Aria: Led by Andres Loaiza, this is fine-dining service at its best. Formal but relaxed, knowledgeable but not intrusive. Dining at Aria is a true pleasure. 490 E. Paces Ferry Road. 404-233-7673.
Bones: If you can take (or, like us, enjoy) a bit of Joe Pesci-esque showmanship, you'll be rewarded with classic steakhouse hospitality. Bartenders are masters of the old-school, boys-club brand of gruff friendly awesomeness. 3130 Piedmont Road. 404-237-2663.
Holeman & Finch: H&F goes to show that laid-back service does not mean lazy service. Servers are passionate and knowledgeable without being showy. 2277 Peachtree Road, Suite B. 404-948-1175.
La Grotta: Old-school service, incredibly gracious, knowledgeable, welcoming. Father and son team give guests familiar faces to return to. 2637 Peachtree Road 404-231-1368.
La Tavola: At this bustling Italian favorite, servers get the mix of warmth, assistance, and pacing just right. 992 Virginia Ave. 404-873-5430.
Miller Union: Servers at Miller Union know how to read a table, how to be unobtrusive when that's what's needed, or how to charm when a table is feeling more social. If a question arises the staff almost always knows the answer - if not, manager Neal McCarthy or chef Steven Satterfield will appear at the table to discuss. 999 Brady Ave. 678-733-8550.
Righteous Room: It's the kind of place where you never have to curse the heavens wondering where your drink is. The servers are always on top of it and as an added bonus, the jukebox is arguably the best in the city. 1051 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-874-0939.
Sotto Sotto: The servers at Sotto Sotto are seasoned veterans. They take pride in their service and are refreshingly knowledgeable when it comes to their extensive wine list. 313 N. Highland Ave. 404-523-6678.
Stir It Up: Family run, and it shows - in the right ways. The exuberant ladies that run the floor here will make you feel like you're a part of their family. 1083 Euclid Ave. 404-963-2384.
Woodfire Grill: The service at Woodfire Grill is quietly understated, but super knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Wine service is fantastic as well. As co-owner and director of Woodfire's wine program, Nicolas Quinones is often on hand to lend a gracious hand and guide guests through the menu. 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road. 404-347-9055.
One doughnut from each shop is definitely a weird way to do this Smackdown. It…
"vegan goodness" -- oxymoron of the day.
Doughnuts are the new cupcakes are the new popcorn are the new popsicles.
I agree with both posters - they're frickin donuts! And as far as the low…
Great post, but you forgot Dutch Monkey!