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The Cafe at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead Sunday Brunch Review



What images does the name The Ritz-Carlton conjure? Luxury? White-gloved service? Indulgence? That’s the “The Ritz-Carlton Mystique,” a companywide strategy to deliver exceptional customer experiences that encourage lifetime loyalty and a high level of perceived value.

Now, imagine what Sunday brunch at The Café at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead looks like. What do you envision?

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

Caviar? Tall flutes of bubbly? White-jacketed chefs cooking to order? Check, check and check.

Drop your car with the valet and enter through doors held wide into the hushed calm of the lobby, lush with fresh floral arrangements. The soft tinkling of the grand piano will beckon you to The Café where a lavish spread awaits.

A gracious hostess will greet and quietly seat you in an appropriate location — couples in corner booths near windows, a weary party of post-wedding late-nighters in a darker, quieter enclave and families nestled in a separate section.

Servers strive to provide the level of service expected of The Ritz-Carlton. After our table neighbor orders ginger tea, which is not among the selections, a waiter quickly appears with a pot of tea and a dish of freshly grated ginger from the kitchen. Similarly, coffee cups filled with a custom European-style blend remain filled to the brim and are covered with saucers to keep them warm while you step away to the buffet.

Before you attempt the buffet, take your server’s advice as she suggests a strategy. She’s right — you’ll need a plan to nibble your way through the $59 brunch. Survey the offerings before you dive in headlong.

Roasted prime rib and whole roasted snapper being served at the carving station.

Roasted prime rib and whole roasted snapper being served at the carving station. All photos by Becky Stein/SPECIAL

Gleaming silver chaffing dishes hold breakfast standards — bacon, sausage, eggs benedict and dainty little cheese blintzes with tart raspberry sauce. Nearby, a chef stands ready to prepare a waffle or a fluffy omelet. Baskets of breakfast breads and bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, lemons, and Fairywood Thicket Farm jams share a station with morning pastries. Yet, be warned: Don’t fill up on bread.

Once you’re ready to ease into lunch, try one of the cold salads such as the vinaigrette-dressed greens with sweet strawberries, tangy artichoke hearts and shards of creamy dark chocolate — an interesting and playful combination. The selections change from week to week, influenced by the produce available at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

You’ll want to dally over the seafood and sushi stations where you’ll enjoy an array of choices including Malpeque oysters, shrimp, crab claws, all with traditional accompaniments and garnishes. Sample sushi specialties such as the California or shrimp tempura rolls made on-site each Sunday by the folks from Bishoku Japanese Restaurant. Or, layer a melt-in-your-mouth buckwheat blini with creme fraiche and one of three varieties of caviar for that Ritz experience you so craved.

Continue to pace yourself — many victuals still await. Make your way to the carving station for succulent prime rib with zippy horseradish sauce or a sliver of the day’s fish such as the seasoned snapper with a green, delicate and slightly sweet spring onion vinaigrette.

But, wait. There’s more — a charcuterie station with ham and salami, assorted mustards and wedges of both hard and soft cheeses. Sample the antipasti including grilled and marinated vegetables or hummus with lavash and toasted pita. Over at the saute station, taste whatever the chefs are cooking in small batches. Perhaps it will be the luscious seared scallop over ramp potato puree with silky scallop cream and tiny truffled croutons.

Keep your eyes peeled for the fun shot glasses and tear-shaped dishes tucked here and there. They contain some of the most interesting fare such as the roasted peach and tomato soup with a dropper of fizzy strawberry soda for you to plunge. Or, if you’re lucky, they will have the smooth foie gras and amaretto ganache in a pecan crisp or the textured raspberry-white-chocolate-salmon flan topped with salty shrimp mousse and served in a hollowed brown-egg shell.

The dessert station at The Café at The Ritz-Carlton features smooth creme brulee, glass jars of creamy strawberry shortcake and platters of chocolates and cookies.

The dessert station at The Café at The Ritz-Carlton features smooth creme brulee, glass jars of creamy strawberry shortcake and platters of chocolates and cookies.

