It might not have been wise to follow the yearly turkey coma with a big pasta meal, but I never did promise to be wise. :) The day after big bird feast, Gene of Eat Drink Man, his lovely bride-to-be, and a few other great friends came over to our place for holiday drinks and more turkey-centric snacks (I made a turkey frittata and a mushroom turkey spread). After a few hours of friendly chats, we headed out for more substantial eats at the fairly new La Pietra Cucina.
As many had already commented, the space is pretty weird because guests have to walk through an entirely empty dining room to get to the private dining space in the back. Perhaps having a hostess at the big dinning room door would have helped, but no one was there to direct traffic.
We forgot about that very quickly when the food started to hit the table. Gene asked for the octopus to start and it was fantastic. Not at all chewy, the tender pieces blended superbly with the simple but bright tomato broth that also drenched some very plump couscous.
When our server recited "wild boar ragu" as a special on a pasta, I was sold. Then he said that the pasta was cut from a pasta guitar, and I got super excited. Check out the thickness of that ragu! So loaded with cooked down wild boar, the ragu was the most fitting wintry night comfort food. And the uniquely cut pasta lived up to my very high expectations in its perfect al dente state and lingered on the palate with a slight sweetness. (I don't know if others notice this, but really good doughy things give off a very slight sweetness as an aftertaste because of the heavy starch content). I loved this dish!
Ever since those incredible beignets from Shaun's a couple of years ago, I have been hooked on these things. LPC's version was more cakey and less fried doughy than Shaun's. In that respect, it wasn't quite my favorite. But the very thin slivers of candied orange peels certainly upped the interest quotient.
I forgot what this was called, but it was essentially hot chocolate batter cooked until it was slightly underdone and still very moist. It's hard not to like something like that, but it's a little more simplistic than what I would have liked.
If you haven't given this place a try, you really should. In the pasta area, it's almost like eating at Babbo without the painful reservation (where I believe the Chef had once cooked). Now that's something. :)
La Pietra Cucina
1545 Peachtree St. Ste 101
Atlanta, Ga 30309