2. Staplehouse

75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta: Staplehouse
Ribeye tartare, halibut, asparagus

Photograph by Andrew Thomas Lee

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Staplehouse is a fine-dining experience as innovative as it is unfussy. That makes it Exhibit A in the argument that Atlanta is finally ready for the kind of cutting-edge restaurants that flourish in other cities: ambitious, purposeful, personality-driven food served in irreverently casual dining rooms instead of on white tablecloths. The eight to 10-course menu, which shifts a little from night to night and more dramatically from season to season, features delicate interludes of decadent proteins, from an early course of king crab mingled with Cara Cara orange, fennel, turnip, sunflower, and sorrel to a subsequent one of cobia poached to the consistency of butter, topped with delicate lettuces and accompanied by curls of crispy sunchoke. But most impressive is what the kitchen, helmed as of January by chef de cuisine Jake Pollitz, does with vegetables. Like executive chef Ryan Smith, Pollitz has deep respect for local growers, allowing him to reap the benefits of our bountiful farms while bucking our deep-fried stereotypes. A little more than a year ago, the restaurant, which opened in 2015, returned to its original tasting menu–only format ($105 for the regular menu, $75 for a four-course Sunday one). It’s the ideal way to experience Staplehouse’s creativity—and it makes Atlanta’s reputation as a serious food destination stronger, too. 541 Edgewood Avenue, 404-524-5005, staplehouse.com