Encore Atlanta

August 2011 Encore Life

Celebrity sightings

Where do the stars eat in Atlanta?

It doesn’t matter how rich and famous you get, you still need to eat. Encore Atlanta polled some local luminaries about their favorite local restaurants.

Former Mayor Shirley Franklin

I have many favorites, but I always come back to Paschal’s for southern-style
meals. I love the warmth of the staff, the good food, especially the potato
salad and baked chicken, and remembering the history made by the owners and

“American Idol’s” Diana DiGarmo

I really love The Flying Biscuit, Six Feet Under and, of course, Chick-fil-a.

Fox Theatre General Manager Allan Vella

[My wife and my] favorite “go-to” restaurant is Feast in Decatur. It has a welcoming atmosphere, a brick oven adjacent to the corner of the bar (which is ideal for cozying up to in the winter), a wonderful staff that is friendly, knowledgeable, and never rushes you and great food to boot! It is always a nice evening get-away [that] never disappoints.

Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday

My favorite restaurant is Kevin Rathbun Steak in Inman Park. I love everything about this restaurant — the seared Hudson Valley foie gras and the maple leaf farm duck trio are absolutely divine! The décor is a very unique and beautiful merging of the rustic  and romantic [with] lighting with tree-chandeliers, which makes it a perfect place to take your “special someone.” This wonderful dining experience always leaves this Dream Girl happily singing “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” until I’ve licked the spoon clean of my oh-so-delectable triple chocolate caramel mousse cake!

11Alive Sportscaster Fred Kalil

One of my favorite local places is McKendrick’s in Dunwoody. [My wife and I] don’t get out as much since our kids have gotten older. We find ourselves at baseball tournaments, football games etc. Pricci is a good one for us, and Haven in Brookhaven is a nice place we like.

Fitness guru Stepp Stewart

My favorite local restaurant is Nava at Peachtree Plaza. It has great upscale Mexican cuisine with personalized service. I love the blue cornbread and the virgin margarita (original flavor). Dining out should be an experience, and that is what you get when you eat at NAVA.

92.9 Dave-FM radio host Mara Davis

My all-time favorite is Aria in Buckhead. Gerry Klaskala is one of the best chefs in the country. I love the simplicity of the menu and the contemporary interior. And do not leave this restaurant without dessert! Self-taught pastry chef Kathryn King is beyond [fabulous].

For barbecue, I just love Fox Brothers. The wings are over-the-top amazing. I dream about them. Everything else is great, too, I am just obsessed with the wings. For brunch, it’s definitely Rosebud. Chef Ron Eyester makes the greatest whole wheat pancakes in the world. My favorite new(er) restaurant is Bocado. It may not be on the menu all the time, but ask Chef Todd Ginsburg if he’ll make you the pimento cheese/poblano pepper/bacon sandwich. It’s outrageously good.

“American Idol’s” Michael Johns

My favorite restaurant is Roasters off Pharr Rd. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Favorite steak is Hal’s [at the] corner of Roswell and Piedmont. Best burger [is from] The Vortex in little Five Points. Best Chinese is Grand China in Buckhead. Finally, best Thai food [is at] Little Bangkok, off Cheshire Bridge Rd.

B98.5 radio host Vikki Locke

[My husband] and I just celebrated our anniversary in a very special way. Thanks to the Fox Theatre’s house manager Pat Prill, Mike surprised me with a wonderful dinner in a private room. Jeramiah Haines, sous chef at Livingston, cooked up something special and brought it across the street. He had pans a mile high! It was an incredible evening.

Star watch

Locals know that Atlanta's culinary scene is happening. Now that the city's film, music and TV industries have exploded, celebrities from all over the world know it, too. The cast of American Pie was spotted dining at multiple places while filming a reunion sequel, including Buckhead Diner, Pricci, Shout and Gordon Biersch. Jennifer Anniston was another star who enjoyed eating out; she was spotted at Ecco, Nava and El Taco. Chops may be the best place to stargaze. The steakhouse is where poet and novelist Toni Morrison celebrated her birthday, musicians Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez enjoyed a romantic meal, and Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, Kevin Bacon and comedian Ron White yucked it up. Here are some other celebrity hotspots:

Bistro Niko

Atlanta Falcon Tony Gonzalez


Chef Bobby Flay

Buckhead Diner

Kathy Griffin
Chef Bobby Flay
Steve Martin
Ryan Seacrest
Jeff Foxworthy

Chops Lobster Bar

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine
Margaret Cho
Neil Young
Randy Jackson
Zach Galifianakis
Mary J. Blige
Denzel Washington


Thievery Corporation
Alan Alda
Seth Green
Jillian Michaels

Gordon Biersch Buckhead

Hulk Hogan
Flava Flav
Rapper NAS


Alton Brown
Elton John

South City Kitchen Midtown

"Glee’s" Jane Lynch
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles
Debbie Allen
Chris Rock

Veni Vidi Vici

Director Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary)
"Seinfeld" writer Larry David

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