One of my favorite casual places to eat in Atlanta is Baraonda Caffe Italiano. Its proximity to The Fox Theatre and Churchill Grounds makes it our staple for pre-show dinners and the casual, comfortable bar with the exposed wood-fire oven makes it a fun place to eat anytime. Now, the owners of Baraonda have opened a new location for their specialty – casual Italian. Baroni opened this past weekend and we had an opportunity to sample their menu pre-opening last week.
Fans of Baraonda will find some old favorites – the wood-fire oven pizzas are here as well as some of the tried-and-true pasta dishes. Of course, there are some new dishes, as well. One new favorite of mine is the Arancini di riso al ragù – delightful little deep fried rice balls in tomato sauce (pictured, right). The Chicken Piccata was also very good – moist and juicy on the inside with a nice, crisp skin and a summery, lemony flavor. And the Veal Milanese (also pictured, below) was a particular favorite of my hubby. The menu also includes a selection of Paninis, salads, a trio of Bruschettes, and a build-your-own pasta menu that allows you to choose your pasta, sauce and other ingredients to create a unique dish just for you. There is also a fresh Mozzarella bar and a full bar with beer, liquor and a fantastic wine list.
And I can’t leave out a word or two about dessert – the tiramisu is a standard at Baraonda and has, of course, made its way over to Baroni. But I’ve absolutely fallen in love the the Panna Cotta, topped with seasonal berries. It was utterly heavenly and I’m considering going back just for that!
The atmosphere is light, airy and relaxed, with an olive tree growing in the middle of the dining room. Live herb gardens of rosemary, basil, and thyme perfume the air and compliment the delicious aromas from the kitchen. It’s homey and comfortable but still with the air of sophistication you expect from the sister restaurant to Baraonda.
WHERE: Baroni – 1745 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA