For Alison, cooking up delicious, welcoming meals is second nature. In her 35 years in the restaurant business, she's gathered traditional and modern culinary influences into a menu of New Southern comfort cuisine that features good old-fashioned meatloaf and mashed potatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, liver and onions, and her popular crab cakes. There's an abundance of seafood dishes—Alison prepares fish tacos, cedar plank salmon, and lobster mac 'n' cheese, to name a few. She even offers a pecan-crusted fillet of North Georgia mountain trout, served with a creamy mango sauce. The restaurant's meatier offerings include beef fillets and oven roasted pork tenderloin with a peach bourbon chutney. Bourbon tastings at the full-service bar are popular among Alison’s Restaurant and Bourbon Bar's regulars. On warm days, she opens the fenced-in patio to let customers enjoy the sunshine.
At Fishook Grille, chefs specialize in grilled fish with house-blended spices, creating dishes inspired by South African cuisine, which blends spices from the East and cooking techniques from the West. Signature sauces such as South Africa's famous piri piri sauce, which is slightly tangy with a bit of heat, add a kick to fish tacos and sandwiches. It also makes the house's chicken wings zesty, providing patrons with a tasty test of their willpower, not unlike entering a pie-eating contest where the object is to eat zero pies.
Oceania Seafood's menu is populated with fish, clams, and shrimp wrestled freshly from the ocean's salty grasp. Seafaring goodies emerge from the flapping kitchen doors, such as the bursting crawfish steam pot packed with 2 pounds of crawfish and a half-dozen helpings of clams, shrimp, and mussels, all supported by a bed of sausage, potatoes, and corn ($19.99). Kitchen fishermen boil 1-pound servings of spicy crawfish ($4.75) and lure fried oysters ($4.50/dozen) to tables with the false promise of replacing their precious pearls. Fried or blackened tilapia alights on the buns of half ($4.99) or whole po boys ($7.99), and patrons capture shrimp, scallops, and mussels with pasta nets in the seafood pasta ($12.99).
From the brick-paneled walls and booths lined with dark wooden accents to the seasonal selection of gourmet American cuisine, Blackstone embodies every aspect of the classic steak house. A selection of hearty cuts anchors the menu, whether as solitary 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, or massive 22-ounce cowboy rib eyes adorned with béarnaise sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster-shaped earrings, and other edible accessories. Guests can also savor a taste of the seas with plates of Atlantic salmon or pan-fried trout. Blackstone's wine list collects more than 35 pours, including 19 by the glass.
The snap of cracking shells echoes through the numerous dining rooms of Fisherman’s Bucket. Servers weave through cobblestone archways, bearing fried, steamed, or seasoned shellfish by the platter and bucket, along with po’ boys spilling forth oysters, gator, and catfish. Soft lights illuminate a faux shark head above the booths, tables, and barstools inside, and an outdoor patio stretches out beneath the sun, stars, and skywriters passive-aggressively correcting each others’ work.
The word "wahoo" can be defined as both an expression of joy and a type of fish. Wahoo! Grill came up with a third meaning for it: "An amazing restaurant, full of joy, warmth, and great food." And there's definitely plenty to be amazed by here, starting with the eclectic selection of seafood, ranging from fish tacos to seared scallops in pumpkin-seed butter. In a similar fashion, the brunch menu has shrimp and grits, as well as fresh-herb egg scrambles and hash-brown casserole.
But it's not just the Southern-style cooking that charms guests. The dining rooms are quite handsome; the exposed-brick main room has views of the modern exhibition kitchen, and a sun-drenched atrium that leads out to a patio lush with greenery. Elegant touches such as rustic chandeliers and high-backed upholstered booths have made the restaurant a popular venue for wedding receptions and an unpopular venue for food fight enthusiasts.
And whether you're toasting a couple's nuptials or just meeting friends for a Tuesday night nip, the drink list has plenty to offer. There's an international selection of reds and whites served by the bottle or glass, and the spirits list includes everything from bourbons to cordials. Those liquors go into specialty cocktails such as a Wahoo! spritz with Aperol and sparkling wine, though someone looking for something a bit hoppier can order a craft beer such as Red Brick Laughing Skull.