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Health Journalism 2012: Dining near the hotel

Health Journalism 2012

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Map of dining spots within walking distance of the conference

FOOD AT THE CONFERENCE HOTEL

1. Fandangles Restaurant and Bar
Open nightly on level 3 of the hotel and offering a health-conscious “Southern Evolution” menu designed by Executive Chef Steven Jamison using Southern regional and local ingredients. Overlooking the expansive swimming pool and gracious Savannah-style Garden Courtyard, Fandangles features a 50-foot bar. Open nightly for dinner 5:30–10:30 p.m.  Bar open Thursday until midnight, Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

2. Collage
Open daily on level 3 of the hotel, this informal spot serves breakfast and lunch with buffets or a la carte menus. Collage also features a breakfast omelet station and specially made pasta dishes for lunch. Breakfast available 6:30-11:30 a.m.; lunch and a la carte menu served 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

3. Deli
Open daily, this specialty eatery is adjacent to Collage on level 3 of the hotel. Great deli sandwiches, crisp salads, tempting pastries and fresh fruits, along with Starbucks coffee, cappuccino, latte or Tazo Tea. Open: 6 a.m.-midnight.

WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE

4. Alma Cocina
191 Peachtree St., 404-968-9662
Lunch and dinner
It might not be your local hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, but Alma Cocina’s contemporary Latin menu features items such as bay scallop ceviche, pork cheek arepas and mushroom and butternut squash huaraches. Locals say the margaritas are to die for.

5. Azio Downtown
229 Peachtree St. NE, 404-222-0808
Lunch and dinner (weekdays), dinner only (weekends)
Azio puts a contemporary spin on classical Italian fare as they serve up pizza, panini and pasta in an elegant dining room. The wine list changes weekly and the restaurant’s mahogany bar is fully stocked. Reservations are recommended but not required.

6. Gibney’s Pub
231 Peachtree Center Ave. #A7, 404-688-0928
Lunch and dinner
You’ll find this cozy bar and restaurant inside the Peachtree Center Mall along skywalks that link major downtown hotels and businesses. Fit with flat-screen televisions and downtown Atlanta’s only indoor smoking dining room, this everyman’s pub is a real Southern Cheers.

7. Hard Rock Café
215 Peachtree St. NE, 404-688-7625
Lunch and dinner
This outpost of the worldwide chain showcases music memorabilia from Dixie on south. Like other locations, the eatery plates bar and grill staples but prides itself on its atmosphere. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance. Seating is otherwise on a first-come, first-serve basis, and waits are often long.

8. Hsu’s
192 Peachtree Center Ave. NE, 404-659-2788,
Lunch and dinner
If you’re craving Chinese, Hsu’s is the place to get it. The menus offer mainstays such as won ton soup and curry chicken, but original dishes such as walnut shrimp and asparagus with black bean sauce are welcome surprises.

9. Jalapeno Charlie’s
218 Peachtree St. NW, 404-581-0884,
Lunch and dinner
Jalapeno Charlie’s serves up fresh Mexican food to the masses in its downtown location. From flautas to tortas, this simple eatery has you covered. But be warned: Unlike most Latin-American joints, chips and salsa aren’t included with meals.

10. Meehan’s Public House
180 Peachtree St., 770-433-1920
Lunch and dinner, weekend brunch
If it’s Guinness and shepherd’s pie you’re after, Meehan’s Public House is the place to be. This Irish bar and restaurant dishes up chips and fish, bangers and mash, plus a weekly chef’s menu and boasts more than a dozen beers on tap.

11. Mingles Martini Bar & Grill
182 Courtland St. NE, 404-525-5151,
Dinner
This swanky downtown lounge offers traditional downhome fare such as mac ‘n’ cheese and burgers, but they shake it up with surprises like braised oxtails and calamari. Expect live music, a mid-30s crowd and funky décor. Mingles was voted hottest food venue in Atlanta’s 2011 Hottest Entertainment Awards.

