Steffan’s Atlanta Food Picks

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If you know Steffan Clousing, then you know he loves Formula 1 racing, modern design, and eating out.  Since we always use him as our local restaurant guide, we’ve asked him to create a blog of his favorite eating experiences inside the Atlanta perimeter.  Before reading the reviews know a few things …. Steffan is NOT a vegetarian (he is from Montana where that may be illegal) …. he is pretty laid back but he knows his food …. and he is an incredibly nice guy so he only reviews restaurants he really likes and you won’t find any bashing reviews.

Enjoy!

 

Restaurant blog:

 

HOBNOB – On a recent work outing we all stopped in at HOBNOB for a quick lunch bite.  The biggest problem we had was figuring out how all of us could get at least a bite from the litany of menu items that sounded delicious.  We ended up ordering the Mac & Cheese for appetizer, then choosing different entrees and splitting them.  Among them were the Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza, the Taverner Burger and Southerner Burger, and Ansley’s Fried Fish Sandwich.  All the sandwiches were amazing, especially the Fish sandwich (with its homemade tartar sauce and red onion marmalade), although a few cries of “too salty!” were heard from the pizza eaters.  I thought it was fine, but growing up on a farm where cows lick on salt blocks, perhaps my threshold for saltiness is a bit high.  They also have a good list of wines, cocktails and beers (including high-gravity staples such as St. Bernardus and Stone Arrogant Bastard), but also include a list of Milkshakes, both of the adult and child variety.  Alas, none of these were sampled during our work dinner, but that’s just one more reason to go back.  The venue is the corner of Piedmont and Monroe, and previously was a Carribou Coffee, but before that was an old service station, so it has the (seemingly requisite) garage door walls that are popular in many Atlanta area restaurants.  The only downsides to the space are the lack of parking on premises (your best bet, unless you want to valet, is to park in the big mixed use lot across Piedmont, then make a dash for the door) and how loud and busy the outdoor seating area becomes (unless horn honking and exhaust fumes add to the atmosphere for you).

http://www.hobnobatlanta.com

1551 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-968-2288

Canoe – It’s always hard for me to pinpoint a meal as “the best food I’ve ever had,” but if any outing has come close, the meal I had at Canoe would be a front-runner.  I had the Slow Roasted Carolina Rabbit with Swiss Chard, Bacon Ravioli, Sweet Potato Hash and Candied Garlic Sauce.  I really shouldn’t have to go any farther, but in case you need more convincing, I also got to sample my wife’s selection (Fork Tender Lamb Shank with Three Grain Risotto, Kale and Roasted Mushrooms).  I’ll admit it was delicious, though her announcement that the meal was “possibly one of the greatest things in my life, ever” I viewed it with a substantial amount of jealousy.  The amazing food aside, the atmosphere is great; nestled down along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, with a great, manicured outdoor space, it helps to make for an environment that makes it at least somewhat easier to drop not a small amount of money for a truly outstanding dining experience.

http://www.canoeatl.com

4199 Paces Ferry Road, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Tel:770.432.2663

Urban pL8 – Established in 2009, Urban pL8 is the brainchild of the former sous chef at Bacchanalia and Floataway Café.  With a work record like that, anyone in Atlanta can be confident that the food will be something to write home about.  Add to that the fact that the “menu features fresh, seasonal, local” ingredients, weighted heavily towards the “paleo, gluten-free lifestyle,” and it adds up to a great, fresh dining experience.  Thankfully, Chef Betsy Pitts doesn’t carry over the pricing of Bacchanalia, allowing you to have a meal that isn’t hard on your body, OR your wallet.

http://www.urbanpl8.com/
1082 Huff Road, Atlanta, GA 30318
phone: 404-367-0312

 

Iberian Pig – Another deliciousDecatur restaurant that has a full bar with all the drinks you can image, the Iberian Pig is similar in vein toLeon’s Full Service.  The atmosphere is rustic and intimate, the perfect place for a low-tempo get together.  The food was tasty, but the drinks were the main attraction.  Their selection is great, and the bartenders like a challenge.  I asked our bartender to create a drink with a whisky from a Nashville-based distillery I had toured a few months previous, and he went to work.  His creation was slightly sweet and sour, with a hot pepper kick and cilantro.  Everyone was envious.  The great atmosphere, great food and drinks, and friendly staff make this a place I’ll definitely go back to.  Besides, it puts you in theDecatur square, so there are automatically other places to head when you’re done with dinner or a drink!

