Feature

Atlanta: ‘No longer a culinary backwater’

Today’s Atlanta is serving up “much more than Southern comforts.”

Today’s Atlanta is serving up “much more than Southern comforts,” said Katie Chang in FoodRepublic.com. Fun is a staple ingredient here: Even at the Optimist—“one of the country’s most buzzed-about seafood joints”—a chunk of valuable dining real estate is permanently reserved for putt-putt golf. But Georgia’s largest city “is no longer a culinary backwater,” and evidence of the awakening can be found all over town.

Gunshow Top Chef veteran Kevin Gillespie has brought a new style of service to Atlanta: Every night, the chef and his team fire off rounds of small plates that are carted around the open dining room dim sum–style. The menu changes daily, but standouts include a charred octopus leg with chickpeas and a “blissfully simple” ravioli filled with pancetta and caramelized onions. 924 Garrett St. SE, Suite C, (404) 380-1886

The General Muir This modern ode to Jewish delicatessen offers “sublime” renditions of genre classics. The house-cured pastrami is “gloriously tender,” and the broth in chef Todd Ginsberg’s matzo ball soup is “rich with schmaltz”—or what the restaurant calls “Jewish butter.” 1540 Avenue Pl., Suite B-230, (678) 927-9131

King + Duke Old-time American cooking inspired the latest venture from the Optimist’s “beloved” chef-owner Ford Fry. Past the outdoor patio and bustling bar sits a 24-foot-long hearth used for roasting fish, fowl, and much more. Try the North Georgia brook trout served with crunchy almonds. And end dinner “on a sweet, high note” with a date pudding served in a cream sauce spiked with pale ale. 3060 Peachtree Rd. NW, (404) 477-3500

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