Under the keen eye of veteran restaurateur Gerry Klaskala (of Aria), who served as consulting chef to this modern beauty inside the St. Regis Atlanta Hotel, Atlas is off to an impressive start. Beautifully landscaped dishes, spectacular art from the likes of Picasso and Chagall, respectful service, and a serious wine list come together without a hint of stuffiness. From a lightly cured Hiramasa kingfish resting in a pineapple consommé (pictured right) to a hot-smoked sturgeon with olives and charred Broccolini, chef de cuisine Christopher Grossman is quickly making a name for himself. Finish with a weightless coconut panna cotta. 88 West Paces Ferry Road, 404-600-6471
The Cafe at Linton’s in the Garden
Guests strolling through the Atlanta Botanical Garden can now taste Linton and Gina Hopkins’ (Restaurant Eugene, Holeman and Finch Public House) take on cafe dining. Look for classics like beef bourguignon (pictured left) as well as a brilliant vegetable plate of squash gratin with farro piccolo and cremini mushrooms. Weather permitting, hot chocolate with housemade vanilla marshmallows is the ideal conclusion. 1345 Piedmont Avenue, 404-585-2061
Grand Champion BBQ
Intowners are finally discovering what residents of Roswell and Milton have known for a while: Grand Champion BBQ makes the best brisket sandwich (pictured right) in Atlanta. Moving at a quicker pace than the surrounding stalls, the streamlined operation in Krog Street Market is a simple counter, where the same tender beef brisket is sliced to order. The mac and cheese, unctuous and almost soupy, and peppery coleslaw are must-orders. Families can order meat by the pound, along with house sauces (sweet and smoky tomato original, spicy vinegar North Carolina). 99 Krog Street, 404-467-4427
There’s nothing particularly original about this pricey New York import occupying a prime spot in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta, but the perky French brasserie and its conventional menu do manage to conjure a romantic vision of old Paris seen through an American filter. Most of the food tastes better than it looks, including rich foie gras terrines, thin veal scallopini in a lively lemon sauce with fresh herbs, and poofy profiteroles dripping in chocolate sauce and filled with vanilla ice cream. 3035 Peachtree Road, 404-869-9944
— Christiane Lauterbach
With winter finally behind us, dining (or just drinking) al fresco is at last a reality. King + Duke, Empire State South (bocce ball!), and Barcelona Wine Bar are all prime destinations. Not in the mood to sit still? Meander around Alpharetta’s Avalon with a glass of wine from Crú Wine Bar or a margarita from The El Felix thanks to a liberal open-container policy.
— Evan Mah
This article originally appeared in our April 2015 issue.