S I M P LY D E LICIOUS
FEATURED RESTAURANTS A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead BY: Wendell PHOTOS:
Brock and Angela Hansberger
10 DEGREES SOUTH After 15 years on the scene, this Roswell Road establishment is a highly original destination where food and wine from the tip of the Southern Hemisphere are celebrated with flair. Before we could pose the server with a query on the peri-peri, we got the hard sell on South African reds—particularly the Rupert & Rothschild 2009 “Classique.” The big, full-bodied R&R was the perfect match for the luscious, spicy food that followed. I may not be an expert on South African cuisine, but I’ll wager that nobody makes bobotie (the national dish) like 10 Degrees South. The dish consists of tantalizingly sweet curried ground beef topped with a custardy crust. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and indulge in the kind of stuff our parents enjoyed when “Continental” cuisine was in vogue. Appetizers: $10-$16 Entrées: $21-$38 10degreessouth.com
BUCKHEAD DINER This indispensible, neon-splashed diner is a jewel in the crown of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which includes the Greek temple-like Kyma next door and the Atlanta Fish Market down the street. For 27 years, fans have flocked here for the housemade chips with Maytag blue, the “sweet heat”
Thai-chili calamari, juicy burgers and the decadent white chocolate banana cream pie—all classics. Simply by virtue of the way it lights up Piedmont Road, this diner has always been, and will always be, a star. Appetizers: $6-$12 Sandwiches and burgers: $13-$16 Entrées: $17-$30 buckheadrestaurants.com/ buckhead-diner
BUCKET SHOP CAFÉ Atlanta’s answer to TV’s “Cheers,” this casual, family-owned spot across from Lenox Square is a game-day institution with seriously good pub grub, friendly prices and spirited, efficient service. Burgers, wings and sandwiches of all kinds dominate the menu. But one dish on the starting lineup deserves a special trophy: the chicken rolls. Perhaps they sound like a fusion experiment, but in fact, these crispy, deep-fried egg roll wrappers stuffed with chicken, cheese, sour cream, chives and TexMex sauce (salsa mixed with ranch) are downright addictive. The Bucket Shop team gets extra points for its solid, ever-changing list of local craft brews. Starters: $6-$13 Sandwiches and burgers: $9- $13 Entrées: $12-$18 bucketshopcafe.com
Beloved by celebrities and hometown fans the Buckhead Diner has helped define what Atlanta eats for more than a quarter-century.
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE While the Texas-based chain is known for superb steaks, fusion appetizers and flatbreads, we think the burgers are sensational. In particular, the Pimento Cheese Burger, an uptown riff on the Big Mac, is a tower of juicy deliciousness: two patties with lettuce, tomato and pickle; plus housemade “sloppy sauce” (it’s like a smooth Thousand Island); plus two generous smears of pimento cheese, which slides down the stack and seals in all that juicy goodness. Del Frisco’s gets special points for packaging: The burger sits coyly in a partly open paper wrapper, while the fries are in a little paper cone on the side. A cold frothy draft beer is the clincher. Appetizers: $7-$16.50 Sandwiches & flatbreads: $12.50-$18 Steaks: $29.50-$39.50 delfriscosgrille.com/atlanta
The Bucket Shop Café’s salmon BLT hits all the right notes; and when it comes to sides, don’t waffle on the sweet potato fries.
January/February 2017 | Simply Buckhead
Houston’s probably won’t make the list of any highfalutin, big-city critic. And yet the Beverly Hills-based chain, which has had an Atlanta presence since 1978,has a devoted following, thanks to its consistently good, all-American food; its commitment to customer comforts; and its flagrant disregard for culinary razzle-dazzle. While the gooey
spinach-and-artichoke dip and the Famous French Dip are the stuff of legend, we are crazy about the Thai steak and noodle salad, the crispy-skinned rotisserie chicken and the warm, fivenut brownie with vanilla ice cream. At Houston’s, every table is bolted to the floor so it won’t wobble, servers bring chilled glasses so your drink never gets tired and napkins have buttonholes so the white-shirt crowd can save its ties. We can only hope this classic sticks around for a few more decades. Starters: $4-$15. Salads, $13-$20 Burgers and sandwiches: $18-$20 Entrees: $25-$45 hillstone.com/houstons
KR STEAKBAR Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun’s only Buckhead restaurant feels custom-tailored for the community. A contemporary nocturnal cubbyhole where small plates rule, wine flows and the air bristles with excitement, the fashionable “steakbar” concept finds Rathbun and chef de cuisine Jessica Gamble fusing two venerable concepts: meat and Italian. Here, nearly everything speaks with a perky Mediterranean lilt: amari-kissed cocktails; steak doused with espresso sauce; heavenly olive-oil cake with almond brittle and citrus cream. (Pastry chef Kylie Akiyama is terrific.) Hidden