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August/September 2007

New Cuisine on the Scene
by Katie Kelly Bell

Atlanta’s chefs have been busy this year, bringing in everything from high-tech sushi bars to sleek Southern cuisine. We rounded up a few of our favorite additions to Atlanta’s restaurant scene, so you’ll know what’s new and what’s hot, where to go and what to try.

Trois' Mini-sandwich Sliders

Innovative Atlanta restaurateurs Bob Amick and Todd Rushing have a new gem in their crowns. Occupying three levels in the awe-inspiring 1180 Peachtree building, Trois features a bar on the first level and a main dining room on the second level, with the third level serving as a private dining facility. The downstairs bar boasts a groovy aluminum floor that’s lit from underneath—all the better to enjoy your bubbles from the restaurant’s great selection of Champagne and sparkling wine. Chef Jeremy Lieb’s culinary masterpieces come out of the kitchen at a rapid pace. For lunch (one of the best deals in the city), try the warm seafood salad with honey-mustard glaze, artichokes and local greens. Dinner highlights include the steak au poivre with root vegetables in cocotte with a bordelaise sauce and the wild salmon with asparagus, tomato confit and truffle coulis. (404-815-3337, 1180 Peachtree St.,

Fune Sushi Bar's Spider Roll / Photo: Dohan Kim

Fune Sushi Bar-Midtown
Sleek, sexy and truly one-of-a-kind in Atlanta (for now, anyway), this high-tech sushi bar is all about moving food. Diners sit at a conveyor belt (much like baggage claim) that is continuously updated with fresh sushi offerings from the chefs. A radio transmitter reads the signal when you remove a plate, keeping track of your bill. Best bets include Enoki (pork, beef or chicken rolled with enoki mushroom); the Dancing Eel Roll (kani, pineapple, cucumber, barbecue eel, avocado and kabiyaki sauce); a Tsunami Roll, with tuna, salmon, mango, avocado, cucumber, Japanese mayo and black sesame seeds; or the Crazy Crunch Roll, with tempura crisp, masago, scallions, kunsei sake, eel sauce and spicy mayo. (404-541-9322, 860 Peachtree St.,

Bonefish Grill-Johns Creek
Fish, fish and more fish. This casual yet upscale restaurant prides itself on offering the freshest marine life available—it’s flown in daily. A selection of hearty soups and salads rounds out the seafood fare. Big hits include the mussels Josephine and bang bang shrimp. Seafood is prepared to order—fish cooked on the wood-burning grill is best and comes with your choice of four sauces. If you don’t see it on the menu, ask for the Oscar sauce (crab meat, butter and asparagus), which is a perfect pairing with any type of fish. Of course, those not craving seafood can dip into one of the beef, pork or chicken dishes. The fontina chops—two boneless pork chops topped with fontina cheese and a mushroom garlic wine sauce—are a good non-seafood bet in this seafood-lovers paradise. (770-475-6668, 11705-C Jones Bridge Rd.,

Chef Oscar Pinto runs the show at Thrive, serving up everything from breakfast to late-night sushi. Indeed, Thrive is humming all day long. Sleek, urban and contemporary, the 5,000-square-foot restaurant was designed by renowned architect Bill Johnson. Best bites include the cornmeal crusted grouper sandwich with fried green tomatoes; lump crab cakes; Kansas strip steak with Vidalia onion glaze; baby-back ribs; and the grilled grouper over a sushi rice cake with coconut curry. Wanna stay up late and enjoy the social scene? Sip on their double espresso martini—Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka, Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, a layer of cream and a drizzle of cinnamon. (404-389-1000, 101 Marietta St.,

Palate Wine Bar-Decatur
Although the name indicates only a wine establishment, your palate will certainly be satisfied in more ways than one at this historic Oakhurst taste-treat. Located inside the former Scottish Rite Hospital, its walls decorated with art from several featured artists, the bar offers full dinners, small plates and desserts—one of which was recently named in the Sunday Paper’s “25 Best Desserts in Atlanta.” Short and to-the-point, the menu includes carefully chosen seasonal dishes—the fresh fare will leave you plenty of room for the much-talked-about dessert. Try the vegetable tart, filled with cherry tomatoes, asparagus, caramelized Vidalia onions, wild mushrooms and herbed goat cheese, before diving into your chocolate bread pudding. If you’re feeling luxurious, the chocolate cheesecake for two might just do the trick. Hoping for just a nibble to bring out the subtleties of your wine as you relax late into the evening? Order the small hummus plate, served with apples and Tuscan bread, or the bruschetta with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, onions, minced garlic, and red and yellow tomatoes. (404-373-4702, 321 W. Hill St.,

JCT. Kitchen & Bar
JCT. Kitchen & Bar-Westside
Southern farmstead food never tasted so good. The mac ‘n’ cheese is sinful, but the JCT. salad, with green beans, romaine, spiced pecans, apples and buttermilk dressing, will redeem you. Stop in for a cocktail, sit outside on the breezy patio and order a plate of the crispy oysters Rockefeller with creamed spinach and the wood-grilled bone-in NY strip with local bacon, bleu vinaigrette and herb fries. The affordable menu; creamy, taupe-colored palette; and relaxed, friendly service make this a prime place to bring your kids or catch up with friends. Don’t miss the blueberry beignets for dessert. (404-355-2252, 1198 Howell Mill Rd.,

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