Yep, the economy is on an upswing. How can I tell? The renewed interest in luxury dining, like the quietly opulent Atlas at the St. Regis in Buckhead. Not your typical hotel restaurant, this place has the expertise of consulting chef Gerry Klaskala of Aria fame and chef de cuisine Christopher Grossman who recently worked at The French Laundry in Napa. It also boasts quite a collection of art, from Matisse to Chagall.
Having just passed the rigorous real estate exam, I celebrated my success with my friend LS, her date MB and LC, arriving to the new restaurant in a limo he arranged courtesy of Cooper Global. Champagne for everyone!
We started with refreshments from Atlas’ tantalizing cocktail list while our dining companions chose wines by the glass. An assortment of appetizers was selected for the table to share. Beneath crispy panko crusts, the brininess of Wianno oysters was enhanced by pickled shishito peppers and a decadent avocado bacon mousse.
Executed much like a miniature entree, the truffle potato pierogy dumplings were served with a hearty combination of slow-braised Wagyu beef, corn pudding, herb roasted local chanterelle mushrooms, and parmesan crisps. Although the potato filling of the pierogies was somewhat dense, the flavors were earthy and satisfying.
Lightly cured yellowtail hiramasa came with a dizzying array of ingredients; pineapple consomme’, pomegranate, mint, pearl onions, cilantro, hearts of palm, avocado, and baby chili peppers that burst with sweetness and spice. The result was pleasing to the eyes as well as the palate.
With Grossman’s attention to seasonality, corn and mushrooms could be found in many dishes including the entree LS and I chose, the Alabama pork chop with corn grits, chanterelles, sweet potato, green tomato, smoked blueberry, and roasted peanuts, each element artfully transformed and arranged to deliver a textural punch with each bite.
LC ordered the pan-roasted cobia, a thick piece of fish expertly prepared with potatoes, chanterelles, and house-smoked bacon while MB tried the 35-day dry-aged ribeye. Plated beautifully like dishes at Aria, its presentation of sliced medallions puzzled him. Delicate spoonfuls of sweet corn, potatoes, and sauteed shiitakes mingled with the beef.
After another round of cocktails, a manager reprimanded LS for saying f*ck. Apparently we were too rowdy for the artwork. However, we were allowed to order desserts. Although LC and I weren’t particularly enticed by the offerings we usually feel the need for a sweet finale, so we settled on the chocolate custard with butterscotch cream. Our friends made the better choice with the pecan tart with coffee cream, vanilla ice cream and a crunchy sugar tuile.
Atlas exudes elegance with expected touches like leather seating and white tablecloths, yet delivers it with a modern flair. Just watch your language.
88 West Paces Ferry Rd. NE 404-600-6471