Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Good Southern Weekend Getaway Eatin': Atlanta's Foodie Hot Spots!
Atlanta is not a foodie town. There, I said it. Its heavy-handed; lots of pork, collard greens and grits. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m up for some good pork with a side of mac n cheese every now and again… but its often, just thrown together, greasy and missing the essential makings of goodness, which are ingredients that taste fresh. However, after 5 years of living in Atlanta I have sussed out the spots that are reliably good and that will measure up against any foodie hotspot. Having said that, there are a few others but these will keep you happy and fully fed for a weekend in Atlanta.
Alon’s Bakery and Market – A Virginia Highland’s highlight… might as well move me in. From fresh baked goods (gotta love the cranberry scone or the double chocolate cookie, of which I eat one a night) to a Panini sandwich on daily made ciabatta bread. Alon’s is the best for a casual breakfast or a tasty and healthful lunch. Their cheese section is divine. A great place to taste some treats, sip a latte and sit outside in the HOTlanta sun!
Rise and Dine – This is our latest and most favorite breakfast spot. I totally dig the kitchy décor (with equally kitchily clad wait staff), the atmosphere is laid back and if you can stand waiting in the long lines.. the food is exactly how it should be.. eggs cooked perfectly, bacon that is crunchy but not burnt and their lattes are piping hot and big! The banana pancakes shouldn’t be missed either.
Fritti – Fritti is hip, crowded and the perfect place to go with friends (from either in or out of town). They specialize in ultra thin crust, Napoli-style Pizza. My personal favorites include the Salsiccia e Peperoni (sweet italian sausage, roasted peppers) or the Salame Piccante (spicy salame and black olives). You can’t go wrong… from the salads to the antipasto it's quality and the real deal.
Flip Burger Boutique- Richard Blais, made famous from season 4 of Bravo’s Top Chef (and more recently Top Chef Masters) hit it right with what quickly became one of Atlanta’s hottest and best burger joints. This is not your typical joint. The food is as fashion forward as the décor. Blais’s menu puts forth creative and fresh combinations such as spicy pork sausage burger with fried egg and smoked mayo (it's really good I swear! ) which leaves a lasting impression all the way thru, from cocktails to dessert. Half the menu is non-beef – so Veggies need not be afraid, nor is it dripping in greese. It's somewhat refined as burgers go. Personal favs include the ginger margarita, po-boyger, and nutella + burnt marshmellow milkshake…need I say more?!
Restaurant Eugene: Eugene’s is food fit for a foodie king. Of all the hot, trendy and pricey restaurants in Atlanta Restaurant Eugene is the BEST. The first time I went there my meal was amongst the best I had ever had. Return trips have not disappointed, in fact, each time I go I am more impressed. The food is all-around quality from start to finish. With their “from scratch” approach the food is at once simple yet exudes intricate flavor. If you can’t tell, I cannot say enough good things about this total culinary gem. Chefs tout acalades such as James Beard award nominations and Food & Wines 2009 best new Chef… all well deserved.
Bacchanalia/ Star provisions: Chef/Owners Anne Quantro and Clifford Harrison have created a Georgia based culinary world whose capital is Bacchanalia. Bacchanalia’s 4 course prix fixe menu changes seasonally. It is delicious and truly elegant. More importantly however, its not just a meal but an experience. You enter the restaurant thru Star Provisions (see below) .. this sets the tone for what feels like you are entering the Quantro/Harrison experience, not just a restaurant. Bacchanalia restaurant proper, sits in the back of the shop. The décor is rich and graceful featuring long drapes and warm tones. The food is its own star – perfect in presentation and delectable in taste. I’ve died and gone to food heaven = Appetizer: Chilled Maine Lobster Grapefruit, Young Fennel Apple, Celery Root, Entrée: Spring Carrot Agnolotti Black Trumpet Mushroom Rillette Brown Butter and Early Spring Onion .. oh and save room for cheese and dessert!
Star provisions is a high end culinary dream shop featuring gourmet foods, cookware and gifts. As their website states, it's as if you have “access to the pantry and walk-in cooler of Bacchanalia for your cooking preparations”. You want to buy everything! It’ll bring out your inner Top Chef.. you leave (perhaps falsely) thinking that you too can create the perfection-of-a meal you just ate now that you have the tools at your disposal. Thank you Anne Quantro and Clifford Harrison!
Now that I've clued you in on the hot spots get your hungry pants on and buy that ticket to Atlanta!!!