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Downtown Atlanta Fine-Dining Recs. Please

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We are two Phoenix “hounds,” who will be in Atlanta for several nights in June, from a Saturday through Tuesday, and will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Peachtree. We’ll not have an auto, but do not mind “cabbing it.” A nice walk would be a plus

We have not been to Atlanta, since the late 70's, so the entire restaurant scene has probably changed greatly.

I’ve looked over the downtown Atlanta recs., but have probably missed some good one, due to my lack of a memory of Atlanta geography. I’d like to find the best “fine-dining” in this general downtown area. I have no budgetary concerns, and, as I said, cabbing it is definitely an option. The restaurant gets extra points, if they have a really good wine list.

I will have a jacket, so dress-codes do not matter, unless they require semi-formal. If ties are required, just let me know, and I can easily provide that.

To give an idea of the restaurants that we have loved, The French Laundry, Per Se, Restaurant Daniel, Galatoire’s, Restaurant August, Chef Mavro’s, Le Bernadine, several Joël Robuchon restaurants in the UK and the US, and also several Gordon Ramsay restaurants in the UK.

Thank you for your considerations and recommendations. I promise to do full reviews.

Hunt

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Peachtree Cafe
99 Jeff Davis Rd, Thomaston, GA 30286

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  1. PS - I should have mentioned that we are not big "steakhouse fans," and have to do too many of those around the country, as it is, whether it's a chain, like Morton's, Ruth's, or is named for some absentee chef.

    PPS - I flat hate the CH links management system. It kicks in with odd links, based on almost any word used, and there does not seem to be a way to delete those. Never heard of Peachtree Cafe, and cannot get rid of it. Back in the "good old days" a poster could add links, and then manage them. Oh well.

    PPPS - if there is such a thing. We are not married to any cuisine, but only to great food and wine. While we both love the cuisine of the Deep South, and grew up there, we are not looking for anything particular there - just the great food.

    1. I think you'd like Bacchanalia--make reservations now, though. Look into Nikolai's Roof at the Hilton, too. I have never been but have a friend from Boston who raves about it. I'd suggest Watershed in Decatur (it's an easy ride on Marta or a cab ride) for "New Southern food" on Tues night especially. Plus it's a nice area to walk around in with cafes, pubs, etc. I also like South City Kitchen in Midtown. These choices are smaller restaurants. For breakfast I like the original Flying Biscuit Cafe in Candler Park. Sorry that most of these are not walkable--the downtown hotels only seem to have chains around them. Midtown is a better area for walkability.

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      The Flying Biscuit
      1084 Johnson Ferry Rd, Marietta, GA 30068

      Nikolai's Roof
      255 Courtland Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

      1. Downtown is a challenging area for restaurants because few people actually live in the area. There are tons of lunch spots for the workday, but we've lost some good dinner options with the economy lately. I will stick with walking-distance options, since you'll find plenty of ideas on this board if you include Midtown and Decatur and get a cab. I would recommend Ray's In the City for seafood. I work in the area and this is typically where we go for group dinners. And it's not fine-dining, but Hsu's has good Chinese food and is a favorite for splurge lunches at work. A few blocks further out is French American Brasserie (FAB), which gets high marks on this board. Enjoy your visit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jboeke

          "Downtown is a challenging area for restaurants because few people actually live in the area."

          I completely understand. We have the same issue on the Phoenix Board, as there is not that much to recommend, beyond Pizzeria Bianco - basically small-chain and sports bars. All of the great, recommendable restaurants are out in the 'burbs, like Scottsdale.

          So far, some definite choices to work with, and I'll just plan on making friends with the doormen at the hotel - to get those cabs! [Grin] I'll also see if the concierge works with a short-haul limo company, as I have found those in DC, San Francisco and NYC to be cheaper, more efficient and safer (drivers are seldom in a hurry between fares).

          Thanks to everyone, and I'll go over the recs., and try to coordinate the travels from Downtown.

          Greatly appreciated,

          Hunt

        2. Given your list of restaurants you have loved, Bacchanalia is your closest cab ride.
          You could try Quinones as well...only open on Saturdays (according to the Star Provisions website). Also Abbatoir in the same complex.

          You'll find nothing of the caliber of your list in downtown.

          Other possibilities (again with cab ride):
          Aria (over $20-25 in a cab)
          Restaurant Eugene ($15-$20 cab)
          Miller Union (closer)

          I had a great dinner last night at Local Three (would be a decent cab fare). It's a new place, not fancy but great food.

