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Best of Atlanta 2011 Oral Pleasures

 

Best Of Atlanta 2011 Oral Pleasures Large


Oral Pleasures

Recently, my world-traveling uncle has been making frequent trips to Atlanta. Over the past couple of months, I've been taking him out, always conscious that he regularly eats in Tokyo, Paris and New York. What do we have in Atlanta that can compare to those world-class cities?

A lot, it turns out. My uncle has been consistently surprised and impressed by the restaurants he's visited here. At Empire State South, the wine list blew him away (and this is a guy who can't put me up in his guestroom any more because it's full of wine). At Miller Union, he swooned over the blueberry upside-down cake. All over town, cocktails have had him wishing aloud that other cities he visits had our booze prowess.

We've long known Atlanta is a dining city worthy of our love and devotion, but this year it seems as though the rest of the country realized that as well. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival brought journalists, chefs and diners from all over the country, and the thing I heard most from those visitors was surprise and delight at the food our city has to offer. 2011 felt like a coming-out party for Atlanta's restaurant scene. We're happy to be a part of that celebration.

— Besha Rodell

Best cheap eats BOA Award Winner

Best chinese BOA Award Winner

Chin Chin
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best fried chicken BOA Award Winner

Currently in the process of relocating to a new location.

Best soul food BOA Award Winner

Soul Vegetarian South

Best vegan BOA Award Winner

Soul Vegetarian South

Best weekly dining deal BOA Award Winner

The Shed at Glenwood

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

Best appetizers BOA Award Winner

The Iberian Pig

Best chef BOA Award Winner

<ahref="http://www.rathbunsrestaurant.com">www.rathbunsrestaurant.com

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

and other metro Atlanta locations.

Best hamburger BOA Award Winner

The Vortex - Little Five Points|The Vortex Bar and Grill - Midtown

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

Best Italian BOA Award Winner

Sotto Sotto

Best restaurant design BOA Award Winner

FLIP Burger Boutique - Buckhead|FLIP Burger Boutique - Westside

Best supper club BOA Award Winner

<ahref="http://www.spiceroutesupperclub.com">www.spiceroutesupperclub.com
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Best dim sum BOA Award Winner

Canton House

Best frozen yogurt BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best mixologist BOA Award Winner

Leon's Full Service

Best pizza BOA Award Winner

Antico Pizza Napoletana

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Best seafood BOA Award Winner

Six Feet Under - Grant Park

Best tapas BOA Award Winner

Best Vietnamese BOA Award Winner

Com Dunwoody Vietnamese Grill

Best bakery BOA Award Winner

Highland Bakery - Old Fourth Ward

Best bartender BOA Award Winner

Back when Paul Calvert worked at the Sound Table, he was a great mixologist. His drinks were remarkable, but when the place filled up, the frenzied pace of a dance club didn't match the careful construction of Calvert's drinks. He could seem a little ... grumpy. Now that Calvert's at Pura Vida, he'smore...
Back when Paul Calvert worked at the Sound Table, he was a great mixologist. His drinks were remarkable, but when the place filled up, the frenzied pace of a dance club didn't match the careful construction of Calvert's drinks. He could seem a little ... grumpy. Now that Calvert's at Pura Vida, he's a whole new man. His drinks are as good as ever, and he now has the time to be the gracious, knowledgeable, friendly host we always knew he could be. Calvert has gone beyond mixology to become a great bartender. 656 N. Highland Ave. 404-870-9797. puravidatapas.com. less...

Best burgers BOA Award Winner

Best classic cocktails BOA Award Winner

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

Pastry chef Pamela Moxley has emerged as a beacon of light in the dark morass of mediocre chocolate lava cakes and soggy pies. Moxley, who worked pastry from the opening to the closing of Craft and Craftbar, is in charge of all things sweet at Miller Union. Everything the disarmingly passionate chefmore...
Pastry chef Pamela Moxley has emerged as a beacon of light in the dark morass of mediocre chocolate lava cakes and soggy pies. Moxley, who worked pastry from the opening to the closing of Craft and Craftbar, is in charge of all things sweet at Miller Union. Everything the disarmingly passionate chef makes is seasonally driven, unpretentious and expertly executed. Fat, juicy blueberries dribble over an upside-down-style buttery cake encrusted with crumbly brown sugar walnuts and oat-laced streusel topping. Highlights from the summer fruit season included a tart filled with sticky fig jam, and sliced figs tossed in wine reduction with homemade Earl Grey ice cream. These desserts showcase Moxley's moxy in their quiet beauty and precise simplicity. 999 Brady Ave. 678-733-8550. millerunion.com. less...

