Gondolier Pizza, Chattanooga TN

“Pizza” is in the name, but not in this story. We’ve picked up inexpensive pies here a few times for a quick dinner, but wanted to come back and explore some of the other things they offer for a Sunday lunch earlier this month. Continue reading “Gondolier Pizza, Chattanooga TN”

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Gondola Pizza House, Tullahoma TN

Well, this is faintly ridiculous. I count at least five restaurants in middle Tennessee calling themselves Gondola Pizza House, in the towns of Cookeville (which has branded itself “The Original”), Crossville, Hermitage, McMinnville, and Tullahoma. I saw the sign for the Tullahoma store online someplace and insisted that we had to detour and visit it one day. Then I learned of the other stores, and phoned them, wondering whether they were ever part of a chain. Everybody with whom I spoke insisted that they were independent and were never affiliated with each other. Continue reading “Gondola Pizza House, Tullahoma TN”

Ribalta, Atlanta GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about a visit to Ribalta, which invited me and some of our blogging friends, Atlanta Restaurant Blog and Iron Stef, to visit their new store in midtown. They just opened in Atlanta,expanding from their original New York location, with a process for pizza dough that they say results in a lighter, lower gluten crust. Chef Pasquale Cozzolino regenerates his dough every day from a yeast starter that has been used for the past 80 years. It’s a symptom of the times that when I heard the starter had been brought over from Italy, the first thought I had was “Yeah, right, they’d never let THAT through Customs!” But Customs wasn’t quite so strict in the past. Continue reading “Ribalta, Atlanta GA”

Baraonda, Atlanta GA

Marie and I had been looking forward to getting together with Andy and Jo from Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else again for a few weeks, and weren’t sure where we’d like to go. Fortunately, Andy had a really interesting shortlist of good ideas and Baraonda, which has been packing in the pre-theater crowds just a block away from the Fabulous Fox, stood out. Continue reading “Baraonda, Atlanta GA”

La Tagliatella, Atlanta GA

Recently, the local PR team for La Tagliatella reached out to us to see whether we’d like to give one of this very large chain’s two Atlanta stores a try. We were certainly aware of the company’s entrance into this market in 2013, but never found time to visit. Atlanta, after all, has lots and lots of restaurants. I was curious about the chain, and, looking around, see that not too many other local writers have visited. Is it because, in Europe, La Tagliatella is a huge chain? Would bloggers in England balk if somebody opened an Olive Garden there? Continue reading “La Tagliatella, Atlanta GA”

Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano, Atlanta GA

A few Saturdays back, Andy from Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else suggested that we meet up with him and his wife at one of Giovanni Di Palma’s restaurants. He opened Antico about five years ago to near-universal acclaim and out-the-door lines that have just continued to grow. In late 2012, this sister joint called Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano, and a companion place to get sandwiches and gelato that you can visit through an adjoining door, joined it. As if parking for Antico wasn’t already enough to make a man weep. Right now, early Saturday nights require an off-duty cop and at least two fellows in yellow vests to direct everybody. And Di Palma has his eyes on neighboring buildings for additional restaurants. Continue reading “Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano, Atlanta GA”

Veni Vidi Vici, Atlanta GA

Here’s a neat case of a very good restaurant that is continuing to evolve and turn out some terrific food even though it’s almost thirty years old. In the case of barbecue in the middle of nowhere, we desire stability and structure, figuring out the right way to do something and never, ever changing. Fine dining in a busy metropolis with high-end competition on every corner? That’s a different story. Evolve or be abandoned for the next trendy place, that’s the world where Veni Vidi Vici operates. Continue reading “Veni Vidi Vici, Atlanta GA”