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The best restaurants in Atlanta 2009: Songs of the South

Abattoir's chicken liver and foie gras mousse/Credit: AJC

Abattoir's chicken liver and foie gras mousse/Credit: AJC

The lagging economy can’t stop Atlanta’s restaurants from setting a pace that’s continually being recognized nationally. We have great restaurants, and we’re not afraid to show it. With the entire ruckus, a brand new breed of regional cuisine has emerged. Restaurants that exude modernity while embracing what’s best about Southern cooking have blossomed as examples of what’s best about Atlanta dining now: farm-fresh ingredients, artisanal methods from cheese making to butchery and the love of preserving. Plus there’s always dessert, something these restaurants prove is at the top of any great Southern menu. These six restaurants exemplify what’s best about Atlanta restaurants now.

ABATTOIR ****

1170 Howell Mill Road, inside the White Provision complex, Atlanta, 404-892-3335

Atlanta’s most lauded restaurateurs, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, have created in Abattoir a personal statement that has already become, after recently opening this past summer, a benchmark in Atlanta dining. Much has been made of the meat-centric menu, created by Quatrano and chef Joshua Hopkins. But eating here is about so much more than offal, alternative meat cuts and innards. The vegetables, whether in a crisped salad of fresh farm lettuces crowned with a poached egg and bacon or in a pickling of cabbage served from a jar, are as much a reason to crow about Abattoir as the chicken liver and foie gras mousse laced with Armagnac. Add a weathered, modern farmhouse look, an excellent cocktail list and a staff that pleases, and Abattoir may be the best reason yet to embrace your inner carnivore while eating your veggies.

CAKES & ALE ****

54 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-377-7994

Chef-owner Billy Allin and wife Kristin have created in Cakes & Ale the perfect balance between farm fresh (the couple grows many of the vegetables on the menu in their back yard) and friendly. The menu, drawn nightly on a large blackboard, is part seasonal, part standard and all genius: My last meal here offered crisped spears of okra (soon to be gone, I’m sure), perfect in heat and texture, lightly battered with cornmeal to be dipped in house-made ranch dressing. Order your own; they are not to be shared. Ditto the hot orbs of arancini, laced with bee pollen and fennel, served in a papered cone like fair food. Fish is something Allin cooks better than most chefs in the city, even though the fresh corn and pole beans in brodo under a halibut steak could stand on their own. Desserts, from pastry chef Cynthia Wong, are playfully plebian: The soft, cream-filled “phatty cakes” have become city legend, and warm chocolate pudding with soft cream served in a pickling jar will conjure memories of mom’s apron strings. Editor’s note: If you’re noticing an extra star at the end of the restaurant’s name, that’s because there is one: No restaurant has proved its mettle more than Cakes & Ale since it’s opening, so it’s gone from a three- to four-star status.

4th & SWIFT ****

621 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta, 678-904-0160

The space is classic Atlanta: a roomy, cavernous affair drawn from the remnants of the Southern Dairies building; the stylish bar drapes one side of the massive room while a modern dining room is set on another. Both set the stage for chef-owner Jay Swift’s contemporary Southern menu. And from soup to nuts, Swift delivers – his soups are always a best start to a meal here, from creamy roasted corn to more fall-like inspirations of butternut squash with maple cream. A plate of Berkshire pork belly, loin, and house-made sausage has become a signature, served with the restaurant’s decadent macaroni-and-cheese. Swift’s hand is subtle, and it’s not unusual to see heirloom vegetables highlighted as nightly specials.

JCT KITCHEN ****

1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252

JCT Kitchen has, from the start, exemplified what’s best about modern Southern cooking. Chef-owner Ford Fry adds to fresh, well-sourced ingredients classical French technique and Southern sensibilities, creating a menu that turns our timeless notion of how we cook on its ear. From his otherworldly fried chicken (part crispy, part juicy) with mac-and cheese so rich and creamy it should have its own zip code to “angry” mussels spiced and peppered with serrano chile, bacon and a bit of onion in a broth that borders on creaminess, this kitchen offers a tasty take on all that’s right about the Southern dining now. Desserts set the bar high for other offerings; rarely do I find anything to argue about with milky, sugar-and-rum sopped tres leches topped with coconut, or soft gingerbread pudding cake with tart Meyer lemon curd. Barkeep Lara Creasy adds a sexy dimension to the cocktails, too: Try her “fields of gold” with Number 209 gin, chamomile-infused vermouth, local honey, lemon juice and fennel pollen.

