Restaurant age 35
In reviewing the early `7O's "dinning
in Atlanta" guides, some of the old standby restaurants
were wistfully remembered... such as the Pleasant Peasant, Joe
Dale's Cajun House, Clarence Foster, Gene and Gabe's, Midnight
Sun, Aunt Fanny's, and of course, Pittypat's Porch. only a few
remain: Jim White's Halfshell, Nakato, Alfredo's, and Mckinnon's
In the institution of Buckhead, Mckinnon's Louisiane,
which celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in April 2002.
Recently ownership was passed to Aziz Mehram, General
manager since 1980. His nephew, Bill Glendinning
(Consulting Chef) Since 1975, No short termers here.
Billy Mckinnon's first career as a stockbroker
ended after seven years when, as Billy said, "we discovered
we weren't for each other." He had been a "hobby"
cook since college and focused on the best of American cuisine,
that, of course, being Creole. To that end Mckinnon went to
New Orleans to hone his skills at the source. He apprenticed
at hallowed Galatoire's restaurant, which is still a New Orleans
staple for old-line natives' and subsequently returned to Atlanta
to practice his new found craft.
Billy recently said that he was grateful and
felt awfully lucky to change career in mid-life to one that
enabled him to look forward to each and every day at his job
and love it.
Atlanta quickly accepted this "new"
cuisine and Mckinnon's became a destination restaurant for many
famous Atlanta's such as Dick Rich, loan Allen, Sam Massel and
the late Senator Paul Coverdell. Table "81 " was the
Coverdell's favorite table and it was occupied each election
eve for good luck by Mrs. Nancy Coverdell and friends.
Mckinnon's kitchen has always been the backbone
of the restaurant, and today it still serves the marvelous Louisiana
seafood dishes reflecting the refined cooking of Creole New
Orleans as well as the more pungent, highly seasoned dishes
of Cajun bayou. Mckinnon's main dining room is elegant and warm
while the grill room offers a more casual dining experience.
Dinner is served Everynight and reservations are suggested.
Located on Maple Or. at Peachtree, the restaurant is only minutes
from Buckhead hotels.
And speaking of dishes and traditions, Mckinnon's
stuffed eggplant (a casserole with shrimp, crab and eggplant
to die for) is guaranteed to get an expectant and past due mom
to deliver. Billy says, "if an expectant mom is a day over
9 months and has my stuffed eggplant, we will promise baby in
48 hours or dinner is "on the house." Needless to
say there is quite a parade of past due parents at the restaurant.
Today Billy Mckinnon spans much of his time
in coastal Darien, Georgia, gathering fish, shrimp and crab
to be trucked to the restaurant in Atlanta. Thirty years does
make Mckinnon's Louisiane an institution and tradition. A tradition
that is part of the strong fabric of Atlanta's diversity of
peoples and their foods.