What about those tall flutes of bubbly? You’ve got it — with a twist. Try the bubble bar (available after 12:30 p.m., $15 extra), complete with a bottomless glass to create your own bubbly cocktails with fruit purees, fresh berries, sugar cubes and creme de cassis.

Are you full-to-bursting yet? This is that divide-and-conquer moment — make a plan with your tablemates to share dessert. Dishes of smooth creme brulee, glass jars of creamy strawberry shortcake, platters of chocolates garnished with gold leaf stretch into the distance.

Leaving with a slight waddle to your step, you’ll feel pampered and indulged. Your needs were anticipated, your taste buds tickled and your belly nourished. You’ve just experienced “The Ritz-Carlton Mystique.”

$$3434 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead, 404-237-2700
Food: Brunch buffet
Service: High-level service with extreme attention to detail
Best dishes: Small plates tucked between stations like the chilled soup shooters.
Vegetarian selections: Cold salad station, antipasti, breakfast offerings and more
Price range: $$$$
Credit cards: All major credit cards
Hours: 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
Children: Fine, but well-behaved children best
Parking: Complimentary valet (if you have your ticket validated at The Café). The self-park lot is not owned by The Ritz-Carlton, and those tickets cannot be validated.
Reservations: Yes
Wheelchair access: Yes
Smoking: No
Noise level: Low
Patio: No
Takeout: No

53 comments Add your comment


April 12th, 2012
8:09 am

Really? Sunday brunch at the Ritz “defines excellence in local dining?”

I love Ritz Carltons. And Sunday brunch can be a (very occasional) fun indulgence if “eat all you can” is your idea of fun. But Sunday brunches are profit generators for hotels, designed to empty out wallets ($59!!) and restaurant coolers, and tempting people to fill up on cheap eye candy food (Belgian waffles, California rolls, hummus and pita bread)and bad champagne. But “carving stations” are oh so 1970, and I’m challenged to see beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce as thought provoking, cutting edge, or culinarily exciting.

I have no doubt that the Ritz Sunday brunch is the pick of the litter in the ATL. And yes, they dress it up with a few up to date dishes (though I’ll bet they fire a lot more waffles than they do foie gras amaretto ganaches).

I have come to the conclusion that one thing that defines fine dining is that it’s about the experience, the thought process, the creativity, the adventure. It’s not about (to use the industry term) “belly fill.” And in the end, that’s what Sunday brunch is about. It’s the meal of choice for folks who eat at French Laundry and complain afterwards about “the small portions.” As Anthony Bordain has recently been discussing, the idea of “waddling out of the restaurant” is one whose time has come and gone. There’s no impending ice age, and we really don’t need to store body fat for the coming lean season.


April 12th, 2012
8:10 am

Jenny Turknett

April 12th, 2012
9:24 am

Mark, I agree this is an indulgence, not your regular neighborhood brunch spot. And, yes, the carving station may be dated but it works because the Ritz is trying to provide a little something for everything, which they do very well.

I also agree with your point about the adventure versus belly fill, which I why I recommended folks avoid the bread/pastries and look for the specialty dishes scattered among stations. (As an aside, on each of my visits, I was surprised that I never saw a waffle prepared!)


April 12th, 2012
9:25 am

Fun review; I am now nostalgic and want the brunch. Small error; “chards of creamy dark chocolate” should be corrected to “SHARDS of creamy dark chocolate”.


April 12th, 2012
9:41 am

1st place goes to Jenny for a tactful response to Mark’s mini-rant – geez, lighten the heck up Budro. I’ve had a few opportunities to enjoy Nikolai’s, Bones, La Grotta, Panos & Pauls so I’m not like the “unwashed masses” who thrill to Long Horn’s and Outback (although I’m very happy for a meal at either establishment). Snobbism as in food or other mediums is so tiresome and unattractive. Brunch is brunch is brunch….you get your breakfast dishes and lunch dishes. To soar in gatronomic ecstasy stick with dinner in your private world of importance. Jenny, again, loved your comeback and would love to eat my way through the Ritz Carlton’s delightful sounding brunch offerings!


