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.
With its fresh menu concept and daily house-made pastas and sauces, Mirko Pasta brings hearty fulfillment to stomachs haunted by a persistent sense of emptiness. Diners control their flavor fates via a choose-your-own-adventure menu that allows them to concoct customized pasta and sauce combinations. The ranks of ravioli come packed with tasty fillings, such as four Italian cheeses and the granny smith apples and sausage ($4.99), while the long pasta and short pasta scrumpitously set aside their superficial differences (both $3.99). With 11 sauces to choose from, including meaty bolognese, basil-pomodoro, and pesto, guests can douse their fusilli in whatever tomato batter strikes their fancy ($3.99). A full roster of wines and domestic and imported beers flood thirsty noodle-holes before desserts, including cannoli ($4.99), cap off the meal.
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.
At Buckhead Pizza Co.'s three locations kitchens bustle as chefs simmer house-made sauce and bake Atlanta-style thin-crust pizzas to a golden brown in 500-degree ovens. They toss fresh regular, whole-wheat, and gluten-free dough and make each pie to order before covering it in signature toppings such as Atlanta steak with caramelized onions and blue cheese. The charming pizzeria also fills cherry-wood tables with crispy flatbreads, calzones, and bubbling pans of lasagna. Diners take a break from the sun and his unreasonable demands for pizza sacrifices under the outdoor patio's awning, enjoying breezy sunset dinners or cocktail hours filled with frosty brews and red and white wines from the full bar.
Parma Tavern's stolid stone exterior and luxurious, dark-wood bar house a cornucopia of epicurean edibles that draws inspiration from both Italian originals and singular American creations. Opening acts such as the spinach and artichoke fondue ($8) warm up taste-bud crowds for main events, which include the Maytag burger, backed by the solid-gold gruyere and onion dancers ($9.50), and the pomodoro-sporting, "O Solo Mio"-belting chicken parmesan, crusted in herb breadcrumbs and draped in a cape of mozzarella ($12). Brunch, served every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., boasts such border-blurring sandwiches as the S.P.O., whose two fried eggs, sweet sausage, roasted red peppers, and onions render stomachs contentedly confused about the time of day ($7).
Pizza chefs conjure fresh dough on a daily basis at Uncle Vito’s, a traditional pizzeria specializing in New York–style pies peppered with market-fresh ingredients. Layers of gooey mozzarella blanket fragrant pools of homemade tomato sauce and toppings such as eggplant, bacon, and broccoli on each thin-crust pizza. The thinness of nine specialty Neapolitan-style pies offsets the thickness of Sicilian-style pizzas, which boast inch-deep crusts ideal for toughening up teeth made of gummy candy. Culinary crewmembers accessorize oven-baked calzones and stromboli with sides of marinara, and they festoon baked ziti and manicotti dinners with a one-two punch of ricotta and mozzarella.