Love is always in the air in Atlanta. Even so, sometimes you want a romantic setting for a special night out. Atlanta’s romantic restaurants come to the rescue with candlelight, atmosphere and cuisine that melts hearts.
- The South of France defines romance, and Anis Cafe & Bistro in Buckhead delivers it. Owner Arnaud Michel charms guests with recipes from his youth in Montpelier, France, and the converted house transports guests back to Provence with such delicacies as escargots au pastis, boeuf au poivre and poulet rôti while they dine in the warm yellows of the sun-drenched atmosphere of the South of France.
- Henry Winkler once said that Buckhead’s Antica Posta may be one of the best Italian restaurants on the East Coast, and we agree. Not only will the Tuscan-inspired dishes melt in your mouth, but the quaint, intimate atmosphere will put romance in your heart. The Betti brothers understand that dining should be a relaxing, enjoyable experience, and they and their wait staff let you linger over your dinner and drinks while the romance simmers.
- Atlas offers an impressive gallery of 20th century artwork, and the menu and atmosphere are just as priceless. Located in the St. Regis Atlanta Hotel, Atlas offers the best in seasonal American cuisine, and the renovated The Tavern at Atlas offers perfectly portioned small plate menus and seasonal hand-shaken cocktails.
- Atmosphere is a quaint bistro located near Ansley Park that features meticulously prepared dishes, desserts and cocktails — and romance. The soft lighting offers up an atmosphere of relaxed elegance, which lends itself to intimate conversations, laughter and a special evening.
- Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe offers a romantic setting with natural, yet manicured, lawns and a tranquil waterfront. Inside, diners settle into overstuffed booths or tables and enjoy an inspired decor that features an exposed kitchen and a ceiling that resembles the inside of a canoe. Located in Vinings, Canoe is one of the area’s most acclaimed restaurants, and diners can feast on such delicious treats as she-crab soup, Australian octopus, oven-roasted duck breast and hand-rolled fettuccine.
- Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse may be located in the decidedly unromantic Phipps Plaza, but once you walk through the doors, you’ll be transported back to a world of romance served up by waiters who take pride in their service — and respect privacy. The food is exquisite.
- Imperial Fez is an exotic and fun Buckhead restaurant that offers private tented rooms, belly dancers, and Moroccan and Middle Eastern specialties. A special treat is having your hands washed in rosewater before the meal — a Moroccan tradition — as is dining on comfortable pillows and eating some of the food by hand. To ensure a long and romantic evening, order the five-course dinner that takes a minimum of two hours — perfect for getting to know your date.
- Kyma is a contemporary seafood tavern that is true to its Mediterranean (especially Greek) origins. Romance is always in the air as the white marble columns, white-washed walls and dazzling constellation display on the deep blue ceiling take you away to the Greek islands. Kyma is part of the esteemed Buckhead Life Group, so you know the food and service will be outstanding, and it is. Kyma offers a variety of fish and seafood and specializes in the Greek technique of wood grilling with olive oil, lemon and oregano.
- Le Bilboquet is located at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta and offers a vibrant atmosphere that is reminiscent of a Parisian cafe. With lots of natural light, blue velvet banquettes, a two-color terrazzo floor and pewter bar, the restaurant offers classics such as les crêpes Suzette, crab and avocado salad, and steamed mussels.
- Since 1976, Nikolai’s Roof at the Hilton Atlanta has been the go-to place for romance. Nikolai’s delights guests with stunning views of the skyline, masterfully prepared Russian and French cuisine, impeccable service and one-of-a-kind vodka flights and options.
- Who doesn’t find a rotating lounge romantic? Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s Polaris certainly fits the bill. With the city skyline in the background, the Polaris offers specialty cocktails, chef’s plates, a modern, yet retro, decor and romance.
- Sotto Sotto is located in the Old Fourth Ward and has been a dining tradition for the past 15 years. Chef-owner Riccardo Ullio serves simple, regional food in an intimate dining room and on an outdoor patio. It’s so romantic that you’ll definitely re-enact the “Lady and the Tramp” classic pasta scene.
- St. Cecilia is well named because a dining experience in this Buckhead restaurant is, indeed, heavenly. Renowned chef-owner Ford Fry serves coastal European food in a dramatic three-story room with multi-colored woods, white-tiled columns and a 20-seat marble bar that is perfect for a pre-dinner tête-à-tête. St. Cecilia is the complete package: Outstanding food, beautiful decor and the aromatic smells from the kitchen make it a favorite for lovers.
- Wisteria is located in the historic Inman Park neighborhood and offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere with its brick walls and vintage woods for couples to enjoy contemporary American cuisine with a Southern twist. The tables are just close enough so you have to lean it — just a bit — to have a private conversation.
Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.