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Corby Kummer

Commentary: When it comes to dining, Atlanta should look inward

Atlanta is a city that looks outward far more than inward, or even nearby. Outward, say, to the Lower East Side (the General Muir’s pastrami), or to China (Gu’s Dumplings), or to France (Bread & Butterfly’s tender, airy omelets). With the glorious exception of Ryan Smith at Staplehouse, I didn’t find a posse of young, or youngish, chefs all cooking as much for each other as for the public. The priority in Atlanta is less innovation based on local ingredients, as at Staplehouse, than finding a formula that works and then pumping out food to fit it. This makes for generous, untweezed food. But it also means food that, once successful, can become rote.

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