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Miller Union earns accolades

mu_atlmagcoverMiller Union restaurant on the Westside has just earned two major plaudits:

  • Bon Appétit magazine calls it one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country.
  • Atlanta magazine has named it “Restaurant of the Year” in its “Best New Restaurants” issue. The magazine is currently on newsstands, but the feature is not yet up on its website.

Both magazines praise the uncomplicated, straightforward Southern cooking and the canny design sense of the space, which combines country cool with warehouse chic. The restaurant is owned in part by manager Neal McCarthy and chef Steven Satterfield. Congrats to both!

Have you been? Do you think it’s the best new restaurant in the city?

I’ve been three times and really enjoyed each of my solidly prepared meals, though I can’t say I’ve yet had a “wow” dining moment there. But I’ve loved the kitchen’s mission statement, the tenor of service, the wine list and the special warmth of the restaurant’s warren of dining rooms.

90 comments Add your comment

jimmy

August 18th, 2010
12:28 pm

I agree re “wow” favor, but I really enjoy going there. Casual bar, unpretentious food, great wine and cocktail list. Good people.

If the prices were slightly lower I’d go there all the time. “Best” can be a tough word to define. Pinnacle of dining in ATL? No. My favorite new restaurant in ATL, yes.

Richard Smallwood

August 18th, 2010
12:58 pm

Been twice. I can’t stand the space – you walk into the smallest most cramped bar in town. The place is Buckhead pretentious, especially the Wine List. The food has been good – not great, but a very limited menu. I would go back but prefer probably a dozen restaurants in West Midtown alone over Millers Union.

Unhappy customer

August 18th, 2010
1:07 pm

We recently dined at Miller Union. One of the worst meals ever! In addition the dinning room was extremely warm and uncomfortable. Don’t understand the fuss at all.

crystal

August 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

Nice space, good food. A little pretentious and pricey for my taste, but definitely worth a try.

philip

August 18th, 2010
1:42 pm

I haven’t been so I can’t really say much but I’ve looked at the menu on their website…$5 for a side of sliced tomatoes? $5 for some fried okra? Nope.

Love Miller Union

August 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

Richard, b/c you have a small woody don’t fret. MU Rocks. Pretentious folks, r u kiddin me?
These are some of the nicest people in the industry,
Great spot- ignore ^^^^^^^

Joe the Plumber

August 18th, 2010
2:09 pm

I would go to Miller Union just for the wine list! They have the second best mark up in the city behind Abbattoir. Great simple food, always good service one of the best restaurants in Atlanta.

Puerquito

August 18th, 2010
2:12 pm

You are all losers

Theresa

August 18th, 2010
2:19 pm

I’ve been. The food was good, but the dining room was too loud for our group of three to carry on a conversation without yelling. I won’t go back because of that.

Big Fan

August 18th, 2010
2:20 pm

I’ve been three times. Each meal was delightful. The service was warm (not pretentious). The food was exquisite. The menu actually looks bland and simple to me, but they manage to make each item better than I could have imagined. Consider the Baked Egg- $7. What’s the fuss? Try one, and then you will know. Who knew an egg could taste that good?!? Give it a shot. You’ll see….

Son of Puerquito

August 18th, 2010
2:34 pm

I love Miller Union. My only complain is that there are some awkwardly located tables.
The wine list is interesting and affordable and the food is tasty and NOT expensive.

@ArthanteLafleur

August 18th, 2010
2:34 pm

Congrats to Miller Union! Went earlier this year and had a nice time. The server accidentally spilled a small amount of wine but they were very gracious about it and immediately brought a new full glass. Food was flavorful and worth returning for. I definitely agree that it can get pretty effin loud though.

Overall, a place I’ll certainly return to, but in no rush (especially now that it’s in the spotlight).

birthday girl

August 18th, 2010
2:50 pm

I go out to eat in Atlanta all the time…probably too much, and the worst experience I’ve had in a long time was at Miller Union. I went for a birthday dinner and stopped in the bar for a drink before sitting down for dinner. The bar tender was hateful. She was the rudest person I’ve encountered anywhere in a very long time. We were seated at a tiny table literally on top of two diners at another table. It’s not MU’s fault, but they were so terribly annoying. Our server was extremely awkward and did not provide much service at all. My vegetable plate was ok, but nothing to write home about. The real highlight of our evening was when my boyfriend’s quail arrived…partially raw. Sorry. Can’t understand how a place that serves raw birds is chosen as the best. I don’t understand the fuss over this place.

the fish

August 18th, 2010
2:51 pm

We were there last night. It was a solid B, no more than that. While I enjoyed the meal, I can’t say I’m going to be rushing back anytime soon. There was certainly nothing I had that has me craving a return visit (although the chocolate cream pie for dessert was pretty yummy). And the comments about the space by other readers are spot-on; it’s as disjointed as can be. There’s no sense of being in a communal setting. And that bar space is tighter than my high school jeans.
I guess it must have been a bad year for restaurant openings if this is the “Restaurant of the Year”.

