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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.

5 RESTOS WITH STAYING POWER

Canoe
The special occasion restaurant for Atlantans since 1995, Canoe has quite the pedigree: Owners George McKerrow Jr. and Gerry Klaskala along with Executive Chef Gary Mennie opened it back in the day. Now, chef Carvel Grant Gould continues to please with well-prepared offerings that always seem familiar, even if it’s been awhile since your last visit. The setting has never hurt the restaurant’s allure as a fine-dining destination—nestled on the banks of the Chattahoochee, the outdoor patio, with its pristine gardens, stone grill and riverside bar, still invokes oohs and ahhs from first-timers all these years later. 4199 Paces Ferry Road SE, canoeatl.com

Bone's
Classic steakhouses come and go—and have. Bone’s, on the other hand, has been serving since 1979. Lavish and indulgent, the restaurant offers the kind of old-school atmosphere that drips with men’s club attitude, and the kitchen delivers precision-cut steaks, lobsters and menu lust-haves, such as grit fritters and shrimp cocktail with pomp and style. The seemingly limitless wine list is a testament to an era when back-room deals and three-drink lunches were the norm, and, with such a knowing and discreet waitstaff, nobody was the wiser. 3130 Piedmont Road NE, bonesrestaurant.com

New York Prime
It’s not just the charred cuts at New York Prime that make this fine dine still formidable. It’s stalwarts like colossal crab meat, cheesy Lyonnaise potatoes and oysters Rockefeller that come sidled up to those precious prime slabs. Our fave? When Big Red (aka the largest lobster in the tank) gets wheeled around in a Radio Flyer wagon for guests to ogle and order. 3424 Peachtree Road NE, newyorkprime.com

Aria
Bejeweled dog statues and a much-gabbed-about chandelier that drops from the ceiling of this Buckhead beauty’s main dining room are showy statements of avant garde style, but its chef-owner Gerry Klaskala’s deft hand at creating beloved signatures, such as creamless (how can it be?) celery root soup and butter-braised lobster cocktail, that have made Aria one of the city’s finest. Top talents like Pastry Chef Kathryn King and Wine Director Andres Loaiza elevate the experience. 490 E. Paces Ferry Road NE, aria-atl.com

Kyma
Ah, the baby calamari, the saganaki, the lavraki—served whole with braised greens (horta). Kyma’s kitchen, helmed since 2001 by Pano I. Karatassos, never fails to impress. Dramatic white columns set against a celestial blue ceiling dotted with the constellations impress in Kyma’s foyer, but it’s fresh fish—and a bounty of Greek classics prepared with modern flair—that have kept diners drooling for so many years. The flagship of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Kyma still dazzles. 3085 Piedmont Road NE, buckheadrestaurants.com