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BOS Chowhounder Seeks 5-Star Recommendations in ATL

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Hello Atlanta Chowhound Members!

I'm heading to ATL on business soon and would greatly appreciate suggestions for 5-star dining. Cuisine is not important; culinary creativity, excellent service, and attention to details are. At least one recommendation for lunch would be fantastic as well.

Your help is much appreciated!

- Tealilly

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  1. The dining room at the Ritz-Carlton fits your 5-star requirements, but if it were my money I would go to Trois for truly delicious french food. If in the mood for molecular gastronomy, you could try Element. And, finally, for delicious seasonal fare creatively and expertly prepared, I have to recommend Bacchanalia every time.

    1. Good recs from notgreg. I'd go with Bachanalia/Quinones (two restauarants, same people) for "upscale" (Quinones is the more formal of the two) and Element for amazing, creative food. Trois is good, but not in the same league as the others. Not sure what's open for lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: biskuit

        Thanks notgreg and biskuit -- fabulous suggestions. I'm still open for more ideas ;-D

      2. Restaurant Eugene, definitely.

        1. It might be too late for this...but Quinones is the most refined, well-executed, consistent, and inspired meal in this city. It's often overlooked for places like Joel, The Dining Room, and Eugene...but I've eaten at them all and Quinones smokes them. Rob, the GM, is the best service industry person I've ever encountered. He's incredible.

          12 Replies
          1. re: runningwithtweezers

            Thanks everyone -- Katj and runningwithtweezers -- it's not too late! The client had to reschedule our meetings, so there's definitely still time. I've got all these great recommendations on my list. I think I'll stay an extra day or two to get to them all. On a non-5-star note, anyone have recommendations on how to best navigate the MaryMac's experience? Thanks again!

            1. re: tealilly

              skip mary mac's and head to the colonnade on cheshire bridge rd, imo. i think the side dishes are much better.

              1. re: potterybliss

                Thank you, potterybliss! I knew I'd get the real low-down: side dishes are what make these sorts of places. Can't wait for this trip!

                1. re: tealilly

                  TRIP BACK ON -- Arriving tomorrow! Trying to find Element: site's offline; Open Table returns a "This Restaurant Is Currently Unavailable" message ... have they closed down? I was so looking forward to going there.

                  Am thinking about bringing my team to Eugene for Sunday Supper. A

                  WOW! Quinones' menu looks fabulous ... have got a small handful of Foodie Clients From Europe to entertain ... but am concerned about the atmosphere ... fun is great, professional is great, funky is fine, but romantic will send the wrong message. How is the mood there? Is it a "date place"?

                  1. re: tealilly

                    Element is indeed closed. Not exactly sure what is up with that, but it was fun while it lasted.

                    I don't know about the atmosphere at Quinones, as it is one of the "it" places that we have not yet visited. If it is too romantic, you may want to consider Bachanalia. I would have recommended the "old" Joel but have not been since the recent remodeling and change in menu.

                    I will leave it up to others to comment on Eugene's Sunday suppers. I have already made my opinion of the resto in general known elsewhere. Nothing too bad, but not sure I'd bring a group of foodies there anymore, I am sorry to say.

                    Please do post with your experiences after you get home. Part of what makes these boards interesting is hearing about actual experiences.

                    1. re: LizATL

                      Hello everyone -- thanks again for your recommendations! Sorry for the delay in getting the report to you (had to cope with family illness upon my return) ... but here's what happened after a VERY busy visit to your lovely city (haven't been in 20 years):

                      As it turns out, we were stuck in the hotel a lot, did the hotel restaurant/room service/banqueting thing more than expected. Went to the Rock Hard Cafe a couple of times. At least it was consistent.

