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Joel or Seeger


chefseanbrock
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Since this was the last place of the two at which I ate, I'd say to go with Joel because it was a glorious meal and because I love Joel Antunes' culinary abilities ...

but then Seegers is a damn fine meal as well ... yo, therese and Food Tutor, this one is for you ... :laugh:

Have you been to either, Chef Brock? and if so, which struck you as the better choice?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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gee I thought you meant Billy or Pete

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Hmm, Joel Antunes vs Gunther Seeger...

Both alums of The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, both chef/owners of restaurants named for themselves, both veterans of public whippings vis-a-vis FOH issues...

But they're not as similar as they sound, and the restaurants are very different indeed.

The restaurant Joel is a fairly large, purpose-built space on the ground level of a glam office/condo complex. Very cool bar when you first enter that has its own scene, including lights embedded in the surface of the bar that change gradually from pink to green to aqua to whatever. If you decide to have a drink in the bar first you will likely be surrounded by pretty women wearing clothing in the same colors. They may well be drinking color-coordinated beverages. They will probably be smarter than the men in the room.

The dining room itself is similarly pretty: dark wood furnishings, but everything else either white or some shade of orange.

The service is adequate, but not great, and certainly not as amazingly great as the food merits. Because the food really is great, and all the more wonderful when you realize that a three course prix fixe (offered Monday-Friday, yes, including Friday) is $39. Everything else is a la carte, still on a three course formula. Back when it first opened (several years ago) I had a couple of things at Joel that I found less than amazing, but my last few visits the food's been pretty close to perfect.

Seeger's is located in a glam neighborhood, Buckhead (or Butthead as we locals fondly refer to it), but is distinctly un-glam from the outside. It's a small house with no signage apparent from the street---you park in the lot behind the house and walk up a hill to the front of the house. The dining room's nicely appointed, elegant but not too stuffy. No real bar, just an alcove to one side of the dining room, and if you really wanted a drink you'd do best to have one before you get there.

Menu options are five course prix fixe (several choices for most of them) and one or two tasting menus (more courses, choices fixed). The food is consistently great if a bit restrained. I've never been disappointed in the food at Seeger's.

Would that I could say the same for the service: it's not just nowhere as great as the food merits, it borders on the comically inept. Bad enough that it distracts from the food, frankly. I keep going back to Seeger's in hopes that it will improve, but no longer risk taking guests who might take offense.

All in all I'd describe Seeger's food as more elegant, Antune's as more vibrant.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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therese has quite aptly described the situation here. Seeger's is an elegant, sumptuous pleasure to experience, even at a price of around $300 or more for two people. Extravagantly amazing food, but you will pay a price for it. And the service is well, eh, not up to par for what you get in the whole dealio.

Ideally, you'd have time and money to do both Joel and Seeger, and maybe hit the Dining Room at Ritz Carlton as well. But, given this choice, I'd probably go for Joel if you want everything done pretty much correctly, and you'd like to save a little money. Go for Seeger's if you want it all, want to experience the "Full Monty" and a few hundred means nothing to you, compared to the satisfaction you get from having your transmission repaired, which can cost easily twice as much, and no one will thank you, fold your napkin, or escort you to the restroom with flair.

Seeger has more talent, so it's just a matter of how well you value that.

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Thanks, ladies, for the in-depth reviews! Knew Chef Brock could count on you to be straight about both places ...

and Chef Brock, do fill us in on which you chose and how you enjoyed (or failed to enjoy) your dining experience ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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...thank you, fold your napkin, or escort you to the restroom with flair.

Seems like you get a fresh napkin at Seeger's rather than a re-folded one, though that could have changed since my last visit.

The WC escort thing is carried out with somewhat more panache at The Dining Room, in part because it's a longer trip that actually does require some direction if you've never been, or have forgotten since your last visit.

The WC is Joel can be hard to find as well, as it's back in the bar and the doors aren't too clearly marked as to which is which. And once you're done and ready to wash your hands (you do wash your hands, right?) it can also get a bit tricky, as the sensors that turn on the water are at your feet. Wave your hands around all you want, but it's shuffling your feet that will pay off. Stand back from the edge of the sink if you don't want a wet lap.

The WC at Seeger's is in the basement, so you have to negotiate stairs. Fortunately the wine is so expensive you won't be too drunk to manage.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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The Seeger's v. Joel discussion highlights,IMO,the continuing weakness of the Atlanta dining scene,especially at the higher price points,:service.

While Atlanta has the awards and media recognition of many of the nation's culinary capitols,on a comparitive basis,it's restaurants lack superior service across the board. The emphasis appears to be on such "glam" factors as designers or location,ie Buckhead.The possible exceptions,in my experience,are the Buckhead Life Group and Anne Quatrano/Cliff Harrison.

Perhaps the rapidly expanding roster of restaurants will force more attention on service and we all will benifit in terms of personal ,commercial and national recognition and rewards.

100% right 50% of the time.

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The  possible exceptions,in my experience,are the Buckhead Life Group and Anne Quatrano/Cliff Harrison.

I'll agree re generally excellent service at Bacchanalia et al. (Quatrano and Harrison), but have had pretty poor experiences with service at Nava and Kyma (both Buckhead Life) recently.

Best service in town is at The Dining Room.

Lots of mid-range places in town have very good service, actually, so it's not desperately bad here, just not as good as it could be at the top end.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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...thank you, fold your napkin, or escort you to the restroom with flair.

Seems like you get a fresh napkin at Seeger's rather than a re-folded one, though that could have changed since my last visit.

You're right on that point. I actually forgot about it, but I think I had a total of 3 napkins on my visit to Seeger's, since I visited the WC more than once.

Joel's bathroom is nice, and once you've figured out the sink, it's a piece of cake. Before that, it's frustrating as hell. Silk has the same sort of sink for their restrooms, also marble with the same mechanism to trigger the water, and theirs is a communal sink for both the Men's and Ladies.'

We sure do have cute bathrooms around here.

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