Best Sichuan BOA Award Winner

When Peter Cheng announced he was opening his eponymous restaurant, fans of Tasty China worried that Atlanta's first standout Sichuan spot would suffer. But seven months after opening Peter Cheng's in Smyrna, the chef's original restaurant is still the best our city has to offer. Classics such as crunchymore...
When Peter Cheng announced he was opening his eponymous restaurant, fans of Tasty China worried that Atlanta's first standout Sichuan spot would suffer. But seven months after opening Peter Cheng's in Smyrna, the chef's original restaurant is still the best our city has to offer. Classics such as crunchy dry-fried eggplant with custardy centers, confit-like tilapia served in neon red broth with silken tofu, and the tightly rolled and perfectly balanced crunchy hot and numbing beef offer that signature tingle and heat we've come to crave with crackhead-like devotion. The restaurant's Spartan digs just go to show that spicy substance always wins out over style. 585 Franklin Road, Suite B3, Marietta. 770-419-9849. tastychina.net. less...

Best spot for a first date BOA Award Winner

On a couch or a table? This is typically more of, say, a third-date question. But if you and your honey venture downtown to Lunacy Black Market on your first date, come prepared with a response. Intimate clusters of sofas, loveseats and armchairs, as well as a smattering of tables, fill the restaurant'smore...
On a couch or a table? This is typically more of, say, a third-date question. But if you and your honey venture downtown to Lunacy Black Market on your first date, come prepared with a response. Intimate clusters of sofas, loveseats and armchairs, as well as a smattering of tables, fill the restaurant's living room-like interior. Chef Paul Luna's rotating menu of small plates arrives scrawled in Sharpie on torn-up cardboard wine cases. But rather than looking sloppy, it feels personal and charming. Best of all? None of the dishes costs more than $5. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find any of the dozen or so menu items priced more than $3. Neither of you will look like greedy pig faces thanks to the petite portions and tidy presentations of dishes such as short ribs with house-made ricotta, chickpea curry or a charcuterie plate. If things don't work out, you won't have spent a load. And if things do work out, you'll have enough money left over for cocktails at your place. Couch or table? 231 Mitchell St. 404-736-6164. lunacyblackmarket.com. less...

Best veggie meal at a non-veggie restaurant BOA Award Winner

Here in the hallowed halls of CL's food department, we are partial to pig. But despite our affection for meat, we harbor a serious craving for the veggieloaf at Leon's Full Service. Made with a combination of quinoa, lentils, mushrooms, bulgur wheat and sun-dried tomatoes, it's at once rich, hearty,more...
Here in the hallowed halls of CL's food department, we are partial to pig. But despite our affection for meat, we harbor a serious craving for the veggieloaf at Leon's Full Service. Made with a combination of quinoa, lentils, mushrooms, bulgur wheat and sun-dried tomatoes, it's at once rich, hearty, nutty, savory and intensely satisfying. The tangy romesco sauce and roasted cauliflower, shiitake and sun-dried tomato salad provide more intense earthy flavor than is present in many of the city's best meat dishes. That, paired with a recession old-fashioned ($6!) makes for one of the most gratifying meals in the A. 131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-687-0500. leonsfullservice.com. less...

Best cheap eats BOA Award Winner

Best chinese BOA Award Winner

Chin Chin
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best fried chicken BOA Award Winner

Currently in the process of relocating to a new location.