Gingerbread pudding cake and lemon curd at JCT Kitchen/ Credit: AJC

Gingerbread pudding cake and lemon curd at JCT Kitchen/ Credit: AJC

REPAST ****

620 Glen Iris Drive, Atlanta. 404-870-8707

Alluring Medjool dates wrapped with bacon and stuffed with marcona almonds notwithstanding, Repast’s menu has become a reflection of chef-owners and husband-and-wife team Joe Truex and Mihoko Obunai’s yin yang of talents and tastes. I’m not a fan of the all-Eastern selections, such as the congee-like lobster and king crab nabe yaki, but when these two put their heads together in the kitchen the results are a blessed meeting of East meets South. Stewed and curried okra with peanuts and dishes such as crab cakes “Repast style,” which are firmer and more purin pudding-like than their Western counterparts, marry Truex’s Southern roots with Obunai’s Japanese ancestry. And the truffled corn, creamed and served au gratin, is just plain mind numbing, no matter what side of the planet you’re on. Desserts are always special, and where Obunai’s touch is most appreciated, from a creamy olive oil cake with marcona almond ice cream to coconut cream in a crispy jasmine rice tart.

SHAUN’S ****

1029 Edgewood Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-4358

When chef-owner Shaun Doty’s eponymous restaurant in Inman Park opened in 2007, it was instantly to Atlanta what the Savings & Loan was to Bedford Falls: a genuine place to go and, in the restaurant’s case, eat. Since then, the East Village style chicken livers over toast, steak frites with fries “graisse de carnard” style and pork schnitzel with lemon and peanuts have become some of the best reasons to eat out in Atlanta. Doty cooks seasonally, so things change here as much as they remain the same, but let’s hope he always manages to keep the sticky toffee pudding on the menu, no matter the season. Its gooey, sticky butterscotch-y goodness gets my vote as one of the best desserts the city has to offer.

74 comments Add your comment

Chris

October 29th, 2009
8:52 am

Shaun’s? Really? C’mon Meredith! The food is average, but the it’s the service that ensured I will not return. My party of 4 went on a Saturday night and had to wait an hour for a table even though we had a reservation. The hostess acted like she really couldn’t care less. Our server was dull and inefficient. I am quite familiar with Shaun Doty’s talent, so I guess my expectations were too high. I expected something more than just average from a chef of his caliber. This city has so many more restaurants that provide a better dining experience, so Shaun’s does not warrant a “Best of” anything.

Not JCT fan

October 29th, 2009
9:08 am

I had a horrible service problem at JCT Kitchen….slllllloooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww service, it ruined the whole night. and it was our anniversary dinner, so that made it worse. The food was good, but maybe we didnt order the right things because we werent swooning…or maybe it was the hour wait from taking our appetizer plates to getting our dinners that did it.

We did REALLY enjoy our visit to 4th & swift back in the spring.

Skinny Cake

October 29th, 2009
9:42 am

Here we go again – can there ever be a food review in this city without mentioning “phatty cakes”? I am so sick and tired of hearing about these fat soaked dough balls over and over and over again that I vow NEVER to go to Cakes and Ale because of it. Get a life, food reviewers and find another dessert to talk about. There are over 5000 restaurants in this metro area, surely another one makes a good dessert, don’t ya think?

jimmy

October 29th, 2009
9:58 am

Other than the burger, I’ve heard nothing but disappointing things about JCT the last few months. My last visit the shrimp and grits were so salty I gave up on trying to eat them.

Ted

October 29th, 2009
11:38 am

Every one of these restaurants are inspiring in they’re own right. To all the people who have horrible restaurant experiences: Mention your problem to the restaurant while you are still there. Give them the chance to fix it. Running home and posting “I hate it” annomously on the internet doesn’t solve the problem.

jay

October 29th, 2009
12:24 pm

Three Cheers for Ted!! Well said.

