by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
The restaurant biz is a tricky one: trends come and go, hot spots turn cool, what the public finds great one day is despised the next. You have to tip your hat to restaurants that aren't afraid to try new things but without sacrificing their overall vision or what their known for. With this in mind, we give you our picks for restaurants that are always looking to shake things up. Not surprising, Varasano's (pictured) is our headliner.
Updated: August 27, 2010
Jeff Varasano spent years trying to perfect NY pizza from his ghetto-rigged home oven. Now that Varasano's Pizzeria has been around for over year, you?d figure his restaurant would be like clockwork. Wrong! From tinkering with the crust to bringing in a mixologist to experimenting with Sicilian-style, the man is never satisfied. And that's fantastic.
One of Atlanta's first gastropubs, P?cheen's menu has always leaned heavy on the international pub cuisine. Then they launched Mike LaSage's Bone Lick BBQ on Monday nights, which instantly became a hit. Combine this with all-you-can-eat snow crab Wednesdays, indie art shows and dj nights, and it's easy to see why P?cheen never sits still.
When you convert a Downtown fish-n-fries shack to Persian restaurant, there's bound to be drop in lunch traffic. But while Kabobee does some of the finest kabobs and flatbreads this side of Buford Highway, they reinstated fried fish lunch (complete with 10 fish options and fries or coleslaw) to keep that clientele happy.
With Beard nominations, Iron Chef appearances and Esquire Top 50 accolades, you wouldn't think change would be needed. But Chef Linton Hopkins took Restaurant Eugene from a super expensive, high-brow Southern restaurant, to one whose menu included small plates at a smaller price, without losing the outstanding execution.
Wisteria, the cute, upscale eatery in Inman Park has the high-end Southern cuisine thing down, but recently Chef-owner Jason Hill has developed a cult following for his ridiculous selection of gluten free (and delicious!) menu items. From shrimp and grits to almond-crusted trout with a bacon vinaigrette, Wisteria is a fine dining life-saver for those with strict diets.