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King + Duke
You’ll barely recognize the space that previously housed Nava for nearly two decades. Adios, Southwestern kitsch; hello, boutique-hotel slickness with smoky wood floors, a sinewy bar flanked with folding chair-stool hybrids, and an open kitchen featuring a custom-designed, fire-breathing hearth around which much of the menu is designed. Ford Fry’s fourth restaurant, his first in Buckhead, isn’t as themed as his other ventures: JCT Kitchen and Bar (Southern), the Optimist (seafood), and Decatur’s No. 246 (Italian). The menu could be labeled “of-the-moment New American,” with dishes like candied lamb belly with sheep’s milk feta and marinated cucumbers; crab revved with Thai basil, mint, and chile on toast; and a comforting whole roast chicken for two with bread salad. An early visit found the kitchen capably handling the swarms of curious diners, though, at $16, the thick burger (a combination of chuck and dry-aged steak cuts, topped with coal-roasted onions) needs to be juicier and served on a sturdier bun.
3060 Peachtree Road, 404-477-3500, kinganddukeatl.com