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Review: BLT Steak (1)

Laurent Tourondel aims to bring French sensibilities to classic Americana, and in New York BLT Steak is highly acclaimed, one of the city's best-loved steak houses. In Atlanta, BLT has found a home in the new downtown W Hotel.

The guy leaning up to the bar at BLT Steak can’t wait to be sat to place his drink order. It’s 9:50 p.m., 10 minutes before the kitchen closes, and “Jones” here, as his companions are calling him, has just arrived at the hostess stand and announced, “There’s seven of us, we don’t have a reservation.” Without waiting for a response, he turns to the bar and barks, “I’ll take a Grey Goose, splash of cranberry and some lime.” (Clearly his time hanging out with sorority girls has influenced his taste in beverages.) “Roberts!” he says to one of the other blue-tooth adorned, square-jawed balls of machismo in his party. “You need a drink?”

Groups of these men make up practically every table at BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel’s eponymous high-end steakhouse that first opened in New York in 2004 and now has outposts in L.A., Miami, Hong Kong and four other locations.

Tourondel aims to bring French sensibilities to classic Americana, and in New York BLT Steak is highly acclaimed, one of the city’s best-loved steak houses. In Atlanta, BLT has found a home in the new downtown W Hotel. The space exudes confidence, both manly and homey, exhibiting all the right shades of brown accented with oil paintings that lean to art’s safe side.

Apart from the swank man-friendly location and décor, the main reason cabernet- (or cosmo) swilling CEO types populate BLT is because they’re the only people who could possibly afford to eat here. In the hierarchy of Atlanta’s current ignore-the-recession, über-expensive restaurant trend, BLT wins top spot. Entrees, which are served a la carte and meant to be ordered with sides, hover between $30 and $45. Appetizers are mainly in the over-$15 range. It’s mighty hard for two people to get out of here for under $250.