A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead!
ARNETTE’S CHOP SHOP
Arnette’s will dazzle you with its no-expense-spared interiors, cosmopolitan wine list and, of course, its meat. Chicago-sourced ribeyes, strips and tomahawk steaks are the main attraction supported by a top-notch cast of appetizers and sides, from decadent roasted marrow and wagyu beef tartare to classic wedge salad and Dauphinoise potatoes. (There are also oysters and caviar, if you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks.) Favorite items include the 50-day wetaged cowboy ribeye; the bliss-inducing lobster spaghetti; and the shaved prime rib sandwich, a real scenestealer. Don’t forget to ask about the members-only knife club.
Appetizers, salads and sandwiches: $9-$25
Shrimp, oysters and caviar: $13-$150
Hearth-roasted shellfish, fish and steaks: $13-$140
BLUE RIDGE GRILL
For more than 20 years, Blue Ridge Grill has been a mecca for Buckhead power lunchers and chill evening diners alike. Whether for business or romance, BRG is a paragon of hospitality, and each guest is embraced like a VIP. Standard crowd-pleasers on the Euro-American menu include grilled Georgia trout, French-boned chicken with wild mushrooms and filet mignon with Vidalia onions. Small plates and sides of iron skillet mussels, Caesar salad with crisp Beeler bacon, custardlike corn soufflé and (off-menu item) fried pickles with buttermilk dipping sauce are absolute must-tries. If cost is an issue, call ahead, as menu prices are not advertised online.
BONE GARDEN CANTINA
Beyond the colorful Día de Muertos dining room decor, the well-curated mezcal and tequila selections and the uber-friendly service, Bone Garden Cantina offers some of the most authentic Mexican cooking in Atlanta. Tastier guacamole and hot dipping queso you will not find, and we’ve tried! The tender-tothe- bone Mexican pork ribs are meaty, miraculous bites of earthy richness, and the tomatillo-rich pozole verde soup is pure south-of-the-border goodness. Garlic-sautéed shrimp enchiladas and adobo steak quesadilla seasoned with guajillo chile are among many fine familiar classics. Smaller plates include exemplary tamales and tacos.
Soups and salads: $4.50-$9.00
Tamales, tacos and empanadas: $3.50-$5.00
THE CAPITAL GRILLE BUCKHEAD
Despite the clubby decor (think leather oxblood booths, mounted animal heads, mahogany paneling), The Capital Grille is a blend of high-class aesthetic and Lowcountry hospitality. Your obliging waiter will walk you through the classic steakhouse menu heavy on in-house, dry-aged cuts. It’s a tough call. The juicy, 22-ounce, bone-in ribeye will make you swoon, but so will the sizzling, Kona-crusted New York strip. There’s top-notch fish and poultry, too, and gussied-up sides like lobster mac ’n’ cheese and soy-glazed Brussels sprouts. Salads run the gamut from the classic iceberg wedge to the continental burrata with heirloom tomatoes. Wine lovers will thrill over the world-class, 350-plus bottle wine list.
Appetizers, salads: $10-$110
Like its predecessor, the much-loved former Brasserie le Coze, F&B delivers timeless Provençal fare in a classic brasserie atmosphere. The menu is bolstered by comfort dishes portioned with hunger in mind, but it’s also fortified with lighter salads, sandwiches and soups. Classics such as steak frites and skate wing with a brown butter sauce are deeply satisfying in their rustic charm. Mussels come piled high in a white wine and shallot broth, along with crusty French bread for sopping. The drink menu is built on interesting French wines and remarkable cocktails such as the well-balanced, bourbonbased Line of Destiny.
GRINDHOUSE KILLER BURGERS
The Piedmont Avenue location of burger-preneur Alex Brounstein’s success story is where you go for a superbly flavorful, juice-dripping, napkin-soaking beef patty with all the trimmings. Though you can customize your sandwich, consider the signature “Cowboy” treatment: cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce and a beer-battered onion ring—for a slim $7.99. To gild the lily, add an order of Frings (that’s fries and rings), and ask for a side of the chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Here you can quaff a draft brew, slurp down a boozy shake, like the banana-flavored Puddin’ Out, or sip a “Snooty” cocktail such as the mezcal-based El Guapo.
