The Woodruff Arts Center is hosting two of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s biggest nights: young professionals night (Saturday, Feb. 11) and closing night (Wednesday, Feb. 15). These are the two festival nights I am most excited about for several reasons.

Reason No. 1: Young professionals night is on a Saturday, so I can commit to a night out without hurrying through an endless amount of weeknight rush-hour traffic. Reason No. 2: Both events are at the Woodruff Arts Center, which is in Midtown, which just happens to be one of the best neighborhoods for Atlanta’s white-hot food scene. Reason No. 3: Both events are designed for groups. It’s an easy excuse to get my group of friends together and plan something special.

My friends have designated me as the restaurant decision-maker. In lieu of this responsibility, I have mapped out my Midtown meal strategy a few weeks in advance. Avoid decision-making and use this guide to ensure a great night out.

You can’t eat at Ecco without ordering the fried goat cheese appetizer.

Sit-Down Meal

  • Ecco (, 40 Seventh St. It’s seven streets over from the Woodruff but worth the short trek. I love the pastas but cannot go without ordering the fried goat cheese appetizer.
  • Watershed (, 1820 Peachtree St. Watershed is a mere six-minute drive from the Woodruff. Try its daily specials and signature Southern comfort food. I would recommend a meal here before seeing the closing night film because Watershed’s Wednesday special is fried chicken and biscuits.
  • 5Church (, 1197 Peachtree St., Suite 528 If 5Church’s name rings a bell, you might recognize it from chef Jaime Lynch, who competed on “Top Chef” this season. Order one of the signature steaks, butternut squash agnolotti, or, for a lighter option, hearth-roasted whole fish. The restaurant is open late, until midnight.

Grab and Go Before the Show

  • Café Agora (, 92 Peachtree Place Café Agora has been in my restaurant rotation for years. Call ahead for speedy pickup, or take a seat inside for a quick meal. I love the spanakopita and the chicken salad, which is not the mayonnaise-laden American version. Café Agora serves seasoned and spit-roasted chicken on top of a bed of greens and veggies.
  • Bell Street Burritos (, 1816 Peachtree St. For a satisfying and quick meal, Bell Street Burritos has you covered. Order a traditional burrito, taco or quesadilla, or go a different direction with the specials. The potato, broccoli and green chili burrito can’t be found at any other Mexican restaurant in the city.
  • Octane Coffee (, 1280 Peachtree St., Suite 100-A — Octane Coffee is within the Woodruff Arts Center, so it’s the most convenient pick-me-up possible. It’s open until 10 p.m. and offers food, coffee, cocktails and other beverages.

Open Late

  • TAP (, 1180 Peachtree St. — TAP is right around the corner from the Woodruff and is great for late-night bites or after-hours cocktails. Bring your friends here after each show; food is served through 11 p.m.
  • Sweet Hut (, 933 Peachtree St., Suite 935 — Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner, a sweet treat or a coffee to keep you awake during the movie, Sweet Hut has what you want. I love the artichoke turkey panini for dinner or a Nutella chocolate danish for a dessert or late-night option. The restaurant is open until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on the weekend.
  • Café Intermezzo (, 1065 Peachtree St., Suite 2 — Café Intermezzo is a crowd pleaser. No matter what you’re craving, you can find something that will satisfy you on Café Intermezzo’s menu. Even if you get caught up in Jewish goodbyes after each event, there’s plenty of time to get to Café Intermezzo. The restaurant is open until 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Skye Estroff is the marketing and media manager for Atlanta’s largest food festival, Taste of Atlanta ( She is an Atlanta native, a University of Georgia grad and an expert in Atlanta’s best food.