A San Franciscan in Atlanta
I live in SF and work in a critically acclaimed restaurant. I love to dine out and my sensibilities gravitate toward local, sustainable, and fresh food. I'm headed to Atlanta for a long weekend and need some suggestions. It doesn't need to be super fancy, just fresh and delicious. Good BBQ joints? Tapas? All around good spots to eat?
Both Atlantachowhound and Biskuit's recs are spot-on. You really can't beat Bacchanalia or its sister restaurants -- Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison are Alice Water's Southern disciples and their restaurants rarely disappoint. Try also James Beard Award-winning chef Scott Peacock's Watershed in Decatur. True Southern cooking and a surprisingly good wine list. The Brick Store Pub on the square in Decatur is one of the nation's best beer stops. If you have time and a car, the pan-ethnic selection on Buford Highway is pretty incredible. Check out RowdyFood.com (blog) for an insider's guide.
My picks for you would be:
Holeman & Finch and/or Restaurant Eugene - same folks - the former is a "gastro-pub" with a focus on pig parts! and cocktails, and the latter is upscale southern, strong ingredient focus
Bachanalia and/or Quinones Room and/or Floataway Cafe - same folks - the first two are both formal, upscale almost southern, strong ingredient focus; Floataway is more mediteranean and casual, still a strong ingredient focus
Home - Richard Blais is the chef, I've had three excellent meals there though some reports have been hit or miss - it is only about 6 weeks old. Farm to table southern with some creative twists
You would enjoy Woodfire Cafe, on Cheshire Bridge Road. Another good spot is Haven Restaurant (in Brookhaven - near Buckhead) with a good California wine list - it's good food in a very casual, SF neighborhood-bistro style. For BBQ, depends on what style you prefer. Many great BBQ joints to check out. Where are you staying and what areas of town are you willing to go to?