Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cibo E Beve

Looks like the new trend (well, revisited trend again and again) is Italian-inspired this and that in the Detroit of the South. I mean, hell, even Sioux City, Iowa became a real city when they got their first taste of a Tuscany Inspired Italian restaurant... The Olive Garden. But anyways, Italian cuisine from cardboard pizza to spaghetti with jar sauces is usually pretty lame across the nation. Too many chains and franchises created the universal image of what Italian food should be (creamy, saucy, heavy and salty)... Just like how PF Chang's and Panda Express has fucked Chinese food up the ass with their shit. That's just wrong, even if we're so close to Pride weekend. But nevermind all that... I'm not here to kiss ass or whatever you guys do with it, my Engrish is not that good. I'm here to eat some decent interpretations of Eyetalian grubbery...

So, the people from Food 101 from the other end of this strip mall came up with this cozy "eataly" idea anchoring on the other end. Let me tell ya, thank God that Crown & Anchor shithole is gone... It was absolutely dismal, makes you wanna slit your wrists the hard way, with a Norelco electric razor.

Ok, back to this joint...

(Roasted Oysters “casino style”)

Look at all the purdy rocks and pebbles on the plate... Too bad the oysters were basically non-existent as were the flavors except for the bits of Bac~O's. Less than half a bite each. Worth $10? Not by a long shot. Skip this and go for the ubiquitous fried calamari instead. I can't believe I just said to get the calamari.

(Hamachi Crudo Salmoriglio)

Ah, something worth eating... Nice presentation but maybe a little too much of the EVOO and red caper concoction thingy on top. A little goes a long way. You don't want to drown that fish in all that funk, I would like to taste the fish flesh, yes? Us, men take so much risk when we eat out raw fish.

(Cibo Meatballs)

Lookie here... 3 lovely meat mounds! Kinda reminds me of that freaky broad on Mars in Total Recall. Nevermind. I tell ya what, that lame duck single meatball at No. 246 can't hold a candle to these beauties. Sauce is more consistent and not watery, the meatball is not dry and it actually tastes Italian. Definitely, a good choice for a starter to share. Use the bread on the table to sop up that sauce. Go.

(Lamb Belly, Anson Mills Polenta)

This could be a meal in itself... The lamb belly had crispy edges and was juicy tender in all the right places inside. Polenta is polenta, but coulda used a little splash of stock to even it out a bit, tis was a little dry. The belly was the star in this dish clearly. Nice flavor. Get it.


So, the guy making the 'ZA (can't say if he was a pizzaiolo or not) looked pretty familiar. A little birdy told me he started at Varasano's then Double D's... Oops, I meant Double Zero. But anyways, the end product was literally a marriage between the two places. Crackerly crust (read: kinda dry and crispy), passable char, borderline bland sauce, and decent bufala. Not a contender with the handful of other true Napolentana 'ZA's but for the standard issued house frowl and 2.5 kids in tow, it'll do. Definitely, a been there, done that kinda 'ZA. Mebbe, one more shot...

(Risotto ai Funghi)

Not a bad risotto and not the best risotto, a very acceptable version. It lacked the flavor and aroma that the funghi usually brings to this dish. It needed to be more earthy and... wait for it... toothy. Stick to the pastas, they're a better bet.

(Lobster Spaghetti)

The much admired, lobster spaghetti! Was it as good as a threesome? Fuck no! But it was a nice foreplay dish. The pasta was obviously from a box, I couldn't tell if it was al dente or just under cooked pasta. But it did it's job on the dish. The few bites of lobster were skimpy but what do you expect? It ain't a lobster roll. Mmm, lobster roll... Ok, I'm awake. A pretty simple dish anyone college student could make in their dorm room. Not that it was bad, it was pretty satisfying.


Looks so Goddamn boring and depwessing... Buca who? Just give me a mar-tini, instead. No no, I'm just playing. It was a totally acceptable dish... If you had a choice between Chef Boyardee and this. Once again, I kid, I kid. There was suppose to be pancetta in there somewhere... Oh, there it is, pushed all the way down at the bottom and hidden from plain view, it's shy. Who doesn't like to hide the prized cured meat under a pile of orange stringy thingers. It needed something else to bring it on the table, mebbe like more texture in the sauce. Don't forget to ask for some basil on the side. Gives it color and brought out the flavor in this otherwise plain Jane dish... Made all the difference in the Sandy Springs area.

(Osso Buco D'agnello All'estate)

The best dish of the night saved for the last... It was spot on and had terrific flavor. I just kept picking at it like pigeons in Central Park... No wonder why I'm so fat. You ever see those pigeons in CP? They are fat as a muthafuck! Order this dish... You will lurv it, even if you're a veghead. Stop whining like a bitch and put it in your mouth.

(Red Velvet Zeppole)

Who doesn't like deep fried balls? Nice little presentation... And that's about it. Kinda like those plastic food dishes in the window of restos in Little Italy. These balls were way undercooked, it was doughy inside like Play-Doh. I pulled out a piece for the server to examine. Even he said "I'm no cook but it shouldn't be able to lift images off the funny pages." Ok ok, he didn't say that, I just made that shit up. But that shit was a great idea on paper... Get it? Boomcha. If you have to order these because of a triple dog dare, make sure you verbalize to the server to make sure they get cooked properly. BTW- the petri dish of what looks like Duke's 3 day old junk, turned out to be mascarpone cheez to dip your balls in it.


Mini cannoli... Shell by Sysco out front, filling by Sanchez in back. I kid, i kid, once again... They were alright. Ferrara's have nothing to worry about.

Overall, this place is very nice (decor, drinks, food were well thought out)... The cocktail list and talent behind the bar was good. My Sazerac, Biddy, and Old Fashioned all came out properly made. The only gripe I have was the ice block, great idea for chipping your own ice cube thingers but for my liver's sake... Put a barrier in front of the ice block. This nasty old sabertooth and her wooly mammoth friend were breathing and spitting all over it.

The service was attentive and pleasurable. The number of menu items is perfect for the size of this place... But the execution needs a little more work. It's the attention to details that make it taste over the top. Right now, it's just staying afloat. Which is not a bad thing... But this place can be so much more. With that said, I still like it a lot as a whole and will go back.


3 Stars.

4969 Roswell Rd
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 250-8988

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