Rodney

October 29th, 2009
12:46 pm

+1 for Ted – I totally agree. I’ve been to each of these, several times each, and have yet to experience anything un-ordinary. Sure, if you choose to go out in a group of ten at 8:30pm Saturday, you’re going to wait. Anywhwew. So some of the service issues may be the poster’s own doing.

Myself? I never make a rezzie for more than four people. There’s just too much involved in large parties. I rarely ever even attend a more-than-4-top party if I can help it.

If I had to rank the five, based on my own opinion, it would be 4th and Swift, Abattoir, Shaun’s, JCT Kitchen, Repast.

But I never turn down an invite to any of them! :) (hint, hint, Meridith … in case you ever want to start a “guest” review)

And I’ll close with this – GO KEVIN! (Top Chef reference)

Lance

October 29th, 2009
1:04 pm

4th and Swift is Fabulous! All across the board! Shauns food is “good” not great and the service there stinks! We had a party of 10 on a not so busy Sat night and they were just over-matched. If it wasn’t for the watermelon martini we all would have walked out after average apps.

concerned.

October 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

This list can only be explained by one of two things you are getting kickbacks or you had your tastebuds removed. When you named Tierra as the best restaurant in Atlanta that was truly a gem but JCT???? I’m pretty sure it stands for Just Crappy Tasting as the food is merely ok on its best day. And Shaun’s??? Granted the pork buns are amazing but the rest is simply ok.

JCT Fan

October 29th, 2009
2:01 pm

We have had two office lunches at JCT and it was supurb both times. Service was great and the “regional” food was perfect. We’re lunching with some of our vendors in mid-November and the first choice of everyone is JCT. Congratulations to them for making your list.

wine with meal

October 29th, 2009
2:08 pm

No review of ABATTOIR is complete without mentioning their diner-respectful wine pricing. ~2x wholesale pricing on bottles — instead of the more characteristic 3x,4x, or more — lowers anxiety & risk and increases diners’ willingness to experiment with and enjoy pairing wine with food. I hope that Anne & Clifford are able to re-write the rules for wine in restaurants in Atlanta, the way they already have with food.

Fried chicken lover

October 29th, 2009
2:09 pm

As my name aludes, I love good fried chicken, and JCT has the best fried chicken I have ever tasted. The truffle fries are also superb. I’ve never had a service problem there and I think it completely deserves to be on this list.

Chris

October 29th, 2009
2:36 pm

To Ted: We did mention our lackluster experience to the manager on duty, and he offered only a lukewarm apology. Nothing else. I went so far as to write a personal letter to Shaun Doty himself, and never received a response of any type. So we did bring the service issue to the attention of those who we thought might care.

Food Fan

October 29th, 2009
3:17 pm

Repast is the WORST – overpriced food, poor service, and a pompous chef at the helm who plays with the food too much. Everything has been overworked & overdone to the point that it tastes mushy & bland (especially the crab cake Meredith notes – ugh!). I can not understand how it keeps getting good reviews. Save your money for 4th and Swift across the street – or better yet – my nomination for a 7th spot that epitomizes Atlanta cuisine right now in Serpas. @ Wine with meal – Serpas is another great restaurant with a large selection of wines at very reasonable prices, and I agree with you that there needs to be a push for more reasonable wines in this dining-out recession.

CC

October 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

I always love the OTP commenters that come into town for a decent dinner once a year on a busy friday night at a popular spot and then are flabbergased and flummoxed that the place doesn’t drop everything you they are doing and cater to them. Great places get busy, get over it.

All of these places are great, with Woodfire as a rising star fast on their heels.

Jim

October 29th, 2009
3:47 pm

Things don’t seem to change with him or his restaurants. I went once and only once to Mumbo Jumbo and had the exact same experience if not worse. Their joke of an attitude combined with average food means I have not and will not ever set foot in one of his establishments again.

Jim

October 29th, 2009
3:50 pm

The above refers to anything Shaun Doty touches.

Bill

October 29th, 2009
5:28 pm

That you left off Woodfire Grill and Rathbun’s indicates that you need to get out more. JCT Kitchen???? Wisteria is better!

Rosita

October 29th, 2009
6:27 pm

I luv you darlin but please learn the difference between it’s and its and how to spell plebeian.

