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Atlanta's top 10

Woodfire Grill's tasting menu and service is the closest I've had to fine dining in ATL (as compared to French Laundry or Daniel in NYC).
Bacchanalia and Quinones Room are good (but not great) and disappointing, respectively. The associated Star Provisions deli counter is excellent for lunch or take-out.
Restaurant Eugene is very good and the service level is close to what you're looking for. Same with Sotto Sotto. There are others on rcburli's list that I have not been to.
Cakes and Ale has amazing drinks and a very good bakery (croissants!), but it's crowded and I don't love the food.
Ecco has addictive fried goat cheese balls in honey and very good drinks - not fine dining, but a good pre- or post-theater place.
Optimist is all right food-wise, but not amazing as an experience. Same with Empire State South and Holeman and Finch. And none are fine dining service level.
I like Rathbun's, but only in the wine room or outside, as the main space is too noisy. Very good food and service, but not fine dining.
Hope that helps...

Apr 26, 2013
serotonin in Atlanta

Cheese - the best cheese experience you ever had

A sheeps-milk cheese, firm but fresh, bought at a local cheese shop and eaten on the road in New Zealand - you could taste the grass - so good!

Apr 23, 2007
serotonin in Cheese

best jams, jellies and preserves: from the USA or bought or from a farmers market

I swear by the sour cherry spoon fruit from American Spoon Foods.
Other favorites are their fig conserve and the pear preserves (insanely good with a sharp cheese)

Apr 23, 2007
serotonin in General Topics

Restaurant Eugene Service Rave - Atlanta

So I go out with my cousin on Thursday for our monthly keep-in-touch lunch. We decide to go to Restaurant Eugene, because I keep hearing it's wonderful. Lunch is great (Oh-my-gosh the chicken livers! there's a phrase you don't hear very often...). I get a to-go box of my leftovers and head back to the office, where I discover, to my chagrin, that whomever packed the box included my roast chicken and the lone remaining asparagus spear, but did not put in the leftover sublime polenta. I, being in favor of schmancy places having schmancy service, give the restaurant a call and tell the nice lady (very nicely) that they might want to remind their servers to include any remaining sides when packing up to-go boxes. I figure the next person won't get stuck without their polenta and I've helped the restaurant - I also figure that's the end of the matter.
Half an hour later, I get a call on my cell phone from Rick, the manager, who has figured out who I am and tracked me based on the info I left for the reservation. Rick's message says something along the lines of we're so sorry about the polenta - can can we run some out to you so you can still enjoy it tonight? By the time I get the message, I'm on my way home to Fayetteville and dinner rush is starting, so I figure I'll just call and say thanks in the morning.
I call Rick on Friday afternoon to thank him for taking it seriously and explain about Fayetteville and all that and he asks where my office is - it's in Midtown - Would you like me to bring it to you now?- Are you serious? Yes!
Long story slightly shorter, less than an hour later I am in posession of a pint of unbelievably good polenta, a cookie and an overwhelming need to tell everyone I know that Restaurant Eugene is the place to go for service (as well as the best chicken livers ever). If you get the chance to go, dress up and get yourself down there.

Big Family Breakfast in St. Augustine?

Right after my sister's wedding, the family will be celebrating 2 birthdays on Sunday, April 29. We need a place that can handle a party of 30 for breakfast - any suggestions?

Apr 16, 2007
serotonin in Florida

Barcelona with a 3-year-old...

Hi Dee,
We had a lovely time. There is a nice tapas place across from the Casa Battlo (which you really need to go inside - now that's architecture...and I never "got" Gaudi before) - the restaurant is called Tapa Tapa, and we just sat down at the bar and pointed at things until we were full. The other standout was the Casa Jordi, which is a restaurant near the Diagonal in the business district - fantastic shrimp "a la plancha" and wonderful people - we'll go back if we ever get the chance. A place that we wish we had eaten was at the Boqueria market - we had already had lunch, when we realized that there are tons of little cafes in the market itself - so something else for next time.

Apr 16, 2007
serotonin in Spain/Portugal

anything good near Atlanta Aquarium

We've been pleasantly surprised by the food at the cafeteria inside the aquarium. It's not gourmet, but it's among the best "museum food" I've had. And it makes a nice break in the middle of your visit.

Best Coca-Cola cake in Atlanta

At what restaurants in the Atlanta metro area have you had Coca-Cola cake that made your teeth hurt and your toes curl?

Apr 12, 2007
serotonin in Atlanta

Barcelona with a 3-year-old...

Thanks! That's really helpful :)

Feb 08, 2007
serotonin in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona with a 3-year-old...


Hubby and I will have about 3 days in Barcelona. Taking the toddler - she's generally pretty well-behaved in restaurants. Need places for breakfast, lunch and dinner that have excellent food, cheap-to-moderate prices (exchange rates. sigh.) and the occasional item that children like to eat. Range is street food and markets all the way up to sit-down places. Extra points for local flavor and stuff that's close to public transportation or the big tourist attractions (like the Sagrada Familia)...


Jan 31, 2007
serotonin in Spain/Portugal

Toscano and Sons in Atlanta

Just went for lunch - had the "Viola" panini, with tapenade and a whole bunch of different varieties of pork. SOOOO Good. Not too big (still big enough!), not too cheesy - well balanced and delicious on good (ciabatta) bread. The only problem is that I spent too much on other goodies to take home...they have a nice selection of italian specialty foods and wine.

Atlanta Vegetarian Recommendations?

Madras was good - the vegetarian was delighted that the entire menu was available. Thanks again for the recs!

Atlanta Vegetarian Recommendations?

Thanks for all the recs. We are penciled in for Madras Saravana Bhavan on Saturday. Will let y'all know how it goes...

heresy or acceptable shortcut?

ooh. soup recipe, please? shorthand is fine.

I pregrate expensive parmesan and gruyere cheeses and keep them in plastic containers in the freezer for doling out over a couple of months. My cheese guy would yell at me if he found out, as he likes to talk about how cheese is still alive. Heresy to some, I guess.

Sep 12, 2006
serotonin in Home Cooking

Atlanta Vegetarian Recommendations?

Hi all!

Hubby and I have a double date coming up with another couple - she is lacto-ovo vegetarian and pregnant. The other members of the party are fairly adventurous omnivores trying to avoid fried food. So need recommendations for restaurants that:

A) have more than one or two vegetarian options or a very accommodating kitchen
B) will still please non-vegetarians (does not have to serve meat, but must be very good quality)
C) are not dependent on the wine list or bar for patron happiness
D) quiet enough for adult conversation without yelling

Ideal location is inside the perimeter or not far outside it. Price range is no more than $25 per entree - unless you know of a stunning prix fixe that is veggie-friendly.