Three Arches

At the end of 2021, the gleaming new Hyatt Centric in Buckhead opened its doors with a buzzy new steakhouse called Mount Royal, helmed by one of my favorite star chefs, Hugh Acheson. Many appreciated the concept but with $190 tomahawk steaks and some nuanced dishes that weren't automatic crowd pleasers, the restaurant's boosters failed to ignite, and it never took off (pun-intended, its rooftop lounge, Spaceman, did take off and remains open now). But instead of replacing the steakhouse with a corporate paint-by-numbers hotel-chain offering, Hyatt Centric decided to retool the space into something unique and ultimately very satisfying with another star chef running the menu and kitchen.

Three Arches is that reboot, a "pan Mediterranean" effort from Chef Josh Hopkins whose pedigree includes stints at both Bacchanalia and Empire State South. Hopkins pulls classics from the cookbooks of southern coastal Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa: Lamb burgers, Moroccan meatballs, spiced pomegranate chicken, baba ghanoush, and for brunch even one of my all-time favorites, shakshuka, a dish that poaches eggs in tomatoes, olive oil and spiced with cumin and paprika. It's a gutsy call for an Atlanta menu but it's as good as any version I had in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Figs, dates, beets, avocados, and chickpeas also thrive on the menu, everything we tried was super fresh and seasonal. The simple menu accomplishes the approachable part—even if you aren't familiar with some of the dishes the ingredients read simple and delicious.

The restaurant gets its name from the three arches that grace the beautiful bar area—the space was already very sexy and for the most part, they left it alone minus a few minor modifications—added textured stone and aged bronze along with Turkish rug pillows give it that "spice route" feel. Pro tip: park in the Lenox Mall parking deck by Bloomingdales for free and walk a few steps to the hotel as valet parking is $15 + tip.

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