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Great Escapes - Speakeasy

Treat your date right with a trip to a favorite Athens tapas bar.

y, located in Downtown Athens, is the place to go when you want your date to feel special. Whether you have been with the person for a lifetime, or five minutes, the atmosphere and unique menu make this a very special and enjoyable dining experience.

The name, Speakeasy, alludes to the days of Prohibition, when alcohol was served illegally through secret establishments. The restaurant itself is a small and rather discreet space in the upstairs floor of a building that, lately, has been home to a rotating selection of hibachi-style eateries.

Next door to the on Broad St., there is a door that opens to a grand but dimly lit staircase. Upon climbing the stairs, you will find yourself in a simply and tastefully decorated dining room, in which care has been taken to provide the diner with both a cozy and quite open space in which to dine. On one end is the kitchen and bar, and at the other end are windows that look out over Broad Street and UGA's North Campus.

The dishes at Speakeasy are served tapas-style, meaning that every item is ordered a la carte, in small portions. This way, you and your date have the freedom to create your own dining experience. The menu has an eclectic stance while at the same time focusing on foods that are rich and comforting.

The fabulous duck confit, for instance, is served with shiitake mushrooms and arugula on top of risotto. On a side note, the tapas here are slightly larger than traditional tapas, making them ideal for sharing. The most popular item on the menu is perhaps the spinach dip, which sounds simple enough but is made in house, served in a bread bowl and is rich in its deliciousness.

The full bar is really beautiful, backlit and in keeping with the watery blue tones of the restaurant. The bar and dining areas flow seamlessly together, avoiding the feeling that you are either in a bar or a restaurant, and feeling rather like you have walked into a cocktail party hosted by the Great Gatsby himself. Specialty martinis, such as the Side Car or Ginger Gimlet, are available, as well as artful cocktails. There is also an impressive selection of whiskeys, cognacs and fine wines.

If you want to have a romantic, full-service, casual fine dining experience, Speakeasy is the place to go in Downtown Athens.

Patty Freeman-Lynde August 11, 2011 at 03:30 PM
I love SpeakEasy--great food and drinks and atmosphere!

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