April 12th, 2012
11:23 am

I don’t know – $200 for brunch for two seems really excessive, even for eating at the Ritz. Now, brunch is by far the most polarizing of meals – people either love it or hate it – so you have opened up the flood gates for commentary!

I can’t personally see how eggs, waffles, sausage, etc. – regardless if they have other options – can really define excellence for local dining. This place gets the same rating as Restaurant Eugene, Empire State South – those chefs are nominated for James Beard Awars for what they are doing – and I haven’t seen the brunch at the Ritz Carlton nominated for anything even remotely similar to that.

At best, this should be three stars: “Merits a drive if looking for this kind of dining” – You want a great brunch for a special occasion in a luxurios setting? You should drive on over to the Ritz where you can get it. But it can’t define excellence in local dining (maybe the Cafe itself does, but you can’t judge the restaurant on what it serves for brunch!)


April 12th, 2012
11:26 am

@Lizzy (and Jenny too): sorry if it came across that curmudgeonly–or for that matter, that snobby. Still, I think what sets me off is the notion that this is the best that ATL can offer. Perhaps it’s oversensitivity to the (hated) star rating system, but I really don’t believe that this brunch, no matter how enjoyable, should be a presented as an example of the best that ATL has to offer.

Here’s my proof–there are about 40 Ritz Carlton hotels in the U.S. I would gladly wager that if blindfolded, you or I could not tell, based on the food, at which hotel we were eating. They ALL serve over the top, calorie laden, scrumptious (hey, I like the stuff, I just don’t think it’s haute cuisine) food indistinguishable from every other Ritz (not to mention hundreds of other five star hotels across the country). I would maintain that any restaurant whose food is indistinguishable from that found at the other 40 restaurants in the same chain cannot really be more than institutional food–really good institutional food, but not really exciting, and ultimately rewarding food.

I love places like Houstons. It’s a chain, but it does what it does as well as possible and it’s a great value. But just like this brunch, I would not want Houstons to be regarded as “defining excellence in fine dining.” If that’s really what fine dining in Atlanta has come to, it’s a sad commentary on the state of cuisine.

One way to prevent that is for all of us to demand a lot from places that take a ton of money from us for food. So, give the Ritz credit for what they do well, but let’s not call it the standard of fine dining for Atlanta.


April 12th, 2012
11:36 am

Let me clarify that when I talk about food at the Ritz, I’m speaking specifically about Sunday brunch, which tends to be mind-numbingly repetitive. Many Ritz hotel restaurants do serve creative and excellent dinners (though sadly, neither of the ATL Ritz’s do since the close of the Restaurant).

Jenny Turknett

April 12th, 2012
11:50 am

Thanks, Lizzy. Rebellious Rose — I must be dreaming of summer produce!

Jenny Turknett

April 12th, 2012
11:57 am

Mark, I went to brunch here multiple times over a few months. Yes, they have a formula in terms of stations, but I rarely saw the same two desserts, salads, fish, or other dishes. So, I wouldn’t call it “mind-numbingly repetitive.”


April 12th, 2012
11:58 am

@Mark – I’ve been to many great brunches, but nothing comes close to the Ritz. Doesn’t sound like you’ve even been (or been more than once) as, unlike most brunches, it distinguishes itself by NOT being mind-numbingly repetitive. And “calorie laden” is a somehow a criticism – wtf?!! If you want to spend your hard earned money on energy-bereft foods, then there’s a Darwin award in your future. And you’ll certainly have to reconsider that foie gras amaretto ganache you’re pining away for.

Kudos to Ritz Carlton for continuing to have things like prime rib carving stations. Fortunately for the rest of us, they’re more concerned with serving good food than catering to the elitist, narrow minded views of Bourdain and his acolytes…


April 12th, 2012
1:33 pm

Fun review; I am now nostalgic and want the brunch. Small error; “chards of creamy dark chocolate” should be corrected to “SHARDS of creamy dark chocolate”.

