A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead.
10 DEGREES SOUTH
After 15 years on the scene, this Roswell Road establishment is a highly original destination where food and wine from the tip of the Southern Hemisphere are celebrated with flair. Before we could pose the server with a query on the peri-peri, we got the hard sell on South African reds—particularly the Rupert & Rothschild 2009 “Classique.” The big, full-bodied R&R was the perfect match for the luscious, spicy food that followed. We wager that nobody makes bobotie (the South African national dish) like 10 Degrees South. The dish consists of tantalizingly sweet curried ground beef topped with a custardy crust. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and indulge in the kind of stuff our parents enjoyed when “Continental” cuisine was in vogue.
Chamblee’s popularity as a residential and dining destination seems to be on the rise, and Chef Jared Hucks is here to make sure diners eat like royalty. Winning starters include a homemade bread plate with prosciutto butter and cheddar pimento cheese, silky sweet potato bisque and sashimi quality seared scallops. For mains, go with the cold smoked salmon, Moroccan-spiced shrimp and grits or the hickory smoked Brasstown coulotte steak. Desserts are deliciously unique. If you’ve got belly room to spare, be sure to witness the chef’s gastro-theatrics with the banana bread pudding service. Our favorite was the lunar chocolate, which the chef calls his “dessert moonscape.”
Smaller dishes: $11-$21
Larger dishes: $23-$45
Chef’s tasting menu: seven courses/$95
Casi cielo translates to “almost heaven,” and it’s a fitting description for this sophisticated Sandy Springs Oaxacan eatery. You’d be loco to miss the tender, charcoal grilled octopus, earthy portobello or mahi-mahi tacos, the crunchy plantain croquettes or buttery Chilean sea bass. Equally enticing is the world-class mezcal collection and the exotic cocktails made with favorite brands such as Alipus, Nucano and Gracias a Dios. The gracious staff epitomizes high-bar professionalism.
Appetizers, soups and salads: $6- $18
Quesadillas, tacos and bowls: $12- $18
Main dishes: $15-$43
Get your groove on at this 21st century health food haven where bright colors, happy smiles and good vibes abound. Whet your whistle with some refreshingly fruity on-tap kombucha (a fermented tea drink) and treat yourself to starters of tart, juicy tomato toast or creamy avocado hummus. You’ll be bowled over by the tantalizing flavors of the Mother Earth bowl, the Glow bowl and other health-friendly bowls, wraps and plates. Menu standouts include the “Forbidden Rice” bowl with grass-fed steak, the Mediterranean quinoa salad and for dessert, the vegan dark chocolate pudding. A limited wine and beer selection is available for those who prefer a cocktail with their quinoa or a tipple with their tofu.
Soups, salads and appetizers: $6.25 – $12.50
Bowls, entrées and wraps: $9.95 – $15.50
Like its predecessor, the much-loved former Brasserie le Coze, F&B delivers timeless Provençal fare in a classic brasserie atmosphere. The menu is bolstered by comfort dishes portioned with hunger in mind, but it’s also fortified with lighter salads, sandwiches and soups. Classics such as steak frites and skate wing with a brown butter sauce are deeply satisfying in their rustic charm. Mussels come piled high in a white wine and shallot broth, along with crusty French bread for sopping. The drink menu is built on interesting French wines and remarkable cocktails such as the well-balanced, bourbonbased Line of Destiny.
HAL’S “THE STEAKHOUSE”
Looking on the outside like a high-end strip joint topped with a Bourbon Street balcony, Hal’s has built its cachet around its loyal clientele, old-school style, impeccable service and terrific food. Owner Hal Nowak is a New Orleans native, and in his eponymous enterprise—with its shrimp remoulade, oysters bordelaise and booze-soaked bread pudding—he has created Atlanta’s answer to Galatoire’s. This may be your grandparents’ favorite restaurant, but in an age where everything old is new again, it also boasts a youthful clientele that appreciates its straightforward food, strong drinks and speakeasy atmosphere.
