ATL: Quinones or Bacchanalia?
I'm from San Francisco and will be visiting Atlanta in November or December. I can't decide between Quinones or Bacchanalia. What's the difference between the two (atmosphere and food)? What's your preference between the two?
I'll be sure to post back, it might take a month or two, though (depending on when my trip falls).
Both restaurants highlight local seasonal ingredients. Bacchanalia has been a longtime favorite of Atlanta foodies and Quinones is only a few steps behind simply because it is relatively new. Quinones is a little bit more upscale. It offers only a prie fixe menu. The 'regular' Bacchanalia has an ala carte menu so to speak, but does offer prie fixe as well. It's the original restaurant of the 2 and therefore will likely be more popular. If price is no issue, and you're looking for something special, I'd say go to Quinones - no question.
I have the opposite opinion. I have eaten many times at Bacchanalia and always find the menu exciting. Chef Ann Quatrano grows many of the ingredients and even the eggs on her own farm. The approach is better suited for the slightly informal atmosphere and menu at Bacchanalia. The one time that we ate at the much more expensive Quinones downstairs, we were disappointed by high-concept little dishes that mostly fell flat and failed to delight. I think most Atlanta foodies who have eaten at both share this opinion.
I've eaten at both Bacchanalia and Quinones on more than one occasion, and I don't think you'd be disappointed with either. Bacchanalia's menu is a $65 four course menu (I believe you can also order ala carte, but I always do the $65 prie fixe) and is a little more casual in it's atmosphere. Downstairs at Quinones, it's a 8-10 course menu in a more formal, but comfortable, atmosphere. I believe the price at Quinones is around $100. Both offer the same seasonal ingredients and both are top notch. It really depends on the type of experience you are looking for. My wife and I usually go to Quinones for special occasions, and Bacchanalia for a normal dinner with friends....