For the second year in a row, chef Ford Fry and his team have landed a restaurant on Esquire’s Best New Restaurants list.
In 2012, The Optimist was included on the magazine’s initial list, then was chosen Best New Restaurant of the Year. In 2013, King + Duke made the list. Who knows what may happen next?
This from the press release:
“We are thrilled to have one of our restaurants recognized for the second straight year by Esquire magazine,” said Fry. “Joe, Chrysta and the whole King + Duke team have all worked hard to execute decadent dishes and cleverly delicious cocktails, so it’s an honor to be included with some of the nation’s top restaurants.”
Esquire food and travel correspondent John Mariani, who has eaten his way across the country for nearly three decades, selected the 20 best new restaurants in America. Describing the restaurant, Mariani said, “Fry’s new place, King + Duke, is his second-straight can’t-miss spot.” The food critic also went on to praise executive chef Joe Schafer and pastry chef Chrysta Poulos’ work on the 24-foot open hearth. Read on for the full review:
Last year, chef Ford Fry’s The Optimist was Esquire’s Restaurant of the Year. He must be in what they call the zone: Fry’s new place, King + Duke, is his second-straight can’t-miss spot. Where The Optimist celebrates great seafood, King + Duke (named after two grifters in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) is all about executive chef Joe Schafer and Fry cooking over a hickory-wood fire on a twenty-four-foot hearth. The roasted carrots and beets with sheep’s-milk feta transport you to a field (in a good way). The fire torches a candy crust on succulent lamb belly served with sheep’s-milk feta, and sweet fire-roasted lobster is heightened simply by baby bok choy, garlic, and chiles. Even pastry chef Chrysta Poulos works the fire, grilling the sugariest of Georgia peaches to accompany a quivering dark-chocolate panna cotta.
Also, King + Duke serves thirty-two beers. So the place pretty much made this list before we even sat down.
The complete list of restaurants will appear in the magazine’s November issue on newsstands later this month.
More King + Duke info here: kinganddukeatl.com.
— Bob Townsend, for the AJC Food and More blog.