Almost from the day the doors opened in Spring 2000 the hip little restaurant in the middle of Buckhead has taken center stage in this city of new restaurants. The accolades have rushed in for chef/owner Gerry Klaskala and the talented Kathryn King, pastry chef. The duo, along with the expertly trained wait staff, turn out culinary masterpieces six nights a week to the delight of locals and visitors.
"Slick," "sophisticated," "hip," "ethereal" - these adjectives pepper the numerous local and national reviews Aria has collected. One writer noted that "Chef Gerry Klaskala is turning out some of Atlanta's most satisfying gourmet cuisine" while another describes the restaurant as "a suddenly sexy Buckhead destination with eclectic gourmet fare."
Aria was named one of the country's best restaurants in 2000 by Esquire magazine and tops local lists for best restaurant, best chocolate desserts, best food and wine pairings and most romantic. Perhaps local restaurant critic John Kessler of the Atlanta Journal Constitution put it best when he said, "Klaskala's food is usually sophisticated and delicious, and sometimes downright amazing."
Klaskala has hit the button with his version of "slow food"-- those braised, roasted, stewed and patiently simmered meats so savory they are creating headlines. There are also daily specials with fresh seafood selections. The wine selection, also carefully selected to reflect the attention to detail in the food and the room, brings raves.
Klaskala believes the success of Aria is directly linked to the professionalism of the entire staff. There are no part-time waiters; they all are full-time members of the close Aria family. There are no culinary surprises; every meal is expertly prepared. Customers relax and enjoy; there is no formality or conformity required. "Dining is an artform at Aria," Klaskala says. "If you enjoy being taken care of you will not be disappointed."