Single in Atlanta
I will be on my own in Atlanta this Friday night (Feb 13th), in from Toronto, Canada. I have scanned the South board for consistent reviews or recommendations for the city (staying at The W Downtown), but thought I'd make sure I am seeing current intel. A short list of stellar, local shining stars in the culinary field would be much appreciated. As I am alone, I prefer not to sit by myself in a restaurants main dining rooms (unless that is the only way), and prefer to be able to see the same menu at the bar. In fact, a couple of Toronto's best places to go are spots that have a vibrant chef's bar scene that make single diners quite at home - so if something like that exists, let me know. The better the Californian/Washington/Oregon wine list is, the happier I'll be as well! Price is not so much an issue, quality and service is. Thanks for your help!!!
My 2 go-to suggestions are Repast and 4th & Swift. They are both mid-upper scale dining so entrees will be in the $20 - $30 range, with most coming in around $24ish. Both of those places have bar seating, but I'm not sure about the bar menu. My only suggestion is to call them and ask... sorry, I'm not going to do that for you. ;-) You could also look into Holeman & Finch. I've heard good things about it but I've never been. I hear it's often crowded too. Take a look at the menu and go from there.
Big "thank you" to those of you who contributed to this thread. Im a Miami Chowhound in Atlanta for work and visiting a friend for the night and was looking for a good recco for a meal. Saw the above post with the resto links and thought the menu and description of Holeman & Finch was right up my alley. What a great place! Had a charcuterie platter that was a great start to the meal. Nicely paired with cheeses and accompanied by a little pot of honey and some homemade whole grain mustard. Romaine salad was next. It was decent but kinda blah compared to the rest of the meal. I think I ordered it to have some sort of "health factor" going on. You know, green veg. The candied bacon on it was sinfully good though and is mostly what I ate, mainly because Im a bacon whore. Next up was the seared scallops on pureed leeks. Phenomenal dish. Two scallops perfectly cooked and the buttery leaks made the dish even better. A griddled hen of the woods mushroom with polenta and shaved parmesan was next. I expected a heavy dish and it was. Delicious though. The coup de grace was the gratin of marrow with parsley salad and country bread. It came from the part of the menu called "parts" which also had brains, sweetbreads, and cow's heart to name a few. This marrow bone was enormous! It looked so damn good that I took a pic of it but I havent uploaded it so I cant share with you. Freakin phenomenal. I was eating with a non-foodie type and was so excited about this one that I persuaded her to try it and she actually liked it (I explained it tasted like bread and butter and that helped haha). In addition to the killer food, they also have an awesome selection of liquors, especially bourbon. Priced right too. I had a Pappy Van Winkle 20yr ($90-$120/bottle, #2 rated bourbon in the world for most publications - 23yr is #1) for $15 and then a Wathens (fantastic bourbon and rare find that Ive never seen at a restaurant) for $6 I believe. Wine list looked pretty good too. Service couldnt have been more friendly and our server was also very enthusiastic about the food which says a lot. I recommend this place for anyone who enjoys small plates that focus on flavor. Nice vibe in the restaurant too for a Monday night, so right on par with the poster above who mentioned rumors that it was often crowded. Will definitely return on my next swing thru Atlanta!
Sitting at the bar is my favorite way to dine! The other recs are good, here are some more:
Top Flr is a cozy neighborhood spot with an excellent wine list, good food and terrific bar service. Corner of Ponce and Myrtle, a short cab or MARTA trip from your hotel.
Wisteria is another with excellent bar service and a really nice spin on Southern fare. In Inman Park on N. Highland (cab it).
Rathbuns in Inman Park has a great bar scene and really excellent food. It's pricey but the barkeeps are all well-versed in the fine art of bar dining (Krog St, take a cab).
Take a cab to Serpas True Food over near Rathbun's and Rathbun's Steak. It is brand new, run by an acclaimed Atlanta chef, and we loved it earlier this week. There is a bar/open kitchen counter that would be cool to sit at if dining alone.
IMHO - same price point as Fourth and Swift but better. Don't be dissuaded by their bad website. They do have a limited menu but everything was very good (short rib was out of this world) and the space, in a converted cotton factory, is beautiful. Also, they have a "reserve" wine menu and a regular wine menu. All of the glasses on the regular menu are $6 and the bottles are something like $25. Love that.
This is a gentrifying neighborhood, so I don't think I'd wander around much by myself, but if you took a cab you'd be fine,