REVIEW: il Giallo Osteria & Bar, Sandy Springs, North Fulton
Il Giallo Osteria & Bar was high on our list of 20 Best Atlanta Restaurants to Visit in 2016 and FANTASTICO doesn’t begin to describe what awaits you . We knew something really good was in store for us, understanding the back story. Coming from Atlanta’s renowned Veni Vidi Vici, Chef Jamie Adams and co-owner Leonardo Moura opened il Giallo (pronounced il-JAH-lo) late last year and we knew we had to experience it.
We’d booked our reservations through OpenTable and were glad we did, because the restaurant was full on a Sunday night! We were pleased that our reservations were honored perfectly and we were shown to our table straightaway, walking past waiting patrons. Word to the wise – make reservations!
From the moment we met our server, we were indoctrinated on the freshness of the ingredients – right down to pasta being prepared in-house and served direct to your table, to the seafood being driven up from the coast daily.
Our server brought refreshments and began a wonderful in-depth descriptions of menu highlights including ingredients and how the items are prepared. It was a fantastic introduction to the restaurant, the menu and the overall dining experience! I should also add, our server took exemplary care of our throughout the meal anticipating our every need.
We got started with the polpette which is meatballs consisting of duck, rabbit, turkey and beef in a sauce of mushrooms and vidalia onions. The meatballs were tender, juicy and had a wonderful flavor. The sauce was phenomenal and this appetizer could easily have been labeled our “show stealer” if not for the other wonderful items to come!
One of the most difficult things about il Giallo is making a decision on what to order. We could have easily split small plates “tapas style” the entire evening! We decided we’re going to have to come back soon and try some of the other things on the menu besides what we ordered.
Our server promised “melt in your mouth” pasta, because of the freshness. You literally watch them make your pasta just moments before it’s served to your table! Melanie chose the farfelle alla rubbiara that features bowtie pasta served with a veal and pork bolognese sauce. I went with the pappardelle which is a wide, flat pasta with a fluted edge served with butterflied shrimp and a mix of wild mushrooms. The pasta did not disappoint – our server was correct in stating “melt in your mouth”. Our dishes were nothing less than excellent. The succulent flavor and the taste of all of the ingredients, combine to fulfill a foodie fantasy.
In these celebrity chef restaurants, we rarely see the Executive Chef. In il Giallo, Chef Jamie Adams was front and center – seemingly inspecting each dish once it was plated and ready to be served. Supervising the production of the pasta, it was the equivalent of watching a master at work. Marvelous!
As we waited for dessert to arrive, we discussed how Il Giallo redefines the genre of Italian dining. This is far from what we Americans typically think about when the term “Italian” is used to define a restaurant. The restaurant, the menu selections, the freshness and quality of the dishes and the impeccable service – it is something to be savored and experienced.
We gazed in awe at the tortino di ciocolatte when it was served. It looked so rich, we wondered how we were going to do away with it. One bite and that wonder ceased to exist as we then pondered how something so rich could be so light and fluffy at the same time. It was a dichotomy of delight!
I’m done – I’ve run out of superlatives while writing this review. I will admit this though – this is a restaurant I will take my mother to when she visits Atlanta. We’re looking forward to the celebrations that will be spent at il Giallo and the many ,many pleasurable meals that await us. Guten appetit!