Corny to say, but eating at Mark's can be a religious experience, and although it occupies an early 1920's brick church complete with sanctuary, side chapel, choir, and pulpit, it has little to do with the architecture or former tenant. Many consider owner Mark Cox, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Melissa, to be the best chef in the city; his wide-ranging menu honors Asian, Italian, French, South American, classic American, and immigrant influences. For a first taste of the heady mix, start off with roasted corn chowder with bacon, potatoes, and thyme. Move on to one of his many signature dishes: fried chicken breast with creamy grits and white truffle oil; meaty lobster sausage; red snapper dusted with cumin and pumpkin seeds; or rare ahi tuna in a sake ginger sauce. The little gold stars painted on the blue sky of the ceiling, the beyond-attentive service, and the unsurpassable food all add up to a heavenly meal.
Tip: For a truly celebratory—and romantic—meal, book a table for two in the secluded cloister room, lit entirely by candles.