Romantic Dining in the City
by Keri Smith
If sipping wine in a cozy Tuscan dining room sounds appealing, a visit to Antica Posta is a must. With a wine list as lengthy as its list of accolades, Antica Posta offers an elegant dining experience which includes a menu filled with Tuscan specialties, signature meat and fish dishes, homemade pastas, breads and appetizers. The restaurant has consistently been voted best Italian restaurant by local gourmet publications. Valentine's Day patrons can enjoy a special menu and Italian music. 519 East Paces Ferry Road, 404-262-7112 or www.anticaposta.com.
Ali-Oli Restaurant & Gourmet-to-Go
Whether dining in or out, Ali-Oli patrons love to savor the flavors of Executive Chef Ignacio Barquera's rich gourmet meals. Featuring Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian flair, Ali-Oli's menu includes delicacies like house-made lobster ravioli with fresh mushrooms and a tarragon-Champagne sauce. Pick up two of these chef-prepared meals along with a bottle of wine, then enjoy it al fresca with a picnic in nearby Chastain Park. 3535 Peachtree Road, 404-266-0414 or www.aliolirestaurant.com.
Canoe breathes ambiance, inside and out. Whether it's the sound of the Chattahoochee River flowing alongside the restaurant, surrounded by colorful, manicured landscape or the elegant décor inside, complete with big, comfy booths, this place encourages tranquility and romance. The lauded menu boasts organic a nd local herbs and vegetables that compliment each main course, such the seared Georgia mountain trout and the oak roasted Springer mountain chicken, all fairly priced for a special occasion. After indulging in a rich dessert, such as white espresso brulee, couples can cap a truly enchanting evening with a stroll through the surrounding gardens. 4199 Paces Ferry Road, 770-432-2663 or www.canoeatl.com.
The dramatically sexy decor of Bazzaar-heavy drapes, candles and inviting velvet armchairs-perfectly compliments this European lounge's location next to the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Peachtree Street. Couples can steal moments behind curtained nooks while sipping the signature Bourgeois Martinis and listening to live music five days a week. Menu items change often, and two-hour complimentary parking is available across the street at The Georgian Terrace. 654 Peachtree Street, 404-555-1234 or www.bazzaaratlanta.com.
Atop the 30th floor of downtown's Hilton Atlanta, Nikolai's Roof New French cuisine charms diners with caviar from the Caspian Sea, flavored vodkas, a prix fixe eight-course chef's tasting menu and a seasonal a la carte dinner menu. A special Valentine's menu includes a choice of a six-course or an eight-course prix fixe dinner, so lovebirds can snuggle up, clink their glasses and enjoy the gorgeous view of our fair city. 255 Courtland Street, 404-221-6362 or www.nikolaisroof.com.
The Cheater's Booth is an exclusive feature at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta's Atlanta Grill restaurant, perfect for a romantic evening of fine dining and privacy. Renamed "The Lover's Retreat" for Valentine's Day, the velvet-curtained booth provides an intimate setting with a four-course dinner with champagne pairings for $400 per couple. If you choose the main dining room, enjoy the same courses from the special menu for $150 per person with champagne, $90 without. To complete the night, book a room at the hotel and return to Atlanta Grill for a Southern-inspired breakfast. 181 Peachtree Street, 404-659-0400 or www.ritzcarlton.com.
Dick & Harry's
For a more casual evening, or even a first date, Dick & Harry's provides an ideal atmosphere. The menu overflows with unique twists on everyday selections such as fish, steak and chicken, although many patrons swear by the jumbo crab cakes! Rich treats on the dessert menu, such as the warm chocolate waffles, are enticing, and the dessert wines and Cognacs are plentiful. The dimly lit eatery is open and relaxed-the perfect "get to know you" environment. 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, 770-641-8757 or www.dickandharrys.com.
Aptly named, Brookhaven's Haven is an upscale neighborhood restaurant flanked by townhouses and stores that offers a comfortable, amenable mood. Situated in a loft space, Haven provides engaging amenities with their open kitchen and Wine Wall Library. Small plates such as Ahi tuna carpaccio and filet of beef quesadillas are fun to order and share, as are the hearty entrees and a la carte selections. Enjoy $29 bottles of wine on Sundays and avoid crowds with call-ahead seating, available for dinner. 1441 Dresden Place, Suite 160, 404-969-0700 or www.havenrestaurant.com.
The building that houses Vinings Inn, built in the early 1800s, oozes character, originality and romance. While the restaurant's main dining area is unequivocally quaint, the attic bar provides a more contemporary setting and features musicians every night of the week. Southern-influenced plates with a wide range of prices fill the menu, such as the sugar-cured, double-cut Niman Ranch pork chop, served with Jarlsberg and Cheddar macaroni and cheese with Smithfield country ham, snap beans and Fuji applesauce-this mouthful is a Vinings Inn favorite. 3011 Paces Mill Road, 770-438-2282 or www.viningsinn.com.