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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: December 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And The Winners Are…

In creating categories and nominees, I used two simple rules. One- I had to dine at the establishment in 2005. Two- I needed to dine at more than one establishment in the category in order to make an award for that category. As you will see from this list, its been a great year. Happy Holidays to everyone and I’ll be back in 2006! So without
further ado, here are the 2005 Best of Steakhead awards…

Best Steakhouse- (tie) Chops and New York Prime
Best Burgers- Vortex (honorable mention: Ted’s Montana Grill)

Best ‘All You Can Eat’ Experience- Fogo de Chao
Best ‘All You Can Eat’ Experience under $15- Royal China Dim Sum

Best Romantic Dinner- The Food Studio
Best Restaurant to People Watch- BluePointe
Best Southwestern- Agave
Best Casual Dinner under $15- (tie) The Real Chow Baby & Taqueria del Sol

Best Chinese- Canton Cooks (honorable mention: Little Schezuan)
Best Sushi- Imari
Best Thai- Tamarind (honorable mention: Little Bangkok)

Best BBQ- Sam & Dave’s BBQ1
Best Wings- Wild Wing Café
Best Pizza- New York Pizza Exchange
Best Sports Bar- Frankie’s

Best New Restaurant- Piebar
Restaurant of the Year: Rathbun’s

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Prime Spots for a Great Night Out

New School Boys Night was a hit. Although we visited several places, I want to specifically call out two of our stops last Saturday night. First, dinner at New York Prime. This top-of-the-line steakhouse is located in Monarch Plaza in the Lenox area of Buckhead. You may have passed the sign across the street from Lenox Mall on Peachtree. It’s a very fancy sign with one problem…its nowhere near the restaurant. After walking through the back door of the Ritz- Carlton and walking through the buffet line of a very elegant wedding reception, we made it out into the parking lot and onto Lenox Road, where Monarch Plaza is located.

So with the first challenge met, we sat at the bar and waited for our seat. And waited. And waited. As it turns out, there was some confusion with the reservation and the number of people in our party, and no one was leaving from a table that would seat 4. I mean in the course of 45 minutes, no one left (if you don’t count the table right next to the jazz player). But as with any customer service issue, it’s not whether the issue exists, it’s how you respond that makes or breaks places. And with two shrimp cocktails and a lobster remoulade salad on the house, this place responded well!

Our yummy appetizers aside, it was time for steaks and man were we hungry! It was by now close to 10:30 and I had been in this steakhouse for 2 hours. Enough, already, I needed food! As has been my MO lately, I went with the bone-in ribeye steak, which came as a very generous, thick cut. The steak did not disappoint. But let me tell you, I ordered wrong. My friend SB ordered the 14-oz filet and it was OUTSTANDING! First, you could have cut this with a butter knife. Second, the flavor absolutely exploded out of this cut of meat. Probably the best tasting filet I have ever had.

The evening then went to Beluga on Piedmont. I want to call this place out because not only it is a very cool martini bar, but they have the neatest lounge singer in Atlanta. Named Claiborne, she sings with full gusto various hits off the 50s. She has tremendous energy and the crowd loves her. So for the grade for this evening, I give it all high marks. The steaks. The music. And in general a very enjoyable night out. Grade: A.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New School Boys Night

Y'all know the concept of Boys Night. Several years ago, my gang's variation of this would be to start at someone's apartment around 8 on a Saturday night to build a buzz. Call the cabs around 9:30 and first hit Buckhead Saloon around 10. After several games of pool, multiple gin and tonics or vodka and sprites, and many unplayed requests to their obnoxious house band (who played the same exact songs every weekend), we would meander over to the Tin Roof for sing along with the Francisco Vidal band. They would kick us out at 3, and then perhaps a visit to Hole In The Wall, before cabbing it home around 4.

Then some of us started to settle down and get married. So when Old School Boys Night was introduced last year as a way of reliving "the good ole days", it wasn't quite the same. Tin Roof closed. The crowds seemed to get younger (perhaps we got older?). For us marrried folk, there wasn't the incentive to try and hook up before the end of the night. And the hangovers lasted longer...much longer. (At least the Buckhead Saloon band didn't change- they still didn't take our requests and played the exact same songs).

So this weekend, a handful of us are doing New School Boys Night. First, we will start at Blue Pointe for cocktails. From there, we move onto New York Prime and some steaks from a place rated as the best restaurant in Atlanta (we'll see). Then, its on to Beluga for some martinis and the lounge singers. As I hit my late 30s, this is now much more my style. I can't wait. I'll report back next week.