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          Star Provisions
          1198 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

          Restaurant Eugene
          2277 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

          Miller Union
          999 Brady Ave Suite 106, Atlanta, GA 30318

          1. Well, here is what we are going to attempt:

            Nicolai's Roof
            PittyPat's Porch (saw that it does not get a lot of love on the board, but was good decades ago)
            Bacchanalia
            Vini Vidi Vici

            I'll try to do a full report on each, but will be headed immediately to Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, so will not be back in PHX for a bit.

            I wish to thank everyone for their suggestions and also the Metro-Atlanta geography lessons. Just been too danged long, since I was last in the city.

            Hunt

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              good choice---Nikolais is an oldy but goody,as is Veni---get to Nikolais around sunset and ask for a window table-quite a nice view

              1. re: bobstripower

                I'm going to respectfully disagree here and suggest some alternatives:

                Nikolai's Roof is expensive and it's got nice views, but it's otherwise not even remotely worth your time. Have a drink at the Sundial for the view and then head for either Miller Union or Restaurant Eugene.

                Pittypat's Porch is where tourists and only tourists eat. The real deal is Mary Mac's Tea Room. Plenty of local color and the food's very good.

                Bacchanalia is great, so good choice there.

                VVV is okay, but Sotto Sotto is better.

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                Mary Mac's Tea Room
                Atlanta, GA, Atlanta, GA

                Restaurant Eugene
                2277 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

                Mary Mac's Tea Room
                224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

                Nikolai's Roof
                255 Courtland Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

                Miller Union
                999 Brady Ave Suite 106, Atlanta, GA 30318

              2. re: Bill Hunt

                I would also caution against Pitty Pat's -- I had a pretty miserable dinner there a few years ago, and it didn't seem to be an outlier. They have a "side bar" that primarily features congealed salads, just to give you an idea.

                I think the rest of your agenda looks wonderful, but I'd consider Miller Union over PPP -- it's a close cab ride from your hotel (~2 miles), and has much more sophisticated, quality southern food in a similar price range.

                And just for the record, a lot of Atlanta's good restaurants are CLOSE to downtown, just definitely not WALKABLY close to downtown. I'd say within a 10 mile radius -- you don't have to go out to the burbs, but you have to get to the neighborhoods where more people live. :)

                Have a wonderful trip!

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                Miller Union
                999 Brady Ave Suite 106, Atlanta, GA 30318

              3. I had a really nice solo dinner at Peasant Bistro when I was in Atlanta on business a few months ago. I hadn't been in Atlanta for years and it was nice to have an option for something other than a Hooters or Hard Rock Cafe in downtown. It is an easy walk from your hotel across the Centennial Olympic Park. The address is 250 Park Ave. Here is the website:

                http://www.peasantatl.com/

                I had a fabulous pear martini which I have since replicated at home. I had butternut squash ravioli as my main, and can't remember the starter, but I know it was good. I wanted to go back when I was there last week, but unfortunately my fellow business travellers opted for the Ruth's Chris steakhouse option (on the same block). I have a couple of more trips scheduled, and I will definitely go back to the Peasant Bistro.

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                Hard Rock Cafe
                215 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

                Peasant Bistro
                250 Park Avenue West, Suite 104, Atlanta, GA 30313

                1. I want to thank all, who responded with some well thought out suggestions.

                  Unfortunately, our travel plans have had to change. Out Atlanta trip has been canceled, as M-I-L just went into the hospital. I was looking forward to sampling some Atlanta cuisine, as it's been too many years, since we were last there.

                  We are hoping that the second half of the trip, to Blackberry Farm in TN, can still come about. We have not canceled that yet, but might have to.

                  Again, I appreciate the responses and the thought, that went into them. Hope to use that info in the near future.

                  Hunt

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Well, FWIW, Blackberry Farm was also canceled, but we did do some good San Francisco dining, around wife's meetings there.

                    Again, many thanks, and hope to use the recs. in the not too distant future.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      thanks for lettingus know--i lived in Palo Alto for a while, where did you go in SF

                      1. re: bobstripower

                        For that "substitution trip," we did Farallon, Luce, Jardiniere and Michael Mina (in the old Aqua location).

                        I will do a full review of each on the SF board.

                        Only wish that I was able to do an Atlanta review, and then a Blackberry Farm review, but fate was not with me this trip. BB Farm will take place in July, but Atlanta will have to wait. [Frown]

                        Hunt