9. Aria

Lemon pound cake with lemon cream and Valencia oranges

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

The beauty of Gerry Klaskala’s food is that it’s fit for fine dining, but it’s not fussy. He cooks without pretension, letting ingredients shine. The chef flawlessly braises short ribs (seved with summer squash, pearl onion, and potato puree) and crisps duck confit (with farro, Swiss chard, and oyster mushrooms), then pivots easily to seafood, pairing scallops with butterbeans, lady peas, corn succotash, and applewood bacon. Kathryn King’s desserts—her unrivaled warm cheesecake, a toasted lemon pound cake with an inexplicably creamy center—are spectacles of their own.

490 East Paces Ferry Road, 404-233-7673, aria-atl.com

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