Umi Restaurant Opens in Buckhead

Another day, another Atlanta restaurant opening. However this one is truly something to look forward to, especially if you happen to have a hankering for Japanese food. Residents of Atlanta, specifically the northern neighborhood of Buckhead, should get ready because Umi Japanese restaurant is set to open any day now. Before the doors officially open, take a look at what you can expect in the form of menu, decor and atmosphere. Bon appetite! With more than 28 years of culinary experience in both traditional Japanese and classic French restaurants, Tokyo-born chef and partner Fuyuhiko Ito will lead the kitchen and introduce a diverse menu with international influences and progressive approaches to Asian fare.

In 2007, Ito served as executive chef of MF Buckhead in Atlanta where his cuisine earned a five-star rating in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "Umi will embrace my heritage along with my unwavering passion for high quality ingredients and contemporary Japanese cuisine," said Ito. "I hope to create a truly unique dining experience for Umi guests by infusing flavors from all over the world." The inventive dinner menu will feature an assortment of starters, soups, salads, sashimi, nigiri and specialty and traditional rolls. Hot items such as baked lobster tempura, sauteed foie gras and black cod miso and a selection of "aburi" or slightly cooked sushi-grade fish, such as yellowtail, flounder, scallops, jack fish and sea urchin, will accompany the expansive menu.

As the perfect weekday lunch, Umi will offer the traditional Bento Box featuring the chef's daily meat, seafood, vegetable and rice creations. In addition, guests will enjoy midday offerings of sashimi salad; "Zuke-Don" or sesame soy-marinated tuna on a bed of rice; "Negitoro-Don" or toro chopped with green onions; teriyaki chicken and Harami steak. All lunch specials will be served with Miso soup and house salad. Pastry chef Lisa Matsuoka Ito, also the wife of Ito, will present a dynamic dessert menu consisting of beautiful creations including her signature green tea souffle along with yuzu meringue square, mochi ice cream crepe with super fruits and pecan chocolate pie with Ara Shio caramel sauce.

Located in the heart of Atlanta's bustling Buckhead neighborhood in the Two Buckhead Plaza building, Umi will offer guests a warm, modern atmosphere with each detail carefully selected to complement the Japanese menu. A 23-foot custom-built white oak sushi bar sits underneath a luminescent ceiling while dark green banquettes and Tom Dixon slab chairs line the dining room. Light wooden floors, hand-charred cypress walls and a terrarium installation add earthy and dramatic components to the space. There is no color pallet - all of the materials are simply themselves and have their own unique qualities.

The ancient Japanese application of Shou Sugi Ban was used to create the charred wood elements, while contrasting gold and natural woods provide added warmth. Umi is located in the courtyard adjacent to the St. Regis Hotel terrace at Two Buckhead Plaza, 3050 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1, Atlanta, Ga., 30305. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily with valet parking available and shared with Chops and Lobster Bar. For more information, visit UmiAtlanta.com . For more information about the author, Danielle Jennings, please visit my Google+ profile page.