A Tavola! head chef Salvatore Bianco, a Naples native, crafts savory Italian offerings using generations-old family recipes, handmade pastas, and traditional wood-burning brick ovens. Diners can crack open fresh mussels coated in olive oil ($14) or wrap forks around the flavorful tendrils of the spicy spaghetti alla diavola ($16), festooned with jumbo shrimp. Pillows of ravioli come stuffed with ricotta and spinach ($15) and arrive bearing homespun, cross-stitched axioms and a coat of taleggio sauce. Meanwhile, tomato, caramelized onions, and pancetta set sail with mozzarella and hot peppers aboard the pancetta e cipolla pizza ($11.50). For a pleasing coda, tiramisu ($6) appeases sweet teeth with offerings of mascarpone and cocoa. Diners can pair these comestibles with potables from an extensive wine list while stationed inside the eatery's industrial-chic dining room, outdoors on an intimately lit patio, or underwater in a comfortably appointed bathysphere.
Training park rangers and managers rarely leads to a gig as a restaurateur. But, according to the Athens Banner-Herald, Jim Waters drew on his experiences heading park concession stands to open Mama Sid's Pizza in 1983 with his wife, Sidney Anne. Now run by their son, Shaun, Mama Sid's still relies on the same pizza recipe. Dough spinners crown pizzas with more than 20 toppings, such as bacon and banana peppers. Along with crafting customizable slices for its pizza buffet, Mama Sid's team creates its own specialties, such as a marinated chicken pie with garlic butter instead of pizza sauce. The BYOB eatery has expanded over the years to include other pizzeria favorites, from ricotta-stuffed calzones to wings by the pound doused in housemade hot sauce.
Chefs at Bulldawg Pizza’s two locations hand toss pizza dough to form regular-, thin-, and thick-crust vehicles for alfredo sauce, barbecue chicken, or feta cheese. They ready gourmet pies for delivery, carry-out, or dine-in (Baxter St. location only), loading spicy buffalo-chicken pizzas with a blend of blue cheese, ranch, and tomato sauce or piling Hawaiian pies with ham, pineapple, and ukulele sauce. As calzones and toasted subs share oven space, the chefs scoop house-made alfredo sauce over steaming plates of pasta.
Once you’ve bellied up to the cozy tasting room’s bar like an urbane, sophisticated cowboy, you’ll be treated to a few flavorful wafts and quaffs of Montaluce's finest 2008 and 2009 red and white wines, fermented from the carefully maintained fruits of its 35-acre vineyard. The 2008 chardonnay massages the nose with aromas of green apples, pear, and lemon zest mixed with smoke, walnut, and honeysuckle. And the 2008 risata (Italian for laughter) will put your palate into hysterics with notes of cherries, raspberries, cranberry, savory herbs, and just the faintest hint of Joker venom. Otherwise, go snorkeling for the dark chocolate notes buried in the oaky, deep violet, kraken-filled deeps of the cabernet sauvignon. Much like wine itself, your experience at Montaluce will be different depending on the exact point in time you partake of it. Gracious guests who arrive for their wine flight Tuesday through Saturday will be treated to a complimentary guided winery tour at 2 p.m. Likewise, Sunday sippers can tune their taste buds to live musical performances on the veranda from noon to 5 p.m.
Pie slingers at Romeo’s New York Pizza twirl their ‘za from scratch, piling dough made in-house with red sauce and toppings such as garlic, ground beef, meatballs, and sundried tomatoes. The cozy neighborhood joint has purveyed New York–style pizza since 1945, when delivery boys first started using hovercrafts. Its unfussy menu includes hearty appetizers such as cheese bread or fried ravioli, alongside healthy salads in vegetarian or meaty iterations. Those who opt not to build their own pies can go in for one of three chef-crafted incarnations—margherita, spinach and mushroom, or vegetarian, sold by the slice or in 12-inch or 16-inch rounds.
Since founding Riverside Pizza in Lawrenceville in 1999, Al and Sandy Thompson have expanded their pizzeria business to a total of nine locations across the Atlanta area. The Thompsons oversee each shop, ensuring that pizza chefs top the day's dough with homemade sauce and real cheese grated by real cows. Besides loading pizzas with everything from sausage and mushrooms to barbecue chicken, the Riverside crew assembles roast beef, club, and Italian–style sandwiches alongside caesar and greek salads.