Elliot Garcia

October 29th, 2009
7:02 pm

Sure thing CC…..if it is a bad review, than it must be somebody from OTP….what a small world you live in!

Dave

October 29th, 2009
7:30 pm

The only restaurant of the five I’ve been to is Abattoir, it was a great experience. Nothing knocked you out, it snuck up on you – subtle tastes and textures that I was thinking about the next day.

Anna

October 29th, 2009
8:16 pm

The beef tacos from the Chicago Supermarket on Buford Highway is by far the best meal in the city. Hands down.

John B.

October 29th, 2009
9:39 pm

The food I have had at Shaun’s does not jump out at me. It’s OK. Average bordering on pedestrian. I like the bar space though.

food focused

October 29th, 2009
10:31 pm

@ Bill: Wisteria should not ever be mentioned in this forum. It is the WORST “Southern” restaurant in the city.
@ everyone: Reread Ted’s post towards the top. As a restaurant owner, your feedback is best presented at the table. You paid for it. You should get what you wanted out of it.

hrw

October 30th, 2009
8:50 am

Dinning out for us has ceased! Where in Georgia you can actually get your money-worth? I have found and experienced that most of the places you dine are all about “Presentation” of the foods they serve. Families dine out to eat not to have a show-case put before them. What they advertise in magazines, papers, etc., is not what you get when you go there. Keeping with Southern Tradition….people go out to eat and enjoy what they have before them. By the time you select your food, the portion of food you get is not worth the money you pay. It takes a good person with Southern Traditions to feed those who come there to keep their business going…not walking away unsatisfied.

Rodney

October 30th, 2009
10:48 am

I think CC is nearly spot on. Sorry if that offends but I hear it all too often (or read it, as the case may be here).

Also, most times you’ll see/read “we went there once, had something go wrong and will never go back”. As it relates to food reviews (speaking as someone who used to walk that trail), multiple visits are required to make a comprehensive judgement. You can’t form an opinion based on just one visit – you’d be selling yourself, and the people who might read what you have to say, short.

You may have had a bad server (who may have been let go since you visited). There may have been something going on that night that caused the glitch (unexpected large parties, etc).

And, since I’m standing up here on this big old soap box, let me just say that most of what I read people complain about is just that – a glitch. Just like with your PC, just like with your car, just like when I try to work my DVR and just like with nearly everything else in life.

Atlantan

October 30th, 2009
10:05 pm

I’ve eaten at all 5 in a 1-5 rating with 1 sucking and 5 being outstanding:
Abattoir: 4.2 pretty good would go back
Cakes & Ale: 4.5
4th & Swift: 3.6
JCT: Consistently good 4, but I’ve only been for lunch
Repast: 1.5 (tasteless – I didn’t get it), but had the exact same experience at Holman & Finch. I will go back if someone else pays.
Shaun’s: 3 com si com sa

Chris

October 30th, 2009
10:16 pm

I’ve been to Repast, Cakes and Ale and Shaun’s, and would rank them in that order. I definitely agree with the first two being on a list of the city’s best. I think the entrees are better at Repast over Cakes and Ale, but I really enjoy the latter to sit at the bar and have appetizers and a dessert. Some day I’ll try Shaun’s again, but I’m afraid I’ll get stuck at that communal table and have to share my food.
For the person who complains that Rathbun’s isn’t listed, I have to say I went recently and thought it had lost a step. The prices had gone up and the food wasn’t what I remembered. I think I’ll try 4th and Swift and Abattoir before I try Rathbun’s again. Thanks for the tips, Meredith.

nico

October 30th, 2009
11:25 pm

been to cake & ale enough times to know that the atmosphere and the feeling of eating locally is more noteworthy than the food. it’s never awful, i guess. sometimes really good. but mostly must just okay. decent.

4th and swift…good all the time! and sometimes really really great. though heavy on the salt, i’ve noticed.

nico

October 30th, 2009
11:27 pm

oh, and maybe i’m too late for this comment, but someone needs to tell shaun’s that marrow is only interesting in a city that isn’t that much of a foodie city. i’ve been having marrow ravioli etc… for years – actually, decades!. just not in atlanta.

