Chef Dan Virola of Twisted Vine Bistro combines proteins from the air, earth, and water with fire to create delectable dishes that are complemented by an extensive list of domestic and international wines. The spiced rack of lamb with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and a wild mushroom ragout over cranberry chutney tempts forks to twirl with delight ($35), as lost wild salmon find themselves in a hoisin brown-sugar glaze with wasabi-whipped potatoes and a pineapple-lemongrass butter froth ($25). Stuffed breasts of chicken distract diners with dollops of sage and chicken mousseline, glazed carrots, garlic whipped potatoes, mushroom jus, and repartee ($18). An asparagus-cream soup with crispy, ground chorizo floods palates by the spoonful ($5) and a watermelon salad featuring mixed greens with strawberry-maple vinaigrette, local watermelon, and goat cheese perks up taste buds and bored salad forks alike ($8). An extensive list of domestic and international wines ($6+/glass, $18+/bottle) offers more enjoyable sips than a candle full of melted wax.
Potts Sports Café caters to sports fanatics with more than 20 big-screen TVs, ensuring match-watching bliss. Nineteen flavors of wings lead off an all-star menu lineup, allowing patrons to sample sauces such as lemon pepper, hot garlic, and naked in baskets of 10 ($8), 20 ($15), 30 ($21), or 50 ($34) wings.
Like two restaurants in one, NAMI Japanese Steakhouse affords guests the choice of dining traditionally or teppan-style. Those who choose the former settle into one of the eatery’s dining-room tables and enjoy sushi and any number of Thai or Japanese dishes, including traditional spicy and mild curries—enhanced by shrimp, tofu, or crisp duck—and flavorful staples, such as tempura, teriyaki, and katsu. Across the room, chefs break free from the kitchen to engage customers seated around a flattop grill in teppan-style eating. They prepare anything from the hibachi menu: filet mignon, lobster, and scallops. As they grill each item in a lively, public display, diners enjoy shrimp appetizers, stir-fried vegetables, and white or fried rice. NAMI shares owners with Origami, which serves a menu of Japanese and Korean cuisine.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Bear Rock Cafe's brand of American food focuses on fresh ingredients, adding a veneer of California cuisine to its classic dishes. To cater to its clientele, the staff allows kids to eat for free on Sundays and sets up free WiFi, so guests can sip freshly brewed coffee and sample offerings from two menus as they finally finish willing their blogs into existence. On the café menu, the staff lists a selection of 11 salads, an eclectic mix of hot and cold sandwiches, and individual pizzetas. Heartier fare dominates the dinner menu, which features meatloaf marsala, pot roast that has been braised for three hours, and mahi mahi with pineapple-mango salsa.
The confectionists at Oly's Ice Cream and Coffee scoop chilly servings of more than 30 flavors of Ice Cream Club treats and a host of Stefano's Gelato creations. Hot coffee and cappuccinos brewed with Kaña Cuban Coffee beans play the role of the delicious sidekick to the eatery's frozen fare, creating the best mixture of hot and cold since Mount Vesuvius spewed hot lava onto bobsledding courses during the last ice age. Ice-cream flavors such as birthday cake, chocolate peanut butter, and cookie dough quell cravings for saccharine goodness, whereas creamy banana-caramel-praline gelato can satisfy sugary hankerings in a low-fat form.