Friday, March 11, 2011

A Family Affair at La Trattoria on the Square

Some restaurants just feel comfortable. From the moment you walk in, you're enveloped in a sense of home and family. La Trattoria on the Square in Carrollton, Georgia is one of those restaurants. Even its name suggests this restaurant's homey ambiance. According to the back of the menu, "la trattoria" refers to a type of eating establishment in Italy that is usually family-run and casual, and this La Trattoria fits its name to a tee. This unassuming and cozy restaurant makes great use of the space, which is pretty small but beautiful. Exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and ceilings, you can practically feel the history of the building as you eat.

The entire restaurant consists of no more than 25 tables. A tiny corner restaurant in a tiny corner building on historic Adamson Square: a stark contrast to the "Italian" restaurants many of us are used to with generic menus and stale atmosphere. Nope, there was nothing stale about La Trattoria, and this applied to the food as well.

The menu is varied and has many options for both the picky and the more adventurous diner. My grandmother went out with us and was pleased with a beef lasagna option, which she appeared to enjoy thoroughly, and my mother, who is a bit of a connoisseur of Italian dishes and dining, loved that she got to try spinach manicotti, something she'd never had despite many visits to many Italian eateries. I can attest that the spinach manicotti looked delicious, with marinara and cheese melted all over the top and spinach and ricotta oozing out of every bite. My aunt ordered baked ziti, which looked delicious as well. Its important to point out that each of these dishes had very generous portions, especially considering the great prices!

Jeremy ordered the only cream-based dish, Alfredo di Pollo. In Jeremy's words: "the noodles were perfectly done. The sauce was a little heavy on the garlic, but the chicken was very tender. All in all a very good dish."

My own "create your own" calzone with pepperonis, black olives, and red onions was fabulous. The bread it was baked in was the same (or at least tasted the same) as the delicious bread they brought out before dinner. Soft and tender and full of all of those great flavors you look for in a calzone crust...garlic and buttery goodness. My only complaint? Maybe a little too much garlic, as Jeremy point out as well, but that's a tiny complaint. It was stuffed to the brim with lots of olives, onions, pepperonis, and ricotta cheese...LOTS of ricotta cheese. Anything with lots of any kind of cheese is on my favorite list automatically, but ricotta cheese in particular I LOVE. Luckily, they knew what they were doing and the bread was perfectly cooked...not doughy in the middle like so many calzones can be. 

I would definitely go back to La Trattoria. The meal was yum, and the atmosphere was comfortable: two things that make a restaurant good for me. 

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