First Look: Restaurant 356, Hapeville


Dinner (reservations required): 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

Starters and small plates, $12-$19; large plates and entrees, $18-$32.

One Porsche Drive, Atlanta. 770-290-4356,

With the openings of Atlas, Little Bacch, and Marcel, it seems sophisticated fine dining is still alive in Atlanta, even if it’s taking on some very different guises. Add to the list, Porsche Cars North America Inc., which weighs in with its posh new Restaurant 356 at the company’s $100 million Porsche Experience Center and headquarters in Hapeville.

The look: Located on One Porsche Drive, just off I-75 south, the restaurant is perched on the second level of the center. The contemporary decor features wrap-around leather banquettes that conjure contoured bucket seats, and rows of tables pressed against a soaring panorama of windows. With views of the thrill-ride 1.6-mile driver development track and the busy air traffic at Hartsfield-Jackson, the cinematic setting feels cool enough for James Bond.

The scene: Right now, Restaurant 356 is only open for dinner Thursday-Saturday. At a recent tasting event, eager guests roamed the center, checked out the track and latest models with Porsche driving coaches, and sampled selections from the menus of executive chef Kyle Forson, a former executive sous chef at The Spence.

The food: Forson's seasonal à la carte ($12-$32) or four-course prix-fixe dinner menu ($60) features locally farmed and foraged ingredients in classic dishes such Chicken Gallantine with foraged bites, watermelon and pecans ($14), and Red Snapper with local carrots and buttermilk ($28). Among the starters, find local cheese and charcuterie, and salads such as crispy kale with roasted cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts and sorghum vinaigrette. Pastry chef Danielle Smathers' similarly seasonal creations include sweet corn and peach panna cotta.

The drinks: At the bar, an upscale wine program joins with Porsche-inspired specialty cocktails, such as the Cayenne ($13) with hot pepper-infused mescal, habanero shrub, lime juice, grapefruit shrub and orgeat syrup.

The extras: During the day, the Carrera Café offers barista-style coffee drinks and light fare. Look for lunch and Sunday brunch service at 356 starting mid-August. Among other Porsche experiences, visitors can take in the classic car gallery, restoration center, human performance center, and driving simulator lab.