accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Favorite new restaurant of 2012

121612kesslerQwner Ford Fry and chef Adam Evans of the Optimist, which was your pick and our pick for favorite new restaurant of 2012. Photo: Becky Stein / Special

YOUR PICKS
1. The Optimist
You say, “The Optimist gets my vote. Good food and good atmosphere. The bar looks great, too.”

2. Lure
3. Little Alley Steak
4. Red Pepper Taqueria
5. Graft

OUR PICKS
1. The Optimist
Chief Dining Critic John Kessler says, “Ford Fry and chef Adam Evans got the tone exactly right for their Westside seafood restaurant. They call it a “fish camp” — which, of course, it isn’t. It’s an expensive urban dining destination, but it still manages to evoke the spirit of lusty fun at a shoreline spot. Peel-and-eat shrimp as fat and velvet-smooth as shrimp cocktail make for a fine start, as do clam rolls with kimchi vinegar and the terrific chowders and gumbos, all served with wonderful sides. Then come simple, clean entrees that pack the surprise wallop of understatement. This is the best kind of restaurant — one that keeps getting better.”

2. The Spence
3. Watershed on Peachtree
4. Cardamom Hill
5. Lure

For more one this list and other notables openings of 2012, check out Kessler’s post on the Food & More blog.

45 comments Add your comment

Typical Redneck

January 7th, 2013
2:30 pm

The new Popeyes the opened near my house!

KenBud

January 7th, 2013
2:39 pm

The Optimist.

Hop Head

January 7th, 2013
2:57 pm

Lil Alley’s Steak in Roswell!

5thGenATL

January 7th, 2013
2:57 pm

Optimist. Not even close.

diamond-e

January 7th, 2013
3:18 pm

Fuji Hana and Thia Pepper in their new location at Town Center

ATL foodie

January 7th, 2013
3:31 pm

Canvas Cafe in Marietta

southern hope

January 7th, 2013
3:38 pm

okay, so it opened in very late 2011 but i didn’t see it until January…Alma…in the 191 Building downtown…finally, a decent restaurant for clients & co-workers.

jackie brown

January 7th, 2013
3:59 pm

The optimist by far – fabulous food, gorgeous atmosphere, excellent, friendly service.

Dan

January 7th, 2013
4:09 pm

Enter your comments here LA TAGLIATELLA in the METROPOLIS building on Peachtree Street

Dan

January 7th, 2013
4:13 pm

LA TAGLIATELLA in the METROPOLIS building on Peachtree Street.

Rob

January 7th, 2013
4:40 pm

Woodfire Grill…..consistently one of the best in the city

KJG

January 7th, 2013
4:44 pm

The new Bell Street Burritos on Irwin Street.

Jim Fisher

January 7th, 2013
4:55 pm

Open Air Barbecue in Jackson, GA.

Jim Fisher

January 7th, 2013
4:56 pm

In Atlanta would be the Cheesecake Factory.

Jim Fisher

January 7th, 2013
4:56 pm

If you want new in 2012 and in Atlanta, then Twin Peaks in Buckhead is the best new restaurant by far. Nothing is even close.

Kristina

January 7th, 2013
4:57 pm

My favorite new restaurant in Atlanta is Campagnolo – I love their spaghetti!

Brandice

January 7th, 2013
6:42 pm

All great restaurants mentioned here…also Red Pepper Taqueria over near the Emory/Toco Hills area is a cool new favorite!

Billy

January 7th, 2013
6:46 pm

Cheesecake Factory? Must be a tourist. Lil Alley’s in Roswell.

Kevin Nix

January 7th, 2013
7:09 pm

Ebony and Ivory in Smyrna

missnadine

January 7th, 2013
7:09 pm

The Optimist, since my gorgeous niece works there – plus the food is awesome!

missnadine

January 7th, 2013
7:10 pm

@billy – do you not “get” the meaning of sarcasm?

Justin

January 7th, 2013
7:13 pm

Heard good things about the optimist but is has to say Red Pepper taqueria! Fun spot with great food.

ken

January 7th, 2013
7:22 pm

Bastie Boys BBQ in Buford. A great and diverse menu and the food is amazing.

Phil F

January 7th, 2013
7:50 pm

Optimist is excellent. It was named Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire magazine. I also like Hammock’s Trading Company in Sandy Springs.

Southside Progressive

January 7th, 2013
7:52 pm

The Optimist gets my vote. Good food and good atmosphere. The bar looks great too…..

Prez Obozo

January 7th, 2013
8:14 pm

Baby Janes in Snellvile. Good country buffet with quality food & very good pricies. Good breakfest too!

Bob

January 7th, 2013
8:18 pm

Houstons. Any of them in Atlanta.

CC

January 7th, 2013
9:14 pm

Optimist is tops!

beerad

January 7th, 2013
11:24 pm

Jason’s Deli on Barrett Pkwy.

NotYourTypicalAtlantan

January 7th, 2013
11:59 pm

The Orient Express and/or SOHO in Smyrna

M

January 8th, 2013
12:49 am

Red Pepper Taqueria on Braircliff and La Vista!!!

Mike

January 8th, 2013
8:23 am

Lure on Crescent Ave.

Road Scholar

January 8th, 2013
8:58 am

Some on here do not know the definition of the word “new” or lack reading comprehension!

Al

January 8th, 2013
9:17 am

Gocho in ATL

January 8th, 2013
9:21 am

Arepa mia @ Sweet Auburn Curb Market http://ArepaMiaAtlanta.com...

for the ones who wants to know what is an arepa: Arepas are delicious cornmeal flour grilled patties sliced in half and then stuffed with savory meats, cheeses, vegetables, or even sweets! we use Local farms, using Grass-fed beef and wherever possible Seasonal Vegetables!

Bruce

January 8th, 2013
9:30 am

The McRib is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good choice BOB

January 8th, 2013
9:40 am

even the salads in Houston is good the spinach dip delicious and the ribs, burgers, and lets not even get into the desserts succulent…my mouth is watering and its still breakfast time….that place never gets old its new every year these other place will come and in a while they will go but Houston has stood the test of time…its new to me everytime i go there!!!

ATL or bust

January 8th, 2013
9:41 am

Definitely Lure in Midtown. Amazing patio and fantastic food & drinks!

Ryan

January 8th, 2013
10:14 am

Graft in downtown Grayson is exceptional! http://www.graftrestaurant.com/

ol' gal

January 8th, 2013
10:20 am

Chicken And The Egg – Whitlock Ave., Marietta – it opened in August of 2011, but just discovered it in 2012 — so very good! Wonderful Brunch -great bar – beautiful atmosphere. http://www.chickandtheegg.com

Mary

January 8th, 2013
10:35 am

The Century House, Woodstock

Gibran Nichols

January 8th, 2013
10:45 am

Love me some Red Pepper Taqueria!!! Best organic tacos in town

GeorgiaGirl

January 9th, 2013
4:10 pm

Optimist or Little Alley Steak

Deacon C

January 10th, 2013
3:00 pm

Bantam & Biddy

Joe

January 10th, 2013
8:10 pm

Red Pepper Taqueria at Briarcliff and Lavista near Emory has been a tremendous addition and a great surprise. The food is outstanding! The drinks are very good and so are the servers. They even will customize orders for you. Also, they have flat screen TVs with all the games and MMA. I probably sound like their publicist, but I promise, I’m just a customer and raving fan.