Hello good people, and welcome to Italian Week here on Food & More as I continue my tour of 30 Atlanta restaurants.
All this week I’ll be stopping in at neighborhood Italian restaurants. The thought most likely came to me because my wife and I have been paying our respects to James Gandolfini by rewatching the entire run of “The Sopranos,” an exercise that has left me starving for pasta on a nightly basis.
But, really, is there any dining experience more perfect than Italian? When an Italian restaurant clicks, it gets the big picture, the reason we like to go out to eat. There’s a warmth to the setting, a generosity of spirit to the service, a feeling that you’re being taken care of.
When the Zagat Survey of Atlanta Restaurants came out last year, four of the top 10 rankings for food were claimed by Italian places. Among them was Valenza, a Brookhaven spot that gets big love from its neighbors.
The rustic setting seems stagy for about a