Appetizers and salads: $9-$24
Entrées and steaks: $24-$50
HAVEN RESTAURANT AND BAR
Haven is exactly that—a safe, inclusive place where your every gastronomic need is met. If weather permits, enjoy the serenity of patio dining while indulging your taste buds with crisp Gulf oysters, the Southern cheese board or Timmy’s wild Georgia shrimp. Or go inside and soak up the classy atmosphere while digging into seared Georges Bank scallops or spice-roasted Green Circle Farms chicken, and wrap things up with a warm chocolate brownie with artisan espresso sauce.
Small plates and salads: $6-$15
Steaks: starting at $51
Sides and desserts: $7
The name means “wave,” and making waves is exactly what executive chef Pano I. Karatassos has been doing at his family’s stellar Greek seafood restaurant since 2002. From marides (tiny, “French fry”-size white fish) to Greek specimens grilled whole (try the barbounia or bronzino), Kyma excels at delivering the kind of simple, unadorned flavors you’ll encounter on a patio by the Aegean. Order a glass of Greek wine (there are many options) and a few classic meze for sharing (we like the dolmades, spanakopita, cuttlefish stuffed with lamb stew and the feta-zucchini fritters), and your meal will go just swimmingly.
Mains: $26-$46 (whole fish $30 or $36 per pound)
Opened in 1991, Pricci is the Italian jewel in Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown. This Buckhead institution still aspires to (and delivers) exceptional service, superlative Italian cooking and a vibe that’s both elegant and inclusive. Nothing says buon appetito like silky burrata Pugliese (cream filled mozzarella), tangy parmesan and anchovy- rich Caesar salad and aromatic steamed cozze (mussels in tomatogarlic sauce). Barbera-braised short rib ravioli, pecorino-sauced cacio e pepe and pizzas of all varieties are favorites, but if you’re extra peckish, order the Dutch-imported 16-ounce veal chop. Mangia bene, but don’t forget to try Pricci’s world-class tiramisu.
Appetizers and salads: $8-$26
Pizza and pastas: $17-$27
R. THOMAS DELUXE GRILL
Open 24/7 and bedecked with ’70sstyle disco lighting, beaded curtains and groovy plastic walls, this Buckhead favorite feels like a throwback to the days when the health food craze was in its genesis. Whether you go for the sizzling bone-in hot wings or Dr. Joe’s Mango Salad with a side of raw cashew “cheese,” R. Thomas lives up to its promise to “treat carnivores and vegetarians with equal respect.” More menu favorites include the quinoa-rich Thai Express bowl, the classic Thomas Burger with sprouts and guacamole, the curry coconut seafood linguine, Southwestern-style R.’s Quesadilla and an unforgettable peanut butter chocolate pie.
Sandwiches, salads and veggie mains: $5.99-$17.50
STORICO FRESCO ALIMENTARI
Is a trip to Italy on your bucket list, but you can’t get away? A meal at oh-so-authentic hot spot Storico Fresco may be just the ticket. A must here is the meat and cheese board, piled with prosciutto, bresaola, culatello, fragrant cheeses and gooey honeycomb. Its refined, rustic and utterly classic pastas, including garganelli con funghi, tagliatelle alla Bolognese and ravioli spinaci, conjure up images of Tuscan vistas and Michelangelo statues. Seconds such as the pork shank for two and bone-in veal chop will sate your Italian cravings as well. End your repast with a glass of the world-class Miscela d’Oro espresso.
Salads and sandwiches: $10-$21
Side dishes and desserts: $6-$7
TED’S MONTANA GRILL
We love everything about the housemade dill pickles; the fat onion rings with horseradish dipping sauce; the Arnold Palmers; and the all-American, stick-a-flag-in-it, “where the buffalo roam” burgers. Yep, we’re talking bison, baby. It’s leaner than beef, yet richer and moister, somehow. The Ted’s burger that really rocks our world is the Blue Creek: Inspired by owner Ted Turner’s Blue Creek Ranch in Nebraska, it comes with bacon crumbles and blue cheese. And that’s all it needs. Just ask for a side of rings and a little ramekin of that horsey sauce.
BY: Wendell Brock, Rebecca Cha and Angela Hansberger
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna, Joann Vitelli
Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.
Food, beauty and interiors writer at Simply Buckhead. Linguist, teacher, chef, parent.