La Fourchette

It’s heartening when a new restaurant improves mightily after its first months in business. La Fourchette opened in Buckhead in late 2010 with ambitious, uneven “Mediterranean cuisine”—a mosaic of French, Italian, and American creations. But executive chef Jeffrey Wall (now Dustin Haney), an alum of defunct Joël Brasserie, quickly refined his vision and execution. Cheese fritters, a hybrid of gougère and cheese straws dusted with Parmesan, and a glass of Champagne kick off the meal with a sense of occasion.

Wall shows off his chops with seafood in dishes such as Scottish salmon with pommery mustard and octopus stewed in marinara­like tomato and pepper sauce that may require refills of the bread basket for giddy sopping. The casually elegant, softly lit interior has helped attract the Buckhead multitudes; reservations are now necessary even on Monday night.