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Bacchanalia, ***** At once modernist and classicist, the California-influenced cuisine of owners/chefs Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano is based on solid technique, simple presentation and fresh, first-quality ingredients. The spare industrial setting fits the food, like beurre blanc on fish, while the service, wines and physical comforts leave little to be desired. L, D. $$$$. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410. www.starprovisions.com/bacc.
BELEZA, The new project of Ricccardo Ullio, the man behind Sotto Sotto and Fritti, Beleza's menu of sensuous, gorgeous and brilliantly conceived food is all without sugar or dairy. Inspired by a Brazilian cocktail lounge, Beleza serves drinks with exotic fruit juices and rococo combinations and dishes with synchronized colors and textures. D, $$. 905 Juniper St. 678-904-4582. www.frittirestaurant.com.
Bluepointe, *** As at Karatassos-chain sisters Nava, Chops and Veni Vidi Vici, this highly theatrical, biz-casual survivor takes time-tested ideas and recipes, tones them down, dresses them up and attempts to reproduce the lot on what amounts to a culinary assembly line. Definitely a be-seen scene for the champagne-and-cell-phone crowd. L, D. $$$$. 3455 Peachtree Road, 404-237-9070. www.buckheadrestaurants.com/bluepointe.
Canoe, *** Food teems with top-shelf ingredients at this restaurant, which boasts a stunning Chattahoochee-side setting. Try the Peekytoe crab fritter or roasted pheasant with a red wine-apple sauce and crispy croquettes in a comfortable and well-maintained environment where fine dining is served with a side of quaint charm. Winner of "Best Patio Dining" 2007. L, D. $$$. 4199 Paces Ferry Road. 770-432-2663.
CHOCOLATE BAR, *** Two gifted chefs, Nick Rutherford and Aaron Russell, are behind the decadence of the Chocolate Bar. A menu of sweets features such indulgences as the "Oreos and Milk," a white-chocolate ganache between layers of dark-chocolate souffle with milk sorbet. Winner of "Best Restaurant for a First Date" 2007. 201 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite C, Decatur. 404-378-0630. www.thechocolatebardecatur.com.
CITY GRILL, *** The longevity of City Grill can in large part be attributed to the grand drama of the space. It caters like no other restaurant in town to the romantic notions of Atlanta's Southern gentility that persist in the minds of visitors. Stick to dishes like the stuffed pork chop with wondrous Anson Mills grits and the beef filet with the scallion-potato cake. L, D. $$$. 50 Hurt Plaza. 404-524-2489, www.citygrillatlanta.com.
Dining Room, Ritz-Carlton, ***** Arnaud Berthelier is the Dining Room's exceptional chef who cooks perfecton into every dish. His style fits right in with the polished tenor of the magnificent service staff. Wine pairings are both subtle and sumptuous. Winner of "Best Overall Restaurant" and "Best Chef" 2007. D. $$$$. 3434 Peachtree Road. 404-240-7035.
DISH, ** The menu, offering "tastes," larger appetizers and full entrees, encourages sampling. Such post-modern choices as duck tacos and rosemary pinenut popcorn, Dish's signature snack food are among the most successful items. D. $$$. 870 N. Highland Ave, 404-897-3463. www.dish-atlanta.com.
THE FARMHOUSE AT SERENBE, ***** Nicolas Bour, formerly of Iris, is now at the helm of The Farmhouse's kitchen. Whatever's freshest from Serenbe's organic farm that day is used to make the rustic, three-course dinners. D. $$. 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto. 770-463-2610. www.serenbefarmhouse.com.
Floataway Cafe, ***** Fast-forward American fusion from the creators of the peerless Bacchanalia, with exquisite, inventive dishes made from fresh, often organic ingredients. At its best, this is headquarters for an instantly memorable meal in a thousand. Winner of "Best Appetizers" 2007. D. $$$$. 1123 Zonolite Road, Suite 15. 404-892-1414. www.starprovisions.com.
FOOD 101 MORNINGSIDE, ** Upscale comfort food is the order of the day here. Look for such homey classics as fried chicken and the "famous" meatloaf to satisfy your nostalgic cravings. L, D. $$. 1397 N. Highland Ave. 404-347-9747. www.food101atlanta.com.
THE GLOBE, *** Fabulously stylish yet refreshingly unpretentious, the Globe is custom-made for a getting-to-know-you night out. The menu is modern and unfussy, with a cocktail list to die for. Go for nibbles and the lovely desserts. L, D. $$-$$$. 75 Fifth St. 404-541-1487. www.globeatlanta.com.
Grace 17.20, **** Consider Grace the Holy Grail of OTP dining. Despite its location in an outdoor mall, the team behind this fresh New American restaurant knows how to create a great dining experience. Eat your way through a menu in tune to the seasons.L, D. $$-$$$. 5155 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 320, Norcross. 678-421-1720. www.grace1720.com.
LOBBY AT TWELVE, *** Brilliant use of local ingredients in the entrees and fabulous desserts push the Lobby at Twelve to the front of the Atlantic Station pack. The kitchen displays great finesse with seafood in unexpectedly toney dishes. $$. 361 17th St. 404-961-7370. www.lobbyattwelve.com.
PACIFIC KITCHEN **, Firmly based in the California of the 1980s and '90s, Pacific Kitchen has the potential to be a gem of a neighborhood restaurant; all it would take is some fine-tuning and quality control. The restaurant does have some hits, but it also has some serious misses with muddy flavors and clunky combinations. D. $$. 913 Bernita Ave. 404-223-9292. www.pacific-kitchen.com.
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