Restaurant Spotlight The Spence

These days it seems that the quickest way to success is to appear on a reality show, where relative unknowns become global superstars practically overnight. This phenomenon isn't regulated to reality shows full of fights, drama and over-the-top excess, reality competitions also benefit from massive exposure. Former Top Chef contestant and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais is definitely reaping the benefits of his dual stints in front of the camera, and he has a new restaurant to share with his fellow Atlanta residents.

Newly opened in Midtown, Blais' latest culinary venture is called The Spence, and as you'd expect from the imaginative chef, the offerings here are chock full of creativity. If you've never had the pleasure of eating his food and have only witnessed his dishes via the Bravo hit reality series, then you are in for a treat. Not only does Blais always do an expert job of making his food look good, but it tastes amazing too. The Spence has an atmosphere and decor that are equally warm and inviting, but also glitzy and chic.

There is enough room for large groups while intimate enough for a date night. However, it's the food that's the star of the show, so let's dig in. There were so many things to choose from as it relates to standout dishes, but the list had to be narrowed down. So, here are a few of the menu items that you should definitely sample: Zucchini Pesto Spaghettini w/ Shaved Peppercorn, Uni Spaghettini w/ Lobster and Perilla Butter, Dublin Bay Prawns on toast w/ Calamansi Mayo and Roast Halibut w/ Porcini Caramelli and Madera Jus, and those are just the entrees. Dessert selections are full of delicious decadence, like Pineapple Upside Down Cake & Foie Caramel, Tahini Chocolate Mousse & Campari Jelly and finally Ricotta Cheesecake w/ Strawberry & Graham.

Since it's opening, the crowds have been lining up, so reservations are encouraged. The Spence is located at 75 Fifth St. N.W., Atlanta, Ga 404-892-9111. Operating hours are as follows: Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; dinner, 5:30-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 5:30-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Parking is validated indoors during lunch hours, and valet at night. For more information or to make reservations visit www.thespenceatl.com . For more information about the author, Danielle Jennings, please visit my Google+ profile page.