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The Finest 50

We’ve seen it happen before—as the mercury rises, things start to sizzle at restaurants all over the city. We’ve got 50 hot new eateries to consider, well-known favorites that haven’t lost their fire, cocktails and desserts that can’t help but raise our body temperatures and talented chefs who know how to stay cool under pressure. The question is, diner: Can you take the heat?

Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac are the power team behind Roswell’s Little Alley Steak, Salt Factory Pub and the newly bowed Opulent.

The Chilean sea bass Yu-an yaki at Umi wrapped in paper and set on fire

 

 

Arianne Fielder of Seven Lamps

Veal tongue and lavender milk-braised beef cheek with blackberries, black bread, smoked beet purée, turnip and pickled onion at Woodfire Grill.

Vingenzo’s stuffed mozzarella

Canoe is a dining scene stalwart.

BEST ON ICE

We love local veggies but freshly harvested ice is a local luxury at Lure, where mixologists cut cubes to order. The restaurant’s controlled cooling process yields brilliant crystal clear cubes in varying sizes, which are manipulated to deliver appropriate melting speed. All the better to savor vivid tastes and flavors, such as the ones in their Japanese-inspired shochu cocktails. We love the Nadeshiko: cherry blossom with dianthus flowers, tarragon and licorice root. 1106 Crescent Ave. NE, lure-atlanta.com

5 CHEFS WE LOVE

1. Shane Devereux
What’s not to love about this big teddy bear chef? His Vietnamese upbringing, combined with French training, has been instrumental in launching the hippest restaurants in town. First, Top Flr; then, The Sound Table; followed by underground dinner party-turned-brick-and-mortar, The Lawrence. He’s now taken that special spark to the impossibly cool Barcelona Wine Bar and is busy making their menu his own. 240 N. Highland Ave., barcelonawinebar.com

2. Stella Dillard
There’s a reason why the restaurant business generates so many female pastry chefs: meat. Most ladies aren’t keen on the idea of breaking down sides of beef, pork or skinning a chicken—an art that pastry chefs need not hone. Most. Atlanta has a rare exception in Dillard, who manages the revered whole animal program at Holeman & Finch Public House. Dillard creates H & F’s acclaimed charcuterie boards and nose-to-tail fare. 2277 Peachtree Road NE, holeman-finch.com

3. The Ryans
Ryan Smith, Ryan Hidinger and Ryan Turner. These three amigos are partnering together to champion Staplehouse restaurant for Hidinger. Hidinger got the news this past winter that he has stage IV gallbladder cancer. The entire Atlanta restaurant community rallied for his medical expenses and raised upward of $200,000. But Smith and Turner wanted to do more—so they’ve invested in Staplehouse, and The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit the Ryans have set up to help restaurant-industry folks with medical or financial hardship, since so many have little or no insurance. staplehouse.com

4. Arpana Satyu
Real doughnuts—like the ones you grew up with—are what this pastry chef turned doughnut-maker started with at Dutch Monkey Doughnuts after she left fine dining to open in Cumming. The past year has been big: She snagged the American Express/Facebook Big Break for Small Business contest in September, then her husband won the Food Network Canada’s Donut Showdown this past spring with a Cinco de Mayo-themed fritter. 3075 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming, dutchmonkeydoughnuts.com

5. Steven Satterfield
His quiet way with everything from talking with diners to creating Miller Union’s signature farm egg baked in celery cream has garnered local praise. But this year this Savannah native got a whammy of a national accolade: a Best Chef Southeast nom by the James Beard Foundation. It’s long overdue. MU is a hot spot for A-listers when they’re in town filming (Chris Pine, Cameron Diaz, Ed Helms). Satterfield sweetly enjoys the spotlight, but never lets the attention go to his head. 999 Brady Ave. NW, millerunion.com