It’s Dining Guide time again.
The guide rolls around twice a year. Each time, we rack our brains to determine a theme. In the past, there was the Atlanta 50 that featured the city’s top restaurants. More recently, we offered our picks for best new restaurants and went up a pant size while researching the best of brunch.
She is a seasoned beverage professional and she’s sharing her bartending pet peeves, her favorite cocktail and more. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)
We wanted this Fall Dining Guide to be something different. So we turned to readers for inspiration, sifting through your letters — colorful notes, spirited comments and inquisitive questions — and realized that some of your queries had been left unanswered. That gave us the framework for the guide and a theme: Burning Questions.
AJC dining critics might not have thought to try Zab-E-Lee in College Park if a reader hadn’t suggested it. Here, an order of Rama brings your choice of protein (pictured here is chicken) and spinach in a rich, spicy coconut curry sauce and a garnish of crushed peanuts alongside a serving of white rice. LIGAYA FIGUERAS / LFIGUERAS@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What you’ll find in this guide are reviews of restaurants that you asked us about. There are drink discussions. There is information about how you can join dining clubs, where a meetup of adventurous palates begets friendship and fun. I divulge my favorite restaurant, an oft-asked question for which I’ve developed an elevator speech rather than give a definitive answer — until now.
What’s happening in and around Atlanta right now? We address dining developments — OK, call them trends — but we tried to probe deeper. We don’t just identify them and tick off where you can jump on the bandwagon, but provide context and ask why they are gaining traction and whether they are worth your time and money.
We hope the Fall Dining Guide prompts you to check out places that merited mention.
Personally, I thank you for pushing us harder. Your letters are evidence of passion for Atlanta’s dining scene. We hope that our shared passion for a scene that continues to delight — and sometimes exasperate — our senses comes across in this Fall Dining Guide.
Check out what the AJC Fall Dining Guide 2017 has to offer:
•What do you think of these restaurants? 10 reader-requested reviews for Atlanta and beyond
•How can I meet people who love to eat? Atlanta dinner clubs combine chatter with chow
•What’s your favorite metro Atlanta restaurant? AJC food editor Ligaya Figueras answers
•What are the hottest cocktail trends in Atlanta?
•Which Atlanta bars are best for a classic cocktail?
•Which new bars in Atlanta will most tempt you?
•How are Atlanta breweries changing for the better?
•What’s the deal with...all the metro Atlanta food halls?
•What’s the deal with...all the metro Atlanta rolled ice cream?
•What’s the deal with...the metro Atlanta steakhouse boom?
•What’s the deal with...all the poké in metro Atlanta?
More burning questions with Atlanta restaurant industry professionals:
Bob has been the maître d at One Midtown Kitchen since it opened 15 years ago. He is here to tell you what will get you kicked out of a restaurant and what keeps him going after all these years. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)
Pitmaster-owner of B’s Cracklin BBQ, Bryan Furman answers some burning questions from his thoughts on Yelp to his feelings about tofu. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)
Take 360 video tours of four of Atlanta’s best restaurants:
Coined, “The finest wining and dining in Atlanta,” in the 2016 movie “Baby Driver,” Bacchanalia is more than a line in a film. The restaurant is owned by chef Anne Quatrano, one of the most widely respected chefs in Atlanta. The AJC takes a look inside the new location on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard. General manager Frances Quatrano gives us the tour of the family-owned restaurant that’s been an Atlanta landmark for more than 20 years. Video by Ryon Horne / RHORNE@AJC.COM
Take a virtual tour during happy hour inside Kimball House, known for its Southern seafood and cocktails. Co-founder and cocktail historian Miles Macquarrie shares the experience of Kimball House, located at the former railroad depot in Decatur. Video by Erica Hernandez / ERICA.HERNANDEZ@AJC.COM and Ryon Horne / RHORNE@AJC.COM
Prepare to experience something new when visiting Gunshow, located in Glenwood Park. Chef-owner Kevin Gilllespie shares the run down on the busy kitchen ran by executive chef Joey Ward, the ever-changing menu and the themed nights at this distinctly Atlanta restaurant. Video by Ryon Horne / RHORNE@AJC.COM
Chef-owner Brian So gives the AJC a 360 look inside his restaurant Spring, located in the heart of Marietta Square. A native to the town, So was determined to bring his talents back home with his intimate dining room. Video by Ryon Horne / RHORNE@AJC.COM