After more than 30 years of working in some of Atlanta’s finest kitchens (including Pano’s and Paul’s, which closed in 1993), Liechtenstein-born chef Peter Kaiser finally gets to see his name above the door of a restaurant. His friend Kevin Rathbun, who came on board as an investor and a consultant, convinced Kaiser to divide his list of steaks into two sections: Uptown Meats, expensive prime cuts such as New York strip and an extraordinarily tender spinalis, also known as ribeye cap; and Downtown Meats, less flashy, leaner cuts, including a set of three four-ounce bone-in baby filets. (The terminology hints at the price differential.) The rest of the menu could easily pass as Continental with a soupçon of global fusion. Sweet little ice cream bonbons by old-school pastry chef Joanie Trotochaud are the thing to order after a meal in the bosom of a conservative community that values personalized service, flattering lights, and something a bit more romantic than a manly meat palace. 5975 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-549-2882
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
The Japanese created conveyor-belt sushi as a way to serve a large number of customers quickly and cheaply. The kitchen at this new Doraville outpost of a Japanese chain works just the same way, churning out inexpensive sushi bites ($2.25 each) and sending them through the dining room on a mechanized runway. An express belt set above the main one allows customers who don’t want to wade through the endless parade of dishes to place orders via a touch screen. This is the kind of meal that’s about quantity rather than quality, but it can also be a fun intro to Japanese cuisine. 6035 Peachtree Boulevard, Doraville, 470-255-2071
Mirtha Diaz, whose beloved Morro Castle in Midtown closed more than 20 years ago, is back behind the stove, this time on Buford Highway. Her new spot, barely more than a sandwich shop with a few hot dishes, features a mural of Celia Cruz, Cuba’s most famous salsa singer. There’s not much else in terms of decor, but the food, be it a Cuban sandwich hot off the press or a rich bean soup with yellow rice, feels like something you have been yearning for without realizing it. Must order: smashed green plantain tostones topped with tender garlic pork or ropa vieja (shredded steak). 3979 Buford Highway, 404-228-2537
This article originally appeared in our November 2017 issue.