The restaurant's original founder was a savant of Creole cooking and had the paperwork to show for it: the city of New Orleans' "Honorary Citizen Certificate" hangs proudly in the doorway of the restaurant.Surrounded by all those spit-shined skyscrapers and big-box stores that the north end of Peachtree has cultivated so well, this place is a frozen-in-amber slice of Old Buckhead. After forty years (that's approximately a century and a half in Atlanta restaurant time) of serving Creole and Cajun classics to multiple generations, McKinnon's has changed very little: the fresh seafood delivery shows up each day like clockwork, the lounge's piano still features a professional ivory-tickler on the weekends, and the grouper Louisiane is still causing diners' eyes to roll in unbridled ecstasy. Yep, there's something to be said for longevity--while we Atlantans (myself included) are often raccoon-like in our fixation on the New and Shiny, places like McKinnon's stick around for a reason. And it's not just because of the live piano music (though that certainly can't hurt).
Here are some words you'll never hear about McKinnon's: the restaurant isn't "cutting-edge," nor "experimental." It's classic, old-school style Creole cuisine (with a few Cajun dishes thrown in there for fun). You don't go to be part of a scene, or marvel at the footwear of fashionable Buckheadites, or try your tastebuds on the latest Top Chef trend. You do go to enjoy good company and great food in an elegant fine dining setting, with servers who have been doing their thing for decades, while you enjoy a Sazerac and some of the best Creole seafood in Atlanta. The restaurant's original founder was a savant of Creole cooking and had the paperwork to show for it: the city of New Orleans' "Honorary Citizen Certificate" hangs proudly in the doorway of the restaurant. Mr. McKinnon also picked up a few tricks of the trade when working in the kitchen of Galatoire's, the culinary Versailles of NOLA. It's been years and years since I sat in that fine dining room and feasted on sugar-dusted fried eggplant, but I can say with confidence that McKinnon's does those French Creole roots justice. So sit back and enjoy it. And while you're holding that cocktail, go ahead and raise your glass in a toast to the longevity of this hole-in-the-wall -- we'd like to see it stick around for another century or so.
Oysters Rockefeller, $8
Crabclaws Piquante, $9
Grouper Louisiane, $21
Bronzed Halibut, $22
Trout Pontchartrain, $22.50
Monday - Sunday, 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.