Joe the Plumber

August 18th, 2010
2:53 pm

I guess its time for all the haters to come out!

ATL_Flexwell

August 18th, 2010
2:54 pm

The real highlight of our evening was when my quail arrived … 30 minutes late, drunk and shouting obsenities.

ATL_Flexwell

August 18th, 2010
2:57 pm

Sometimes when I am in a hurry I have to eat in my car. Naturally, I feel very comfortable eating at MU. It’s like having random strangers in the car with me. I can overpay for faux-southern cuisine and fantasizeabout driving in the HOV lane.

shel schlegman

August 18th, 2010
3:03 pm

I have eaten lunch twice and can’t wait to do dinner.
I loved the food, service and decor.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic, John Kessler, jon macklin, Kevin Glowacki, Restaurants Atlanta and others. Restaurants Atlanta said: {wow, very impressive accolades} RT @AJCFoodandMore: Miller Union earns accolades http://bit.ly/dyfqpe [...]

Joe the Plumber's Father

August 18th, 2010
3:36 pm

Get back to work Joe.

edwin

August 18th, 2010
3:50 pm

The line is too long and those tacos are overrated. Did Zell Miller buy the place?

Yummy

August 18th, 2010
4:13 pm

I give it 4 farts on a scale of 5.

Chimney Sweep

August 18th, 2010
4:22 pm

Had dinner there last night, which is probably my fifth or sixth dinner visit. The duck with succotash is unlike anything else I’ve had in Atlanta or elsewhere for that matter – it was exquisite. After a recent trip to NYC where I dined at Marea, Locanda Verde and about half dozen great restaurants, I would definitely say Miller Union is on par with these nationally known restaurants. Congratulations on their well-deserved recognition.

s2kmikey

August 18th, 2010
4:42 pm

Haters everywhere you go. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. The food is always fresh and not at all pretentious. The homemade sodas and ice cream sandwiches are a must. If you’re complaining about the price, there’s a MickeyDs on the next exit.

John

August 18th, 2010
4:44 pm

My wife and I went and we had a very enjoyable time. Everyone was nice and the food was really good. And, it was a very pleasant atmosphere. It does seem a little pricey, but for the total package, I think it was worth it.

Donna

August 18th, 2010
5:13 pm

Overpriced, overrated – but good for them.

Joe the Plumber's Grandfather

August 18th, 2010
5:23 pm

You go back to work too, Joe the Plumber’s Dad…..

War Dog

August 18th, 2010
5:25 pm

How come we don’t have a comment section for good bikers hangouts. There are some great ones in ATL.

real foodie

August 18th, 2010
5:42 pm

Here we go again. Who said Atlanta Magazine knows about good restaurants? The AJC sure does not. Another overpriced and pretentious place. Can’t wait for a real restaurant review in this city.

Son of Puerquito

August 18th, 2010
5:42 pm

Great Atlanta Restaurant – yes.
On par with NY – no.

Atlantan

August 18th, 2010
6:52 pm

I’ve eaten lunch there a few times and it is good. I enjoy their ice cream sandwiches as well. Glad to see them get kudos. On par with NY – no – what? It is southern / regional focused and not french or italian.

Patrick

August 18th, 2010
6:53 pm

NY food is overrated. And yes, I’ve been there and eaten at the best restaurants there. ATL is on par and some restaurants surpass NY.

stephanie

August 18th, 2010
7:15 pm

Loved this place!! Ignore all negative comments of some people that do not know what they are talking about!!! Amazing duck breast!

Son of Puerquito

August 18th, 2010
7:21 pm

It is practically impossible for Atlanta to be on par with the big cities. A few simple reasons – The availability of superior product (food and wine) and labor,plus the diversity of the clientele make it diffficult for Atlanta to compete on a level playing field. Sad but true.
And by the way, I love living here…

Addison Steele

August 18th, 2010
8:20 pm

Great food. Great people. Those who call it pretentious don’t know Satterfield and McCarthy. If there’s any pretentiousness, it’s a small percentage of the customers, who have to been seen at the newest good place. Once another six months go by and the trendoids move on, this restaurant will become a durable classic. Btw, asking you to refrain from parking your hat on the bar is not pretentious. It’s just decent manners.

blazerdawg

August 18th, 2010
9:28 pm

SOP- certainly Bkllia, MU, South City, & Rthbn’s are on par w/ (better than) anything in NYC.

