Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chad

Atlanta for a quick trip

Recommended Posts

I'll be in Atlanta for the Blade show (cutlery industry trade show) May 30 through June 1. That's Friday through Sunday. I believe I'm cooking for a VIP dinner on Saturday night but what shouldn't I miss while I'm in town? The show is at the Cobb Galleria & Renaissance Waverly, so close by would be a plus but I'm willing to drive a little for something special. I haven't been to Atlanta for years, so catch me up!

Thanks!

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just returned from Atlanta for a trip; some friends took me to Top Flr in Midtown, I believe, a small place that seems to cater to a late-night crowd, a huge bonus for me. It was out of sight, with a very simple a la carte menu. I had a terrific skirt steak. Excellent sides. It is a very hip, very casual, very relaxed spot.

I also ate at FAB downtown, and that was good -- very much a French Brasserie, so the name fits (French American Brasserie). Top Flr was the special place of the trip, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to Top Flr; it sounds interesting.

There are an awful lot of very decent restaurants in the city these days, but among the best -- and unique -- places right now are Restaurant Eugene (the new pub across the driveway, Holeman and Finch Public House, is getting really good buzz, too); Pura Vida; Repast; Bacchanalia (and Quinones); if you want a non-chain meatfest, Rathbun's Steak usually gets good marks. Of these, the closest to where you are are Bacchanalia and Quinones -- a short hop down I-75. A trip to Richard Blais's new place Home might be worth your while, too.

Be sure to check out micropundit's "blog on the scene" topic -- a pretty amazing compendium of inside restaurant information. His latest entry is here.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent! Thanks to both of you. Dave, I'll definitely check out micropundit's blog. That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

The host hotel is balking at our VIP dinner on Saturday night so I'm trying to locate kitchen space & a meeting/dining room in the area. I realize it's an odd request, but if anyone knows of something like that near the Cobb Galleria, please let me know. It would be greatly appreciated.

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm visiting Atlanta on business in October, two nights are taken with business dinners but I'd like some recommendations for dinner for the other three nights.

Ideally I'm looking for regional cuisine. I look forward to hearing from the locals.

Also are there any places, regional or otherwise, that are "Can't Miss".


''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By regional, I assume you mean Southern U.S. The big trend in Atlanta right now is Farm-to-table and upscale Southern cuisine. Probably the best places that are doing that now are Restaurant Eugene, JCT Kitchen, Quinones Room, and Watershed - although there are quite a few others.

If you're looking for something more casual, we have a few restaurants called a 'meat and three' (or two), named because you pick a meat from the daily selections and three (or two) vegetables from the daily offerings. Unfortunately the best ones are open just for lunch, but there are a few open at night if you can't get away during the day.

Atlanta has quite the diverse ethnic populations also. So if you're looking for some other kind of regional - we have a restaurant for pretty much any country you can think of.

Do you know where you'll be going for the business dinners? Where are you staying? Will you have transportation? All that will make a big difference.

-Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I can't see it because I live here, but I don't really see Atlanta as a city with great regional cuisine. I do, however, believe that Atlanta has a very good dining scene with excellent options is virtually every category.

If money is no object, it doesn't get any better than Bacchanalia and Restaurant Eugene, in my opinion. Eugene is more focused on Southern Cuisine, but both are superb examples of what Atlanta has to offer. For more reasonably priced options, Watershed is quite good, as gwilson mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you know where you'll be going for the business dinners?  Where are you staying?  Will you have transportation?  All that will make a big difference.

-Greg

Greg, thanks for the info.

I'm staying at the Hyatt Regency, I don't know where the 2nd business dinner is but the first one is at Bones.

I am not planning on renting a vehicle.


''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll enjoy Bone's, I think. One of the top 5 restaurants in the city, in my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In case you haven't been to Atlanta, a couple of things you should know. The city is not very pedestrian friendly. We have sidewalks and the basics, but the city is just not designed to be travelled on foot. (I just spent a week in San Francisco, and it was the exact opposite - *so* nice out there.) And to make matters worse, our public transportation is fairly poor. And cabs don't really run that much here - although you'll be staying downtown, so there will be a few more cabs than usual.

