Ever wonder where your favorite local chefs love to chow down? Us, too. Thus Eater Atlanta gives you its Go-To Guide — your chef's guide to Atlanta, the Southeast, and beyond.
Steven Satterfield is a respected fixture on the Atlanta and Southern dining scenes. His fresh takes on everything from gumbo to fried chicken and dedication to using local ingredients at his Westside restaurant Miller Union have earned the chef a loyal following of slow food gourmands. While meats and fish are served on the regular, the star attraction on the menu is Satterfield's vegetables. It's these dishes and a battle with cancer years back that inspired the chef to write his 2016 James Beard nominated book Root to Leaf to promote healthy alternatives to Southern cuisine and highlight the South's connection to the land and its agricultural roots.
A member of organizations such as the Southern Foodways Alliance and Slow Food Atlanta, Satterfield and Miller Union have helped bring attention to the need for change in food production and farming practices, especially in the South. His kitchen prowess and work with the slow food movement have garnered he and his restaurant awards such as Best New Restaurant in America from Bon Appétit and Esquire and four consecutive James Beard nominations since 2013. His down-to-earth personality means you'll often find Satterfield dining with friends around Atlanta on his days off or working behind the table at local food events such as Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival and The Wild Bunch, where he'll smile big and gladly shake your hand or give you a hug (if you're lucky enough to catch him during a lull in the line.) Here, now, Satterfield shares his picks for the best of Atlanta's dining scene.
I don't go out for breakfast often, but when I do I love the brunch at Bread & Butterfly, which just so happens to be walking distance from my house. It's cozy, charming and delicious. Also, not as well known for breakfast, Staplehouse kills it for Sunday brunch. The menu is creative and different but still hits all the warm and fuzzy spots that you want out of brunch.
I've been enjoying dipping into Ponce City Market for a quick lunch at Anne Quatrano's [Dub's Fish Camp]. I'm a huge fan of the vietnamese crispy fish salad. Oyster service is stellar and you can also get amazing fried squid or a shrimp po' boy sandwich. Also at PCM, I can't get enough of those chicken wings at Sean Brock's fresh Mexican joint, Minero. They are grilled over natural charcoal then placed in a sturdy bag and tossed with Valentino hot sauce. Unbelievable. Of course, the tacos, salsas and guac are out of this world, and they make their own tortillas.
Barbecue is just not something that is a "thing" in Atlanta. The best ones are always in rural areas that take an hour or more to drive to. If I need a fix, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is not far from my hood, and you can call ahead and get it to go if they have a long wait for a table. I also currently love our barbecue plate on the lunch menu at Miller Union, served with cornmeal johnny cakes, sliced tomatoes, and creamy coleslaw.
More often than not, my casual dinner on my night off will end up being at Fritti because I can walk there, but also because it is really great. The pizza is piping hot straight out of the wood burning oven and always on point. But, starters are strong here too. One of my favorites is the manzo spiedini, which is marinated grilled flank steak skewered and grilled served with a simple arugula, parmesan, lemon and olive oil salad. That, and a margherita pizza, and I'm set.
I love Korean barbecue and there are several places in Duluth that are open late or never close. One of my faves is Seo Ra Beol — open 24 hours. Hot charcoal goes into the hibachi in the center of the table and tons of pickles, condiments, and sauces flood the table surface. Then the meats come out to be grilled. I like to go in a group so we can taste lots of things. The shrimp, pork belly, and short ribs are my favorites, and these are lettuce wraps, people. Very light and refreshing with clean flavors and lots of herbs.
Pretty much summarized above — Korean barbecue.
Favorite cocktail/beer of choice
I love a well-made cocktail, and we are so lucky to have so many great bartenders in this city. Some of the best: Kimball House, Ticonderoga Club, Amer, H&F, and of course, Miller Union — my nightly haunt when I'm done with work for the day!
Bacchanalia is always the go-to when we have time for a great sit-down moment or to celebrate anything and everything. Anne [Quatrano] and her team always kill it!
I'm not sure I know how to answer this, I rarely cook at home because I do it at work all day, so I guess anytime anyone cooks for me I'm super happy about it. Food always tastes better when someone else made it for you.
Top five Atlanta restaurants not mentioned above
Out-of-town favorite (regional)
I have so many regional favorites, but there is a soft spot in my heart for the flawless French bistro from Frank Stitt, Chez Fonfon in Birmingham.
Out-of-town favorite (national)
Hands down, Gramercy Tavern [in New York City].
I have such fond memories of dining at Ristorante Consorzio in 2014 during the Slow Food Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto global food summit in Turin, Italy.
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