Downtown Atlanta Dinner Rec's
Two New York City hounds looking for nice, casual and non-touristy restaurants for dinner on Thursday and Friday. Ideally, we'd find updated southern food for at least one of them. We are in Atlanta for a conference staying downtown. We can stray a bit, but won't have a car so will be dependent on cabs. We are Top Chef fans, but does it make sense for us to go out to Buckhead for R. Blais at Home? Or can we find something interesting closer in.
Any thoughts MUCH appreciated. Will take all good suggestions, we don't need foofy, just great.
Floataway Café & bacchanalia are hard to beat
Parish is cleverly decorated and the food is not bad
Eugene is another good option, easy to get to from downtown; H&F is fine, but overpriced and some of the heartbreakingly overstyled-but-please-don't-notice-it servers and customers get tiresome quickly.
Shaun's in Inman Park is another nice option, great Sunday brunch too
If you're feeling really adventurous, you could make a pilgrimmage to Greenwood's in Roswell. Not high dining, but really really good.
For any of the places that aren't near MARTA (like 99% of ATL), you could always do Zipcar, as there are several places you can pick one up downtown. Parking isn't a big deal at most of the places you might try.
Blais is no longer at Home. But Top Chef fans.... Does that mean style over substance preferred? I don't really know what "updated southern food is". If you want great soul food, that's fine, if you want soul food not in the presence of soul food people, I can't help you there either.
So, I guess I'm asking- Please elucidate. Do you want real good food, or TV food?
I know I come across as obnoxious part of the time, but sheesh.
Top Chef is my only concession to the tide of reality TV. I enjoy it for the cooking challenges much moreso than the requisite cattiness.
perrystreet- if you're looking for updated and/or high-style southern, I'd give Restaurant Eugene or Holeman & Finch a shot. They're next to each other, with the former the fine dining room and the latter the (aigh!) gastropub. I've really enjoyed both, though my only caveat is that I don't consider either a great value.
At H&F, at least, you can tell/see that everything going into the dishes is made in-house, from the aging charcuterie hanging next to the bar to the various cocktail ingredients. It's a tiny room, and no reservations taken.
I enjoyed Restaurant Eugene, but I'm a little torn b/c I think you could eat at Bacchanalia possibly for a bit less.
I haven't been to Watershed in a long time, but it's also a candidate. I have the same value issues there, and everything was oversalted the last time I ate there.