I am inclined to call this somewhat of an icon in Atlanta. It has a reputation for the best steak in the south if not beyond.
Upon entering this rather dark establishment the hopping bar scene is glaringly obvious. This is definitely the over 45 crowd. Hot food is out for bar goers that want to nosh while they drink and mingle (and smoke).
The dining room is modestly sized and cozy. It gets loud as the room fills. Which it did - and quickly. I found the tv in the main dining room perplexing. It's not a sports bar.
Once seated one of the servers came to me and addressed me by name. These are mature old school steakhouse waiters that really know how important service is. I consider good service an art and Hal's staff absolutely has mastered it.
The wine list initially I thought was pedestrian and that shocked me. This is a place with $50 steaks on the menu. I didn't expect to see the likes of Beringer wine on the list. Alas they have the Silver oaks and Shafer's you wine conniseurs crave. There is something for everyone. It's not a bad idea to have familiar wines to appeal to all.
Hal's menu is simple and every item enticing. Classic steakhouse fare with plenty of elegant seafood featured. I opted for oysters bordelaise. almost clunky cornmeal crust but the substantialness of it when I was so hungry was not unwelcome. Crisp, not greasy and a heavenly buttery garlic sauce to enhance the sea morsels.
I opted for the bone in ribeye. The steaks are cooked over an open flame giving them a delicious much sought after char. I can now agree it's the best steak I've had in Atlanta (outside of my own kitchen-or yours if you are one of my clients). Very generous size that will take me three sittings to finish. The sides are oddly petite in relation to how large the protein entrees are. Mashed potatoes were forgettable but the creamed spinach is quite the opposite. Spectacular. They aren't built for sharing.
Since the sides were so modest we ordered onion rings. Tall impressive presentation. Crispy light batter and irrisistable.
For dessert Cheesecake and chocolate cake with ice cream.
Very generous sizes on both desserts. The cheesecake is simple and absolutely delicious. smooth, just the right density and elegantly simple in flavor.
The chocolate cake is topped with a fudge sauce. The cake is soft and individually sized. The blanket of hot fudge is dark and delicious. Ice cream is absolutely welcome alongside. I liked the cheesecake more but it's a good dish for rich chocolate lovers.
All in all I give Hal's a 9 out of 10. I want to return to try some salads and seafood entrees.