Athens, Georgia
Paul V. Hartman

Athens Restaurant Reviews - Page Two

2 Main Street, Watkinsville (706) 310-1233
Italian. Casual. Inexpensive. Parking on-site.
The concept of choosing your pasta and sauce separately was made popular by Macaroni Grill, but Mirko is less ambitious in scale, more homey. And the sauces are quite good. Fifteen types of pasta ($4-5 each) may be ordered with eleven elegant sauces ($4 each). Order your meal at the counter, and they give you a portable name holder to carry to an empty table. If no table, wait for one; food is not cooked until you are seated. The meal arrives minutes later. Our group of 6 loved this place. 18 wines by the glass. Lunch/Dinner 10 - 11, Mon-Sat. Sunday 5 - 9. No reservations.

Atlanta Highway at Timothy (706) 543-2299
Mexican-Texican. Festive building. Easy parking.
The outside of this place is so distinctive that if they ever had to sell, only another Mexican place could take it. The food inside is sufficiently distinctive, however, that they should be quite successful in Athens. One of a chain of 90 restaurants which began in Dallas in 1982, the theme is Mexican cowboy with Texan flavors. The corn flour tortilla is not emphasized: steak and chicken is.
Lunch and Dinner from 10:00am, 7 days a week. No reservations.

22 North Main Street, Watkinsville. (Across the street from Court House.) (706) 705-6064
This interesting restaurant, which has taken over a large portion of a former county government building, was recently visited by myself and five others, epicures all. We had read that the place was intended to be upscale and the menu limited. I read that the owner has or had a place by the same name in Brookhaven (Atlanta).

The 6 of us ordered different things, and all were pleased. Main courses are priced at either $19 or $25. These are not large servings but all of us agreed that each main course was well done. Quality beats quantity.

"Pour" implies an emphasis on the wine service. There were many choices. I lecture on wines but I was unfamiliar with a bunch of them on this list. Each by the glass ranges from $8 to $14, and the bottle is exactly 4 times the glass price. I tried an unfamiliar Pinot Noir ("Pepperwood Grove" - no vintage date) at $8 the glass and later researched this wine as I thought it was a blend of Pinot and Shiraz. Turns out the wine retails at $8 so selling the bottle at $32 is a nice way to make money.

This place is new and a website has not gone up, so no menu to look at prior to arriving there. It may be that the menu changes frequently. There is a Facebook page but it contains little information.

I will update this opinion after a second visit.

Menu not available. Rumored to be open Mon-Sat 4:30 - 10:00pm. Sun Noon to 3:30pm. Reservations only.

184 W. Clayton Street (706) 549-0810
Nouvelle Southern. Casual. Moderate. Parking available.
Exposed brick walls. Outdoor patio. Open cooking area. The work of local artists is featured on the brick walls. The menu here is eclectic: How about salmon and grits? Last Resort is a favorite of UGA faculty, which is generally a frugal bunch. Veggie quiche, wildrice pancakes, salmon/scallop pasta, cheese-stuffed chicken. Interesting, even provocative. Small bar room off the dining area.
Lunch and Dinner from 11:00am. No reservations.

Atlanta Highway, opposite Mall (706) 613-0045
Steaks and Ribs. Casual. Moderate. Easy parking.
A varied crowd will all find something to like at Rafferty's, which enjoys a good local following. They cook over wood fired flame. (The barbecue ribs are cooked over hickory) The salads are generous. The steaks and fish are properly prepared. Tuesday night is prime rib night. It gets crowded every evening after 6:00pm, but if you go at 5:55 you will probably walk right in.
Lunch and Dinner from 11:00am. No Reservations.

Atlanta Highway near Barnes and Noble (706) 227-9890
Steaks, Ribs, Chicken, Seafood. Very Casual. Inexpensive. Easy parking.
A steak house for the pick-up truck set. They sprinkle peanut shells on the floor and you are welcome to add to the clutter with your own bowl of free unshelled peanuts.
Large variety on the menu. Special pricing Monday, Tuesday. Lunch and Dinner from 11:00am. Reservations accepted.

311 Broad Street, at corner with Jackson. (706) 850-8008
This is a bar, with food. They say it is French. Moderate pricing. Parking difficult.

There are menu items with French names. The main courses (dinner) are actually pretty decent. (The Coq au Vin was very nice.) The poached salmon appetizer on baguette, however, tasted like canned tuna on toast. I saw the escargot but elected to pass it by.

The wine list contains four brands of bubbly. Evidently they expect some diners to celebrate something. The wine prices by the bottle are over twice retail. The selection will not win a Wine Spectator award. The name is backwards: it should be Brasserie Etienne. Quel dommage.

In my role as food critic for Hilton Head Island (Link), I am always eager to review any new French restaurant which opens, there being anywhere from 6 to 10 on the island at any given time. Etienne is not a French restaurant. It may want to look that way, and it may serve some decent food - with French names - but that is not enough.

Also, to correct a newspaper review, there have been two other legitimate French restaurants in Athens in the past two decades. Each lasted several years, then packed it in. Downtown, drinking comes before eating.

Repeat: this is a bar, with food. I fully expect they will thrive downtown, because that is what downtown wants.
Lunch and Dinner from 11:00am. Reservations accepted.

2055 Oconee Connector (706) 549-0810
Steak and Seafood. Easy parking.
Well laid out restaurant in modern style, with lots of large booths and tables. A future chain, but right now there are only two, both in Georgia. The food is quite good in every department: mains, salads, deserts, wines. We have been here twice with groups of 6 or more. The waiters will visit your table constantly to see that you are pleased. A mile long tavern with pretty blond barkeeps adds to the atmosphere. Visit the website and look through the multiple menu choices.
Lunch and Dinner from 11:00am to 10:00 pm. Closed Sunday.

Sorry to report that this restaurant has CLOSED, and I am mystified. The food was great, the service was quick, the wait staff was superb, and the building they put up to house it was gorgeous. It was the second of what was going to be a "chain", with the original Bone Island close to Atlanta. And still functioning.

I will try to find out "what happened".

This is the SECOND page of Restaurant Reviews in Athens, Georgia. The First page is

We did not review, but also like:
Cali 'N' Titos, Savannah Room, Jason's Deli, Schlotsky's, Larry's Subs.

We did not review, and have no plan to review:
Applebee's, The Grit, Longhorn, Red Lobster, Outback, Sonny's Barbecue,
numerous Chinese and Mexican eateries, pizza joints, and other fast-food places.

Can't find a Review which used to be posted here?
Like most small cities of 100,000 population, restaurants come and go.
Click to go to our new "restaurant graveyard".

There are more than 150 restaurants in the Athens Area.
For those not reviewed here, and those that will never be reviewed here,
try the "exhaustive list" provided by going

Can you have good restaurants in a small town? Click for my opinion.

Click to see my comments on restaurant WINE prices.