I have a few suggestions that are walking distance from the Hyatt Regency. I think the furthest is about a mile.

Sun Dial has decent food, but they're known for the views. The restaurant revolves, so you do get a nice view of the city. If you like that type of thing, I'd suggest just having a drink at the bar. You can just ride the elevator up to check out the view, but I think they've started charging for that. Not positive though.

Trader Vic's is a bit touristy, but it can be fun.

FAB is the new version of an old Atlanta restaurant (Brasserie Le Coze). I still haven't made it down there to try it out, but I've heard mostly good things about it.

Chik Fil A is a Southern U.S. fast food chain founded here in Georgia. It is fast food, but their chicken sandwiches are very good. (Plus, they have waffle fries.)

Room At Twelve I've been here a couple of times and enjoyed it. Look at their website for information about an early bird prix fixe menu that they have - $25 for three courses.

McCormick & Schmick's is another chain, but has pretty good food - steak and seafood type of thing. (Although they pay no attention to sustainability issues.) One thing about them is a great happy hour - under $4 food items (not just small bites, but full size options) and (I think) drink specials. They have the menu on their website.

The Varsity is an Atlanta instituition. I really recommend a visit here. It won't be the best food you've ever eaten, but it's a real piece of history.

Glayds Knight and Ron Winan's Chicken and Waffles has a bit of the Southern/regional food you were looking for in a casual atmosphere. (Although it's not high on my personal list of places to go.)

Mary Mac's Tea Room is another Atlanta institution, and an example of the 'meat and three' I mentioned in my other post. (Well, technically a tea room - but it's pretty close to the same thing.)

MF Sushibar One of the best sushi restaurants in Atlanta (along with Taka - which is definitely not within walking distance for you).

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! If the red neon "hot light" is on, make sure you get a fresh hot doughnut.

Baraonda has gotten some real good reviews. I used to know a girl who worked there, and she said it was very good.

ENO is a great wine bar. (I think the best one in Atlanta.) The food usually has a Mediterranean influence, and they almost always have a few different wines on the list, like Greek, etc.

Thelma's Kitchen is another example of a 'meat and three' type of restaurant.

Daddy Dz is consistently ranked as one of the best barbecue places in Atlanta. We Southerners do like to argue about barbecue.

Dynamic Dish This blog isn't updated everyday, but it functions as their only website. David is one of the best chefs in Atlanta. His food is the type of vegetarian cuisine that makes carnivores jealous. (Although he does occaisionaly use meat.) I highly recommend going here, but check the website for his hours.

A few other interesting places if you have some free time:

Fox Theatre is absolutely beautiful. They give tours of the theatre, and it's definately worth checking out even if you don't see a performance there.

Shakespeare Tavern isn't well known for their food, but they do serve dinner before the shows. And their performances are good.

Churchill Grounds is a first rate jazz club, that does serve a few things to nosh on during performances.

Sweet Auburn neighborhood is only about half a mile from where you're staying. There are restaurants, stores, a farmer's market - a lot of food related things to do. That website isn't great, but it will give you a starting point to see if you're interested in anything there.

World Of Coca Cola Coke was founded here in Atlanta, and World Of Coca Cola offers a history of the drink along with exhibits, being able to taste different versions from around the world, etc.

Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium. (And probably has the world's largest crowds. ha) But is worth it, they have done a great job with everything about the aquarium.

CNN offers tours of the studios and some behind the scenes stuff.

(If you actually do have a bit of free time while you're here, look at getting a CityPass. I did it when I was in San Francisco, and it was great. Of course, out there, it included public transportation. But the one for Atlanta is good for a few things I mentioned, plus more.)

I'm sure I've forgotten a few things, but that should give you a good starting point. If you have any questions about anything, just let me know.

-Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks for all the time you put into this Greg.

Just found out the 2nd business dinner is at Watershed, which was recommended above.

May have to go to DaddyDZ just to try the Que Wraps, sounds like Q meets Pork buns and that's a good thing.


