Steve Masri is a busy man. If you followed him around for a day, you might find the chef and owner of Olive Bistro hand picking fresh salad greens and high-quality olive oil, lamb, and imported tahini to incorporate into his Old-World family recipes. Masri—who, according to a 2010 review by Meridith Ford Goldman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was born in Sardinia and raised in Israel—works hard to honor his heritage with dishes such as from-scratch hummus and fragrant rosemary chicken. But he also adds his own signature twists, including the daily ravioli special and a tomato-basil sauce that replaces traditional marinara in his moussaka and lasagna.
And Masri's dedication has paid off. His pair of intimate bistros were on CBS Atlanta's 2012 list of the Best Mediterranean Cuisine in Atlanta, and Cliff Bostock of Creative Loafing Atlanta was one of several reviewers to recommend the falafel, saying that it has "no equal in the city." The Midtown location earned three Best of Citysearch awards in 2008 for its salads, sandwiches, and small plates. The bistros' outdoor patios make ideal spots to chat with friends over shared meze and a bottle of wine, or construct a replica of the Parthenon out of sliced eggplant.