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Tasty Twist

Fifth cuts and other surprises await at Kevin Rathbun’s newest restaurant in Peachtree Hills.

The Johnson Studio designed KR Steak Bar to be warm and inviting with a mix of private booths and communal tables.

Grilled sturgeon with sous vide fennel and grapefruit

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then it’s no wonder that guys in Atlanta have a major man-crush on Kevin Rathbun and his successful collection of restaurants. And what’s not to love? Rathbun’s big and rich second mortgage plates and industrial-chic ambiance can bring even the strongest men to their knees, while Kevin Rathbun Steak’s gorgeous, unapologetic cuts of corn-fed beef and Krog Bar’s international vibe certainly get the heart racing. Now, the recently opened KR Steak Bar in Peachtree Hills brings fans something new to swoon about. Focused on small plates, an intimate communal setting and specialty dishes, it’s an all-around fresh take on Rathbun’s big spaces/big plates dining mojo.

The location in the ADAC West building is the first surprise. Warm and utterly inviting, it’s a Johnson Studio special, with a clever mix of private booths and communal tables. The bar, which opens to prime patio seating, features large and comfy brown leather chairs. Both areas are divine for relaxing with one of 15 or so signature cocktails from the restaurant’s A team of mixologists. If you just can’t decide where you want to enjoy your meal, reserve the private table in the heart of the restaurant. “[KR Steak Bar] has the warmest feel among our locations; we really wanted to create a casual, upscale neighborhood feel,” says co-owner Cliff Bramble.

The biggest surprise is the menu. You won’t find any 18-ounce, bone-in rib-eyes or soft lobster tacos here. Working with what Rathbun calls fifth-cut proteins, offerings include pork foot with shell beans; beef tongue with olive-oil pudding. Meanwhile, the tamer tri-tip with mushrooms, brown butter and sage delivers classic unctuous steak flavor. Don’t leave until you’ve ordered Pastry Chef Kirk Parks’ pine-nut tart with rose-water gelato and wildflower honey.

KR Steak Bar is Rathbun with a twist. An interesting, slightly edgy menu of perfectly portioned plates and serious beverages; a smart location; great flavors; and a convivial atmosphere: It all works so well, and, of course, that is no surprise. 349 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, 404.841.8820,