Del Frisco’s Grille
You won’t be surprised to glimpse NeNe Leakes nursing a pink cocktail at the bar. While other Atlanta neighborhoods have come to prize more personal, idiosyncratic restaurants, Buckhead still most values a buzzy scene. The latest martini mosh pit is the fifth location of a thriving Dallas-based chain, a steakhouse-and-then-some that seems to fit Buckhead’s fickle, meat-loving tastes precisely. You’ll most likely be wriggling among packed bodies to reach a bartender at the counter near the restaurant’s entrance (the space, in the same complex as the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta, previously housed Craft), and you’ll still be shouting above the ruckus once you’re seated at a table. Follow the chophouse model—wedge salad, New York strip, mashed potatoes—for the most satisfying meal. Other dishes come off as silly (cheese steak egg rolls), eighties retro (orecchiette with lemon-thyme chicken and spinach in a roasted garlic cream sauce), and hackneyed (the unholy trinity of Southern cliches: pimento cheese fritters, deviled eggs marred with truffle oil, and, of course, shrimp and grits). Nonetheless, the throngs that crave a commotion seem to be having a grand time.