What to Get Instead of Roses This Valentine's Day
Best new overall restaurant
StaplehouseAddress and Info
Old Fourth Ward
You should be a major fan of Staplehouse for two reasons. First, it’s delicious, thanks to a constantly shifting, five-course chef’s tasting menu or seasonal a la cart eats that really are local, and not just meaning the bread came from Murder Kroger. Second, it gives every dollar of earned after-tax profit to The Giving Kitchen, which provides emergency charitable assistance to restaurant industry workers. So it’s not just delicious, it’s sustainable times-infinity.
Best new steakhouse
MarcelAddress and Info
It may or may not be the city’s most expensive steakhouse, if you like counting that kind of thing. Regardless, it’s easy to fall in love with both the premium cuts of cow, the banquet ambiance, and the story of the restaurant’s namesake, Marcel Cerdan, who was a French boxer that whooped lots of ass in the ring and dated a famous singer in his time before dying in a plane crash on his way to see his girl. Sexy! Oh, and his record: 113 wins, four losses, and 66 wins by knockout. So if you’re a real man, you’ll put the $165 Porterhouse on your eye before you eat it.
Best new brunch
The General MuirAddress and Info
Sure, you think your neighborhood spot is undefeated because you can walk there and back from your apartment on weekends, and those spritzy little bellinis you and the homies order by the bottomless make your feelings that much more valid. But the truth is that true-NY-style Emory-area deli TGM murders with the Maven lox plate, matzo, mimosas, and much more.
Best new burger
H&F BurgerAddress and Info
Ponce City Market
It’s not just because it’s sooooo good; there’s also the fact that a gang of ATL burger joints use H&F buns on their own burgers, just because you can’t front on the truth. There’s also the fact that a lot of folks never got lucky enough to get one of the limited number of nightly special burgers at Holeman + Finch. Now that they’ve opened at Ponce, everyone has access. You can even get them without the cheese! Why you’d do that is unclear, but it’s now possible!
Best new tacos
Bone Garden CantinaAddress and Info
The house-made tortillas are damn-near perfect -- even if you normally like flour over corn, trust us and do the maize version around the peanut-sauced al pastor marinated pork taco, chicken-based curry-citrus pollo al limon, or the awesomely spicy chile picante, the shrimp verde in house-made green mole, or the brisket-laid birria.
Best new lounge
Little TroubleAddress and Info
We told you about the opening, as well as barkeep Jess Crisler and her fabulous drinks. But the Blade Runner-inspired ramen bar, which might seem deceptively shitty to the average ramen nerd who got lost on her way to Buford Highway, ran away with the award for this year’s funkiest fun den. Don’t ask how many boxes of matches we stole from the bathrooms, or how many times we asked Jess Crisler “Who made this playlist?” Caleb, Ian, and the rest of the gang from Vic Brands did it again.
Best new pizza
Pizzeria VesuviusAddress and Info
What’s wack is that it recently closed. So it was the best new. But those who went know that it was not quite as bourgeoisie as Antico, not as ballerific as (the admittedly delicious) Ammazza and Varasano’s, and not as new-frou-frou as Varuni Napoli or Thirteen Pies, which are also no-joke-status. It was just good-ass pizza with well-charred crust, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh toppings on Edgewood Ave. We will cry for it like Jodeci in memorandum. And then go somewhere else to eat pizza until we get over it.
Best place for live music
Venkman’sAddress and Info
Old Fourth Ward
The $5-per-person added surcharge for live entertainment is highly justified. This is the house that Yacht Rock Revue built, and if they’re not playing special shows themselves, they’re curating nightly lineups that include brass bands, small orchestras, and other jam crews that fit perfectly with Chef Nick Melvin’s playfully home-styled menu.
Best new barbecue
Grand Champion BBQAddress and Info
You might think they’re new just because a lot of ITP-ers would have never made that long-ass ride up to Milton or Roswell just for meat plates, but GC actually can claim champ-status, having won a shload of ‘cue competitions. Now that they’re in Krog, you can get to them much easier, but do it early -- they constantly sell out of ribs, which is your problem, not theirs.