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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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KR SteakBar opens big

Chef Kevin Rathbun’s eagerly anticipated casual Italian-inspired place, KR SteakBar in Peachtree Hills, surprised fans with a stealth bar opening on Feb. 19.

Kevin Rathbun (Credit: Rathbuun Restaurants)

Kevin Rathbun

The entire restaurant was open for business the next day, and inundated with reservations all week, as anxious crowds elbowed in around the bar.

“We got clobbered on Friday,” Rathbun said, grabbing a brief break on a bar stool early on Saturday evening before hustling back to the kitchen.

Executed by chef de cuisine Chris McDade, who Rathbun allowed, “has “taught [him] a few things,” the KR menu focuses on small plates, pasta, and wood-grilled meat, fish and poultry.

In many ways, the menu — not to mention the open and casual ADAC space and the more sophisticated bar program — appears as the fourth refinement in the evolution of what has become Kevin Rathbun’s Restaurants.

The “official” website (kevinrathbun.com/restaurants) links to Rathbun’s, Krog Bar, Kevin Rathbun Steak and KR SteakBar.

Clicking the links and scrolling through the different menus can be an entertaining exercise in culinary stratigraphy, revealing successful restaurant layers going back to 2004, when Rathbun opened his flagship namesake, Rathbun’s, then Krog in 2005, Steak in 2007, and KR in 2013.

On Saturday, a couple at the bar sipped a Negroni, then worked their way through the KR menu in classic Italian fashion, ordering glasses of wine and sharing each dish — a simple artichoke and lemon appetizer; a pasta course of trenette, clams, white wine and parsley; eye of ribeye with aged balsamic and arugula; soft ricotta cake, sorghum strawberries and basil; cappucinos.

But with all the new Italian takes, Rathbun seemed most excited about simply getting to grill over wood.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do in Atlanta,” he said. “It’s like going back to my Texas roots.”

KR SteakBar, 349 Peachtree Hills Ave., 404-841-8820, krsteakbar.com.

— By Bob Townsend, Food and More blog


24 comments Add your comment

Ptree Hills Resident

February 25th, 2013
3:30 pm

We ate there Friday night and were extremely disappointed because we had such high expectations. They opened this restaurant too early especially considering they did not even have a functioning restroom, just a portapotty outside (it was pouring down rain). The entrees, appetizers & prices were not thought out. The size of the entrees were too small and were priced too high. We enjoyed the drinks and the service but everything else was awful. I hope they turn it around because it has the potential to do very well in this area.

J

February 25th, 2013
3:38 pm

100% agree with poster above..We ate there Friday night as well and were very dissapointed. I understand they were slammed and will try again in a few months once things have settled down.

Good Food Eater

February 25th, 2013
3:41 pm

What?! Without a working restroom you couldn’t possibly get a CO or pass the health inspection to be open.

Allie F.

February 25th, 2013
4:06 pm

Just another over-hyped, over-priced mediocre Kevin Rathbun eatery.

Steve

February 25th, 2013
4:36 pm

Went there Saturday night. Pastas were great. Meat/Fish dishes were cooked perfectly, but WAY too small. Servers need to do a better job explaining that you have to add sides to the main dishes. Overall, the food and drinks hit the spot. We did find the menu to be a bit pricey (given the portion sizes), but its hard to complain about quality of ingridients and prep.

Also, I will attribute it to their first weekend, but need to do a better job managing reservations. We arrived 15 minutes early but were finally seated almost 45 min after our reservation time.

In the words of Seinfeld… “you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.” :)

Still, look forward to going back soon!

Steve

February 25th, 2013
4:40 pm

@Allie Sorry, but there is nothing over-hyped or over-priced about either Rathbun’s or Rathbun’s Steak. They’re two of the best restaurants in the city.

all4jesus

February 25th, 2013
5:24 pm

We were praying for steak all week, so naturally when we found out Jesus was taking us to a new Italian place we were a little bit worried (especially with Pontius being Italian and all).
But as it turned out we couldn’t have been happier.
Our reservation was at 8:30 and we got there around 8:45 because we knew they would be busy and Luther wanted to watch the end of a movie on NetFlix before we left the house.
We were lucky enough to get seats at the bar, and were delighted by the great service despite the crowd. Shirley had a glass of Chardonnay and I had a Rob Roy. Jesus had his usual – Sapphire matini with a twist.
The hostess never came back for us, so we ended up eating at the bar, and everything was terrific.
We were there until nearly midnight, and we ended up spending nearly $700.00 – for four people. That doesn’t include the deserts because Kevin gave us those – everybody always wants to comp Jesus a desert.
Anyway, the deserts are on par with the other KR places – I assume Kurt still runs the pastry show because it’s a not-very-well kept secret that he is the best in town.
We had sweetbreads (better than H&F), octopus (not as good as Abbattoire) and the lamb tartar (best I’ve ever had), nad one of each from the pasta menu, except for the spaghetti because the last time we tried to share spaghetti Jesus ended up getting confused and eating off of someone else’s plate and when they objected he hit them in the head with his pasta spoon. He did it playfully (in the way you hit a total stranger in the head with an eating utensil after drinking on the golf course all day), but it ended badly and we are no longer allowed in LaGrotta (well, just the Buckhead one, but who goes to Perimeter anymore?)
Since it was Friday Jesus got the scallops (but he ended up eating half of my lamb chops), Luther got a bottle of wine and a double order of the polenta – because he says Kevin’s polenta is the best in the world. I got pork bellies and ended up putting most of them in a napkin and putting them in my coat pocket and taking them home to Jackson. They were good but they were salty and I was already dehydrated from all my medication.
Anyway, everything was great, and I am sure we’ll be back.
And just a tip: Peachtree Hills Park closes at dark and if you get caught there with your pants off – even in the car – you’ll probably end up going to jail. So if you’re into that kind of thing, and I’m not saying you are, just remember, go back out south on Piedmont and you’ll be right where you need to be for that sort of thing before you now it.

