Georgia Magazine - February 2010 - (Page 26)

The Atlanta experience Must-visit dining destinations in Atlanta BY JENNIFER J. HEWETT tlanta’s got the advantage when it comes to great food. Whether you’re seeking to nourish the soul with warm Southern comfort food, upscale nouvelle cuisine, a relaxed Sunday brunch or traditional diner fare at a spot that’s open into the wee hours—you’re in the right place. But with so many options, where do you start? Ask around. Locals can give great insight into the hidden gems in their neighborhood, especially if you want to steer away from chain restaurants and go for a unique dining experience. “Repast is the best fine dining food I’ve had in Atlanta,” says Nancy Myers Rinehart, of Decatur. “The menu is always interesting, and they get the details right. I find myself thinking things like, ‘I never would have thought to put chorizo on the foie gras, but it’s perfect!’ Their space is lovely—relaxing and sophisticated at the Wisteria American cooking with Southern touches leads to inventive dishes with lots of flavor. Rabbit sausage on grits; tempura-fried okra with horseradish cream; molasses-glazed pork tenderloin cooked perfectly pink with sweet potatoes, glorious stone-ground grits— these are the tastes that make Wisteria one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Good wines, good desserts— note the pumpkin praline cheesecake—and good service wrap up a fine, but casual dining experience. —JFG same time. [My husband] John always ends up asking for extra bread so he can soak up every last smidge of sauce on his plate.” Going on a first date? Heading out to celebrate a new promotion with extended family? In addition to speaking to a restaurant’s character and food quality, locals can point you in the direction of one suited to your dining party’s needs. “Wisteria is my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. Not Pura Vida Tapas & only is the food great but Bar so is the atmosphere. It’s a From Puerto Rico, great place for a date or to Hector Santiago, who take the entire family,” says just competed on “Top Leslie Putnam, of Atlanta. Chef,” brings the flavors Web sites offering up of the island’s take on ratings and opinions from Spanish cooking to the world of small plates and local residents, such as tapas. Fusing African and tropical influences, with and www. a little Asian for good measure, onto a Spanish are also a culinary tradition, Santiago lets his imagination good starting place. take this food beyond mere replication of tradiSo now that you’ve tional dishes and creates an entirely personal heard a recommendation cuisine. Plan to go on the nights when you may or two and have decided dance the tango until the wee hours. —JFG where to go—ready to make reservations? Some of Atlanta’s more upscale eateries are covered all in one spot by Or try the individual restaurant’s Web site for a link to their online reservation system. But beware, not all of Atlanta’s hot spots take reservations, so plan ahead if you can. “Find a table or stool by 9 or 9:30 p.m. at Holeman & Finch Public House, if you want the burger— they’re perfect, with thinly sliced strands of onion—just enough—and sweet pickles. They serve up 24 burgers every night at 10 p.m., but they don’t take reservations,” says Bill Stencel, of Atlanta. Still haven’t made up your mind where to dine? Join us as we travel this month with food and wine writer Jane F. Garvey, of Decatur, to six unique spots around Atlanta: Wisteria, Pura Vida Tapas, Rathbun’s, Rolling Bones, Dynamic Dish, STATS and One Flew South. Read what Garvey says about the six restaurants on these pages. GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2010

Georgia Magazine - February 2010
Picture This?
Oh, Atlanta!
Good Stewards
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - February 2010