Grant Park used to be something of a dining desert, with Ria’s Bluebird cafe and Nayarit Taqueria (RIP) serving as rare oases. But in the past few years, more restaurants have opened in the neighborhood than you can count on two hands. And there still seems to be room in these increasingly saturated environs for newcomer Full Commission. Open morning, noon, and night (it started serving dinner in September), Full Commission is housed in a tin-roofed, stand-alone building on the back side of the Larkin on Memorial development. The restaurant has a breezy and all-purpose feel, ideal for a morning pour-over or nitro coffee along with a breakfast sandwich or yogurt bowl, an afternoon salad and a glass of rosé, or an evening bar steak or seared trout with a perfectly bitter cocktail. It’s the restaurant that never sleeps, in a neighborhood that’s no longer sleepy. 519 Memorial Drive, 404-941-9102
The Brasserie at Bazati
For the uninitiated, Bazati is not merely a new compound of market stalls brimming with bespoke gifts and restaurants brimming with people who can (or at least can aspire to) afford such luxuries as a $225 handwoven cotton shawl or $140 Carl Dagg umbrella. Rather, it is “an experience.” More specifically, according to its website, it is an experience meant to impart “the ideal that hospitality is an art.” Anchor restaurant the Brasserie doesn’t really need such a lofty raison d’être, though. On a more basic level, it’s a lovely BeltLine-adjacent spot for observing the stream of beatific passersby while sipping a $16 French Connection cocktail and grazing on brasserie-style classics from chef Rémi Granger, formerly of Bread & Butterfly. Start your meal with Granger’s addictive pissaladiere, the adequately chewy dough topped with caramelized onions, white anchovies, and olives, and his simple but equally addictive lentil salad in a light vinaigrette. But you might want to steer clear of the coq au vin; it was a bit of a horror show, with bone fragments intermingled with flesh in a way that made the dish almost too hazardous to navigate (much like those pesky Bird scooters on the BeltLine). 550 Somerset Terrace, 404-795-8342
Son of a Bear
If only every neighborhood had a fun little Korean joint like this. The owners of Oakhurst’s Americanized Chinese spot Double Dragon (who also own Taiyo Ramen, Suzy Siu’s Baos, and the more upscale Noona) decided to scrap that concept and replace it in September with this gem. Start with a pitcher of Hite and a carafe of soju, the ideal drinking companions to small plates such as the molten kimchi fried rice balls and the bite-sized, country-fried kalbi (braised short rib). All the dishes are meant for sharing, but you might not want to. The charred bulgogi, topped with a bright radish salad, is worth fighting over down to the last meaty scrap. The porky and fiery Hangover Ramen arrives sizzling in a cauldron, and it works just as well as a remedy for a cold or a dreary day. Best of all is the whole fried chicken platter, the bird cut into sizable bone-in chunks, the juicy flesh bursting with flavor under a light and shattery crust. The dipping sauce adds a welcome sweet-and-sour punch, but the chicken is so good on its own you may not be willing to pause long enough to consider dunking it. 350 Mead Road, Decatur, 404-832-0016
This article appears in our December 2018 issue.