Photograph by LuAnne DeMeo
I have something of a restaurant crush on Aria. In the years that I’ve dined at Gerry Klaskala’s Buckhead classic, which opened 16 years ago, I’ve yet to have a good meal there. Only great ones, by my memory. Sure, the white-on-white dining room felt dated, but I always came back for the restaurant’s confident and consistent cooking, with special attention to Kathryn King’s timeless desserts (in January we named Aria the fifth best restaurant in the city). Well, here’s a new reason to stop in for dinner: Klaskala shut down the restaurant last week and completely overhauled the interior. “Before, the room made you feel like you needed to wear a jacket, a place for a birthday or anniversary. We wanted to make it feel more comfortable, soothing, and relaxing. I’m digging it so much,” Klaskala told me over the phone.
In addition to a sleek new website, Aria has traded its stark white-on-white dining room for warmer earth tones with splashes of color (see the gallery above). Klaskala is also debuting a new menu format tonight that eschews appetizer, entree, and dessert sections for vegetables, seafood, and meat. “I want to loosen up the menu and keep working toward simplicity,” he says. “I still want to be the best damn American bistro in the city.”
Aria is located at 490 East Paces Ferry in Buckhead. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. For reservations, call 404-233-7673