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Restaurant Listings 

What we recommend

Page 7 of 12

IMPERIAL FEZ, 2285 Peachtree St. 404-351-0870. www.imperialfez.com. Take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor, and eat a multi-course prix-fixe Moroccan meal. While you enjoy sweet-savory b'stella and fragrant tangine, belly dancers undulate about you, candles balanced on their heads. Winner of "Best Middle Eastern" 2005 and 2006. D $$$

MEZZA: A LEBANESE BISTRO, *** 2751 LaVista Road. 404-633-8833. www.mezzabistro.com. You can easily go overboard at Mezza ordering lots of the Middle Eastern appetizers for which the restaurant is named. If you come with a group of three or more, try the family meal option. It's a pleasure to find a hospitable neighborhood restaurant that offers competent ethnic fare at affordable prices. D $$

THE OLIVE BISTRO, 1099 Euclid Ave., 404-582-0029. Clinging to the side of the Variety Playhouse, this hole-in-the-wall offers up great chicken, lamb, falafel sandwiches and several other chickpea incarnations including hummus. Mediterranean samplings in the display case can be picked up to go. L, D $$

RUMI'S KITCHEN, ** 6152 Roswell Road, 404-477-2100. www.rumiskitchen.com. This new Persian eatery offers such treats as kashk badenjoon, a warm, blended eggplant and onion appetizer; Mast mousir, a garlic and yogurt dip; and Shirazi salad, a medley of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley with a citrus dressing. Service is friendly but can be frustrating at times. L, D $$

New American

ARIA, **** 490 E. Paces Ferry Road, 404-233-7673. www.aria-atl.com. Aria is the third incarnation of the old Hedgerose Heights Inn, brought back to glorious life by chef Gerry Klaskala's contemporary cuisine and Kathryn King's delectably composed desserts. Expect respectfully prepared, seasonal accompaniments for classic luxury ingredients like lobster, foie gras and jumbo soft-shelled crabs. Winner of "Best Desserts" 2005. B, D $$$$

APRES DIEM, 31 Monroe Drive, Suite C-103. 404-872-3333. www.apresdiem.com. While you await your food -- we recommend any of the daily specials or regular pastas -- you'll enjoy the taste of your fingernails, which you'll be chewing as you watch the beautiful, exotic servers. Winner of "Best Looking Waitstaff" 2006.

BACCHANALIA, ***** 1198 Howell Mill Road, 404-365-0410. www.starprovisions.com. At once modernist and classicist, the California-influenced cuisine of owner-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. Winner of "Best Overall Restaurant" 2005. L, D $$$$

BED, * 110 Marietta St. (in the Glenn Hotel). 404-222-7992. www.bedrestaurants.com. Bed's concept -- the meals are served in bed -- is likely to draw guffaws. But enjoy those beds -- they are the best thing about this swank concept. Food lacks harmony, but reclining on the oversized pillows while sipping champagne is more fun than you might imagine. D. $$$

BLUEPOINTE, *** 3455 Peachtree Road, 404-237-9070. www.buckheadrestaurants.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, pushing out solid Asian-inspired New American dishes. Definitely a be-seen scene for the champagne-and-cell-phone crowd. $$$$

CANOE, *** 4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE, 770-432-2663. Starters and main courses teem 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 environment where fine dining is served with a side of quaint charm. L, D $$$

CITY GRILL, *** 50 Hurt Plaza, 404-524-2489, www.citygrillatlanta.com. 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 $$$

DINING ROOM RITZ-CARLTON, ***** 3434 Peachtree Road, 404-240-7035. Chef Arnaud Berthelier's inspired menu is creative yet uncompromising when it comes to taste. Even creams, foams and gelees never lose their roots in luxuriant flavor, and every surprise is as delicious as it is innovative. Wine pairings by Chantelle Grilhot, are both subtle and sumptuous. Winner of "Best Waitstaff" 2005, "Best Sommelier 2006" (Chantelle Grilhot), and "Best Overall Restaurant" 2006. D $$$$

DISH, 870 N. Highland Ave, 404-897-3463. A Virginia-Highland gas station has been refurbished as an art deco environment with such touches as a door-sized hole in the wall. Among the most successful menu items are the prosciutto-wrapped pork filet with potato fluff and the freeform lobster "lasagne."

ECLIPSE DI SOL, *** 640 N. Highland Ave. 404-724-0711. James Erlich's sister eatery to Buckhead's Eclipse di Luna, Eclipse di Sol is a neighborhood restaurant with spark. Chef Andy Long, recently of Aria, has assembled an affordable, rangy menu of small plates, sandwiches, salads and a few deftly conceived entrees. Thirsty? The grapefruit-rosewater martini is our favorite way to get blotto. Winner of "Best Signature Cocktail" 2005 and "Best FrouFrou Martini" 2006. L, D $$

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