                      Finally, clients insisted we go to Mary Mac's (yikes! my original suggestion; they wouldn't hear of going to the Colonnade -- I think they were fearful of the location!), and so we did. Um..... sounds better on paper, I suppose. There were 28 of us (!) altogether, with lots of passing foods up and down the table. Servers were fun, calling the Euros "baby" and "honey", the atmosphere was different (most haven't experienced filling out your own order sheet), the food a new experience (many didn't believe me when I explained that Brunswick Stew was originally made with squirrel), and drinks interesting (a single glass of mint julep kept going up and down the table with nobody able to drink beyond a tiny sip -- finally our Aussie "garbage disposal" downed it in a single gulp, then ran for the men's room!).
                      Food: not very good, I'm afraid to say! Their staples -- fried chicken, for example -- tasted like it was cooked in old oil :-( We had a lot of unfinished plates (not because the portions were too large to finish -- they weren't). Potterybliss: you're absolutely dead-on about the side dishes ... even their macaroni and cheese was lackluster. Peach cobbler was really disappointing -- runny, sloppy, almost stale. Overall not so great. We did, however, enjoy the fried green tomatoes and fried okra very much! So the puzzled looks on the Euro's faces, combined with lots of alcohol and fun waitstaff resulted in a not-entirely failed evening.

                      This was followed by more hotel fare and a few too many spins in the Westin Peachtree's Sun Dial on the 73rd floor ... I thought "will this tedium ever end?"

                      Until the amazing bit: Quinones at Bacchanalia. Wonderful.

                      The VIPs joined me for a most-fantastic dinner our last night in town. Our party fluctuated in size a few times before our arrival, and the Quinones front-of-house staff were wholly accommodating. We finally arrived to the elegant dining room, where my purse was swiftly placed upon a tuffet (rather than behind my chair or the floor); the other parties included a rather-quiet party of ten, a family of four, and a couple canoodling openly nearby (thankfully, the Euros didn't think anything of that!). Service was seamless and swift: a glass of Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Brut brought for me, and still water for the rest of the hardcore foodies (didn't want alcohol to influence their palates!). We started with a trio of briny Kumamoto oysters with green sorbetto for me, and delicately cured rainbow trout with roe and pickled watermelon. Second course was a velvety slice of fois gras terrine with caramelized peanut dust. Third course was beautifully seared scallops with country ham and porcini. Fourth and fifth courses are a blur to me -- I can't remember right now what we had (odd!) -- I'll update the post once I do, however. Sixth course was an absolute dream: meltingly good glazed veal cheeks with corned Wagyu shortrib, chanterelles, and greens. Every morsel was devoured in near silence, as my guests were in awe. Thank heavens! The seventh and eighth courses (dessert) were fine -- we were beyond stuffed at that point -- but less than the stellar experience of the first six. The apple-pecan tartlet was a bit on the dry side, but by no means nothing to ruin the experience. Beautiful little mignardises were packaged up for me to bring home. We simply couldn't handle another bite!

                      The Quinones dinner was praised as the "highlight of the trip" by several guests, and I'm left wanting to return specifically for their truffle dinner!

                      ATL Chowhounders: your suggestions and support are most appreciated! I'll be in touch regarding the next trip -- cheers!

                      1. re: tealilly

                        tealily-

                        im so glad you were able to experience Quinones. I just dined there last night and it was perfect and exceptional - as always. I'm happy to hear you had the same experience.

                        1. re: tealilly

                          Tealilly, I believe that you meant Hard Rock Cafe lIke the one in Boston on Clarendon or Dartmouth?

                          1. re: Dax

                            Laugh of the day - Rock Hard Cafe - ROFLMAO!!!!! Though in a way the name makes sense. Thanks tealilly

                            1. re: quazi

                              You guys got it -- it's definitely the Hard Rock Cafe, but we were there so often for so long, it felt like ... well, I won't embarrass anyone any further ;-)

                              Have fun!

                              1. re: tealilly

                                Well I was laughing when I read it ...

                          2. re: tealilly

                            Found my rapidly-scribbled notes from the drive back to the hotel -- here's the full menu:

                            I. Cured Rainbow Trout with roe, lemon cucumber, pickled watermelon, and radish (note my different first course per above)
                            II. Fois Gras terrine with pears, ice wine syrup and pulverized "peanut brittle"
                            III. Seared scallops with cauliflower, porcini, country ham and cress
                            IV. Red snapper with vidalia onion, apples, butternut squash, and pecan
                            V. Crispy veal sweetbread with turnips, greens, and butter beans
                            VI. Glazed veal cheek, corned Wagyu shortrib with greens, chanterelles, and celeriac
                            VII. Stoney Man with persimmon, arugula, and Saba
                            VIII. Cranberry and marcona almond parfait
                            IX. Chocolate pecan tartlet with caramel apple and vanilla iced creme

                            Can't wait to go back ...