Rexwinn

August 18th, 2010
9:30 pm

Been there and a couple more places. Try Willingham’s in McDonough

Just above average meal

August 18th, 2010
9:39 pm

Addison Steele Asking me to not park my hat on the bar is being an ass since I’m the customer who pays their way!

Just above average meal

August 18th, 2010
9:40 pm

Son of Puerquito diversity is way overrated.

lancsman

August 18th, 2010
10:03 pm

Haven’t been, and after reading some of the posts may not even bother as I don’t care to drop a lot of $$ for a 50/50 shot at having a nice dining experience. By the way, just because someone gives an honest personal review that isn’t complimenatary it doesn’t mean they are a “hater” – grow up!

flagator

August 18th, 2010
10:50 pm

Anyone miss Repast as much as we do?

Addison Steele

August 18th, 2010
11:11 pm

JustAboveAnAverageMeal — Let me paraphrase your point — “Because I spend money there, I can be a jackass.” Are you one of those people who likes to torture waiters because Daddy never gave you proper respect? ;-) Please do go some place where you and other people think dropping your lid in other people’s dinner is cool. There are plenty of places where you can do that. Leave MU alone.

bkbsbryan

August 19th, 2010
12:22 am

FYI These accolades are bestowed by way of advertising dollars and schmoozing the magazine, it still all comes down to who you know. Just like Jezabel, AJC Open Table, Creative Loafong, its all about placement and a massive email by the restaurant, asking, (begging) for people to vote for this honor. Hard work and reputation no longer exist in the hospitality business, If you don;t think Buckhead has lost is flair, there are 400 restaurants in the Buckhead area alone for sale and/or out of business. And for all the haters…did you get you meal for free when you complained…..thought so!

MJin ATL

August 19th, 2010
2:49 am

Most of the people here that critique Miller Union as prententious, overrated, and tasteless are armchair foodies at best. They watch Top Chef, mull over the Zagat, and because they do this, it automatically makes them “experts”.

Jen

August 19th, 2010
5:48 am

We went to dinner at Miller Union recently and was seated on the patio. It was a nice night, not too warm out and we thought we scored a less than crowded area than inside. The trick was that tractor trailers are passing by the open area one after the other. You could not hear conversation and it absolutely ruined the dinner. Dinner is not always the perfect egg but the constant screeching of the air breaks of the trucks.

Robert

August 19th, 2010
10:50 am

Son of Puerquito, you gotta be kidding me! “It is practically impossible for Atlanta to be on par with the big cities,” said you. Earth to Son of Puerquito, it ain’t 1960 any more. While I have had many a memorable meal in NYC, I’ve also walked away after dropping $1500 for a table of four at a NYC restaurant shaking my head in amazement that people would think it was worth it. You can enjoy your overpriced, copycat, outdated, Eurocentric cuisine (and wine) all you want in New York, while we here in Atlanta enjoy an ever-increasing selection of creative, Southern-influenced, farm fresh dishes. I put Atlanta in the firmly-competitive category relative to other “big cities.”

Son of Puerquito

August 19th, 2010
11:22 am

@ Robert: So you are telling me that Atlanta is a culinary destination. That people actually travel here to exeperence the amazing restaurants Atlanta has to offer. That Culinary grads flock to Atlanta in great numbers to build their resumes…
This town has great restuarants, but to believe that we are on par with other “big cities” (New York, Chicago, San Fancisco) is nonesense.
So you had a terrible expensive meal in NY, so what? I have had terrible expensive meals in a many cities, including Atlanta (Bacchanalia is not perfect, but I would go back in a heartbeat). Open your eyes and be critical about the town you live in. Only then we will reach heights we deserve.

white jeans

August 19th, 2010
11:35 am

@bkbsbryan: clearly you do not understand how these accolades are bestowed. There is no popular vote. The food critics are just that. They are critics and it is their job to give their opinion of their experience. Miller Union may not be for everyone, but for those who love simple good food from local sources, prepared by a chef that cares, this is the place.

Road Scholar

August 19th, 2010
1:32 pm

At least he took his hat off when indoors at a reataurant; better than the ill mannered rednecks at other restaurants!

There used to be an Italian Restaurant on Jimmy Carter @ PIB (Perlino’s). Does anyone know what happened to/where is Justin Perlino? Great chef; nice guy.

Joe the Plumber's Great Grandaddy

August 19th, 2010
3:33 pm

Shut up boy before I smack you.