Three Georgia restaurants — two in Atlanta — are among the nation’s must-visit restaurants, according to a new ranking.
Food site Eater has released its America’s 38 Essential Restaurants list as compiled by critic Bill Addison, and the much-lauded Miller Union and Staplehouse both made the cut. Staplehouse is new to the list, while Miller Union has made appearances in the past. Savannah spot The Grey is also new to the list.
Of Staplehouse, Eater writes, “Chef Ryan Smith’s genius has been obvious from the day Staplehouse opened in October 2015. His risky, layered, and highly aesthetic approach produces visions like barely warmed crabmeat encircling earthy-sweet sunflower custard, all covered in flowers and herbs. It’s easily Atlanta’s most accomplished cooking. The dining room holds 40 seats, and reservations are a challenge. Try showing up at 5:15 p.m. for a slot at the eight-seat bar, or at 7:15 p.m. when the first bar seating tends to turn over. The restaurant is a profound tribute to founding chef Ryan Hidinger, who passed away before he could open the restaurant, ultimately started by his widow Jen Hidinger, sister Kara Hidinger, and Smith, his brother-in law.”
Smith was a finalist in the Best Chef: Southeast category for the James Beard Foundation Awards this year, and Staplehouse was a finalist in 2016 for Best New Restaurant. Bon Apetit magazine also named the eatery the best new restaurant in the country in 2016, and Staplehouse was included in Eater’s annual list of the Best New Restaurants in America and named to the top of GQ’s Best New Restaurants of 2016 list.
Eater also had glowing things to say about Miller Union: “South Georgia native Steven Satterfield bares the heart of his region in dishes like field pea and peanut salad or pan-roasted chicken with creamed rice. Co-owner and front-of-house maestro Neal McCarthy may be British, but he nails Southern hospitality.”
Satterfield won a James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef: Southeast category this year after five years of being a finalist in the category. His Miller Union was in the running this year as a Beard finalist for Outstanding Wine Program. In addition, his cookbook “Root to Leaf” was nominated last year for a Beard photography book award.
Open since late 2014, The Grey made the cut because “eating here communicates wholeness,” Addison writes. He encourages every “food obsessive” to fly to Savannah to “feast on beer-battered shrimp with green goddess and pepper relish, and quail spiced with ras el-hanout, and ‘country pasta’ with cured pork belly, Parmesan, and pepper.”
Miller Union, 999 Brady Ave., Atlanta, 678-733-8550, millerunion.com
Staplehouse, 541 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, 404-524-5005, staplehouse.com