Buckhead Restaurant & Nightspot Famous For Fondue and Sterling Service
“I am extremely elated that we’ve not only survived for 40 years on the Atlanta restaurant scene,” states Dante Stephensen, of Dante’s Down the Hatch. “But we’ve thrived. Our 7 managers have amassed 183 years of restaurant service together at Dante’s, and our 50 employees are rigorously trained and intensely loyal. I am personally on site nearly every evening welcoming patrons aboard and helping out throughout the restaurant. We all work as a team and the words ‘that’s not my job’ aren’t spoken here. We don’t rest on our reputation...we earn it at every meal.”
Dante credits his unique business style to his immigrant parents’ work ethic, his Montessori schooling, his Navy Seal training, his mottos of consistency and integrity, and his love of fresh, high-quality natural foods. A world traveler, Dante got the idea for the restaurant theme when he was visiting the Swiss Alps. The restaurant is an authentic 18th century sailing ship which features private cabins, a spacious open deck, 13 levels of interconnecting dining rooms, and an intimate wharf bar. Antiques from around the world are found throughout Dante’s Down The Hatch including unusual religious artifacts like Baptist pews, a torah rail from a Jewish Synagogue, and a Spanish Catholic confessional.
But the ambience and service would be nothing without fantastic food. Dante’s specializes in dining fondue-style featuring choice cut chemical free Australian tenderloins, hormone free chicken, fresh shrimp and a delectable array of imported cheeses. And garden fresh veggies, homemade breads and old-fashioned New York style cheesecake will make your mouth water! If you want the amazing chocolate fondue, you’ll need to order at least 2 days in advance.
Whether it’s a first date, a 25th wedding anniversary, an annual corporate dinner, or just TGIF, Dante’s Down The Hatch has become a dining destination for Atlantans, as well as local and visiting celebrities. Just a few well-known diners include: Burt Reynolds, Ted Turner, Gladys Knight, Rod Stewart, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Angela Lansbury, Halle Berry, Kathryn Heigel, Charlton Heston, Jimmy Carter, Newt Gingrich, Andy Young, Deepak Chopra, Marlin Perkins, Issac Hayes, Evander Holyfield, Neal Boortz, Phil Donahue, Monica Pearson, Candice Bergen, Bill Cosby, and Liberace.
Dante’s has always been home to some of the best live jazz in Atlanta. The Paul Mitchell Trio played there for 30 years until Paul passed away in 2000. A Mitchell protégé, John Robertson started playing with the Mitchell trio in 1989 and now he graces the stage with his own trio from Tuesday-Sunday evenings. They are truly one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets!
Fast Fun Facts:
· International visitors love Dante’s. The menu is translated into over 60 languages!
· Dante’s has a moat in the restaurant around the ship where crocodiles live.
· Dante’s makes a unique party setting. Groups from 4 to 300 are welcome and easily accommodated.
· Chocolate fondue (yum) can be ordered in advance and is a veritable feast!
· A tall ships captain from Savannah did the restaurant’s rigging and it’s accurate.
· The bar offers more than 188 different wines and they have been included in the prestigious Wine Spectator listing every year since 1982.
· Dante lives and travels (yes travels) aboard a1926 railroad car.
Dante’s Down The Hatch is conveniently located in Buckhead at 3380 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30326. For more information and to see photos of the restaurant, visit their web site at: www.dantesdownthehatch.com. Reservations are urged. Call 404-266-1600.
GATable Note: LOVE Dante's Down the Hatch! It is definitely one of our favorites and for some of us, it has been so since the days of Underground Atlanta way back when. The food is fabulous, the music great, the atmosphere is perfect. Congratulations to Dante for continuing the tradition! I'll be hoisting a chocolate fondue tidbit to my mouth in your honor soon! - jmd
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