- Krista Miller The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
For some, a steakhouse is a place to wheel and deal. For some, it's an excuse to get dressed up and hit the town. And for others, it is a way to slide back into the past. A time when the martinis were strong and dry — not a cosmo or a lemon drop to be found.
A time when your waiter might just be dressed better than you and soft piano music floated in the air as you ate an immaculately cooked steak with a side of creamed spinach. If you're one who loves that old-school feeling of a classic steakhouse, here are a few that have withstood the test of time in Atlanta.
Piano player? Check! Stiff martinis? Check! Giant steaks made even better with butter? Double check! Hals's really has everything an old school steakhouse should. For the ultimate Hal's experience, get there a little early and grab a seat at the bar. The drink? Gin martini, naturally. Sip slowly - these things are dangerous. Enjoy the sound of the piano and take in the atmosphere. And for dinner? Beef carpaccio, lobster bisque and filet mignon au poivre are musts. And if you listen carefully, you'll overhear two moguls reaching the next multi-billion dollar real estate deal in Atlanta.
The original Palm opened in Manhattan in the midst of the Depression-era 1920s. (M)ad men would come in needing lunch, and the Palm would serve them up a heaping plate of food and they could draw their art on the walls. Fast-forward nearly 100 years and the Palm is still going strong - and still in the same family. Each location's walls are covered in cartoons of their best customers. Atlanta's own, located in the Buckhead Westin, is legendary in its own right. Late general manager Willy Cellucci made the Palm feel like Atlanta's version of Cheers, but with plenty of steak, lobster and Manhattans to go around. He never forgot a face or a favorite drink. And today, this is still a go-to spot when you want a night that begins with a happy hour and keeps going deep into the night.
You can’t write up a list of old-school steakhouses in Atlanta without mentioning the one that started it all. Bone’s has been serving Atlanta since 1979. This is as old-school as it gets around town. Power lunch players and smitten couples alike flock to Piedmont Road every day for a bite of their famous dishes. For lunch, we cannot recommend the burger more. A giant single patty of steak like beef is topped with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Truly a two handed burger and then some. For dinner, don't miss out on their hash browns, or their incredibly extensive wine list.
You don't have to stay ITP to get an steakhouse experience that you'll adore. In Johns Creek, Pampas has been serving up Argentinian-style steaks for years. And what exactly is Argentinian style? All of your steaks are cooked over oak wood and very hot coals. Get "The Brick" and you will not be disappointed. A great charred crust forms on the outside, and the inside is "like buttuh." There are few things in life better than a bite of a steak that good.
If you ever Google "Where do celebrities eat in Atlanta?" Chops will be one of the answers. The walls within the restaurant are covered with pictures to prove it. From Jerry Seinfeld to Kevin Bacon and even the Biebs, they've all dined here. And why not? The quality of the beef is nearly unparalleled. Guests regularly nosh on A5 Waygu beef. The drinks are classic and on point. And the seafood? Oh, yes. If you want a little more pizzazz, make sure you check out downstairs. Chops’ Lobster Bar has one of the most beautiful bars in the city, and the architecture is stunning.
RECOMMENDED VIDEO: Inside the mind of chef Andre Gomez, chef and owner Porch Light Latin Kitchen in Smyrna