The beauty of Gerry Klaskala’s food is that it’s fit for fine dining, but it’s not fussy. A meal at Aria feels like a special occasion, but there’s restraint in Klaskala’s approach. He cooks without pomp or pretension, letting technique and ingredients shine. The chef flawlessly braises short ribs; crisps duck confit and serves it with cannellini beans and leeks; and then pivots easily to seafood, pairing scallops with sunchokes and romanesco or hamachi with grapefruit, oranges, radishes, and avocados dressed in ponzu. Kathryn King’s desserts—her unrivaled warm cheesecake, a toasted lemon pound cake with an inexplicably creamy center—are spectacles of their own.
490 East Paces Ferry Road, 404-233-7673, aria-atl.com