Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Give Atlanta Restaurants a Ring for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Engagement

Preparing to pop the question? Atlanta restaurants are always engaging whether it be "Will you be mine?" or "Where would you love to eat?" Look for prix fixe Valentine's Day menus and plenty of parties and minglers for singles.

Color Valentine's Day Aqua blue in Roswell, where guests will enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu with items such as New England-style clam chowder, "stuffed" twin lobster tails and classic crème brûlée for dessert. $50 per person, not including tax or gratuity. Reservations: 770-643-8886.

Buckhead's Aria is a chic spot to get in the mood with a special Valentine’s Day four-course prix fixe menu for $90 per person. Beverage, tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations: 404-233-7673.

Celebrate Valentine's Day in Midtown at Communitas Hospitality restaurants Gilbert's Café & Bar and 10th & Piedmont. At Gilbert's, dinner begins with an appetizer taste of braised lamb shank rillettes followed by a soup or salad choice of smoked trout and sunchoke chowder or red apple and baby arugula salad. Entrée options are collette steak skewer, diver scallops or wild mushroom purses. Pink champagne cake is offered for dessert. 10th & Piedmont starts with a trio of small bites including beef tartar, zucchini ribbon roll and butter-poached lobster followed by soup or salad of smoked trout and sunchoke chowder and red apple and baby arugula salad. Entrées include house-made lobster rolls, beef medallions and wild mushroom purses, and ending with mini pink champagne cupcakes. 10th & Piedmont seatings are at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $75 for two people, either restaurant. Credit card is required to hold reservation. For more information and to make a reservation at Gilbert's, call 404-872-8012, and for 10th & Piedmont, call 404-602-5510.

Swoon over The Valentine's Day menu at Ecco in Midtown. The regular menu will be joined by decadent specials: calamari ala plancha with pears, harissa and basil ($9); roasted quail with chorizo, farro verde and radish green salsa verde ($15); crispy black cod with young collards, hazelnuts, brown butter, capers and lemon ($27); and milk chocolate torte with blood orange coulis and spiced pecans ($9). Reservations: 404-347-9555.
Fun for the unattached awaits at the Nuts and Bolts Valentine's Party at Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant on Saturday, February 9 beginning at 10 p.m. Gender dictates nut or bolt upon arrival at the Buckhead pub. Talk and twist with others to find your match -- all the while sipping on a pint from the pub's wide beer and ale selection. The Irish prix fixe menu is a hearty way to share February 14. From 5-10 p.m., $34.95 per person buys a shareable appetizer of cheese puffs or smoked salmon bites, a shareable dessert of either chocolate-dipped profiteroles or harvest bread pudding, and two of the following dishes: farmhouse salad, fish and chips or Gaelic steak boxty. Toast with the accompanying glass of prosecco, included. Reservations: 404-841-0066.

Passionate about pizza? Hearth Pizza Tavern is, and the Sandy Springs restaurant has some lovely pizza specials in mind for Friday, February 1 through Thursday, February 14. The "Stupid Cupid Pizza" loads up on white clam, artichoke, marinated tomato, red onion, lemon, Parmesan and toasted almonds; "Hot Lips" kisses up to mildly spicy fra diavolo sauce, hot Italian sausage, capicola, roasted peppers, onion, pickled chilies and Parmesan; a steak lover's pizza welcomes a meat lover's embrace. Dine in or take back to your love nest: 404-252-5378.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern preludes with a pre-Valentine chocolate and beer tasting February 6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Executive Chef Brett Ring designs four courses of specially prepared chocolate food for tasting with four complementary beers: chocolate-dipped oranges with sea salt and Founder's Centennial IPA; chicken mole over crispy rice cakes with chocolate-dipped bacon paired with Stone Smoked Porter; white chocolate pudding with chocolate graham crackers and cherry compote with Boon Kriek "Cherry" Lambic beer; and ending with a flourless chocolate espresso torte with Bailey's whipped cream and fresh raspberries with Redd's Apple Ale. Space is limited, reservations required. 404-968-2288.

