Friday, May 23, 2014

An Night on the Patio at Davio's Atlanta

It’s all about the guest. We can confirm that the title of Davio’s owner’s book  is indeed the credo at the Atlanta location of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. We attended a special dinner hosted by owner Steve DiFillippo who sat with us and regaled us with stories of cooking Portuguese and Italian favorites with his Mom and grandmother.

He proudly admits that the famous Davio’s Bolognese sauce is his family’s treasured recipe. “It is the one recipe my chefs never toy with,” he shared. Although Davio’s is technically a chain of restaurants, each individual restaurant in the group in managed separately with a chef that has the autonomy to alter the menu and feature their own dishes (with the exception of several dishes that are mainstays of the Davio’s menu.)

DiFillippo’s book title is his motto, which was evident throughout our meal which began a reception-style passing of appetizers including potato goat cheese puffs, Philly cheese steak spring rolls and tuna tartare and glasses of Davio’s own Reserve, Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon as we took our seats and prepared to be indulged.

A service of house made focaccia bread with eggplant caponata and olives arrived at the table just before the first dish of the evening: an oven-baked Jonah crab cake. The succulent crab cake, which was more like a crab salad with a creamy grain mustard sauce topped with organic micro-greens, was opulent and sublime. The crab cake was followed by hand-rolled gnocchi that was delicate as if they were little clouds floating in your mouth and were topped with braised veal, beef and pork Bolognese with a perfect hint of spice.

Then came the main course: a Surf & Turf duo of a flawlessly cooked 8-oz. Brandt Prime New York sirloin served beside two massive pan-seared scallops over pea risotto with sides of fresh asparagus and horseradish mashed potatoes. Just when we thought we might explode, the plates were cleared and bowls of the most transcendent panna cotta made with vanilla beans and served with local Georgia strawberries, fresh mint and candied pine nuts were set in front of each of us. The ever-so-light and not overly sweet dessert was a lovely ending to our Italian feast.

We said our farewells as each of us received a personally autographed copy of DiFillippo’s advice-laden memoir, “It’s All About The Guest: Exceeding Expectations in Business and in Life, the Davio's Way” along with handmade chocolate truffles (raspberry and pistachio). Stuffed and happy, we headed to our cars.

Thanks to the Steve DiFillippo and the attentive Davio’s Atlanta staff for a glorious evening on the patio. To experience this Italian hospitality first hand, make Davio’s Atlanta located at 3500 Peachtree Road in Phipps Plaza your next dinner destination.

While the menu items we sampled were complimentary, the opinions included herein are honest and unsolicited.


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