Char Korean Bar & Grill
Owner Richard Tang, former manager at Craft Izakaya, faced his share of problems (delayed opening, change of chef) in his attempt to create an authentic Korean spot in Inman Quarter. But under newly promoted chef Shaun Byun, the kitchen succeeds, particularly with flash-fried rice cakes with Korean chili sauce and braised pork lettuce wraps. Meats for DIY barbecue are well-sourced; tender bulgogi is a must, but rib-eye and tongue are tasty as well. Also worth a mention: the elegant banchan (Korean condiments) service and the fried rice with kimchi. 299 North Highland Avenue, 404-525-2427
This splashy, modern steakhouse from New York chef Marc Forgione fits perfectly into the Buckhead scene, with lots of eye candy on three levels and some twists that help it stand out from the more traditional competition. Think shrimp cocktail seasoned Bloody Mary–style, escargots tumbling from a roasted marrow bone, dry-aged rib-eye rubbed with pastrami spices, and an extraordinary smoked Old Fashioned prepared tableside with the help of a small blowtorch and a plank of maple. Dress the part, make sure your credit card won’t let you down, and order plenty of desserts, including the monkey bread with cardamom icing and buttermilk ice cream. 3035 Peachtree Road, 770-415-9766
Cafe and Velo
The big bicycle rack says it all: This new coffee shop and cafe wants you to go for a ride. You can rent a bike by the day or the week and pick up bicycle parts from a vending machine. Sip on a latte made from Octane Coffee beans and enjoy a Danish or cookie from a French baker. The delicious hot croissant sandwich stuffed with housemade chicken salad or Brie and strawberries is a highlight. Relax on the secluded patio, or enjoy the sleek design inside this urban oasis. 381 Edgewood Avenue, 404-458-2979
The Castellucci family closed their Sandy Springs location and opened a very different incarnation in the former Ink & Elm in Emory Village. Unusual plates—pork belly corn dogs, smoked brisket arancini with honey truffle aioli, and oxtail in a nest of celery root and kataifi with egg yolk and grapefruit—outnumber more traditional items. The few pizzas feature Japanese mushrooms, endive, and other items from the global pantry. Though fashionable ingredients are everywhere, the results are uneven. 1577 North Decatur Road, 404-991-3666
This article originally appeared in our December 2016 issue.