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Grazing: First look: Market

Jean-Georges Vongrichten features his "greatest hits" at a second restaurant in Atlanta.

Remember when “chain restaurant” referred to McDonald’s and Burger King? Stand on any corner in just about any city and you’ll see at least two members of fast-food chains facing one another. These days, they all seem to be competing by offering lunch specials that will feed a family of 10 for $3.50.

Now you can stand in Buckhead and see expensive gourmet chain restaurants staring one another down. Among the latest to open is Market in the W Buckhead (3377 Peachtree Road, 404-523-3600). It’s across the street from Craft. Both restaurants are part of New York-based chains owned by big-name chefs — Tom Colicchio in the case of Craft and Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Market’s case.

This is Vongerichten’s second Atlanta restaurant. His other venue here, Spice Market, opened in early 2008 at the W Hotel in Midtown and features mainly Asian flavors. (He also operates a Market in Paris.) The newbie’s menu, while also including some Asian flavors, is described as a compendium of “greatest hits” from Vongerichten’s popular New York restaurants including JoJo, Vong and Jean Georges.

Market’s interior was designed by Karim Rashid, well known to New Yorkers for his ultra-modern, slightly Jetson work in multiple disciplines. The operative word here is curvilinear. I’m sure you’ll find a straight line somewhere in the two-level restaurant, but it won’t be easy. Some of the super-graphics remind me of those biomorphic psychedelic projections you used to see on stage when groups like Jefferson Airplane performed. You remember those, right? Picture yourself inside a very colorful lava lamp.