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Aug 17, 2012 07:10 AM

midtown awesome

I'll be staying at the Midtown W the (long) weekend of Sept 15, and I'm looking for awesome restaurants.

Budget is almost unlimited. Not really unlimited, but I'm happy to blow $100 on the food only (alcohol extra) on a meal for one. I'm looking for three different meals:

1 - something typically Atlanta. Something I can get (as good) anywhere else. Something that will make me say "I have to go back to Atlanta to get X off this menu at that place; I've never had anything like that before.
2 - something that is just plan fantastic, even if it's available elsewhere.
3 - A great breakfast/brunch place

Now, just because I say budget is high, that doesn't mean I must spend a lot. If there's a hole in the wall place that is awesome, I want to go there. In fact, that's more my usual mode of operations; but this time I'll be at a conference with some big spenders, and I want to impress one of them with one of the meals. But with my other meals, cheap, expensive, in-between - it's all on my radar.

As I said, W in Midtown. Walking distance would be a plus, but I'm perfectly capable of hoping into a taxi as well.

Cigarette smoke ruins a meal for me. I've never been to Atlanta, but my understanding is that restaurants are smoke-free, but bars are not, and I know that in practical terms this can sometimes mean smoky restaurants and the smoke flows in from a bar, so if that is the case in Atlanta restaurants, I'd like to avoid any that are smoky, even if just a little.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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  1. If money is no object you need to decide between the following two restaurants for plain fantastic:

    Bacchanalia or Eugene. Probably the top 2 restaurants in the city at the moment and I would personally give the nod to Eugene.

    Unique to Atlanta, I would have to go with Empire State South. Very unique take on southern cuisine by a nationally recognized chef, Hugh Acheson. On the plus side, this is within walking distance of the Midtown W.

    Breakfast/Brunch - Local 3 for Sunday brunch. End of story.

    4 Replies
    1. re: samlev

      For incredible szechuan cab it to Gu's bistro

      1. re: bobstripower

        I love Szechuan, but I also spend a lot of time in NY, and worry I'll be disappointed. But after reading the writeup from caviar_and_chitlins' writeup ( and the more up-to-date comments from others, it looks great, and I'm excited to try it out, but starting to feel like my trip may be too short. Which is a good feeling to have!

      2. re: samlev

        Wonderful. Thanks for the tip. Bacchanalia and Eugene both look great. I love a tasting menu, and I like how they're the exact same price at both of these restaurants. Competition at work. I may just have to try them both out.

        Empire State South looks like a blast, too. I'll definitely get there for lunch, and maybe for a dinner as well, though I may have to spend both dinners at Bacchanalia and Eugene.

        Do you think Empire State South is good for breakfast? I'll hit up Local 3 for Sunday brunch, but it looks like Sunday is the only day they serve it, I'll have to eat breakfast two other mornings besides Sunday as well.

        Also, is there anyplace besides Empire State South I should think about for lunch?

        Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.

        1. re: joshua

          Empire State South does do breakfast and it is quite good as well. Another spot was mentioned below and I highly recommend that as well is the Silver Skillet.

      3. It's not fancy but silver skillet is a great southern breakfast place. Reminds me of ny days in the Bronx
        Also Gu's is owned by a family from Chengdu. The daughter Yconne speaks well and will help you wish any questions. if you cab it, its rights behind Chic Filet on Bufird hwy outside 285

        1. You'll be in a good spot for the weekend. I work where you'll be calling home base (literally, right next door) and live close by, as well, and the options are great.

          Agreed with the posts about Eugene and Bacchanalia, although they are not walking distance. They are, though, two of the top restaurants in the city.

          Empire State South, as mentioned, is also fantastic, but to give you another option along the lines of "new southern cuisine", JCT Kitchen is always a good choice... Lunch and Dinner are both great here. The Angry Mussels with bacon and serranos are out of control. Damn good fried chicken too, although they do tend to run out quickly. It is NOT walking distance, but here's an interesting idea: It is next door to Bacchanalia, and there is a bar on the top floor. If you are going to Bacch., and wanted to head to JCT for pre- or after-dinner drinks, it's usually a good scene.

          More good southern food within walking distance would be South City Kitchen. They've been around for a while and have the fancy southern thing down. HOWEVER, I think I'd pick Empire over it for dinner. I can tell you I've had MANY business lunches there, though, and it's PERFECT for that.

          The Midtown location of Highland Bakery is right near your corner. It's not like the original (some on these boards will tell you the original isn't even that special), and I wouldn't suggest it if you're bringing other people, but I think it's still a pretty darn good breakfast, especially if you're on your own.

          If you want to bring your colleagues to brunch, I always suggest Murphy's in Virginia-Highland. I think it's one of the best brunches in Atlanta, the atmosphere is great, the service is top-notch, it's not as far as Local 3, and the neighborhood is the most walkable in the city (you'd still have to cab it from your hotel). I'm frankly surprised it's not mentioned here more often when people ask for a quintessential Atlanta dining spot...

          3 Replies
          1. re: joond1

            Thank you! Great ideas.

            What I'm having a tough time finding is a breakfast spot, preferably near the midtown W, and that is formal and fancy enough for a business breakfast, but also has good food. There seems to be plenty of great brunch, but I need a breakfast spot for Friday, and the brunch places all seem to be weekends only.

            1. re: joshua

              2 ideas for weekday breakfast (1 walking, 1 close but requires a drive)

              Walk: Park75, the restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel down the street, is great. I have done weekday breakfast meetings there before. You have to get over eating in a hotel, but it really is a great hotel restaurant.

              Drive: West Egg. It's a straight shot west on 14th street (7-minute drive). REALLY, REALLY good, and they open at 7am for breakfast every day. Southern Living Mag called it one of the best breakfasts in the whole state of GA, and it's consistently rated one of the best breakfasts in the city. I highly recommend it.

              Good luck, and enjoy your weekend in Atlanta! If you can, report back and let us know what you decided (and how it was).

              1. re: joond1

                I love West Egg, but I wouldn't do a business meeting there. Too casual and too open to have work conversation, in my opinion. But I LOVE the fried green tomato egg wrap!