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100 Hottest Restaurants 2015

Our new-and-improved rundown of the most talked-about restos of the moment!

Another packed night at Umi's (#1) bustling bar, a fave among A-listers like Drake, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Usher

9. THE SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN
3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.939.9845 | @atlsoutherngent | $16-$28 | R P

When we got word that Southern Proper Hospitality, the slick crew behind some of Atlanta’s biggest breakout stars (The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Smokebelly BBQ and the aforementioned Gypsy Kitchen), were also opening a man-focused gastropub at Buckhead Atlanta, we were intrigued. What would the scene be like? Would we have to brush up on our Southern grammar and graces? The Southern Gentleman evoked an instant nostalgia and took us back to a time long forgotten—a time when chivalry and manners were king; men arrived at their destination well-suited no matter the occasion; and whiskey was considered a major food group. “We wanted The Southern Gentleman to feel reminiscent of a time gone by in a lot of ways, yet with a modern update,” says co-owner Chris Hadermann.

That update was evident in the meticulous detail NYC-based design firm Lacina Heitler placed into outfitting the space: a slick, modern man cave with furnishings and decor that echoed the feeling of those times with proper panache. Rich and supple leather seating, seersucker window treatments and pristine marble countertops straddle the line between gastropub and fine dining.

It was that balance that served as the catalyst for Executive Chef Randy Lewis’ Southern-inspired menu. Using locally sourced and regional ingredients, the menu takes traditional fare and provides an updated twist in execution. Think: a creative play on chicken and waffles that employs liver mousse and nana’s chow-chow, or head-on shrimp and grits with New Orleans barbecue sauce. It’s these inventive takes that pay homage to source material and elevate the flavors in a playful way. The artistry at the bar is no exception, with a focus on whiskey and barrel-aged cocktails. The East of Hudson channels a traditional Manhattan with bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters and a smoked cherry, while the aptly named Pack of Mules allows the customer to replace the vodka in the lime and homemade ginger beer mainstay with either gin, absinthe or, of course, bourbon. So suit up and practice your “yes, ma’am” and “y’all” because Hadermann describes the experience as “a warm, welcoming extension of our homes that is both impressive, comfortable and about showcasing who we really are in the South.” We couldn’t agree more.

DIG IN
Start with: TSG deviled eggs or mini shrimp andouille corn dogs
Main course: Southern porchetta or the TSG Daily Grind burger
Sip on: East of Hudson
End with: Upside-down peach cornmeal cake

INSIDER TIP 
Sip slow on the Chartreuse, a 110-proof elixir reminiscent of absinthe.

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