In fourth place was last year’s winner: Mezza Luna Pasta and Seafood in Smyrna. “You might feel like you’ve stumbled into someone’s Italian home at Mezza Luna, a cozy neighborhood eatery that offers up simple pasta pleasures,” the AJC’s Yvonne Zusel wrote last year. Mezza Luna’s dining room is open, but reservations are highly recommended. You can get lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and dinner 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Third place went to Sotto Sotto on North Highland Avenue in Atlanta. Chef-owner Riccardo Ullio’s “silky wild mushroom tagliatelle is one of those simple but delicious dishes elevated with great ingredients, including locally grown mushrooms cooked in porcini mushroom jus, and finished with butter, garlic and cream,” Bob Townsend wrote for the AJC last year. A cashless restaurant, Sotto Sotto is open for courtyard or inside dining 5:30-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
We had a tie for first place this year, with BoccaLupo and Storico Fresco garnering the same number of votes.
Apart from churning out massive amounts of fettuccine, bucatini, black spaghetti and garganelli, BoccaLupo’s chef-owner, Bruce Logue, is playing numbers games with a menu that changes daily, having to factor the cost of “the right containers to fit the food” into the price of his upscale, farm-to-table dishes, dining editor Ligaya Figueras wrote in April. The Inman Park restaurant is open Tuesday-Saturday for takeaway, with preorders by phone from 3-9 p.m. and pickup beginning at 5:30 p.m., and patio dining 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Storico Fresco in Buckhead began not as a restaurant, but a secret weapon in other Atlanta kitchens, Wyatt Williams wrote for the AJC. Since opening a quiet wholesale kitchen a few years ago, owner Michael Patrick has supplied some of the finest fresh pasta served in Atlanta. A number of the city’s best chefs bought his, rather than make their own. But now you “need not visit another chef to taste the wares,” he wrote. Storico Fresco is open 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday for lunch and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday for dinner.