Atlanta >Food & Dining > Il Localino
467 North Highland Ave, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3030733.766698 -84.353088
Neighborhoods: Eastside, Eastside, Poncey Highlands
WONDERFUL!!!! – The first time I went there, my husband had found a groupon. Being quite suspicious of grouponed restaurants, I went in with an open mind. And boy was I surprised!!!
Let me tell you what this restaurant is not. If you are used to cookie-cutter servers trained by corporate policy, then this is not the place for you. The servers here are unique and personable and your dining experience is greatly dependent upon your rapport with them. You may have to be a bit patient with a couple of them, but all in all they truly have your best dining experience at heart. If you are used to the predictability of mass produced chain restaurant food, then this is not for you either. If you prefer buffet lines, sporks, and value meals, then needless to say, this won't be your cup of tea.
However, if you want Italian food as close to what it is like in Italy (which, btw, is NOT that chain despite their culinary institute commercials), then this is your place.
After having grouponed over a month ago, I've been there three times and it's my new favorite place to go. The antipasti is WONDERFUL. Roasted peppers like I have never tasted before. The big wheel of cheese that Giovanni cut slices from is like eating from a heavenly table. The pasta y fagioli was my nephew's all time favorite. My husband especially enjoys the warm bread with pesto and olive oil, especially when paired with a dry wine. Moving on to dinner, the linguine with clams was light and fresh, reminiscent of growing up on the Atlantic coast. The veal parmigiana was, by far, the absolute best veal parmigiana my husband has ever eaten (which, by the way, includes my recipe, and all of his early years in Jersey and NYC eating at some of the best trattorias). Considering he has a culinary degree, that's saying a lot. The last time, my husband and I both had the lasagne... and it was fabulous. Again, if Stouffer's is your thing (which is great in its place and time), then you are not going to appreciate this heightened level of lasagne with ground veal and bechamel...the way it's supposed to be.
The last time I was there, I finally succumbed to the dessert menu. The cannolis impressed my very Italian aunt and the tiramisu was not only the best I had ever eaten, but had to be shared for the serving size was abundant. My parents enjoyed the ice cream and noticed that this was not store-bought by any stretch of the imagination. My mother was duly impressed.
Sure, if you're looking for a quiet conversation with friends, the music might be a bit stirring (even with only a few people there). And depending on your server, you will have an experience that ranges from very good to exceptional (no one compares when Giovanni is in the house). But all in all, the place is fabulous and I would highly recommend it.
This is a great place to linger and savor - appreciate the experience of something different, enjoy the people you're dining with (and whoever else may be there), carve out a moment in your fast-paced life to breathe, enjoying the highest quality food that is presented in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. It is a restaurant worthy of great appreciation - for the people you choose to share a meal with, for Italian culture, for exceptional food, and for the sense of community in greater Atlanta.
Only Italian I'll eat in Atlanta – I am spoiled, growing up in NY, Currently living right on the Hudson & working in NYC, I enjoy delicious Italian food often. I travel to Atlanta 2 to 3 times per month and always make it a priority do feast at Il Localino. Sometimes its a business dinner or a quick bite on my own. However, My favorite nights at Il Localino are spent with friends eating, drinking & laughing the night away! You can count on lovely Miss Mimi & her father Gio to feed you like royalty, and keep your wine glass full. I have traveled to Italy several times and for my money no other Italian in the US comes close to the full on authentic flavors of Italy offered at this Innman Park Gem! I highly suggest you get in there on a Fri or Sat night, plan on having the time of your life. You will NOT be sorry! The food, the drinks, the music, the props, the vibe and atmosphere will have you hooked!!!
CELEBRATE THE UNEXPECTED AT IL LOCALINO – We are blessed to live in a city with all of its fine dining, but what happens when fine dining collides with fun – well you have Il Localino. This North Highlands eclectic Italian trattoria pulls out all of the stops to make moments into memories. This is due to the owners, Giovanni and Gale; whose take on life carries over to the total dining experience – it’s Italian home cooking in a cozy setting, but it’s more than that, it’s how they celebrate the joy of people coming together. The recipes for these masterful creations have been passed down through the generations within Giovanni’s family, and they’re made each night for your pleasure.
As with any great Italian meal, one breaks bread together and shares antipasto to fire up the palate and to start an evening of enduring conversation. At times it is hard to get a word in, as these nibbles are way too tasty. From the creamy Prosciutto di Parma with cantaloupe, to the nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and buttery Asiago, to the crispy yet delicate tasting Hearts of Palms - these appetizing flavors seem to have a way to intensify with each bite. But it’s the Pesto alla Genovese made with finely chopped walnuts in the basil-garlic blend that will rock those taste buds- don’t let it leave the table- the urge to come back to it is irresistible. Now that all of the senses have become fully aroused, send them over the edge with simply the smell from the sizzling garlic and lemon of the baked clams oreganata. These mouth-watering morsels will cause one to gasp at the first taste – the excitement builds!!!
