10. Aria

Lemon pound cake with lemon cream and Valencia oranges

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

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

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