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Fontaine's Oyster Bar is located next to the Highland Tap Restaurant, and is very popular with locals and tourists alike. If you are expecting a chivalrous crowd and a well-dressed wait staff, then you will be a little disappointed. This no-fuss joint is a casual hangout, visited by office and college-going people during lunch hours. Evenings are always packed, as it is open till the wee hours of the morning. Try the Peel-n-eat Shrimp and the Jambalaya, prepared with fresh ingredients. You can have a drink at the well-stocked bar on a boys' night out, or plan a romantic date with your lady love on the beautiful patio.
A lot goes on at this hotspot of Highlands corners, which sits snugly beneath the sidewalk at Highland and Virginia Avenues. Cozy up to the bar with the sleek after-work crowd, then stay late as the locals filter in. Dim lights and exposed stone walls set a romantic, if crowded scene. The rear section doubles as an upscale steakhouse, open for lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend brunch. Play your cards right, and the folks here will serve you a steak at the bar well into the night.
For a taste of Southeast Asia, head to Top Spice. Located in Midtown in the Ansley Park neighborhood, Top Spice offers flavorful Thai and Malaysian cuisine in a relaxed, elegant setting. Rich wood, low lighting and glass-topped tables filled with an array of spices set the stage as you sample creamy Tom Kha Ghai (chicken coconut soup) and crispy spring rolls. Roti canai, a Malaysian-style curry served with fried bread is another excellent appetizer choice. For entrees, standard Thai favorites like pad thai, Penang curry and Basil Chicken are on the menu. For something a little more exotic, try Fantasy Pineapple Prawn or beef rendang. The restaurant offers a full bar with specialty martinis. Choice wines are available by the glass or bottle.
For a taste of France in the heart of Atlanta, take a trip to the intimate Atmosphere French Restaurant in Ansley Park. This charming bistro serves lunch, brunch, and dinner, and has been named Atlanta's best French restaurant. The beautifully restored 1950s home has plenty of room to accommodate the patrons who stream in on the weekends. Done in soft cream and yellows with warm brown furniture, the environment is relaxing and homey. Atmosphere hosts events like wine tastings every first Wednesday of the month. Along with French staples like escargot and foie gras, there are set lunch and dinner menus that come with a starter, an entree, and a dessert. Atmosphere also provides catering and has a room that can hold 20 people for private events.
Popular for Asian fusion at shoestring prices, this trendy spot blends elements from the cuisine of many Asian nations to produce a truly unique menu. The noodle soups and mixed Asian pastas are great, or try one of several cabbage wraps or the Chinese scallion pancakes as an appetizer. Don't let the crowd scare you away; the line moves quickly. The cozy interior features tiny tables arranged with little elbowroom. For more space, wait a few minutes for a seat on the elevated patio that looks out over Highland Avenue. Check the website for detailed menu, other locations and daily drink specials.
If a Persian fine dining experience is what you're looking for, then Sufi's in Buckhead is ideal for you. Most of the appetizers, soups, salads and rice selections are vegetarian, whereas the specialty dishes and kabobs are mostly non vegetarian; care has been taken to ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. The kabob list at this upscale restaurant is rather vast, and has everything from salmon to shish, lamb and shrimp. From being a restaurant that did not serve alcohol, Sufi's has graduated to serving wine and beer, but you will be charged a corkage fee.