JEZE January 2015 : Page 117

100 Hottest RESTAURANTS 2015 Under a pair of colossal Jenga-like chandeliers— made out of wood from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.—patrons are drooling over decadent plates of short rib, and monkfi sh with brown-butter sweet potato at this Downtown spot. Envision a bright, soaring space where the bourbon is plentiful and the crowd is chowing down on New South cuisine from owners Cindy and Alan LeBlanc. Think soft-shell crab, lamb burgers and rock-shrimp beignets. Then, sweeten up with a bourbon pecan bar with milk chocolate and mocha Chantilly. Now that’s some mighty oak. Atlanta Fish Market 265 Pharr Road NE Buckhead 404.262.3165 | $15-$31 @atlfi shmarket R P 63 This perennial fave serves some of the freshest catches in town, thanks to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s own boutique seafood company that keeps a steady supply swimming in on the daily. The main dining room is fi lled with Cape Cod seafood house-style wooden tables and a glowing jellyfi sh tank. The made-to-order sushi bar serves some of the best in ATL. And having owner I. Pano Karatassos’ retail market on-site means you can order up fresh seafood to experiment with at home. (Though we have a feeling you’ll have a tough time recreating AFM’s signature Maine lobster roll.) White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails 270 Peachtree St. Downtown 404.524.7200 | $26-$32 @whiteoakatlanta R P 68 69 Holeman and Finch Public House 2277 Peachtree Road NE Buckhead 404.948.1175 | $4-$19 holeman-fi @holemanandfi nch B 64 James Beard award-winning chef/owner Linton Hopkins’ famed Buckhead haunt has been at the top of the ATL dining scene since opening in 2008. The bar gets just as packed as the dining room, thanks in part to the infamous H&F burger—now on the regular menu and available at all times. The chicken liver pate with apple cider gelée and toast is a delicious way to expand your palate, while the carbonara with a farm egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano and pancetta is elevated comfort food at its best. Cibo e Beve 4969 Roswell Road Sandy Springs 404.250.8988 | $11-$34 @ciboatlanta B R P F From the owners of Food 101 and Meehan’s Public House sprung this authentic Italian trattoria helmed by the deft hands of chef Linda Harrell. The ai3-designed space takes its name from the boot-shaped country’s words for “food” and “drink.” For cibo, crispy Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, poached egg and pecorino are the perfetto side to gluten-free lasagna marchegiana with Bolognese. A lighter dish like the minestrone with rigatoni alla vodka is a must-try that never seems to leave the seasonal menu. For beve, live it up and order the Punch Drunk Love. Lure 1106 Crescent Ave. NE Midtown 404.817.3650 | $11-$30 @lureatl B R P 65 A one-stop bait shop for cool drinks and creative catches, here the food is hip and playful without ever being fussy. Highlights include Executive Chef Brent Banda’s pan-fried sole and whole Georgia rainbow trout. Libations are so big, the staff skips glasses and goes straight for punch bowls. Even the names of the drinks are tongue-in-cheek. The Elysian Fields cocktail mixes Hangar One vodka, Aperol, pear liqueur, lime juice and elderfl ower syrup. Oh, and don’t miss the sweet stuff . Try the warm coconut-guava cake or the citrusy Key lime trifl e (these change with the seasons). Stick a yum fl ag in that! Old news: the extent to which authentic Neapolitan-style pizza has taken this town by storm. Latest news: how slammed Varuni Napoli has been since it started providing the Va-Hi/ Morningside ’hoods with the savory meat-packed pizza Chiattona. In the true tradition of our favorite trattorias across the city, Varuni is stocked with tools of the trade: hardwood furnishing and imported ingredients pepper the bright, streetside venue (venture deeper to the private deck during the warmer months). And lest we forget the man in front of the wood-fi red ovens: chef-cum-maestro Luca Varuni comes packed with Antico pedigree. Del Frisco’s Grille 3376 Peachtree Road NE Buckhead 404.537.2828 | $7-$39 @dfgrilleatlanta B R P 70 While the carnivorous cuisine is delicious, it’s Executive Chef Adam Esser’s lighter fare that has us fl ocking to this Buckhead destination. Ahi tuna tacos with avocado and spicy citrus mayo, and cheesesteak egg rolls with sweet and spicy chilli sauce, are the perfect complement to Del Frisco’s signature VIP cocktail: sweet Hawaiian pineapple-infused Svedka clementine vodka. This winter, we’ll be hitting up the two-story heated patio for new menu additions, such as the fi re-roasted artichoke, kale and Brussels sprouts salad, and truffl e macaroni and cheese. Delish! 117 Varuni Napoli 1540 Monroe Drive NE Morningside 404.709.2690| $18-$21 @varuninapoliatl B P 66 67 WHITE OAK KITCHEN & COCKTAILS PHOTO BY AUSTIN HOLT Shuck’s Oyster & Wine Bar 705 Town Blvd. Brookhaven 404.846.1777| $5-$18 @shucksatl P Bubbly, oysters and grilled cheese: This popular Brookhaven seafood joint specializes in all three. Communal seating in the small space is on a fi rst-come basis and with $10 PBR pitchers and half-off bivalves at happy hour—plan to get here early. They’ve added a standout hot crab spinach dip and a small cocktail list—Tito’s Dirty Dirty Martini is briny perfection—since opening last year. Pair a dozen specialty shuckers with the deconstructed French onion soup, grilled cheese and prosecco, and you’ve hit the trifecta! tails ck o C & n che it K White Oak B -Brunch available [times vary] R -Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply] P -Patio dining F -Furry friends welcome KEY: $ -Dinner entree price range

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