Fresh on the Scene: Tupelo Honey Cafe, Jinya Ramen Bar, Spring, Richards’ Southern Fried

Get a first look at new openings around town
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Tupelo Honey Cafe Atlanta
Fried chicken with biscuit

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Beloved in Asheville, this splashy Southern restaurant is not only fun but convenient, thanks to its diverse menu and long hours. Specialties include (free!) biscuits with blueberry compote, classic fried chicken with gravy on the side, shrimp and grits with spicy roasted red pepper sauce, “Seersucker” steak and eggs with potato cracklings and bacon jam, and a ton of delicious side dishes ranging from corn soufflé to fried okra to creamy goat cheese grits. The happy hour specials attract an eager crowd in search of $3 beers, gin and tonics on draft, and a long list of snacks. Brunch is a mob scene. 4600 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-649-6334

Jinya Ramen Bar
Cha Cha Cha ramen

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Jinya Ramen Bar
This hip import from Los Angeles, located in a Sandy Springs shopping center, boasts the best takoyaki (octopus balls) in the city, unusually delicate steamed pork buns, and exquisite small plates of gyoza dumplings. The ramen bowls come in many variations. Have the Cha Cha Cha (for garlic lovers) or the famous Tonkotsu Black with pork chashu and wood ear mushrooms. Drink a Japanese beer, a sake, or a grapefruit shandy, but don’t linger. Taking your time is contrary to ramen bar etiquette. 5975 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-600-6974

Spring Marietta
Almond tart

Photograph by Emily Schultz

Spring
Chef Brian So and his wife, Kerry Han, capture the spirit of the season in masterful modern plates, such as chilled summer squash soup with Georgia olive oil, grilled shishito peppers, and whipped goat cheese or duck prosciutto. Don’t miss the grilled king mackerel with dill, new potatoes, baby leeks, and pickled shallot. Han runs the delightful dining room, which overlooks the railroad tracks. The desserts are stunning, the bread and the butter homemade, and the service will charm you. It’s the best restaurant in Marietta. 90 Marietta Station Walk, Marietta, 678-540-2777

Richards' Southern Fried
Half chicken with cornbread, pickles

Photograph by Emily Schultz

Richards’ Southern Fried
Todd Richards—alum of the Pig and the Pearl, and currently executive chef at White Oak Kitchen—has entered the hot chicken arms race. Scanning the menu at his counter in Krog Street Market, you may be shocked by the prices ($23.95 for half a chicken with two sides and a tiny corn muffin), but there are cheaper options, such as a hot chicken sandwich, chicken and collard green waffles, and dark or white meat combos. The brined Springer Mountain bird, available in three levels of spiciness, isn’t perfect (the crust is uneven), but the chef’s first efforts hold great promise. 99 Krog Street, 678-732-9594

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