The 10 best dishes I ate in Atlanta in 2016

posted on December 26, 2016 at 12:23 pm
The Toro Uni Ikura Don at Brush Izakaya Photograph by Ted Golden

The Toro Uni Ikura Don at Brush Izakaya
Photograph by Ted Golden

2015 was punctuated with the December opening of Staplehouse, which has since been labeled by many as one of the best restaurants in the country. When I started making this 2016 list, I pinged my usually vocal friends for their favorite meals of the year. But most expressed how underwhelmed they were on the dining front beyond Staplehouse. Sure, there were plenty of openings, but the dining scene felt . . . slow. Maybe it was election stress, but looking back through my Instagram feed in an effort to jog my memory, the dishes that I loved the most tended to be more comforting rather than luxurious items featured in tasting menus (although there is one of those on this list). 

As I look to the new year, I hope 2017 will bring more diversity in restauranteurs and culinary talent. It is time for fewer food halls and more small businesses like Spring in Marietta, the restaurant I reviewed for our January issue. Chef Brian So is certainly one to watch and easily landed a spot on my list below. Even though 2016 was an odd year for restaurants overall, these individual dishes—such as his Carolina gold rice with vegetables—grabbed my attention.

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