Actually in the United States we normally say “SHERDS” … THE ENGLISH SAY “SHARDS”. Archaeologists are picky about this.


April 12th, 2012
1:46 pm

This back and forth is killing the wonderful buzz I got reading this and imagining being at that buffet. Usually I like the commentary on this blog, but today….


April 12th, 2012
1:50 pm

If Mark could not gloat his I’m-So-Much-Better-Than-You attitude, it wouldn’t be a complete review, now, would it? “Insufferably-elite” is so 1990’s, Mark.


April 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

At first I thought Mark sounded whiney and grumpy but the more I read, the more I agreed with his point. I feel the same way about the brunch; i.e. it’s awesome and delicious but doesn’t define excellence in the dining scene here (neither does a hidden shot glass of chilled soup). I think the criticism is more directed towards the star system than anything else which is always a polarizing subject, such as whether Heirloom BBQ deserved 2 or 3 (clearly deserving of 3) stars.

Jenny, your review was great and accurate. The thing about the Ritz is that they control every aspect of your experience and it’s flawlessly excellent, and that’s something they are “mind-numbingly repetitive” at doing and the reason discerning people return in droves.


April 12th, 2012
2:04 pm

Don’t Mark’s comments generally refer to buffet style dining in general?

At some point it’s up to the patron to decide how much and what to consume. TRC in this instance is merely providing the spread.


April 12th, 2012
2:26 pm

for the love of god AJC, would you change the rating system already?


April 12th, 2012
2:52 pm

I do not think I have ever read such an intellectual blog concerning buffets. Some of your commentary, I actual had to find the meaning of the word in order to continue,but I enjoyed every point.


April 12th, 2012
3:36 pm

took my daughter and her friend here without knowing the price range. almost upchucked when i got the bill. guess i ain’t THAT fancy….


April 12th, 2012
3:41 pm

Watching people at the $10 Golden Corral buffet is more enjoyable than this…

And mark me as another person that would like AJC to change the rating system. A restaurant can’t get above 2 or 3 stars unless they charge $50 a plate…

Rhett Butler

April 12th, 2012
4:01 pm

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.


April 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

Hey Mark, you’re not trying hard enough….

Sudoko Princess

April 12th, 2012
4:33 pm

What happened to Gene Lee?


April 12th, 2012
5:04 pm

All – Mark has been pretty tactful in expressing his opinion. He brings several valid points, most centered on the rating system. While the Ritz is typically the pinnacle when it comes to service and refinement, they are not infallible. After two back to back years of a long running Christmas brunch tradition – the Ritz-Buckhead dropped the ball on our reservations. The first year, they politely found a table for us and met our needs. The second time, I made the reservation while staying at another Ritz in Dallas – called to confirm my reservations two additional times and they still dropped the ball. Needless to say, we’ve launched a new Christmas day brunch tradition!

Also – one hears we’re going from a 5 star system to a 5 peach system – whoohoo!

Soupy Sales

April 12th, 2012
5:04 pm

I tend to agree that the rare 4-stars award is a bit much for brunch, even at the Ritz-Carlton. Besides, if you’re going to do a dining review at the Cafe at the Ritz-Carlton, why wouldn’t you focus on the regular dinner menu currently offered there by Todd Richards? After all, that is the source of the dishes mentioned in this review as being the most creative and delicious. (I’ve been delighted (twice in the past few months) at how well he’s maintaining the fine-dining legacy of the Restaurant. Yet I can’t find a single local review giving props.)


April 12th, 2012
5:14 pm

I hate to be one of the jerk’s that does nothing but criticize the ajc dining bloggers (who do a generally fine job), but for a starred review, this did read a somewhat like the South Dakota Olive Garden review.


April 12th, 2012
5:15 pm

whoops – random apostrophe – I guess I do look like a jerk.


April 12th, 2012
5:39 pm

Since brunch is an internationally accepted phenomenon, this one seems like a blast from the past. Why wouldn’t this brunch have variety in terms of cuisine or cultures? Go to Singapore or HK or even Harbin in China, and you will find an extensive spread from all over the world,

Personally, I think brunches at restaurants are a waste of money and prefer getting friends over for whatever they like to eat. We have had dishes from Kenya ,Western India , dim sums and modern American fare at our home. ATL hotels are good convention hotels at best.


