Din­ner and a movie

GA Voice - - Arts -

All evening movie show times pose the same ques­tion: “Shall we eat be­fore or af­ter?” I for one hate eat­ing be­fore­hand. A gur­gling, over-filled gut and the lin­ger­ing taste of some foods dis­tract me, and eat­ing early of­ten in­ter­feres with pop­corn con­sump­tion—with­out which, there is no movie. Con­sider, too, that not din­ing af­ter­ward typ­i­cally means there’s lit­tle time to dis­cuss the movie with friends.

There’s also the hitch that many restau­rants are not open past 9 or 10 p.m. Be­low are some restau­rants not far from Land­mark Midtown Art Cin­ema, where the Out On Film movies will be shown Oct. 1–8. Granted, quite a few movies are be­ing shown dur­ing the day, so you should have no trou­ble brunch­ing or lunch­ing at your con­ve­nience. The restau­rants that fol­low are open un­til at least 11 p.m., and even later on week­ends. I have not in­cluded “gay” restau­rants, since ev­ery­one al­ready has their fa­vorites. I do sug­gest you call the fol­low­ing restau­rants in ad­vance to con­firm hours and get a reser­va­tion, if pos­si­ble.

This res­tau­rant is a con­dom’s throw from the Midtown Art Cin­ema at Midtown Prom­e­nade. You can or­der small plates like baba ghanouj and a baguette with brie. There are five sal­ads. My fa­vorite is the Salad Nicoise, although I must ac­knowl­edge that the tuna steak top­ping the salad is some­times way over-cooked and dry. My fa­vorite of the pricier en­trees is the short rib braised in a tamarind sauce. Pas­tas are also avail­able, along with sand­wiches. I most like the roasted Por­to­bello on fo­cac­cia.

Après Diem:

(931 Monroe Dr., 404-872-3333, apres­diem.com)

One-Eared Stag:

This un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated res­tau­rant serves some of the best small plates in town. I like the duck liver ter­rine with pick­led grapes and vanilla pow­der, as well as the Sapelo clams with sofrito, chick­peas, red roe, and toast. Of the five en­trees, I most like the risotto with cab­bage, boiled peanuts, and black truf­fles. Dessert? Try the dark cho­co­late mar­quis with cham­pagne granita, straw­berry gel, and sweet cream. Warn­ing! Prices are on the high side.

(1029 Edge­wood Ave., 404-525-4479, oneeared­sta­gatl.com)

Barcelona Wine Bar:

There are very few Span­ish restau­rants in town, but this one is my fa­vorite for its prices and con­ve­nience to my home. Don’t-miss dishes are the char­cu­terie menu’s clas­sic Ser­rano ham and drunken goat cheese and the paella for two. There are end­less ta­pas. My fave is the chorizo with sweet-and-sour figs with bal­samic glaze. Be ad­vised: the place can be deaf­en­ing.

(240 N. High­land Ave., 404-589-1010, barcelon­aw­inebar.com)

Last Word:

The kitchen staff turned over here not long ago, but qual­ity re­mains primo. The res­tau­rant is best known for its hy­per­cre­ative cock­tails, but the menu is also fan­tas­tic. I like the mus­sels with lamb sausage; the beef tartare with pick­led onion, mint, and pine nuts; and the roasted chicken for two.

(701 N. High­land Ave., 404-343-1274, last­wor­datl.com)

Hong Kong Har­bour:

No, it’s not as hy­per-au­then­tic as many Chi­nese restau­rants out in the ‘burbs, but this is the best in the Midtown area; it’s open re­ally late and is pop­u­lar with late-night groups of chefs. My go-to dish is the fried tofu stuffed with pork and shrimp. The salt-and-pep­per squid is flaw­less, as is any seafood dish fea­tur­ing a black­bean sauce.

(2184 Cheshire Bridge Rd., 404-325-7630, hongkong­har­bouratl.com)

Cliff Bo­s­tock is a long­time din­ing critic and psy­chother­a­pist turned life coach. www.cliff­bo­stock.com.

Après Diem’s short rib braised in a tamarind sauce. (Photo cour­tesy of Après Diem)

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