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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One of the most unique aspects of Atlanta is the big city/small town feel. We’re one of the largest and most metropolitan cities of the south, yet all throughout the city are close-knit neighborhoods and charming pockets of small town southern charm. One of those areas is Decatur, Georgia. At just six miles east of downtown Atlanta, Decatur is quite close to the city center, yet undeniably possesses that lovely local appeal. While there is an endless list of noteworthy restaurants, shops and establishments, here are a few eateries that have a little extra something special. 1. Leon’s Full Service If you tell someone you’re going to Decatur, they will immediately tell you that you must go to Leon’s. It has literally happened to me every single time I go. But with good reason. Leon’s Full Service has delicious food, a comfortable and clean atmosphere and top-notch cocktails to match. Whether you want to sit down for a quick lunch, or have more of a drawn out, in-the-moment experience in mind, Leon’s is the place for you. 2. No. 246 Right next door to Leon’s is No. 246. This tasty eatery is the epitome of modern charm. Its attractive, upscale design indoors is met with a simple, relaxed outdoor patio dining area in the back of the restaurant. The best part (besides the food, of course)? There’s a ping-pong table for guests to enjoy as they wait for their food, creating an entertaining, yet relaxed atmosphere. Check out No. 246 for brunch—you won’t regret it. 3. The Café at Cakes & Ale Bakery Chances are you’ve heard of Cakes & Ale if you live in Atlanta. The restaurant is well known to most residents, but the owners also opened a bakery where they serve coffee, baked goods and light bites from breakfast to lunch hours. The pretty set up is enough to make you walk in, but guests stay for the perfectly customized coffee and fresh treats. Do yourself a favor and try the banana bread at The Café at Cakes & Ale. 4. Revolution Doughnuts A doughnut craze has swept the nation, and I can’t say I’m upset about it. This doughnut (and cronut) obsession has brought tons of new businesses to fruition, including Revolution Doughnuts. What makes this place special is that all of their treats are made from scratch, in house, with organic and local ingredients. A farm to table concept doughnut has been created and it is available right here in Atlanta. What are you waiting for? Join the craze! Photos by Johnny Cheng Photography.Read More
Nothing beats a real girls’ night out. Thankfully, Atlanta has plenty of perfect spots for you and your female friends to have fun and reconnect -- or paint the town red. Whether you just want to catch up over coffee or down a few cocktails, the city has several choices that will make sure your group has a great time. At Café Intermezzo, expect your cup of joe – and your conversation – to be taken to a higher level. The hefty drink menu reads like a small novel and features standard favorites from mochas to cappuccinos, as well as crazy concoctions involving alcohol, whipped cream and more. The décor is designed after the European cafes popular in Vienna, and accordingly adds a bit of glamour that is a step above your average coffee chain. There is a full menu, including panini and pastas made fresh to order; just be sure to save room for dessert. And if you’re looking to impress your friends, excuse yourself to bone up on an exotic word or two from whatever foreign language tape is playing in the restrooms that day. If you and the ladies are looking for authentic Italian-style pizza in Atlanta, Fritti is the spot. It’s more upscale than standard pizza parlors, and the thin crusts and fresh ingredients will make you feel like you’ve met your friends in Rome for the evening. Choose from an extensive list of Italian wines to make sure that the conversation will flow easily, and then bask in Fritti’s décor while you wait for your pie. The restaurant is filled with intimate touches that will make you believe that you’re truly enjoying a special evening out. If you’d rather meet up for a few drinks outside the perimeter, check out d’Vine Wine Bar & Shop, inside the Shops of Dunwoody’s shopping center. Official wine tastings are Mondays and Tuesdays, but with flights offered, it’s as if there are wine tastings every night of the week except Sunday, when they’re closed. And on top of it all, the staff is exceedingly friendly and knowledgeable about the available pours. You can pull from the small menu for bites that will properly accompany your bottle of vino, but the star of the night at d’Vine truly is the wine list, which spans more than 500 bottles and 60 wines by the glass. So sit back, relax and let your hair down with your friends – just make sure someone gives you all a ride home.Read More