April 12th, 2012
6:00 pm

Someone please tell me. If The Ritz is not fine dinning, then where/who in Atlanta is?


April 12th, 2012
8:06 pm

I certainly want to go there.

Everything in Hollywood is calculated. EVERYTHING. If they can get your attention, then they can get your dollars.


April 12th, 2012
10:44 pm

@Tom: North Dakota, not South Dakota. Trust this native South Dakotan, there is a difference. North and South Carolinians would agree. But I agree with your comment about the overall tone. If narrated, it would have been in a breathless manner. ;-)


April 13th, 2012
6:53 am

to recap, Jenny has taken hits for reviewing: a) brunch, b) brunch instead of dinner at The Ritz, c) The Ritz because it’s (gasp) a hotel, therefore relegated to trailer park status, and (drums rolling to the high heavens) d) assigned FOUR stars…..Jenny, dear Jenny, what were you thinking…. FOUR stars canNOT be assigned to anything remotely related to “A CHAIN” establishment. Dear girl, it simply isn’t done………..the psuedo foodies are quaking in their insecure, wannabe little worlds. If a lowly pastry display is within 20 feet of a (grimace) buffet spread it has debased the surrounding food stuffs. Let us all have a group hug and for Jenny’s fight to regain her reputation as a restaurant reviewer who never stoops to the lowly depths of reviewing brunch, a hotel, a hotel part of a chain, or a cuisine selection with much sneered at humble carb selections. A hush fell over metro Atlanta.


April 13th, 2012
9:54 am

Come on, guys! This isn’t even a real review–it’s just an April Fools Joke/Tribute to Marilyn Hagerty’s Olive Garden review. Jenny got you good. She doesn’t even mention the quality or taste of the food, so how could it be a restaurant review? Well played, Turknett, well played. :)


April 13th, 2012
10:13 am

I love brunch. I’ve been to brunch at many, many places in & around Atlanta. From Thumbs Up Diner to our annual Easter brunch at 103 West, brunch is truly one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to the Ritz for brunch. At first, I admit to being a bit put off by the price. After all, it is a hotel brunch buffet. And then I started looking around. Though tradtional elements were still present, as Jenny noted, there were also some amazing treasures tucked in among the rest. Forget the omlette station, I went for the good stuff. Each of the small plate bites was perfectly executed and beautifully plated. The belly busting part of this buffet was in my inability to stop eating those. I guess if you really wanted that “still-hungry prix-fixe experience,” you could take one of each of those & call it a day.

One traditional item I will comment on is the bacon. The Ritz accomplished something I have yet to see anywhere else ever – crispy, buffet bacon. Perfectly crispy buffet bacon. This brunch is certainly worth the splurge.


April 13th, 2012
10:36 am

I agree with a previous post that more people find the four star rating, thus on the level with Restaurant Eugene and Bacchanalia a bit presumptuous. I think Jenny is in a tough spot here because the Ritz’s brunch is probably worthy of a 4 star rating in the brunch world but certainly does not compare to the above mentioned restaurants. If she rated it any lower, it would imply a lesser brunch experience/operation which it does not appear to be, again in brunch world.
Everyone has their own opinion on the merits of the traditional brunch buffet, but in this case it appears that the Ritz nails it.

Great sandwich!

April 13th, 2012
11:51 am

@Maggie…you’re right! Jenny doesn’t mention the taste of the food at all, only the atmosphere, a listing of what was offered and the overall experience, but nothing about the taste of the food. I agree that this review does not merit 4 stars…maybe 3, but not 4. I always have problems with star rating systems. Even in Knife and Fork, when they review a totally awesome, amazing ethnic restaurant, for example, they never give 4 stars. The most I’ve seen for a restaurant that is not in the category of Empire State South, Restaurant Eugene, etc. is a 3, usually 2 1/2. If a restaurant is the best of its kind (whether bbq, Korean, Jamaican, etc)., why shouldn’t it get a higher star rating?