http://www.theiberianpigatl.com/kitchen


121 Sycamore St.
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 371-8800

Proof & Provision – P&P is a new gastro-pub (but think mixed drinks more than exotic beers) built in the basement of The Georgian Terrace hotel.  The inconspicuous entry leads to exposed brick walls, with few windows, and an understated central bar with a subway-tile back bar, certainly reminds one of a cellar, yet without feeling annoyingly claustrophobic.  We went the second evening they were open, so there are still some kinks to work out, especially with the menu, but the food was all very brew-pub tasty (devilled eggs with bacon, pretzels with spicy mustard, a 4-meat cold cut sampler…) and the drinks had interesting twists (my rye whisky-based drink had one large ice cube made from a smoky green tea infusion that slowly leached into the drink, adding a unique flavor).  My suggestion if going on a Friday or Saturday evening:  make sure to arrive after the Fox Theater event has started, as the place was relatively deserted upon our arrival at 9pm.  Our server told us it had been packed before we arrived, though, and it was packed again by the time we left, as Fox patrons had begun trickling in.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/proof-and-provision-atlanta-2

659 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 897-1991

 

West Egg – “Egg Sandwich.”  Enough said.  But seriously, try the egg sandwich.  Their other options are really good too, I must admit.  With a wide variety, from all-day breakfast to Salmon filets, you should always be able to find something that speaks to your appetite.  Don’t forget to treat yourself by having one of their boozy shakes.  Possibly not if you’re there for breakfast though…but it’s totally up to you.

http://westeggcafe.com/

1100 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Neighborhood: Westside / Home Park
(404) 872-3973

 

Fox Brothers – Arguably the best BBQ in Atlanta, though you’d have to be crazy to argue.  Every single menu item is a treat, especially the unique ones, like their Fox-a-roni (Brunswick stew mixed with macaroni and cheese…just think about it…) and their fried ribs.  Health food nuts need not visit.  Fox Brothers is for those athletes who want to give their hearts a work out.  Grant will back me up on this, his whole family loves it.

http://www.foxbrosbbq.com/

Located in Little Five Points

1238 Dekalb Ave
Atlanta, GA 30307

(404) 577-4030

 

Parish – Located in the heart of Inman Park, Parish is a quick walk from a bunch of great venues to continue your night after dinner (Dad’s Garage, The Albert bar, etc).  Then again, with its “organically funky vibe” (starting with its antiquated, restored pipe factory setting), amazing food, and Market selling delicious, fresh foods, there’s really no need to go anywhere else.

http://www.parishatl.com/home.php

240 N Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30307
Neighborhoods: Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park

(404) 681-4434

 

JCT – In the not-so-new tradition of many Atlanta restaurants, JCT mixes contemporary and traditional southern feel. The atmosphere is borderline young and hip, without sending more traditional patrons running for the door, and even just a little bit romantic with the candles and decor.  Parking is valet or self parking, but the lot isn’t huge, so you might do a little walking.  More on that later…

In addition to the great atmosphere, the food is delicious.  Both the food and drink menus are creative and extensive, and all the food is worth skipping lunch so you can make sure you muscle it all down.  My favorite part was dessert, but that’s not a rare occurrence.  And with its location in the revitalized White Provision district on the Westside of Atlanta, there are plenty of places to take an after-dinner stroll to make sure you’re able to keep your belt buckling in the same hole as before.

In all, a “2 dollar-sign-symbol” restaurant that works as well for a romantic date as a family dinner.

http://jctkitchen.com/

Atlanta’s Westside Urban Market 
1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18
Atlanta, Georgia 30318
Phone: 404-355-2252

 

Leon’s – Leon’s Full Service, as its proper Christian name indicates, is found in an old converted gas station.  The large service bay doors are a dead giveaway, but fortunately, the food isn’t the least bit oily or smell of gasoline.  The menu isn’t huge, but there are many different subcategories, from “Snacks” and “Cheese” to “Sandwiches” and “Mains.”  Make sure you order the fries (Pub Frites in Leon lingo) and sample a couple of their 14 available dipping sauces (madras curry catsup and bacon herb mayonnaise are my favorites).  They also have an extensive drink menu, with a lot of top-of-the-line draught beer choices, and a great seasonal, along with classic, cocktail menu.  Leon’s makes for a great date night spot (because they don’t take reservations and the place isn’t huge, large groups can take awhile to be seated), especially in nice weather where the outdoor seating and bocce ball courts can be enjoyed.  Plus, being right in Decatur means you’re within walking distance of many great places if you want to continue the evening.

leonsfullservice.com

131 East Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

(404) 687-0500