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Good Eats 

Our critics' guide to Atlanta restaurants

Page 4 of 23

Seeger's, 111 W. Paces Ferry Road, 404-846-9779. Beard Award-winning chef Guenter Seeger's 3-year-old monument features resourceful contemporary-continental cuisine, small portions, prix fixe menus with very big prices, professional service and a minimalist postmodern decorative scheme that fits the food like sauce over fish. A special-occasion stop for most, it's popular with bluebloods and high livers. Beautiful food, beautifully presented in spare, beautiful surroundings. The legendary, Mobil 5-Star winning Guenter Seeger sends forth from his kitchen one spectacular taste after another in a prix fixe parade -- either three, five or eight courses, $48, $62 and $80, respectively. Continental, Asian and regional influences converge seemingly in every dish on the daily-changing menu. The ne plus ultra of dining in Atlanta. Notable, pricey wine list. Reservations recommended. $$$

Souper Jenny, 56 E. Andrews Drive, 404-239-9023. The quaint and tasteful ambiance of mom's kitchen is in full force at Buckhead's Souper Jenny. But it's the interaction of the familiar with the adventurous that makes it worth the traffic. Pick from a list of wholesome soups, tasty sandwiches and crisp salads. The menu changes daily, but if you happen upon the artichoke and roasted tomato sandwich with a goat cheese spread, go for it. $$

Sundown Cafe, 2165 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-321-1118. The menu has narrowed a bit in recent years, but Sundown still proves a fair haven for tasty and accessible Southwestern cuisine, particularly such juicy pork dishes as the carnitas. Lunchtime features delectable soft tacos, the fresh salsa proves a tingly delight and such sides as the turnip greens and ancho mashed potatoes are surprisingly forceful. $$$$

Taco Stand, 3279 Roswell Road, 404-995-0307. A Mexican taco joint cast in a Fellini's-meets-Mellow-Mushroom mold, the Taco Stand is the place to go for families. (Hint: kids love cheese.) At the confluence of Roswell and Buckhead, it's also a good place for wild and free youth to load up on carbs before bar-hopping their way through Buckhead. Although relatively inexpensive, a growing boy or girl will probably need more than just a taco to hold them over. For the lactose intolerant: steer clear. $

Terra Garden Grill, 3974 Peachtree Road, 404-841-1032. The latest take on quick-serve, upscale, pro-health dining makes most of the right moves (low-fat meats and sides, healthy salads, delectable seafood, few sauces and desserts). Unnecessarily dry grilled red meats and cockeyed as-if-Asian dishes cut the fun along with the fat, however. Spiffy modern ambience. Wine and beer. Good for takeout. $

Thai Lanna, 2142 Johnson Ferry Road, 770-454-8889. Great testing ground for fiery food. The standards are all here with a chance to spice them up as much as you want. Pass on the pad thai and go for the curries. $$

Cabbagetown/Old 4th Ward

Agave, 242 Boulevard Ave., 404-588-0006. The restaurant takes its name from the plant from which tequila is made and for good reason. The bar is heavily stocked with rows of tequilas. The creative and eclectic Southwestern dinner menu mostly satisfies. The posole soup really delivers. $$

Carroll Street Cafe, 208 Carroll St., 404-577-2700. The soups here are to die for. Try the roasted chicken apple chowder or any other and it's doubtful to be disappointing. The imaginative sandwiches are a great pairing with the soups as is a strong weekend breakfast menu. $

The Roman Lily Cafe, 668 Highland Ave., 404-653-1155. Calavino Donati and her buzz-headed staff in overalls are serving killer contemporary American diner food and a great experience in this storefront restaurant. Meatloaf with a tequila-jalapeno gravy and scallops with baked polenta and wild mushrooms are fave dishes. But salads and sandwiches are tasty, too. Reservations are accepted (and necessary) on weekends. $$


Ca Dao Vietnamese Restaurant, 4166 Buford Hwy., 404-982-0700. The cold weather requires soup. My favorite ethnic soup is the Vietnamese pho. Usually made with beef stock, to which rice noodles, herbs, chilies, lime and a variety of meats are added. Buford Highway is lined with pho restaurants, including Ca Dao, which probably serves the best pho in the city. $

Chicken World, 5150 Buford Highway, 770-458-5164. Give your honey a choice of menudo, Buffalo chicken wings or moo goo gai pan here. Chino-Mexicano. It's not the best food in town, but it is most definitely a happening. $$

China Inn, 5470 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., 770-458-6363. The restaurant is off-the-beaten path from other hard core Chinese establishments but it still serves up authentic fare in a high-gloss setting. Ask for house specialties not on the menu and be surprised with twice-cooked pork, dumplings and other treats. $$

Hae Woon Dae, 5805 Buford Highway NE, #5, 770-458-6999. Easy to miss in a drab strip mall just outside I-283, Hae Woon Dae serves some of Atlanta's most delicious and entertaining Korean cuisine, with bulgogi beef and other meat dishes charcoal-grilled in sunken cauldrons at your own table. The pickled kimchi sides come in so many colors and flavors you're bound to find one you adore. $$$

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