Maggie can't read

April 13th, 2012
1:39 pm

@Jenny – surely you don’t expect people to actually read the review before commenting on it?!!

I suppose there’s a reason why you’re writing these reviews and folks like Maggie and Great sandwich aren’t – apparently they wouldn’t recognize a food descriptor if it hit them on the head.


April 13th, 2012
1:48 pm

I am curious, how many of you commenters, with such negative things to say, have actually been to brunch at the Ritz? Many say a brunch shouldn’t merit so many stars, others berate the reviewer for no apparent reason. If you’ve been there & found the experience or food to be less than 4 stars, I’d love to hear why. If you, like I, have been there & also experienced “The Ritz Mystique,” I’d love to hear more about it. Personal experiences with restaurants are helpful, rude & mean comments are not.


April 13th, 2012
3:17 pm

What everyone is missing is the local food sourcing, the support of small business and farms in Atlanta, and the exceptional and amazing service. Brunch? Fine dining? Dinner Service? or simply cocktails, No where in Atlanta makes you feel more catered to and pampered. It is elegance and class, that is so missing from the Atlanta scene. It does not matter if you are there for Prom or Buisness lunch or what ever they treat you like you are the number one guest at that moment, the Chef team is amazing, they will go out of thier way to make your experience on of a kind!


April 13th, 2012
3:56 pm

Been There…Done That. Indeed am amazing display and wonderfully executed. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Hard to say but In-Laws love in when in town. Worth twice that to get them out of town happy. No one else in Atlanta does it this well and like someone previous said, if this ain’t 4 star what is? Well done Jenny. Great job describing the food and it’s presentation. How did it taste? I ‘m assuming it tasted as good as it looked or were the stars for the elaborate display?


April 14th, 2012
9:56 am

Oh well, can’t resist:

@Edward, 5thGenATL, Lizzy, PJ, et al: My tendency to sound effete and pretentious is likely the result of my sixth grade English teacher, a fabulous wordsmith who may have had excessively high expectations for me, but certainly had an effect!

Let me give this one more long winded try. I am not criticizing Jenny, whose reviews I always enjoy and respect. And yes, I have been to the Ritz Sunday brunch, here in ATL and at maybe a half dozen Ritz Carltons elsewhere in the U.S. And there is really good food there, though I’m at an age now where my ability to consume mass quantities of food has sadly diminished, thus reducing some of the reward (I would have thought this brunch was heaven when I was 20). But no arguments that the food and service are top-notch
My eternal gripe though is with the state of fine dining in ATL. So, regarding comments from Kendall and JR, no, this really isn’t 4-star. The problem is that Atlanta no longer HAS fine dining. Atlanta has, maybe at most, three or four places that qualify—Bacchanalia, Eugene, maybe Aria, maybe Bones. But really, are these places you would brag on to a foodie coming from NYC, or Boston, or Philly, or LA,? Let’s play the name game:

He’s from NYC, I’m from Atlanta. He leads with 11 Madison. Or Café Boulud. Or Le Bernardin. Or momofuku. And I respond with—-the Sunday brunch at the Ritz??? That’s the best we have to offer???

Or he’s from Chicago. He shows Next. Or Alinea. Or Moto. Or Avenue.

Not fair? Cities much bigger than ATL? How about Charleston? Husk. McCrady’s. FIG. Heck, even Tampa has Bern’s—sure, just a steakhouse, but with a half-million bottle wine cellar and over 6800 selections on the list.

Atlanta has many disadvantages compared to other cities, in particular a low number of high end tourists who support these kinds of institutions. But wouldn’t it be cool if we had just ONE place that folks from across the country were excited about, a place where people would call months in advance to get a reservation at 5:30 on a Sunday? One way to create such a culture is to have high expectations, and that obligation extends, in my belief, to influential reviewers in that city. We can do better than to claim that the Ritz brunch is as good as we can get.

