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Hal's: A good place for a filet and to meet the parents



 Meat with the Fockers

Being a former-fatty, I love nothing more than talking about food, salivating while describing my favorite menu items. I make wild, embarrassing hand gestures while recounting my best and worst dining experiences. I light up when people ask me for restaurant recommendations. And anytime I’m asked for the perfect spot to take clients, out-of-towners or a significant other’s parents, I turn into the unofficial spokesperson for Hal’s on Old Ivy Road.

Meeting the parents is a time to charm, impress and schmooze their pants off. And Buckhead mainstay Hal’s on Old Ivy is the perfect place to do so. I’ve long searched for Atlanta’s best steak, and while Bone’s and Chops are both top notch spots to grab a slab of meat, Hal’s stands above the competition.

When my boyfriend's parents decided they’d make a trip from the ‘burbs to Buckhead, there was no question that we’d be introducing them to Hal’s. This being only my second meeting with them, I was hoping the wine would loosen me up enough to be my most witty and charming version of myself.

His dad was thrilled to discover that Hal’s carried one of his favorite whiskeys, Crown Royal Cask 16. B.F.'s Mom and I each had a glass of wine from the extensive wine list.

I usually start my meal at Hal’s with an order of the Calamari, and was pleased to find it as crispy and delicious as ever. My favorite server, seasoned Hal’s vet Bobby, rattled off the specials to the others at the table without directing his attention towards me—he already knew my order.

My boyfriend's dad chose the Bone-in Ribeye, he ordered the French Cut Ribeye (a featured special) and his mom followed my lead and went with the Filet. Sides are ordered separately, and everyone got the creamed spinach except for me, of course. I’m a meat and potatoes girl through and through and their garlic mashed potatoes are downright sinful.

I tasted a bite of everyone’s steak at the table and while the other entrees on the table were nothing to scoff at, there is just no comparison to the Filet at Hal’s. It is cooked to perfection and drizzled with drawn butter right before serving, making it melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Doctors say it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. The Filet didn’t even stay on my plate long enough for this to occur, and I stuffed myself way past satiation. Not to worry though, per usual, I saved room for dessert. I’ve had far better Cheesecake then the slice of New York Style I ordered here. The piece still had ice crystals on it. If I order dessert again, I’ll go with the Bread Pudding. Though I’m not a huge fan of bread pudding, Hal’s does a decent job with theirs.

The décor and ambiance is reminiscent of a 1930’s men’s club. 50-somethings sip red wine and smoke cigars at the bar. Tables are literally packed in back to back, and a pianist plays your parent’s favorite songs.

While long thought of as a pre-gaming spot for that older crowd that frequents Johnny’s Hideaway, what Hal’s lacks in trendiness, it makes up for with a simple, straightforward menu. For non-carnivores, the menu offers pastas, but for the cow loving family, Hal’s will hit the spot. Finish all of your steak, but skip the ho-hum desserts. Be sure to make a reservation, this place will be packed.
Hals is located at 30 Old Ivy Road in Buckhead. Hal's is open for dinner Monday through Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Bar opens at 4.

~Blair Branch


  • Luann 5 years ago

    This reviewer hit it on the head---The best Steaks are at Hal's & I can attest to the fact that the reviewer sends everyone to Hal's

  • BigDaddy 5 years ago

    Hal's is pretty good, but the best meat in the city is at Rathbun's Steak. The dry-aged porterhouse will make you believe in a higher power.

  • Lindy 5 years ago

    I've been promised to be taken there and haven't made it yet. The filet sounds delicious and that is exactly ehat I would order.

  • SteakOut 5 years ago

    I don't question the awesomeness of Kevin Rathbun and his restaurants. But... I'm convinced that the filet at Hal's is by far, consistantly the best steak in Atlanta, for near the past 20 years. It's hard to eat steak elsewhere after getting used to eating steak at Hal's.

    Hal's chocolate cake is the dessert to eat. Or pistachio gelato with chocolate sauce on top. mmm.