If bellies are love tanks, JCT. Kitchen & Bar in west Midtown is your Valentine's Day filling station, offering a four-course prix fixe menu on Thursday, February 14 for $60 per person. Start with a taste of house-cured lox followed by a starter of roasted local golden and red ace beets, crispy poached farm egg or pan-seared diver scallops. Mains include wood-grilled Muscovy duck breast, "chicken stand" fried young chicken and butter-poached Maine lobster. Share chocolate "PB" pie, white chocolate ice cream or champagne truffles for dessert. Guests may bring in a special wine of their own; $10 corkage fee per bottle. A 20 percent gratuity is applied to parties of six or more. Reservations: 404-355-2252.

Brookhaven-ites can stay close to home with someone special and enjoy the three-course Valentine's Day menu, $35 per person, at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub. Not wanting to break any hearts, Kaleidoscope also is offering the regular menu. Reservations accepted, 404-474-9600.

In the heart of Virginia Highland, La Tavola Trattoria is preparing a three-course prix fixe Valentine's Day dinner for love birds. For $49 per person, guests choose from a variety of antipasti including braised rabbit crespelle, grilled calamari or beet and farro salad. Entrées include items such as braised lamb ragu, chestnut gnocchi, grilled swordfish and saltimbocca alla romana. Dreamy desserts include Meyer lemon-olive oil cake, chocolate cake and honey mascarpone cheesecake. Tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations: 404-873-5430.

Share the love with a box of cupcakes from Buckhead's Little Cake Bakery. Special holiday flavors include lemon lavender, passion fruit vanilla, chocolate-dipped strawberry and French kiss. To order cupcakes for that special someone or to treat yourself, call 404-841-8856.

For $55 per person, No. 246 in Decatur is offering a four-course prix fixe menu this Valentine's Day. Examples of entrée options include wood-oven-baked red snapper in cartuccio, butter-poached Maine lobster and braised Wagyu beef cheeks. Tax and gratuity are not included. Credit card required to hold a reservation; call 678-399-8246.

West Midtown's "oceanfront" restaurant, The Optimist, is offering a four-course prix fixe menu on February 14. Begin with a taste for the table of she-crab soup, followed by starter options such as east and west coast oysters, hearts of palm and beet salad or Spanish octopus. Entrée options include items such as white steelhead salmon, Georges Bank scallops or grilled duck breast. Three dessert options anchor the meal. $65 per person, not including tax or gratuity. Credit card required to hold a Valentine's Day reservation: 404-477-6260.

Bless their hearts with a Southern-style, three-course prix fixe Valentine's Day dinner for two at South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Vinings for $42 per person. Get started with pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes or fried gulf oysters then move on to a choice of buttermilk fried chicken, braised short rib or vegetable plate. Choose velvet Elvis cake, caramel apple toffee pudding or buttermilk chess pie for the finale. Tax and gratuity are not included. Midtown reservations: 404-873-7358; Vinings reservations: 770-435-0700.

Why wait? Woodfire Grill and Georgia Shakespeare embrace Cupid's day on Monday, February 11 by hosting a "Fools for Love" wine dinner. Beginning at 7 p.m., new Executive Chef Tyler Williams is offering a four-course dinner with premium wine pairings selected by owner and sommelier Nicolas Quinones. Georgia Shakespeare's Associate Artists will provide the entertainment, performing jazz standards and love songs throughout the evening. Tickets are priced at $150 per person ($90 is tax deductible) and can be purchased online or by calling Georgia Shakespeare at 404-504-3405. On Valentine's Day, the restaurant is offering a five-course vegetarian menu for $85 per person and a five-course pescatarian menu or five-course chef's tasting menu for $100 per person. Wine pairings also are available for $12 per glass or $20 per glass for premium wines. Reservations required: 404-347-9055.

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