Pasta is typically served as a first course and when properly made there is no other food that is as satisfying and soothing to the soul. The savory robust Paccheri alla Bolognese is both plus oh so much more. The large tube pasta is covered with a rich tasting meat sauce that’s somewhat feisty, and when topped with freshly grated Parmigiano this highly flavored dish is absolutely to die for. The second courses at Il Localino feel like brushstrokes of a di Vinci masterpiece- simply breathtaking. The ultra-tender pan roasted Filet Mignon medallions are sautéed with shallots and seasonal mushrooms in a Barolo wine reduction with a splash of the highly aromatic brandy, Vecchia Romagna, is astonishing. But to excite those last few sleepy taste buds indulge into some of the most exciting seafood in the city, the Cioppino- an unbelievable fisherman’s stew. It’s truly a work of genius that consists of lobster, king crab, clams, mussels, and sea bass all bathing in a savory tomato broth whose flavors are intertwined with fresh herbs and garlic creating a zesty seafood feast that can only be described as stunning - this dish is created from Giovanni’s heart, a labor of love. Ask for some fresh bread to slop up the broth, as it is just way too yummy.
After some impromptu dancing and singing, the party-like atmosphere always settles back to the reason why people get together to eat- to feel nurtured and to connect with each other while enjoying the treasures of the kitchen. The treasures really sparkle at Il Localino with their decadent warm Chocolate Soufflé and the coffee tasting creamy Tiramisu –these dreamy treats are truly a gift from heaven. When you think you can’t take another bite, somehow you notice the fork. Besides the foods and the ultra-friendly staff, the greatest pleasure at Il Localino is the unexpected. This adds to its astonishing setting and takes the culinary journey turning it into a fun-filled memorable evening- can’t think of a better way to enjoy life. Buon appetito!!!
very satisfied customers – The food we ordered was fantastic. The preparation was enticing. Truly a mouth-watering experience for my sister and I. We also loved the service crew who was so nice and accommodating. Everything was wonderful about this place.
Atlanta's best Italian food – My husband loves to eat Italian food and we have been checking out Italian restaurants nearby. We found the reviews on Il Localino interesting so we decided to try it out ourselves. The first thing we noticed is the special treatment given to us by the wait staff. The service was absolutely wonderful. The food they served us were remarkable. My husband and I were really satisfied. We had a very enjoyable dining experience and we will surely come back!
Best Restaurant In The USA – Gio, Gail, & Mimi are the best restaurant owners I've ever met. We're from NJ and are surrounded by Italian eateries. None can compete with this place. It's not expensive, it's not glamorous, and you don't have to dress up. Just come in, have a TON of fun, and have the best meal you have ever eaten. If you're lucky enough to have Gio there....fugettaboutit. SICK
Best Italian in Town – We went here for our Anniversary and it was the best time ever! You have to go in wanting to have fun, not just to be snobby and think its fine dining... 2 minutes after we sat down we were already wearing goofy hats and had been given a free app...
Don't get me wrong, its a very nice place with Amazing service and even better food... but they know how to make sure you enjoy yourself.
The Caesar dressing was homemade and so was the pasta. When my wife ordered the Cioppino, we were caught off guard by the lobster tail that was in it. I would recommend this place to anyone!
First date win – Long story short, I finally asked my coworker out on a date. Frist dates can be awkward, so I wanted to go somewhere with a lot going on so we did not get bored. Not easy to find an exciting restaurant in Atlanta, but after reading some reviews I knew I wanted to try Il Localinos. Let me say it was such an exciting time. My date loved the food, but even better we had so much fun with the servers and the restaurant! This is a great place to go if you want to have a second date ;)
Amazing Origional Atmosphere – I wanted to take my boyfriend out to somewhere special for our anniversary-- little did I know how special it would be. We were in romantic little Italy then all of the sudden it was transformed into a dance party with a disco ball and everything! The food was amazing and the service was so attentive, they made our anniversary one to remember, and we will definitely be back soon!
long time customer – It's funny to read all the bad reviews... Obviously, this people do not know any better. When you are used to eat at fast food parlors that would be your reaction. If u want something better and different you will have to pay more. I have dined in the best places in the USA and outside the US, and believe me when i say this little tratoria is the by far one of the best in Atlanta!!!! Keep it up guys!!!
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