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Feb 3, 2012 08:37 AM

"This is Atlanta"

Lets say you have a friend coming into town and you only have one meal to show them what restaurant cuisine in Atlanta is all about. Where do you take them?

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  1. JCT Kitchen. Just had a meal here tonight and it was the best meal we've had in Atlanta by far. We're from the Bay Area. Have been to Empire State South, Woodfire Grill, Iberian Pig---all those are great too but JCT Kitchen just kicks you in the balls its so good. Get the angry mussels, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, fried chicken if they haven't sold out of it yet.

    I can't vouch for it but I've heard holeman and finch is a good one-off to go to as well. It's owned by the people who are behind Restaurant Eugene---sometimes compared to Chez Panisse.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hungree

      I stopped at JCT Kitchen when in ATL a few weeks ago because of this post and it was fantastic. had the angry mussels, shrimp and grits, and chocolate pudding. they were all awesome!

      The next best meal i had on that trip, surprisingly, was in the airport! Got there a little early and went to One Flew South for their pasta with lamb ragu. it was delicious. but still feels weird that one of the best meals of my trip was had in Terminal E.

    2. Bacchanalia is very good--- JCT sounds very good as well--if by cuisine you mean somethig unique to Atlanta, maybe someyting Southern, maybe Empire South,or South City --i like steak and lobster, so my Fav is McKendricks at perimeter--oops left out Carvers if you want real Soutern

      1 Reply
      1. re: bobstripower

        <if by cuisine you mean something unique to atlanta>

        yes, exactly! want to get a feel for what people think the food in atlanta is all about. for example, here in miami, cuban and island flavor is important, as is the fresh seafood! so i would take them to a place in miami that shows that off.

      2. Wisteria or Cakes and Ale. Both get even better every time I visit. Wisteria's iron skillet fried chicken with collards brings me back to my grandmother's kitchen--it's uncanny how similar the taste is. And when your friends at the table are bargaining over the last bite of blueberry cobbler (in the small bites desserts), you know it's good.

        1. Secondind JCT Kitchen. Good modern southern food.

          I'd also offer up Miller Union as another great option. Or Empire State South, the current darling of ATL's dining scene.

          1. Depends on where they are coming from and what they can or can't get at home. If somebody was coming from a place with few trendy places, Holeman and Finch. If they are coming from NYC I'd consider something like The Colonnade.

            6 Replies
            1. re: LizATL

              The Colonnade if you come from NYC--REALLY!! NYC has 43 restaurants with Michelin stars--over 3000 restauarnts--Colonnade is good for Atl, but itd be out of business in NYC

              1. re: bobstripower

                You're not getting my point. My point is exactly that NYC has a lot of Michelin-starred restaurants, but not a lot of places like the Colonnade, so there would be more of a chance of the experience being something out of the ordinary for someone from a big, northern city.

                And I have to add that I like McKendrick's just fine, but to recommend it over and over and over no matter what folks are looking for seems a bit odd to me.

                Not trying to start an argument, just commenting that people's tastes vary, and sometimes dining out can be as much about the experience as it is about the food.

                1. re: LizATL

                  Ok Bob - to be fair to you, I've poked around some more and I see that you don't always recommend McKendrick's. But you do recommend them pretty frequently, or maybe I'm just happening to hit those posts where you do. Doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, I suppose. We get it that you like it there!

                  1. re: LizATL

                    You will see I've left plenty of reviews of many places. Recently venii vidi vidi. If folks ask about high end steak places I as well as others make suggestions. No point in making duplicate suggestions and rarely do I see mckendricks mentioned even though its a superior place. Does that satisfy you

                  2. re: LizATL

                    I know it has been a while since this post, but I agree with you on the heart of Atlanta not being Michelin-stars and upscale dining. In that vein, I absolutely adore 5 Seasons Brewery and Restaurant. I live in Sandy Springs, so I frequent the Prado location all but exclusively, and have never had a bad experience there. Also, to be fair, I am a beer geek, and they brew all their own stuff in house, and it is the best of any of the brew-pubs that I have been to in the South East, including Asheville, NC.

                2. re: LizATL

                  Liz - we're originally from NYC and are relocating to Atlanta. On a recent trip I brought our family to the Colonnade for dinner (I had fried chicken, of course!) and we all loved it. We have eaten at many Michelin starred restaurants and such but enjoy honest and good food just as much. What Bob is saying really makes very little sense, it would be like a New Yorker not brining a visting friend to a place like Katz's or a Gray's Papaya for fear that it's not "good" enough. I could take you to dozens of places that are truly great in NYC that don't have a pedigree - Colonnade is a great recommendation.