And finally, yes, this is food snobbism. It’s not for everyone. It’s like a $500 bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or a Mahler symphony, or a Bugatti Type 35, or the left tackle play of Joe Thomas, or knowing why climbing K2 is more impressive than Everest. That’s not saying that you can’t love a $10 bottle of Ridge Zin, or a Mazda MX-5, or Tom Brady’s play just as much. But there is something rewarding about spending the time, and thought, and even in some cases the money, to appreciate things at an even higher level.

Peanut Gallery

April 14th, 2012
3:16 pm


Please open that high end restaurant in Atlanta and show us how it’s done. Jenny can do her review and we can meet here again to enjoy more literary works of art! I’ m serious, you sound like a capable detail oriented perfectionist and have defined the niche with a void!

Hosea Williams Driving School

April 14th, 2012
10:21 pm

Seated next to me at the R-C breakfast buffet last weekend: Former Atlanta celebrity Virginia Gunn. She farted 3 times.


April 14th, 2012
10:24 pm

Todd Richards. The chef’s name is Todd Richards. It’s strange he wasn’t mentioned in the review. Good job Todd!


April 15th, 2012
8:36 am

If you save up the cash and want to have something special, this looks like the place to do it!


April 15th, 2012
11:30 am

Mark, you don’t just sound effete and pretentious. You are. Fine dining is a matter of perception. To you, obviously, it means spending $500+ per person for the opportunity to be seen spending $500+ per person “enjoying” a sliver of raw Alsatian goose liver with a sea urchin sperm foam. I, and many others, now denounce that banal facade of superiority in favor of creativity without the pretense, of deliciousness without the haughty attitude. In that regard, I (and others) find several dining rooms worthy of the title “fine dining” here in Atlanta. There are a good selection of fine restaurants in Atlanta in which to entertain guests from any locale without being embarrassed. Unless, of course, your guests are as effete and pretentious as the host.
The one thing I can agree upon with you is the ludicrous star rating system used here on the AJC blogs. Why Kessler & Company feel the need to reinvent the wheel is beyond me. Every other publication uses a rather standard star rating system that is easily understood by millions of people, without any explanations in many cases. But here? No, we are subjected to a completely contrived rating system that requires a full-page key in order to gain any hope of understanding. Forget a simple glance to see if a place is 1-star forgettable or 3-star “lets try it”. No, here a 1-star MIGHT be a great place to try but you can’t know that without reading the entire review. I suppose that is by design, get eyes on the reviews (and the accompanying advertisements) to generate revenue for the AJC. But, it makes using the reviews here as a quick determining factor on “where do we want to dine tonight” useless. God help me, but Yelp is a better quick indication than the star ratings here.


April 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

Mark… are an All-Star name dropper! Can’t you just hear all the other posters laughing their ass off at you. I sure did. WOW, you must be a very interesting guy at a party!!!!!l lol


April 16th, 2012
9:47 am

So Mark is comparing a $10 bottle of wine and a Mazda MX-5 to Tom Brady? I know Tom is no Joe Thomas, c’mon who is but I at least think he is worthy of a Porsche Cayenne reference. Shoot I knew I should have climbed K-2 instead of Everest. Next time….


April 16th, 2012
10:29 am

Americans have certain expectations when it comes to a brunch – they want an omelette station, they want dozens of tiny dessert options, they want someone carving ham or roast beef. Doing something like this well, with attentive service and enough other food items to make it interesting, can arguably be given four stars. This isn’t comparing a Sunday brunch anywhere to dinner at Bacchanalia.

When I take my mother out to lunch on Sundays, we usually avoid brunch buffets because the high price is justified by huge amounts of shellfish, and she has an allergy. (This also made our last visit to Le Bernardin interesting – they actually had a “why are you here?” attitude. And we didn’t get an egg.) So, where is a good place for brunch in Atlanta that isn’t a buffet, but is still a “fine dining” experience?


April 16th, 2012
11:16 am

If not having that many fine dining choices in Atlanta means that pretentious dorks like Mark stay away, it just may be worth the trade off.