Glorious Reign

October 31st, 2009
12:01 am

Your best bet is usually in your own kitchen. Very few places are worth the money these days.Don’t waste your money at Serpas. That place is an over-priced dump. If you think Serpas is great, they must have paid you.

Barky Obummer

October 31st, 2009
7:55 am

michelle and i want to remind all of you to plant your survival gardens so that you will have a better chance of fresh food in the coming months as things slow to a crawl and big AG fails us too…
we love to eat fresh foods from the garden, and michelle loves to shop the local farmers’ markets while tying up traffic all over the district of criminals…nobody said takin it over would be easy on you.

Lance

October 31st, 2009
8:36 am

I agree with Gloria on her first point… “Your best bet is usually in your own kitchen”. I buy a bottle of great wine and then plan a dinner around it or have an idea for something and bounce it off my friend Michelle, who just happens to work at a wine store, and flesh it out. This year, after planting our first garden, I’ve made a killer gazpacho with habanero, basil granita and creme fraiche, crab cakes with a pear, candied walnut, goat cheese “crudo”, amazing carolina pork tacos with chipolte crema and caramelized globe peaches with a truffled acacia honey and gorgonzola ice cream among man others. And generally everything was around 50 bucks or less for two people, depending on the wine. Yes it’s a splurge, but I’d rather spend 50 bucks and get great service in an intimate “chef’s kitchen” with no bumbling, no attitude and not have to worry about driving home tipsy.

I’m just glad when we do want to have a nice meal out that we have Haven and Valenza within walking distance. They’re always solid and the service is always solid for the most part, though there has been a little noticeable turnover lately.

Lance

October 31st, 2009
8:37 am

Whoops, I meant Glorious, not Gloria.

FCM

October 31st, 2009
8:41 am

Well the photos of the food do not inspire me to go eat. The foie gras mousse looks glue with old grease on top. The chickenlivers are out of focus –probably to be artsy–and thus who can tell? The gingerbread looks good but that lemon curd looks nasty.

As to the restaurants. I have been to several that Ms. Ford-Goldman has reviewed favorably. I also trust the reports of friends who have done likewise. We have never found one with which we agree with Ms. F-G. I think our new rule might be if Ms. F-G likes it we will eat elsewhere.

Lance

October 31st, 2009
8:42 am

Oh as long as everyone is throwing out restaurants that should have been chosen… Meredith, what happened? No La Pietra Cucina? I mean every meal we’ve had there has been pitch perfect. The service has been solid to spectacular and the waitrons have never steered us wrong with their wine suggestions and come on, just slightly over 100 with a generous tip for two drinks, a salad, an appetizer, two entrees and two desserts? Where else in this city are you going to get that kind of a deal on such a great dinner?

JDM

October 31st, 2009
8:44 am

Are you serious? I have often wondered if you actually live in Atlanta. If you think these are the 6 best restaurants in the city AJC needs a new food critic.

Renaissance Man

October 31st, 2009
10:13 am

Re Barky Obummer – Really? How lame are you???

Barky Obummer

October 31st, 2009
11:24 am

Lame like the real Obarky…nice restaurants are not on the socialist agenda…nobody deserves these kinds of lavish dining when others are hungry, right? So if you cannot bring a homeless family with you to dine and pay for their bill, you shouldnt be eating out…save your tips for the homeless guys peering in thru the windows…they need it more than the servers who actually earned it…just basic Obarky idiotology…

alan

October 31st, 2009
2:06 pm

One Midtown Kitchen

Vic

October 31st, 2009
3:02 pm

Southern food…..anyone heard of Dogwood? It should be mentioned in this mix, for what we are talking about…don’t you think?

JJBally

November 1st, 2009
5:10 am

Shuan’s – Are you kidding me. This plays smells like a big fart from outside. The food – a Kroger chicken leg with boxed mash potatoes for 18 dollars. This place is embarrassing – people are getting duped into thinking this is good food.

JCT Kitchen – Food is not bad. Service is appalling. On a busy night the manager tried to bribe us with a lousy drink at the bar to give up our seats even before our desert arrived. How unprofessional can you get.

Shaun G

November 1st, 2009
1:39 pm

I agree with food focused Wisteria was the worst meal I have every spent $ on. Abattoir , the rabbit in a jar was great, but the foie and chicken liver had a lot of veins in it for me. One question what’s up with the white tennis shoes on servers at Abattoir .

