Gorms kidnapped me a few weeks ago for dinner at one of her favorite spots – a spot that she was positive I’ve never been to: La Grotta Ristorante Buckhead. She was right. It was absolutely not on my radar. I’ve passed it for years on Peachtree St. driving in between Midtown and Buckhead, but it did not appeal to me to eat in a restaurant below an ugly condo development (sorry I’m not sorry). However, due to such snobbery, I’ve been missing out on an Atlanta tradition since 1978 that has been voted “Best Italian Restaurant” by Atlanta Magazine for the past 18 years. So, that was pretty shocking news to me.
Anyway, I did not enjoy walking through the condo building to get to the elevator to take us down to La Grotta, but it was nice that they had valet and I was perfectly fine once we arrived. It had much more atmosphere than I was expecting AND it was packed with Buckhead-folks. Needless to say – I was even more shocked. It was kinda like being on a set in The Sopranos, but filled with friendly people wearing Vineyard Vines.
Gorms and I got the sweetheart table + they sat us next to each other so that we had a view of the entire restaurant. It was pretty adorable.
Our dinner was REALLY good, too! I was very impressed! Here’s what we feasted on:
We started off with a little taste from the chef. (Thanks, Chef!)
Then, we moved on to the really good stuff…
Carpaccio Di Tonno Con Avocado e Caperi: ahi tuna carpaccio, avocados, citrus vinaigrette, fried capers, cherry tomatoes.
Prosciutto Di Parma con Melone: shaved prosciutto ham w/ fresh melon, mint, aged balsamic
Linguini Neri con Calamari: black linguini, calamari, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine cream sauce (My favorite dish of the night.)
Then, Chef Antonio came out to chat with us about our entrees to make sure we were ordering correctly. What a nice fellow!
And he talked me into the Cappellini con Pancetta, Gamberetti, Olive Nere (which I had removed), Aglio, Pomodoro Fresco, e Mascarpone – translated – cappellini prepared with pancetta, shrimp, calamata olives, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese. The serving was enormous, so I got to bring some home to Kevin. We both very much enjoyed the lovely dish.
Gorms and I finished off our meal with the Torta di Cioccolato e Nocciole – chocolate hazelnut mousse cake.
I was pretty full to say the least…
I really enjoyed my first experience at La Grotta, and I truly look forward to going back. I’m also going to try not to judge restaurants solely on what I perceive their atmosphere to be, because I am more than a little embarrased that I’ve lived in Atlanta for almost 10 YEARS and have just now visited La Grotta! Shame. On. Me.
La Grotta Ristorante
2637 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tags: ,buckhead betties, clean plate club, comfort food, don't judge, Gorms, I'm just saying..., incredibly bold statements, Italian love affair, LMR, Table for Two, Things that are awesome..., very important people, You Can Find Me in the A