An Irish playwright once declared, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” Although your Valentine might not wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy, what better way to show your affection than treating your date to a delicious meal at an atmosphere-rich restaurant in Atlanta on the most romantic day of the year? We’re spotlighting two of Atlanta’s best dining spots – one traditional, one trendy – to help you decide how to celebrate with your sweetie this year.
Traditional: The Sun Dial
The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View / 210 Peachtree Street / Atlanta, GA 30303
For the epitome of a traditional Valentine’s Day dinner, look no further than the Sun Dial Restaurant, located high atop the Westin hotel in downtown Atlanta, which is also the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere. Having been referred to as “the ultimate Atlanta experience,” this dreamy and delicious destination restaurant exudes class and sophistication with a hint of old world romance, but is perhaps best known for its unparalleled view of the city. Some might say that getting there is half the fun: access to the dining room consists of an exhilarating 85-second ride up 73 stories in the hotel’s exterior glass elevator cab. As the crowded downtown streets shrink gracefully beneath your feet and the entire city unfolds before your eyes, the romantic dining adventure begins.
The 360 degrees of windows in the Sun Dial’s dramatic circular dining room reveal breathtaking city views. As guests slowly revolve around the room, new characteristics of the city become discernible every minute, aided by the room’s cardinal direction pillars.
The Sun Dial has built a strong reputation for their exquisite menu, which is updated often so guests can experience the freshest and most in-season flavors. When asked what entrée the Sun Dial restaurant is best known for, the waitstaff’s consensus was the Beef Filet. Described as a “coffee-cinnamon-cocoa beef filet,” this tender cut of meat, expertly paired with butternut squash and Swiss chard and drizzled in smoked onion hollandaise sauce, melts in your mouth.
By the time the dessert menu is presented, you may already be overawed by the delicious fare, friendly and attentive service, and spectacular view. However, the best is yet to come. The Sun Dial’s divine Fried Apple Pie is one dish you won’t want to pass up. (You’ll need to put your calorie-counting aside, but it will be worth it.) Accompanied by a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and a candied almond curl, this delightfully familiar-yet-reinvented dessert is the perfect ending to a delectable evening at the Sun Dial.
Ecco / 40 7th Street NE / Atlanta, GA / 30306
Valentine’s Day Romeos wishing to spice up their night should consider making a reservation at Ecco, an exotic, trendy tapas restaurant located in the heart of midtown Atlanta. Spanish tapas-style dining dates back to the 13th century and is marked by the idea that when eating, people should embrace the others at their table and share the food that surrounds them. True to this philosophy, Ecco’s seasonal European-inspired menu is bursting with unique small-plate dishes and distinctive drinks that dare to be tried and shared by all.
Start off with a “Long Live the Queen” cocktail, a smooth and silky gin-based drink with a hint of mint, elderflowers, lemon, and peach. Pair your beverages with home-cured meats, cheeses, wood-fired pizza, and a selection of “Taste & Share” menu items. Fried goat cheese balls – which are about the size of melon balls – are one of Ecco’s signature tapas. This distinctive sweet and savory dish, served drizzled in honey and sprinkled with black pepper, will enchant your date’s taste buds.
At Ecco, there are ample opportunities for a happy ending. The restaurant’s dramatic Chocolate torte and cream, served with spiced cherries soaked in red wine, will win over your Valentine’s heart in one bite. Homemade ice cream, topped with sea salt and olive oil, satisfy even the most adventurous tastes.
Whether your taste is traditional or trendy, both the Sun Dial Restaurant and Ecco are sure to impress your date on Valentine’s Day. Just remember, restaurants this romantic require advance reservations.
Here are a few more romantic spots that are sure to make your Valentine’s Day a memorable one:
Atmosphere: Wishing you could fly to Paris for Valentines’ Day? At this restaurant near Piedmont Park, you will find authentic French dishes like foie gras poêllé and profiterolles. Strolling through the park or botanical gardens makes a great date, too.
Park 75: This tasteful restaurant inside the Four Seasons hotel offers a selection of delicious entrees. Want to really impress your dates? Score a couple of tickets to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to see platinum-selling songwriter and pianist Jim Brickman on February 14, 2013.
The Fernbank Museum & Radial Cafe: For a more casual environment, visit Martini’s and IMAX at the Fernbank Museum. Grab a bite at the Radial Café – a down-to-earth, close-by dining spot and Atlanta’s only Green Restaurant Association Certified Farm-to-Table Restaurant.