intimate space.
THE MUST-ORDER Fry bread served with pepperoni butter tastes like a childhood pizza party, made with the finest ingredients.
WHAT TO DRINK Banshee partners and Bar Managers Katie McDonald and Faielle Stocco created the inventive cocktail list, and any of their concoctions are smooth and interesting.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS The shareable small plates have myriad influences—everything is inspired.
WHY WE LIKE IT Is it worth the drive? For James Beard Award-nominated Wynn, certainly. 1271 Glenwood Ave. SE, 470.428.2034
From top: Ssam wagyu beef topped with uni at District M; the interior of The Iberian Pig Buckhead, designed by Elizabeth Ingram Studio; mussels with bacon broth and poblano sofrito served with a Dirty Beach cocktail at Restaurant Holmes.
5 District M
The CHEF Jackie Chang was at Umi and O-Ku before opening his own sushi restaurant, complete with omakase and a yakitori grill.
THE ATMOSPHERE It’s classic Japanese restraint in District M, the better to show off the colorful, elevated and well-finessed food.
WHERE TO SIT The chef’s counter, of course, to see Chang in action, and to take advantage of the omakase or moriwase.
WHAT TO DRINK Anything with refreshing yuzu, such as the Love & Lychee cocktail with Japanese sake, passion fruit and lychee puree.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS Bruleed uni with shaved white truffle; scallop sashimi with mango quinoa salsa; or whatever Chang dreams up.
WHY WE LIKE IT Chang’s proving you sometimes don’t have to leave your neighborhood for extraordinary dining. 6125 Roswell Road, Ste. 900, 678.974.2820
6 The Iberian Pig Buckhead
THE DESIGN The Iberian Pig Buckhead’s design is by award-winning Elizabeth Ingram Studio.
THE FOOD The tag line of “jamón, tapas y bebidas” rings true—a focus on small plates such as albondigas (pork meatballs) and pulpo a la plancha (seared octopus) is present, along with charcuteria and quesos.
THE CHEF It’s all in the family, with John Castellucci, brother of Federico Castellucci III of Castellucci Hospitality Group’s founder, running the kitchen.
THE DRINKS Expect the requisite extensive Spanish wine selection, a robust cocktail program, and sherry flights.
THE LOCATION Smack dab in Buckhead Village.
WHY WE LIKE IT A trip to Spain without the first-class seat (but with the first-class service)? We’ll take it. 3150 Roswell Road NW, 404.994.4990
7 Restaurant Holmes
The CHEF Up-and-comer chef Taylor Neary, formerly of St. Cecilia and Marcel
THE LOCATION The first restaurant in Alpharetta City Center, Restaurant Holmes has set the tone for the upscale yet casual development. It’s housed in the 100-year-old Jones House.
THE ART Famed muralist Greg Mike has taken over the walls inside the restaurant.
WHERE TO SIT The 40-seat patio is a coveted spot in warmer months; the younger set will race to sit under the neon sign.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS The menu is rotating small plates dependent on seasonal ingredients. Inventive combos—like celery juice and gin in a cocktail—keep diners guessing.
WHY WE LIKE IT It’s nice to see Alpharetta getting the level of dining destinations it deserves. 50 S. Main St., 678.691.8320
From top: The dining room at Arnette's Chop Shop; crispy whole duck at Le Colonial; aguachile de pescado at Casi Cielo.
8 Arnette’s Chop Shop
THE RESTAURATEUR Arnette’s Chop Shop is brought to you by Word of Mouth Restaurants, the reigning king of Brookhaven’s restaurant scene.
The SCENE Weekends get extra-busy upstairs in the lanai and downstairs on the covered patio, so plan accordingly.
THE UPGRADE If you’re a regular carnivore, join Arnette’s Chop Shop Knife Club, where the restaurant will store your very own set of four engraved steak knives on the club’s library wall.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS It’s not all large chops; look for more petite 6-oz. cuts, as well as sea fare ranging from lobster spaghetti to Dover sole.
WHY WE LIKE IT If this is the direction in which Brookhaven’s dining scene is headed, there are only more good things to come. 2700 Apple Valley Road, Ste. 55, 404.969.0701
9 Casi Cielo
THE CONCEPT From La Cosecha Group, the group behind La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant, it's elevated Oaxacan-inspired cuisine. It translates to “almost heaven."
THE CHEF Chef Juan Ruiz studied and worked in Colombia, Spain and Panama—he’s well-versed in the Latin cuisine canon.
THE DRINKS Tequila and mezcal feature heavily, of course. Try the Paloma Negra (mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave and volcanic salt rim).
THE FOOD Inspired Oaxacan classics with contemporary twists
THE PATIO A midweek party keeps the patio going on Wednesdays with a live DJ.
WHY WE LIKE IT It’s not your average cheese-dip-and-enchilada joint—and we like it that way. The next wave of inspired Mexican cuisine has come to Atlanta. 6125 Roswell Road, 404.549.9411
10 Le Colonial
THE CHEF Atlantan Richard Lee has worked at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, JOËL and the former Mandarin Oriental Atlanta.
THE INTERIORS Swede Jonas Wickman painted custom murals and art; there's a wall completely done in gold leaf.
THE MASTERMINDS The much-buzzed-about resto is led by Rick Wahlstedt (Le Bilboquet Atlanta) and Joseph King.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS Ca Chien Saigon—that’s a whole Gulf red snapper with a spicy garlic glaze; or the Bo Luc Lac made with caramelized filet mignon.
IN THE KNOW The late-night speakeasy-style lounge will quickly become one of the toughest invites.
WHY WE LIKE IT Le Colonial is a smashing success in every city it's in; Atlanta will be absolutely no different. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, 404.341.0500
Photography by: Photos: 1. by Ryan Fleisher 2. by Andrew Thomas Lee 3. courtesy of the brasserie at bazati 4. courtesy of banshee 5. by Jeff Moore 6. by Heidi Geldhauser Harris 7. courtesy of Restaurant holmes 8. courtesy of arnette's chop shop 9. by Ashton pike 10, courtesy of le colonial