Tuscan plates of arugula and rabbit, beef carpaccio, handmade pastas, and fresh fish come flying out of the small, unpretentious kitchen at Antica Posta. With dishes that begin at $7, you can't go wrong with dinner at this tiny Buckhead cottage. Finish with a simple panna cotta, served with wild berry sauce. 519 East Paces Ferry Road NE.; (404) 262-7112. Entrées: $15-$30.
The lofty dining room creates a spacious and airy restaurant. Chef Joël Antunes, who also helmed The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, cooks with a French and Mediterranean twist. Outstanding entrée: Georgia trout over tender gnocchi, roasted cherry tomatoes, and a tart vinaigrette. An appetizer of peekytoe crab cake doused with a sauce of curry and apples had a delicious, salty crust. If you want a bargain in Buckhead, here you go. Three-course dinners begin at $39 on weekdays. 3290 Northside Parkway; (404) 233-3500. Entrées: $29-$37.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, far from just another expensive hotel restaurant, is the spark that set the area's culinary scene ablaze. The restaurant's current whiz in the kitchen is Arnaud Berthelier, whose radical food stands in stark contrast to The Ritz's Second Empire formality and tinkling classical music. Hideous combinations, meant to impress, lurk here and there on the menu (example: asparagus-bacon ice cream). Fortunately, a lot of good choices abound too. My favorite was a creamy and dense risotto with wild morels and Parmesan. A blockbuster-laden wine list completes the experience. 3434 Peachtree Road NE .; (404) 237-2700. Three-course dinners begin at $88 per person.
Local Classic: Bone's Restaurant
Ask any native of Atlanta what the best steak house in town is, and I'll bet you a porterhouse ($34.95 per pound here) that Bone's will be on the list. Exceptionally friendly service and a clubby atmosphere have kept this restaurant jumping. You'll find the steaks to be simply prepared, cut to reasonable servings, and cooked exactly to order. Note: Lunch and dinner prices for steaks are the same. 3130 Piedmont Road; (404) 237-2663. Dinner entrées: $25.95-$42.95.
"Food Finds: Buckhead, Georgia" is from the December 2006 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.