Una Bella Sera - La Grotta Ristorante Buckhead

My Italian friend, Silvia, invited a group of friends on Saturday night to celebrate her husband David’s 47th birthday at La Grotta Ristorante on Peachtree Street.  We gathered at 7pm and in good Italian dinner fashion we took our time over each course and three and half hours later we finished up with some killer tiramisu.  I was very happy with my linguine with salmon in a spicy and tangy, just like the ladies it’s named for, puttanesca sauce.  Our server, Walter, the only non-Euro server in the place, assured us that the kitchen would do whatever we wanted even if it wasn’t on the menu. Ultimately they made two excellent off-menu risottos, a marinara and mozzarella for Silvia, and a veggie risotto for our vegetarian friend, Susan.  What I really liked as well was that the portions were not super sized and not one person needed a to-go container.  Also, they had a “Stimulus Menu” which offered a glass of wine, an appetizer and an entrée for $21.



Our buonissimo waiter, Walter, and Susan.


I spoke with owner, Sergio Favalli, and his son, Christian, about their green practices. They were both very excited to talk about all the many things they did to conserve energy, recycle, and reduce waste. Sergio is from
Italy and has very European sensibilities about recycling and keeping things out of the landfill. His goal is to recycle 100 percent of their waste but right now they recycle about 85% which I think is pretty amazing for this town.  They recycle glass, paper, cardboard and plastic. Sergio has been paying $60 per month for years to have someone come and take the recyclables away since the city doesn’t pick them up.  Kathy will be happy to hear that they don’t use any Styrofoam for takeout containers - only cardboard or those aluminum containers with the cardboard top. Awhile back they had an energy audit which allows them to reduce their consumption of gas and electric and Sergio says he has dreams of installing solar panels
one day. 



Christian & Sergio Favalli of La Grotta


I love to travel in
Italy and one of my overall favorite things is Italian bathrooms. I am telling you they are just gorgeous.  The walls and floors are tiled in marble in the most luscious colors that only exist in Italy
. I was so happy to see the ladies room at La Grotta had an authentic Italian bathroom!  Not only was it beautiful but it had Caroma Dual Flush toilets – you know the ones that have a liquid flush button and a solid flush button to save water. Ah, the things that make us happy. When I was washing up I saw a little discreet sign that asked customers to use the paper products sparingly because La Grotta is working hard to reduce waste. Nice touch, Sergio. 

According to its website, La Grotta has been voted the Best Italian Restaurant by Atlanta Magazine for 16 years in a row.  They were also the AAA Four Diamond Award recipient for 15 years, and a long time winner of the Di Rona Award.

 
As we were leaving Susan said, “I like this joint.”  Yeah, me too.

 




Auguri, David!!!  Richard, David, Silvia & Angela


La Grotta Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon

 

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