Noche is a tapas staple on the Atlanta scene. Though I wouldn’t say it has the best small plates in town, the price to portion size ratio makes Noche a winner in my book. Most of their plates are a good size, making it easy to get a good deal on dinner, as opposed to some other tapas restaurants where the small $6-$9 plates add up very quickly to a hefty tab.
The Highlands location is cozy and often crowded. The new Vinings outpost is larger, with a big patio to match, and is quickly becoming a popular hot spot. Both locations have a colorful, festive atmosphere and reasonably good service. Other Noche locations are in Johns Creek and Brookhaven.
Noche is the perfect atmosphere for a group gathering and is often a popular destination for casual birthdays or celebrations. The small plate service encourages sharing and conversation. The Highlands location is especially intimate indoors and I’ve always noticed how full of life and laughter the dining room seems to be.
Bonus tip: Monday night all-you-can-eat tapas at Noche Virginia Highlands is one of the best deals in town. For $10 per person, you get about 10 different tapas from a limited menu and once you’ve tried them all, you can keep on ordering your favorites until you’re full! This is a great way to try new items you’d normally not choose for yourself.
Here are the locations:
Brookhaven – 705 Town Blvd NE Atlanta, GA 30319, Phone 404.364.9448
Highlands – 1000 Virginia Avenue NE Atlanta, GA 30306, Phone 404.815.9155
Johns Creek – 3719 Old Alabama Rd Johns Creek, GA 30022, Phone 770.777.9555
Vinings – 2850 Paces Ferry Rd SE Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone 770.432.3277
Cellar 56 features a delectable menu created to complement the flavorful selection of wines. We work with local farms and dairies to bring the best and freshest ingredients to the table. Every palate is accommodated with small plate choices like the Grilled Flat Iron with chimichurri, and the Macaroni and Cheese with green chiles and prosciutto. Plates range from $5 to $7.
Wine is an obvious focus for Cellar 56, as the name comes from its 56+ options. Of these selections, many are sourced from boutique wineries on small allocation to bring Spectator rated 90+ wines to the consumer starting at an amazing $24 a bottle and by the glass at $3 half and $6 full. The remaining wine choices are available by the bottle and include many favorites at various pricing. Visit cellar56.com for more information.
Mondays: $16 Bottles of Any Wine Carried by the Glass
Two for Tuesdays: Buy One, Get One Free Small Plates
Wednesdays: $12 for 4 Half Glasses of Wine from Three Flight Option
The menu is mostly small plates, but instead of an annoying sprawl of platters that don’t fit on the table, the delicious spreads and dips are presented in small bowls. Who wouldn’t swoon over the slurry of piquillo peppers with feta or the thick Lebanese yogurt with olive oil, lemon and dried oregano? They’re wonderful spread on warm, freshly baked flatbread.
The menu is fresh and appealing, the flavors big and rustic. I love the artichoke leaves, charred at the edges from cooking in the wood-burning oven. Cauliflower florets come perfumed with vaudovan (a French curry powder) and dotted with cashew nuts. And instead of the ubiquitous pizza, Cleo is serving Mediterranean flatbreads.
Philadelphia is known for its BYOB restaurants. The only downside is that many BYOB restaurants are small and cramped. While some may enjoy the small rustic charm, others like to eat without elbowing their neighbor. Melograno located in Rittenhouse Square offers authentic Italian cuisine in a spacious atmosphere. If you have a larger party to accommodate, this is definitely the place to gather friends with copious bottles of wine. Chef Gianluca Demontis expanded Melograno to their location on 20th and Spruce for business, and in return created a more desired dining atmosphere with an expanded menu. From snail soup to classic Italian dishes like Carbanora, every dish is unique with a touch of Roman flare. For the full menu visit www.melogranorestaurant.com
Insider’s Tip: Like many Philadelphia BYOB restaurants, Melograno is closed on Mondays. They only accept reservations on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings- Fridays and Saturdays are walk-in only. 215.875.8116
The Frick Collection includes some of the best-known paintings by the greatest European artists, major works of sculpture (among them one of the finest groups of small bronzes in the world), superb eighteenth-century French furniture and porcelains, Limoges enamels, Oriental rugs, and other works of remarkable quality.
If you have been on every “best of” list like Boston’s O Ya restaurant, can things get any better? From being named the number one restaurant in the country by the New York Times to receiving accolades for being one of the world’s 10 best new restaurants by Food & Wine Magazine, the praise is well deserved. This cozy little gem serves up contemporary Japanese fare, including nigiri, sashimi and Wagyu beef. Don’t miss the chilled homemade soba noodles, which can be perfectly paired with some sake. Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as this Leather District hot spot fills up easily and waits can be long at the intimately lit O Ya tavern, which is located in a former firehouse. Valet parking is available at the corner of South and East Streets in Les Zygomates.
Insider’s Tip: O Ya is expensive, with some entrees running up to $60, but nearly all diners leave happy, saying every bite was worth every penny. Visit oyarestaurantboston.com for more information.
Ever since it opened in the 1930’s, the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles has been a popular entertainment venue for music lovers and band followers to gain an up close and personal performance from their favorite singers and celebs.
The beautiful theatre is best known for small acoustic performances where fans can buy tickets through LiveNation for prices cheaper than those at larger venues. Even though the theatre is on the smaller side, the Wiltern is never short on amazing performers, from Lily Allen to Taking Back Sunday. As the big name bands prepare to take the stage, prepare for at least a few cool opening bands to perform.
As venues such as Staples Center get overrun by people, parking and cheap popcorn, those are choosing to head to the Wiltern where it feels like home and is just as noisy as if the band was playing in your own living room.
Insider’s Tip: Though the ticket prices and small venue are definite perks of visiting the Wiltern, the theatre is infamously known for outrageous drink prices such as $16.00 beers and expensive parking in their accompanying structure. Those selling tickets at the box office will advise you to park on the street to avoid long exiting lines and expensive fees.
The Viper Room in the infamous West Hollywood area of Los Angeles is known for cheap drinks, dark lighting and headlining bands that only true fans have ever heard of. All the appeal is due in part to its landmark location and the fact that it is a true Hollywood staple in the music scene.
Unlike other music venues that promise intimate performances in crowded corners, a trip to The Viper Room actually feels like you are watching a performance in your backyard. With booths lining the walls and spaces that can hold no more than 200 people, Viper Room devotees vouch that a performance at The Room will beat all others.
Though it can’t get much better than paying between $10-20 to see your favorite musician or band, The Viper Room has made up for semi-expensive parking by offering insanely cheap drinks, especially for Hollywood. Five dollar drinks are served from the hours of 11pm-2am nightly, which means you can get trashed while standing inches away from the bands who taught you how to. Along with the novelty of cheap drinks comes the souvenir mug, a Viper Room purchase that you can fill up and take home with you.
While the rest of West Hollywood is buying $20 drinks and paying cover at the club, those at The Viper Room are enjoying themselves as they get to experience old Hollywood in a new way. With cheap drinks, cheap admission fee and up close and personal performances, The Viper Room is a Hollywood-must, especially for all those fun loving music fanatics.