''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I'm between JCT or Watershed - which would you all recommend? - I really only have one night..., but their menus really appealed to me....


Edited by Tela T (log)

Live and learn. Die and get food. That's the Southern way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for a good/great meal --- I'll drive, baby.... -- but out by the airport...


Live and learn. Die and get food. That's the Southern way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to JCT, but's gotten good press and it's on my list.

I love Scott Peacock's books and respect his accomplishments, but I find Watershed underwhelming. In fairness, I should say that that's a minority opinion.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, Watershed and JCT offer two different takes on Southern cuisine.

JCT Kitchen is more modern, with flavors that area a bit bolder. Watershed is simple and understated. Chef Peacock is famous for his Tuesday night Fried Chicken special. It's extremely lightly floured and fried to order. It's more about letting the quality of the meat come through than the crisp seasoned crust of other types of fried chicken. I feel that his restaurant is a bit more traditional in that way - and I love his connections with the great Edna Lewis. JCT Kitchen is good also, just in a different way.

One small concern might be that Watershed is accessible from MARTA, while JCT Kitchen is not so much. Just in case you decide you don't want to drive.

If you do go to JCT Kitchen, it shares a parking lot with Star Provisions (which includes Bacchanalia and Quinones), a Taqueria Del Sol location, and a Figo Pasta location. All of which are worth checking out, especially Star Provisions if you want some foodie souvenirs to take home.

If you go to Watershed, there is also a Taqueria Del Sol across the street from it. Just 2-3 blocks away are Taco Mac if you need a sports/draft beer fix, Cakes And Ale which is run by a Watershed alum and they have a killer pastry chef in Cynthia Wong, Brick Store Pub is one of the best places to drink beer anywhere, and a location of Cook's Warehouse for those souvenirs again.

-Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually had the opportunity to eat at both Watershed and JCT Kitchen in the same week when I had guests in town who wanted to try upscale southern cuisine .. both places offer quite a combination of old and new south cooking ...

Watershed was not up to par because Chef Peacock was out of town .. many dishes were oversalted and the shrimp and grits lacked shrimp ...

Watershed photos

JCT Kitchen was wonderful, however, and my guests immediately were very pleased with all of the food we had there ...

JCT Kitchen photos


Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, it'll be my first time in Atlanta.  I will be there for 3 nights.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Still researching where to stay.  I keep running across a place called The Buckhead.

The area is Buckhead, not The Buckhead, and some years ago it had a pretty vibrant (but sort of skanky) nightlife scene. That's all gone, and unless the primary purpose of this trip is shopping I'd suggest you choose Midtown instead, as it's got more going on and has good access to MARTA if you plan on using it.

So, very important queston: will you have a car?

And what is the purpose of this trip, anyway?


Can you pee in the ocean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with therese that midtown is where you want to stay. A friend of mine had good things to say about Hotel Indigo -- not too big, well-located, affordable. There are also some nice B&Bs in midtown.

As for food, limiting it to (sort-of) recently opened places:

Flip is the very hot ticket these days. You can get there by bus, but a cab is probably a better option. They don't take reservations, but the tables turn quickly.

Right on Peachtree is Holeman & Finch Public House. Also no reservations, but right now there's not a more fun place in the city. Go early to get a seat; go late for the burger call.

I haven't been to 4th & Swift yet, but it's got a nice buzz going: local sourcing, good chef.

A lot of people have been waiting for Scott Serpas' new place, and it's finally open.

Kevin Rathbun's Steak is the newest from, well, Kevin Rathbun.

Speaking of steak, Laurent Tourondel's outpost in the downtown W, BLT Steak, opened a couple of weeks ago.

A few other big names have new places: J-GV's Spice Market; Tom Colicchio's craft and craftbar; Sasha Petraske's Drinkshop opened like yesterday (also in the downtown W).

I'm sure I'm missing some.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good choice close to Midtown -- although not new -- is Repast. It can be a bit loud, but the food is always good. The chef there does great things with foie gras, if you're a fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...