Its a cozy and friendly casual restaurant featuring a wide selection
of outstanding food and beverages. Parking is abundant and free and
the location at Collier and Peachtree enviable. Two things make it
distinctive in Atlantas dining culture: the eclectic menu features
buffalo and the restaurants name, Teds Montana Grill, as
in Ted Turner. After a front cover story in the business section of
The New York Times, which largely focused on this eatery, the television
pioneers latest entrepreneurial plunge, there is little doubt
the man leads a charmed life.
He also plans and does his homework. There are no accidental successes
in todays restaurant world.
There are several Ted's in the Atlanta area, but what truly attracted
me to Teds at this location was a quest to identify quality restaurants
that were in proximity to the live stage venues, particularly considering
that time limitations and convenience must be considered along with
quality, service and the like. After chomping down a hideous junk food
assemblage of bread and mystery meat to barely make curtain at The
Alliance, I decided that all of us needed some direction. After all,
an 8 p.m. show that lasts three hours suggests dinner beforehand.
The next day, I saw Teds Montana Grill and after reading the
Times feature, somehow knew I was on to something promising.
I arrived and entered into what others have described as a turn-of-the-century
saloon. The interior was so cozy and warm. There was a Remington replica
on a pedestal in the foyer, the lighting was soft but adequate (i.e.,
you could see across the room) and there was the ambiance of casual
but sophisticated dining afforded by a well-designed eatery made of
hickory, brass, pressed tin ceiling and photos and art work. Our booth
was comfortable and roomy enough to accommodate all those larger Americans
we are warned about. And, the acoustic design muted any screaming banshees
was focused on the buffalo. Bison was never standard fare in Atlanta
and having heard how superior, particularly in comparison to beef,
it is, the time for an encounter arrived. Before the arrival of my
eight-ounce bison tenderloin filet, the delightful manager, Karem Santandreu
suggested samplers of Teds potato soup and chili made with beef
and bison. I could have ended the meal after finishing these and left
supremely satisfied. But, the entrees were just ahead.
Understandably, bison dominates Teds menu and the choices are
interesting and appetizing. The reasonably priced lunch menu has attractive
specials while the dinner menu offers printed specials with a selection
that includes one beef tenderloin and cedar plank steelhead.
The wines, twenty in all, are all domestic and are, save the Opus One,
available by the glass. I had the Bogle Petite Sirah based on the advice
of San Francisco attorney and noted wine critic Steve Arnold, who knows
his wine and his bison. I agreed after washing down my first bite of
bison, a medium rare tenderloin filet. Petite Sirah is relatively unknown
in the area but is available and is a real sleeper. Priced right, it
is a red meat lovers best companion. Teds wines are all
very affordable and reflect some care in choices by management.
In addition, there are American and imported beer and one of the best
offerings of soft drinks and specialty beverages like cherry lemonade
and root beer float. Teds margarita is offered, and it is a little
different, being made with Chardonnay rather than Tequila. Ted has
always been against the grain but ahead of the pack.
Each day features a different soup along with a Blue Plate Special,
consisting of bison and beef meatloaf, barbeque bison short ribs and
fried chicken. There are burgers galore with a choice between beef
and bison plus an equal amount of chicken, all offered according to
what you want on them. Dessert isnt elaborate, but adequate and
reminiscent of small town diner fare. I had Turner Ranch Tapioca Pudding
with a fresh baked Snicker Doodle Scratch cookie and was
I can generally read a restaurant crowd and thus usually
predict longevity with some accuracy. On a quiet Tuesday evening, sitting
around me was a mom with her son and daughter eating and thoroughly
enjoying each other, while at another table four businessmen were quaffing
wine along with bites of bison, garlic mashed potatoes and Caesar salad.
The room was mixed with a fine cross-section of Midtown and the bar
was full. I could converse without shouting and some theme-relevant
Gene Autry and Sons of the Pioneers standards were on the sound system.
An evening at Teds Montana Grill is memorable for outstanding
food and service rarely seen in casual restaurants these days. The
wait staff is trained and standards across the board are very high.
There is even a reason to eat bison beyond the outstanding flavor and
texture. Ted Turner literally created a broadened consumer appetite
for this healthful red meat. Without this effort and its growing success,
bison would someday again be faced with extinction.
Teds Montana Grill is a midtown culinary heaven and a first-class
restaurant addition for Atlanta.
Editors Note: Teds Montana Grill,
in addition to being within minutes of The Alliance Theatre, is convenient
to the 14th Street Playhouse, Ansley Park Playhouse, Theatre Gael,
Peachtree Playhouse and Actors Express. Service is quick and
the staff is mindful of theater times.
Follow the arrow to Doc's story about Sweet Grass Dairies and their
To read about the celebrated
wines of North Georgia's Three Sisters Vineyard, follow this arrow
This arrow will take you to
Doc's article about Karen Bremer and the two fine restaurants which
she owns in Atlanta: The City Grill and Dailey's.
Read Doc's articles on some fascinating
appreciate good wines and food?
Enjoy these articles in Doc's News: