Casi Cielo

Before I tell you what type of cuisine this restaurant is, let me say this: it's a very exciting and new spot in Sandy Springs that is putting out beautifully plated chef-driven dishes with bold, rich flavors, delicious seafood, dynamic ingredients, and sophisticated cocktails. Any guess on the cuisine? American? Italian? Korean? Nope, it's Mexican! But not Tex-Mex like most Atlantans would envision, but Mexican cuisine from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. No mariachis, no sombreros, no neon velvet paintings. This place is hip, modern and amazing.

Casi Cielo, which translates as "almost heaven," mixes ancestral cooking (the blue corn tortilla chips are handmade and cooked on a ceramic grill called a comal) with modern techniques (the octopus al carbon is first cooked sous vide before it's finished over charcoal) for incredibly gratifying results. Other standout dishes include tuna tartare with mango and avocado, Mexican foie-gras meatballs with tenderloin tartar, duck croquettes, and ribeye with cilantro chimichurri. Tacos do show up on the menu but these are not your typical tacos: wrap your own blue corn tortillas around with suckling pig, octopus or lamb served in a roasted bone with marrow. To wash it all down, order up a cocktail that includes one of fifty different smokey mezcals.

Casi Cielo scratches an itch I never even know I had. Great Mexican cuisine is hard to find in Atlanta and much of it is the Americanized Tex-Mex. This food and the spirit of the place is a revelation to the dining scene. Check another box for Sandy Springs whose dining choices are almost heaven.

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