While growing up in Taiwan, Grand China Restaurant co-owners K.C. Chang and Tse-Chih Chang watched their mothers??the best cooks in the world??prepare fresh, delicious meals. While she tinkered with the balance of herbs and vegetables in her secret recipes, Tse-Chih?s mother dreamed of owning her own restaurant. As the mother of eight, she never had the time, but her daughter did. After Tse-Chih moved to the United States for graduate school, she opened a Chinese restaurant with her husband.
In business since 1978, Grand China Restaurant dishes sizzling plates of Chinese fare crafted with family recipes. As food trends evolved and customers grew more adventurous, the Changs have expanded their menu to add pan-Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese and Malay appetizers and Japanese and Thai entrees. The new menu earned Grand China the Best of Citysearch award for Best Chinese food every year from 2007 to 2010. Haute Living also called it one of the top five Chinese restaurants in Atlanta, recommending the scorpion or zombie cocktails. Like the food, the cocktails are made from scratch, using fruits, flavored rums, and top-shelf liquors rather than juices or mixes.
Belly dancers wend sinuously through Imperial Fez?s dimly lit main dining room. On Wednesday, the belly dancers give over the floor to the searing showmanship of fire dancers. Diners gaze at the spectacle through burbles of sweetly scented smoke from table-top hookahs on the patio and in the Casablanca Lounge, which they can order in a flavor of their choice to compliment meals. Two live shows at the patio and lounge are held at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
While nightly entertainment draws diners? attentions, the main attraction at Imperial Fez is chef Rafih Benjelloun?s native Moroccan cuisine, which guests devour by the fingerful. Benjelloun seals the flavors of cumin and cilantro into baked legs of lamb and infuses mountains of couscous with the flavors of apricot, raisin, and sweet onions. Embroidered cushions for seating complete the authenticity of guests? Moroccan dining experience, preventing them from having to build an indoor campfire to justify sitting on the floor.
La Fourchette has earned plaudits as one of the most romantic restaurants in the city by Gayot, and the eatery received a nod from critic John Kessler for elegant profiteroles. Its intimate interior is home to a menu melded from traditional French, Italian, and Spanish cuisines. Behind the scenes, French-trained chef Jeffrey Wall helms the kitchen to produce plates of foie gras, fig-balsamic hangar steak with frites, and tender, briny steamed mussels. He also oversees the preparation of dynamic Sunday brunches from a rotating weekly menu. This culinary syllabus presents sweets and savories such as brioche french toast and duck confit joined by soft scrambled eggs. A wine list, thoughtfully curated by sommelier Perrine Prieur, features sip-worthy complements to meals and spill-worthy complements to boring white shirts in need of a festive blot or a corporate logo.
Atlanta is a burger town, but one of the tastiest competitors for the hamburger crown is Grindhouse Killer Burgers. Located on Edgewood Avenue near Ansley Mall, the spot is short on parking but worth the trip. It makes a great stop after visiting the nearby Atlanta Botanical Garden, as one can offset the gooey, greasy burgers with a long walk through the greenery. Grindhouse has a kitschy atmosphere complete with robot art and televisions usually showing cartoons from the 1980s. There is seating inside, outside and at the bar, so diners won’t usually have to suffer a wait. One uniquely Southern touch is the “cheesy poofs,” which are fried balls of pimento cheese fit for sharing. Grindhouse has several standard burgers, or the customer can create their own masterpiece. Beverage choices include self-described “cheap” or “classy” wines, but the real stars of the show are the boozy milkshakes.
For 15 years, Baby Tommy's Taste of New York has been serving up authentic New York-style pies topped with everything from traditional pepperoni, to artichokes, feta, or breaded chicken. Atlanta magazine recommends the lasagna pizza, which piles the chewy thin crust with meatballs, ricotta cheese, and meat sauce, while those with a taste for travel may want to explore the cheesesteak pizza, which pairs steak and caramelized onions atop a creamy white sauce.
Of course, Baby Tommy's New York-style eats don't stop with just pizza. The menu also includes a medley of sandwiches named for the state, including the New Yorker, a combination of corned beef, pastrami, and Swiss cheese, or the Manhattan, a salty stack of ham, Genoa salami, and Provolone.
“A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.” A quote pulled from the pages of Ecclesiastes never seemed so befitting of a restaurant, but the friendly staff at BrickTop’s helps their guests fulfill this lofty goal. The chefs cook up gourmet flatbreads, ahi-tuna steaks, and slow-roasted prime rib. On the weekends, friendly servers bestow tables with brunch selections such as decadent housemade donuts, crab benedict, and chicken with waffles. Within BrickTop’s upscale corner of the modern Terminus building, guests are welcome to indulge in bloody marys, mimosas, and cocktails carefully crafted at the bar. BrickTop’s treats all of its guests to complimentary valet or validated parking to ease the stress of finding a spot for a hijacked parade float.