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Risotto, such as this seafood variation, is a specialty at the newly opened outpost of Taverna at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.


10 Most Exciting Openings in Atlanta

By The Editors

Main photo courtesy of Taverna | Taverna photo courtesy of Taverna | Nine Mile Station photo by Amy Sinclair


The finest things happening in Atlanta’s food scene right now

5. Taverna
In The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Taverna opened without much fanfare this spring, but just because they came in quietly doesn’t mean you won’t leave talking the place up around town. With locations in California and Texas (and one in trendy Akumal, Mexico), Taverna turns out Italian comfort food dishes like sea bass brodetto and veal Milanese. But the real draw here is the risotto—the house specialty comes prepared with seafood; burrata, cherry tomatoes and prosciutto; with chicken and vegetables; with shrimp and porcini mushrooms; and simply, with Parmesan and black truffle sauce. Spend a day post-shopping-spree on its porch, which conveniently overlooks Buckhead Avenue for excellent people-watching. 280 Buckhead Ave. NE, Ste. 317, 678.791.1311


The newly rebranded AG is the perfect Downtown spot for its famous Smoky Old-Fashioned

6. MF Bar
Avalon’s Phase II saw favorites like Rumi’s and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams head north, but none were as exciting as MF Bar, a second outpost of Inman Park’s MF Sushi. The group’s signature restrained decor is complemented by large windows that give a great view of people-watching, and be sure to look up: Part of the ceiling is covered in a beautiful Japanese cherry blossom print. Don’t overlook the robata grill, where freshly cooked salmon, black cod, A5 wagyu and more are a great substitute for nigiri and specialty rolls like toro osaka. Add a little fresh wasabi grated on sharkskin to really bring out the flavor, and if you’re feeling adventurous, start with the jellyfish salad. 7135 Avalon Blvd., 404.977.1207

7. 8ARM
Atlanta was saddened by the tragic passing of Angus Brown, who, along with partner Nhan Le, had set the city on fire with energetic spots like Octopus Bar and Lusca. Their newest venture, 8ARM, opened late last summer, before Angus’ death in January. An all-star team of chef Keith Remes, pastry chef Sarah Dodge and a slew of Lusca alum are helping keep Brown’s memory alive through ever-changing dishes like lamb neck with roasted vegetables and rock crab, avocado and flying dragon fruit. Go for dinner; stay for the cocktails on the rowdy patio. If you see Le, pester him about the forthcoming seafood spot Ama inside neighboring Paris on Ponce. 710 Ponce de Leon Ave., 470.875.5856

8. Nine Mile Station
The hoopla of Skyline Park can be mildly offputting, but bear with it: Behind the slide is the entrance to Nine Mile Station, the best rooftop dining in town. This isn’t your average picnic-tables and plastic-cups joint, but rather an elegant iteration of a beer hall. But the best part is most definitely outdoors—sweeping Atlanta skyline views are best seen from the comfort of a fire pit, complete with colorful blankets for chillier nights. The bar food is elevated; a squash galette with Gruyere and spinach, and pork belly with poached eggs are two examples. The best part of the entire experience, though, is confirming a reservation at the restaurant, which lets you bypass the monstrously long line downstairs and head directly up to a summertime spectacle. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 770.999.1532

Nine Mile Station

Enjoy a savory bite of Nine Mile Station's squash galette

9. Bacchanalia
Bacchanalia and sister concept Star Provisions Market & Cafe are starting a new chapter in an 8,717-square-foot shared space just a little over a mile from their former home in Westside Provisions District. Designed collaboratively by architecture firm Perkins+Will and chef-owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, the new location echoes the feel of the culinary duo’s family farm, Summerland, complete with exposed raw materials, natural light aplenty and design elements with a personal touch. The creative and challenging dishes that have made Bacchanalia a staple since 1993 still shine in this new home. 1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., 404.365.0410

10. AG
You might remember it as downtown's The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta stalwart Atlanta Grill, but the newly refreshed and rebranded AG has had a bit of a makeover. Dishes for all-day dining have been reworked and include offerings like Enchanted Springs trout, a lunchtime-only cavatelli pasta with confit duck legs, and a baked Alaska for two torched tableside. For harried Deloitte execs or anyone else short on time downtown, there’s also an express-lunch option that cuts down on time significantly. However, our favorite way to enjoy a meal at AG is at the superintimate hideout table—complete with a curtain for top secret mergers, deals and takeovers. 181 Peachtree St. NE

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