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Jennifer Zyman Awards Atlas Four Stars

It's your weekly roundup of Atlanta restaurant reviews.

Brian Gassel photo

Creative Loafing's Jennifer Zyman reviews Atlasawarding the St. Regis Hotel restaurant an "excellent" rating of four out of five stars. Zyman says Atlas as a new destination for fine dining in the city:

Well-designed touches like that classy bread service illustrate [chef Christopher Grossman's] overall attention to detail. He wants to make beautiful food that respects the ingredients. Some might say it's a cliché considering this country's farm-to-table obsession. But to execute the philosophy so consistently and with such dizzying expertise is rare. Grossman achieves this at Atlas, and he manages to do it in a high-brow, lavish setting without a hint of pretension. Whether it's financial types in Gucci loafers — no socks — having dinner, a group of couture-wearing women enjoying a night out, or a guy in a baseball cap having a beer at the bar, all are welcome. If Atlas represents a peek into Atlanta's fine-dining future, things are looking bright.

Over at Atlanta Magazine, Corby Kummer reviews Atlas as well, assigning an "excellent" rating of three stars. Although, Kummer is more impressed by the ambiance and staff than the food:

How's the food? Fine. It's nothing as memorable as the room and the service, or for that matter the long wine list. It's also not the national innovation incubator that Guenter Seeger's Ritz-Carlton was in its heyday. When dining at Atlas and speaking afterward with Christopher Grossman, the chef, I was completely convinced of the quality of the ingredients. Just as spring was underway, I admired the ivory and white of winter vegetables giving way to the yellow-green of new peas, fresh favas, and spring onions. Plates are prettily arranged; it's a very good place to eat with your eyes. But with your palate? Not so much. Hard as I tried, and I tried hard, I couldn't find much flavor in many of the artful plates. The first night I went, I had a cold, so assumed that the muted flavors simply reflected my blunted senses. Weeks later, I tried nearly every dish again and realized my cold hadn't been so bad after all. However immaculately prepared and sensitively seasonal the ingredients, they didn't seem fused by any guiding imagination. It's hard to detect a vision or identity to the cuisine beyond opulence, which Atlas does very well. Like the servers, the cuisine speaks in a low voice and is very polite. But perfect manners don't make for soulful food.

THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Fried Chicken Lips is pleased with the return of MF Sushi. Marie, Let's Eat! says Union Hill Kitchen in Chamblee is worth a visit. Atlanta Restaurant Blog is still impressed by McKendrick's Steak House. Hot Dish Review says Wrecking Bar Brewpub isn't the place for dieters. Bella Vivere likes the shawarma, but isn't a fan of the falafel at Jerusalem Bakery in Alpharetta.