Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New York to New South

Being from New York, Italian restaurants are ubiquitous. The problem with this is that it's easy to find a bad Italian place but much more difficult to find a good one. The situation is a bit different here in Atlanta. Italian restaurants certainly aren't on every corner and a large amount of the people I've talked to think Olive Garden is really good Italian food. However, I think if you look hard enough, you certainly can find a gem. That certainly held true this past Saturday when Sofi took me to Bambinelli's, an Italian place owned by a family from the Bronx in the same location for 31 years. The decor of the restaurant wasn't the most appealing in the world (you feel more like you're walking into someone's house who is still stuck in 1990). Fake plants abound as do plastic tablecloths. This isn't to say that the food matches the decor, quite the opposite. Large “family sized” portions were seen on every table and the place was totally packed.

The meal started off with some fantastic rolls that tasted just like garlic knots. Buttery and delicious and an awesome start to the meal. Sofi ordered linguine carbonara (one of my personal favorites) and I went for a traditional spaghetti and meatballs. The food arrived in a massive bowl, piping hot and smelling delicious. Sofi's carbonara wasn't quite traditional. It came with mushrooms and prosciutto, which in my opinion gave the dish more texture and depth. My meatballs were phenomenal; perfectly seasoned and very juicy. One of the better Italian meals I've had outside of New York (or East 48th St. in Dunwoody for that matter). The only small problem I could find with the restaurant was that the portion sizes were so enormous, you wonder how they make enough money to sustain. I guess it is just sheer volume; the entire time we were there, tables were turning left and right, never an empty seat to be had. I really did enjoy my experience at Bambinelli's and if I'm ever in the area again, I know exactly where to stop for some excellent Italian food!

Bambinelli's Italian on Urbanspoon

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