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Augusta's Grand Slam of restaurants

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After a day on the famous Augusta National Golf Course, Masters patrons have plenty of dining choices. For the ultimate Augusta dining experience, make it a "Grand Slam" by scoring a table at each of these locally owned restaurants while in town for the tournament.

Sheehans - 2571 Central Avenue

Sheehans, the brainchild of native Augustan chef John Beck, is the best place to rub shoulders with Augusta locals during Masters week. On any given evening at the warm and cozy Summerville neighborhood landmark, guests are often greeted by name, drinks are flowing and laughter and conversation is heard all around. The restaurant is always bustling. Beck's menu is diverse with plenty of southern specialties worth savoring like catfish served with Stilton cheese grits and pork tenderloin with southern collard greens. Tuna and Sea Bass specials are also outstanding. If indulging in a libation is your pleasure, be sure to try the special Pomegranite Mojito, each one is made to order using Hendricks Gin, a house simple syrup, pomegranite, plenty of lime, soda water and lots of fresh mint. A perfect 19th hole treat! If you happen to meet Beck himself, ask for the McBrown, his own concoction that tastes like spiked spa water and is as refreshing as it is relaxing. The delicious food and friendly atmosphere will have you ready to pull up a bar stool and stay for a while. Call for reservations 706-364-1234. www.sheehansirishpub.com

French Market Grille - 425 Highland Avenue

The popular expression "If it Ain't Broke, Don't fix it" applies here when referring to the menu. French Market Grille, owned and operated by Augustan's Gail and Chuck Baldwin, has consistently won "Best Restaurant in Augusta" for 17 years with minimal changes to their menu. The French Market celebrates cajun cuisine by serving Louisiana-style dishes in a casual atmosphere. Step inside and you'll find New Orleans memorabilia before you are greeted by the large bar and raw bar. Oysters and a cajun martini anyone? Grab a seat by the window and watch as golf patrons trek up and down Highland Avenue , celebrating the most exciting week of the year in Augusta. Once seated, you can't go wrong. Everything is made fresh here, from the many delicious salad dressings (try the creamy avacado) and fresh baked bread to the famous desserts (save room). Gumbo, soups and po boy sandwiches are just a few of the lighter fare items offered on the menu. Entrees range from Crawfish Etoufee to Honey Pecan Fried Chicken and Seafood Stuffed Trout. When the waiter describes the famous peanut butter pie, you'll want to give in to your sweet tooth and order at least one slice. You'll be glad you did! Call for reservations 706-737-4865. www.frenchmarketaugusta.com

Bistro 491 - 491 Highland Avenue

Flanking the Southern end of Surrey Center, Bistro 491 offers French Bistro cuisine in an upscale setting. Chef Todd Shaefer, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, opened Bistro 491 in 1999 and since then the accolades have been impressive . Favorites include the spinach salad with granny smith apples, candied pecans, blue cheese and a warm bacon viniagrette. Indulge in a sampling of oysters with fresh mignonette made from champagne vinegar, pink peppercorns and red grapefruit. Other favorites include Crispy Chicken under a Brick (yes the chicken really is cooked under a brick)and a large batch of french fries that are well worth the splurge in calories. You'll walk them off on the course tomorrow! Salmon and Tuna entrees as well as the Bistro's steak are also popular choices. Master's week specials include a Prime Bone-In Ribeye and Prime Filet. The service is excellent at Bistro 491 and the large bar adjacent to the dining room is a nice place to have a drink and cozy up for the night. Reservations are highly recommended by calling 706-738-6491. www.bistro491.com

Calverts - 475 Highland Avenue

Chef Craig Calvert may just be the influential force behind many successful Augusta restauranteurs. Chuck Baldwin of French Market Grille and Todd Schaefer of Bistro 491 have both worked in the kitchen with Calvert before opening their current ventures. Calvert and his friendly wife, Beverly, operate Calvert's located on the upper level of Surrey Center where fine wines, gourmet food, and quiet conversations are the vibe. Often regarded as the best place for a special occasion, Calverts has helped many Augustans make special memories. Offerings include Duck L'orange, Veal Tarragon, Tuna Wasabi and Cedar Planked Salmon to name a few. The dining room fills up quickly and reservations are highly recommended by calling 738-4514. www.calvertsrestaurant.com

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