12. Morton’s Steak House
303 Peachtree Center Ave. NE, 404-577-4366
Dinner
Morton’s claims it sells “The Best Steak… Anywhere” and only offers USDA certified prime beef. Reviews suggest the wait staff is courteous and the ambiance dark and warm. Note that sides are added a la carte and meals can easily run more than $50.

13. The Mall at Peachtree Center food court
231 Peachtree St. NE
Lots of fast dining options. Including:
Bistro 7
Caribou Coffee
Café Momo
Checker's
Chick-fil-a
Dairy Queen
Farmer's Basket
Great American Cookies
Great Wraps
GW Cheesesteak
Jack's Sandwich Shop
Noodle Café
Roman Delight Pizza
Willy's Mexicana Grill
Yami Yami
Kameel's Café
Malibu Wings
Moe's Southwest Grill
My Friend's Place
Planet Smoothie
Subway
Tropical Cajun

14. Nikolai’s Roof
255 Courtland St. NE, 404-221-6362,
Dinner
The epitome of Atlanta class, Nikolai’s Roof has received the AAA Four Diamond award for more than 20 consecutive years – the longest of any Atlanta restaurant. Chef Olivier de Brusschere masterfully prepares French and Russian dishes from 5:30–10:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

15. Pacific Rim Bistro
303 Peachtree Center Ave., 404-893-0018,
Lunch and dinner
Pacific Rim is the place for premium sushi and pan-Asian cuisine in downtown’s Sun Trust Plaza. The restaurant was renovated last winter and is full of funky, asymmetrical décor that might make you feel as if you’ve stepped inside an origami lantern. Validated parking is available in the Sun Trust Plaza.

16. Pittypat’s Porch
25 Andrew Young International Blvd., 404-525-8228
Lunch and Dinner
Named after Scarlett’s Atlanta-based aunt in the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind, this soul food restaurant is definitely Southern. Pittypat’s keeps it traditional with fried green tomatoes, gumbo and country-fried chicken. Be sure to wind down your meal with a signature mint julep.

17. Ray’s in the City
240 Peachtree St. NW, 404-524-9224
Lunch and dinner
Part steak house, part sushi bar, Ray’s in the City offers surf and turf in a classy-casual downtown setting. Fresh seafood is flown in daily, and you can expect live jazz and a cocktail hour from 6–10 p.m., Thursday – Saturday. There are hundreds of wine varieties available.

18. Sear Restaurant
265 Peachtree Center Ave., 404-586-6134
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
The Atlanta Marriott’s signature restaurant serves everything from buttermilk waffles to lamb lollipops to butternut squash ravioli in an open-kitchen dining room. More than 140 wines are available from five floor-to-ceiling wine vaults. Reservations are recommended for dinner and are required for private rooms.

19. Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View
210 Peachtree St. NW, 404-589-7506
Lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch
If you’re in search of Atlanta’s best restaurant with a view, the Sun Dial might be it. This three-story dining establishment sits more than 700 feet above downtown inside the Westin Hotel and rotates to expose a 360 degree panorama of the city. Cuisine is contemporary American. Business casual wardrobe is required.

20. Trader Vic’s
255 Courtland St. NE, 404-659-2000,
Dinner
When you enter the doors of this tiki bar in the lower level of the downtown Hilton, you might think you’ve been transported to Maui. Most patrons come for the retro Polynesian décor, but the sweet-and-salty Hawaiian spread is only outdone by Vic’s killer cocktails. The bartenders pour stiff, so plan to take a cab at night’s end.

21. Truva
60 Andrew Young International Blvd. NE, 404-577-8788
Lunch and dinner
Truva brings a touch of the Mediterranean to the Deep South. It’s quickest to choose the buffet during downtown’s busy lunch hour, but the expansive Turkish menu is sure to impress at dinnertime. If the upscale ambiance and baklava don’t stick in your memory, perhaps the belly dancers will.