Rooftop views, salsa lessons, and enough leftovers to feed the in-laws—whatever your idea of romance, you don’t have to look far to find it in Atlanta. But “romance” is perhaps too general of a term. Every relationship plays out in chapters, from the nervous first date to the big question. But before getting down on one knee and asking “What’s your name?”, take a look at this list of Atlanta restaurants for every stage of your relationship: JCT. Kitchen & Bar Great for: Meeting for the first time Romantic perk: Rooftop bar Located in the hip West Midtown neighborhood, JCT. Kitchen & Bar is equal parts classy and casual, with all-white decor that serves as the perfect setting for an elegant evening. The menu of upscale Southern cuisine provides plenty of topics for conversation, from homestyle deviled eggs to JCT.’s famous fried chicken. After the meal, head upstairs to the rooftop bar for a handcrafted cocktail. If things go well, you can even stay late to catch live music in the bar area. One Midtown Kitchen Great for: Taking things to the next level Romantic perk: Skyline views No backdrop is more romantic than the Atlanta skyline at night. One Midtown Kitchen is located in the warehouse district that borders Piedmont Park, and the restaurant offers diners a glimpse of the city from their table. If you can peel your eyes away from the view, you’ll see that the interior is just as romantic, thanks to the cozy booths, exposed brick walls, and modern floating candle arrangements throughout the restaurant. Working in a circular open kitchen, the chefs here use seasonal ingredients to craft American classics such as fried calamari, crispy brussels sprouts, and pork tenderloin. Briza Great for: Dinner and a sleepover Romantic perk: The hotel’s just upstairs Located in the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of Midtown, Briza is the perfect setting for a date night. Chef Janine Falvo, who competed on TV’s Top Chef, has created an excellent menu headlined by a short rib that slow-cooks for 48 hours. Vegetarians will fall hard for the roasted maitake mushrooms served over grits with a wild mushroom-thyme jus. Before heading upstairs for the night, impress your date by ordering a flight of wines selected to pair perfectly with whichever dish you decide on. Antico Pizza Great for: Couples who share everything Romantic perk: Enough leftovers for breakfast the next morning If you’re willing to wait in line, this might be your perfect date-night spot. Antico Pizza is known worldwide for its handcrafted Italian pizzas. Everything here is made from scratch, and the pizzas are large enough to serve a family of four (or one very hungry couple). Even better, it has a BYOB policy, so you can choose your own wine from the cupboard at home. To really make things hot, order the Diavola, a pie topped with pepperonata and a spicy sopressata. Eclipse di Luna Great for: Spicing up the relationship Romantic perk: Salsa lessons on Thursday nights Dance the night away on Thursdays at Eclipse di Luna, a Spanish tapas restaurant that offers free salsa lessons once a week. Either of the two locations (one in Buckhead, the other in Dunwoody) are perfect for a date night, as the eclectic food and interactive lessons invite stimulating conversation throughout the evening. The housemade sangria doesn’t hurt, of course. Looking for more ways to spend a romantic night out? Check Groupon for things to do in Atlanta.Read More
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If you’re ever on the hunt for tasty barbecue and a fun place to watch the game with like-minded sports fans, look no further. DBA Barbecue has you covered. With an array of menu items that will leave you speechless, DBA Barbecue is one of the most talked about establishments in the Virginia Highlands. Meet Matt Coggin, the managing partner of DBA. Today he shares a little insight on how it all got started and some of the future plans for this delightful, local haunt. How did DBA Barbecue come about? I have worked in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood for over 12 years. At the time, I had been looking for a space for a couple of years when Vine, the former restaurant in our space, decided to call it quits. Although the recession was in full swing when I signed the lease in 2009, I jumped on the opportunity. I felt the neighborhood needed some great southern comfort food and barbecue at its foundation. Well that and butter. What are 3 menu items everyone must try when they come to DBA? I am really proud of our St. Louis ribs, grilled Texas creamed corn and our house-cured and smoked pastrami. I think that our pastrami is the best in Atlanta; total meat candy! We’re also known for our smoked wings. Your battered and fried bacon is outstanding! How did you and your staff come up with this concept? I was under the influence at 2 a.m. Just kidding. We can batter and fry anything! What separates DBA from other BBQ spots in Atlanta? For starters, we are not a dive. We are a full-service, full bar, neighborhood joint. Our ‘cue is a little on the sweeter side, and our house-made sides make us really special. In addition to always having great beer on draught, we also have an outstanding moonshine selection and quite a few creative cocktails — like our pickled moonshine martini. In the summertime we serve boozy moonshine slushies and homemade pudding pops…rolled in candied bacon. Of course, we also