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Private Lunch for 12-15 in Midtown ATL

Here are a few ideas. Trois is a new restaurant located in the heart of Midtown that would be a great choice for lunch on a Friday. It is a contemporary French bistro and has some private areas for lunch. (www.trois3.com)

Sourh City Kitchen Is another place that has been around for awhile but is still a great spot. As for private dining, I believe that they have an upstairs that would easiy accommodate a party of 15. The food is reinterpreted Southern and crowd-pleasing. (www.southcitykitchen.com

One of my favorites in Midtown is Nan, a Thai fine dining restaurant. They are also open for lunch on Friday. They have a great communal table that would be a great spot for after a wedding. Check it out at www.nanfinedining.com

Good luck

JCT Kitchen in Atlanta

I have been there three times in the past month. We found this place after dinner at Bacchanalia and ended up popping into the second floor bar for a drink. It was an unusually nice night for February so we sat outside enjoying the incredible view of Midtown from this fantastic space. The signature cocktails were great. I had an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade) with a shot of vodka.

The next time, we went back for a group dinner. The menu is reinterpreted Southern for the most part and has something for everyone. The atmosphere is light and airy. I would imagine that when the dining room is full, it can get a little noisy but it has been pleasant on both of our visits.

I can recommend the white bean foccacia for starters and either the salmon or the shrimp and grit for an entree. I was not as impressed with the braised short rib, but it may have been an off night. The fried apple pie for dessert was a highlight.

It's still too early to tell how this place will do but I think that it has the makings of something big. I would get there before it gets reviewed to avoid the crowds. I have not been but friends say that lunch is very good too.

Please Help Boston Hound In ATL

I have lived in the ATL for 20 years and am passionate about food.

The Varsity is a must. Locally owned and operated for three generations by the same family. Close to downtown. It is an Atlanta landmark. A foodie's trip to our city would nt be complete without a lunchtime visit here.

Mary Mac's changed hands several years ago and has never been the same since. I would avoid it and think that you might find better "meat and three" type food closer to downtown than the Colonnade.

Try Carvers Grocery at 1118 W Marietta St NW. Mr. Carver runs the cash register while his wife dishes out some of the best comfort food I have ever eaten in this city. It's not much to look at and seating is community style, but food like this is becoming more and more difficult to find in the newer, healthier South. They are only open for lunch Tues. - Fri. and the line gets long by 11:45. Plan to get there before then or after 1:00. I believe that they close at 2:00. Don't skip dessert.

Bacchanalia is consistently held up as the best restaurant in Atlanta and justifiably so. Anne Quatrano and her husband Cliff Harrison employ only the freshest ingredients in delivering what is an unforgettable food expereince Also, very close to downtown in fashionable West Midtown. It is a four course pre fixe, but (and I hate to reveal this) you can sit at the bar and order as few as one course. Go with the wine pairings. You will not be disappointed. This place is expensive but worth it.

Restaurant Eugene is in Buckhead. Linton Hopkins is a young chef who is garnering a lot of attention for his reinterpretation of Southern food. He is an Atlanta native who, with his wife, has created a lot of buzz in the past few years with this restaurant. Also, a little pricey but quiet, intimate and very good food.

Rathbun's is one of my favorites for great food and energetic atmosphere. I have been there at least a dozen times and have never been disappointed. Kevin Rathbun's menu has something for everyone at a wide variety of price points. I don't think anyone could argue against the fact that this place is a good value for your dollar. It is very close to downtown but can be difficult to find. They have a website with directions that I would suggest that you check out.

Ethinic food here is unlikely to impress anyone from Boston. I would steer clear of it. If you are looking for the best breakfast in town, I can't recommend any place more highly than the Silver Skillet on 14th Street. Their country ham, biscuits and red eye gravy will, as we say in the South, make you want to slap your mama.

I hope this helps.

Catering in Atlanta?

No need to go to Athens for a caterer when there are so many to choose from right here in Atlanta. Affairs to Remember and Proof of the Pudding are the two largest in town. I have been to events for 1,000 and for 10 catered by both and both were good.

Tuohy's is smaller and very good. Bold American is also very good. Others to consider would be Jerry Dilts Catering, Chef William Neal Caterers, and Rich Bits. You can find them all online or in the phone book. Good luck!

40th Birthday Celebration in Santa Barbara

My wife and I are going to Santa Barbara for her 40th birthday. I am looking for some suggestions on restaurants that would be considered to be the best in the area.. We are staying at San Ysidro Ranch and will be having dinner at Stonehouse one night Any other suggestions?

Feb 16, 2007
nelson32 in California

ATLANTA - one night - three choices? your vote!

Ditto on the opinions re: Emeril's and Restaurant Eugene. I would take South City Kitchen and Emeril's out of the running and add Rathbun's and Bacchanalia. Then you are choosing from three of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Restaurant Eugene is important for new Southern cuisine. Chef Linton Hopkins has been widely recognized for his commitment to preserving Southern culinary traditions. The restaurant is upscale, intimate and a great place for good conversation. The restaurant is easy to find on Peachtree Street in Buckhead.

Chef Kevin Rathbun opened Rathbun's on Krog Street near Inman Park in an area that was previously industrial bu now converting to residential lofts and more restaurants. I think that the food there is fantastic.even though the restaurant can be difficult to find, particularly for those from out of town. While Restaurant Eugene is intimate and quiet, Rathbun's is big and loud.

Bacchanalia is consistently named the best restaurant in Atlanta and justifiably so. The freshest ingredients paired unpretentiously with great wines. Also a little off the beaten path in an area now known as West Midtown, but truly a great dining experience.

Hope this helps.