Not only are Hollywood jetsetters landing in Atlanta, they’re taxiing off the runway and into Umi -- or Umiwood as some now refer to the restaurant -- where modern Japanese cuisine costars with understated elegance. Celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, Usher, Kate Winslet and Jim Carey are hungry for chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s specialties such as aburi (slightly cooked sushi-grade fish), toban yaki (prepared on a ceramic toban grill) or omakase (chef’s selection of dishes). When in Atlanta, actress Jennifer Lawrence frequents Umi for her usual dirty martini, edamame, avocado salad, spicy tuna crispy rice and black cod misoyaki. “The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence and actors Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have dined there. Elton John and husband David Furnish fill up on chef Ito’s fare when they’re on Peachtree. Umi is tight with Spanx founder Sara Blakely, and Atlanta Braves player Freddie Freeman has slid in for a plate or two. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife Sarah are Umi regulars. Other well-known Umi diners include Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant and actors Theo James, Zac Efron and Robert De Niro. Some dress up, some come casual. The important thing to know is every guest dines well and receives VIP treatment at Umi, making it a beloved choice for repeat performances. For reservations, call 404-841-0040 or click here.
The Red Carpet Oscar Party at 10th & Piedmont rivals attending the actual 87th Oscar Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, February 22. For one thing, when the Midtown restaurant’s festivities begin at 7 p.m., guests are free to socialize and enjoy bottomless glasses of bubbly for $15. They’re not confined to theater seats for hours on end, smiles glued on their faces. Here, when stargazing partygoers glitz and glam up, they might win cash or prizes in the “best-dressed” contest (as versus critical reviews). Party viewers benefit from commentary by host Angelica D’ Paige, plus televised emcee remarks and entertainment, beginning with the red carpet arrivals and continuing through the closing credits. In Hollywood, the Academy votes. In Midtown, everyone votes! Download the Oscar ballot and choose your winners before you go. Reserve a table by calling 404-602-5510.