Today's deal makes it easier to guarantee a kiss after a first date, particularly if your usual method for doing so involves Machiavellian plots-within-plots and requires access to a Bengal tiger: For $20, you get $45 worth of Tuscan-style wining and dining at Taverna. The escaped brainchild of former Florentine Paolo Tondo and master sommelier Jasmin Reyes, the restaurant is a synergetic Italian-American hybrid that combines authentic Tuscan cuisine with an impressive wine list. This ultra-compatible pairing has apparently spawned other romantic couplings; Metromix named Taverna Fiorentina one of the best date restaurants in Smyrna and Vinings.
You may use your Groupon on lunch or dinner, but not for Italy's famous Swedish-style breakfast pancakes. Both menus feature authentic cuisine that still speaks passable English to taste buds of American descent. Grab a bite for lunch with a grilled chicken sandwich (topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto; $11) or the meatless caprese sandwich (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella; $9.50). Pizza and pasta comprise the bulk of the Fiorentina menu, shocking as that may sound, with a long list of pizzas ranging from $9 for marinara (no cheese) to $17 for prosciutto. On the pasta side, choose from a variety of traditional plates, such as the stacked lasagna Bolognese ($10) or the spinach-and-ricotta-filled ravioli gnudi ($10).
After the awkward "linner" (like brunch, but later) period has passed, full-out dinner begins. Lead off with an antipasti board for two ($22) or a salad. The barbabietola, noci e uvetta sultanina salad ($10) proves its Italian heritage by sheer name alone. The ingredients (roasted beet salad with bacon, walnuts, and raisins) solidify that distinction, with a flavor so authentically Italian, you'll swear your Nonno Rocco just gave you a shiny silver dollar for helping him stir the sauce. Pasta dishes, such as the orechiette with Italian sausage and broccoli ($16) range from $16 to $20. Vegetarians can satisfy their green tooth with unmeaty offerings, such as the four cheese ravioli ($10). Whatever you order, cleanse your palate with a selection from the lengthy wine list or by brushing your teeth between bites. Taverna Fiorentino recommends the former over the latter.
- The closest you are going to get to Italy in Atlanta is if you dine at Taverna Fiorentina. This spot that serves up delicious North Italian cuisine has a low key ambiance that is really great for romantic dates. You'll no doubt impress with this choice. And the food at Taverna Fiorentina is really in a whole other realm; a realm called amazing. – Jessica Thomas, Metromix
- This was our 2nd trip to Taverna. The food was excellent and Jack, our server, was outstanding. He was friendly and knowledgeable and was able to make an excellent wine suggestion when they happened to be out of our first choice. – OpenTable.com user who dined on 11/16/2009
A New Cuisine Is Born
Italian food was invented in America by entrepreneur Geoff Welling in 1978. Welling had previously invented both Chinese food and the paperback book, but in ‘78 his restless mind observed cultural shifts that formed the makings for a new evolution of cuisine.
Welling was determined to capture the minds and tongues of the niche—but expanding—market of disco fans. After extensive research, he determined that disco’s sparkling clothing and bouncy rhythms were the culinary equivalent of pasta covered in rich tomato sauce. Welling’s findings were so delicious that disco changed its name to Italy, enraging Italy, which was forced to change its name to Lapland, Home of Full-Blooded Italians. Pick up today’s Groupon for some delicious Italian food from America, prepared by full-blooded Italians from Lapland, Home of Full-Blooded Italians.
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