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Friday, July 4, 2008

favorite ATL restaurants for indulging...

A reader requested a few recommendations for an upcoming trip to Atlanta, specifically places for indulging, so I thought I'd share with everyone in case there are others who are visiting here any time soon...  Here are a few of my favorites to celebrate special occasions:

Kevin Rathbun Steak: Since my favorite meal is a steak and a good cab, this restaurant is hands-down my favorite place in Atlanta (my "birthday" place).  The atmosphere is so much cooler than the steakhouses in Buckhead that are supposed to be the best - Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Chops, et al.  It's kind of like N9NE in Vegas, with a "modern ski chalet" twist to the interior decorating.  They feature both wet and dry-aged steaks, and no matter what you get, you will love it.  DO NOT EAT HERE without getting the mac-and-cheese with truffle bread crumbs.  There are no words to describe this.

JOEL: This west Buckhead restaurant is well known for its extensive wine list (and very cool glass cellar that they will let you browse), but the best thing on the menu is their creme brulee.  The best I've ever had.  It's a french menu "with asian and mediterranean influences" - you can't go wrong here.

Now I'm going to throw in my 2 favorite restaurants, which aren't necessarily in the "indulge" category if that means you want to spend over $150 per person...  But these are the places that are so good they are what I crave when I come back from week(s)-long international trips and I just want a place that is familiar, and comfortable, with the best food in the world.  Don't get me wrong, they are still *very* nice places, and you can do a lot of damage if you let loose with the wine lists.  All have entree options between $18-30 (estimated).

Murphy's: I get emotional talking about this place.  It's my second home.  The little wine shop attached is where I buy all my wine from, and I know at least half the staff by name.  So yes, I'm biased.  But have their burger with a glass of the BV Tapestry, and you'll see why this place is my favorite way to remind myself why I'm glad I'm American :)

Food 101: Best fried chicken you'll ever try.  The caesar salad is incredible (these crushed up bread crumbs and whole romaine leaves - don't know what it is, but it's ridiculous).  The trout with bacon and brussel sprouts is what I order when I've been there too recently to have the fried chicken again.  All that in an unassuming front on N. Highland (just north of Morningside), where you can always get a reservation - perfect.

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