Aqua Blue, Roswell, GA
Little Alley is much better than both. Though more limited menu, Oak Street Cafe is better than all of them.
I agree about Little Alley and Oak Street Cafe.
Aqua Blue has never impressed me and the reviews have always been mediocre. In fact, the AJC didn't even give it a star when they reviewed it a few years ago - I think they gave it only a "Fair" rating. Much of the allure of the place is that it's been a local cougar hangout recently as they have dance lessons and drinks. Think older suburban females giggling & gossiping and reliving the old Sex and the City days. Of course that's just my take on it.
Too bad VG Bistro is out of the question, that's a real star in our area. Other options are:
Byblos (haven't been in a few years unfortunately but I assume it's still good)
Sugo (another I haven't visited in a year or more but has always been good)
Greenwoods (Just OK food with a southern flair)
Stoney River (chain but decent wine list and steaks)
Red Salt (fairly new and got mixed reviews, I would call it middle of the road)
Other than saying Greenwood's is "okay food"--it's upscale southern food at its best, I'd say a pretty much agree with everything else HD said.
However, if one is going to extend the geography to Stoney River, Trattoria 1*41 and Azel are much better. Azel is somewhat similar to Aqua Blue, though not as hip, but better food.
It's not terrible, you're right, but I just haven't been super happy with everything I've gotten there. I'd rather hit up Swallow across the street and gorge myself on some BBQ and a 40 oz Budweiser. :-)
The northern suburbs in general have some good places to go and the two others you mentioned are good spots, I agree. Remember there's a Stoney River a the intersection of 92 (where Holcomb Bridge becomes Crossville Rd) and Alpharetta Hwy/Hwy 9 so it's not an extension to hit up that one.