Dave

February 25th, 2013
5:31 pm

@all4jesus — most incredible comment in recent memory. kudos.

Disappointed

February 25th, 2013
7:47 pm

Attention Atlanta Police Department: I would like to report a robbery.

Time: Friday, February 22nd

Place: KR Steakbar

Incident Report: 2 headed shrimp and 2 fishy scallops: $21
4 tiny steak morsels: $19
1 watery bowl of flavorless polenta: $6
4 baked fingerling potatoes: $6

Victims spent the remainder of the weekend reeling from their fleecing. Counseling is being sought out. Local residents are cautioned to dine at their own risk.

Steven

February 25th, 2013
9:12 pm

hard to judge a restaurant on their first weekend. Always give at least 2-3 months before you check it out.

rip and read

February 26th, 2013
12:50 am

Just another overpriced, expense account Rathbun restaurant. Recently ate at KR Steak and was it ever disappointing. Way too expensive even for USDA Prime beef. Appetizers are crazy overpriced and sides that at a high end steak house are usually shareable are pitifully small.
4 years ago KR Steak was truly a great restaurant. Now it is just a profit cow for Rathbun restaurant group. I will leave table’s open for the AMEX Black card holders.

berry steve

February 26th, 2013
8:29 am

I does take courage to open an ‘expense account’& ’small portion’type resturant. I am sure they know more about what folks crave than I do.

Edward

February 26th, 2013
11:00 am

I’m looking forward to trying KR Steakbar in a month or so, it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Nobody who knows anything about food would even think about going to a restaurant on opening night, or even opening week. Some people just beg for a reason to complain.

Grasshopper

February 26th, 2013
12:32 pm

So are you calling Mr. Townsend an idiot Edward?

Because it sure sounds like he went there on opening week.

Cobra

February 26th, 2013
1:11 pm

@Grasshopper:
I believe Edward was referring to the idiocy of J, Ptree Hills Resident and Disappointed.
Those were the individuals who voluntarily went to the brand new restaurant and then complained that it had a “brand-new” feeling. Mr. Townsend is a professional food-writer, so he knows what to expect from a first-run restaurant night. Actually, Mr. Townsend never mentioned that he went to the restaurant, so I am not even sure he did. He stated that it opened; he briefly described the menu; and he gave a couple of quotes from the restaurateur.
Perhaps, you, Grasshopper, are the idiot.

SP

February 26th, 2013
1:21 pm

Anyone who goes to a restaurant on opening weekend should know better. I am ignoring all you idiots because clearly you don’t know how or when to eat out in this town. Rathbun Steak is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to (and I don’t eat red meat so that should say something), therefore I am looking forward to checking out his new venture. But I’m not going to go right this minute. Puhlease, people! Have some patience and you’ll never be disappointed no matter how much you spend.

Grasshopper

February 26th, 2013
3:18 pm

Cobra, Mr. Townsend wrote —

“On Saturday, a couple at the bar sipped a Negroni, then worked their way through the KR menu in classic Italian fashion, ordering glasses of wine and sharing each dish — a simple artichoke and lemon appetizer; a pasta course of trenette, clams, white wine and parsley; eye of ribeye with aged balsamic and arugula; soft ricotta cake, sorghum strawberries and basil; cappucinos.”

He also directly quoted the chef. Unless he has a fantastic imagination or had a stealth camera installed, he was there.

Edward said —

“Nobody who knows anything about food would even think about going to a restaurant on opening night, or even opening week. Some people just beg for a reason to complain.”

So Edward questions Mr. Townsend’s common sense.

Perhaps Ptree Hills and Disappointed opinions will be noted by the restaurateur and he can make some adjustments before the ‘real’ reviews come in. Or do you think that diners opinions don’t matter during the first week of service? I would think that is when they would matter the most.

Ptree Hills Resident

February 26th, 2013
4:09 pm

Brand new feeling? Sorry if I expect working restrooms when I visit a restaurant, especially when paying so much for such small (not good either) portions. How dare I be so demanding?!

Ptree Hills Resident

February 26th, 2013
4:11 pm

Also, I can understand poor price points and poor tasting foods from a new venture but this is not Kevin’s first restaurant.

Dave

February 26th, 2013
5:27 pm

Enter your comments here

Dave

February 26th, 2013
5:33 pm

Oh darn. Sorry about the errant entry push. I’m not the Dave that commented above; but, I’ve got a dollar says that all4jesus cross-posted his or her comment at Yelp.

I do hope you, Jesus, Shirley and Luther are doing well and sincerely hope you took that dangerous, yet playful spoon, away from Jesus.

Jeez.

Dave

February 26th, 2013
5:45 pm

All4jesus is a parady. Got me.

Art

February 26th, 2013
6:10 pm

Oh my goodness, this is turning into “Peyton Place”…. Can’t we all just watch “The Bachelor” and “DWTS” in peace?? ;>)

Edward

February 26th, 2013
11:00 pm

Why does anyone bother to write a comment, just let Mr. Grasshopper write down what he thinks you wrote, even if it is a complete and utter misrepresentation of your words. You people are a joke, a badly written joke.