So it was a Sunday afternoon, and I had just finished a grapefruit-ginger sugar scrub and apricot face mask -- because you know how us girls do -- when I turned on AMC's "Women in Hollywood Movie Marathon." And it was then, during When Harry Met Sally, that I was introduced to an innovative, arousing concept.
A moment in the film proposes that, in terms of dramatic recreation, dining in the '80s is like theater in the '60s. And that's when the thought crossed my mind: Some of Atlanta's newly opened restaurant/bars are the new art galleries -- if, like me, you consider leisurely sipping a drink, people watching and talking shit to be an art.
That's right, there's a new junior varsity of jump-offs for coy canoodling; places that are sedate yet anything but dated. So here's a cross-section of the new crop of unassuming yet stunning bars where you can replenish your cache of stolen moments: Suzy Wong's Lounge, Table 1280 Restaurant and Tapas Lounge and Krog Bar.
Tucked in the corner of the same west side complex as Bacchanalia, Suzy Wong's is an as-of-yet unsung extension of sumptuous Sampan. But whereas the opulent Sampan dining room has the feel of furtive multinational trafficking, Suzy Wong's is the opium den where, after the briefcases exchange hands, couples go to lose themselves in a breathy haze. While the signature cocktails in the obsidian and coquettish crimson bar are pleasantly flirty, the most intoxicating aspect is the view of the Midtown skyline.
Part of the Woodruff Arts Center, Table 1280 is the new venture of Shaun Doty, formerly of Mumbo Jumbo/MidCity Cuisine. Following in Doty's globally informed bistro sensibilities, the cuisine is as crisp as the cascades of clean lines designed by architect Renzo Piano and the cocktails served in the lipstick red- and slate-upholstered tapas lounge, which celebrate flavors both native and foreign. Reminiscent of Glass Bar, an equally striking menagerie in Madrid, Table 1280 is impeccably poised without being still life.
Located in the Stove Works complex near its father restaurant -- gregarious chef Kevin Rathbun's namesake -- Krog Bar is a wine and tapas bar (more than 20 wines by-the-glass; try the Lorinon Crianza) specializing in Mediterranean small plates. But Krog Bar hasn't forgotten its native soil -- Schlitz tall boys are only $1.50. Dining and reclining in the bottle-lined greenhouse and basking in an amber glow at communal chocolate tables is like spending time in a vintage transistor radio, immersed in spry chatter. There's an old-world-meets-new-money reverberation that fits the surrounding earthy, gentrifying neighborhoods.
These three scenes mange to be both haute and hawt.
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