Chef Chris Hall, one of the three locals behind the eatery’s moniker, sources fresh, seasonal ingredients from area farmers and weaves them into creative and playful comfort dishes. For example, the chefs show off some of the region's best meats—and some of their own butchery skills—in the Notorious P.I.G. charcuterie plate, and they modernize the classic meatloaf by subbing in a sophisticated pâte and pairing it with pickled seasonal vegetables.
More than 100 varieties of wine quite literally surround guests at Local Three, where the bottles are tucked into the walls in a private dining room. Space behind the curved oak bar is reserved exclusively for spirits, including more than 40 bourbons available by the glass or flight. The bar’s taps flow with local and international craft brews, and bartenders shake up a seasonal cocktail list that, more often than not, features a drink inspired by The Big Lebowski.
Most locavores dwell more on where their food comes from than where it’s prepared, but the owners of Local Three poured a lot of thought into their kitchen—which, at more than 4,000 square feet, is actually larger than all the restaurant's dining rooms combined. This sprawling workspace houses enough gadgetry to make just about everything from scratch, including a duck-fat fryer, two smokers, and a computer-controlled oven complete with USB port. There's even a designated pasta room that operates on a separate heating system to control humidity.
A perfectly plumped cupcake trimmed with a sweetly swooped frosting lid is a lovely loaf, perfect for parties, weddings, and staring-contest victory celebrations. This Groupon gets you four of them for $5 at Sweet Pockets, which is proud to call itself Atlanta’s first shop devoted to the dainty dessert.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Inseparable even in past lives when they were a crime-solving orangutan-golden retriever duo, the Grape's Master Sommelier Jay James and Executive Chef Paul Agnelli aim to match a perfectly-chosen wine with each item on their fresh, seasonal menu. Every dish is made with wine-friendly gourmet ingredients. Settle into The Grape's outdoor patio and start by coupling sharable tasters like the chipotle-shrimp flatbread with cilantro-lime dressing ($10) with a robust red like the Layer Cake's Italian Primitivo ($10/glass), or artfully offset a mezze platter of roasted-garlic hummus, house-marinated olives, and cashew- and goat-cheese-stuffed peppadews ($9) with the crispier Sauvignon Blanc from Joel Gott's Napa vineyard ($7/glass). Likewise, dozens of chardonnays, pinot noirs, aromatic whites, champagnes, Italian wines, and more can make a leggy tango partner to entrées such as the grilled-mahi tacos with jalapeno slaw ($12), the pulled pork with pepper-jack cheese on fire-roasted corn flatbread with kettle chips ($9), or the double-cut New–Zealand lamb chops with portobello cream-cheese mashed potatoes and raspberry-balsamic honey ($24). If you're not fluent in wine jargon or simply overwhelmed by the options, The Grape's winesperienced staff is always eager to offer recommendations and advice regarding your meal or tax problems. Cap off an evening of tattoo comparisons and flirtatious arm-wrestling with a glass of fruity-sweet Muscat Blanc from Italy's Piedmont region ($13).
Craft a rope made of straws and climb the food pyramid with Planet Smoothie's menu as a trusty, yet tasty Sherpa. Thirst quenchers are grouped according to blasts, which range from the protein-rich workout blast to the vitamin-C-loaded immunity blast. For post-gym Planet Smoothie consumption, wrap your muscled eyebrows around a Big Bang, loaded with strawberries, bananas, vanilla, and your choice of protein or workout blast. If you catch a tickle in your throat, breeze through an anti-sick sampling of the Screamsicle, a pineapple-peach concoction with orange juice, yogurt, orange sherbet, and 230 percent of your daily vitamin C. To simultaneously support breast-cancer research and taste buds, sip on the Pink Promise smoothie, a blend high in antioxidants. Smoothies range in size from the after-jog-appropriate 22-ounce ($4.49) to the meal-substituting 44-ounce large ($6.55), and all drinks may be customized or supplemented upon request (try a Merlin's Mix—a protein-packed powder that turns your smoothie into a meal replacement, $2.99 additional). Planet Smoothie uses Pro-Yo, a frozen yogurt that is naturally fat free, low calorie, a friend to the digestive system, and sweetened with Stevia. The Vinings and Midtown locations also offer wheatgrass shots ($1.75–$3.25 for a 1- to 2-ounce shot).
Signed guitars and celebrity photos line the walls at Star Café Inc., but it's the food that gets top billing. And it's no wonder, with a menu chock full of hearty Southern-style food. Biscuits drenched in sausage gravy stick to ribs, while ribs and brisket elicit looks of longing from the faces of The Beatles and Bob Marley, looking down from photo frames. Down-home meals can be rounded out with traditional side dishes, such as sliced red georgia tomatoes, sweet potato souffle, and purple hull peas.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.