New Atlanta Restaurants Bring the Fireworks

You must try these new Atlanta restaurants.
  • JP Atlanta has a distinctive, colorful look.
    JP Atlanta has a distinctive, colorful look.
  • The duck meatballs are a must try at JP Atlanta. (Jeff Moore)
    The duck meatballs are a must try at JP Atlanta. (Jeff Moore)
  • MF Sushi's chef Chris "Magic Fingers" Kinjo has returned with a reimagined restaurant.
    MF Sushi's chef Chris "Magic Fingers" Kinjo has returned with a reimagined restaurant.
  • Get a taste of the South at South City Kitchen. (Andrew Thomas Lee)
    Get a taste of the South at South City Kitchen. (Andrew Thomas Lee)
  • The Wild Berry Mojito at 5Church makes a great citrus-y summer drink.
    The Wild Berry Mojito at 5Church makes a great citrus-y summer drink.

Five new Atlanta restaurants add pizzazz to the dining scene.

  • South City Kitchen Buckhead – For flavors that are refined yet familiar, head to Fifth Group Restaurants’ newest outpost — South City Kitchen Buckhead. The urban, multi-level space strikes balance between uptown sophistication and down-home hospitality. Pull up a chair on one of the restaurant’s three inviting outdoor patios and feast on Southern staples such as fried green tomatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, and Red Mule shrimp and grits. Add hints of seasonal freshness to your plate with sides like the local strawberry and sorrel salad. Cap off your meal by savoring a bourbon from one of three in-house tapped barrels while you watch Buckhead buzz below.

  • 5Church – Don your labeled threads and prepare to indulge at Midtown’s hottest new table, 5Church. Start up top on the patio and sip craft cocktails alongside executives, creatives and thespians sourced from nearby towers, the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Woodruff Arts Center. Descend to the first floor to feast in the chic, black-and-white dining room adorned with artwork, glimmering fixtures and hand-painted ceilings. Please your palate with creative small plates and entrees expertly prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef R.J. Cooper. Finish by bellying up to the white slab concrete bar for an after-dinner digestif and people watching.

  • City Winery – Stroll to Ponce City Market and treat your senses to a cornucopia of scents, sounds and flavors at City Winery. Atlanta’s newest gathering place beckons with its inviting ambience, fruit-filled aromas and live music. Order a glass, carafe or bottle from the enormous selection of more than 400 wines, including house-made wines on tap. Lose track of time while sipping, mingling and relishing small bites that pair perfectly with your glass. Next, make your way to the winery’s 350-seat music hall and groove to live tunes from locally and nationally recognized artists, such as Shawn Mullins, Macy Gray and Aaron Neville. This one-of-a-kind, in-town experience is sure to satiate wine connoisseurs and music lovers alike.

  • MF Sushi Atlanta – You don’t have to jet to Japan for a taste of Tokyo’s renowned Tsukiji Market — just hop on the BeltLine and head to Inman Park. Chef Chris “Magic Fingers” Kinjo has returned to Atlanta with a reimagined MF Sushi (his pre-recession Buckhead outpost was once the city’s sushi mecca). Raise your glass of sake and toast to chef Chris’ return — whether you select a table in the glittering dining room or make your way to the sushi bar to watch skilled hands craft each delicate gem, you’re in for an exciting, multi-plate meal. Start with mainstays like maguro (spicy tuna) and then move to more exotic nigiri such as madai (Japanese snapper) and anago (Japanese eel). For your final plates, ask which fish came in that day and order with abandon.

  • JP Atlanta – Escape Downtown’s hustle and heat by ordering a cool cocktail at JP Atlanta’s ultra-modern circular bar, located inside Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown. Sink into your seat and drink deep while taking in the swank details of the space, including color-filled modern art and the massive glass-and-steel canopy overhead. Nibble on small plates inspired by the South, then move on to the succulent, protein-rich entrees. These large plates leverage chef Julio Delago’s Puerto Rican roots and inspire a perfect balance between savory and sweet. Finish with a deconstructed strawberry shortcake — the burst of summer flavors and sweetness will fuel just the sugar rush you need to get back to business or explore the next Downtown Atlanta attraction on your list.

Curious about these establishments’ carefully curated beverage offerings? Here’s a sampling of cool summer drinks from the drink menus of each of the restaurants on this page.

  • Clearkamp Julep at South City Kitchen Buckhead  An updated take on a classic Southern cocktail with Old Forester Bourbon, Boomsma Cloosterbitter and fresh mint.

  • Wild Berry Mojito at 5Church  A refreshing citrus and berry play on a summer favorite made with Bacardi Limon rum, Chambord, raspberries, blackberries and mint.

  • Wine on Tap at City Winery  A large selection of house-made wines served by knowledgeable staff who can tailor your choice to your personal taste.

  • MF Lychee at MF Sushi  A luscious tropical cocktail with vodka, lychee liqueur and white cranberry juice served in a martini glass.

  • Diego's Dram at JP Atlanta  A south-of-the border variation of the Old Fashioned with Reposado tequila, crème de cacao, Xocolati Mole bitters and sesame tincture

Stacy Shade writes for Atlanta Now magazine. Eryn March is the graphic designer for Atlanta Now.

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