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Oral Pleasures 

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Recently, my world-traveling uncle has been making frequent trips to Atlanta. Over the past couple of months, I've been taking him out, always conscious that he regularly eats in Tokyo, Paris and New York. What do we have in Atlanta that can compare to those world-class cities?

A lot, it turns out. My uncle has been consistently surprised and impressed by the restaurants he's visited here. At Empire State South, the wine list blew him away (and this is a guy who can't put me up in his guestroom any more because it's full of wine). At Miller Union, he swooned over the blueberry upside-down cake. All over town, cocktails have had him wishing aloud that other cities he visits had our booze prowess.

We've long known Atlanta is a dining city worthy of our love and devotion, but this year it seems as though the rest of the country realized that as well. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival brought journalists, chefs and diners from all over the country, and the thing I heard most from those visitors was surprise and delight at the food our city has to offer. 2011 felt like a coming-out party for Atlanta's restaurant scene. We're happy to be a part of that celebration.

Besha Rodell

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