First Look: Carbonara Trattoria, Dunwoody

Open since late September, Carbonara Trattoria in Dunwoody has the nostalgic feel of a tried-and-true neighborhood place with a dash of fine dining elan. The lengthy menu meanders from starters, soups and salads to pasta and entrees, including the likes of lobster ravioli ($17) and rack of lamb ($21).

The look: Tucked behind the Fresh Market in the busy Dunwoody Village Shopping Center, the brick storefront space is marked by a formal black awning. A cafe-like foyer features a granite-topped bar and a cozy window seat. Dining room decor mixes contemporary and Tuscan influences with a series of bright wall sconces and rows of landscape paintings.

The scene: Owner Rafik Cressaty  is a former Coca-Cola executive, who decided he wanted to open an affordable Italian restaurant in Dunwoody because he was tired of making the the drive to Buckhead. A fixture around the dining room, where he visits each table to chat and shake hands, Cressaty said he’s been surprised by the response, so far. “It’s above any expectations I had. The community has really come out and supported the restaurant.”

The menu: True to it’s name, that corpulent classic, spaghetti carbonara ($13), with pancetta, eggs and Parmigiano-Reggiano, tops the pasta offerings, along with gnocchi with tomato or pesto sauce ($14) and risotto with mushrooms ($14) or seafood ($18). A variety of veal, chicken and fish dishes are among the bigger bites, as well as Italian-style filet mignon ($24) and a 10-ounce  New York strip topped with gorgonzola ($23).

The drinks: At the bar, find a selection of spirits, mostly mainstream American beers and Italian wines by the glass or bottle. Other beverages include Coke products, iced tea, espresso and cappuccino.

The extras: At lunch, served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays, look for hot and cold subs, such as meatball ($7.50) and Italian meat and cheese ($8.50). There’s also a soup and salad or soup and sandwich combo ($7.50), plus a mix-and-match pasta and sauce special ($8.50).

Dining out

Carbonara Trattoria, Dunwoody

Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Dinner: 5-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Starters, $6.50-$12; soups and salads, $4-$8.50; pasta and risotto, $8.50-$18; entrees, $14-$24.

5499 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 678-587-9100,