Starters and sides: $2.50-$5.50
Le Colonial’s website describes this upscale French-Vietnamese restaurant as “a luxurious escapist oasis,” and we’d agree. Amidst potted palms, starched white tablecloths and whirring vintage fans, glitzed-up diners are transported back to 1920s Vietnam and enjoy the culinary synthesis of the era. Favorite street fare such as banh mi thit nuong (chargrilled pork sandwich) and pho bo (beef noodle soup) get the white glove treatment with chef Richard Lee’s skillful way with Asian herbs and spices. Classic favorites of crispy panseared chicken dumplings, garlicky beef rice noodle rolls and curried green papaya salad will have you hankering for a one-way ticket to Saigon.
Small plates: $12-$24
Soups and salads: $10-$18
Large plates: $14-$60
THE ONE SUSHI +
This glam space wedged in the back corner of Brookhaven’s Town Village is a neighborhood hot spot for Japanese small plates. The freshest fish flown in from Japan’s Tsukiji Market will impress the discerning sushi eater, while colorful rolls with clever names please the occasional dabbler. Sharable offerings and inspired snacks of zesty, yellowtail jalapeño shots and crispy fried bang bang rock shrimp are as fun as they are tasty. The drinking experience is worth celebrating as well, with a large selection of sake, shochu and whisky. We recommend the smoked toro, tender slices of tuna served under a dome of hickory smoke and the bulgogi-like Gangnam-style roll.
You can surely find trendier pizza parlors or posher places to eat Italian in Atlanta. But if you’re looking for old-fashioned linguini with clam sauce or chicken Florentine in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere with a loyal following, this Buckhead favorite has got you covered. The restaurant is beloved by many for its home-style cooking, casual ambience, reasonable prices and a staff of servers who have acquired faithful customers of their own. Owner Nancy Powell treasures her crew, most of whom have been on the job for more than a decade. Given the refined state of Italian dining in America today, Pasta Vino is not likely to win any awards for innovation or inspiration, but it remains a perfectly fine, frequently delicious trattoria.
Starters and salads: $2-$10
Opened in 1991, Pricci is the Italian jewel in Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown. This Buckhead institution still aspires to (and delivers) exceptional service, superlative Italian cooking and a vibe that’s both elegant and inclusive. Nothing says buon appetito like silky burrata Pugliese (cream filled mozzarella), tangy parmesan and anchovy- rich Caesar salad and aromatic steamed cozze (mussels in tomatogarlic sauce). Barbera-braised short rib ravioli, pecorino-sauced cacio e pepe and pizzas of all varieties are favorites, but if you’re extra peckish, order the Dutch-imported 16-ounce veal chop. Mangia bene, but don’t forget to try Pricci’s world-class tiramisu.
Appetizers and salads: $8-$26
Pizza and pastas: $17-$27
Occasionally, sitting at Treehouse feels more like a cookout. Neighbors and regulars have been coming here for the familiar comfort food and laid-back atmosphere for more than 20 years. Brunch is a big deal, with a large menu and generous portions of favorites such as the Georgia pecan waffle and Southern-style eggs Benedict covered with sausage gravy. It’s all about the patio here, and dogs are welcome guests. The chef works to enliven old favorites with as much attention to the all-American fried chicken sandwich as the New York strip au poivre. He also curates a mighty fine list of craft beers.
Burgers and sandwiches: $7-$10
Large plates: $17-$22
If you’re like us, the minute you hear Persian foodie buzzwords such as mirza ghasemi, hummus and kabob, your mouth starts watering, and you’ve got one foot out the door. If you’re smart, you’ll head directly to Zafron in Sandy Springs. Once seated, a beaming server will bring a complimentary sabzi plate and pita from the wood-burning oven. That extra-mile hospitality spills over into all areas, especially the food: world-class lamb kabob, fire-roasted salmon and the “Zafron special” made with chile, mango and eggplant. Plenty of classic small plates and rice dishes are joined with a few East-meets-West treats such as spicy Zafron chicken wings and tiramisu.
Starters and salads: $5- $9
Wraps (lunch only): $12
Entrees: $12 – $32
Sides and rice: $3 – $7
Desserts: $5 – $7
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna, Joann Vitelli
Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.
Drinks columnist at Simply Buckhead. Food, spirits, and culture writer.