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Atlanta without attitude

I am visiting a friend in Atlanta who is graciously letting me stay with him for a week. I'd like to take him somewhere for dinner to say thanks, but all the places I am seeing online look a little bit pretentious or assuming. I want someplace that's all food and no attitude. He's big into wine, as well. My budget on this is pretty high, since I'm saving on having to get a hotel, thanks to him.

I guess what I am looking for is something like Au Pied de Cochon or Kitchen Gallerie in Montreal, which is where I'm from. Someplace with great food but a casual atmosphere.

Thanks for your suggestions.


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  1. Buckhead Diner is usually really good. I really like Bacchanalia, but it is probably a little more upscale than you are looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: blake1138

      I second the Buckhead Diner suggestion - excellent food there.

    2. Can you provide more information like what part of town he lives in and what types of food he likes/doesn't like? I've really enjoyed Serpas, a newish place that opened in Studioplex off Auburn Ave. in the city. I've recommended this place to about 5 people from my gym and they all come back raving about it. Around the corner from Serpas is the Rathbun empire---Kevin Rathbun Steak, Rathbun's, and Krog. I had an amazing roasted bone marrow appetizer and brown butter cauliflower mash there a few weeks ago. It's a cool place, upscale, but not pretentious. My friends and I chatted w/the pastry chef while there on a fairly busy Sat. night. I had an AMAZING meal at Abbatoir, the newest dining establishment by the same owners as Bacchanalia. Loved, loved the meal.

      You and your friend may enjoy KR Steak. I hear they have a great wine list, delicious steaks (locally sourced I think---don't quote me on that). That would be my recommendation :)

      1. I don't know about attitude -- but I have had a wonderful time at Dante's Down the Hatch Buckhead. It's all fondue, fun decor, wonderful jazz music and a waitstaff that is genuinely interested in making sure you have a lovely experience.

        1. I really enjoy Floataway Cafe the food and atmosphere are both great.
          Woodfire Grill is another wonderful place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Katj

            For your one big dinner out, I would not go to Buckhead Diner or Dantays, even though they might be good places.

            Repast has superb food and no pretense whatsoever.
            I have heard excellent things about Abbatoir, which may be somewhat close to your Au Pied in Montreal.
            Holeman and Finch is another great spot with interesting and incredible food.

            Out of curiosity, what are the places you checked online that look pretentious?

          2. rosebud is all about good food made from local produce. the wine list is great! the chef isn't afraid to use cursewords on his menu.

            1. I would definetly do either Holeman or Finch (Chef Hopkins was Food and Wine's top 10 new Chefs of 2009) or Abattoir.
              Both have the same concept, both are exceptional, casual, understated and all about the food.

              Forget Dante's, I can't believe that place is still in business.

              1. if your budget is high,id go to either Bacchanalia or Arias (just went there SAt and its not that pretensius).If youre anywhere near Perimter Mall, Id go to McKendricks,which to me is the best steak house/lamb et al in town.More of a Chicago/New York type restaurant.If you like Italian, Cucino e Paolo is to me, being from the Bronx, for the money the best Itailan.BUckhead diner is very good,but can be a little touristy at times.If you go there,make sure to get the blue cheese chip appetizer,and the veal loaf is outstanding,as are their fish dishes

                1. I also recommend Holeman & Finch. We ate there a couple of weeks ago, first time; thought it would be pretentious, but wanted to try it out anyways. Great experience, great food - the staff was so helpful. No attitude, just fun :-). I also enjoyed Woodfire Grill, but thought it rated higher on the 'attitude' scale.

                  1. I've been to both those places in Montreal. You want either Abbatoir or Holeman & Finch or Repast or Woodfire Grill. All of them are very serious when it comes to great food, all have nice Southern/ingredient focus, and all have nice eclectic drink selections. Holeman & Finch is the most casual, pub-like of the bunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: biskuit

                      What Biskuit said. With emphasis on Abbatior (that would be my number one for you) or H&F (which can be a little "sceney" and crowded at times).

                      Let us know how it goes.

                    2. There is only one place that is upscale with the best wine list and NO attitude, and that is Woodfire Grill. They have nothing but great reviews and a place i take out of town clients to soak up a gracious Atlanta experience. Enjoy Atlanta.