Atlanta's fine dining scene is amazing. Whether you go there to impress a date or just looking to drop more cash on better food and service, there are plenty of places to go, as long as you remember to make a reservation before.
Authentic Hunan Chinese cuisine at its best, Uncle Tai's has "French-style" service and a serene atmosphere. Located near the Buckhead scene, this bistro may be a little too formal for a Chinese restaurant, but it's a nice change. Address: 3500 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30326. Call 404-816-8888 for reservations.
Maggiano's Little Italy
Fine Italian cuisine with casual dress. Enough said, but I'll say more. Huge crowds and families pack into this restaurant all week long, so it's better to make a reservation, and well worth it. Making every meal from scratch, Maggiano's displays a tasty menu of old, Italian favorites, as well as new creative dishes. The portions are huge, one enough to serve five, and the atmosphere is astonishing. The dining room is enormous, with towering columns and black-and-white photos of Little Italy on the walls. Try the rigatoni with chicken for a great new taste. Address: 3368 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30326. Call 404-816-9650 or go to www.maggianos.com for more information.
Blue Ridge Grill
The prices are sky high at this hearty Southern restaurant, where the atmosphere feels like a cozy ski lodge. The chef cooks over hickory wood, while the menu includes duck, veal, venison or lamb, done in a variety of ways. If you're not seated right away, pull up a seat by the bar and grab a quick cocktail. Address: 1262 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta 30327. Call 404-233-5030 for more information.
Soul food gets a modern-day makeover at this Harlem-based restaurant. The contemporary lighting and decorating provides a wonderful atmosphere for dining. With every celebrity, tourist and local stopping in, it's hard to get a table, so be prepared to wait. Service is also a little slow, but well worth the wait for her home cooking, just like your Mama used to make it. Address: 241 Central Ave., Atlanta 30303. Call 404-529-9692 for more information.
This upscale restaurant appeals to the sophisticated businessman, featuring American fusion cuisine at the cost of long waits and high prices. The desserts there are also highly recommended, as well as their deep wine list, featuring many wines over a hundred bucks. Try a taste of the caramelized apple tart with walnut brittle ice cream -- a signature dessert among the locals. Address: 3455 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30326. Call 404-237-9070 for more information.
With great food and a relaxing atmosphere, these restaurants are perfect for anything from a first date to a family hangout.
With many locations in the Atlanta area, this casual restaurant is the place to go when craving a good burger. Mick's also has other great sandwiches, as well as old-fashioned meat loaf and chicken pot pies. Try the grilled chicken avocado sandwich for dinner and the Oreo cheesecake for dessert. When the portions are huge and the service is excellent, there's no need to complain. They also have a kid's menu that serves pint-sized portions. Address: 3393 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30326. Call 404-262-6425 for more information.
An always-reliable source of fine Italian cuisine, service here is kind and professional. Take advantage of the seasonal menus, but don't ignore the classic dishes. The wine list has much Italian-depth, but by-the-glass choices are weak. Address: 2355 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-261-8186 for more information.
The innovative menu at this Southwestern-influenced restaurant is a collage of all dishes, with Latin and Native American influences. Bold flavors and colors are experienced with any dish, and like every Buckhead diner, the wine list is long but a little pricey. Try the rabbit tostadas for an appetizer and for dessert any one of the many innovative sweet dishes. Address: 3060 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-240-1984 for more information.
Great service with tasty Hong Kong delicacies will set this Chinese restaurant above the rest. Common dishes are fresher and better here, but feature exotic dishes as well. Special orders are sometimes obliged, even if it's not on the menu. Address: 4279 Roswell Rd., Atlanta 30342. Call 404-255-4848 for more information.
LuLu's Bait Shack
Famous for its 96 oz. fishbowl drinks, LuLu's serves fantastic Cajun cooking, along with providing live music all week long. And for those that dare to eat with excitement, jump on top of their 2500-square foot rooftop deck and dine while you look down into the heart of Buckhead. Address: 3057 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-262-5220 for more information or go to www.lulusbaitshack.com for more information.
For the casual Italian in you, go to this cosmopolitan bistro that serves almost any sort of gourmet pizza you could wish for, along with calzones and sandwiches to boot. True, the menu has more than just pizza available, but if you're gonna go to a pizza bar, order the pizza. Address: 3055 Bolling Way, Atlanta 30305. Call 404-264-0135 or go to www.metropolitanpizza.com for more information.
Specializing in fresh Tex-Mex fare, Jalisco is great for the family, offering low prices and kids' night on Thursdays. Lines can get long, but takeout is always available. Address: 2337 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-233-9244 for more information.
Voted the "Best Little Dump in Atlanta," Steamhouse Lounge is casual to the bone. The Lounge specializes in freshly steamed seafood, hence the restaurant name, as well as the sandwiches, salads and award-winning chili. Address: 3041 Bolling Way, Atlanta 30305. Call 404-233-7980 for more info.
Atlanta Fish Market
Ever have trouble finding the good seafood restaurants? You can stop searching because with a 65-foot copper fish model displayed outside of this uptown reliable, you'll have no problem with directions. Serving Atlanta's freshest fish, the menu is printed daily, offering typical favorites to the very exotic. The separate Geechee Crab Lounge houses its own smoky bar where the people there will usually fish for digits. Address: 265 Pharr Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-262-3165 for more information.
Most men love steak. It's a known fact, so Atlanta has compiled these following restaurants to feed the need for delicious red meat.
Even if the dining seems overpriced to you the bar scene is fun and interesting all the time. Every square inch of wall space is decorated with black-and-white photos of famous carnivores. Expect to burn a hole in your wallet when dining here; about $60 a person for the finest steak in town. Address: 3130 Piedmont Rd., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-237-2663 for more information.
This is an excellent place to satisfy the hunger for cow. With great steaks at fair prices, you can't lose. Address: 230 Peachtree St., Atlanta 30303. Call 404-222-0103 for more information.
Expect the usual man's atmosphere at this upper-class chain steakhouse. Lots of wood and soft lighting gives the restaurant a cigar-friendly atmosphere. Similar to Bone's, Morton's menu is reliable, but pricey for the average Joe, so be prepared to eye a lot of professionals while dining. With a comprehensive list of almost 100 red wines to go with your slab, Morton's achieves excellent performance. Address: 3379 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30326. Call 404-816-6535 for more information.
Service is smooth and flawless at this manly steak shop located in Buckhead Plaza. The steaks are always tasty and you can even bring your vegetarian friends with you, with veggie dishes for good fare. If you're in the mood for lobster, or just want to order some seafood with your steak, you are welcome to order from the Lobster Bar located directly below the restaurant. Address: 70 With Paces Ferry Ave., Atlanta 30305. Call 404-262-2675 for more information.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Another location of this national chain that serves excellent steaks at high prices, but if you can talk the kitchen into making a steak with Gorgonzola sauce, you're really in for a treat. Also known for their signature Chocolate mousse cheesecake, their dessert menu is intriguing, while their wine list is impressive. Address: 5788 Roswell Rd., Atlanta 30328. Call 404-255-0035 for more information.
A fun place that does a great job of serving juicy USDA steaks. Chops, ribs and chicken fill out the menu, and at low prices. 'Nuf said. Address: 1600 Piedmont Rd., Atlanta 30324. Call 404-874-3751 for more information.