Atlanta’s warm summer evenings evoke romance, from celebrating with a love of many years to first dates with a new flame. And whether it’s a simple date night away from the kids or a proposal of marriage, Atlanta’s restaurants have the romance teed up. So, if you’re looking for a place to take your special someone, try one of these local spots known for generating a sensual, intimate vibe.
Sexy, refined Asian cuisine is the specialty at Silk. The best seat in the house is undoubtedly the circular booths ensconced in gauzy, sheer curtains that drape down from the ceiling giving you and yours an intimate, personal experience. Start with Executive Chef Kochi Chiba specialty tapas, or Kaiseki. Chiba was named one of the top three Kaiseki masters by USA Today, and it shows in his Hawaiian Ahi Poke which melds pristine raw tuna cubes with avocado, seaweed salad and pineapple in ponzu sauce, topped with caviar. Surely the most romantic dish is the sautéed lobster tail with ginger scallion. Runner up is the Chilean sea bass with sake miso marinade. Land lovers will appreciate the Kobe steak with mashed kabocha squash. Private dining digs, luxurious cuisine and roughly 15 selections of champagne and sparkling wine guarantee you’ll have all you need to ensure a perfect evening. 919 Peachtree Street NE, 678-705-8888, www.silkrestaurant.com
The airy, sensual feel in this dining room oozes elegance and romance…right down to the slightly suggestive chandelier deftly positioned in the center of the dining room. Tuck yourselves into an upper balcony private candle-lit booth (with red silk accents) and steady yourself for an evening of impressive culinary creations. Think roasted duck with Savoy cabbage, carrots and Fuji apples or peppered pumpkin swordfish steak, butter braised spinach, celery root puree & tempura crisped green onion. Chef Gerry Klaskala knows his craft—he was one of only six chefs awarded the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. His pastry counterpart, Kathryn King, brings poetry to dessert with the warm chocolate cheesecake and other nightly inspirations. 490 E. Paces Ferry Road, 404-233-7673, www.aria-atl.com
Dark woods, brass fixtures, marble and that classy Italian restaurant feel work together to set the mood at Il Mulino. Indeed, for one night you and yours will feel like Italian royalty. Preparations are whisked away with flourishes (at one point our table cloth is removed in one deft maneuver by two very efficient servers), and many items are prepared tableside. The menu leans towards traditional Italian dishes executed with flair and confidence such as the fettuccine ragout with tomato, porcini and pecorino. A scaloppine capriccio is a sultry expression of veal sautéed in wine with prosciutto, fontina. The tableside Caesar presentation is as elaborate as the salad. Massive wedges of parmesan are shaved tableside for snacking. Enjoy it all with a soulful wine from the thoughtful Italian selections. 191 Peachtree Street NE, # 300, 404-524-5777, www.ilmulino.com
||Paces 88 boasts its own set of ravishing trappings. Photo: Joe Hans.
Set amongst the splendor of The St. Regis Hotel, the signature restaurant, Paces 88, boasts its own set of ravishing trappings. The fetching barrel-vaulted ceilings of Venetian plaster, ivory colored Turkish limestone, walls of floor to ceiling windows, plush seating, and dark woods trimmed out with classic touches work together to make the dining room an elegant escape. Enjoy the summer evening outdoors on the patio, complete with lush verdant landscaping, fountain and fireplace. Dining measures up to the exquisite scene with dishes such as seared foie gras brulée of black mission figs or a fresh gulf red snapper with gnocchi and wild mushrooms. Each entrée comes with wine suggestions, or browse the more than 520 selections (with 60 by the glass); you’ll surely find one to celebrate the evening. 88 West Paces Ferry Rd, 404-563-7910, www.paces88.com
Sage Woodfire Tavern
Romance outside the perimeter? Indeed. The attentive staff at Sage will ensure you spend your time enjoying each other. Natural tones of wood and stone accented with dark finishes, leather banquettes and muted lighting create a sophisticated atmosphere. Call ahead and ask for a cozy booth (the one bordered by a velvet curtain is tops). Specializing in New American cuisine, the restaurant’s signature hickory oak woodfire grill brings rich flavor to their hand-cut steaks and market fresh seafood. Sure bets include the bacon wrapped scallops with arugula and chipotle aioli or the crab cake with lemon-herb vinaigrette. If you’re in the mood for sharing, the surf and turf combo with Yukon gold mashed potatoes mushroom bordelaise and lobster reduction is more than enough for two. Then, you can save room for a grand finale featuring a rich caramelized banana tart topped with vanilla bean ice cream. 11405 Haynes Bridge Road, 770-569-9199, www.sagewoodfiretavern.com.