Jim.

November 1st, 2009
9:23 pm

Drove thru Taco Bell….. pretty good. $2.09 and not hungry anymore…and nothing to whine about on a blog….

Jim.

November 1st, 2009
9:24 pm

…and why are all the silly pictures here half out of focus?

food op

November 2nd, 2009
8:50 am

Shaun’s is not even a GOOD place to eat…enough said on that.

Let me get this straight, another advantage of living ITP, is that you enjoy waiting (read: poorly run restaurant) for long periods of time at a restaurant and OTP’s should go along with this? Get over yourself, bad service is bad service regardless of geography. And there is nothing wrong with using posts on this blog to dis bad food/service. I agree with the other’s on the list though, all great palces.

mford

November 2nd, 2009
9:27 am

Lance — yes, I love la Pietra Cucina as well, but I chose a theme for the restaurants — a Southern theme for restaurants that say “This is Atlanta now.” Sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough. If I had stretched the list to ten, PC would have been included, as well as Dogwood, regardless of theme. So you are right — a great meal, reasonably priced.

RK

November 3rd, 2009
6:06 pm

Sorry Rodney, but there are too many good restaurants in this town — if it is my first time there, and I didn’t like it, there are plenty of other places to try. I’ll never return to Repast; I was disappointed on so many levels.

T.R.

November 3rd, 2009
8:44 pm

Once again, any discussion has to devolve into an OTP vs. ITP slug fest. Can we just give it a rest? I live on the boundary of both and there’s plenty of good on either side.

not impressed

November 4th, 2009
1:33 pm

I would have to agree with most of the comments about this article. The six restaurants that Meredith picked are average restaurants for Atlanta. There are so many good places to eat inside and outside the Perimeter! It would be very hard for me to pick my top 6 of ATL. Out of my favorites, each restaurant offers a different experience and something unique that I love about it. Meredith…we would like to see you dig a little deeper and find us something that will knock our socks off. Or, at least leave us with a full belly and a smile…without raping our wallets.

Knowledgeable

November 4th, 2009
1:34 pm

Enter your comments here

Knowledgeable Food Fan

November 4th, 2009
1:37 pm

“Food Fan” is dead wrong about Repast. Service is the best we’ve experienced in Atlanta — skills and knowledgeable servers who offer great advice when asked. Joe Truex is anti-pompous! He is easy to talk to, unpretentious, and loves talking about food. If by “pompous” you mean he knows what he’s talking about, of course! The fish, to take but one example, is NEVER overdone–always incredibly fresh. The crab cakes are sublime. Repast deserves its continuing, increasing fame.

becky guillory

November 4th, 2009
1:54 pm

I don’t care if Shaun’s serves the nector of the God’s – the service and attitude are F–. And while you didn’t put Floataway on your list this year, you clearly get much better food and service than their patron’s ever do. My experiences there were so poor the chef/ owner herself had to apologize that her husband “kenw the kitchen was going down and decided to hide out.” Maybe some less known personalities should be reviewing these restaurants.

Steve Adam

November 5th, 2009
12:08 am

I finally found a good sushi place here in Atlanta. Platinum Blue located in dunwoody at Park Place. You guys need to check it out. It is amazing.. Enjoy.

PDFord

November 5th, 2009
1:42 am

I would have added Agave to the list. The food is consistently delicious.

[...] The best restaurants in Atlanta 2009: Songs of the South | Table Talk October 29th, 2009 | Author: admin The lagging economy can’t stop Atlanta’s restaurants from setting a pace that’s continually being recognized nationally. We have great restaurants, The rest is here: The best restaurants in Atlanta 2009: Songs of the South | Table Talk [...]

Steve

November 5th, 2009
9:18 am

Never been to Shaun’s, Cake and Ale was average – but I agree with the rest. They are top picks.

r fusillo

November 5th, 2009
9:53 am

For Rodney, CC, and any other laid back types willing to give poor quality second chances. A fine restaurant does not have off nites, the food is consistent, the service is never off — they deliver their best at all times. There are such places, and they deserve their fame and costs. I suppose that one could go back if eating on the company dollar ( but why?), but I am not going to spend my own good money on a place that did not deliver the first time. I have choices.
A good critic is demanding. Ms Ford seems, from my experience, to be overly gentle — a case of “what can you expect in a town entirely surrounded by rural relatives?”

