3050 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30305
Is that Sir Anthony Hopkins at the other end of the long banquette? No surprise. Buckhead’s newest sushi palace flaunts a stunning room of contrasting woods and a corps of cooks manning the eleven-seat, white-oak sushi bar bathed in buttery light along the back wall. On weeknights the mood is sedate, and the meal’s focus rests squarely on the contemporary Japanese cuisine of Fuyuhiko Ito, former executive chef of bygone MF Buckhead. Beyond traditional sushi nigiri and rolls, Ito’s menu takes cues from the playbook of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s global chain of Nobu restaurants: shrimp tempura with ponzu or a spicy mayo-based sauce, grilled cod marinated in miso, yellowtail sashimi crowned with rings of sliced jalapeño. The precise food alone makes Umi a worthy addition to the city’s dining scene, but the place has a split personality: It quickly became a celebrity magnet due in large part to its proximity to the St. Regis Atlanta, where visiting actors and athletes often stay.