Atlanta Social Season SPRING 2015 : Page 24

DINING Spring 2015 sea son eatings Reviews and photos by David Danzig The St. Regis Atlanta , the undisputed heavyweight luxury hotel champion in town, has been glaringly devoid of a notable restaurant for several years now. Opened at the nadir of the Great Recession, a time when luxury and opulence were passionately vilified, the property took its time zeroing in on a concept with the right combination of panache and approachability both in price and atmosphere. With Atlas , they have struck the perfect balance. Luxe, but not stuffy. Lavish but not pretentious. Spendy but not exorbitant. You enter through a massive wooden door into a warm and clubby lounge with roaring fire and books on shelves as if you were having cocktails and snacks in the study of a contemporary grand estate. Move past the attractive bar and more lounge seating and into the open dining room that also instantly expresses high-design warmth and comfort. Seating is on rich, designer fabrics and soft leather with loose pillows in the booths. Romanesque arches crown the ceilings and on the walls, several million dollars of art work peer out at you — original works by Picasso, Chagall, and Van Gogh among others — less a typical restaurant than a splendid private museum which, if only, you could live A Atlas A 1 B 2 3 B 24 1. Lamb Kielbasa Lamb Loin (Erica George Dines) 2. The Fuhgeddaboudit pizza at Real Fix Pizzeria 3. Inside Real Fix Pizzeria 4. Cooking in the attractive open kitchen at Atlas 5. The library-like lounge at Atlas in yourself full-time. Out of the stylish open kitchen with turquoise subway tile backsplash come bold and beautiful comfort food staples — meats, seafood and game artfully presented and mentored by consulting chef Gerry Klaskala of Aria fame, one of the few true fine-dining concepts that weathered the recent economic downturn. The food is plated beautifully — truffle-potato pierogi dumplings, nantucket scallops, Colorado lamb loin — all are pleasurable to the palate and aesthetic. I was particularly drawn in (and blown away by) a couple of the wild game offerings: the braised rabbit served with a melt-in-your-mouth pappardelle and the spectacular venison loin served with a savory barley porridge and charred Brussels sprouts. These were two of the finest all-around dishes I’ve enjoyed in some time. For dessert the goat cheese tart with preserved cherries was both subtle and tantalizing, not so sweet so you could savor the sublime Laura Chenel Chevere goat cheese. Fine dining needed to be redefined after the crash in 2008. It had gotten too full of itself and it was too bloody expensive. After observing cautionary tales of excess and greed, Atlas tweaked the fine dining equalizer, making this space easily worthy of your finest milestone celebration or just a great place to unwind after a long week. As far as I’m concerned the “new normal” is pretty sweet. atlasrestaurant.com B Real Fix PIzzeria The F&H Food Trading Group with Salt Factory (with locations in Roswell, Alpharetta and Woodstock), 1920 Tavern (Roswell) and Little Alley Steak (Roswell and soon-to-be-named new location) have jumped into the pizza war with Real Fix Pizzeria in downtown Roswell. The chef, Giacomo SeasonMagazine.com

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