Category: Classic Atlanta restaurant, worth a drive
Summary: Elegant service, outstanding food, beautiful atmosphere
Tom Conte turned me onto La Grotta originally. He told me it was great but it took me awhile to get there. I'll listen more closely next time. The restaurant is extremely discreet, hidden in the inner garden of a Buckhead apartment building. The picture shows the view from my table. It was a lovely place to spend an evening.
The one word that describes the service is gracious. You are met at the entrance not only by the car valet but also by a greeter who very graciously shows you the way to the restaurant. The entire staff was friendly but not intrusive. My waiter was more than happy to answer my questions.
I started with a risotto. This dish is relatively hard to find in Atlanta; it takes some finesse to reach the best balance of creaminess and toothiness. My risotto had a wonderful texture. The salmon was a subtle addition, which itself takes some finesse since the salmon could have ended up dominating the risotto.
As you might guess from the bone sticking out from the salad, this is a veal chop. Veal milanese is a wienerschnitzel-style preparation with a very crunchy crust. The waiter told me that the chef pounds out the veal chop himself. The salad on top is very light, which contrasts wonderfully with the cruncy/tender chop.