Well, it’s hard to believe but it has been nearly four years since I moved to Atlanta! And while I still haven’t completely bonded with this city, I will say Atlanta’s big draw is the food & beverage scene. There are still way too many typical restaurants with the ho hum boring choices of shrimp and grits and cedar plank roasted salmon. In fact I like to play the game of – can we find a place in the ATL that doesn’t offer those two choices on their menu. And I have to say – sadly I have found the shrimp and grits options and sushi houses and taquerias.
Cocktails at Cakes and Ale:
Any place that is named for a line of a Shakespearean play is definitely worth checking out in my opinion. Slide up to the bar and be prepared to enjoy a handcrafted masterpiece of a cocktail, good conversation with the bartender, and the show the barkeep performs while shaking and making.
Seafood at Lure:
Lure is the new kid in town. In fact my favorite restaurant in Atlanta (mostly for sentimental reasons) was torn down and replaced with Lure. Naturally I boycotted the new place. And as you may have guessed that was a stupid thing to do because Lure is fantastic! Fresh seafood (oysters have been excellent every time), fun cocktails and excellent service not to mention a nice posh nautical décor and a midtown location makes Lure the prefect pre-symphony stop.
Beer and Pimento Cheese at the Brick Store:
Okay, okay. I know – pimento cheese in the south is cliché. So when I started this post I rambled on about how I get mad about the abundance of shrimp and grits and cedar plank salmon on offer in the ATL and then I go and list pimento cheese? Well, this is jalapeno pimento cheese. And paired with the awesome beer selection (my recommendation is the Wells Bombardier) and this tasty snack from the Brick Store is wonderful! I can taste it now…
Jewish Delights at the General Muir:
The absolute best Matzoh Ball soup I have ever had (it HAS been a while – but still). I did get a funny look when I ordered the Matzoh Ball soup with my salmon lox for breakfast but it did make me want to scream mazel tov! The General Muir is named for the ship that brought the owner’s mother and grandparents to the US, and I have been told it is the only proper Jewish deli/restaurant in Atlanta. The interior has a sleek French brasserie feel while keeping things kosher!
Drafty Kilt and grilled fish tacos at Six Feet Under:
With a view of historic Oakland Cemetery, a Monday Night Brewing Drafty Kilt (a local beer) in one hand and the grilled catfish fish tacos in the other hand with fried okra as a side – nothing else in the world matters. Not even that you ARE looking at a cemetery! And thinking you should go easy on the fried food…
Drinks by the river at Canoe:
Canoe is consistently rated as the number on restaurant for Atlanta. My dining experience there was very nice, but what really set it apart is how the restaurant backs up onto the Chattahoochee River. Enter through a strip mall and exit to the back for nature. It would be very easy to while away the night at the outdoor bar listening the gentle river swim on by.
I just adore this cute little restaurant in a renovated part of the Float Away building. With a cool aqua blue color tone and comfy seats you will eat and drink until you float away. The menu changes often and it is just a lovely dining experience. I always feel like I have stumbled upon a neat little place in Europe when I dine here.
The wood-fired food is consistently nice, but it is the handcrafted beer that keeps me coming back. My favorite is the Max Red Vienna-Style lager, and I always pair it with the Cilantro Salmon Caesar. Max Lager’s is my go to restaurant whenever I am near the midtown/downtown area. I always anticipate the nice atmosphere and a cold beer when I am headed that way.
Italian in style but with a focus on seasonality No. 246 is modern dining in an old space. Cool dark interiors with an open kitchen set the tone for lovely dining and scrumptious food. The bar here makes some rather fun cocktails, but the bartenders are not conversation focused like at Cakes and Ale.
Spectacular Soup at Souper Jenny’s:
You never know what you will get at Souper Jenny’s and that is okay. It is always fresh and always good. Get there before 4 or it will be all gone. And you will be on your own during the month of August as the gang closes down shop and takes time off European style.