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A Taste of Tuscany in Vinings

Taverna Fiorentina presents time-honored, authentic Florentine dishes from one of Italy’s most famous region.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic restaurant, or a little family place with modern Tuscan flair, Taverna Fiorentina at 3324 Cobb Parkway is sure to offer it.

This intimate restaurant serves up handcrafted-Italian fare and classic dishes are updated with big, bold flavors while maintaining their simplicity. In fact, some well-traveled patrons who frequent Taverna Fiorentina claim that the food is better than in Italy!

Did I mention authentic? The dining room tables were custom-designed in Florence, Italy, and convey an immediate sense of the Old World charm … comfort and sophistication without pretense.

Owners Paolo Tondo and Jasmin Reyes Scott each bring a unique set of talents to the establishment. Originally from Italy, Tondo learned to cook in his hometown of Florence, gaining exposure and experience at restaurants such as Spaghetteria Pizzeria, Tarocchi Via Dei Renai, Ristorante Davide and Trattoria il Sordo.

Born in Madrid, Reyes Scott came to the United States in 1977.  Prior to moving to Atlanta, she was a sommelier at La Pergola in San Francisco.

The atmosphere is so welcoming that the energy seems to hug you as you enter. Feeling very comfortable, I decided to dine at the bar and chat with a few patrons. Dr. Marc Greenberg recommended the Insalata Casare.  He said, “It is the best Caesar salad in Atlanta.”  Dr. Greenberg set the course for the evening, so I asked Josh Sun, the charming bartender/wine assistant to select his favorite dishes for me. 

I started with the Antipasto, which included Port-soaked parmigiano-reggiano, thinly sliced pepperoni, hardened, aged parmesan, prosciutto, basil-sage cheese, olives, artichokes and a very mild goat cheese. To accompany his selection, Josh poured a glass of Zenato Valpolicello (2008).

The meats were flavor-filled, sans the salt … yay!  I expected the cheeses to be a bit sharp. NOT! They were mellow, smooth and creamy. The wine was fruity, full-bodied with earth notes.

Upon doctor’s order, the Insalate Casare came next and I loved the presentation. Like a crown, a poached egg topped the bed of Romaine hearts, croutons and anchovy filets in a light dressing.  It was one of the best Caesar’s I’ve had and the taste of Broncatelli Questo Dedicato – a rich blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and syrah - had nothing to do with it.

Next on my dining list, Pappardelle al Cinghale - papardelle in a wild boar ragu - with a glass of Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico (2008).  I know, you’re thinking, “wild boar?” But I must say, this was a symphony kissing my oh-so-excited taste buds, and the wine’s ripe cherry fruit and subtle spiciness was the adagio.

It didn’t stop there. Hello, ‘chef’s special’ … tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and shrimp, a unique marriage of earthy goodness and succulent sweetness. This dish put my taste buds into overdrive. And, then they screamed, ‘heaven!’ after a taste of Peter Zemmer Pinot Nero (2006).

For dessert, the tiramisu was spot-on! The perfect way to end a perfect meal.

For those who are not looking to splurge, check out Taverna Fiorentina for ‘Monday Night Dinner,’ served family-style in the Tuscan Room. Seating begins at 5:30 p.m. for the “all you can eat” salad, entrée and dessert. It is a real deal; only $15 per person and $5 buys a bottomless glass of wine, the house red or white.

Got kids?  Take them to the family-friendly ‘Sunday Supper,’ where children eat free with the purchase of an accompanying adult entrée. The free child's meal must be selected from children's menu.

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