Best soul food BOA Award Winner

Soul Vegetarian South

Best vegan BOA Award Winner

Soul Vegetarian South

Best weekly dining deal BOA Award Winner

The Shed at Glenwood

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

Best appetizers BOA Award Winner

The Iberian Pig

Best all-around Korean BOA Award Winner

Korean restaurants are tricky. You pretty much need to go somewhere different for every specific craving. Myung Ga Won is one of the few Korean joints in town that covers all the bases, and covers them remarkably well. The marinade on the barbecued meats achieves that perfect salty sweetness. Goat stewmore...
Korean restaurants are tricky. You pretty much need to go somewhere different for every specific craving. Myung Ga Won is one of the few Korean joints in town that covers all the bases, and covers them remarkably well. The marinade on the barbecued meats achieves that perfect salty sweetness. Goat stew cooked tableside swells with gratifying umami funk. More basic items like dolsot bibimbap (rice, vegetables and beef) cooked in a sizzling cast-iron bowl are an easy sell for kids as "fried rice," but exceptional enough for connoisseurs seeking crispy rice slathered in spicy sauce. The banchan is all made fresh in house and is crisp, murky and wonderfully mysterious. The drive may be murder but sometimes you have to sacrifice a little gas money for the good stuff. 1960 Day Drive, Suite 100, Duluth. 770-622-1300. less...

Best food festival BOA Award Winner

Best food truck BOA Award Winner

Who does that hot dog think he is, coddled in a slice of golden brown French toast and smothered in apple slaw, spicy mustard and maple syrup? And what business does a cold curry salad have being nestled into a freshly made waffle cone? These are the questions that race through your mind while perusingmore...
Who does that hot dog think he is, coddled in a slice of golden brown French toast and smothered in apple slaw, spicy mustard and maple syrup? And what business does a cold curry salad have being nestled into a freshly made waffle cone? These are the questions that race through your mind while perusing the Good Food Truck's handwritten menu. These are also the questions that vanish instantly once you smoosh your face into the Poodle's outrageous hot doggery or chomp away at any other of the rolling restaurant's hand-held culinary mashups. Easy on the pocket (most goodies ring up in the $2 to $6 range) and even easier to find at the growing number of street food and art events around town, the Good Food Truck will make you go, "Mmmmm. I wish I was drunk." goodfoodtruckatl.com. less...

Best health-conscious policy change BOA Award Winner

When Highland Tap opened in 1989 at the corner of Virginia and Highland avenues, it broke the tradition of super-high expensive meat with its high-quality steaks at prices we could afford. Unfortunately, it was perilous to set foot in the subterranean space without toting an oxygen tank. The smoke, driftingmore...
When Highland Tap opened in 1989 at the corner of Virginia and Highland avenues, it broke the tradition of super-high expensive meat with its high-quality steaks at prices we could afford. Unfortunately, it was perilous to set foot in the subterranean space without toting an oxygen tank. The smoke, drifting from the bar to the dining room, was suffocating and eye-burning. But last spring, the restaurant banned smoking. Yee-haw! Now we can eat all the affordable bloody red meat we want without danger of asphyxiation, cancer or stinkiness. 1026 N. Highland Ave. 404-875-3673. nnnwcorp.com. less...

Best ice cream BOA Award Winner

Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream
We vow never to divorce Morelli's as long as it keeps spreading the ginger-lavender and salted caramel flavors on our tongues. Over-the-top sundaes created by Kevin Gillespie at the new Edgewood location further seal our love. 749 Moreland Ave., Suite B-102. 404-622-0210; 1220 Caroline St. 404-584-2500.more...
We vow never to divorce Morelli's as long as it keeps spreading the ginger-lavender and salted caramel flavors on our tongues. Over-the-top sundaes created by Kevin Gillespie at the new Edgewood location further seal our love. 749 Moreland Ave., Suite B-102. 404-622-0210; 1220 Caroline St. 404-584-2500. morellisicecream.com. less...

Best looking waitstaff BOA Award Winner

Best restaurant BOA Award Winner

Best chef BOA Award Winner

<ahref="http://www.rathbunsrestaurant.com">www.rathbunsrestaurant.com

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

and other metro Atlanta locations.

Best hamburger BOA Award Winner

The Vortex - Little Five Points|The Vortex Bar and Grill - Midtown

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

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