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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 all-around Korean BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2011 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Myung Ga Won (Featured)
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 barbecue BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2011 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Community Q BBQ (Where to Eat Recommendation)
Leave it to barbecue veteran David Roberts, a co-founder of Marietta's Sam & Dave's, to open a restaurant that can take away the guilt of indulging in what's normally, well, an indulgence. At Community Q, Roberts and his partners make their barbecue with local ingredients whose just-picked freshnessmore...
Leave it to barbecue veteran David Roberts, a co-founder of Marietta's Sam & Dave's, to open a restaurant that can take away the guilt of indulging in what's normally, well, an indulgence. At Community Q, Roberts and his partners make their barbecue with local ingredients whose just-picked freshness somehow eliminates the gut bomb after-effects most 'cue can have on a person. Smoky and moist pulled pork, tender brisket with that perfect pink halo, and ethereal smoked chicken take center stage, although the sides are not background dancers. Don't miss the gooey, signature mac and cheese made with shells, or the hand-cut fries tossed with an addictively sweet and salty seasoning, or anything from the specials menu made with local vegetables. 1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur. 404-633-2080. communityqbbq.com. less...

Best bartender BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2011 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Paul Calvert
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...