make all of our own sauces in-house and have found that we really hit a home run with our “Bryan’s Tangy Sauce”. Are there any new menu items in the works that you can give us a sneak peak on? Chef Eric Guillot of Lake Charles, Lousiana just joined our team. He and I will be working together to add some new house-made sausage, gumbo and more nightly specials focusing on non-traditional barbecue (duck, lamb, tri-tip), as well as some Cajun specials. There are lots of new, exciting changes happening with D.B.A.’s menu in the coming months. Stay tuned! We love that you have moonshine cocktails. Tell us about your favorite one. I always loved the Pickled Moonshine Martini. It's the one that started it all - 2.5 ounces of Junior Johnson Midnight Moon and a splash of pickle juice. It’s shaken vigorously and served up with a pickle! How would you describe the atmosphere at DBA? D.B.A. is a casual, friendly neighborhood restaurant with a certain New Orleans vibe. Think Frenchman Street in New Orleans. Be sure to check out DBA Barbecue. With a great atmosphere, delicious cocktails and an ever-changing menu, DBA is sure to please! DBA Barbecue 1190 North Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (404) 249-5000Read More
It’s not that Atlanta’s best date-night restaurants are lacking in the food department—the city's chefs make exquisite Italian, French, Persian, and Indian dishes. It’s just that the eateries’ romantic atmospheres do most of the work when it comes to setting the mood. Picturesque gardens inspire stolen kisses at La Grotta. An avant-garde chandelier and black-and-white decor ooze elegance at Aria. And the soft melodies emanating from the Chattahoochee River underscore quiet conversation at Canoe. Multiple Locations: Italian Gardens La Grotta | Multiple Locations At La Grotta’s two locations, breathtaking gardens serve as an enchanting backdrop for dates. In Buckhead, lush foliage rises from stone-lined flowerbeds in the courtyard, whereas at the Ravinia eatery, trickling waterfalls cut through the greenery. At both restaurants, chefs serve organic Italian fare—even custom dishes, if you call ahead. Buckhead Village: Painstakingly Staged Dinners Aria | 490 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE Dinner at Aria is more than just another meal; it’s the main event. Chefs spend all day preparing, often letting meats roast, simmer, or stew for hours. By the time guests gather under the avant-garde chandelier, chefs need only focus on putting the finishing touches on their expertly plated contemporary American fare. Downtown: 360 Skyline View Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View | 210 Peachtree St. NW Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View rotates throughout the day from its perch on the top floor of the Westin. That means guests get to see different pieces of Atlanta’s skyline during the course of their meal, or they can head to the observatory for a 360-degree view. North Atlanta: French Cuisine with Piano Accompaniment Violette | 2948 Clairmont Rd. NE Coq au vin, roasted duck breast, and chocolate mousse are among the most popular French dishes at Violette. But it’s not just the cuisine that makes it so romantic; the eatery resides in a secluded building 50 feet from the street, and hosts live piano music six times a week. Vinings: Romance on the River Canoe | 4199 Paces Ferry Rd. NW Set on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe’s name couldn’t be more fitting. Riverside gardens and walkways are perfect for a post-dinner stroll, while in the dining room, iron vines, animal sculptures, and a canoe-inspired ceiling bring the outdoors in. This warm, rustic setting complements the seasonal cuisine. Buckhead: Sensual Surroundings Tantra Restaurant and Bar | 2285 Peachtree Rd. NE Once a week, Tantra Restaurant and Bar hosts “Sultry Jazz Thursdays,” when live musicians supply the mood music. But every night at Tantra could be considered sultry thanks to the risqué artwork on its walls and the spicy Persian and Indian cuisine served by its chefs. Downtown Decatur: Practice Your French Cafe Alsace | 121 E. Ponce De Leon Ave. Dinner here is the next best thing to a European vacation: every server speaks French, and the food—from pecan-stuffed chicken to sauerkraut with three sausages—exhibits the French and German influences of the restaurant's namesake region. Sandy Springs: Where the River Meets the Sea Ray's on the River | 6700 Powers Ferry Rd. NW Live Maine lobsters are flown in fresh every day to Ray's on the River, as is all of its certified-sustainable seafood. The fish has to be delicious to compete with Ray's other specialty: hearty Black Angus steaks, aged for a minimum of 21 days. Midtown: European Wines Ecco | 40 7th St. NE Rich, dark wood and leather give Ecco's dining room a laid-back feel. But peek inside the open kitchen and you’ll see chefs bustling to prepare small plates of seasonal European cuisine such as cured meats and cheeses, wood-fired octopus, and salt-roasted beets. The dishes complement Ecco's rare European wines. Poncey-Highland: Heat Up the Warehouse Two Urban Licks | 820 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE Two Urban Licks was once a warehouse and the industrial vibe lingers on in the dining room's enormous rotating rotisserie. There's also an entire 26-foot wall devoted to 72 barrels of wine, which pour via a gravity-powered system.Read More