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Atlanta - Cakes & Ale, Miller Union or Empire State South, Which one?

My husband and I love dining well. We will be visiting family in Atanta for the Memorial Day Weekend and will have one free evening. These three restaurants look great - which would you choose? Thanks! Susan

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Cakes & Ale Restaurant
254 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

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

Empire State South
999 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

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  1. My dinner at ESS was far better than at Miller Union....ike would go back to ESS tonight if I could.

    And while Cakes and Ale is very good, for one night out in town, I would go with ESS.

    Or have lunch one day at ESS and hit Cakes and Ale for dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcburli

      Thanks,
      We really only have this one evening free - we are in town for a family event and are totally booked up other than one evening.

      1. re: Susan56

        Then Empire State South for sure. My dinner there on Saturday was truly excellent.
        Only issue...we had an 8:45 reservation and were not seated until 9:45. The place was jammed.
        We didn't care really because we were visiting with friends at the bar...but that really is not good.

    2. I like all three, but Cakes & Ale has beat the others over our last few meals. Can't go wrong any which way.

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      Cakes & Ale Restaurant
      254 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

      2 Replies
      1. re: biskuit

        If Ive got one meal Im going to Bacchanalia-- by far the best in Atlanta

        1. re: bobstripower

          I had better overall experiences at Restaurant Eugene and Empire State South.
          Although Bacchanalia is quite good for sure.

      2. Now it looks as though I might have a second dinner free - Should I consider Woodfire Grill?

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        Woodfire Grill
        1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324

        1 Reply
        1. re: Susan56

          Do Cakes and Ale and Empire State South. Those are your first choices.

        2. Of those 3, I'd probably pick ESS for food. If budget is an issue, though, you should know that C & A is noticeably less expensive than either ESS or Miller Union. However, if budget is NOT an issue, there are far superior restaurants in Atlanta. My 3 choices would be Bacchanalia first, Aria second and Restaurant Eugene third.

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

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: edwardspk

            I was less than impressed with Woodfire Grill, myself. It's fun to do a 7 course tasting menu, but I wasn't blown away by it. It was fine, though.

            Of all these choices Restaurant Eugene is, in my opinion the most superior. Beautiful, tasty food, elegantly prepared. MU and ESS and really good southern food, but no as upscale as RE. Bacchanalia is excellent as well but very very upscale fine dining - I never feel relaxed at all going there.

            MU, ESS and CA all got a great review in the NYT recently, but Restaurant Eugene is superior to those IMO, it just isn't as new. In any case, you cannot go wrong with any of these selections. All fabulous restaurants!

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

            1. re: atl_gastronome

              Also, Bocado has excellent food. Farm to table, tasty and inventive. Lots of small plates and a somewhat limited menu but very good.

              The Iberian Pig in Decatur is fantastic as well. Happy eating!

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              The Iberian Pig
              121 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030

          2. I would do Cakes & Ale and Bacchanalia. If you are considering going as upscale as Woodfire Grill (which is very good, don't get me wrong) I would go with Bacchanalia instead as it is perhaps the best restaurant in the city. The Eugene lovers would argue this and while it's close, Bacchanalia still wins out for me.

            I selected Cakes & Ale over ESS due to the Decatur flare. Both are fine establishments but the ability to finish a nice meal at C&A and then walk over to the Brickstore for some exceptional beers pushes it over the finish line for me. That is a complete night.

            Samlev

            1 Reply
            1. re: samlev

              Thank you all. I did pick these three restaurants based on the article in the New York Times. We are really looking to get food that we would not get in NYC. Hence our interest in these restaurants as the article picked them out as having "sophisiticated Southern" food. As for atmosphere, we would prefer more casual places for this quick weekend trip.

              Susan