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What are Atlanta’s hippest hotspots for a cocktail or tasty bite to eat? Here are some suggestions from a fellow young ophthalmologist and YO Committee member, Kris F. Gillian, MD, who lives, practices and plays in Atlanta.
Drinks, Music and More
Utopia: For tapas, sushi and martinis. Go for the happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy a selection of specially prepared tapas and refreshing martinis priced at only $5 each!
Leopard Lounge: Leopard Lounge caters to professionals expecting great service, style and a cool atmosphere that still promotes conversation.
Blind Willy’s: For Cajun food and live blues music reflecting the best of Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.
Anything in the Highlands! The Highlands is a chic neighborhood and a haven for bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s also one of the few walkable areas in metro Atlanta. A few Highland area favorites include Dark Horse Tavern, Highland Tap and Hand in Hand.
Where to Eat
Shout: The ultimate dining experience, featuring flavors from around the world. Try tapas, signature pizzas and a full sushi bar. The rooftop bar is Atlanta’s hottest spot to dance the night away Wednesday to Saturday.
Bone’s: Craving a great steak? Enjoy fine service, steaks, seafood and Southern specialties.
Nava: A total Southwestern experience with flavorful cuisine, bold design and striking architecture. Enjoy one of their signature margaritas or lounge on the fountain-side patio.
Rathbun's: Their take on modern American cuisine makes Rathbun’s arguably the most popular restaurant in the city.
Watershed: Located in Decatur, but worth the trip. Watershed specializes in seasonal Southern cooking and boutique wines in a relaxed environment.
Bacchanalia: One of Atlanta's most celebrated restaurants, featuring contemporary American cuisine. Expect incredibly fresh and flavorful choices with masterful preparation and presentation.
Nan: Outrageously good Thai food just 10 minutes from the Georgia World Congress Center.
Aria: This hip little restaurant in the middle of Buckhead has taken center stage. Chef Gerry Klaskala is turning out some of Atlanta’s most satisfying gourmet cuisine.
Anthony’s: Old South Plantation dining. The halls of this unique mainstay are rich with history spanning 200 years.
Mary Mac’s Tea Room: For more than 60 years, Mary Mac’s has been setting the standard for Southern cooking in Atlanta: juicy fried chicken, fresh cornbread, tangy fried green tomatoes and more!
Rosa Mexicano: Excellent, authentic Mexican food in an accessible, festive atmosphere. Try one of the specialty cocktails, like the wildly popular pomegranate margarita.
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack: A casual setting for mouthwatering BBQ and live blues nightly.
Repast: Enjoy a well-crafted menu of well-prepared, simple dishes that have classic bistro appeal. The atmosphere is reminiscent of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
South City Kitchen: This popular local haunt serves Southern classics with a modern touch.
Mitra: Fun and festive! Think taquitos with lamb, raisins and blue cheese, banana leaf snapper and “pull-apart pig,” served with mojo and a bucket of potatoes. It’s over the top in a good way.
Tierra: A foodie favorite for the diverse, pan-Latin menu.
Trois: A three-level restaurant in Midtown Atlanta, featuring “approachable French” cuisine or more casual food offerings at the bar.
Spice Market: Inside the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel, this restaurant features cuisine with a Southeast Asian flair in a hip, urban setting.
On Nov. 11, check out Coldplay at Philips Arena (next to CNN Center and close to the Georgia World Congress Center).
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About the author: Kris F. Gillian, MD, is a member of the Young Ophthalmologist Committee, and specializes in no-stitch cataract surgery, LASIK, PRK, glaucoma, dry eye and diabetic eye disease. Until his iPod got washed in the laundry, it was playing the likes of Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie and the Georgia band Dead Confederate.