Atlanta Orders In: Virginia-Highland deli and market offers taste of Tuscany with gusto

Luigi D'Arienzo is the chef-owner of Tuscany at Your Table. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com
Luigi D'Arienzo is the chef-owner of Tuscany at Your Table. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

“Tuscany at Your Table. Can I help you?” said the voice on the other end of the line.

I asked to speak with one of the owners, husband and wife Luigi and Meredith D’Arienzo.

“They just left for vacation an hour ago.”

I was told, however, I might hear from the boss in short order, because “Luigi works really hard.”

Sure enough, half an hour later, the D’Arienzos called me from the road. We set up a phone interview for the following day, even though it would cut into a beach break in the Carolinas. When I showed up at the shop a day later, surprise! There was Luigi, standing in the kitchen, packing a trio of panini, bucatini carbonara, gnocchi alla Bolognese, his famous meatballs and other hot dishes I’d ordered for takeout. He’d cut his holiday short. Work, he said, was calling his name.

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The selection of prepared Italian dishes at Tuscany at Your Table changes daily. However, pasta carbonara (top), gnocchi alla Bolognese (right) and spinach and ricotta cannelloni (bottom) frequently are available. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com
The selection of prepared Italian dishes at Tuscany at Your Table changes daily. However, pasta carbonara (top), gnocchi alla Bolognese (right) and spinach and ricotta cannelloni (bottom) frequently are available. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The prepared items in the Tuscany at Your Table deli case are a testament to the labor that D’Arienzo puts into delicious, yet affordable, tastes of Italy. Some, like gnocchi alla sorrentina — plump potato gnocchi baked in tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil — are a nod to the Campania region surrounding his native Naples. Others are expressions more typical of Tuscany, where he moved while in his mid-20s to put his culinary degree to work within that region’s agriturismo industry.

After moving to the U.S. nearly a decade ago, D’Arienzo periodically cooked for private dinners. When Toscano & Sons Italian Market closed in 2016, and the space became available, the couple decided the time was right to own their own spot.

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Tuscany at Your Table is an Italian market and deli located at 1050 N. Highland Ave., in the heart of Atlanta's Virginia-Highland neighborhood. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com
Tuscany at Your Table is an Italian market and deli located at 1050 N. Highland Ave., in the heart of Atlanta's Virginia-Highland neighborhood. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The narrow market is a delight for shoppers in search of imported Italian foodstuffs, be it prosciutto beyond that bearing the di Parma DOP, Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oils and balsamics, biscotti and amaretti, or coffee and wine. A few coolers are stocked with fresh pasta, house-made pizza dough, pesto and Calabrian peppers in oil.

Tuscany on My Plate offers numerous panini options. Courtesy of Paula Pontes
Tuscany on My Plate offers numerous panini options. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Dishes inside the deli case are prepared from scratch daily, with lasagna, eggplant Parmigiana, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, and D’Arienzo’s winning meatballs usually in the lineup. Hot-pressed panini sandwiches also have been a draw since the early days (try the Siena, with finocchiona Tuscan salami, pecorino cheese, fresh tomatoes and grilled zucchini).

The pandemic prompted the couple to cater to regulars, by introducing a daily special that features a dinner entree and side salad for $13.50 ($9 for kids), as well as bringing more variety to the dessert menu.

The chickpea salad from Tuscany at Your Table is a satisfying mix of garbanzos, arugula, mixed field greens, Pecorino Toscano cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette. Courtesy of Paula Pontes
The chickpea salad from Tuscany at Your Table is a satisfying mix of garbanzos, arugula, mixed field greens, Pecorino Toscano cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Meanwhile, that same loyal clientele is pining for other facets of the operation to return: Luigi’s cooking classes, as well as the D’Arienzos’ guided gastronomic tours to Italy. “Maybe July. We’re not sure yet,” he said of classes that see him sharing tips for making carbonara (“It’s not easy to cook the eggs”) and gelato (“The recipe is so precise. Just a small mistake and the gelato doesn’t come out good”).

When you step inside Tuscany at Your Table, you get not only pasta and panini, but a generous helping of the authentic Luigi himself.

Desserts at Tuscany at Your Table are made fresh daily. Pictured is a slice of raspberry lemoncello cake. Courtesy of Paula Pontes
Desserts at Tuscany at Your Table are made fresh daily. Pictured is a slice of raspberry lemoncello cake. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

TUSCANY AT YOUR TABLE

Menu: Italian deli and market specializing in panini, pasta and other prepared foods

Alcohol: wine

What I ordered: panini (meatball, salami and prosciuttoi); daily special of bucatini carbonara with chickpea salad; spinach and ricotta cannelloni; eggplant Parmigiana; gnocchi alla Bolognese; meatballs; lemon custard pie; raspberry limoncello cake. The ciabatta for the panini retained its crustiness after pressing, with no liquid from meat, cheese or veggies seeping into the bread slices. Prepared dishes like the pastas can be requested hot upon pickup, or reheated at home. Of the pasta, the cannelloni stood out for flavor pop and generous filling. Luigi’s tender meatballs, made from a combination of beef and Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, ricotta and pecorino Romano cheeses, are worth adding to any order. The chickpea salad offered contrasting colors and textures, and harmonious flavors in every bite. The raspberry limoncello cake was bright, light, and so satisfying for late spring.

Price range: soups ($3.99-$5.49); salads ($7.95); panini ($8.95); daily menu ($13.50); pastas (prices vary); desserts ($5.50)

Vegetarian options: soups; salads; and various pasta dishes, including spinach and ricotta cannelloni, eggplant Parmigiana, vegetarian risotto, vegetarian ravioli and gnocchi alla sorrentina.

Service options: carryout; order in person, via phone or email meredith@tuscanyatyourtable.com

Outdoor dining: limited, no-service sidewalk seating

Mask policy: required for all employees and anyone entering the shop

Address, phone: 1050 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta; 404-205-5092

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays

Website: tuscanyatyourtable.com

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