By Andrew Thomas Lee
With the opening of Buckhead Atlanta and Alpharetta’s Avalon last year, our city saw an influx of restaurants from other markets (Oak Steakhouse, Thirteen Pies, and Le Bilboquet, to name a few). This year, however, numerous local names will expand further across the city. Here are the fifteen most anticipated restaurants for 2015.
MF Sushi: Brothers Alex and Chris Kinjo are bringing their beloved (defunct) Midtown sushi spot to Inman Park. Expect the best from both MF Sushi and its sexier sister MF Buckhead, including occasional omakase dinners.
Jia: A traditional Szechuan restaurant by Tasty China founder Dahe Young and chef Jiguo Jiang, Jia will open in Ponce City Market with a more than 100 menu items.
Bread & Buttefly Café: James Beard semi-finalist and Cakes & Ale owner/chef Billy Allin will open this all-day café in Inman Quarter. Cakes & Ale sous chef Bryan Stoffelen will lead the kitchen, while David Garcia makes the bread and pastries.
Dub’s Fish Camp: The fifth restaurant by James Beard Award winner Anne Quatrano, Dub’s Fish Camp/Shack promises a casual atmosphere with fish sandwiches, salads, and bowls in Ponce City Market.
Staplehouse: Ryan Smith, formerly of Empire State South, and Jen Hidinger are busy navigating the permitting and build-out process for their for-profit arm of the Giving Kitchen.
Umi lounge: Umi co-owner Farshid Arshid is capitalizing on the accolades his sushi spot acquired this year and opening a swanky cocktail and sake lounge a few doors down from the Buckhead restaurant. Select small plates by Umi executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito will be available.
Terminus City: Kevin Gillespie has yet to announce a brick-and-mortar location for his barbecue spot, but he did host a preview at Gunshow featuring country-fried steak and Brunswick stew last year. The name Terminus pays homage to the original name of Atlanta.
Little sister to the Optimist: Restaurateur extraordinaire Ford Fry has yet to name this Optimist spinoff. We do, however, know it will be located at 280 Elizabeth Street in Inman Park and have an oyster bar and wood-burning grill.
Linton Hopkins’ Atlanta Botanical Garden restaurant: Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch) took over the café at the Atlanta Botanical Garden last year; this year, he plans to open a farm-to-table, sit-down restaurant as well, complete with a fireplace and rooftop garden. (He’ll also be opening fast-casual spots H&F Burger and the Bread Box in Ponce City Market.)
Le Fat: Guy Wong’s long-awaited Vietnamese restaurant will take over the space formerly home to Yum Bunz and serve banh mi, pho, and more.
Big Boss Chinese: Another Guy Wong restaurant whose opening has been pushed back several times, Big Boss will serve traditional Cantonese cuisine in Decatur.