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Need a reliable rec for early Friday night dinner Downtown

I'm in ATL very, very often, but rarely downtown for any length of time, so I'm unfamiliar with the good eats there. Next Friday, though, my husband and I will be staying overnight at The Ellis downtown and need a great recommendation for an early dinner prior to an 8 pm show at the Tabernacle. The last time we stayed downtown in order to walk to and from the venue, we weren't satisfied with the dining options. Do any of you hounds know of a hidden gem in the area?

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  1. Lunacy Black Market.
    Not sure you can walk but it's a two minute cab ride.
    Get there when they open. They don't take reservations.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rcburli

      I checked out their website and am thoroughly intrigued--wish the site had a menu, though! Thanks for the rec.

      1. re: marjeanc

        Lunacy is really under the radar. If you get there at 6, even 5:45, I bet you get in there easily.
        You could also check Room at Twelve or Peasant Bistro, both near your venue.

        1. re: rcburli

          Lunacy is a hike from where you're staying - 10 blocks or more, I'd estimate. Probably want to cab it if you decide to go there. I've had both very good plates and mediocre ones there, so it's more of a risk than other suggestions posted here IMHO.

          1. re: jboeke

            Lunacy is not the best meal you will ever eat, but it's cheap and unique to the area.

    2. thats going to be a busy night--Hawks are playing Celtics and the area will be packed--game starts at 8--if i were you id make reservation either in McCormick and Smick in the Omni or Ruths Chris near the Embassy Suites--im pretty sure theres a Teds Grill near Tab but Ive never been Ive had good meals at Dantanas too, but i wouldnt call it fine dining. I left a bad review on McCormicks when i went there during the SEC tournamnt,but i think the huge crowds ggot ti them

      3 Replies
      1. re: bobstripower

        PS i checked my tickets and the game is at 7 not 8--not sure if that helps

        1. re: bobstripower

          THIS is exactly what I was worried about--that we'd be relegated to the chains and hotel restos. The Ellis is home of Terrace on Peachtree; I've made reservations there just in case we can't find anything else. Anyone know anything about that one?

          1. re: marjeanc

            it gets mixedreviews-- ive never been . since the game starts at 7, you could cab it to a betterspot in midown like ECCO or veni vidi vinci, and when you return the crowds will have gone.The only other place where you are that i like, but gets a little touristy is Sun Dial in the Peachtree Plaza--- its a rotating restuarant deal and has excellent steaks

        2. We went to the Biergarten a month or so ago before a show at Philips. It's over by the Aquarium on Marietta St and next to Stats. They have a good German beer selection. Food was pretty good too- we picked it in part b/c they serve sausage from Patak (great sausage/salami place out in the ex-urbs). I recall one person getting spaetzle that wasn't very good, but the rest of what folks had was good (for being in walking distance and after putting away a liter or so of maibock).

          It's easy cab distance (1 mi or so) to either 5 Seasons or Bocado on the Westside. Little further to Six Feet Under, Yeah Burger, Abattoir, etc. Bocado would be worth it for the food. 5 Seasons would be worth it for the beer in addition.

          I was curious and looked at the schedule- are you really going to see Joe Rogan? Sorry, reality TV not my thing (exc. Top Chef) even when it's "free" on the tube.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ted

            I'll look into these--thanks so much. Having lived in Germany years ago, I LOVE the food and miss it. Yes, we're going to see Joe Rogan, but--poor guy--people tend to forget that he's a comic, NOT a "reality TV star." He hosted Fear Factor, but he's been a stand-up comedian for YEARS. I've seen him before, and it's quite a hilarious show (though definitely "blue"!)

          2. I really like Alma Cucina, its kind of nuevo-mexican. Not tex-mex. Its in the 191 Peachtee Building next to the Ritz-Carlton, so not far from the Ellis. Been for lunch and dinner, thought it was very good. Small plates were better than entrees.

            5 Replies
            1. re: BigEdAtl

              I second Alma Cocina. It just opened around New Years so it's been packed for lunch most days when I'm downtown for work, but it's very good and almost directly across the street from the Ellis. They take reservations, which is nice too. I loved their barbacoa sandwich. http://www.alma-atlanta.com/ They're owned by Fifth Group restaurants, known for South City Kitchen, among others.
              I've had lunch at the Terrace at Ellis twice - nothing impressive, just some fairly boring salsds and sandwiches. Drinks on the terrace overlooking Peachtree is very relaxing at happy hour though.

              1. re: BigEdAtl

                I'd third that. Granted, I've only had dinner at theTerrace once, but the service was not exactly efficient and the food was good but not outstanding. Alma Cocina is a little more inspired. If you google it, you'll see most of the local dining critics have been pretty postive about it.

                1. re: DeeCee

                  I'm so glad you guys mentioned Alma Cocina--someone told me I "had to eat at the new Mexican place," but he couldn't remember what it was called. Sounds like a plan.

                  1. re: marjeanc

                    As I was scrolling down the comments, this is exactly what I was thinking... Alma Cocina is the perfect option for yall! enjoy.

                    1. re: mem404

                      Reservations are made, and I'll post a short review when we return. Thanks, ATL hounds!