K.C. Munchkin

December 3rd, 2009
11:57 am

“I always love the OTP commenters..”

Dude, what the hell are you and your comrades talking about?

People like myself go out to EAT. If it sucks, and/or the service sucks, I DO try to work it out with the staff and if necessary the manager.

It’s common to get little or no customer satisfaction when you have a problem these days. Geography is not relevant.

If you can’t use your brain instead of making this another gay “OTP vs. ITP” thread, you need to fvck off.

mike

December 4th, 2009
2:07 am

Shawn’s and Cakes and Ale?? I’ve eaten at both a few times and I have had mediocre meals each time. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt by visiting more than once, but 4 stars Meredith!!! Cafe Lily across the street is much better than Cakes and Ale!!

Weaver

December 18th, 2009
11:26 am

Weaver D’s……Athens, GA….True soul food from the south..

Anna

December 21st, 2009
11:25 pm

What happened to Woodfire Grill? Kevin made it to top 3 on Top Chef, and was fan favorite- rightly so. I agree with these choices as fine eateries, but Woodfire Grill brought more than awesome food and a charming atmosphere. It brought respect to the thriving and highly evolved Atlanta dining season. That alone deserves recognition on this list.

Rod

December 22nd, 2009
12:35 pm

Anna – “Oh, my God!!! Oh, my God!!! It’s Kevin from Top Chef!!! Helloooo Kevin, you hoo!!! I love it here, the food is just wonderful!”

Being star-struck for a reality-tv “star”, does not make for good food.

Christian

December 23rd, 2009
2:24 pm

Not disputing the choices above but wanted to toss out a recommendation to the e-world. I am a big fan of Kyma…it has been around but they are consistently good when I have been there.

Nan

December 27th, 2009
10:20 am

You forgot Agave. I took my daughter there last night and had of the most memorable dinners in Atlanta in a long time. She works in a very fine restaurant in Savannah and was very impressed with the service, drinks and quality of food. When you go there ask for ouwaiter “Spedino” and I will bet that you have not had a better waiter here in Atlanta!!! Go Agave!!

shark eyes

December 27th, 2009
12:08 pm

Shaun’s? Really? I’ve been there a few times and the service/food is just poor. Friends and I have discussed as I’ve never met anyone who really raves about the place(or even likes it) , yet it consistently gets on lists like this. We call it a case of the “Emperors New Clothes”. I dare a food critic to be objecttive with this place at the risk of hurting Shaun’s ego.

Jack

December 27th, 2009
12:10 pm

Shaun’s has very ordinary food and a waitstaff with terrible attitudes. When you pay good money for a babysitter and a nice night out, the last thing I need is some “hipper than thou” attitude from a pompous waitress. We will never return. Too bad for Shaun.

Jay

December 27th, 2009
1:51 pm

Each of these restaurants pale in comparison to Craft. Why not mention of Craft?!

Jay

December 27th, 2009
1:53 pm

Further – Shaune’s may be one the worst restaurants I have tried five times. I kept going back hoping that things would improve or match people’s reports. I DID mention the issues I had with each meal and all I got from them was “oh sorry you feel that way” attitude. I won’t go back again or recommend it to anyone.

Cookie

December 27th, 2009
7:27 pm

You missed a great one: “Relish” in Roswell!

Richard

December 27th, 2009
7:48 pm

My colleague and I had a very disappointing experience at JCT. We took our wives there for dinner and had very poor service and found the food to be unworthy of the big dinner plans we had made. Very lack luster, and we both swore to never go there again.

SallyB

December 27th, 2009
7:48 pm

Whoa, Jay…CRAFT??? We had a mediocre dinner there and the prices were outrageous….over $800 for the four of us…..and yes we had wine, but nothing that would hike the bill up that much. My guess is the Craft won’t last very long in Atlanta. Too much good competition at much better prices.

Billy

December 28th, 2009
8:25 am

I miss your blog

sonya

December 28th, 2009
10:28 am

I enjoy reading the comments to these things more so than the article.