One of my favorite places to visit while in Athens, GA is The National, part of Hugh Acheson‘s growing restaurant empire. Peter Dale is the man in charge, and even though I’ve visited on several occasions, I’ve never sat in the restaurant’s dining room, always opting for a seat at the bar. I’ve heard the cocktails are excellent, but personally I’m a fan of the wine list and prefer to get a few small bites and a suggestion from the bartender. They’ve never steered me wrong.
Be sure to check out sommelier Steven Grubbs’ tour through Southern wineries in the current Food and Wine magazine.