Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Ode to Riccardo

The first post on this blog appropriately gives recognition to a man who has done so much...perhaps as much as anyone else, in our opinion, to raise the standard for southern European dining in Atlanta. Riccardo Ullio, founder and owner of the U Group of restaurants, is an amazing chef and restauranteur. His four restaurants, Sotto Sotto and Fritti (Italian), Beleza (Portuguese/Brazilian), and Cuerno (Spanish) are all spectacular. In the case of each restaurant, the atmosphere is laid-back and very hip, not stuffy as one might expect at restaurants selling this level of cuisine.

Sotto Sotto is the flagship Italian restaurant and is delicious. In the case of each dish, the ingredients he uses are the absolute freshest available. Our favorite dishes include the Cape Sante - Jumbo Sea Scallops with cannelini beans and truffle oil - what a combination of tastes! The Caesar Salad is an absolute must - the perfect flavor of the homemade croutons work to make this perhaps the best caesar salad we've had in the city. For pasta/risotto entrees (primi), try the Tortelli di Michangelo - ravioli made of veal, chicken and pork in a perfectly smooth and satisfying butter/sage sauce. The Lasagnette alla Bolognese is a perfect combination of flavors, tomatoey with a tiny bit of sweetness. For dessert, try the Panna Cotta, which is an eggless flan custard drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar. Sotto Sotto features a great all-Italian wine list and the waitstaff is always very knowledgeable, though at times is a bit too efficient at moving your meal along, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

If you're looking for a delicious Italian meal in Atlanta, Sotto Sotto should not be missed.

Riccardo's restaurants are all significant in their own right and will be covered in separate posts. Photo of Riccardo courtesy of Georgia Tech.

Sotto Sotto in Atlanta

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